A Britain of Panthers and Lions: House of Oldenburg Britain

Chapter 306: A New Dawn
Chapter 306: A New Dawn



August, 1751


“The treasury is full, Sire. The peace of the past few years has been a boon.” Jean Baptiste, the Minister for Finance said.

“Where have we made the biggest gains?” Louis asked.

“In customs and cloth, Sire.” Baptiste said. “And our trade in munitions with the Ottomans has been very useful.”

“Good.” Louis said. “How will this impact our ability to wage war?”

“Sire?” Baptiste replied sounding uncertain.

“The situation in Europe is changing. King Ferdinand of Naples is frail, and the Emperor has made clear he has no plan of allowing Parma to go into personal union with Naples or for it to go to Ferdinand’s brother Philip, therefore we must understand our capability for fighting.” Louis said. That part about Philip was guesswork, but knowing the Emperor he would not be surprised if it were true.

Baptiste nodded in understanding, though whether he truly understood, Louis did not know. The man didn’t even bother looking at his notes when he replied. “We can manage a war for about two or three years at current rates, Sire. Anything more and taxation would need to be increased.”

“Very well, thank you.” Louis said. He turned then to Minister for Foreign Affairs and asked. “What word do you have from Scotland?”

The vicomte de Puisieulx smiled and said. “Good news, Sire. The Highland Clans of MacDonald of Sleat and MacLeod have agreed to our offer.”

“You mean to say they will stage an uprising in exchange for funding and arms?” Louis asked.

“I do, Sire.” Puisieulx said.

“Excellent.” Louis said. He had been trying to find a way to provoke trouble for the King of Britannia for many months now and had finally found a way to do it. He didn’t need to know why the clans chosen were willing to go ahead with the plan, only that they were. “The money and arms should be sent out as soon as possible.”

“Sire.” Puisieulx replied.

Louis smiled and then commented. “We shall ensure the whirlwind comes for them.”
 
Chapter 307: Parmese Delights
Chapter 307: Parmese Delights



November, 1751




“Financially, the Duchy is on course to balance out the accounts by the year’s end, Sire.” Guilo Ruffino said.

“Excellent.” Carlo, Duke of Parma replied. He had wanted to bring the Duchy into a proper line of financial solvency for some time. To hear that that had finally been achieved was a relief.

“I would advise, though, Sire, that the Duchy avoid any costly wars for the time being.” Guilo said.

“Why?” Carlo asked, though he knew the answer.

“At the present moment, the Duchy’s finances are finally in balance. A war would require expanding the capacity of the state beyond which our financial means are currently capable. That would mean having to find some ways of expanding the sources of finance available to us. Which means increasing taxes, something that is not likely to be received well.” Guilo said.

Carlo nodded, he could appreciate that. “We fear it might not be within our control.”

“Sire?” Guilo asked sounding surprised.

“The situation in Naples grows worse with every passing moment.” Carlo replied. “Our brother, Ferdinand is ill, and seems to be on death’s door.” At least that was what their brother Philippe said.

“Ah.” Guilo replied.

“Indeed.” Carlo said. “Therefore we shall need to put contingencies in. We do not think the Emperor will abide by the peace should Ferdinand die.”

“But you are King Ferdinand’s heir, Sire.” Guilo pointed out.

“We are yes. But we also know that the Emperor is not the brightest of people. He will think that either Parma will be in union with Naples or that we shall try something else with it. Either way he will not be happy.” Carlo said, going off of the reports his ambassador to Vienna had sent him.

“Ah.” Guilo replied once more.

“It is not the best situation to be in, but it is what it is.” Carlo said simply.

“I shall speak with the traders of the Duchy and ensure they are made aware of the situation, Sire.” Guilo said.

“Thank you.” Carlo replied.
 
Chapter 308: Darkness In Vienna
Chapter 308: Darkness In Vienna



March, 1752


“The Ottomans continue to push forward with their reforms, Sire.” Rudolf Hohenlohe said.

“What have they changed this time?” Leopold asked, fighting to keep his voice neutral.

“Their navy. It seems the new Grand Vizier has developed a fondness for naval experiments.” Hohenlohe said.

“Where?” Leopold asked.

“Near Cyprus. They are increasing the number of ships of the line that they have and are also increasing the number of guns on each ship.” Hohenlohe replied.

“To a conventional method or to some strange method?” Leopold asked.

“The latter, Sire.” Hohenlohe replied. “It appears that they are putting more guns on the second-rate ships than on the first rate.”

“So, they are no doubt preparing for some sort of naval confrontation with someone.” Leopold said. He did not know who that could be, given that Venice was crippled beyond belief, and he did not have a navy per say.

“Or it could simply be a show of force, Sire.” Hohenlohe replied. “After all, the Sultan sits on his throne uneasily, his cousins are all trying to claim a piece of the Empire.”

“This is true.” Leopold replied. “So, what would you all suggest we do?”

“Wait.” Hohenlohe replied. “Let us see what the man does.”

“I agree with Hohenlohe, Sire.” Neuperg said. “I think there is no point needlessly antagonising the Sultan if he is not doing anything that is against our interests.”

“Very well.” Leopold replied. He then changed the topic toward something a bit more relevant. “As for Naples, we have received word that King Ferdinand has gotten worse.”

“Do you think he will die, Sire?” Hohenlohe asked.

“We do not know.” Leopold replied. “Though we do know that the Duke of Parma has begun making overtures to various nobles in Naples.” That had aroused his anger. The man was making a deep assumption about what would happen when his brother died.

“Ah.” Hohenlohe said.

“His Holiness has written to us to say that he does not support the union of Parma and Naples, and he does not want Duke Carlo’s brother Philippe inheriting Parma either.” Leopold said.

“But I thought the treaty signed with Duke Carlo’s father specifically stated that such a thing could happen, Sire?” Hohenlohe asked.

“There was no such clause.” Leopold said, though he wasn’t completely sure of that.

“So, what are you going to do, Sire?” Hohenlohe asked.

“Keep the army ready and instruct our brother to prepare for a potential war.” Leopold said simply.
 
You have set off an emotion in me- the one where I want to gather all the various leaders in one place, Bang their heads together, point at a map and shout ‘solve it without war you morons!’

Making trouble in Scotland will sooooo backfire.
 
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You have set off an emotion in me- the one where I want to gather all the various leaders in one place, Band their heads together, point at a map and shout ‘solve it without war you morons!’

Making trouble in Scotland will sooooo backfire.
Oh indeed, but humans are stubborn at the best of times aha.

And ohh yes
 
Chapter 309: A Spanish Duple
Chapter 309: A Spanish Duple

August, 1752




Leopold fought to keep his breathing steady. He was too old for all of this and yet still God saw fit to keep him alive. He took one look around the room and wondered why that was. His son and heir was capable, his second son was also capable, so why had God decided to let him live and struggle on? He did not know but now he knew that such thoughts were pointless.

He took a sip of wine and then spoke. “We know the reforms we have made have been more successful than anticipated and thus they have given us the chance to fill the treasury properly, but we wish to know the full scale of their impact.”

His son, Infante Felipe spoke then. “Sire, whilst there has been some grumbling from the nobility, they have by and large accepted the changes and continue to pay their fair share. The real issue is the merchant class.”

“Why?” Leopold asked, he would have thought the merchant class would have appreciated the reduction in barriers that he had negotiated.

“Because of what they see as Dutch and Britannic duplicity.” Felipe said.

“Explain.” Leopold demanded.

His son sighed. “Sire, Dutch merchants continually raid our merchant ships, and they refuse to pay compensation when this is brought to their attention. The Stadholder also refuses to engage in good faith discussions and claims the matter is out of his hands.”

“And is it?” Leopold demanded.

“No, Sire.” Felipe replied. “Not after the Promulgation of Order 26, a few years ago, which put trade policy directly in his hands.”

Leopold raised an eyebrow. “So, why do you think he is being so obstructive?”

Felipe shrugged. “Any number of reasons, Sire. It could be that he thinks this will allow him to achieve his dream of taking a Crown, or it could be that he genuinely wants to renew hostilities.”

“And the British?” Leopold asked, their actions were what really surprised him, he didn’t think King George was someone who would give into such petty feuding.

“I believe they are doing it for opportunism.” Felipe said. “Many of those merchants who we have caught have not had the necessary papers.”

Leopold leaned forward. “You mean to say they are acting without their King’s approval?”

“Yes, Sire.” Felipe said.

Leopold grinned then. “Send word to the Britannic ambassador, tell him we want to meet with him.”

“Sire.” Felipe replied.

“We think we have a solution to this issue and it is one that will benefit the Britannic King as well.” Leopold said, his mind racing.
 
If Leopold is feeling too old & worn down and he believes his son would do fine on the throne, then there is nothing preventing Leopold from abdicating if he wants. He would not be the first monarch and since Charles V did it Leopold does have precedence for doing it within the Spanish line.
 
If Leopold is feeling too old & worn down and he believes his son would do fine on the throne, then there is nothing preventing Leopold from abdicating if he wants. He would not be the first monarch and since Charles V did it Leopold does have precedence for doing it within the Spanish line.
This is very true, though leopold is also a wittlescbach and they’re known for their stubbornness
 
Chapter 310: Orangist
Chapter 310: Orangist



November, 1752


“The seizure of Spanish ships is having the desired effect.” William, Prince of Orange and Stadholder of the Netherlands said. “They are now trying to push for an agreement over tariffs and settlements.”

“To what level, Your Highness?” Came the question from Hans van Smuts, a member of the Treasury committee.

“A decrease of six percent followed by an agreement to allow our people to settle on the ridges of their territory in the south east of the New World.” William replied.

“Do you think they are being genuine, Your Highness?” Smuts asked. It was a decent question, given Spanish duplicity in the past.

“I believe that they have to be.” William replied. “They know that when the next war comes the French are going to try and take Navarre and the Neapolitans are going to take Sicily. If they try and push us out of the alliance, they will be short the necessary naval power to challenge their enemies. That and the fact that the King of Britannia has asked them to come to the table makes me think they will do as they are bid.”

“The King of Britannia asked them to talk?” Smuts asked sounding surprised.

“Indeed, the man is not his father.” William answered. He knew that had his brother in law been alive, there would be war with Spain right now. “It appears King George appreciates the need for subtle diplomacy now more than ever.”

“What did they ask in return for this?” Smuts asked.

“The usual.” William said. “That we stop from raiding their vessels, and that we agree to uphold the peace treaties signed some years ago.”

“A reasonable request.” Johann Bentinck said.

“Indeed.” William agreed.

“So, will you present this agreement before the States General, Your Highness?” Bentinck asked.

“I will.” William replied. “And I expect the States General will vote in favour of it. It keeps us at peace for a few more years.”

He saw both Bentinck and Smuts nod in agreement, and decided to turn his attention to another pressing matter. He looked at his son and namesake and asked. “Have you thought more on the proposal from Prussia?”

His son nodded. “I have, Your Highness, and I think that it is a sensible proposal, and a brilliant way of keeping things in check.”

“Then you give your assent to it?” William asked, he knew that the matter was already decided, he had made that decision, but his son’s consent was still important to him.

“I do, Your Highness.” His son replied.

“Excellent.” William replied, he turned to Bentinck and said. “Write to the King of Prussia, inform him that we agree to a betrothal between our grandson and his niece.”
 
Chapter 311: Danish
Chapter 311: Danish



March, 1753


“The Prince of Orange has married his son to the daughter of the Duke of Brunswick Wolfenbüttel.” Frederick said.

His wife continued buttering her bread but also replied. “How nice for them.”

“Indeed, it has gotten me thinking.” Frederick said.

“Well that’s something.” His wife joked.

Frederick ignored that and continued. “I have been considering who to marry Mary to, and I think have reached a decision.”

“Who?” His wife asked.

“To the Crown Prince of Sweden.” Frederick replied.

“Really?” His wife asked sounding surprised. “I thought things were not good between you and his father.”

That was an understatement, he’d dismissed the Swedish ambassador from court due to the Swedish King’s aggressive stance on the border with Norway, it had led to a war of words recently. “I think the time has come for a reset.” Frederick replied.

“And what has prompted this?” His wife Caroline asked.

“I think that it would be a good way to get Mary out of trouble and also be a good way of ensuring that relations with Sweden are not as strained.” Frederick replied.

“I can see the sense in that, though would it not go against the recent alliance you have signed with Poland?” Caroline asked.

“No.” Frederick said.

“No?” His wife asked surprised.

“That is a defensive alliance, meant only as a last resort. If all goes to plan, it will not need to be activated as we are not going to be going to war with Sweden.” Frederick said.

“And if it does not go according to plan?” Caroline asked.

“Then we have the benefit of the alliance.” Frederick said.

“And Mary will be trapped in a hostile Kingdom.” Caroline pointed out.

“Then we had best hope war does not come.” Frederick said simply.

“You do not think you are setting her up to fail?” Caroline asked.

“No.” Frederick replied. “I will not be going to war with Sweden unless something completely drastic happens that forces me to rethink everything.” Frederick answered.

Caroline snorted. “It’s Sweden, something drastic always happens.”

“Not necessarily.” Frederick replied. “This time things will be different.”
 
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