I'm working on a concept but I'm having a hard time imagining what it would look like, from a historical accuracy perspective.

If Native Americans and different European colonists were able to live among each other (Natives maintaining their own confederacies and tribes, while forming a broader government, trade agreements, etc with European settlers), would the course of technology, architecture, medicine, and other societal needs be drastically different? Over the course of centuries, what type of aesthetic and cultural shifts would be seen? If it were the near future, what kind of advancements would we have made?

Of course, it would be naive to think that there would be total peace and prosperity—Native Americans were at war with each other, and there was obvious tension and war with settlers. So this America would have political and racial strife as well. However, they would all be unified against a new enemy that seeks to challenge their way of life.


closed as primarily opinion-based by John Dallman, Paul TIKI, Mołot, sphennings, Hohmannfan Jun 6 '17 at 4:21

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    $\begingroup$ Disunity and disease would be the two things you'd need to overcome. It only took Cortes 300 men to overthrow the entire Aztec civilization because so many other peoples hated them. $\endgroup$ – Richard U Jun 5 '17 at 21:03
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    $\begingroup$ There are many examples (Mexico, Hawaii) where natives held out for longer and were not just displaced by invaders. However, due to diseases and cultural pressure, they all got dominated at the end. $\endgroup$ – Alexander Jun 5 '17 at 21:04
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    $\begingroup$ This is pretty broad, and is going to generate a lot of Opinion based answers, Could you be a bit more specific about the Path to peaceful integration you envision? $\endgroup$ – Paul TIKI Jun 5 '17 at 21:15
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    $\begingroup$ It would largely be about the benefits of open trade and an open mindedness to the benefits of engaging with other cultures. The world I'm creating is meant to be social commentary about our current nation, so an overall attitude shift from one that is barbaric towards those different from you to one that is eager to engage civilly. A hard pill to swallow, as I'm typing it out... $\endgroup$ – Rob Fleming Jun 5 '17 at 21:53

Actually, if such a scenario could occur, it'd probably resemble the sort of geopolitics in Kim Stanley Robinson's The Years of Rice and Salt, which portrayed an alternate history where the plague had wiped out much of Europe, allowing the Islamic and Taoist/Buddhist cultures to spread and eventually discover the Americas.

Now, I know I just said "Europe was wiped out", and your question involves Europe, but. Europe would have had to have a more passive and "friendly" approach to the natives, which China and the Islamic states kind of did.

The result was a unification of the tribes (which was tenuous but sustainable), and the colonists being relegated to "reservations" though under more peaceful "ceding of land".

It's more complex than that though, so I suggest giving that book a read if you want to work on this type of alternate history.


Look at Africa

What you describe might have happened if there had not been the disease apocalypse. The Africans were immune to the diseases that Europeans carried, so there was not a disease apocalypse when Europeans showed up. Slavery was of European doing when the workforce was needed for the new world and that did have an impact on Africans and African cultural institutions but for various reasons Native Americans did not get enslaved en masse like Africans.

Look at how Africa did with the colonial powers. Tribal affiliations remain a huge deal and friction between tribes was possibly exacerbated by doings of the white colonists (e.g. Rwanda genocide). Things like the Cherokee relocation happened in Africa too. The best outcome might be how South Africa turned out but their example is different from what happened in other countries.

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    $\begingroup$ Sub-Saharan Africa was just not suitable for European colonization - with the exception of South Africa. North America could emulate African scenario only if people would decide for some reason not to move there. $\endgroup$ – Alexander Jun 5 '17 at 22:59

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