Alternate History

Itsaygahi (Principia Moderni)

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Itsaygahi is the only civilisation on the North American continent to survive unmolested by any colonial power, and indeed is a colonial power in and of itself. With humble beginnings in a tribal feudal age of disease and pacts between chieftains, Itsaygahi has grown to dominate the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers (known to them as the Ohayo and Mixxixxippi) and is home to many Native American ethnic groups. It has a colony in Africa and Europe as well as a vassal in Europe. For much of its history it has been a Kingdom, but a Civil War in the 18th century overthrew the monarchy and established a princely republic. Since then radical ideas have emerged from that chaos, ideas which threaten the current status quo both within Itsaygahi and around the world.


Tsalagi Era

In the beginning, Itsaygahi was known as Tsalagi, after the people who lived there. Though they gave their name to the nation, they later became known as Tsalagans. They were united under the legendary God-King Ehkasgahi, a terrifying warlord famous for his taste for baroque punishments, fine foods and voluptuous women. He was a man of his time, but he was larger than life. He united chieftains through sheer force of will and dragged the Tsalagi peoples kicking and screaming into a feudal kingdom. He wiled away the last eight years of his life drinking and eating, leaving his kingdom to his more statesmanlike daughter Umpahasi in 1471.

For the next sixty-five years, Tsalagi would expand. They suffered starvation, disease and feudal dictatorship but they struggled on, modernising at a ferocious pace. Tribal wars within the nation and wars of conquest without it powered them onwards, the capitol of Equagadahu becoming a metropole of a mighty empire. By 1536, the Kingdom of Tsalagi was truly vast and complex to match it. Royal cities existed under royal patronage like Equagadahu and Chanrakadahu. Lords jealously guarded their feudal holdings, while monasteries acted as capitals to church owned lands. The Tsalagans had become Muslims in those sixty-five years, not forgetting their God-King but accepting him for an incredible man. Marcher Lords at the edges of the nation defended the nation from the predations of greedy horse-tribes, while the Seminole Duchies of the south grew fat off royal patronage and trade. The fact that the Itsaygahi were Shi'a (as opposed to Sunni) allowed them to avoid the destruction that Sunni nations suffered under the last crusades of the late 1600s and early 1700s.

The last king of Tsalagi was King Ehkanankhne I, a Seminole noble elected by the Royal Body to unite an otherwise fractious nation. Knowing the histories of his country, he reformed it turning it into Itsaygahi th 'Great Green Land'. He hoped to create a vast empire stretching to the very limits of the continent, with tributaries all paying homage to him.

Itsaygahi Royal Era

The reformation of Tsalagi into Itsaygahi brought with it a huge amount of reforms to government, drastically reshaping the state from the the loose tribal state it had been before into a true nation with a united form of government. This had been preceded by a major transformation of the demography of Tsalagi. The nation had shifted from a primarily Cherokee state lead by chieftains and worshipping local gods or a leader cult to a more mixed state with Seminole, Cherokee and others all mixing together, ruled by established nobles and following the tenets of Islam as laid out in the Qu'ran.

This era was defined by expansion. A newly streamlined state was far more capable of expansion. The dream of Ehkanankhne and his successors was of a vast empire centred around the Mississippi River, around which tributary states would form, independent but all paying tribute to the capital of Semnogadahu. There was afurious bout of energy and optimism in these early years, dominated by Ehkanankhne I, Ehkanankhne II and Chanrak II. Chanrak's descendants would prove dissolute and unworthy of their sire's legacy. Itsaygahi fell into a stagnation after Chanrak's death, a stagnation that would last for almost sixty years, from 1564 to 1612.

A new royal house had arisen, one which would shake things up, from top to bottom. Government was reformed, industry and agriculture stimulated, and private armies banned. The Kingdom was restored and thimngs looked bright for the resurgent state. The most important events in this era was the drawing up of the Royal Port Charter, and the development of tributary kingdoms. The Charter Ports, would emerge as the most successful political force in Itsaygahan history, with the possible exception of the Marcher Lords who managed to survive through thick and thin. The tributary kigdoms had long been an aim for Itsaygahi, but it was only now over seventy years after his death that Ehkanankhne II's dreams were realised. The military and infrastructure was updated and new alliances with young, thrusting European powers were formed.

By the 1630s, Itsaygahi was a wealthy nation with new goods traded in from the Aztecs and across the whole Kingdom was filtering down to the common man in the street. Itsaygahi had exceeded the more traditional powers of the Aztecs and Mayans both in terms of population, but in economic and and military development as well. Its tributaries, especially the Natchez were also successful, expanding at a rapacious pace northwards along the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers.

As the nation entered the 1640s, the energy of those previous years had given way to relaxation. A short spurt after a smallpox epidemic was experienced, but other than that, most expansion was either carried out by the tributaries, or by the Charter Port Princes, who looked to add to their assets external to the kingdom. It was during this time of introspection, that Itsaygahi was equated to the great barrow-builders of old, the ancient Mississipian civilisation.

The 1670s proved to be a time of renewed Itsaygahan expansive energy. The Mamluk and Ottoman Empires, ancient allies of Itsaygahi had decayed and disintegrated, leaving Itsaygahi free to expand into Florida. The nation was becoming richer in culture, the hot-pot of Cherokee, Seminole and other tribes being mixed into European and Asian flavours along with a thick background of Mississippian nostalgia. The Aztecs, Incas and Mayans had been conquered, leaving Itsaygahi as the only truly independent Native American nation. But this pre-eminence, the nations success in war, the downfall of the worlds primary Muslim powers, and a resurgence of militant nationalism all fed into a worrying trend.

Radicals were emerging across Itsaygahi. As the 1670s drew to a close, Tsalagi translations of the Qu'ran became more and more prevalent, tales of Itsaygahi's glorious destiny became more widespread and general dissatisfaction with the Cherokee-Seminole elite emerged. This festered beneath the surface, and was only made worse by a smallpox epidemic in 1702. The attempt to deal with it by deurbanising the state, set the nation's development back by decades and worsened relations between the rulers of the nation and the more radical city folk. While it more evenly distributed the population and stimulated the economy and fixed the smallpox issue, it increased the power of princelings and feudal nobles.

In the early 1700s, the state was being revamped on a large scale to model the Chinese Emperial court. While every single other nation in the Americas was consumed by war with colonists and dieseases, Itsaygahi mostly avoided that. By 1716, the reforms of Itsaygahi had reached the point that they shifted out of a feudal society into an absolute monarchy. The powers of the Kings grew and grew, and yet at the same time so did the powers of the middle class. By 1726, Itsaygahi was on the verge of a civil war, on one side was the Military and Merchant classes, with the vassals of Itsaygahi. On the other were the King, the noblility, the Mosque, and the Seminole areas. The Civil War of Itsaygahi lasted from 1727-1730, and rocked Itsaygahi to its core. The King was overthrown, and the Union of Itsaygahi was proclaimed.

Union Era

Once again, by the 1750s, Itsaygahi had repaired itself. The nation had absorbed the vassals and divided into ten autonomous territories. Itsaygahi continued to grow and absorb more and more tribes, and convert them to Shi'a Islam. The Bahamas were eventually conquered from a Venetian successor state, and the whole of the country started to hum like a well oiled machine. The Royal Body, simply became the Parliament and it now had a lot more control. Machines, Resources, and slaves starting to get the Itsayaghi economy well enough that it could be a major power on the world stage. Itsaygahi even started its own colony in West Africa in 1775.

Itsaygahi Philosophers split into Racialists (who liked slavery and believed Africans to be inferior) and Classists (those who didn't). In 1776 a lord from Itsaygahi travels to Wales (which had just escaped Anglo-German power), and established a government there. He was named a renegade, but soon Wales became a vassal of Itsaygahi.

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