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Report of the Spanish ambassador to Meiguo, 1600
In the three months since I departed Your Majesty’s presence, I have travelled first to our colony of New Spain, then thousands of miles north overland. I write to you now from the court of Meiguo, on the shores of another sea.
Like ourselves, the rulers of Meiguo are not native to the New World. They trace their ancestry to a deposed emperor of China, who fled his home near two centuries ago. Since arriving, they have extended their reach far south and east: they abut our colonies in Mexico, and also along the Rio Grande.
While Meiguo’s domains are vast, they are sparsely populated. I saw few towns during our journey north; I will be surprised if these lands contribute much to the Meiguo purse.
The exceptions fall into three categories. First, the garrison towns, protected by castles such as those from which our ancestors fought. While I understand the lord of Meiguo plans to modernise his forts, this has not been evident so far.
Second are the gold mines. Gold is common in this land; indeed, so common it has lost much of its value:
And third, the portion of Mexico ruled by Meiguo. Here, along the border with New Spain, the people live in dense cities:
Meiguo’s expansion into these lands is relatively recent, less than a century old. Around the time our explorers made landfall on the mainland, Meiguo’s armies began pushing south. Armed with guns and steel, they placed friendly rulers on most of the Mexican thrones:
… and by now, those lands are full parts of the Meiguo empire.
Since making contact with us, Meiguo traders and representatives have sought to learn all they can:
With tension rising between Meiguo and Portugal, Meiguo’s modernisation may have come just in time:
For now, neither party looks likely to start a war. Portugal lacks the strength, and conversely, our recent alliance with Portugal should deter adventurism on Meiguo’s part.
Nonetheless, I urge caution. Meiguo continues to extend its rule across the New World. It will not be easy for them to defend so vast an empire, but already, they pose a potential threat to New Spain. Perhaps one day, they may emerge as a threat to Spain itself.