The Nation-States of North America

What would North America look like if, instead of a trio of federal states held together mostly by economic forces, we had Old-World-style nation states?

American Nation-states

American Nation-states

Why is the map so different? Don’t people call the US, Mexico, and Canada “nations” all the time? What the up?

An email conversation I had with Daryl Gregory of Miami University of Ohio and, more recently, a fun conversation going on at Indigenous History have gotten me thinking again about the World’s Other Side and the way science fiction (in this case alternate history) can help us to think about real world problems. In this case, the fact that so many people don’t know the difference between  a state, a country, a nation or ethnic group, and a race.

The USA is not a nation, and at time of contact (and with a few exceptions) the indigenous nations were not states. If they they had been, we might get something like the picture above. The black borders represent national boundaries. The color of the territory indicates a bloc held together by ties ethnic, linguistic, racial, religious, or economic (or in most cases, some combination of all of the above).

 

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