North America

The Western Hemisphere is not known for its monarchies; the era of European colonialism ended with the establishment of republics, for the most part. Nevertheless, a few crowned heads have appeared now and then; and aside from that, North America has had much too large an impact on world history to ignore. Then too, there are a number of Pre-Columbian and later Amerindian societies which are deserving of record.

Presently, this covers: Anguilla, Antigua, Azcapotzalco, B'aakal (Palenque), the Bahamas, Barbados, Bay Islands, Belize, Bermuda, Cakchiquel, Calakmul, Canada, Cayman Islands, Chan Santa Cruz, Chichen Itza, Chichimec, Copan, Costa Rica, Cuba, Culhuacan, Cuyuac�n, Dominica, Domincan Republic, Dos Pilas, Dzibanche, Ecatepec, El Mirador, La Gonave, Greenland, Granada, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Itza, Jamaica, Leon, Los Altos, Marie-Galante, Martinique, Mayapan, Mexico, the Mixtecs, Montserrat, Mosquito, Naso, Navassa, Netherlands Antilles, Nicaragua, the Olmecs, Oxuitza, Panama, Patzcuaro, Puerto Rico, Purepecha, Quiche, Quirigua, St. Barthelemy, St. Croix, St. Eustatius, St. Kitts-Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Martin, St. Pierre & Miquelon, St. Vincent, San Andres y Providencia, El Salvador, Talamanca, Tamactun-Acalan, Teotihuacan, Tenochtitlan (the Aztec), Tepanecatl, Texcoco, Tikal (Mutul), Tlapocan, the Tlaxcaltec, Tobago, the Toltecs, Tonina, Tortuga, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos, Tzintzuntz�n, Uac Cab'nal (Naranjo), Vinland, Virgin Islands, Yaxchilan, Yokib', Yucatan, and the Zapotecs. Additionally, there are 6 pages for the United States.

ANGUILLA a small island in the Leewards, 3 miles (5 km.) north of St. Martin.

ANTIGUA An island in the eastern Caribbean, north of Guadeloupe and east of St. Kitts.

B'AAKAL A large and important Mayan city state, located at Palenque, in northern Chiapas Province, Mexico. See also, the Olmec.

The BAHAMAS A long archipelago of sandbars, coral reefs, mangrove swamps, and a few islands lying southeast of Florida and north of Cuba. This was the first landfall of Columbus in October of 1492.

BARBADOS An island in the southeastern Caribbean, adjacent to but not a part of the Windward Islands archipelago. Its relative isolation in regards to access via trade winds has given it a more stable history as a British possession than other Caribbean islands.

BAY ISLANDS (Islas de la Bah�a) A group of islands in the Caribbean, off the north coast of Honduras - the chief settlement is Coxen Hole, on the largest island (Roat�n) in the archipelago. The culture has been English and Protestant to a large degree, although Hispanic-speakers from the mainland have migrated here in increasing numbers of late. The main industry nowadays is tourism, focussed especially on scuba-diving.

BELIZE The southeast coast of the Yucatan Peninsula.

BERMUDA A compact island group in the North Atlantic, about 570 miles (920 km.) east of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.

CAKCHIQUEL A post-classical Maya nation based at Iximch�, Guatemala, in the highlands of Chimaltenango province, near the Quiche. The site is 32 miles (51 km.) west-northwest of Guatemala City. Unusual for Mayan polities, rulership was a duality, shared between two families simultaneously.

CALAKMUL A Classic-age Mayan city-state located in south-central Yucatan, just north of the Mexico-Guatemala frontier. Normally I do not transliterate names, still less mix transliteration with local sounds, but the Mayan language is only partially transcribed, and in some cases the meaning of a glyph is known without it's sound being identified.

CANADA The second largest nation on earth, in terms of territory. Since 1763 the region has been British and, as a member of the Commonwealth, the British Monarch is still sovereign here. What follows are notes on the individual provinces, detailing their journeys toward amalgamation within the modern state.

CAYMAN ISLANDS A group of three small islands about 200 miles (320 km.) west-northwest of Jamaica and an equal distance south of Cuba. They are known for fine shipbuilding, excellent sailors, and numerous discreetly numbered financial accounts.

CHICHIMECATL A group of tribes that invaded Mexico repeatedly between 1100 and 1400 CE. Their origins and history are confused by the fact that the Aztecs tended to identify all "barbarians" as Chichimeca ("dog-people").

COSTA RICA In eastern Central America, bordered by Nicaragua to the west, and Panama to the east.

CUBA The largest island in the Caribbean, Cuba was one of the first regions visited by Columbus on his first voyage in 1492. Permanent settlement by Europeans began some 19 years later.

 Culhuacan or Colhuacan (Classical Nahuatl: Cōlhu�cān) was one of the Nahuatl-speaking pre-Columbian city-states of the Valley of Mexico. By tradition, Culhuacan was founded by the Toltecs under Mixcoatl. The Nahua-speakers agreed that Culhuacan was the first to title their rulers as "speaker" (tlatoani).

DOMINICA An island in the eastern Caribbean, a part of the Lesser Antilles and lying between Guadeloupe and Martinique.

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC The eastern two-thirds of the island of Hispaniola.

DOS PILAS A Mayan city-state of the late Classical era, located in northern Guatemala.

DZIBANCHE A Mayan city state, located in the jungles of southern Quintana Roo State, eastern Yucatan - it is about 25 miles (40 km.) from the Belize border, and about 40 miles (64 km.) west-northwest of Chetumal.

Ecatepec (Nahuatl for "wind hill") was an Aztec city-state in the Valley of Mexico. Its ruling dynasty was closely related to the ruling dynasty of Tenochtitlan.

El MIRADOR A pre-Classical Mayan city-state, located in far northern Guatemala, in deep jungle only a few miles from the Mexican frontier; it is about 150 miles (240 km.) southeast of Campeche, Mexico, and about 120 miles (192 km.) west of Belize City, Belize. It is one of the oldest Mayan city sites, and indeed may be the first major city-state to appear among the Maya. The following list is culled from Codex Dynasty Vases, which give names and dates, but the dates are in short-count rather than long-count form, and thus difficult to place in historical time. The data given is a result of a recent analysis of the dates, and a redaction of that analysis by a reader.

El SALVADOR The smallest Central American state, located next to Guatemala on the Pacific coast.

La GONAVE La Gonave is a largish, cigar-shaped island lying entirely with the Gulf of La Gonave, the squarish body of water which defines the two long arms of Haiti, on the western end of the island of Hispaniola. It's history is identical to that of Haiti, with the exception of one four-year interlude in the 1920's. Haiti was occupied by United States Marines 1915-1934. In 1925, a Marine sargeant, Faustin Wirkus, was assigned to the island as a tax-receiver and general representative of the occupation forces there. Quite unexpectedly, Sgt. Wirkus was accepted with open arms on the island, and offered the rule of the place by the inhabitants - apparently they had expectations of a mystical return to power by a 19th century Haitian monarch, Faustin Soulouque. The coincidence of the given name convinced the islanders that Sgt. Wirkus represented that return - despite the fact that he was Caucasian. He governed the island peaceably as King, until his tour of duty expired, and then returned to the United States.

GREENLAND The largest island in the world, consisting almost entirely of an ice-shelf, miles thick in some places.

GRENADA An island in the eastern Caribbean, the southernmost of the long string arcing from Puerto Rico to South America.

GUADELOUPE An island in the eastern Caribbean, lying between Antigua and Montserrat to the north, and Dominica to the south.

GUATEMALA The western end of Central America, south and southwest of the Yucatan Peninsula.

HAITI The western third of the island of Hispaniola. See also La Gonave and Tortuga.

HONDURAS A republic in Central America, bordering Guatemala and El Salvador to the west, and Nicaragua to the east.

JAMAICA The third largest island in the Caribbean, southeast of Cuba.

LOS ALTOS A district in southern Guatemala, intermittently independendent in the first half of the 19th century.

MARIE-GALANTE An island lying some 10 miles (16 km.) southeast of Guadeloupe, in the Leeward Islands. The name is a French transcription of the one was given to the place by Columbus on his second voyage, after his flagship.

MARTINIQUE An island in the eastern Caribbean, between Dominica to the north and St. Lucia to the south.

The MAYA The Maya are a people living in the Yucatan, the highlands just south of the Yucatan, Guatemala, Belize, and parts of Honduras and El Salvador. Mayan history is exceedingly rich and complex, being divided into two major eras; the Classical (c. 200-c. 900 CE), and the Post-Classical (c. 900-1520). The Classical age saw the establishment of a large network of Mayan City-States throughout the region. This was followed by their abandonment due to the exhaustion of natural and agricultural resources, and the re-establishment of Mayan culture on much more modest grounds in the Post-Classical age. This page has notes on a number of Mayan polities, for details, see: B'aakal (Palenque), Cakchiquel, Calakmul, Copan, Dos Pilas, Oxuitza (Caracol), Quiche, Quirigua, Tamactun-Acalan, Tikal, Tonina, Uac Cab'nal (Naranjo),Yaxchilan, Yokib' (Piedras Negras), Yucatan (Itza, Chichen Itza, Mayapan).

MEXICO A large and important state in south-central North America, an upland plateau for the most part, situated between the Pacific and Caribbean. Mexico is based upon Tenochtitlan, the Aztec state situated at what is now Mexico City, in the central plateau. Originally vassals of the Tepanecatl in Azcapotzalco, the Aztecs (the more accurate name for this people is Mexica) achieved independence in the late 1420's, and thereafter built an extensive empire throughout the region.

MIXTEC The Mixtec people are an indigenous Mexican people speaking an Otomangean language, and living today in northern and western Oaxaca State, and parts of Guerrero and Puebla States. Like many similar cultures of the region, they had an advanced urbanized and literate culture. Probably c.900 they began spreading southward, overrunning the valley of Oaxaca. By the 14th century they had overshadowed their rivals, the Zapotec. This struggle halted momentarily at the end of the 15th century in an alliance to defeat the Aztec, but the Zapotec soon teamed up with the Aztec and eventually made an alliance with the Spanish conquerors. The Mixtec carried on a bloody resistance until they were subjugated by the Spanish.

MONTSERRATAn island in the eastern Caribbean, lying northwest of Guadeloupe, southwest of Antigua, and southeast of Nevis, all in the Leeward Islands group.

The MOSQUITO The Mosquitos are an indigenous tribe living in what is now northeastern Nicaragua. They were first described by Columbus, at the end of the 15th century. Despite repeated contacts with Europeans, they were not pacified successfully, and in fact became a place of refuge for a variety of renegades and  runaways, both European and African. A unique and thriving culture emerged, and in the 17th century a stable, monarchic, non-Spanish government was established.

MUTUL (Tikal) An important Classic-Age Mayan city-state located in northwestern Guatemala. Normally I do not transliterate names, still less mix transliteration with local sounds, but the Mayan language is only partially transcribed, and in some cases the meaning of a glyph is known without it's sound being identified..

NASO (Teribe, Tj�r Di) An indigenous tribe living in extreme northwestern Panama. They are an agrarian people who have retained a very considerable amount of autonomy within the Panamanian state, which recognizes the monarchy and tribal council as legitimate governing entities for the people on their land. They have a quasi-hereditary monarchy, with a complex set of succession rules - tradition dictates succession by a brother of the previous incumbent, followed by that previous king's son in a kind of Tanistry approach. The crown is, however, subject to elective principles as well - new dynasties are voted in should an old family become extinct, and a king may lose a vote of confidence as well.

NAVASSA ISLAND (La Navase) A raised coral reef some 2 sq. miles (5 sq. km.) in extent, located on the eastern side of the Jamaica Channel 24 miles (38 km.) off the southwestern tip of Haiti, 122 miles (196 km.) south of Guantanamo Naval Base, and 100 miles (161 km.) east of Jamaica. It's location is of some strategic importance, but also made it something of a navigational hazard before the days of GPS locators. Currently it is uninhabited, but during the latter 19th century there was a guano mine here.

NETHERLANDS ANTILLES Two widely separated groups of islands in the south Caribbean and east Caribbean. The southern group, adjacent to the Venezuelan coast, consists of the islands of Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao. The eastern group, adjacent to St. Kitts-Nevis, consists of St. Martin, St. Eustatius, and Saba.

NICARAGUA In the middle of Central America, this republic borders Honduras to the west, and Costa Rica to the east.

The OLMEC The Olmec culture is rightly regarded as the foundation behind most of the succeeding Central American peoples. In it, one can trace all the themes common to later nations: a complex written language, enormous urban-temple nexi, a strongly hierarchical political arrangement, an obsession with mathematics and calendars, a spiritual focus on death cults expressed through human sacrifice, and complex rituals cast in terms of athletic team games of skill and endurance. The cultural hearth of the Olmec seems to have been in the Veracruz and Tabasco regions of south-central Mexico, but they held the Valley of Mexico for a very long while, and remnants of their culture can be found as far away as El Salvador. They seem to have held a variety of City-States; the best-known Olmec centers are at La Venta, San Lorenzo, and Tres Zapotes

OXUITZA A Classic-age Mayan city-state located at Caracol (K’antu’), in what is now southwestern Belize.

PANAMA At the eastern end of Central America, bordered by Costa Rica to the west, and Colombia, in South America, to the east.

PUERTO RICO The fourth largest island in the Caribbean.

PUREPECHA A Pre-Columbian people living in south-central Mexico, in what is now the State of Michoac�n. Their chief city,  Tzintzuntz�n (Place of the Hummingbirds), is located about 150 miles (240 km.) west of Mexico City, and about 125 miles (200 km.) southeast of Guadalajara. They were not Nahuatl Indians; their language has little linguistic connection to any known Native American tongue. Peculiar to Purepechan culture were T-shaped pyramids ("yacata"), rising in terraces and faced with stone slabs without mortar. They were famous for their tapestries, made by weaving thousands of diversely colored hummingbird feathers togeather. Note that these people are often referred to by the name "Tarascan", but it is not correct; the term is a Hispanized version of a mistranslated native word - a bitter reference to the Spanish themselves.

QUICHE The Quiche are a Mayan people inhabiting the highlands of southern Guatemala. They comprised a state in post-classical times, whose final capital was located at Utatlan.

QUIRIGUAA Classic-age Mayan city-state, located in eastern Guatemala, near the frontier with Honduras. Normally I do not transliterate names, still less mix transliteration with local sounds, but the Mayan language is only partially transcribed, and in some cases the meaning of a glyph is known without it's sound being identified.

SAINT BARTHELEMY An island in the Leeward Islands group of the eastern Caribbean, adjacent to St. Martin.

SAINT CROIX The largest of the American Virgin Islands, lying somewhat to the south of the main group.

SAINT EUSTATIUS An islet in the Netherlands Antilles, located in the eastern group adjacent to St. Kitts-Nevis

SAINT KITTS-NEVIS Two islands in the Leeward Islands group of the eastern Caribbean. Antigua is to the east, and Montserrat to the southeast.

SAINT LUCIA An island in the eastern Caribbean, lying between Martinique to the north, and St. Vincent to the south.

SAINT MARTIN An island toward the northern end of the long string of eastern caribbean islands stretching between Puerto Rico and South America, part of the eastern group of the Netherlands Antilles. It is unusual in having the only land frontier among the Lesser Antilles islands.

SAINT PIERRE & MIQUELON Two small islands on the southern coast of Newfoundland, off the end of the Burin Peninsula.

SAINT VINCENT and the GRENADINES An island in the eastern Caribbean, and a nearby archipelago of minor islets. Located between St. Lucia to the north, Grenada to the south, and Barbados to the east.

SAN ANDRES y PROVIDENCIA Two islands in the western Caribbean, about 135 miles (215 km.) off the coast of Nicaragua. They have been a continuing source of contention between Colombia and Nicaragua.

TALAMANCA A mountainous region in eastern Costa Rica. In the second half of the 19th century, an Indian tribe living here, the Bri Bri, established a local state, the Kingdom of Talamanca, while still recognizing the Costa Rican government at San Jose as an overall authority.

TAMACTUN-ACALAN This was a late Post-Classic Chontal Maya polity southwest of modern Esc�rcega, Mexico; along the Candelaria River in southwestern Campeche State.

TEOTIHUAC�N An ancient city-state located in central Mexico, about 30 miles (48 km.) northeast of Mexico City. Roughly contemporary with the Mayan Classical Age, at its peak the Teotihuac�n state controlled large areas of what is now Mexico, and firm evidence shows that it was overlord of at least one Mayan state (Tikal) for a time. The remains of the capitol are the most impressive in North America; there are a great many enormous pyramids, temples, and palaces, and considerable evidence of commercial centers and a foreigner's quarter.

The TEPANECATL A Nahuatl Empire in central Mexico; successors to the Toltec, and precursors to the Aztec.

TEXCOCO A city-state in central Mexico, east of present-day Mexico City. Its inhabitants were a Nahuatl speaking group subservient to the Tepanecatl. After 1428, they were independent, but were swiftly overshadowed by their Aztec neighbors in nearby Tenochtitlan.

The TLAXCALTEC A Nahuatl people dwelling in a region of Mexico which still bears their name, the State of Tlaxcala, at no great distance east of Mexico City.

TOBAGO The smaller of the two islands making up the modern state of Trinidad and Tobago

The TOLTEC Located in central Mexico, this Nahuatl people built an Empire which was an early precursor to the Aztec state.

TONINA A Classic-age Mayan city-state, located in Chiapas State, Mexico.

TORTUGA An island lying off the north coast of Haiti.

TRINIDAD and TOBAGO Two islands adjacent to the South American coast (Venezuela), in the extreme southeastern corner of the Caribbean.

TURKS and CAICOS ISLANDS Two closely associated groups of islands extending immediately to the southeast of the Bahamas, and north of Hispaniola.

UAC CAB'NAL (Saal) A Mayan city-state, located at Naranjo, on the modern frontier between northeastern Guatemala and Belize. Saal is the name of the kingdom, and it's capital city was Uac Cab'nal.

UNITED STATES of AMERICAFor an archive of the United States, go here.

VINLAND The famous Scandinavian colony on the northeastern seaboard of the continent. Its location is ill-defined, roughly speaking it involves the estuary of the St. Lawrence Seaway, and covers the coast from Labrador to New England. The only known settlement site is located at L'Anse Aux Meadows, near the northern tip of Newfoundland. Strictly speaking, Vinland was never a viable state, still less an active monarchy, and so stands outside the scope of this archive, but I cannot resist mentioning the known and suspected ventures into the area.

VIRGIN ISLANDS An archipelago of small islands situated between Puerto Rico to the west, and St. Martin to the east.

XUKPI (COPAN)An important Classic-Age Mayan city-state located on the Honduras/Guatemala frontier, just inside Honduras. Normally I do not transliterate names, still less mix transliteration with local sounds, but the Mayan language is only partially transcribed, and in some cases the meaning of a glyph is known without it's sound being identified. Copan was the first Mayan city to be recognized by the outside world - it was discovered by John Lloyd Stephens in 1839.
  • K'inich Yax K'uk' Mo'....................... < 426-437
  • K'inich Popol Hol..............................fl. c. 437
  • 1 King, name unknown...........................fl. c. 455
  • Cu Ix..........................................fl. c. 465
  • 2 Kings, names unknown.......................fl. 476, 485
  • Waterlily-Jaguar............................504 > -544
  • 2 Kings, names unknown...............Last one died 553
  • Moon Jaguar....................................553-578
  • Butz' Chan.....................................578-628
  • Smoke Imix K'awiil.............................628-695
  • Uaxaclajuun Ub'aah K'awiil.....................695-738
  • K'ac Joplaj Chan K'awiil.......................738-749
  • K'ac Yipyaj Chan K'awiil.......................749-763
  • Yax-Pasaj Chan Yoaat...........................763-810 >
  • vacant ?
  • U-Cit-Tok..........................................822
  • Copan government fell apart, and the city abandoned, by 827.

  • YAXCHILAN A Mayan city-state located on the Usumacinta River which forms the modern border between Mexico and northwestern Guatemala. Normally I do not transliterate names, still less mix transliteration with local sounds, but the Mayan language is only partially transcribed, and in some cases the meaning of a glyph is known without it's sound being identified.

    YOKIB' A Classic-age Mayan city-state, located a few dozen miles downriver from Yaxchilan, at Piedras Negras, Mexico. Normally I do not transliterate names, still less mix transliteration with local sounds, but the Mayan language is only partially transcribed, and in some cases the meaning of a glyph is known without it's sound being identified.

    YUCATAN Northern Yucatan remained a Maya stronghold until well into the early modern era. Little information is known about the city states of this final Mayan period; at present, I can only record there names, and little else. One feature of the first two states is that of Multepal-style government; this was in effect an oligarchic republic: no images or names of Kings are seen, but rather images of representatives of various noble clans bearing empty thrones are displayed.

    ZAPOTEC The Zapotec people are an indigenous Mexican culture, speaking several dialects of an Otomangean language, and living today in southern and eastern Oaxaca State. Like many similar cultures of the region, they had a written language, dwelt in cities, and were obsessed with calendars, mathematics, and death cults.