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What If Muslim Spain or the Ottoman Empire Colonizes the Americas?

#1
2nd video from my blog What If Natives Won?

Briefly, conquest but not genocides until very late by the Ottomans. Far less disease, no biological warfare, and several centuries for Native populations to bounce back. Later European invaders face Native Muslims with weapons tech far more equal.
 

Alex Richards

Tends to eat truffles once found
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Published by SLP
Location
Derbyshire
#2
Possible but a lot depends on exactly who does the colonisation- The Saadi Dynasty in Morocco had no qualms at all about enslaving black pagans in vast numbers for example.

Considering the history of the East African slave trade (capturing Bantu people to serve as menial labour in the Middle East) its quite plausible to have a situation where the Natives in America are viewed in the same way a newly discovered large pool of potential house slaves and domestic servants to be shipped home. Its likely that the greater distance will make this a smaller effect (though potentially this just means its restricted to Al-Andalus and the Maghreb) but I'd expect it to be a thing at least in any colonies actually established in the Americas. And if you get someone like Tippu Tip coming along, you could see a pretty devastating collapse of local native polities.

Obviously trade isn't conquest so you probably do have some native groups managing to capitalise on this- a sort of 'Swahili Coast' on the Gulf or in Mexico seems plausible, but equally any local governor wanting to burnish his pious credentials while getting rich would be inclined to do some punitive raids.
 

MAC88

Active member
Published by SLP
Location
WI, USA
#4
Steven Barnes' Inshallah duology does a decent job of exploring this idea. The second book, Zulu Heart, mentions "natives" from Bilalistan (the new World country created by Islamic colonization) working in the tropical areas of Africa, since European slaves have great difficulty acclimating to such climes, but it's not entirely clear if this means indigenous peoples, or descendants from the original colonists. Judging from the history described in passing, trade was the initial aim, then gradually colonization took over; displacement, disease and war worked much the same havoc as in OTL, and eventually led to the Aztecs becoming the main centralized resistance, and the Plains tribes ("the Nations") coming together as a looser yet still powerful entity encompassing most of central North America.
 
#6
Steven Barnes' Inshallah duology does a decent job of exploring this idea. The second book, Zulu Heart, mentions "natives" from Bilalistan (the new World country created by Islamic colonization) working in the tropical areas of Africa, since European slaves have great difficulty acclimating to such climes, but it's not entirely clear if this means indigenous peoples, or descendants from the original colonists. Judging from the history described in passing, trade was the initial aim, then gradually colonization took over; displacement, disease and war worked much the same havoc as in OTL, and eventually led to the Aztecs becoming the main centralized resistance, and the Plains tribes ("the Nations") coming together as a looser yet still powerful entity encompassing most of central North America.
I think the main difference I see is there'd be a far lower death rate from disease since they did not deliberately spread it, and have ritual hygiene as part of the faith. I still assume Europeans would invade later, but they'd face Natives largely immune by that point.
 

Japhy

Harry Turtledove thinks I'm funny.
Published by SLP
#7
I'm not really sure if you can claim the mass disease spread in the first hundred years can even be contained. Yes Cortez tried to use it against the Aztecs but it's not as though there was any meaningful way at the time to stop the spread though virgin populations. The fact that European diseases spread from Patagonia to the First Nation's of Canada before any contact with Westerners is pretty indicative of that.
 
#8
I'm not really sure if you can claim the mass disease spread in the first hundred years can even be contained. Yes Cortez tried to use it against the Aztecs but it's not as though there was any meaningful way at the time to stop the spread though virgin populations. The fact that European diseases spread from Patagonia to the First Nation's of Canada before any contact with Westerners is pretty indicative of that.
It's not a fact but a theory.

Often the impression people have is that Europeans hit the shores and almost all Natives die immediately. What actually happened was:

1. Europeans invade. No Natives die from epidemics immediately. Columbus invades and the first epidemic wasn't until 1512. Vikings land and spread zero epidemics during several centuries.

2. Europeans burn crops and food stores. They attack during planting and harvest times.

3. Only after prolonged starvation do the epidemics hit. And then they kill in numbers similar to the Black Plague, 1/3.

4. Repeated prolonged starvation and repeated epidemics. Mexico faced almost a dozen of them, not one
 
#9
It's not a fact but a theory.

Often the impression people have is that Europeans hit the shores and almost all Natives die immediately. What actually happened was:

1. Europeans invade. No Natives die from epidemics immediately. Columbus invades and the first epidemic wasn't until 1512. Vikings land and spread zero epidemics during several centuries.

2. Europeans burn crops and food stores. They attack during planting and harvest times.

3. Only after prolonged starvation do the epidemics hit. And then they kill in numbers similar to the Black Plague, 1/3.

4. Repeated prolonged starvation and repeated epidemics. Mexico faced almost a dozen of them, not one
I don't disagree that the diseases had a greater effect because of European raiding parties and the destruction of food. People make a big deal about the virgin soil but I agree with you that the vulnerable circumstances of those people was an equally important issue.

Certainly the Mexican death rate was driven into the 90%s by the sacking and enslaving.

But why wouldn't the sacking, enforced labour, destruction of food and increase of intertribal warfare due to the destabilising influence of the invaders, still happen in a muslim discovered new world?

We're not talking about removing the European invaders, merely changing who they are.
 

Japhy

Harry Turtledove thinks I'm funny.
Published by SLP
#10
It's not a fact but a theory.
I didn't say immediately. There were clear accounts of massive disease outbreaks before 1512. There were massive disease deaths before contact as shown by the archeological evidence. To say otherwise is to abandon any meaningful understanding of history for fringe theories.

Good luck with your projects.