Conquistadors go rogue, establish kingdoms

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Conquistadors go rogue, establish kingdoms

Postby The Road Rascal » Mon Feb 20, 2012 4:00 pm

Instead of conquering Mesoamerica for Spain, the conquistadors take one look at the vast wealth and power of the native empires and decide to take it. Cortez, Pizzaro, and company fight to carve out personal kingdoms, ruling over the natives with the help of local allies and a core of conquistadors acting as the upper class.

What might have occurred as a result? While I doubt they could have held onto power for long, would the resulting goldmine of information and technology available to the Aztec/Inca/Maya have greatly altered the balance of power? How would the age of exploration have been changed?
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Re: Conquistadors go rogue, establish kingdoms

Postby The Mad Zeppelineer » Mon Feb 20, 2012 4:16 pm

Wild. My guess is Spain's next boat arrives and wipes them out. Remember how tiny these armies are. Cortez had less than 1000 men if I recall correctly.

My favorite alt history with that crew goes like this:

Everything goes as planned, Cortez marches to the gates of Tenochtitlan. Its all the same. Except this time one of Cortez's men comes down with a new illness. The Europeans have no immunities to it. Its called Smallpox.

Cortez and crew manage to bring one of their ships back to Seville, with men dying from countless diseases unheard of in the old world.

Meanwhile, Montezuma has captured a few Spanish men and caravels.

25 years later, a legion of the Aztec empire lands on the coast of Spain. A weak, sick, and decimated European population is unprepared to fight back.
Oh, the humanity...
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Re: Conquistadors go rogue, establish kingdoms

Postby Vox Contra » Mon Feb 20, 2012 6:55 pm

The Mad Zeppelineer wrote:Wild. My guess is Spain's next boat arrives and wipes them out. Remember how tiny these armies are. Cortez had less than 1000 men if I recall correctly.

My favorite alt history with that crew goes like this:

Everything goes as planned, Cortez marches to the gates of Tenochtitlan. Its all the same. Except this time one of Cortez's men comes down with a new illness. The Europeans have no immunities to it. Its called Smallpox.

Cortez and crew manage to bring one of their ships back to Seville, with men dying from countless diseases unheard of in the old world.

Meanwhile, Montezuma has captured a few Spanish men and caravels.

25 years later, a legion of the Aztec empire lands on the coast of Spain. A weak, sick, and decimated European population is unprepared to fight back.

Only problem with this is it overlooks the causes of the diseases
The reasons the Europeans had all the diseases was because they came from a culture with an extensive interaction between and close contact with domesticated animals. And not just single or isolated ones, but herds of them (or more specifically all their diseases & parasites).
In order for the Americans to give the Europeans all the diseases they would have to be the ones with all the domesticated herds. Of course that kind of beggs the question, could a society without large domesticated heards develop the technilogical and organazational sophistication needed to cross the ocian like the Europeans did.
“The truth springs from arguments amongst friends.”
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Re: Conquistadors go rogue, establish kingdoms

Postby The Road Rascal » Tue Feb 21, 2012 3:31 pm

The Mad Zeppelineer wrote:Wild. My guess is Spain's next boat arrives and wipes them out. Remember how tiny these armies are. Cortez had less than 1000 men if I recall correctly.


I believe it would take quite some time for the Spanish to realize the expeditions went rogue. More likely, they'd write them off as being lost at sea or wiped out by enemies. The next batch of conquistadors sent that way would probably be the first ones to realize what had happened.

Assuming they send word back to Spain, you've still got a while before they can put together large enough of an army to take the rogue conquistadors out, assuming that finances, weather, or wars in Europe do not derail that mission.
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Re: Conquistadors go rogue, establish kingdoms

Postby The Mad Zeppelineer » Tue Feb 21, 2012 3:54 pm

The Road Rascal wrote:
The Mad Zeppelineer wrote:Wild. My guess is Spain's next boat arrives and wipes them out. Remember how tiny these armies are. Cortez had less than 1000 men if I recall correctly.


Was there any kind of regular contact between the conquistador expeditions and Spain? If not, it seems to me that when they went rogue the government would conclude that they had been lost at sea or wiped out.

In that case, you'd have a few years for the next expedition to arrive, then for the Spanish to develop a response.


Cortez invades in 1519. But there was already a Spanish colony in Cuba for 8 years at that point. I dont think it would have been a secret for long. They have maybe a year, 2 at best before the hammer comes down. Then history precedes almost like it did. Cortez conquers Mexico, but he just takes longer to be replaced as Governor. Of course, its just my guess.

@Vox. I know. Its just a fun alt-history theory. :wink: Aztec Caravels sailing up the Thames is quite striking imagery.
Oh, the humanity...
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Re: Conquistadors go rogue, establish kingdoms

Postby ScottZ » Wed Feb 29, 2012 10:45 am

Back to the original scenario posted, I think it is feasible. If the conquistadors did decide to establish themselves as independent rulers, it might be possible for them to hide a small kingdom or two in (what is to the European powers) the vast wilderness of the New World. Some conflict would occur between the king of Spain and the Conquistador kingdoms, but the Spanish army would have to find them first. It was only dumb luck that Cortez happened to find and rescue a Spanish sailor who had learned one of the native languages and could act as a translator for willing Mayan guides.

The major problem, I would guess, is culture shock. With only one translator, the new oligarchy would have a tough time letting their wishes and orders be known to their new subjects. Either the subjects will have to learn Spanish and/or Latin or else the rulers will have to learn several native tongues and dialects.

A generation later, if the conquistadors marry and breed with native ladies, we would see a generation of rulers who grow up bilingual. Only then do we see the opportunity for an effective governance.

Mad Zep, I think I saw a graphic novel which explored almost exactly this same Aztec Invasion of Europe scenario. I can probably track it down online if you are interested. It's a fun scenario to imagine. I suggest starting a separate thread for it. In fact, I have something similar in mind. I think I will take my own advice and start a new thread about the Mongolians and the Meso-Americans.
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Re: Conquistadors go rogue, establish kingdoms

Postby Vox Contra » Wed Feb 29, 2012 11:51 am

If they went native they could probably establish a small kingdom and rule it for a while, but their influence would be limited.

The only way they significantly change the course of things is if they establish a major kingdom that can control large tracts of land and fend off attempts to be removed by European powers.
I don’t think they’d have much luck doing that on their own.

The Conquistadors’ success came form utilizing old world tech and upsetting some carefully balanced political structures that existed between the native kingdoms.
The sock value of their arrival would ware off fairly soon, and any following Conquistadors could utilize native groups against the “pretender kings” so that advantage would be a wash.

They’d also have a lot of trouble keeping themselves outfitted. Armor, Guns, Horses, all of that stuff required an infrastructure to keep it going. The Conquistadors were explorers and solders, not gunsmiths and craftsmen. They probably would have been able to maintain their equipment but they’d need some suppliers in Europe if they wanted to outfit an army strong enough to fend of any European attempts to remove them. And I don’t think too many kingdoms would be willing to do business with a rouge army, and even if they did they’d have to cross an ocean patrolled by the Spanish to get the gear over there.

If they could get some contacts with kingdoms pissed off at Spain enough to do business with them (maybe England or France) they may have been able to set up a large enough force to repel any following invasions.
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Re: Conquistadors go rogue, establish kingdoms

Postby The Road Rascal » Wed Feb 29, 2012 12:37 pm

So, let's wargame this out long term.

Assuming most (or at least one) of the Conquistador Kingdoms survive the Spanish retaliation and native revolts, how is the history of the Americas impacted? I'd imagine that other nations would be much, much, much more cautious in sending expeditions to the New World; greatly slowing down the colonization. As a result, the natives have a much longer time to get used to the existence of Europeans, and recover somewhat from the plagues.

I wonder if the kingdoms would have played a similar role to New England in this timeline, attracting religious sects and political movements unpopular in Europe.
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Re: Conquistadors go rogue, establish kingdoms

Postby ScottZ » Wed Feb 29, 2012 9:40 pm

Okay Road Rascal, I'll play. Please give me something a little more specific. Where is the Conquistador Kingdom headquartered? Does it attempt to establish trade or diplomatic relations with any of the Old World or New World powers? What is its long term goal?
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