Tuesday, 21 January 2020

Alt History Canada

   So, I am a a fan of Alternative History fiction. That is, stories that are close enough to real history with a Point of Departure that changes one small thing but has a major impact down the road, thus changing what we know to something very different. Harry Turtledove is the master of Alt History, with some very big series that go 100 years past the POD. There is an award named after him, the Turtledove Award which is issued each year to outstanding works of Alt History fiction.

I recently saw a cool map on Deviant Art that depicted a very different Canada and became interested.  Canada-and-Northern-America-2010

It follows an essay done by Dathi Thorfinnsson  called Canadawank found here  canadawank  . I found out that it had won the Turtledove award in 2011. The basis is that there is a POD in 1793 that leads to some major changes to the War of 1812, which Canada/Britain win outright against the USA instead of the draw which ended with Status Quo Antebellum. In real life, after the war, most decisions between Britain and the US in regards to Canada mostly favoured the US. In Dathi's timeline, the opposite is true. It leads to another US vs Canada/Britain war in 1842 which the US loses badly and has major post war ramifications for the US. In this story, the New England states leave the US and form their own independent country which is backed by Britain and Canada.

November 1793: The Vendéens were actually met by British reinforcement, as expected, after more successful communications during the Siege of Granville and are able to take the town for a while. However, seeing that they cannot hold it indefinitely, the Vendéen forces along with their families and many Granville townsfolk fearing Republican retribution, are evacuated to England.

The evacuation sets a precedent in further operations, and more people associated with the counterrevolution (royalists, clergy, etc.) are taken in by the English who are committed to supporting the Royalists. They are also willing to pick up non-combatants, often whole families, especially as a condition for men to join the Royalist/British cause. However, instead of remaining in England, these people are encouraged to go to Canada, specifically Québec, where they largely take up farming and other activities.

Once the Treaty of Amiens established peace between the United Kingdom and the French Republic, the demobilization of former Vendée forces brought them largely to Canada, rather than staying in England or returning to a republican France. A portion of French royalists also began to find refuge in Canada once peace was established.

* * *

In this scenario, Canada experiences higher rates of immigration from France early on in its history, proving to be formative in the development of a stronger Canadian polity. By 2010, the North American continent has seen the maturing of two great powers who have often been at odds, but more often than not have relied on each other as two close brothers do. A quick (and very general) sketch of the three states presented in this map:

The United States of America, born of revolution against the British Empire, would realize the results of its antagonism against a more populated British colony to its north, culminating in the loss of the War of 1812 as well as the loss of New England. However, the eventual results of the war do not prove to present any obstacles for the young nation's ability to grow and even expand westward. Yet, the failure of the Americans to achieve parity, much less victory, in this war and in much future political and economic jostling on the continent marks the American national psyche in the decades which follow. On a present-day map, one can point out the often curious consequences of nativist or anti-British movements which have occasionally and briefly influenced American politics and society. Here, the United States has nonetheless emerged in a similar, if somewhat more muted, fashion to the one we know: a global superpower whose cultural, political, and economic might has reached far across the globe, yet which faces growing domestic ailments and increasing competition for power on the global stage. The nation gazes steadfastly towards Canada, watching the continued flourishing of its northern counterpart.

New England, having been notably less enthusiastic about war against the British for commercial reasons, declared independence from a disgruntled United States in the aftermath of the War of 1812 for reasons of self-preservation. Being able to maintain autonomy by way of formal relations with the British and strong, extensive economic ties with a number of partners (the United States included), the New Englanders have been able to maintain a marked and consequential presence on the continent despite being overshadowed by its larger neighbours. Indeed, Boston has often been able to act as a mediator between the interests of Windsor and Washington. In the present day, relations with the US have long since normalized, and the New England economy is deeply intertwined with those of the US and Canada.

Canada is, due to heavier immigration from France, decidedly more French in character. But more importantly, Canada is a lot more populous in its early history as a colony. This, broadly speaking, is a central factor in the British/Canadian victory of 1812, which would place what would become Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Champlain firmly in Canadian control and leading to the strengthening of Canadian self-assuredness, marking a watershed moment in the formation of Canadian national identity. The Canadian dominion would see its territory expand westward and northward after Confederation and, with the help of British efforts, would come to encompass a larger portion of the Oregon country, Alaska, and Greenland. While doing far better in a number of different arenas than the Canada we are familiar with, it still is fated to become the secondary power on the North American continent. This Canada is a lot more ambitious, however, taking the existence of its southern neighbour to be a challenge answered by the massive potential the nation holds. The geopolitics resulting from Canadian influence, assertiveness, and identity-making in the context of American leadership and dominance on an international scale has resulted in a long history of dynamic and interesting relations between the two countries, with the two always somewhere on a scale from warm embrace to vigorous strangling, but always somehow holding on to each other. With the outlook looking uncertain for what has thus far been called "the American Age", Canada sees itself in a position to establish itself further as an emerging world power and to embed itself at the center of global relevance.

With New England on its own, the balance of power in the US would fall to the slave states meaning the Dixie-crats would likely dominate politics and the presidency for some time. There would not be a civil war in 1860-65 then.

This story line shows Britain owning Louisiana, Arkansas and Missouri too after the war of 1842, and Florida and Texas going back to Spain who was allied with Britain. Mexico claims the remainder of the west. President Henry Clay is impeached, and hung for treason. At some point beyond the essay, the US will recover from that. Most likely after the 1848 rebellions word wide following the Communist Manifesto which causes a big shift towards republicanism. The southern territories will likely demand independence from the crown and later be annexed by the US (since they were British for forty years, then there would be no slavery in those states). The US and Mexican war would likely follow around 1855 (while Britain is fighting the Crimean War) or so, causing the big land grab for the US. 

With the industrial revolution in full swing, the US would likely consider modernizing or get left behind. Modern thinkers like Abraham Lincoln from Kentucky would probably lead a party (Whigs) in the 1870s and win in 1876. He makes many reforms but his anti slavery bill doesn't get passed until late in his second term, around 1883-84. It would likely contain many compromises which leave former slaves with very few rights. This would lead to a heavy migration of former slaves to Canada, as many had fled there via the underground railroad during slavery. Most would settle in the provinces of Illinois and Michigan. It is quite possible that a third US/Canada war might happen. Perhaps over native rights or just defining borders, claims over native lands, such as the Dakota/Minnesota/Manitoba area would be contested. Canada has been a protector of the natives since the war of 1812 and natives have provided much of the military strength in the previous wars. It might see Canada attempting to stop the US genocide of natives in the west and preserve the native lands by bringing them into Canada. This war would have been around 1892.The US would have grown much stronger militarily and learned from their past mistakes. They incite the war during a time when Britain is fighting in South Africa. Britain believes Canada can fend for itself more or less. What the US doesn't see coming is twenty extra regiments that Canada pulls up made up of black ex-patriots who are eager for a fight against their former masters. The US wins the Missouri river valley south of St Louis but Canada holds the Dakota lands and the Mississippi river watershed.When British warships sail into US waters, the US quickly halts hostilities and pursues a truce.

Most likely, the long peace between the nations will come when Theodore Roosevelt becomes president around 1900 or 1904. He was always a big fan of the British Empire and of progress and land conservation. He likely initiates a peace treaty with Canadian prime minister Wilfred Laurier.

Canada's growth and stability would likely be the cause of becoming a self governing nation in 1832 rather than 1867 as it was in real life. Louis-Joseph Papineau  would likely have been the first PM instead of a rebel fighting for democratic reforms as he really was in 1838. Newfoundland would likely have stayed away still for some time fearing a French dominated parliament. British Columbia would likely have had similar worries but due to the wars in the west with expanding US, would be pressured into joining Canada and dividing into two provinces, Nova Cambria and Oregon (present Washington state mostly, which was British down to the Fraser river until 1871 in real life). The US and Canada would settle on the 47th (not the 49th) parallel for the border between the Rocky mountains and the Mississippi watershed after the 1892 war. The US never would have been able to purchase Alaska from Russia so Britain buys it in 1866 and gives it to Canada in 1890. Canada would completely own the great lakes except for some shore line on Lakes Erie and Ontario. After the purchase of Ruparts Land, Canada would bridge the prairies with Athabasca (Alberta) and Saskatchewan joining confederation in 1890 instead of 1905. Newfoundland would likely be pressured to join Canada from Britain earlier, perhaps around 1920 after the first world war. Canada then picks up Greenland during the depression in the 1930s.

A whole lot could change in these scenarios. Would WW1 be the same? Thorfinnsson believes that Charlotte would become queen instead of Victoria which would completely change the face of WW1 as Victoria's grandchildren were the heads of three of the principle belligerents. For this, I won't stray that far and say that the status quo prevails. That being said, Canada has a lot more people in this time line than in real life. So we send a bigger army? Or do we leave more behind in case the US decides to join Germany, meaning we would need more border security forces. I believe that New England joins on the allied side too and likely Teddy Roosevelt is still in power and joins the allies. That means a much bigger and stronger North American contingent and a quicker victory.

And WW2? One thing for sure is that the war in the Pacific would look very different. The US would not have Hawaii so no Pearl Harbour, unless the Japanese attack the British fleet there. Mind you, Britain had been at war for two years and would be more battle ready and very adapt at working RADAR so would likely defended the fleet better. The US would also not have the Philippians (but who would?) so who knows how that would work? It all started after the US cut off oil exports to Japan as a protest for their aggression in China. I still think that the US fights along side Britain, Canada and New England and the Soviets all the same. That would bring in the cold war era just like in real life. I believe that Canada would get a permanent seat on the UN security council though for playing a bigger role in the victory. There is also a good chance that the first atom bomb is tested in northern Canada, Keewatin or Nunavut most likely. Canada had a good chunk of researchers and scientists involved in the project, as did Britain in real life. Canada also supplied all the Uranium as we had the only source at that time. So for security, a remote northern destination makes sense. The three countries (Canada,UK,US) would be joint owners of the first atomic bombs. Canada would thus have a much bigger military in present day.

 List of PMs:

Louis-Joseph Papineau (Québec) Blue  1832-40{first elected PM} {2nd US War}

George-Etienne Cartier  (Québec) Blue  1840-1855

Alexander Tilloch Galt  (Québec) Reform 1855-1860 {first English speaking PM}

George Brown  (Ontario) Reform 1860-1868

Hector-Louis Langevin  (Québec) Conservative 1868-1872

Louis Riel (Manitoba) Liberal 1872-1875  {First Native PM}

John Alexander MacDonald (Ontario) Conservative 1875-1885

Russel A Alger  (Michigan) Liberal 1885-1889

Charles Tupper (Nova Scotia) Conservative 1889-1896 {3rd US War}

Wilfred Laurier (Québec) Liberal 1896-1911 {Canada-US peace agreement}

Robert Borden  (Nova Scotia) Conservative/Union 1911-1921  {WW1}

William Lyon Mackenzie King  (Ontario) Liberal 1921-1926

RB Bennett  (Athabasca) Conservative 1926-1932

William Lyon Mackenzie King  (Saskatchewan) Liberal 1932-1946 {WW2}

Louis St. Laurent  (Québec) Liberal 1946-1954 {Pacific War}

G. Mennen Williams  (Michigan) Liberal 1954-1959

Lester B Pearson  (Ontario) Conservative 1959-1966

Pierre Elliot Trudeau  (Québec) Liberal 1966-1971

Lincoln Alexander  (Ontario) Conservative 1971-1979 {First black PM}

Brian Mulroney  (Québec) Conservative 1979-1990

Paul Martin  (Québec) Liberal 1990-1998

Stephan Harper  (Athabasca) Conservative 1998-2014

Jody Wilson-Raybould  (Nova Cambria) Liberal 2014-present  {First female PM}

                                                         *            *            *

As for social and economic terms:


Canada would have about 15 million people in 1900 (instead of 8 million) and have about 40 million in 1950 (instead of 22 million) and about 85 million in 2015 (instead of 36 million). We would have 20 cities with over a million, Toronto being the biggest at approximately 8 million, followed by Montreal, Vancouver, Chicago, Detroit, Seattle, Calgary, Québec, Strathcona (Edmonton), Frontenac (Kingston), Winnipeg, Juneau (Milwaukee), Verendrye (Saskatoon), Windsor (London), Ottawa-Gatineau, Spokane, Regina, Duluth, Sinclair (Victoria), and Grande Fourches (Grand Forks). Hamilton and Halifax would be very close too.

The US will have less people obviously, first from the separation of New England and also from the loss of territory to Canada. It follows that there will be less immigration too as many find Canada a better destination. Still, the US would have a fair bit more people. In real life, the US hit the 100 million mark between 1900 and 1914 sometime. That changes to after 1940. That would make present day USA around 180 million, instead of the actual 300 million. Still, 180 million is bigger than Canada's 85 million. New England caps in at 14 million, comparable to actual numbers.

Although Canada starts out with a majority French population and influence, English speakers are the faster growing group, with immigrants coming from the US in the form of Loyalists and escaped slaves. British war veterans are encouraged to settle in Canada and given land grants out west. The exception is the return of the Acadians after 1812 from Louisiana who return to their old lands (New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and northern Maine) but not Nova Scotia. Some end up in Champlain (Northern NY and Vermont). After the west coast provinces join confederation, the balance tips toward English speakers by a hair. Over time English would exceed French until it is about 60/40 (75/25 in real life). Native population would remain high and in Manitoba would make up the majority. The city of Grande Fourches would be an almost exclusive Native city. The northern territories are vast majority Native with the exception of Yukon which had a migration of white gold miners during the Klondike gold rush. The black population would be higher than in real life too from the extended underground railroad and the mass immigration following the end of slavery in the US. Most will end up in Illinois, Michigan and southern Ontario. Chicago would have the highest black population of any Canadian city. Although Canada is not without racism, it is nothing like the systemic or institutionalized racism of the US. In Canada, black people would have the same rights as everyone else under the law. There would be a larger Gaelic speaking population too after the potato famine. Cape Breton, Nova Scotia does have Gaelic pockets in real life. These would bigger, making Cape Breton almost all Gaelic. Newfoundland would be greater influenced as well. The west coast receives a large amount of immigrants from Asian countries. Chinese and Japanese provide the most with Koreans and Vietnamese close behind. Although spread out across the country, percentage of Asian peoples remains highest in Nova Cambria and Oregon. Since the turn of the 2000s, the biggest immigrant group comes from India. Canada is seen internationally as a very multi-cultured country.

Natural resources (Lumber, Nickle, Iron, Gold, Furs and Fish) were Canada's initial primary businesses, but industry would grow. With the great lakes and the St Lawrence in full control, transportation would be the key to growth. The rail system would be implemented sooner as well. CN rail (Toronto) and CP rail (Vancouver) would link up in Winnipeg, in 1875 rather than 1885. Hamilton would still be the prime steel city but Juneau (Milwaukee), Joliette, Michigan (Gary, ID), Sault Ste Marie, and Trois Rivieres would also have major foundries. In the early 1900's the Ford Motor company starts churning out cars in Detroit. McLaughlin Motors, Laurentian Motors, and Bombardier soon follow suit. Range Rover sets up shop in Canada too. Chevrolet opens in Oshawa, Ontario building light trucks. Most plants are in Michigan and Ontario, with some in Québec and Nova Scotia. A few smaller companies exist here and there and Juneau produces the first motor cycle plant. For a time Canada is the number one producer of cars in the world until the US overtakes the lead with Chrysler, Plymouth, Birmingham, Jeep. US industry is centered in the Chesapeake area, Virginia and Maryland with Birmingham, Alabama and Atlanta, Georgia being next.

Canada's aircraft industry would also be huge. With the vast distances, air travel would push the demand. DeHavilland (Montreal) would be the first production company in Canada, followed by the new Boeing company in Seattle, Oregon. Avro (Toronto) and Bombardier (Montreal) also jump in. Boeing builds the world's biggest passenger planes and provides the biggest bombers during WW2. Avro produces the first Mach 2 fighter plane (Avro Arrow) in 1957 and is the world leader in that field to date. Bell Helicopters (Montreal) is also a world leader. The US produces more aircraft and exports more, but Canada is close behind.

Canada is also the world leader in farm equipment production and snowmobiles (true in real life actually).

Canada is also heavily involved in rockets, satellites  and space equipment. The Canadian Space Agency (Ottawa) is the center for this. The US and Canada work closely together in the space race.

Crude oil was a key to the USA's early 20th century economic success. Oil was then discovered in Athabasca (Alberta) in the 1930s. That sets off an oil boom in that province. Later, oil is discovered off the coasts of Newfoundland and Alaska. That makes Canada's oil reserves much larger than the USA's and contributes to a booming economy.

When adopting a currency in 1832, the new Bank of Canada decides to stick with the Pound Sterling. In real life, Canada adopted the Dollar to be on par with the US as most foreign trade was with the southern neighbour but in this time line, the weak US economy following the 1812 war and the strength of the empire made the opposite decision. The Canadian Pound  (£ ) trades higher than the English Pound for the first time in 1900 following the gold rush. It goes back and forth but generally stays on par with the English Pound and at approximately $2.5 US dollars. Toronto and Montreal are both financial and banking hubs.

                                                              *          *          *

So I would like to focus on the other big changes in Canada, like culture, recreation and sports.
I will admit that this was one of my biggest interests. I wanted to draw up some football helmets and hockey jerseys.

With a bigger population, Canada would be a bigger splash on the world stage of the Olympics, the US less so. At the first Olympics in Greece, 1896, Canada picks up 2 gold medals in track and field plus 2 other medals, finishing behind first place Germany, second France, third USA, and fourth Britain. Still both Germany and the US protest Canada for using black athletes who they believe should not be allowed to compete. Canada continues to improve over time and usually finishes top ten in medals at the summer games, finishing ahead of the US on four occasions. After the US lifts their own ban on using black athletes in 1968, they improve dramatically. As for hosting the summer games, the US doesn't get the 1904 games. They are out bid by Berlin, Germany. The US hosts for the first time in 1924, in Philadelphia. They don't host again until 1988 in Atlanta. The US is on slate to host again in the near future, possibly in Los Angeles. Boston, of New England hosts the summer games in 1948 after WW2. Canada hosts the summer games in 1968 in Montreal where they finish fifth in medals behind the Soviets, East and West Germany and the US. Canada hosts the games for a second time in 2012 in Chicago finishing fourth behind Germany, Australia and China in medals.

As for the Winter Olympic games, it is no contest between the US and Canada. Canada finishes ahead of the US in every winter games and tops the medal leaders five times and has never finished lower than fifth place. Norway, Germany, Russia (Soviets) and Switzerland are the usual top competition to Canada. Canada plays host to the winter games five times; 1936 in Lac Placid, Champlain and there again in 1960. Québec City plays host in 1980 and Calgary hosts in 1994 and again in 2018. The US hosts only one time, 2006 in Denver. Canada wins gold in men's hockey fifteen times, with the Soviets winning seven, Russia once, Sweden twice and the Czechs once.

As for sports in North America, Lacrosse is the first sport played in Canada. Natives introduce the game to the settlers. It is played throughout the country and is the official sport. Professional leagues start up in the 1930s and continue to present day with the National Lacrosse League. The NLL currently has twelve teams. Lacrosse stadiums hold between 18000 to 30000 with average game attendance at about 21000. There are TV contracts but players don't earn the big money like football and hockey players do. The average salary in 2015 is £100000 Canadian a year with the top contract at £400000. Every year, the Joseph Brant Cup is given to the league winner. Indoor lacrosse is a very popular minor league sport. There are six profession leagues across Canada where they play in hockey arenas but the pay is only a small fraction of that of the outdoor players. Competition for fans during hockey season is to blame.

Baseball in its modern form was first played in Beachville, Ontario in 1838. It caught on in New England and then into the US in New York. It never makes it big in Canada though, with the competition of football and lacrosse as summer sports. It is mostly a youth game. Some players who become gifted in the sport end up moving to the US to play as it is their big money sport. The US professional baseball leagues have twenty teams and players earn big money. Top contracts pay $5000000 US a year. Baseball and soccer are the only two big money professional team sports. Individual sports like golf, boxing, and stock car racing are also big draws. Horse racing is the biggest draw of all though in the US. Baseball is popular in New England and Boston has a pro team that plays in the US pro leagues.

Basketball is another sport started in Boston by a Canadian. It catches on and becomes a big youth sport. It is very popular in high schools and universities. It is popular in the US too. Some small, regional pro leagues pop up here and there throughout North America but without a major pro league until 1970 in Canada.The spark for basketball came in 1965 when a boxing promoter in Chicago put together an all black player basketball team from players he knew from playgrounds and gyms in the city and called them the Chicago Ambassadors. They wore gaudy uniforms of red and white with gold maple leafs and traveled from city to city challenging any team, pro, university or all star to exhibition games. Their skill level was second only to their level of fan interaction and fun. They typically destroyed opponents by lopsided scores  like 120-45 on average. They dunked and blocked shots, dribbled with unseen finesse and played above the rim where few could. They played all over North America but were banned in more than half of the US states. They played overseas to sold out crowds and entertained millions and became ambassadors of the game. It showed a lot of black athletes in the US the potential that they might achieve and made the game huge in black neighbourhoods throughout the US. Unfortunately for the Canadian Basketball Association, the league didn't pan out as they had hoped, with most franchises losing money from low attendance and the lack of TV money as the season conflicted with hockey for fan revenue. The CBA folded in 1974 after five of the original eight teams went bankrupt. The Ambassadors still entertain crowds world wide.

Football comes to Canada in the early 1860's from Britain in the forms of Rugby and soccer. Association football (soccer in North America) never hits it off in Canada but it does in the US. Canada loves the Rugby football. Canada adapts the twelve man "League" version of the game in many athletic clubs. The first pro league opens in Ontario in 1870 with three teams from Toronto and three from Hamilton and one each from Kitchener, Guelph, and Secord (Ste Catherines). The universities in Ontario, Michigan and Québec all play too. McGill University (Montreal) introduces it to Harvard in Boston in 1880. It catches on there and soon becomes part of the New England universities athletic programs. Autumn games between schools in New England draw enormous crowds of up to 30000 fans. The pro game in Canada is bigger than the university version though for drawing crowds. By 1890, stadiums pop up all over Ontario, Quebec and Michigan and the Canadian Football League is formed. By that time, the game has been refined to an original Canadian game that allows blocking by the five forwards and players wearing some padding and leather helmets. Rules are set down  that are adapted across the country for all levels of the game. The top Canadian university plays an annual international game against the top New England school for exhibition and bragging rights. In 1905, the New England schools decide to add a fourth down to play which Canada does not, ending the tradition of international play. The New England schools make another adaption in 1915 adding the forward pass. This increases the fan's love of the game and attendance. Canada finally decides to adapt the forward pass in 1923. Football is a hit all over Canada with a league popping up on the west coast in 1907. In 1909, Lord Earl Gray, the Governor General, who is a big fan of the game, commissions the Gray Cup for the Football champion of Canada. Originally presented to the winner of the CFL, the west coast league challenged the CFL champions for the cup in 1920. After that it became tradition for the Western League Champion to take on the Eastern CFL champions for the cup. In 1948, the two leagues merged and became the Canadian Football League with fourteen teams. An expansion in 1962 added three teams in the west and Chicago moved to the east. In 1965 Halifax joined, and in 1970 Juneau and Spokane joined, rounding the league up to twenty teams. To date, the Chicago Cardinals have won nine Gray Cups, the most of any team, followed by the Hamilton Tigers with eight, then the Strathcona Eskimos and Duluth Packers with seven each. University teams play for the Vanier Cup, with Queens University (Frontenac) winning the most titles with ten. Pro team stadiums hold between 45000 to 70000 fans and player salaries in 2015 range from £200000 Canadian to the top salary of £2.4 million a year.

CFL in 2019:

Montreal Alouettes, 4 Gray Cups, Québec Bulldogs, 6 Gray Cups, Ottawa Vikings, 5 Gray Cups, Halifax Schooners, 3 Gray Cups, Frontenac Dragons, 4 Gray Cups

Hamilton Tigers, 8 Gray Cups, Detroit Rhinos, 4 Gray Cups, Chicago Cardinals, 9 Gray Cups, Windsor Monarchs, 2 Gray Cups, Toronto Argonauts, 6 Gray Cups

Verendrye Huskies, 5 Gray Cups, Duluth Packers, 7 Gray Cups, Juneau Pioneers, 3 Gray Cups, Regina Roughriders, 4 Gray Cups, Winnipeg Blue Bombers, 6 Gray Cups

Calgary Stampeders, 5 Gray Cups, Seattle Thunderbirds, 6 Gray Cups, Spokane Grizzlies, 5 Gray Cups, Strathcona Eskimos, 7 Gray Cups, Vancouver Lions, 2 Gray Cups

The prime sport in Canada is however, hockey. Its origins are not documented but it is believed that soldiers in garrison in Frontenac attempted to play lacrosse outdoors in the winter in the early 1800s. They found it easier to play on solid ice in the harbour rather than in snow and used a rock instead of a ball. They took the webbing out of their sticks and just used the wooden parts of their sticks to pass and shoot the rock. The rock eventually got replaced by a rubber puck for safety reasons. The game caught on and became a winter past time all over Ontario and Québec. In 1850, a game between the top Toronto club and the top Montreal club drew a crowd at of 20000 in the middle of January in Frontenac's lacrosse stadium which had its field frozen over for the event. Hockey fever took over Canada. The game was played in all parts of the country by 1870. In 1886, Governor General, Lord Stanley commissioned a trophy, Lord Stanley's Cup for the top hockey team in Canada. It was originally awarded to amateur teams but several pro leagues vied for the cup. No clear playoff format could be found. Eventually, in 1910, taking the lead of the Gray Cup, the top professional eastern team (three leagues) and the top pro western team (two leagues), played a five game series to determine a Stanley Cup champion. In 1900, there were 40 professional teams. That was chopped down to 30 after 1927. In 1928, there were two leagues, the Western Hockey League, with twelve teams and the Canadian Hockey League with sixteen teams in the east and south. In 1935, with large indoor arenas being built, the top ten teams got together to form the National Hockey League. The League expanded in 1949  with four new teams and then again in 1960 with four more. The criteria was an arena that could hold at least 14000 people. As arenas popped up and demand grew, the prosperous NHL expanded again in 1974 with four more teams. In 1990 two more joined and in 1998 the last two teams joined, making the NHL twenty-six teams from St. John's, Newfoundland in the east to Sinclair, Nova Cambria in the west. Hockey is fairly popular in New England as well with universities and pro teams. Boston hopes to add a team to the NHL when they next decide to expand.
At present, the average NHL arena hold 19000 fans, with most teams selling out. Average salary for an NHL player is £1.2 million per season and the top contract is £6.3 million per year. The Montreal Maroons hold the most Cup titles with seventeen, although four were before the merger into the NHL. Detroit Red Wings are second with thirteen, two prior to the NHL forming. Toronto Maple Leafs have twelve, with four coming before the NHL. Seattle has nine with one coming before the NHL merger.

NHL teams in 2019:

Eastern Conference, Atlantic Division:
St John's Shamrocks
St. John's Shamrocks est. 1990, 1 Stanley Cup title (2009)
Halifax Dreadnoughts
Halifax Dreadnoughts est. 1949, 4 Cup titles (1970, 2003, 2005)
Acadia Moose
Acadia Moose (Moncton-St.John) est. 1998, no cup titles yet.

Québec Nordiques
Québec Nordiques est. 1906, five cup titles, (1934, 1960, 1971, 1996, 2000)

Sherbrooke Voltegiers
Sherbrooke Voltegiers est. 1974, one cup title (1999)

Montreal Maroons
Montreal Maroons est. 1894, seventeen cup titles (1901, 1919, 1927, 1930, 1936, 1937, 1948, 1949, 1956, 1962, 1963, 1974, 1975, 1985, 1986, 1989, 1993)

Eastern Conference, Great Lakes Division:

Ottawa Voyageurs
 Ottawa Voyageurs est. 1949, four cup titles (1959, 1979, 1995, 2007)

Frontenac Sabres
Frontenac Sabres est. 1902, six cup titles ( 1909, 1928, 1950, 1972, 1977, 2013)

Toronto Maple Leafs
Toronto Maple Leafs est. 1896, twelve cup titles (1900, 1908, 1911, 1922, 1938, 1947, 1951, 1958, 1967, 1969, 1984, 2011)

Hamilton Bulldogs
Hamilton Bulldogs est. 1907, five cup titles (1923, 1924, 1931, 1965, 2016)

Windsor Royals
Windsor Royals, est. 1960, two cup titles (2012, 2014)

Detroit Red Wings
Detroit Red Wings, est. 1904, thirteen cup titles (1906, 1907, 1935, 1952, 1953, 1964, 1966, 1976, 1994, 1995, 2001, 2002, 2015)

Chicago Black Hawks
Chicago Black Hawks, est. 1930, five cup titles (1933, 1955, 1973, 1997, 1998)

Western Conference, Prairie Division:

Juneau Otters
Juneau Otters, est. 1974, one cup title (2010)

Verendrye Wheat Kings
Verendrye Wheat Kings, est. 1960, one cup title (2004)

Regina Wolf Pack
Regina Wolf Pack, est.1949, 2 cup titles (1978, 1981)

Winnipeg Spitfires
Winnipeg Spitfires (formerly Winnipeg Flyers), est. 1930, 3 cup titles (1932, 1980, 2008)

Grande Fourches Bisons
Grande Fourches Bisons, est. 1990, no cup titles yet.

Duluth Gaels
Duluth Gaels, est. 1974, one cup title (2006)

Western Conference, Pacific Division:

Vancouver Barons
Vancouver Barons, est. 1912, six cup titles (1921, 1926, 1957, 1973, 1991, 2017)

Sinclair Cougars
Sinclair Cougars, est. 1949, one cup title (1968)

Seattle Metropolitans
Seattle Metropolitans, est. 1913, nine cup titles (1925, 1946, 1954, 1961, 1991, 1992, 1994, 2018, 2019)

Spokane Chiefs
Spokane Chiefs, est. 1974, one cup title (2008)

Kelowna Giants
Kelowna Giants, est. 1998, no cup titles yet.

Calgary Devils
Calgary Devils, est. 1960, two cup titles (1980, 1996)

Strathcona Roughnecks
Strathcona Roughnecks, est. 1974, five cup titles (1982, 1983, 1987, 1988, 1990)

Music, Movies, and television:

The US was always media savvy, going back to Ben Franklin, the newspapers, propaganda before its time. They always understood the media message. So I think that the US will continue to take the lead. When radio becomes a thing, the US is all over starting up broadcast networks. Same when television comes out. Most likely, the Hollywood movie business starts out exactly the same. New England is also likely to be equally savvy. This is an area that Canada initially falls behind in. Newspapers are key to communication at first and roughly equal to their US counterparts but fall behind with the broadcast media. At first Canada relies mainly on British programming, the BBC and like. French language broadcasts are mostly translated from English. Homegrown media starts slow and Canadians turn to US broadcasts for quality programming. This scares Canada into creating US style media networks, first on radio and then with television. CBC is first, being government funded, then private networks, CTV, then Global net. Original programming is tough, but a maverick Chicago broadcaster hits the mark with his television shows and it takes off nationally, calling it the Great Lakes Network. The problem is that it is only in English. With two official languages, it is tough for Canadian broadcasters to duplicate programming and have to run two separate networks, one in each language. In the end, Canada produces enough original content to get by and the government restricts the amount of US content but the people still can't get enough of US made shows. Canada fairs better with movies. Although the studios are not on the scale of the US, Canada pumps out plenty of top quality films from Montreal, Toronto, Chicago and Vancouver.

Music in Canada at first is primarily regional in tastes, with traditional folk music being the most popular. Acadia has its own sound, with zydeco and fiddles. Gaelic music from Ireland is popular in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. Big band swing music becomes the rage in the cities in Québec, Ontario, Michigan, Illinois when radio comes along. Western Canada enjoys a country style of music similar to the US sound out of Nashville. The west coast has its own style of folk music. In the early 1900s, a new sound comes out of Chicago. It is a cross between swing music and a blues sound that emigrated from the US with the black migration. The music is pirate broadcast only in the US. Music studios in New Orleans print out records but all networks are white owned and forbid the playing of "black music". That is where Chicago comes in. Radio stations play the music and can be picked up in the US by anyone with a radio close enough. The music catches on next in Detroit and eventually across Canada. In Detroit, they name it Rhythm and Blues. A Detroit record company, Motown Records becomes the biggest selling record producer in Canada. The music becomes so popular, that it even hits it off big in Britain and soon British bands are trying to recreate the sound and come out with their own version which they call Rock and Roll. US radio stations continue to try and ban the music and will only play country and western or classical and swing on the east coast but the public demands more and are hungry for alternative music. Finally in the late 1960s, a Los Angeles radio station breaks the ban which sets of a tsunami of rock and roll across most of the US.

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That leaves me with just one more thing; Flags. The US keeps its Stars and Stripes as we know it, and increases the number of stars, eventually to 36 in 1910 where it has stayed.

New England adopts its own new flag:

As for Canada, we know that in real life, the Red Ensign became our official flag in 1910 and was replaced in 1965 by the Maple Leaf flag we now have. How would this alternate time line change all that? Most Canadians were upset with the current choice back in 1965 saying it was too red, that Pearson made it a Liberal party choice. Many wished we had kept the red ensign. The pressure to adopt a new flag had come from Québec who wanted to push away from Britain after Charles de Gualle gave his Vive Le Québec Libre speech. Let's assume that that doesn't happen. Canada is already much more French than in the original time line and Québec doesn't suffer from an inferiority complex. So, does that mean the red ensign stays? Or does some alternate flag appear? In this time line, Pearson is a Conservative. Would that make a difference? Also, provincial and territory flags; there would be more, obviously so...

Alt Canada flags:

Which one would prevail?

Provincial and Territory flags:


Nova Scotia

Nova Cambria