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MECHANICS OF HISTORY  -  laws to understand the histtory

The World History Rewritten

Pre-Columbian America

1. Mayan Civilization 3. The Inca Empire
2. The Aztec Empire 4. Summary
               
Here I will present some remarks about civilizations of Pre-Columbian America. But first two reservations:
  • First we have to remember, that civilizations of Pre-Columbian America had many great achievements, but generally had the technology level of middle-east civilizations had about the year 2000 BC. It means that Spaniards were about 3500-years of technological advantage over the Pre-Columbian empires when they conquered them.
  • Second, there were several dozens of Indian cultures in Pre-Columbian America and a few cycles of rise and fall before the Christopher Columbus voyage, but I will mention only three of them: city-states of Mayan civilization, Aztec Empire and Inca Empire. 

Short information about persons, states, events, etc. you can find in Wikipedia (Mesoamerica, Spanish conquistadors). And a simulation of Mesoamerica rain forest in Mayan times.



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Mayan Civilization

Mayan civilization developed in Jungles between today’s Honduras, Guatemala and Southern Mexico. Here is the schematic map of the region:

City-states of Mayan Civilization
Cities of Mayan civilization map
This map is hand-drawn so some locations of cities are approximate. Names are in Polish transcription, but it is (I hope) the same as English.
Red circles shows some Mayan cities of the “Old Empire” (term “empire” is a mistake here)
Purple circles shows some Mayan cities of the “New Empire”
Black outlines highlights metropolises of Tikal and Calakmul

It wasn’t the first Indian civilization in this region, but had the strongest influence on the development of Indian civilizations in neighbouring Mexico. First villages of Maya culture were formed in the first millennium BC.

But the apogee (zenith) of Mayan civilization was between IIIrd and IXth centuries AD. These times Mayans formed several dozens (even more than 40) city-states with population of 5,000 - 50,000 people. The reasons for evolution of populistic city-states here were probably:
  • Some discoveries in agriculture, astronomy and writing technologies.
  • Trade between regions of Yucatan peninsula, Central America and Southern Mexico - maybe also economic influence of some older Indian cultures (ex. Olmecs).
  • And the relative isolation of villages because of jungles (very similar to the isolations provided by mountains and isles in Ancient Greece or swamps of Sumeria in Ancient Mesopotamia).

Mayan Timeline
Here you can find nice-looking chronology of Mayan culture (or Mayan Long Count if you are interested).

Every city was relative independent, so term “Old Mayan Empire” traditionally used by archeologist to describe this period is a mistake (term Classic Period is better). There wasn’t any centralized state here. The most important cities these times were populistic city-states. Their trade, culture and technology radiated on neighbouring lands: today Southern Mexico, Honduras and last but not least the Yucatan peninsula, which was colonized by Mayans. Especially important Mayan discoveries were the alphabet and the calendar (with extraordinary exact calculation of the year length). 

Final decryption of the Mayan “alphabet” made not so long ago let the archeologists discover, that Maya city-states continuously waged wars against each other. Rulers of the cities were often changed by coups d’etat, many times sponsored or supported with military force by neighbouring cities. The ruler of the city was often a priest-king (it is not usual in ancient populistic states, for example Julius Caesar had the title of pontifex maximus - the high priest).

Two most powerful states at the peak of the classic Period were Tikal and Calakmul. For long decades both cities waged wars against each other, making clients and allies of less powerful cities. This resembles the long wars between Athens and Sparta in Ancient Greece or Umma and Lagash in the Ancient Sumeria (Sumer).

Around the year of 900 AD Mayan civilization of the Classic Period was destroyed by severe drought. Drought was the reason for bad crops and catastrophic famine. This catastrophic natural disaster launched civil wars and mass migrations. The reason for the drought was the climatic change but also too intensive agricultural exploitation of land.

Overexploitation of resources
Mayan city-states at the end of the Classic Period reached the limits of productivity in the agriculture. Some symptoms of this overexploitation were: intensive wars and great government investments like building new temples (tiered pyramids with temples on the top). City-states and different groups of political interests (GPIs) started to fight for limited resources. Methods of this struggle were a conquest of weaker neighbors or increasing exploitation of poorer citizens. No matter of method the particular city chose, the result was the same -  greater role of government in economy and overexploitation of the land.

When the economy is free-market oriented, prices are not regulated, and there is some inequality in the social distribution of income, then the increase of prices usually forces a community to start search for alternate, cheaper natural resources a long time before a crisis. But when economy is government-driven the prices of goods, land or human work could be administrative-regulated (and lower than market prices), resources are overexploited to the limits of effectiveness - and therefore the economy becomes very vulnerable for natural disasters. 

After the disaster of the great drought, Mayans rebuild their culture in colonies on the north end of Yucatan peninsula. This new culture is called “Post-Classic Period” (or the “New Empire”). These times Mayan states were not so powerful as before, and were probably feudal states, that sometimes united many Mayan cities. About 1200 AD Mayan cities of the New Empire were invaded by Toltecs. Then the economic and political crisis came. When the Spanish voyagers discovered Maya, the civilization was totally decomposed. And Spaniards conquered the Mayans with ease.

Here is a quite good site about Mayan Civilization, if you want some basic knowledge.


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The Aztec Empire, Hernan Cortes

One of the oldest cultures in Mexico was the civilization of Olmecs (ca. 1500-300 BC), a nation that lived in Gulf Coast Region north from the Maya city Palenque on my map (generally in the Mexican state of Tabasco).

Then in the Classic Period (300-900 AD) there was a few brilliant civilizations in Mexico, probably because of the influence of Maya city-states of the Classic Period. The most important ones were the Zapotecs (with the capital in Monte Alban), culture of Teotihuacan, and culture of El Tajin (in the Mexican state of Veracruz).

In the IXth century AD more or less the same time when the Maya city-states started to decline, region was invaded by barbarian Toltecs, who built a great feudal empire spreading on the whole Central Mexico with the capital in Tollan. After a few hundred years in XIIIth century Mexico was again invaded by barbarian tribes (Chichimecs), and Toltecs were forced to migrate to Yucatan Peninsula, where they invaded Mayan states of Post-Classic Period.

The Aztec Empire and Hernan Cortes (Herman Cortes) expedition
the Aztecs Empire and Herman Cortez expedition map
It is the same map as above, but this time you should look at its left side.
Green area represents the (approximate) territory of Aztec Empire at the beginning of XVIth century AD.
Yellow spots marks some other independent or half-independent Indian states this time.
Red arrow is the route of Hernan Cortes (Herman Cortes) expedition (detailed map).
Black dots marks some important Pre-Columbian cities (some of them were already ruins in XVIth century).
Blue dot is the city of Vera Cruz founded by Cortes.
Black dot with Yellow outline is the Aztecs capital of Tenochtitlan localized on the isle in the middle of a lake (today is a Mexico City here).

One of the last barbarian tribes were Aztecs, who invaded Central Mexico in the XIIth century and built their state in the valley, where today is Mexico City. Valley was fertile, and was an important strategic point, plus have great importance as a nexus of trade routes, so the Aztecs grew in strength, and in the last decades of XIVth century started a very spectacular expansion.

Here is the link to the short history and chronology of the Aztec Empire.


At the beginning of XVIth century Aztecs conquered most of the Indian nations in Central Mexico. One of the reasons for their expansion was the need for captives used then in human sacrifices which were a part of many religious rituals. Aztecs were killing this way thousands men a year. But it is useful to note that this religious terror was not so strong at the beginning of the Empire, but increased with every conquest - helping Aztecs to preserve their rule over many Indian nations. At the beginning of XVIth century Empire reached the logistics limits of expansion, and Aztecs king Montezuma II stopped further conquests. But Aztecs still waged some ritual wars with other Indian states (ex. with Tlascalans, whose state was in the yellow area east from Tenochtitlan).

In 1519 Hernan Cortes (Herman Cortes) expedition landed in Mexico. He had little more than 500 Spanish soldiers, several horsemen, several light canons and guns (arquebuses), about thirty crossbows. Realized that he discovered a large and rich country, and the Aztecs are hated by conquered Indians, he set off to heart of the Aztec Empire. During his march, Cortes won alliance and support of subsequent Indian tribes. For this reason he entered Tlascalans state. With the support of Tlascalans (which he gained defeating them in a battle), Cortes marched to the Tentochtitlan. Montezuma II let Cortes’ army enter the capital without a battle. Probably reasons for his “ostrich tactics” were: the legend of Quetzakoatl, Indian rebellion and the reputation of unbeatable soldiers, which Spaniards gained defeating Tlascalans.  

This time Spaniards made a terrible mistake. Drunken with easy conquest, they forget, that the superior military advantage could be not enough to occupy a conquered country and to promote a completely new ideology. They started to rob Aztecs’ treasury and temples. Finally they killed Aztecs nobles and officials on a religious festival. This was the last mistake, which launched the Aztecs’ rebellion against Spaniards. Cortes had to retreat from Tentochtitlan losing during a “noche triste” (sad night) 2/3 of his army. Withdrawing to the coast Spaniards were stopped with 200 000 Aztecs army in an mountain pass to the Otumba Valley. And Spaniards won the battle. Batle of Otumba was probably the greatest victory in the history of warfare. Cortes was the only one commander who dare to defeat a 1000 times greater army.

He killed the Indian commander ad Aztecs' army fled. But Spanish estimations of the size of Aztecs’ army were probably exaggerated. Maybe even ten times.

Fortunate for Cortes, he got reinforcements from Spanish colonies, and with a new army of Indian allies he besieged and destroyed Tentochtitlan, finally conquering Mexico (But the Montezuma’s treasury lost during a noche triste was lost forever.)

How Spaniards could conquer so great country like the Aztec Empire with such ease? Well, there were basically four reasons:

1.
Aztecs' homeland was only a small island in the sea of conquered Indian nations. The Aztec Empire had just started to decompose (was not so decomposed as the Persian Empire in times of Alexander the Great, but if Greeks were united, they could conquer Persian Empire or at least its large part, probably a 100 years before Alexander).
2.
Spaniards had a 3500 years of advantage in warfare technologies (these times had the best army in Europe). Aztecs did not know metal weapons, armors, pikes, had no cavalry, no chariots, had only very primitive bows and ranged weapons. No city wall could stand Spanish canons. Even Aztec tactics was weak: Indian armies usually made a frontal attack on Spanish column in narrow mountain pass, so they could not use their advantage of great number - and thus Spaniards seemed completely unbeatable for them.
3.
Indians were afraid of horses, guns, cannons, and had a legend about the god of wind Quetzalkoatl  (or Quetzalcoatl, taken from Toltecs, name means “feathered serpent” or “plumed serpent”, probably a merge of two deities) - a good white and bearded god, who gave them laws, alphabet and taught many technological inventions, then departed to the East Sea, and who some day would return from East on a “winged ship” to punish bad people and help poor and oppressed (every second Indian culture in Central America had a myth like that, so you may find also another versions of this legend). Therefore at the beginning Cortes was taken for Quetzalkoatl (Quetzalcoatl). And even if Montezuma II was not sure Quetzalkoatl (Quetzalcoatl) really returned, he had to take into account beliefs of his subjects (i.e. people who lived under his rule).
4.
And at last but not least Cortes had a great dose of a good luck.

As an anecdote (I was not able to verify this information): The Holy Thursday 1519, a day when Hernan Cortes (Herman Cortes) landed in Vera Cruz was exactly one day before the day of Quetzalkoatl’s return according to Indian’s prophecies. 


Link to Web site with many information about the History of Mexico.


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The Inca Empire, Francisco Pizarro

Again, there was several Indian cultures in South America (Andes Mountains region) before the Inca empire, and some regions experienced at least tree cycles of expansion-and-fall. I am not going to describe them here, the same as (when talking about Central American cultures) I didn’t mentioned many important archeological sites for example in Panama. I am going to focus only on the Inca Empire, the kingdom of Chimu and Pizarro’s conquest of the Inca Empire.

Here you have the short description of major Indian cultures in Peru, and the most important archeological sites.


And here is a schematic map of the Inca Empire

Map of the Inca Empire, march of Francisco Pisarro
Yellow color shows the Inca Empire.
Blue area is the kingdom of Chimu conquered by the Inca Empire.
Green squares represents some of the pre-Inca archeological sites.
Red arrows shows the march of Francisco Pizarro (Pisarro) (detailed map).
Red circle with black outline represents Cuzco - capital of the Inca empire.
Other red circles marks the cities of Tumbes and Cajamarca, which plays important role in the story of Pizarro’s conquest.
Green circle with the black outline represents Machu Picchu, the last (and never conquered) stronghold of Incas.

The Inca Empire originated in a mountain valley around the capital of Cuzco (or Cusco). It was the third or even forth culture in this region of Andes Mountains (all these cultures based on potatoes, which helped to feed large populations). The same as with the Aztecs Empire, Inca’s valley was the important nexus of trade routes. From the second half of XIVth century till the year of 1525 the Inca Empire conquered many tribes and states and got control over the most part of Andes Mountains and Pacific Coast.

The original name of the state was Tahuantisuyo (which means “the four sides of the world”). The Incas was not exactly the name of nation but a name of privileged ruling class of soldiers, priests and sages (called amautas), who were administrating the state. The rest of people were subjects (ruled ones) and had social status lower than helots in Ancient Sparta.

Here you can find the short summary of the Inca Empire.
An here more detailed (probably the best site about Incas). But be careful there are other versions of names' transcription, see for example Inca kings list

It is useful to look at the organization of the Inca Empire because it was strongly administration-regulated (we can call this a “feudal communism”):

  • Regular people generally had no property (like houses, clothes, tools, animals), almost everything was distributed by Inca administration.
  • There were no private fields, all land was owned and disposed by state (king), temples and local administration. Peasants were ordered to cultivate these fields in strictly defined order.
  • Craftsman workshops, mines, cattle of llamas, and so on were also owned by the state, and the Incas precisely (meticulously) administered the production.
  • And every economic activity (except some small local fairs) were regulated by Inca administration (There was also “ecological” regulations protecting for example some valuable animals).
  • All precious metals, jewelry and gems were prohibited to commoners, and only Incas were allowed to possess them.
  • Commoners were obligated to work for free for the state (in mines, at roads construction, etc.)
  • Even marriage was regulated by administration.
  • Whole villages and nations were deported or moved from one place to another to pacify rebellions, or simply to increase the productivity.
etc.

Effective administering of such a large empire was possible thanks to:

  • Extended road system with the state service of mail couriers (relay runners), who delivered messages with the speed 250 miles a day (400 kilometers, unbelievable but verified).
  •  Incas writing called khipu (or quipu) based on a system of knots on strings (khipu/quipu was rather a mnemonic system, which should be read by an educated Inca, who reconstructed the information).

Both inventions helped Incas to collect statistical information needed for effective administering.

Similar economic conditions result in similar economic and political systems, no matter of the cultural background of the country. Other examples of feudal states with strongly government-regulated economy are medieval Byzantium, China or Japan.

Another interesting element of Inca culture was the religion - with very similar rituals like in Christianity (generally almost all nations of Pre-Columbian Indians conquered by Spaniards have rituals that resembled Christian rituals, but similarities Spaniards had found in Inca’s religion were so strange, that made them think it was a devil’s joke).

For example Indians had a ritual of confession with priest ordered expiation, and remission of sins. It was an element of religion but also a tool that helped Incas to control common people. So it had the same purpose as the ritual of self-criticism in XXth-century communistic states.

Religion (as every ideology) has some political and economic impacts
Here are some of them:

  • Religion could be a brainwashing ideology that helps to control commoners (it is Marx observation, but ironically communist ideology - for example in USSR - had the same purpose).
  • Religious institutions (like confession mentioned above) or offices (like European Inquisition) sometimes had the same role in ancient and medieval communities as a security service or a secret police in modern states.
  • Religion promotes honesty, and thus lowers the transaction costs of trade and every economic activity (so religion could stimulate the economy).
  • Religion could suppress free thinking, and thus slow science and technology development.
  • Religion usually promotes legality, and thus stabilizes political institutions, reducing the chances of revolutions.
  • Religion could give hope, virtues and ideals, which makes human life easier, when there are limited supply of goods and resources to dispose.

I have mentioned six, probably the most important consequences of religion. And most of them could be some times positive while other times negative. Religion could protect peasants and labour workers from exploitation or discourage them to defend themselves against exploitation.

This theory makes possible to analyze social and political impacts of different religions. But remember, no scientific theory could give answer is God exist or not, nor gives answer on any other religious question. This is the scope of philosophy or theology.

In XVIth century, Inca king Tupac Yupanqui (or Thopa Inca Yupanqui) conquered the coastal kingdom of Chimu. It is didactic to compare the Inca Empire with Chimu Kingdom (but please treat the story below as an illustrative story tale for children rather than as a record of facts, because all we know about Chimu comes from Spaniards, Incas and from archeological discoveries).

Opposite to the Inca Empire, kingdom of Chimu was rather a “liberal” (I mean: freedom-oriented, not left-winged) feudal state, with larger wealth differences between peasants and aristocracy, and with larger amount of personal freedom. Kingdom of Chimu sometimes was the arena of domestic wars between different feudal factions, but also was richer (per capita) than the Inca Empire.

Because of the strong culture of freedom and national proud, conquered kingdom of Chimu many times rebelled against Incas. Rebellions were pacified with army, but also made Incas to treat the coastal region of Chimu in a special way (we could say: with some autonomy). 

Ideology of freedom
Freedom is not the natural aspiration (or goal) of every human, but not more than another ideology. People are not identical - some of them want to be rich, some want to be free, some wants a material safety, or a safety from crime. And ideology of freedom is only one of many ideologies existing in human society. People who live in democratic countries tend to forget about that.

When a country is oppressive, the promotion of the ideology of freedom will be very weak, and the ideology of freedom will be suppressed with other, stronger ideologies like ex. nationalism. People who live there, will not be fight for freedom, understand the freedom, or even see that they are brainwashed. From my own experience: until I was 13 years old, I believed in communist ideology, because it was so strongly promoted in my country that I didn’t know it was based on lies - no mater how intelligent you are, you can always be brainwashed by some strongly-promoted ideology. It is only the matter of the amount (and balance) of resources used to promote different ideologies.

Ideology of freedom stimulates the economic growth. Generally because of two reasons:

  • Helps the science and technology development.
  • Guarantees more effective economic redistribution of resources, like capital (or to be precise, thanks to the freedom in economy, faster corrects the ineffective uses of resources).

But not guaranties a honest redistribution of resources. Honestly, the ideology of freedom favors richer, active or more intelligent people. Please look at this simple schema.

As you can see, the country with dominating ideology of freedom is usually little right-winged. This is not honest, but (usually) guarantees the higher economic effectiveness, because the ideology of freedom protects the interests of the capital, helps the accumulation of knowledge, and the science development.

Life in freedom-oriented country could be very hard for poor, not so educated, not so intelligent or not so enterprising peoples. When some members of the society become rich very rapidly (active-ones), others could suffer poverty, because the active-ones increase demand on goods bringing prices of goods up, and increasing this way the living expenses for the rest of the society (this effect could be analyzed using math and economic tools, but have a social and economic consequences - for example could be some times responsible for the increasing popularity of populistic politicians and populistic ideologies).

Please note that both extremes: too equal distribution of income and very unequal distribution of income (typical in freedom-oriented country) could have negative consequences: overexploitation of natural resources and slower growth (in first case) or political instability and mass poverty (in second case). Of course things are little more complicated here, but probably the most important law of my History Mechanics is: There are no ideal solution in politics and economy, every solution will have some positive and some negative aspects.

At the beginning of XVIth century the Inca Empire reached the logistics limits of expansion. Rulers started to build walls and fortifications protecting borders where barbarian Indian tribes were especially active, costs of pacifying rebellions of other Indian nations began to increase dramatically. And we can observe the very beginning of conflict between the soldiers faction and the priests faction. Army wanted to conquer new lands, while Incas close to the Court and priests tried to get some extra privileges from the king, destroying this way the equality among the Inca class. Sooner or later this conflict have to launch a civil war between feudal factions and it was.

After the death of old king Huayna Capac, prince Atahualpa (soldiers faction) started the coup d’etat against the first son of old king, a new king Huascar (priests faction). Atahualpa defeated his brother and imprisoned in Cuzco (Cusco). But that was probably the last victory of soldiers faction - next Inca king would have no resources to continue the expansion. The side effect of the war was that the empire was rebelled, and some provinces still supported the legal king. And exactly in this moment (1532) the expedition of Francisco Pizarro landed in Peru in Tumbes (or Tumbez).

Again, Pizarro have also a great dose of god luck.
First, he discovered the Inca Empire about 5 years before, but had no money to finance the expedition. And when he tried to organize funds in Spain, the civil war mentioned above started in the Inca Empire.

Second, Indian nations of the Inca Empire (and also some tribes from Columbia) had legends about white, bearded god called Viracocha, Kon-Tiki (Con Tiqui) or Pachacamac, very similar to the legend of Quetzalkoatl. Probably the main difference was that prophecies about Viracocha said: he will return from the north or from Pacific Ocean.

Pizarro had even the smaller army than Cortes. About 300 soldiers, but better equipped and with more horses. Realizing that the Inca Empire is in the middle of civil war, Pizarro marched south, hoping to conquer the kingdom the same way like Cortes did. Partisans of Huascar tried to got an alliance with him, but Pizarro didn’t answer yes or no, to have options (of alliance) open.

In the city of Cajamarca Spaniards met 30 000 Incas army leaded by Atahualpa. The negotiations started. Cortes invited the king to the meeting, and when the procession of 2000 servants, guardsmen and officials went into a wall-bordered city square, Spaniards attacked them and kill everybody but Atahualpa. The great Inca army, now without commanders, fled. Among Spaniards only Cortes was wounded, when he tried to protect Atahualpa.

Atahualpa was a great commander (and chess player when imprisoned), administrator, the ruler skilled in intrigues, who had no problem to kill the whole family of Huascar and many of his brother’s partisans. Why he went so carelessly right into Pizarro’s trap?

  • Well, he was a king of great empire, had 30 000 man against less than 300 Spaniards. He had more guardsmen in his procession! He did not believed that Cortes was so stupid to attack him.
  • Atahualpa waged a civil war and hoped to get an ally who could help him to defeat partisans of Huascar.
  • And finally, common people believed that Cortes was send by Viracocha or Pachacamac (in Chimu), and hoped that Spaniards would bring them freedom form Incas rule.

Even if the ruler of the despotic country does not believe in an officially promoted ideology (like Atahualpa in prophecies about Viracocha) that ideology limits his political moves and options. If the ruler (or tyrant) acts against the official ideology, he would destroy one of the key-elements that support his rule. This would force him to use (more costly) brute-force methods for protecting his rule.

This is an universal principle: compare (for example) one of the reasons why Saddam Hussein in 2002 could not admit that he had no WMD (weapon of mass destruction) at all - such confession would destroy his ideoloogy of “New Saladin who fights against Western Crusaders” - ironically true Saladin (Salah-ad-Din) was a Kurd.  

The battle of Cajamarca was really the end of the Inca Empire. Spaniards imprisoned the Emperor, and got significant reinforcements when copartner of Pizarro (Pisarro), captain Almagro, landed in Peru. Atahualpa tried to save his kingdom secretly ordering to kill Huascar (which not stopped the civil war), and trying to get the freedom paying Spaniards with gold. Very soon important Inca armies and cities capitulated and Spaniards killed Atahualpa.

After some time Pizarro (Pisarro) and Almagro started to fight with each other. This war between Spaniards gave Incas a chance to start a rebellion against Spanish rule. Indians were adopting Spanish technology very fast: they used cavalry and gunpowder weapons (taught by Spanish renegades). But there was now too many Spaniards in Peru, and most of Indian peasants were not interested to die for Incas, so the rebellion was unsuccessful. But remains of Inca Kingdom survived in Vilcapampa (mountain region close to Machu Picchu) for many years.


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Consequences of the Spanish conquest

Conquests in America gave Spain great resources of precious metals (mainly silver from new mines), which allowed Spanish kings to wage imperial politics in Europe. But also launched the diffusion processes which destroyed the “parliamentary” institutions in kingdoms of Aragon and Castile (two components of Spain), therefore helped Spanish kings to introduce oppressive governments in Spain (using the Inquisition and income from colonies), and in a long run were the reason for the fall of the Spain.

Indians were murdered during the conquest and rebellions (but Aztecs and Incas did the same). Were turned into feudal-dependent peasants, and many of them (maybe 1/3, maybe more) died from European diseases. But we should also remember that European technologies made local economies much more effective (it is easier to cultivate field with iron tools than with tools made from wood and stone).


What would happen if...

It is a good moment to show how important role simple coincidences played in human history. Columbus voyage (who discovered probably the longest possible route to America), and very fast conquests made by lucky commanders - Cortes and Pizarro (Pisarro), in a very few years gave Spain control over most of the contemporary Latin America (except Brasilia colonized by Portugal). 

Let’s assume this not happened:

America would be probably very soon discovered by Portuguese (Brasilia) or English (New Foundland) sailors. Other European countries (England, France, maybe Netherlands) would probably gain large colonies in the New World. Indian Empires would be conquered anyway, but maybe by different countries. Large colonies of England would launch the diffusion powers inside the kingdom - according to the law of connected vessels - which would stop the evolution of political institutions in England (the same way like in Spain, as it was said above). And England would not became a democratic state in 1689 but many years after. This, of course, would delay the industrial revolution.

And there would be no large, democratic country of United States, because USA grew on British capitals and technology. Well, there would be some large state in North America, because the river Mississippi and system of Great Lakes are the natural trade backbone for a great country (the same way as rivers Dniepr and Volga and lakes Illmen and Ladoga for Russia), but it would be a populistic country. With two great populistic states: one in Russia and second in North America a nuclear war in the second half of XXth century would be probably inevitable. 

Warsaw, 8 July 2004
Last revision: August-September 2006
Slawomir Dzieniszewski

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