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Website / Atlas of Medieval America

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What its creator Matthew White calls a "surreal history". The site proposes what the United States of America would look like if it was a Middle Ages version of itself. No fantastical elements. No radioactive mutants or wizards. It's strictly what North America would look like, with its current ancestry, religious values and culture, but only a medieval level of technology to work with. Because it's 1000 years into the future, it doesn't quite count as Alternate History, but it largely appeals to that crowd. The site is here, but it has not been updated in over a decade.


Trope Examples:

  • After the End: America is in its present state due to an unspecified disaster that caused the collapse of technological civilization.
  • Ambiguously Brown: Ironically enough, many the Deep South's inhabitants become various shades of tan and brown, which become whiter the further north one goes.
  • Big Applesauce: Averted. New York is not nearly the major player it is the modern day, instead being just one coastal port out of many.
  • Church of Happyology: The Scientologists have taken over California and become its dominant religion.
  • Continuation Fic: Several have been written by fans. One of the bigger ones is here.
  • Culture Chop Suey: Often the point, as the work likes to splice American cultures and institutions with historical ones. So we have cowboy barbarians, a remnant federal government that plays the role the Roman Catholic Church did in the Medieval era.
  • Divided States of America: Naturally, but here's some examples:
    • The United States of America is an oligarchic maritime republic centered in Baltimore that controls isolated enclaves and the major shipping lanes along the East Coast extending into Canada.
    • The Great Plains are inhabited by a loose confederation of nomadic tribes.
    • The Confederate States (including an independent Georgia and the "Red River Territory") have reverted to plantation slavery but not along racial lines as everyone in the South is biracial by that point.
    • California splits into the northern "Republic" and the Scientologist-controlled southern "Free Zone".
    • The "Territory of Iowa" is a military dictatorship controlling all land between the Missouri and Wabash rivers.
    • The "State of Deseret" is a Mormon theocracy controlling Wyoming and parts of Utah and Ohio.
    • Washington DC became a city-state under the control of the American Non-Denominational Church similar to the Holy See, with the Supreme Court and Chief Justice filling the roles of the College of Cardinals and Pope.
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    • It also mentions several warlords in the East and hydraulic empires clustered around rivers in the Western desert.
  • Deep South: Somewhat different from most portrayals, in that African ethnicity and culture made a much more visible mark on the region. However, there are a few flags with the Stars and Bars motif.
  • Feudal Future: of the After the End variety- kind of the point of the work.
  • Flyover Country: Definitely inverted. The Great Plains receive by far the most detail out of any part of the country, with descriptions of the nomadic cowboy culture and the Kingdom of Iowa.
  • God-Emperor: What rulers in the western deserts appear to be like due to their control over the water supply.
  • Hollywood, California: One of the "Hydraulic Empires", autocratic regimes that thrive in the desert.
  • Hollywood Voodoo: No information has been written enough to get it wrong, but it does seems to have largely taken up space in the Gulf Coast (including New Orleans), Florida and in the Caribbean.
  • Lady Land: In the Caribbean, women occupy civil service jobs as the men are away.
  • Orphaned Series: A very strong and frustrating example.
  • Proud Merchant Race: The former U.S.A. gets by through its control of the eastern sea trade.
  • Saintly Church: Relatively speaking, the Non-Denominational Church provides social services in the new Dark Ages, sues for peace, and has a republican structure.
  • The Big Easy: New Orleans may be the most important trading port on the continent, as it funnels South American goods to the inland fiefdoms.
  • The Horde: What the cowboys of the great plains are to everyone else.
  • Vestigial Empire: The old U.S.A. is still around, only much smaller. It still retains a federal government, though its republican system has evolved to resemble more like medieval Venice.
  • What Could Have Been: There's a stash of images and planned pages that don't go anywhere, so it's evident what the creator was planning at the time.