Alternative History

Colonialism is the foundation and maintenance of settlements in one territory by people from another territory. These colonies sovereignties are claimed by a metropole, from which the colonial population originates. Often this control is exercised by a governor of some kind, such as the Roman Praetor. Ultimately, colonialism deals with the relationship between metropole and colony, as well as colony and indigene.

Like the Europeans in OTL, the Romans and the Danes began a period of establishing colonies in the New World during the IInd Millennium AD. These Europeans named the continent Columbia and Vinland respectivelyand each soon found that not only was it already inhabited but that some of its inhabitants were almost as technologically advanced as they were. This scenario led to a process of reverse colonization of Africa by some of the Columbians.

Everything began with the colonization of Groenland in 957 CE by the Dane Erik the Wise, and from that point onwards, the process accelerated until the entire New World was claimed by one civilization or another by 1649 CE after the Mongol's annexation of Alyeska. European colonialism was one of the major causes of the Great War at the turn of the XVIIIth Century, on top of the dozen or so other minor wars which it caused beforehand.

At present, nearly half of Columbia Australis is owned by foreigner, virtually all Caribbean Islands are owned by foreigners, and over a third of North Columbia is either owned by foreigners, or owned by a nation directly spawned by a foreign one. Of all non-Columbian nations, the Roman Empire owns the most land in the New World. The only nation in general that owns more Columbian land is the Mayan Conglomerate, and they are one of the continent's three native empires.


Early Colonialism (957-1220)[]

Colonial Trade Ships Superpowers

Colonial trade ships, flying the white flag indicating their peaceful purpose. Largest ship is still armed with ballistas however (1202)

The Viking settlement of Brattahlíð was the first human colony to be established on Groenland, and the first European colony to be set up in the Columbias. It was founded in the same place and with the same name as the OTL settlement of Brattahlíð and its founder was of identical descent to Eric the Red, though the changes to the timeline resulted in him being born in 936 instead of between 940-960.

Erik brought with him many of his people and so the initial settlement had a population of over 300 Norse men, women and children. This grew as news spread to Scandinavia and soon the reputation of Erik the Wise was spread throughout the Viking people. When he took command of the United Danish Kingdoms in 961 a new wave of colonists set out to populate Brattahlíð. On his death in 986 CE, the colony had over 10,000 people living in it, and three other settlements were in their development stage.

For the next 166 years, the Groenland Kingdom of the Danes continued to expand along the coastline, covering most of the southern coast by 1072 CE. It was not until 1123 however that the first Europeans set foot on actual Columbian soil. The Danes who made the journey were basically meant as suicide scouts to attempt and find either new land to the West, or the theorized Edge of the World. Luckily they found the former and after they had reported back, a group of colonists was launched to set up a fishing outpost in the reportedly rich waters there.

The new land was dubbed Vinland, and so both the new Danish Kingdom, (a kingdom to the Danes was like a State to America), the new continent and the new island were all known by that name. The settlement on the other hand was called Røngsbruk, after the lead colonist. Similarly to Groenland, colonization happened rapidly, with many Danes even coming as far as Scandinavia to settle the discovered island. The pace at which this happened was even quicker than before, as the news came back that Vinland was full of rich fields and streams.

When the new Vinlandic capital of Skálovitá was founded in 1219, the population of the Kingdom had already passed 45,000 and was still being settled at an increasingly faster rate. The mainland was discovered 47 years later and the efforts to colonize it were made almost immediately, and began faster than the last two attempts as a "Home base" was already much closer.

The Romans first pondered sailing to the west after some geographers in Gallia theorized the existence of a new continent between Europe and East Asia in 1087. They called it Columbia after the current Emperor, and immediately, Roman philosophers began to think of ways of reaching this far off land. Therefore no ship was sent to locate the land until 1142, finally arriving on the island of Hispaniola the following year. Once the Emperor Magnus I heard the news, he quickly put together a large team of colonists and had seven galleons sent to Hispaniola in 1146.

For the next 20 years, 9-15 galleons were sent yearly to continue on the expansion of the city of Colona, founded in 1147. It is from this city that the term Colonantes ("Colonizing") was coined, and it is a rough equivalent to the English word of Colonialism.

In 1177, the planned city of Nova Roma was founded not far from Colona. This was expected to become the colonial capital, handling much of the Roman trade in the New World and serving as headquarters for the provincial government. The Romans expected New Rome to serve as the prime example for a colonial city, much as Rome did for cities back home.

Though over the next 50 years only about 9 more cities were be founded, Roman exploration and military domination of Hispaniola went on unhindered. In 1215, a few Roman legionaries encountered Mayan scouts and of course treated them same way as they did any of the other natives. They later regretted doing that as when they found their first Mayan city, Greater Kisqeya, they sacked it for all the valuables which it contained. When the Mayan King heard what had happened, he was infuriated. The Mayans believed themselves to be the most advanced and civilized nation in existence and could not stand having their own citizens slaughtered by the "barbarians" that populated the rest of the world. In 1221 war was unofficially declared by the Conglomerate against all people who came from this Other World, and so a new era in European colonialism began.

Colonial Wars (1221-1437)[]

During this time period colonization took on a whole new face for the Romans from what it had started off as. Originally it was merely about expanding the Empire to rich new lands for its benefit. With over two thirds of a million Roman citizens in Columbia at the time, it became of utmost importance to defend their lives from the natives. Since one of these native peoples just so happened to have an empire rivaling their own, it became vital to get any sort of advantage that could be gained. This meant having as firm an infrastructure in the New World to better support the armies needed to defend Roman interests.

Though the Mayans had a much larger population base in the area, and were superior in land combat, the Romans dominated them completely at sea. Therefore, although the Romans knew of a major landmass to the north and south, it was imperative to expand over the islands of Columbia to better enforce their own naval power. Unfortunately for the Romans, the Mayans realized this as well and quickly worked to set themselves up as a counterweight to the Romans by themselves settling any unoccupied islands they could reach.

The main pivot of all these conflicts was of course Hispaniola. It was the only Roman settlement in the New World at the time, and it was the place where the conflict first began. This almost seemed to be becoming a reality once the Mayans began to push ever so slowly towards Nova Roma and Colona, after their victory at the Battle of Miraguana in 1228 CE. Though the mighty Roman Legion could hold them back, by the 1300's they had realized that their expulsion from their shining new city was slowly becoming a possible reality. Even gaining the knowledge of the Mayan Nahuatl language did little to help the Romans bring peace after an unfortunate event with a mediator.

Although temporary cease fires paused the war for some time and there was a constant back and forth across the center of the island. The Mayans managed to reach Nova Roma in 1400 CE, which now had a population of over a million Europeans. The extensive fortifications built a century earlier withstood the onslaught, and the large force of legionaries present was able to repulse the Mayans from the city in the First Battle of Nova Roma.

Meanwhile, in 1271 Roman colonists arrived in South Columbia and were able to quickly set up several cities along the coast, without the Mayans being aware of this. The extensive jungles of the mainland made going further in almost impossible for the Romans and so they continued to built along the coasts, preparing for any unknowns that may emerge from the dense foliage. As the military focused more on the Caribbean, the Roman public, as well as the Emperor, became more interested in this new continent and so it experienced population growth similar to the early Hispaniolan colonies, only spread out over many more cities.

The heated Two Hundred Years War began to cool off following the Roman victory at Nova Roma as the Roman-Mayan equilibrium over the island returned to its median once more. The new Mayan king Itzcoatl II was a man born into the middle of their war with the foreigners. He, more than anyone, saw its futility and after gaining power in 1431, made it his vision to put an end to the hostilities. Offering some land, islands and a sum of gold considered large to the Romans, he negotiated peace in 1437, or 216 years after the war had begun.

Dane colonization was of a completely different kind. They were blissfully unaware of Roman troubles, due to high tensions between the empires over religious issues. Also, the native presence in the area was in no way unified and so the dangers and intrigue of Roman colonization were completely non-existent to them. Since the original excitement over the new land's discovery had died down, everything led to a relaxed pace of Danish colonization for nearly half a millennium.

This was not to say there were no problems however. Twice, one of the New World Danish kingdoms made attempts at independence and the main military of the Danes was forced to come in and quell the uprisings. Large military strongholds were built at important river junctions by the main federal government after the first uprising in 1375. An enormous difference was apparent between the Roman and Danish colonies during this time period, even greater than that separating the homelands themselves. The only existing similarity was that both experienced great economic prosperity, though this was due to two different causes entirely.

Industrial Expansion (1438-1649)[]

Although peace now filled the New World, all was not well. Industrialization was on the rise and there were many in society who opposed this. Most notable of these groups were slaves. During the early Colonial Period, slaves were being shipped en masse to Columbia to work in farms, plantations and construction projects. Far away from some of the more sympathetic races in Europe and Africa, these slaves were horribly mistreated in comparison to their far away brethren. When news of this began to leak into European households, slaves began to fear for their own safety and many started to think that something had to be done. It was in this way that the 1442 Iberian Slave Revolt started, followed closely by a Gaulish one two years later.

These rebellions spread to Columbia in 1444, and it is here that some of the worst revolts occur. Although the Legion managed to contain each and every one, the Emperor and the Senate took action to permanently end the problem, enacting the Declaration of the Rights of Men and of the Slaves in 1449. Not quite an emancipation proclamation, the document nevertheless illegalized the mistreatment of slaves, finally giving them the status of a human rather than just property. Now that the growing pains of industrialism were taken care, expansion finally accelerated to its maximum speed possible.

Power plants were built all over the New World by the Romans, finally bringing electricity to the colonies. With colonial infrastructure catching up to Europe by the early-1500's, the Romans could finally embark deeper into the main continent of Columbia Australis. Advanced scouts created maps of the jungle, or were killed, and decisions were being made over where to build settlements. In 1532, ten years after an embargo was placed on trade with the Mayans, a Roman construction team began to carve a path through the jungle along the massive river system that twists through the interior. Almost half a dozen cities are built along a 3,000 km stretch of the river, with many of the trees along the path being cut to ensure the safety of small boats. The official Via Alexandria, a stretch of two big lanes on either side of the river, was completed in 1562, stopping only at the 3,000 km point where the last city was built.

Only 4 years later, Roman colonists had used the South Passage, discovered in 1515, to land in India for the first time in centuries. Unlike the India that the Ancient Romans knew, this India was a largely Hindu and Buddhist population dominated by Islamic overlords, puppets of the Ottoman Empire. The Romans were seen as liberators by the native population, a mistake many of them soon came to regret. Although the Romans were very friendly and even generous towards the South Indians, the ones more towards the north, who were more Muslim by percentage, were generally treated poorly. The former were designated by the colonists as being descended from the true Ancient Indians and so by Roman Ethnic laws, were the representative group for the Colony.

Eventually, through carefully allowed emigration and consistent colonial migration, the Indian colony drifted more towards the vision the Romans had in mind for it. By 1649, 10% or so of the population was Roman, whilst out of the native Indian population: 14% were Christian; 17% were Buddhist and 65% were Hindu. Muslims in Roman India were approaching non-existence, virtually all of them having moved either West or North to more favorable lands. Unlike other colonies of Rome, India didn't initially see a rise in industrialism on the arrival of the Romans, and the population were, in general, left more alone. Romans acted more as either administrators or visitors rather than conquerors. Still, the trade and transport of Indian goods, like tea, spices and especially cotton, became a major part of the regional economy as the Romans slowly and steadily assimilated the subcontinent.

Meanwhile the Danes encountered the first united native resistance in Vinland from the Great Chiefdom in 1504. It was only a minor skirmish and the Danish Kingdoms thought very little of the fact that their forces were larger than those of other native groups. Eventually it became accepted that some kind of united native government existed to the west. Battles continued between the two nations, with war being declared a few times, but the overall effect on colonial history was rather slim here.

However, it was in 1507 that Danish colonists landed on the southern tip of Africa. Unfortunately for them, this was an unofficial expedition and actual government colonization didn't begin for another century or so. Danish Africa was mostly a collection of simple farmlands and villas where people carved out their own independent spheres of influence, leaving very little to speak of in terms of industrialization.

Elsewhere, the Romans began colonization at two other points on the planet. The island of Terra Australis was reached in 1439, though its importance on the scale of things was very small for the time being. Nevertheless, nearly the entire western half of the island is claimed by Rome by 1500, whilst the rest was in firm Roman control by the early 1600's. Similarly to Danish Africa, Roman Australis was seen as simply being a land of new beginnings, where there was wide open space for any Gaius or Lucius who wanted to have their own estate. Some independent cotton plantations were established during the 1490's to 1510's, and a few for tobacco before that craze died out in the 1540's, but industry didn't go much further than decentralized agriculture.

In 1589 however, the small southern island of Australiola was chosen as the site for a permanent penal colony, sparking a renewed interest in the chain of islands. In 1607 the island was declared an official prison complex in itself, with a wall completely encircling the island to contain prisoners. It was then far more organized and became the subject of cultural fascination due to its inescapable and imposing nature. With the nation more interested in the region, colonization began to rapidly accelerate. By the 1640's, cities on Australis were of a level similar to those in Europe, with modern complex star fortifications and branching roadways.

In 1631, the city of Halorium was established on the natural harbor of a peninsula and group of islands in North Columbia. Once the native Lenape were kicked out or killed, the area was prepared for the construction of the grandest New World city designed yet. Imposing walls were built slightly inland to block all land routes to the new city, and massive sea walls were built to protect the entrances into the natural harbor. The main island of Manhata was chosen as the cities economic and political center, and from there, the city grew. Over the next two decades other areas of North Columbia were settled, with colonists working through their main base at Manhata Island. By the time the 1648 Battle of Kornata was won, Halorium had become the fourth largest city in the New World, boasting a population of more than 1.8 million Romans.

World War and Aftermath (1650-1778)[]

Pax Colona (1779-1823)[]

Zulu Emergence (1824-1899)[]

Contemporary Colonialism (1900-Present)[]