Alternate History

The Ivory Road (Look to the West)

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The Ivory Road refers to the primary trade route from North America to Europe. The Ivory Road is named after Ivory, which early in its history was the primary commodity being traded for. The Ivory Road became unnecessary in the 18th century as trade routes shift towards more direct voyages.

Timeline of the Ivory Road

Tartessian Period

1206-1150 BCE: The Bronze Age collapse drives up the price of Bronze immensely. Mining Tin becomes extremely profitable.

500-400 BCE: The Tartessians, major trading partner of the Phoenicians, begin mining tin in Northern Europe and Britain. This brings great riches to both civilizations, and makes the Phoenicians the major trading power of their day.

398 BCE: The Phoenician Berekbaal of Carthage leads the first recorded mining expedition to the continent that the Romans would later name Britain, "island hopping" from Iceland to Greenland along the way.

381 BCE: European diseases spread across the trade route for the first time. These plagues will become indigenous to the continent from this point on, and every few decades an plague will sweep across its entirety and decimate Native American population centers.

382-282 BCE: The Dark Period. Native American civilizations are brought to extremely low populations by disease, and very nearly decompose due to the strain. This period is also characterized by natural disasters. Trade in Ivory continues in the northern regions.

Roman Period

200 BCE: Following the defeat of Carthage in the Second Punic War, their source of ivory is surrendered to Rome. A Roman expedition is launched under the guide of Phoenician navigators, and over the next 4 years the first Romans see Hibernia, Caledonia, Brythonia and the British continent. Regular merchant voyages begin.

182 BCE: At the behest of the increasingly wealthy trading families, Rome sends an expedition to map further parts of the new continent. The expedition reaches as far as mouth of the Missisippi, and word of the "Mound Builder" culture reaches Rome. The population of native civilizations has by this point begun to recover. The Romans are forced to turn back after their main source of supplies, native gifts, evaporates in the area OTL called Texas.

160-100 BCE: Roman trade begins in earnest after native trade routes connect them to gold from Southern Britain. The trade in gold becomes increasingly important for the Roman economy.

98 BCE: The Romans found the colony of Scotia on the site of OTL Dublin to facilitate trade. The city remains dominated by local Gaels, and often without the consent of Rome pays tributes to local clans to keep the peace.

96 BCE- 200 CE: Trade in Gold, Ivory and furs causes cities along the route to prosper. The Romans attempt several times to create colonies in Thule Major (Iceland) and Thule Minor (Greenland), but fail each time due to being unprepared for the winter. Eventually, Angle settlers are imported, leading to the creation of multiple Angle polities along the trade route. This boosts productivity significantly as ships need to carry less supplies.

The Dark Ages

The Enlightenment

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