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Danes Refurbish Vinland
Definitive evidence has shown Danish exploration of the area known to the Danes as Vinland as many as five centuries before Columbus. They settled a vast area ranging from Helluland (Baffin Island) as far south as Georgia. Thus, they were not surprised by the "discovery" of the New World. The Danes, fueled partially by a lust to relive old stories from the Golden Years of Germanic-speaking people, set up settlements, beginning at OTL Petty Harbour, which they called Isbro, ice-bridge. The Danes were already well-adapted to the climate, and thus had few problems in spreading over the vast area.
Settlements slowly began to grow, fed continuously by a steady stream of adventurous colonists. The colonies proved profitable in that they provided valuable timber resources, as well as being self-sufficient on cod and other fish that could be found off the Grand Banks. The colony was also strategic along certain trading routes.
Many colonists made a fortune in the fishing and timber industries by buying slaves of Yagan descent from Peruvian traders. They were prized as a commodity for their ability to withstand the cold. Large estate owners known as "fiskejere" often controlled as many as 50 slaves. The total population of Danish residing in Vinland in 1675, is estimated from 7,000 to 30,000, and as many as 1500 slaves.
Danish West Indies
Denmark-Norway, despite arising as a colonial power over a century after the Spanish, the first occupiers of the Caribbean, they nevertheless would not miss out on the vast profits that could be gained from the vast abundance of fruits and other cash crops. They settled the island of Bella Forma, calling it The Ganaven after the local word for "dugout canoe." The first settlement was established in 1612 called Markedsted, or OTL Scarborough.
In 1647, German member of the Danish colonial administration Freidrich Nordmann confronted the Spanish administration, to provide for more trade rights for the Danish. When this was rejected, Denmark anchored its ships in the harbour of San José and opened up a war which eventually encompassed the islands of Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao as well as Isla la Margarita.
The war dragged on until 1655, when a treaty was signed that ceded Trinidad, Bonaire, Aruba, and Curaçao to Denmark. The spanish did not deem Bonaire, Aruba, and Curaçao as important, a major factor in deciding to surrender the islands. However, the Spanish were more concerned with losing the island of Puerto Rico. Although highly prized by the Spanish, the Spanish did little to develop the island, as they did with their more profitable South American, Central American, and East Asian colonies.
The Danish attempt to capture Puerto Rico was marked by a significant amount of fortune beginning with a native rebellion during 1633. Gaining the support of some indigenous groups, the Danish overran the island and destroyed some Spanish settlements. Denmark also had the support of Britain, who wanted to reduce Spanish influence in the Caribbean. Fighting continued until 1658, when Denmark defeated the Spanish fleet near Arecibo. Denmark established their capital there.
The first few centuries of Spanish rule in Central and North America were marked by turbulence and constant indigenous uprisings. However, the most costly and destructive took place during the late 16th and early 17th centuries, lasting 60 years and known as the Chichimeca Uprising. The Chichimecas were a confederation of nomadic or semi-nomadic people who inhabited a large area in Mexico. Although at first they seemed to the Spanish to be primitive and disorganized, their nomadic nature made it impossible for the Spanish to take down a central power figure. Thus, the Spaniards on many occasions defeated large groups of Chichimecas without inflicting a significant toll on the confederation. The Spanish treated the war effort as top priority due to the importance of transportation corridors between some parts of Mexico and Zacatecas. Should these have been controlled by the Chichimecas, it would severely damage the Mexican silver industry, centered around Zacatecas.
Most notable during the war was the first Peruvian involvement in a foreign war. Upon hearing of a major war to the north of Peru n the 1570s, the Sapa Inka took the opportunity to weaken a rapidly growing power in Central America, by providing a large number of warriors to the Chichimeca people. Although intended to bring peace to the area, it ended up flaring up the conflict significantly into an all-out war.
In 1575, a large army of Chichimecas and Qhitjva soldiers raided the city of Zacatecas, destroying a large part of the silver production, killing a large percentage of the city, and forcing the Spanish to accept the Chichimecas' terms of peace. This forced the Spanish to flee the area around Zacatecas, and provide Chichimeca chiefs with food, weapons, and monetary compensation. Many Zacatecanos fled to other cities such as San Luis Potosí.
The Chichimecas continued to occupy Zacatecas, enriching themselves with local silver, until Mexico gained independence, and Spaniards were again permitted to settle the region. However, Spain's silver industry was effectively crippled, leading them to search for alternative sources in East Asia and elsewhere.