Politics of Pangaea
It’s hard to dispute the idea that Geography is the number one factor in global politics. Culture and history are on the menu, but proximity and physical boundaries set the table, hire the chef and cook the food when it comes to local and global politics.
But if our geography was different; for example, we all lived on the original, super-continent Pangaea, how different would things be?
United States and Africa
The obvious winners from this re-balance would be West African nations who would be able to easily trade with the east coast of the United States using their new land boarders. Mexico has historically drawn significant benefits from its land boarder with the second largest economy in the world and now Morocco, Mauritania and Senegal could do the same.
This would be offset somewhat by a change in the geo-economics of the United States since commerce would likely be driven towards the West Coast due to the export options allowed by sea access. New York, Washington Atlanta would lose out in this shift.
It’s difficult to discern how useful access to the Western Sea would be in this universe. Japanese and Russian markets would be important but the circumnavigation required to transport goods to new-Europe would be very detrimental.
The War for Tibet
China loses Tibet on Day One of this experiment. The Chinese Red Army would make glorious war with the people of India for a number of years but the Indians may win out due to proximity. It’s also possible that the Tibetan people would take this chance to have home rule.
China’s struggle to fight a losing war for the now antipodal Tibet could provoke a regional conflict as they began to lose control. China would look for an ally in the region, which in this case would probably by Australia. Australia and China have increasingly good relations, economically and culturally, plus Australia would be in a good position to claim the now habitable Antarctica.
Pity Bangladesh in this conflict. Hopefully outside actors would stay outside but two nuclear powers going to war could have over spill affects. It would also be worth considering whether South Africa would take an opportunity to support their traditional ally, Australia, and also get their own slice of Antarctica.
England brought low
The United Kingdom can forget her ‘ World Power’ status as she is now a poor landlocked nation, dependant on the goodwill of her neighbours to enter the world economy.
In the short term, Britain’s soft and hard power would allow her to pressure European partners into allowing trade but this wouldn’t continue for more than ten years. France, in particular, would be in a position to control Britain’s access to the Ocean and the significant markets encompassing the Tetheys Sea. France would surely exploit this relationship and insist on increasingly onerous conditions for Britain to be allowed to participate.
With French and German focus on national industry it seems very likely that where Britain was looking to compete, they would find themselves paying serious tariffs just to transport good through those countries.
Here are some other ideas:
- A Brazil, Angola, Congo relationship based on being close, commodities-based economies.
- Iran breaks into two or three different countries. Enclaves are unlikely to survive when the southern section would undoubtedly come under increasing Saudi influence.
- Iran would become an increased focus of Russian influence and Turkey would decline in strategic importance. American and Russia would compete for Iranian influence to deny/allow Russian warships and trade access the the Eastern oceans.
- Afghanistan experience amazing economic growth due to trade with China and increasing exports to the developed nations around the Tetheys Sea.
- US policy would focus on access to the Eastern Sea and the Tethey region. Spain and France would be a specific focus in order to deliver American goods to those markets.