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July 20
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Songhai Empire by QuantumBranching Songhai Empire by QuantumBranching
In this world, the Songhai managed to establish a firmer presence on the Atlantic coast/Senegal area, which leads to more contact with Europe, and easier access to gold-paid European engineering and gun-making expertise. As a result, Songhai is able to beat off Moroccan attacks, and remains the Big Dog of west Africa, expanding even further east than OTL. 

Clashes with the Portuguese lead the Songhai to develop, with European and north African muslim assistance, a naval capacity to defend their Atlantic coast, and by the mid-1600s Songhai "privateers" have become a serious problem for the Portuguese: this culminates with a Songhai-Dutch alliance against the Portuguese, which leads to a shaky Songhai venture in the Amazon and a surviving, if shrunken, Dutch presence in north Brazil.

It will be under the emperor Askia (known to history as "The Great": to many of his subjects who disagree with his policies, as "The Devil"), however, that the dry and dusty land of the Songhai will, for good and ill, become truly a part of the Atlantic world...
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:iconcheeseburgertom:
CheeseburgerTom Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2014
Any reason they didn't move the capital closer to the coast?
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:iconquantumbranching:
QuantumBranching Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2014
Early days yet as a colonial/overseas trading power....
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:iconslaytaninc:
Slaytaninc Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2014
I see that Songhai has territory in South America. How do they rank compared to Europe in terms of technological and demographic development?
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:iconquantumbranching:
QuantumBranching Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2014
About as many people as Great Britain and Ireland at this point: it's a fairly thinly populated area, and new American crops are just beginning to spread. They're still playing catch-up in terms of naval tech, rather dependent on imported European talent for deep-sea ship building. Gunpowder weaponry about up to North African Muslim levels. 
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