Magical History of the United States
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Contrary to what most wizards and witches believe, there is much more to the history of magic than Dark Lords, goblin rebellions, and such. No, each land at one time or another has had a history of the development of their magic, their governments, and the treaties between such and both Muggle and Magical Nations. The Americas are no different.
Unlike present day, the peoples of the Americas did not have schools. For many of the tribes found when Muggles arrived, the amount of those with magical potential that would qualify them as Magi were only a handful per tribe with a great deal more Squibs. As such, the Magi were taught by the current magical users, whether they are family or not. Each tribe valued those with such gifts, and such gifts were always nurtured, despite any ill-blood that may exist between the master and the apprentice.
Small schools were not developed until later. Of those still remaining, only the one created by the Iroquois Confederacy still exists in any form, and that is as a museum and research institute. The ones created by those in South and Central America were lost during the fall of the empires; the Aztecs, the Incans, and such. From the remains and recovered records, these schools were the training grounds for their priest-class with a few healers. Rarely was a Magi equipped to fight a war, as even then, the Magi were revealed as important only second to the rulers.
There have been rumors that the Inuit tribes also created a school. But this was disproved as it was revealed that the school was only traveling Magi who went to the varying villages to teach their trades. This was more of an exchange program which created a centralized style of magic for the local users.
Despite earlier reports as well, Viking explorers were not the first Magi in the Americas. While it is true they did colonize areas of Northeastern Canada, they did not develop any significant magical communities there, nor did they develop ties to any of the local magical populations or creatures. It is still in debate as to why the Vikings retreated from this area as time progressed. But it has been hinted that an unknown disease that affected Magi might have been a cause.
Like Europe at the time, many magical families saw the 'New World' as a place to dump the unwanted. This group ranged from squibs to muggleborn to even the second children of pureblood families, those who stood to inherit nothing from the main line.
The first magical colony in the New World was the New Avalon colony, which had been built within thirty miles of the Roanoke colony. While considered an initial success due to its strong contacts with the native magical populations, it was soon disbanded after what became later known as the Roanoke Incident during the 1580s. At the time, the Magi colony of New Avalon was participating in a ritual of a local tribe, the Tuscarora. However, the group was stumbled upon by Muggles from the Roanoke Colony. The Muggle interference was blamed for a spell array going out of control, resulting in the creation of several chimera monsters. By the time the Magi had stopped the chimera and assured their complete eradication, the Muggles had all been slaughtered. With no way to quickly get word to the proper people in Britain to modify memories and records, the colonists proceeded to remove any and all trace that the Muggles had been aware of their existence at the colony and left, leaving the disappearances as a mystery to the Muggles to this day.
This incident also helped strengthen continuing support for the International Secrecy Act, as well as creating a provision that after formation every new group entity must sign on to the Act, ensuring that Muggles did not discover the magical world by the refusal of one group, thus exposing them all. Any new colony was required to sign it before they could receive any official charter.
The second group followed behind the Muggle group aboard the Mayflower, sailing a vessel that was dubbed 'Merlin's Rose'. The group followed because they were uncertain where the Muggles would land, and wished to place enough distance between them to ensure that the Pilgrims did not happen upon them. While wishing freedom as well and a chance to make their own path, they did not wish to interact with a group they saw just as frightened by their ways as the rest of Europe had been. This colony was established north of the present-day Virginia-North Carolina border. And while this colony did succeed and establish treaties with both the Native Americans and several magical groups of sentient intelligence, they were still loyal to the Ministry of Magic in Britain. This influence was ensured by sending an appointee by the Minister at the time, who was to govern the New Merlin Colony.
As note however, it is not known how long Lord Percival Marigold lasted as the provincial governor of the group, as records of that time were lost or destroyed. Many theories have abounded about how long Percival lasted and even as to what caused his demise. It was only noted currently in the historical archives that he was supposed to have died before the second colonial ship arrived from England twenty years later. The Captain did decline to examine the body, but the reports given upon his return to England dissuaded the Minister from sending a new governor at that time.
This continued on during the early colonization of North America. No schools were developed, as the British Ministry wanted to ensure that any Magi were given what they termed as the 'proper and correct education'. In effect, it was to ensure dependency of the American Magi on their homeland.
The only exception to this rule was the establishment of The Salem Witches Institute founded in 1695. It was placed in near Salem as it was felt any possible incidents of exposure could be passed off as commemorating the Muggles killed at the time, as well as ensure there was a local presence to discourage those who might use the area to expose themselves to the Muggles without fear of reprisal. It was believed that any magic seen would be written off as another hoax or ghosts of the damned, proving that at least one witch had been killed. It was also a test for the new witches to learn to fit into Mundane society without bringing attention to themselves. Some have credited this early practice to the reason why the Mundane society was so entwined with the Magi, going as far as many Magi becoming public figures in both worlds, without exposure.
The Salem Witches Institute was an all-girl school, as it was believed the witches were best taught separate and apart from the boys to discourage fraternization. It was also privately suspected by the Americans that any witch sent to receive her education in England, might be the target of English wizards. This meant they would either return sullied or not at all, thus reducing the chances of sustaining a Magi population in America.
A boys' school would not be developed until 1745, The Norfolk Academy of Wizards. Even though both schools exist to this day, they remain the only gender-segregated schools within the magical community of the United States.
The Revolutionary War…
As with the Mundanes—as the Magi of America were calling those of zero-magical potential—began to grow disenchanted with the leaders in Britain, so to were the Magi with the Ministry.
There were many complaints, the chief among them being taxation. Many Magi were upset to learn not only were they being taxed and charged more for items than their British counterparts—sometimes as much as five times the going price, but the lions' share of the raised funds were being spent in England. It was estimated that for every galleon raised in America, only three knuts were spent within the colonies by the Ministry during the worst of times, and as much as twelve sickles at the best of times.
There were others to be certain. Britain waged a campaign to keep any and all Americans taught at Hogwarts in England, offering even the Muggleborn Americans opportunities usually afforded only to the purebloods. That is not to say they were paid the same, usually about ten percent more than English Muggleborns. But the main point was to strengthen their own Magi population, something that had resulted from the constant sending of their excess heirs to America, while ensuring the Magi population in America did not grow to be a threat.
This all changed when many of those known to the Mundane as the Founding Fathers took action. Known to many as the Dark Wizard Franklin—until the ICW ruling making such corrections in 1972, Benjamin Franklin was an aged wizard, educated both in Hogwarts and Beauxbatons. Unlike many Magi in England, he preferred to live in both worlds. And as he was credited for many inventions in the Mundane world, so too was he credited with inventions in the Magical World.
Some of his most famous was a projecting Pensieve, a self-sailing ship, several magical golems still in use at Beauxbatons, a weathervane that accurately predicted the weather up to a day later, and a magical printing press capable of producing sound on demand as well as the standard moving photos. He served on the Colonial Mage Council, wrote over one hundred magical dissertations on magical theory and rituals of the Native Americans, negotiated many of the current treaties still in use with over twelve magical races, and founded the Franklin Library of Magical Documents—currently named the Benjamin Franklin Literature Depository today—in New York City.
He was credited with helping draft the Articles of Confederation and the Declaration of Independence, as well as the Magical parts of it, currently stored within the Magi center within the National Archives: Magi Section.
His most famous attribute—at least to the Magi—is his part in the Revolutionary War for both Mundane and Magi. Many of those who worked alongside him to achieve this were also former apprentices in magic to him, such as George Washington and John Hancock. Unlike the Mundane side, Franklin was active in several battles, leading forces against the European Magi in Philadelphia, Boston, and Richmond, before his health forced him to become a leader of men from behind a desk. It was then that he negotiated the assistance of the French Ministry to help them.
It should be noted however that the treaty signed was worded by Franklin in such a way that it kept America out of the French Revolutionary Wars and the Napoleonic Wars as well, following the stipulation that the disputes had to affect American interests. There is some debate that the French knew of this provision fully and still agreed to it, not wanting the Americans to set up a presence within their country.
It is known that nearly one quarter of those signing the Declaration of Independence were Magi, resulting in them—and oddly four Muggle signers—listed as Dark Lords in the then current English Magical History. Nearly a third of the Magi signers were connected in some way to Franklin, either as a former apprentice or a coworker on some of his magical projects. Many were renowned duelists in both the colonial and the European circuits. This fact was well proven as many bounties placed upon them were never collected.
As the war came to an end, there was an exodus of British families to Canada. As with the Muggles, many felt that staying would place them in jeopardy, especially since they had been very vocal about their support for the Crown and the Ministry. Many relocated to Canada, but as with England, many of the jobs went to those with pureblood ties. Some have debated that it was also this reason that early magical dissidence in Canada was quickly and violently put down.
The final thing of this period is the Louisiana Purchase. While it has been hinted the deal was a full Muggle transaction, recent evidence has surfaced that the French encountered an unknown magical problem in the area and decided to allow the Americans to deal with it. Whatever happened to this problem of if it even existed has never been proved.
The War of 1812…
While some have debated that this war was about Expansionism and trade, the Magi interest was not as open. At the time, Magi resentment was still high, as demonstrated by a seemingly unending border disputes and alleged reports of Magicals from either side of the American/Canadian border illegally crossing to make small assaults on the other.
This led to the appointment of Marcus Paddington as Secretary of Magic within the Madison Cabinet. A half-blood born in Maryland, he was a veteran of not only the Revolutionary War, but several campaigns under the British.
His tenor was also responsible for several doctrines and legislations added to the United States Magi Charter to curb the power of the Secretary. During the early part of the war, Paddington ignored calls to assist Mundane forces against British Forces, choosing instead to focus on Wizard installations and homes. He stated that he would 'break the enemy now and forever'. He believed that the British Magi were a more serious threat than the Mundane troops, stating that while the British were more concerned with the threat of Napoleon, that 'we could make the Americas forever free of the British'.
But his strategies began to fail as the needed resources from the government failed to materialize. Since the Mundane forces were not receiving the support needed from the Magi, President James Madison, a fellow Magi, ordered the supplies withheld.
"The forces of America stood side-by-side during our bid for independence. To stand separate if folly, more so in these perilous times than ever before. There are not two separate enemies for us to fight; just one. And if we cannot meet this enemy together, then we shall fail."
Paddington disagreed, waging a public campaign to garner support for his methods. Despite his high status that led to his election, he found little public support after the loss of a squad of thirty MPOs (Magical Police Officers) in a failed raid of the Toronto Wizard Ministry offices. Many of the veterans had been involved in support efforts during the Revolutionary War, and were angered by Paddington's refusal to do so now. As one stated:
"Paddington doesn't seem interested in fighting for our freedom. He seems more interested in fighting for his still-burning hatreds. Now don't get me wrong, I have no love for those bloody bastards—they tried to strip my Mom of her rights just because she was a Veela. But I don't think we should be leaving the Mundanes to be slaughtered by the Brits just to attack a bleeding post office!"
The Magical Congress quickly reacted to the public outcry as well as demands from Madison for a Vote of No Confidence, a requirement for Paddington to be pulled from his job. The vote was 55-4 for No Confidence, meeting the needed 3/5 requirement to have Paddington removed.
The next appointee was Arnold Gastin, a pureblood born in England and second son. He took office within six months of the defeat of Napoleon and began immediate changes. Besides reformatting the current deployment and restoring the teamwork between Mundane and Magi forces, he also worked with Madison to ensure that the support would never be damaged so again. This led to new rules placing the Magi forces under the control of the President, only staying with the Secretary of Magic if the President was a Mundane, and even then, the President had veto power over any deployment strategy if it was seen as harmful to the Union. This would stand until the War Powers Act of 1861, in which Lincoln reorganized the Cabinet to include more Magi-counterparts to the Mundane services, but kept them operating under the Secretary of Magic. However, the veto power was maintained.
After the war, Gastin addressed the press:
"We started this war on the wrong foot, leading more with our emotions rather than our true essence. Because of the lingering hatreds, we lost many good officers to needless gambles and worthless hatreds.
"We should not strike for hatred, but strike for freedom. We should not define ourselves by our enemies, but by our nature. If we truly are better than our former homeland as we claim, let us prove so in deed and not just in battle."
This turmoil did prove a hard lesson for the fledgling American Magi government, but it did lead to the further deepening of the relationships between the Mundane and Magical governments into a more cohesive whole.
The Civil War…
While the Mundane were debating on the right of slavery of other Mundanes, the Magi kept out of the debate. While some Magi did own plantations, they did not own slaves. A Mundane might spot 'slaves' but they were always little more than a transfigured golem meant to keep up appearances. If asked, a Magi would simply say that the manpower was not needed when the chores could be taken care of by either house elves or spells. This was reinforced by the ICW Bill of Rights, which stated no Magi (Wizard or Witch) could own another person or enforce them into servitude, be they magical or Mundane.
That however does not mean they were inactive during the Civil War. Aside from securing Magi properties that the Muggles might assault—for supplies or as enemies—they were active in ensuring that the European Magi branches did not try and use the divided governments to reacquire lost territories and influence against 'the traitorous colonies'. As such, a few mystery engagements reported by the Mundane soldiers on either side had been the result of engagements between the American Magi and British Wizards. This war however only escalated, having mostly been only minor engagements since the War of 1812, which had been mainly a Mundane issue.
The confrontation of this 'secret war' ended after the assassination of the president, Abraham Lincoln. Although the president was a Mundane, he had been aware of this war, offering what support he could with the promise that the Magi would ensure 'the Union survived after the war.' The support was mainly in Union troop movements, meant to interfere with suspected British safe houses.
Though nothing has been confirmed by the International Confederation of Wizards, it was suspected that the assassination of Lincoln was assisted by British Wizards, mainly due to the issue of Lincoln send away his guard. Whether this is what occurred or the resulting simmering hatred of the American Magi towards the British, we may never know.
However, this ended the 'secret war' by turning it into a cold war, with British forces removed with the fall of the Confederacy and restationed along the border between the United States and Canada. As such, they entered a period of heightened tensions until the ICW mediation of 1906, as requested by President Theodore Roosevelt, for part of the American Magical Nation Pact which was later ratified by all American Magi communities in 1912. And while tensions lowered, many Magi in America still felt that the British were a viable threat still, and to this day, several petitions are always presented to the ICW asking for full record disclosure of the British Ministry involvement with the American Civil War, as well as several oaths stating that nothing is missing, altered, or deleted.
They have not passed till this day.
World War II…
Since the Civil War, American Magi had had very little association with those of Europe. While several treaties were made with Central and South America, as well as a deal with Russia which secured Alaska for the Mundane and several 'undiscovered' magical sites for the Magi, it was a period of isolationism. As far as they were concerned, they had very little desire to interact with those that considered them disposable trash. While it was a time for experimentation and rapid development of magic, very little of it was adopted outside of the Americas.
This changed with the rise of the Dark Lord, Grindelwald. Based in Germany and making a powerful organization and with minimal support to the Nazi regime, France began to worry. After all, many nations relied only on their own power, an ingrained trait that had yet to fall out of favor as it had with Muggle governments. But having already underwent one invasion from the area, they were extremely cautious, even as their Mundane counterparts tried to play down their fears.
At this point, they initiated contact with America, using the Treaty of 1778, which was established by the French Wizards through Benjamin Franklin, who was a respected individual, calling for mutual defense against a mutual threat. This treaty clause had never been used before, as most threats to that point had either been to America, to France, or from Britain. The latter was used mainly to infuriate the English wizards. But the former had never been used … until Grindelwald.
Until Grindelwald attacked French soil, despite what the Mundane Nazis were doing, the Secrecy Statue kept them from interfering. However, it did not prevent them from preparing. At the time, the American Auror force was roughly triple that of England, double that of France, combined. Before Grindelwald's forced stepped foot onto French soil, the number was easily twenty times that of France, even after the heavy French recruitment.
The effort on America's part was spearheaded by the twenty-third Magi president of the United States, Franklin Roosevelt. Said man was permanently disabled when rouge Magi, firing spells at the Auror force, clipped the then young boy with a dark-type bone-breaker spell, permanently disabling him. Though potions and some spells offered some relief, the public excuse that he suffered from polio was introduced to explain his condition.
When Magical France began to fall, the American Aurors were shipped out. Since relations with Magical Britain were still strained—some said that the Muggle Cold War was the second one, the first being between Magical America and Britain—the Auror force was forced to be stations on American transport ships, some of which had been thought sunk by the Muggles, but disillusions and spelled to float above the water by a few feet to hide from submarines.
During the American assault on Grindelwald's forces, a heavy toll was taken on both sides. While Grindelwald's men were fewer in numbers, the free use of extremely dark spells, inhumane experimentations, Inferi, Imperius-controlled explosive-laden Mundanes, and dark traps made them pay a high price. It is estimated that over twenty thousand Auror Magi from America were killed in the attacks on France and breaking Grindelwald's hold on the country, before reaching Germany. Another three thousand lost their lives in the struggle to reach Grindelwald's base.
At this point, many historians debate what happened next. While many know of the battle that followed between Grindelwald and Dumbledore. There are many Americans who feel Dumbledore waited until the American Auror forces had cleared out Grindelwald's traps and men before showing up to steal the glory, while others question how Dumbledore got into the fortress before the advancing American forces. However, the point continues to be in debate as it is a main point of tension between the two Magical governments, as well as the fact Dumbledore has yet to fully define his motives and his methods for arriving and winning the battle.
Unlike older Magi communities—aside from France and Japan—America has an immense and open magical community, resulting in less division and mistakes occurring between the two governments. Many Magi have positions within both the Mundane and the Magical governments.
Currently there are over forty magical schools, not including introductory schools (age four through ten) and collegiate schools (age seventeen and older), with Salem and Norfolk being the only gender-segregated schools. While most schools offer a standard curriculum, there are a few specializing in certain branches of magic, with those continuing on to college educations. These include Norse runes, Native American magics, Caribbean magic, and more.
It is also home to several institutes of research. The most public of these is the Bermuda Institute, set up and funded by the ICW to discover the odd magic and why it is affecting the world as such. While very few of the reported anomalies have been portrayed correctly in Mundane media, some craft listed as missing by Mundanes was actually magically altered. They continue to this day to work on the issue. However, no British Wizard has served a post at the Institute, refusing to work with Americans.
Magical species thrive in America, everything from Dragon preserves in West Virginia, Montana, and Oregon, to Veela communities near New Orleans, Las Angeles, and Miami. Magical species also have more rights and have fairer treatment than in many places in the world. Dark creature registration does occur, but the records are kept classified, and it is only to ensure that those that require special potions on a periodic basis do get them, as well as safe houses to undergo the rougher times.
Unlike the Mundane governments however, the Magi government is still at odds with the British. Some blame this on old hatreds; others blame this as the result of the lack of personal development, as the Magi in Britain seemed steeped in tradition. A few will point out that they feel the current British government is too corrupted, pointing that the evidence exists in many of the Death Eater trials, lack of results against Lord Voldemort before his fall, lack of trials for several key figures including one Sirius Black, and unproven rumors being accepted as fact in the case of the supposed 'Boy Who Lived' but with no witnesses to verify the account.
But whatever your opinion, it is not likely that the British and the American Magi will be on friendly terms anytime soon.