Foreword by the author: As readers of my other timelines might know, I lay a special eye on plausability and non-stereotypical divergence points. This timeline will focus mostly on the ATL history of a handful of Great and Medium Powers, since about these nations I have a lot of research done for several reasons. i do not know how often I can update, but I hope on a lot of feedback. Have fun! Eisen, Blut und Fernhandel - German Unification in the 1860s Before I start the TL, some OTL historical facts about the man changing this timeline into an ATL, Gustav von Schmoller: - highly intelligent, became a doctor of economics well before reaching (then a bit higher) voting age - staunch advocate of industrialisation and social economist, always with an eye towards the wellbeing of the workers - promoted the idea that a society needs a fair social and ethical contract between workforce, industry and state, benefitting all - a club he co-founded, which promotes rights and education for workers, still exists today - part of the German Historical School of National Economy - not overly known in the Anglo-Saxon area (a serious mistake IMHO), but important for Germany´s (and some other states) economic blueprint, his impact shines through in many things to this day - a person of conviction, once published a work on economics despite knowing that doing so would destroy his successful career in his native Württemberg - a man of conciliation, paraphrasing "All advance in history is to exchange revolution with correct reforms" - Despite philosophical differences, had a long time patron in important prussian minister von Delbrück The Point of Divergence In hindsight, the OTL Eulenburg expedition to East Asia in 1860/61 came at a good time for such an undertaking, both politically and scientifically. And while the beginning was full of bad luck, e.g. a ship of the expedition flotilla sank in a Taifun, a translator was murdered by what today would be called terrorists, not all envisioned treaties could be closed, the end results were good. Prussia earned a lot of prestige, there were friendship and trade treaties made with China, Japan and beside that, a lot of scientific research on East Asia was done. The most enduring result was the "founding stone" for the close relations of Germany and Japan. The 1850s saw the rivalry of Austria and Prussia for the leadership (and future unification leader) among the German states and the rapid industrialisation of these lands. Baden, for instance, was well on the way to become an industrial region, but had a problem. It was landlocked and too small to force it´s way onto the world markets. While the Zollverein helped a lot, the Grand Duchy was still at a disadvantage for reaching out to the lucrative East Asian markets and raw materials. And this was also the case with more than one German state. Now both Austria and Prussia had the means to stage an expedition to East Asia. It would generate a lot of prestige generally, since at that time great voyages were limited to only a select few nations. (Funny detail: G. von Schmoller predicted the rise of tourism as an industry) But beside the international renomee and trade a successful expedition would bring, there was another bonus. Helping the smaller German states gaining more bits of world market share would bring Berlin or Vienna a lot of goodwill from the small and medium german states. In essence, whoever made that race, would be in a far better position to start unification attempts. Austria had a head start in a way. The austrian ports like Trieste, Venice or Pola were much closer to the coming Suez-Channel (which construction by 1859 was already green lighted) than the ports at North and Baltic Sea. In addition, the Austrian Navy circled the world in 1857 with the "Novarra", which had brought them a lot of prestige. (This might be a good starting point for another ATL, in which Austria keeps her advantages) But OTL Austria had bad luck in that area. The political situation in Europe and around the Med tied men and ships of Austria up in way Prussia´s forces were not. So in this ATL the history up to the start of the Eulenburg expedition stays the same with one exception. Among the ATL expedition crew is a young doctor named Gustav Schmoller. (At that time he was not an aristocrat, ennobled later for his work in economics) In OTL, the influential prussian Minister Rudolph von Delbrück recognized the potential of Gustav Schmoller in 1862, when Schmoller published a controversial, but well-made article about trade questions. Delbrück stayed a patron of Schmoller until his retirement from then on. There are several other earlier occasions where von Delbrück could have taken notice of him. According to some books, if von Delbrück had not been focused so much on the start of the East Asia expedition, he would have noticed Schmoller by then. Schmoller´s doctor thesis was so good, that it was published in all important periodicals in early 1860. One has to add that Schmoller was assumed to be sickly in his youth and started his study of economics a year after he could have, because his cautious father kept him home and taught him things in his office. Now in this ATL, it is found out earlier than OTL that Gustav is not as sickly as the doctors believed and he only takes a short break. So by early 1859 ATL Gustav Schmoller´s thesis is published and Rudolph von Delbrück begins his patronage after reading it. Rudolph von Delbrück was one of the important makers of the Zollverein, but his influence went beyond the trade ministry. For a time he was known as Bismarck´s right hand. This was so in both ATL and OTL. It might surprise some readers, but for prussian standards, the East Asia expedition was improvised and the mixture of the people going on the voyage was interesting. It would be very plausible that von Delbrück would have used his great standing to bring Schmoller in, so that the young, bright man could "earn his spurs" in the trade delegation going to Asia. At that time, sending people on voyages to prove themselves was not unusual and done in many nations. So when the expedition sailed ATL, Gustav Schmoller was with them and would months later, on "the other side" of the globe, change history profoundly. 1. A Thunderbolt of boldness "When minister von Delbrück stuck a weakly, bright-eyed, young man into my crew, I was not pleased. But I was in for the biggest positive surprise of my life. Despite his youth, Gustav´s feeling for economics and the possible was already superb. He was one of the main reasons our expedition became the overwhelming success it was. Sometimes, the first impression errs, this is the moral of this story." - Count Friedrich zu Eulenburg, Expedition leader "When the expedition came back, with some proposals and treaties they made, first I thought someone was too fond of Rum. In the case of the Japan Treaty, I thought about a drunken orgy. Then I read it closely and heard the circumstances why it was made - and what can I say? Had I been there, I would have done the same." - Otto von Bismarck, Chancellor of Prussia and later Germany "I proposed what I knew was right. Some may say it was bold, but I disagree. Doing the right thing is not bold or cowardly, it is simply the right thing to do. All our advance in history is to stop revolution by doing the correct reforms. Most often the aftermath of a revolution is even worse than the revolution itself. Japan stood before a revolution and what could have been better than to stop it before the blood letting?" - Gustav von Schmoller, on his un-orthodox treaty proposal "I remember clearly the first time all our family had rice to eat. Rice at a time it was reserved mostly for the upper classes." - Franz Müller, citizen of 79 people thorp Reiff "The Germans are calculating romantics, blunt and direct so much it hurts. But their lack of diplomatic finesse makes them vastly more reliable than the other 'westerners'. They mean what they say and say what they mean. They are good friends to have, but I recognized that first when it was nearly too late." -Takachika Mori, first Shogun of the Ausuglaishu (from german Ausgleich = Conciliation) Era "The arrival of the ships under the black-white Eagle flag did cost my Clan and me very much. It took me a decade to understand that in the end all of Nippon won." - Yoshinobu Tokugawa, two times Shogun of Japan "When I heard the news about the results of the prussian expedition to East Asia, I laughed hard about those bumbling fools. A handful of years later I saw that the fool was me." - Napoleon III., Emperor of France Guest House of the Prussian-German Delegation, Edo, Autumn 1860 "Well, Herr Schmoller, would you grace us with an explanation for this ridiculous idea of yours?" "Certainly, Herr Attaché!" Gustav Schmoller turned to lookinto the face of the expedition leader, Count Friedrich zu Eulenburg. A fast look to the sides let him breath easier. Max von Brandt, one of the people in the delegation who understood his reasoning was in attendance and from the first impression Gustav saw on the face of zu Eulenburg, the Count had not pre-decided. It was not much, due to Schmoller´s bold proposal, but far better than an uphill battle with a political dinosaur had the leader been someone else. Gustav sighed internally, then addressed the room. "Your Grace, honourable members of our expedition, I know that my idea seems - un-useful at first look. But please hear me out! Our goal are treaties with Japan, China and Siam for all members of the Zollverein, the Hansa Cities and the two Mecklenburgs. And we have problems with it. If we put ourselves in the japanese shoes it is easy to see why. They do not know us enough. We might get a treaty for one of our nations, but not all under the circumstances. And I truly doubt that it will get better elsewhere, because China and Siam have had even worse contact with us 'longnoses'." Schmoller lifted his hand to stop a question. "Please let me finish first, if I may. I made my proposal because the situation here in Japan is different than in the other two nations we will travel to. We can change the outcome here into our favour, if we do what we have to, even if it seems wrong. Why? First, unlike the other possible treaty partners, the japanese excuse for not making a treaty with all our nations is only partly right. I think we all agree after being here for months now, that the Shogun is under heavy internal pressure. So he needs a bit more incentive. Second, up to now, the Japanese were forced by our adversaries like France into rather lopsided treaties. Our european 'compatriots' do not see that in the Japanese burns a different kind of fire than in the african tribes they so often duped easily. There is a lot of bad blood here in Japan over the 'audacity' of the gaijin and the weakness of the Shogun. Herr von Brandt agrees with me that if this trend continues, Japan will look into the jaws of a coming civil war. Is that something we need? Rather not. Third, unlike China and Siam, where France and England have a big head-start over us, Japan is a side-theatre for them, for the moment. If we become Japan´s friends number one now, we can shut down the Franzmann´s and the Limey´s, even the Cowboy´s economic ambitions in one swoop! We have seen enough here in Edo and elsewhere to say, that the majority of our yellowish friends-to-be is eager to shake off the old system and catch up to Europe. Something definitely unusual compared to the other tribes of Africa and Asia, who if we can believe the explorers, do not think further ahead than to outsmart the tribe five kilometres upstream. Fourth, we share something very basic with the Japanese, the will to reach the station of the mightiest Great Powers. We are splintered into a multitude of nations, the Japanese are already united, but they lag in technical development. We should bundle these wills, because the other Great Powers will not help us, quite the contrary. Herr von Brandt and his colleagues have even collected a lot more on cultural information, some surprisingly familiar values, in addition to the vastly different. These islands here might be our best chance for friends in Asia and for an economic base. Fifth, if my proposal gets approved here and in the capitals back home, yes, we will loose some profit in the beginning, BUT the profits in the long run will be tenfold or more. What we loose in tolls and other positives, will get more than equalised by the sheer volume and ease of trade. Japan needs a lot of things if they want to industrialize and what better trade partner for that than us? With my logical idea, we can underbid any other nation and keep them out. I think I can speak for your crews, Captain Jachmann, that the new treaty proposal would help your service branch quite a lot. Point six is related to five. Herr von Brandt found out that Edo does not truly think much about the situation on the northern main island. It is a bit like Ostfriesland and the backend of Strelitz, which come into focus very rarely. We could take the Island by force or buy it without Edo blinking much. But an annexion would muddy the waters of relation. With my proposal we would get into Edo´s good graces so much, the buying option would be easy as child´s play. And lastly, changing the treaty like I am convinced it should would be a test for Japan and to us for a lesser degree as well. For us in that we all, from Prussia down to Reuß, would really have to stand together to stem the trade tide, which will come sooner than we like to think. And for the Japanese, how strong their will and capabilities are to play catch up. Not to mention the prestige Prussia will gain against Austria in the inner-german relations, if we come back with treaties for all states we represent. Your Grace, what is your opinion?" The discussion went on deep into the night, with Gustav Schmoller refining his arguments, as did his adversaries. But with some down to earth examples what economies can do with the right input, Gustav finally convinced most members of the expedition. The negotiation leaders went to bed to be rested in the morning, while three "secretaries" wrote down the new proposal. When Count zu Eulenburg gave the new draft to the Shogun´s chief negotiator, the Prussian did not know that he, Gustav Schmoller and Max von Brandt, who charismatically had championed Schmoller´s idea, were writing history far above the estimated measure. And more, while zu Eulenburg would not be alive to see it, Schmoller and von Brandt would live through the early days, where their ideas how to make economic treaties would be a blueprint for many major nations. The Shogun´s residence, Edo, next evening Iemochi Tokugawa was a very young shogun and got the office during a very difficult time for Japan. Nippon´s long time being sealed off (bakufu) had made them vulnerable to more advanced nations. So in a mixture of juvenile inexperience and very limited options, the Shogunate government was forced to sign several very unfair treaties, which undermined their position in Japan. It was an open secret that the Tenno saw the anti-Shogun movement with much goodwill and might one day try to wrest back the reigns of government from the Shogun. Japan was beginning to get instable. At just this time now, came a new group of western gaijin wanting to close a treaty. And not only that, they wanted to sign a multitude of treaties for related nations as well, around three dozen nations in all! Their great bluntness was unusual, but it made them far more palatable than the smooth-talking, backhanded westerners who had visited Japan before. Still, it was impossible to sign the batch of treaties the Prussians wanted. The internal outcry after hearing that the Shogun had signed treaties with dozens of unknown nations would stoke a fire in the population not needed. It was to Iemochi´s great surprise, that one day the leader of his negotiation team came to him only minutes after opening a new negotiation day. And it was far more unusual for Iemochi to see the stoic Samurai in something like a slight daze. "My Shogun, the Prussians changed their treaty proposal, vastly so. We need your highness in attendance." When they reached the chambers, there was a young Prussian or some prussian-related young man, only few years older than the Shogun himself, sitting beside the leader he already knew. The following hours would be burned into the brain of the Shogun until his dying breath. The young German named Schmoller made a rather insightful spoken report on the conditions in Japan as the Prussians saw it, brusquely stating that while Prussia and the other german nations really wanted to be friends of Japan, they wanted a profit out of that too and because they wanted friendship in the first place, the german states wanted to help Japan before a civil war broke out. For that reason, they, the prussian delegation in the name of all associated german states, wanted to make Japan a bona fide offer, one Nippon would never get from other Europeans or the Americans. For the ratification of Trade and Friendship treaties with every german state represented by the prussian delegation and following that intensive political and cultural exchange between said nations and Japan, Nippon was offered a 10 years probationary membership in the Zollverein, the German Customs Union. All duties, all rights as befitting any other member state. On probation basis, so that both sides could become accustomed to each other and see, if the membership will be as positive as assumed. If after 10 years somebody was not pleased, the membership could be lifted, no hard feelings. If after that period all sides were satisfied with the general direction, the membership would become permanent automatically. This proposal was a one time offer, the Shogunate could take it or leave it. Iemochi now understood why his delegation had been stunned, he was stunned himself. The Shogun was no economist, but he know this was big, really big. If the longnoses were true to their word, Japan would gain entry into an important market zone and access to markets it would take many years longer if done alone. The Shogun instinctively knew, that this was bigger than he was. The conservatives among his own forces would cry out, because it would be the definite end of the, in reality now rather porous, isolation of Nippon. But fair treaties with more than thirty states could cement his reign again in the eyes of the public. Now what should he do? Iemochi did, what Schmoller, zu Eulenburg and von Brandt, had hoped the young man would do. It had been still morning when the Shogun sent a currier to Tenno Komei in Kyoto, with the message that his Highness should come to Edo at best possible speed. A matter of vast importance needed his presence. The prussian delegation saw no problem with the wait until the Tenno came, the broader the political base involved the better it would be for acceptance. Iemochi Tokugawa sank into a deep slumber, still debating in his brain if he made a fatal mistake or the move to his entrance into the history books. Southern bastion of Castle Edo, Edo, several days later The 121st Tenno of Japan, Komei, was walking leisurely the vast grounds of Nippon´s biggest Castle, his entourage close by. He needed time to think and deliberate with his advisors. Komei was glad that the arrogant Shogunate had been forced by the circumstances to consult him again. He could feel it, the days of the old Shogunate were numbered now. He himself had worked diligently behind the scenes to bring down the calcified government in Edo. There was a steadily growing number of dissatisfied Samurai and other important persons flocking to the Emperor´s side. In a not too far future Komei could make his move. But now the prusso-german offer had given him a conundrum. It was clear to the Tenno, that Japan would get such a good proposal not often, if ever again. Doing it would push forward not only his own agenda, but such a number of well-made treaties would stabilize the Shogun, if not his other government departments. And he had another thing to consider. Among his followers was a rather large group of nationalists, who wanted nothing more than to kick out the gaijin for their unfair treaties they forced on Nippon. It would be a long, stony road to convince them that not all foreigners were scum. Convince them that... in this moment the Tenno recognized that he already made his decision. The offer by the longnoses delegation could be the key to Nippon´s rise in station in the modern world, that was sure. And maybe he could focus the fervour of his most zealous followers on specific nations of foreigners. Somehow Komei was rather convinced that the Prussians would have few problems if for example the French were among those groups kicked out. Hai (Yes), no matter the enmity between him and the Shogun, the offer they had was too good to not ratify. With that the Tenno turned around to walk to the main buildings again. Castle Edo, Edo, 14th October 1860 Albert Berg made a lithography that day which would become one of the most important regarded pictures of the 19th century. On a long table, laying in neat rows, over sixty sealed treaties could be seen. Always the german and japanese language original friendship, shipping and trade drawing ups for the nations represented and in the center, the two most important ones. The german and the japanese language counterparts of the Zollverein treaty. The for now temporary membership of Japan in the Zollverein made a lot of modifications to the Eulenburg mission necessary. It was the time several persons became footnotes in history, important ones nevertheless. A Herr Krüger, his given name lost in time, was the provisory accountant for the japanese Zollverein headquarters until 1862. The otherwise unremarkable dutch merchantman "Leeuwarden" had it´s fifteen minutes of fame, when it was chartered by zu Eulenburg as a tender for the returning SMS Thetis. Eduard Jachmann, who would become famous in his own right years later, led the SMS Arkona and SMS Elbe to China, while zu Eulenburg, Schmoller and von Brandt would return home on SMS Thetis. Yasunori Takeuchi with an entourage of 34 people, would travel to Prussia and Europe as a mixture of ambassador and researcher. His books on Europe would not only become widely read in Japan, but in Europe and North-America as well.