Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Wars And Resolutions

In English history, Lancaster and York contended for the Crown, then Henry VII Tudor resolved the conflict because he was equally descended from both Houses. The Civil War in the following century was between King and Parliament. We still live in this history. At least, I live in Lancaster in a constitutional monarchy and York gave its name to New York. Poul Anderson showed us an alternative history with a different outcome of the English Civil War.

In SM Stirling's Emberverse, Rudi Artos Mackenzie unites the Bearkillers with the Mackenzies while his and Matti's children will unite Rudi's two heritages with House Arminger. However, their High Kingdom of Montival fights new external enemies before it even exists except in name.

In each history, every resolved conflict is followed by another.


David Birr said...

Andre Norton's *Quest Crosstime* involved an alternative history with a different outcome to the Wars of the Roses:
"The first [historical difference] came in 1485. Thereafter no Henry Tudor had reigned in England. Instead Richard the Third's courageous charge at his enemy during the Battle of Bosworth had carried him to the Lancastrian Pretender and, with his own hand, Richard had put an end to the Red Rose for all time.
"Once firmly on the throne, Richard had developed the potentials that historians in Blake's world had come to grant him, with regret that he had never, in their own past, had a chance to show his worth as probably one of the ablest of the Plantagenet House.... And the Plantagenets had ruled England for another one hundred and fifty years."
Among other things, this alternate Richard supported merchant explorers who planted colonies in North America beginning in 1505. And THAT, in time, led to a cold war between New Britain, "now under only nominal control by the mother country," and the Toltec Empire which arose after Cortez and his men failed and died in Mexico.

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, DAVID!

Very interesting, Andre Norton's speculations on an alternate ending to the Wars of the Roses. Yes, putting aside the question of exactly WHAT happened to the sons of Edward IV, the real Richard III was indeed a courageous and very able man.

Btw, did Norton speculate on how this different ending to the Wars of the Roses affected whether or not England remained a Catholic nation after the Reformation started?

And a Hernando Cortez who FAILED to conquer the Aztec Empire would also have meant history changing in ways we cannot possibly know in our timeline. One of them being how a Toltec Empire arose which had apparently learned how to use more advanced technology.


David Birr said...

No, Norton never touched on how the difference in kings might've altered the religious situation. The characters weren't going for an in-depth stay, but just getting briefed to help them pose as locals long enough for a time-crucial rescue mission.

It WAS mentioned that the failure of Cortez put a damper on further such ventures, and lacking the gold and silver of Mexico and Peru, the Spanish Empire in the New World withered.

I speculate that the Spanish Empire as a whole probably became significantly less powerful, too. Without wealth stolen from the Americas, could Spain have contributed as much to a Holy League fleet under Don John of Austria to stop the Turks at Lepanto?

Certainly there'd be no English sea dogs raiding the (non-existent) treasure fleets, and perhaps a touch less incentive for English naval building. On the other hand, there might've been an English contingent in the alternate Holy League, assuming some such alliance was still formed....

The Toltec Empire was stated to have spread north, and its boundary with New Britain was the Mississippi. The knowledge among the New British that they COULDN'T expand further west must've influenced their ways of thought....

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, DAVID!

First paragraph: just enough information for a time crucial but limited mission. Got it.

Second and third paragraphs: yes, lacking the wealth of her New World conquests, I can see Spain as not being able to take as aggressive a role in European affairs as happened in our timeline. Including being less likely to be able to lead the Alliance which stopped the Turks at Lepanto.

Fourth paragraph: I think England would have needed to have remained Catholic before taking part in the anti-Islamic Holy League which defeated the Turks at Lepanto.

Fifth Paragraph: I agree! A power, whether European or Indian, which arose to dominate what became the states of the US west of the Mississippi would have DRASTICALLY changed history. Poul Anderson used that idea in "When Free Men Shall Stand," in which Napoleon did NOT sell Louisiana to the US. Rather, a powerful French Empire held the lands west of the Great River and confined the US to the East Bank. The story revolves around the US trying to break out and begin expanding, by seizing New Orleans in the 1850's.