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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Monroe Republic Part 1: Resources

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   We have all seen the United States map shown on Revolution and how it is divided into several ‘Republics’ like Monroe Republic, Georgia Federation, Plains Nation, Texas, Wasteland and California Common Wealth. In this post I wanted to show you how are distributed the strategic resources in the US like fresh water sources, hunting areas, etc. These are the most important resources in this post-apocalyptic world and its distribution will allow us to understand better some aspects of Revolution’s story, for example, why the Georgia Federation and Plains Nations established an alliance to go to war with Monroe Republic as seen in episode 1x05 “Soul Train”.


Water

   After the Blackout, the pumps that carried water to the cities stop working, so the only way of getting water was in bottles in the shops, but after the lootings in the first weeks the situation gets more complicated. The solution is the lakes and rivers outside the cities. In these maps you can see the location of the most important lakes and rivers in the US (left) and the density of precipitations (right).

Rivers and Lakes Precipitations

   These are the only fresh water sources that you can find 15 years after the Blackout. It is clear that the East zone which includes the Monroe Republic and the Georgia Federation are the most favored. The rest of the Republic will undergo a water crisis in a very short period of time which will result in a decrease of the population, unless they could establish negotiations with other Republics, like Plains and Georgia.

Food

   Along with water the food is obviously the most important resource, but what happens when all reservoirs in homes and stores have been exhausted? Hunting and farming are the only options left. In Revolution we see that Charlie is a skilled hunter using a crossbow as a weapon, and others grow vegetables in the small settlement where they live.
   This map shows the distribution of hunting licenses in the U.S., which should give us an idea of the number of animals in each zone. The greater the number of licenses, the greater the number of animals.

Number of Hunting Licenses

   The picture is quite clear; again the East has the highest density of animals which should result in a long-term strategic advantage. The Central and Western U.S. must resort to raising animals on farms to prevent famine in the population or consider establishing trade routes with the Monroe Republic or the Georgia Federation.
   As for agriculture, the discussion comes down to the availability of water in the area and, as we saw above, the advantage is in the East.

Coal

   This resource is not vital for survival, but sooner or later a new society will emerge and the quickest and easiest way to advance technologically is using steam engines, something that humanity had left behind a century ago. Therefore access to coal is vital in the long term. Wood may be a substitute for coal, but although wood is more readily available, it has a much lower calorific value which makes it less effective to drive steam engines.

Forest Zones Coal Deposits

   These maps show the distribution of forests (left) and the location of coal deposits (right). Coal zones are displayed in different colors depending on the quality of the coal, gray and blue being the lowest quality, then yellow and red of medium quality, and finally green with the better quality.
   Again we see that the resources, both wood and coal, are much more abundant in the eastern U.S. which means a huge advantage in the long term, and even more so if they adapt the military vehicles to be driven by steam (I'll write about this in part 2).

   All this maps clearly show the strategic superiority, in terms of natural resources, of the Monroe Republic and the Georgia Federation over the rest of the US. So, even if we don't have enough information about the rest of the 'Republics', it's a smart move for Georgia to try to wipe out the Monroe Republic.

What do you think of this? Comment below and let us know.

Stay tuned for "Monroe Republic Part 2: Technology". Thanks to Jose and Ian, fans of Revolution, for their contribution.