An allohistorical map of North America, with an emphasis on Canada.
The idea for this map was inspired heavily by Dathi THorfinnsson's UltraCanada timeline
on alternatehistory.com, with a point of divergence during the French Revolution.
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November 1793: The Vendéens were actually met by British reinforcement, as expected, after more successful communications during the Siege of Granville and are able to take the town for a while. However, seeing that they cannot hold it indefinitely, the Vendéen forces along with their families and many Granville townsfolk fearing Republican retribution, are evacuated to England.
The evacuation sets a precedent in further operations, and more people associated with the counterrevolution (royalists, clergy, etc.) are taken in by the English who are committed to supporting the Royalists. They are also willing to pick up non-combatants, often whole families, especially as a condition for men to join the Royalist/British cause. However, instead of remaining in England, these people are encouraged to go to Canada, specifically Québec, where they largely take up farming and other activities.
Once the Treaty of Amiens established peace between the United Kingdom and the French Republic, the demobilization of former Vendée forces brought them largely to Canada, rather than staying in England or returning to a republican France. A portion of French royalists also began to find refuge in Canada once peace was established.
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In this scenario, Canada experiences higher rates of immigration from France early on in its history, proving to be formative in the development of a stronger Canadian polity. By 2010, the North American continent has seen the maturing of two great powers who have often been at odds, but more often than not have relied on each other as two close brothers do. A quick (and very general) sketch of the three states presented in this map:
The United States of America, born of revolution against the British Empire, would realize the results of its antagonism against a more populated British colony to its north, culminating in the loss of the War of 1812 as well as the loss of New England. However, the eventual results of the war do not prove to present any obstacles for the young nation's ability to grow and even expand westward. Yet, the failure of the Americans to achieve parity, much less victory, in this war and in much future political and economic jostling on the continent marks the American national psyche in the decades which follow. On a present-day map, one can point out the often curious consequences of nativist or anti-British movements which have occasionally and briefly influenced American politics and society. Here, the United States has nonetheless emerged in a similar, if somewhat more muted, fashion to the one we know: a global superpower whose cultural, political, and economic might has reached far across the globe, yet which faces growing domestic ailments and increasing competition for power on the global stage. The nation gazes steadfastly towards Canada, watching the continued flourishing of its northern counterpart.
New England, having been notably less enthusiastic about war against the British for commercial reasons, declared independence from a disgruntled United States in the aftermath of the War of 1812 for reasons of self-preservation. Being able to maintain autonomy by way of formal relations with the British and strong, extensive economic ties with a number of partners (the United States included), the New Englanders have been able to maintain a marked and consequential presence on the continent despite being overshadowed by its larger neighbours. Indeed, Boston has often been able to act as a mediator between the interests of Windsor and Washington. In the present day, relations with the US have long since normalized, and the New England economy is deeply intertwined with those of the US and Canada.
Canada is, due to heavier immigration from France, decidedly more French in character. But more importantly, Canada is a lot more populous in its early history as a colony. This, broadly speaking, is a central factor in the British/Canadian victory of 1812, which would place what would become Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Champlain firmly in Canadian control and leading to the strengthening of Canadian self-assuredness, marking a watershed moment in the formation of Canadian national identity. The Canadian dominion would see its territory expand westward and northward after Confederation and, with the help of British efforts, would come to encompass a larger portion of the Oregon country, Alaska, and Greenland. While doing far better in a number of different arenas than the Canada we are familiar with, it still is fated to become the secondary power on the North American continent. This Canada is a lot more ambitious, however, taking the existence of its southern neighbour to be a challenge answered by the massive potential the nation holds. The geopolitics resulting from Canadian influence, assertiveness, and identity-making in the context of American leadership and dominance on an international scale has resulted in a long history of dynamic and interesting relations between the two countries, with the two always somewhere on a scale from warm embrace to vigorous strangling, but always somehow holding on to each other. With the outlook looking uncertain for what has thus far been called "the American Age", Canada sees itself in a position to establish itself further as an emerging world power and to embed itself at the centre of global relevance.
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For a first cartographic project, I'd like to think that I've done fairly well for myself. I feel like I've generally approximated the clean look of an online atlas, and I'm quite proud of having drawn or traced every single thing by hand/from scratch. My familiarity of the continent's coastlines has definitely increased! That being said, there are number of things I'm unsatisfied with—lakes, typographic details, the absence of a scale bar, the absence of major cities... and my rendering of a narrative for the actual (allo)historical path towards the final state of things being one of the biggest ones—but I've decided to stop before it takes up too much of my time... Perhaps, I might rework this in the future or create another map focusing solely on Canada. In any case, the first of hopefully many projects.
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04/24/14: Changed a few place names and added Canadian cities. Bolded city names indicate populations of 1 million or more.