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Raphael: "Most men stoke their imagination of what lies beyond the ocean sea with stories of quick routes to Cipango and Cathay... But Christoffa's maps tell another tale, one the Templars know quite well... legends of an intermediate land as large as our own."
Ezio: "Another continent?"
Raphael: "A new world, Ezio..."
Raphael Sánchez revealing to Ezio Auditore the contents of Christoffa's atlas, 1491[src]
AC-AltairMalikMap

Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad discovering the Americas through the Apple of Eden.

The Americas, formerly known popularly as the New World, is a continent that comprises almost the entirety of the land of the Western Hemisphere of Earth. The giant landmass is traditionally divided into two constituents, North America and South America, both of which more commonly receive the appellation of continent instead. To its west is the vast Pacific Ocean and to the east, the Atlantic Ocean that serves as its divide from the Eastern Hemisphere.

Though it was home to several powerful civilizations such as the Maya, the Inca, and the Aztecs, for the great majority of human history, it was unknown to virtually everyone in Europe, Asia, and Africa. The Atlantic Ocean served as a natural barrier that segregated the peoples of the two landmasses, and only select members of the Assassin Brotherhood were aware of its existence.

This changed in 1492 when the voyage of Italian explorer Christopher Columbus, guided by the maps of Ottoman cartographer Piri Reis publicly exposed the existence of the continent to the majority of Europeans for the first time. A flurry of colonialism by European powers followed, and nations such as England, Spain, and France rushed to claim territory in the landmass in a contest for resources. With little respect to the rights of technologically inferior peoples which preceded them, entire populations of indigenous Americans were wiped out in the ensuing centuries of conquest.

In the meantime, the Assassins and the Templars extended their operations to the continent as well, establishing new guilds and rites as their millennia-long conflict continued to rage on. In the modern times, the Americas is host to many prominent nations that are the legacy of European colonialism, including Canada, Mexico, Cuba, Brazil, Peru, and the superpower of the United States of America.

HistoryEdit

Isu eraEdit

Under the Isu, the Americas was the site of many of their Temples, most notably the Grand Temple near modern-day Turin, New York that served as the central facility where the Capitoline Triad worked to devise solutions to save themselves from the impending solar cataclysm.[1] Other complexes included the Observatory, a surveillance center in Hispaniola;[2] a vault under what would later become Chichen Itza that held the Prophecy Disks;[3] and a series of infrastructure that stabilized the planet's crust.[4]

After the Isu civilization collapsed in 75,000 BCE by their failure to prevent the cataclysm and the revolution of humans, the surviving humans proliferated freely, no longer under the dominion of their creators. For the following millennia, human civilization across the world progressed gradually.[1]

The human societies of the Americas, separated from those on other continents by the oceans, developed independently and without contact with peoples of Europe, Asia, and Africa. Such was the segregation that by the time of the Third Crusade in the 12th century, the Levantine Assassin was mystified to gaze upon Americas from a globe holographically projected by an Apple of Eden.[5]

At that point, he was one of the few humans in the Eastern Hemisphere to learn of the Americas' existence, but the the continent did not elude the attention of the Templars. In 1398, the Templar knight James Gunn partook in an expedition by the Norwegian nobleman Henry I Sinclair, Earl of Orkney that explored the coast of North America, likely reaching Nova Scotia and what is now Massachusetts.[6]

Race to the AmericasEdit

X marks 2

The map of Earth, with the Americas, drawn on pages of Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad's Codex, visible with Eagle Vision.

In the 15th century, the Americas became known to the Ottoman geographer and later Assassin Piri Reis, who decided to include it in a series of maps he drew. By 1491, these maps had fallen into the hands of the Genoese navigator Christopher Columbus. Compiling an atlas from Piri Reis's maps and those drawn by other cartographers, Columbus became determined to chart a western, seaward route to Asia. By this point, the Templars had become privy to the secrets of the atlas. Realizing that there was an entire continent virtually empty of major world powers, they became desperate to explore it first. Establishing their influence in this land before the European nations or their mortal enemies, the Assassins, could prove pivotal in their quest to inaugurate a New World Order.[7]

Needing time to prepare their own expedition across the Atlantic, the Templars sought to cut short the voyage planned by Columbus, anxious that he would publicize the Americas to all of Europe. When they failed to murder him in Venice thanks to the timely intervention of the Italian Assassin Ezio Auditore da Firenze, however, they resorted to a more convoluted plan: to exhaust the treasury of Crown of Castile—the only venue left for Columbus—by keeping it embroiled in the Granada War as long as possible. This scheme failed dramatically when Ezio alongside Spanish Assassins Raphael Sánchez and Luis de Santángel helped put an end to the war.[7]

European colonizationEdit

Columbus's voyage proceeded at last in 1492, and all of the Templars' fears materialized, with Columbus's "discovery" of the continent spreading rapidly throughout all of Europe in a flurry of excitement. What followed were a series of further expeditions by Spain as they rushed to claim the "New World" for themselves.

Under conquistador Hernán Cortés, the Spaniards encountered the Aztecs for the first time in 1519. The invasion that followed led to the annexation of the Aztec Empire by Spain,[8] and about a decade later the Inca also fell to Spanish conquest.[9]

European colonization of the Americas progressed dramatically in the succeeding centuries, always at the expense of the indigenous populations. As the more readily accessible region, the Caribbean, better known then as the West Indies, was among the first to be widely colonized, with islands throughout its archipelago being seized by competing European powers. As a consequence, the Taíno were virtually extinct by the beginning of the 18th century. Prominent settlements in this area included the Spanish city of Havana in Hispaniola, the British city of Kingston in Jamaica, and the French city of Port-au-Prince in Saint-Domingue.

Owing to the lesser political control in these colonies, the West Indies became a hotbed for piracy, particularly in the aftermath of the War of Spanish Succession whose end left many privateers without a livelihood. At its peak, the Golden Age of Piracy, as it became known, saw a pirate proto-state dubbed the "Pirate Republic" on Nassau before the British finally cracked down on it in 1718.[2]

The Dutch, British, and French had all trailed after the Spanish. Each of them set their sights on the closer lands along the northeastern coast of North America. The British's first attempt at a permanent settlement in 1585 failed when the Roanoke Colony mysteriously vanished by the time it was revisited in 1590.[10] They had better success throughout the 17th century with the establishment of colonies that would coalesce to form New England along with others such as Virginia and Pennsylvania.[1]

In 1617 and 1624, the Dutch West India Company founded the settlements of Albany on the Hudson River Valley and New Amsterdam at the river's mouth respectively. The latter would be renamed New York when it was surrendered to the British in 1664.[1] The French, in turn, seized the lands north of the Great Lakes and everything northeast of New England, dubbing the region Canada. From Canada, they navigated down the Mississippi River all the way to its delta, where they founded New Orleans, a port city that would be ceded to Spain at the end of the Seven Years' War to preempt the British from taking it.[3]

Expansion of the Assassins and TemplarsEdit

As the New World developed into an entirely new arena for global affairs, it was natural for it to also become a new theater in the Assassin-Templar War as well. The Assassin Giovanni Borgia had secretly accompanied Hernán Cortés when the conquistadors met with the Aztecs.[8] Earlier explorations of the Americas by the Templars had occurred as far back as 1398, but neither were able to commit to a permanent presence until at least the end of the 17th century. The Roanoke Colony that had mysteriously vanished in 1590, however, may have been an idyllic Assassin settlement.[10]

At the end of the 17th century, the Spanish Rite of the Templar Order sent Laureano de Torres y Ayala to establish the West Indies Rite based in Havana.[2][11] The Assassins did not lag behind, with their own West Indies Brotherhood settled in Tulum with bureaus in prominent cities like Havana and Kingston. While the West Indies Rite were preoccupied with finding the Observatory, the Assassins focused on countering these efforts as well as achieving the emancipation of slaves, as the Europeans developed an African slave trade on a scale unprecedented in history.[2]

To that end, the Assassins actively led the cause of the Maroons who rebelled against the European slavers. However, trouble ensued when the Maroon Assassin Mentor of the Saint-Dominigue Brotherhood François Mackandal radicalized and attempted to twist the Creed into an instrument for terrorism, leading to a schism.[12] The internal conflict echoed in the Louisiana Brotherhood, established by an apprentice of Mackandal, Agaté, though it would be resolved by his own apprentice Aveline de Grandpré.[3] Through the workings of Madeleine de L'Isle, a Louisiana Rite, too, was founded in New Orleans as approved by the French Rite.[3][12]

Expansion of the orders to northeastern America came after and only in the middle of the 18th century just before the French and Indian War. The Parisian Brotherhood sent an agent of theirs, John de la Tour, to Acadia on a mission to develop a network of informants in Canada. From 1740 to at least 1744, de la Tour cooperated with Achilles Davenport, the last apprentice to Ah Tabai, Mentor of the West Indies Brotherhood, who set off to New England to laid the foundations for what he would name the Colonial Brotherhood.[12]

Under Grand Master Reginald Birch of the British Rite, the Templars refocused their operations for furious search for Isu relics.[12] Hoping to discover what they sought in the Americas, Birch actively promoted the expansion of the Order to the continent,[12] most notably by sending his prodigé Haytham Kenway to found the Colonial Rite in Boston in 1754.[1] There, it engaged in a battle against the Assassins that would result in the near destruction of the Colonial Brotherhood by the end of the French and Indian War.[4]

Resistance of indigenous AmericansEdit

"But for how long? Come spring two dozen men will have moved here. By fall there will be two dozen more. They will hunt in these forests. They will settle on this land. In less than a year there will be a hundred of them. In time they will swallow us whole."
―Ratonhnhaké:ton to Kanen'tó:kon, 1769[src]

With little regard for the welfare and rights of indigenous peoples, the European powers' decimated the native populations with their centuries of expansion. Aside from the Aztecs, Inca, and Maya, many of the indigenous Americans had not developed advanced civilization, and could not hope to match the military superiority of the invaders. The encroachment of the Europeans, while gradual, was constant and unending, and territory was routinely annexed or "claimed" with poor and at times, non-existent, recognition of indigenous sovereignty.[1]

Indigenous peoples throughout the continent feared that their way of life and even their very existence were threatened and were forced to cope in whatever way they could. A great many turned to the Assassin cause, finding it most supportive of their rights and desire for independence. Most prominently of these were the Maya, who comprised the core of the manpower for the West Indies Brotherhood and provided it with their base. They were joined by the Taíno, such as Opía Apito.[2] The Wolastoqiyik Kesegowaase was a principal member of the Colonial Brotherhood, though his fury at the Europeans led him to carry our punitive raids on their colonies' inhabitants in violation of the Creed.[4]

Not all indigenous Americans found solace with the Assassins though. Cuali, an Aztec warrior, pledged his allegiance to the Templars when he disputed that the Assassins' ideals could possibly save his people.[2] The psychopathic Assassin hunter known only as the Coyote Man was feared for having slain an Assassin Mentor with his bare hands.[10]

Perhaps the most significant case of an indigenous effort at combating European encroachment was Ratonhnhaké:ton of the Kanien'kehá:ka who apprenticed himself to Achilles and fought the Templars in the hopes that this would protect his people. Though his efforts led to the temporary destruction of the Colonial Rite and the restoration of the Colonial Brotherhood, his ultimate goal failed because his allies, the Patriots of the American Revolution did not respect the rights of his people anymore than the British did. His village was forced to retreat west, a common story of many indigenous peoples who would be constantly shoved from their homelands by the expanding United States of America.[1]

Modern timesEdit

With the American Revolution, where thirteen British colonies rebelled against British rule, the United States of America was founded.[1] Over the next century, it would pursue a policy of expansionism until it reached the other coast of the continent so as to border the Pacific Ocean. By the end of World War II, the United States had become the world's premier superpower.

Because of the history of European imperialism, the demographics of the Americas were forever changed, with the catastrophic mortality of as much as 90% of the indigenous population. The modern political composition of the continent lies in the legacy of European colonization, with most of the nations, such as the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Brazil, having originated as colonies that acquired independence from their parent empires.

AppearancesEdit

ReferencesEdit

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