21 July 2014

Money Monday #4 - Certificado de Mercadoria (1970)



After the devastation of the Third World War the northern hemisphere was in ruins and the global weather patterns had shifted. The global economy suffered a catastrophic collapse leaving the surviving nations in chaos. Brazil made major changes in an attempt to avoid its own collapse. Surviving elements of the United States Navy would regularly use Brazilian ports in the years after the war. Since most currencies had collapsed the Americans had to pay for Brazilian help by helping their hosts maintain order.

As the turmoil began to slowly decline there was need of a stable currency to boost the sluggish economy. The Brazilain Real was experiencing extreme inflation and a loss of confidence. Local communities attempted to create their own currencies, some fiat, others based off labor. One of the more successful ones was the Certificado de Mercadoria (CM).

The CM was backed by the value of commodities that were supposed to be held in warehouses near major population centers. The certificates could be exchanged for the commodities listed on them at any time from these warehouses. This gave the certificates value and helped to counter the affects of inflation on the other currencies.

Every four to eight months a new series of certificates was issued. The new issue would have different exchange rates for commodities and some of the items listed on prior certificates would be removed while others added depending on supply. When a new issue was made older certificates were still good. This would lead to some confusion in exchanges but nobody wanted a currency that was only good for less than a year.

The Certificado de Mercadoria pictured above is from the second issuance of 1970.

The CM program was wrought with corruption, shortages of commodities, and other problems. However, it was still the most successful currency during in Brazil during the aftermath of the war. The last series for the CM was issued in 1981 and all outstanding certificates had to be redeemed by 1985 after the economy of South America recovered to a point where more traditional monies would function.

The text on the certificate reads: This Certificate of Merchandise allows access of commodities from the São Paulo storage facility as listed below. The exchange rate for this series (1970B) is based off ten-thousand (10,000) units.
Wheat 7,600 kg
Rice 7,250 kg
Sugar 2,000 kg
Coffee 120 kg
Corn 8,200 kg
Cotton 450 kg
Cement 17,000 kg
Copper 150 kg
Iron 8,000 kg
Aluminum 120 kg
Wool 80 kg
Peanuts 375 kg

This particular 1,000 CM certificate was exchanged in São Paulo during July 1974 by a construction company for 1,700 kg of cement.


The inspiration for this certificate comes from the Exeter Constant. Some information on that can be found at The History of Local Currency and in an article at Mother Earth News, The Causes of Inflation and a Commodity-Based Currency.

I designed a more colorful note and created it for a post-WWIII Brazil that was attempting to survive the collapse of the global economy. I used bits of an old one silver dollar bill from the US, as well as a $1,000 and $100 bill for elements of this design. I also copied a portion of a Brazilian bill for the top logo. Some color changes and other tweaks completed the design.

18 July 2014

Friday Flag - People's Republic of Sweden


Sweden suffered greatly during the Great War. A British blockade and Russian invasion devastated the country to such a point that the government collapsed towards the end of the conflict in April 1896.

By the end of 1896 Sweden was proclaimed a People's Republic. The German Empire did not like having a communist country so close to it so they supported an Danish conquest of Ostlandet in a war from 30 January 1899 to 31 May 1899. During those few months Germany and Norway helped Denmark annex a portion of Swedish territory.

Germany and Norway again invaded the People's Republic of Sweden on 1 June 1904 to add a stretch of Swedish territory to Norway. Having never recovered fully from the Great War much less the Danish Conquest of Ostlandet, the Swedes were forced to surrender on 3 July 1905 with the loss of additional territory. The territory gained by Norway included Nord-Noreg and Trøndelag.

12 July 2014

Uzay Savaşi Character Profile - Lokmaka


In the 1977 film, Uzay Savaşi, not much was revealed about the Kirmizitavşanan smuggler, Lokmaka. He never spoke Turkish, always communicating in his native language which sounded more like a rat squeaking than a fierce warrior. Despite this, his alien appearance, skill at fighting, and action figures make the big red bunny-man popular with fans of the film.

Much of the original history and background for the character was reveled in the novelization of the film. He grew up on the planet Kir'Kirmiz to one of the equatorial tribes. His larger size and strength allowed him to maintain some freedom in the harsh lands of his people, but he never felt the desire to become the chieftain. He was also intelligent and did not see the point of becoming the ruler of his trim when all the tribes of Kir'Kirmiz were slaves of the İmparatorluğun.

He fled his home planet and acquired his own small transport ship. He become a smuggler, bringing weapons or forbidden luxury items to the desperate people of İmparatorluğun space. During these years is when he first encountered and befriended Berkant, a member of the Blue Stars. He also obtained his favorite weapon, a battle glaive with a built-in laser gun.

Lokmaka's portrayal in the other two films of the series was not much different than in Uzay Savaşi, a loyal friend with no major character developments on screen. The lack of ability to speak so so the audience could understand him was the main factor leading to the shallowness of his character. Where he failed as a character in the films he thrived in comic books and novels, remaining a favorite of many fans.

11 July 2014

Friday Flag - Republic of Bangladesh



I sifted through my old notes for tabletop role-playing games I have run in the past looking for any flags I may have designed. I found an old version of this one, the Republic of Bangladesh. The world it come from is totally ASB. It was a game where the players were super-powered villains with various nefarious plans. In the mid-1990s China and the US went to war leaving them both, and western Europe, nearly totally destroyed. The Russian Federation became the anchor for civilization for a number of years.

During this time Bangladesh had more than its fair share of super-inventors. They could take scrap out of a junkyard and turn it into wondrous technological devices. It did not take long for them to dominate southern Asia and eventually northern Africa.

04 July 2014

Friday Flag - USA


Welcome to this week's alternate history flag. Given that it is Independence Day here in the USA I decided to create an alternate flag for America. At first I considered one with an additional stripe and star for a timeline where Quebec was successfully added to the new nation, but instead I went with the theme of just changing the layout of the original flag.

Upon completion I found it bears a striking resemblance to a flag designed by John Shaw, his having eight-pointed stars instead of my five-pointed. Shaw's flag also had different dimensions, being a bit longer than most standard flags.

I hope all my readers, no matter which country they live in, have a great day and an even more awesome weekend!

01 July 2014

June 2014 Activity

Thought it would be interesting to take a look at some of the blog's stats for the last month.

TOP NINE POSTS FOR 2014
1) Book Review - Afrika Reich
2) Roman Conquest of Arabia Felix
3) Assassination in Sarajevo
4) Top Flag Championship 2014 Round Two
5) Friday Flag - Union of Arab Republics
6) Friday Flag - Sino-Soviet Alliance
7) Kingdom of Alaska
8) All History is Alternate History
9) Friday Flag - UN Battle Flag

TOP NINE ORIGIN COUNTRIES OF VISITORS
1) United States
2) Ukraine
3) Germany
4) France
5) United Kingdom
6) Canada
7) Denmark
8) Turkey
9) Russia

LOOKING FORWARD
I'm planning to do some more book reviews this summer. I'm making notes as I re-read portions of alternate history fiction I've read over the years.

I have a few more timelines to develop. It's taking a little longer than normal because I'm doing some extra research to make them a little more believable.

My new cartography software has a bit of a learning curve. Hopefully I'll be able to make some nice maps later this year.

Also, I want to further develop existing timeines I've created here. Are there any that you find particularly interesting? If so leave a comment and I'll consider pushing them up the list of things to do.

29 June 2014

This Week in Alternate Histories - June 23 to June 29


JUNE 23
Alt-Timeline: Travaillis Republique Democratique
Year: 2014
The Brittany region of France finally achieves independence. Since the end of the war over sixty years ago Brittany had recovered more quickly and was more open to working with the UK & USA. On June 23 the Grand Alliance of Europe recognizes Brittany as an independent nation over French protests.


JUNE 24
Alt-Timeline: Alexander's Earth
Year: 2151 native calendar (AD 1820)
Nearly fifteen years after the Unknown War devastated the Earth, the inhabitants of Almazangrad emerge from their underground city and begin to explore the desolate area around their settlement. Initial explorations show only slightly elevated background radiation in the area around the city giving hope to the survivors of expansion and accumulation of desperately needed resources.

JUNE 25
Alt-Timeline: Alternate Great Lakes
Year: 1788
Virginia becomes the 9th state to ratify the US Constitution. Saint Lawrence has refused to join the new union.

JUNE 26
Alt-Timeline: Sino-Soviet Alliance
Year: 1945
The United Nations charter is signed. A controversial section of the charter allows for a formation of a UN military which would cause trouble when the Soviet Union fails to utilize its veto power at the start of the Korean War. In the future this would be seen as the primary weakness of the new organization and the rise of a more powerful international communist organization in the '50s.

JUNE 27
Alt-Timeline: British North America
Year: 1768
The Treaty of Fort Stanwix is signed between the British and the Iroquois Confederacy. It establishes the borders of Iroquois territory and creates provisions for the British to enforce violations by colonists.

JUNE 28
Alt-Timeline: Campi Flegrei
Year: 1955
A major Nazi air attack with most of their jet fighters breaks the back of the Red Army at the start of the Battle of Radom. This battle marked the limit of the Russian advance into Germany territory.

JUNE 29
Alt-Timeline: World War III
Year: 1963
An agreement is finalized with President João Goulart of Brazil and elements of the US Navy to use Brazilian ports for resupply in the aftermath of the nuclear exchange sparked by the Cuban Missile Crisis. The chaos of the global war and shifting weather patterns is causing problems worldwide, but the presence of the Navy vessels helps stabilize the ports and stimulates economic activity.
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