Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by VVD0D95, Mar 4, 2018.
Same sex dynastic marriages in XVIII century or a typo?
I did spot that too and chortled merrily to myself...
Lol, one day maybe
Chapter 217: Rolling Thunder
Charles exhaled and then spoke. “The Pomeranians continue to cause troubles for our officials in the region and we do not understand why. We are addressing the root causes of their concerns, we have removed the structural issues of the financial system to enable it to work better, your own report, chancellor, suggests the average Pomeranian is seeing their worth grow. So, why do they continue to protest?”
Two years on since his father and mother’s deaths and he continued to feel as though he was out of his depth. He had been trained from birth to rule, but he simply felt that this was something completely different. “Sire, I believe the nobles of Pomerania want to be represented here.” Count Orlof, his chancellor said.
“What do you mean?” Charles asked. If that meant calling the Riksdag then he would march into Pomerania himself. His father had warned him against doing that.
“They want to have a voice here at court. Either through representation at the Riksdag, or through a position of power on the council.” Orlof replied.
Charles looked at the man and said. “But if we were to give them representation in the Riksdag then that would mean we would need to give the Livonians and the Fins representation there also. And we are not going to do that.” He also knew the Russians would not agree to that as well, they were still convinced Livonia was theirs, even with Tsar Alexei being different to his father.
“Then, perhaps it would be better to give them representation on the council, Sire?” Orlof suggested.
“In what positions?” Count Lofven asked. “We are so far a council of eighteen, if we expand the council, then there will be more inefficiency.”
Lofven was one of those men who had always been about efficiency and cutting down costs. Even when they had been boys he’d been like that. It was humorous then, but now when he needed to run government? Now it was aggravating. “Well we will need to make the necessary amendments.” Charles said firmly. “We are not splurging money, as it is peace time now.”
There was a murmur of agreement there. Charles felt the butterflies in his stomach settle slightly, though he still felt uneasy. “There is another matter that needs to be addressed, Sire.” Orlof said.
“And what is that?” Charles asked, wondering what fresh new hell he would have to go through now.
“The King in Prussia has begun sending out proposals to the King of Poland, and the King of Denmark for an alliance. He wishes to cause trouble for Your Majesty in Pomerania.” Orlof said. “One of these proposals includes a proposal for marriage.”
“Denmark won’t turn, the King is too busy with his mistresses.” Charles said confidently, hoping that what his sister wrote was true. “As for Poland, doesn’t Poland want Ducal Prussia back from the Prussians? Why would they ally with them, let alone agree to marriage?”
“Because King Frederick will give his daughter a rather large dowry, something the King of Poland will use for his own reforms.” Orlof said.
“And who would we offer?” Charles demanded. “We have two sons, we thoroughly doubt that the estates would want a Catholic girl as a future Queen of Sweden, and we doubt that the girl would convert.” He saw the expression on Orlof’s face and knew he had won that argument. Deciding he had had enough, he rose, forcing the other men to rise also. “Gentlemen.” He said he then strode out of the room, down the hallway, took a right and went up a flight of stairs before arriving at his wife’s chambers. He entered them, smiled at his son Charles who was playing with a doll, cooed at his other son Gustav in his cot, and then looked at his wife.
She was the most beautiful person he’d ever seen and he felt a stirring down below. He fought it off and asked her. “How are you?”
“Well enough, how did the meeting go?” Anne asked.
“Pah. The same.” Charles said.
“So, you showed them your authority?” Anne asked.
“Yes.” Charles said, it wasn’t a lie. “But I still don’t know what I am doing.”
Anne came to him then and wrapped her arms around him and whispered. “You are the King of Sweden. You are the son of Carolus Rex.”
“I know.” He replied looking down at her. “But still.”
Chapter 218: Bengal
Shahu rubbed his eyes. The hour was late, but his steward had come into his chambers and apologised for waking him, but word had finally come from Bengal. Shahu had gotten dressed, summoned his son and advisors to the great meeting hall of the Red Fort. And it was there that he was now. He looked around saw that everyone was tired and drained, cleared his throat and spoke.
“We intend to keep this meeting brief.” There were murmurs of appreciation. “Word has come from Bengal. The Nawab has rejected our offer and has instead declared himself independent.”
There were murmurs then. They had all hoped that the Nawab of Bengal would recognise him as his overlord and Emperor, instead, the fool had decided he wanted to go it alone. “That cannot be allowed to stand.” His son Shivaji said.
“Indeed not.” Shahu said.
“What exactly did the Nawab say, Sire?” Baji Rao asked. Baji Rao had served as his chief minister for some time now and Shahu liked the way the man thought.
“Here, read the letter yourself.” Shahu said passing the document down the table. His son read it and grumbled, Baji Rao read it and gasped.
“He has insulted you, Sire. He has insulted the very foundations of Mother India. This cannot be allowed to stand.” Baji Rao said.
“What do you suggest?” Shahu asked, curious to see whether his chief minister would suggest war, and whether his son would agree with him.
“He has denied your right to the imperial title, Sire. Therefore, the only thing that can be done is to declare war and to march on Bengal.” Baji Rao said.
“I agree with the Peshwa, Sire.” Shivaji said. “We cannot allow that challenge to stand.”
Khanderao, the new commander of his forces spoke. “Such a move would be difficult to achieve. Bengal is not weak. However, if we were to bring together the Rajput tribes and the other states we have brought to heel to bear, then I believe we could achieve it.”
“Would they not want something in return?” Shivaji asked. “After all, Bengal is a long way from Satara.”
“Indeed, though if they know what is their worth they will go for it.” Khanderao replied.
“The Commander is right.” Baji Rao said. A pause and then. “Your Royal Highness has sons and daughters, it would be the right time to use them to encourage this.”
Shahu saw that his son was about to protest, and so he interjected. “Indeed, such a thing would need to be encouraged. However, for now let us consider our choices.” He paused, allowing some time for his son to potentially protest, when the boy did not he continued. “We are soon to be entering Spring, a time when the people shall be feasting on what they had collected in the harvest. We must ensure we are not fighting for too long.”
“Indeed, Sire.” Baji Rao said. “Perhaps we could bring back talks with the Ahoms? Bengal cannot win a two front war.”
“They will want some concessions will they not?” Shivaji asked.
“They will not need to join the Empire.” Shahu said at once. He did not want the Ahoms, he felt they were a backward people. They would only tarnish what he had now. “Their independence will be their negotiating tool.”
“And perhaps we could also encourage some of the nobles in Bengal to rise up against the Nawab?” Shivaji asked.
“Yes, I have heard that some have been moving toward supporting the Nawab’s son. Get the two of them fighting and Bengal will be done for.” Baji Rao said.
“Very well.” Shahu decided. “Ensure the troops are ready and be prepared to move out before the spring heat begins.” With that he rose up out of his chair and made his way back to his room, his bed and his wife.
@Sardar, hope this lays the ground work for your enthusiasm
Yup, most definitely . Great work as always!
Glad you're liking it . Wouldn't be opposed to any proposals you might have for Bengal and potential economic developments there
Well, as far as I know, by this time Bengal was the most economically developed province of India, even into the OTL Nawab era. So, if anything, the most sensible thing for the Marathas to do is let Bengal be without to much plundering and tax as much as you can. Not only that, but Bengal was one of the major shipbuilding centers of the world, which if the Marathas harnessed this properly then they would become a Naval power to rival the English in the Indian Ocean.
Alright interesting, I imagine as well, that the Marathas would rather install a more pliant Nawab into power than the current holder
I am certain a purge among the nobility in Bengal is quite possible, he needs to control Bengal one way or another and it is best to impose imperial rule as soon as possible before external forces use the vacuum. Also, Ahoms are weak, according to history this is during the time of Siva Singha ruled the Ahom Kingdom. He was a superstitious ruler and Zealot of the highest order. Siba Singha was a staunch Shakta and was greatly influenced by the Brahmin priests and astrologers. In 1722 he was so alarmed by their prediction that his rule would shortly come to end, that he not only made many and lavish presents to various temples and the Brahmins, in hope of conciliating the gods and averting the calamity but also endeavored to satisfy the alleged decree of fate by a subterfuge which greatly diminished his prestige in the eyes of his people. He declared his chief queen Phuleswari, who assumed the name Pramateswari Devi (one of the names of Durga), and the title "Bar Raja" or chief king.
Phuleswari minted coins in the joint name of her and her husband where she used Persian legend, the first of its kind in Assam. Phuleswari was more under the influence of the Brahmins, particularly the Parvatiya Gosain, than the king had been. It is believed that instigated by this gosain and in her zeal, for Sakta Hinduism, she attempted to make Saktism the State religion. With this objective, she ordered the Vaishnava gosains to worship the goddess Durga. She then forbade the worship of other deities and personally supervised the act of desecration of the Sonarijan camp. Learning that the Sudra Mahantas were strong monotheists, she held a Durga puja in the capital Rangpur and forced Moamaria and several other gosains to offer oblations to the goddess and smeared sacrificial blood on their forehead. The Moamarias never forgave this insult to their spiritual leader, and half a century later, they broke out in open rebellion, which came to be known as Moamoria rebellion.
Maybe you can have some minor Maratha princess marry to Ahom dynasty because in the canon timeline Ugra Singha, the son of Siva Singha, was holding the rank of Tipam Raja, when his father died. When the Prime minister Chengmung Burhagohain and Rupchandra Borbarua, along with some other nobles decided to place Charing Raja aka his uncle on the throne, who killed his nephew and become King. Maybe you can interfere here?
Chapter 219: Yorkist Scotland
William sat atop his horse, watching as the 2nd Regiment of Foot performed their drills in the confines of the grounds of Edinburgh Castle and smiled approvingly. This was what he was born to do. He was born to be a soldier. There had been peace for far too long now, and as such he’d had to arrange war games between the different regiments in Scotland simply to keep his mind focus, and to ensure his eye didn’t wander. Of course he knew that there was a possibility war could break out soon. His brother had told him that France and Austria were getting more and more edgy with one another over a Papal election that was bound to happen soon.
Fighting a war over Rome? That was not something William cared about, but he did just want to fight. As the drill came to an end, William raised his sword in salute and then brought it down. He cleared his throat and said. “Gentlemen, that was some fine work. You are one of the best regiments I have seen in all my years of doing this. Rest now and prepare for on the morrow we fight.” There were some cheers as William turned away and their colonel dismissed them.
He got to the stables dismounted and gave his horse to one of the attendants. George Murray, currently a Brigadier and garrison commander of the castle, appeared next to him. “You’ve got the boys well trained, George.” William said as he walked away from the tables.
Murray accompanied him. “Thank you, Your Royal Highness. We train every day.”
“Good, you cannot have rust in the army.” William said. Remembering something that the Duke of Ormonde had told him once. It had been some time since William had seen that man, having spent most of the past decade in Scotland, but he had fond memories of that time.
They walked for a little bit, William found his mind wandering back to his wife. Maria Amalia had had a few stillbirths since they’d been in Scotland and now she likely could not have children any more. That wasn’t why his mind wandered to her though, it was because recently she’d started wearing slightly more revealing clothing when they were in their apartments, and when he’d left for parade just now, she’d been wearing a dress so thin he could see her skin underneath. His wife certainly had changed over the years of their marriage, and for the better. He quickly cleared his thoughts as he realised his pants were beginning to strain.
If the Brigadier saw anything he didn’t say anything instead he said. “I’ve had word from across the river, Your Royal Highness. The 4th Regiment of Foot are going to be bringing some of their mascots with them.”
William sighed. “You mean that fucking goat of theirs?”
“Yes, Your Royal Highness. Colonel Williams claims the goat brings them luck.” Murray said.
“I suppose they did win the last time they were here with that goat.” William said thoughtfully. “But they won’t be bringing a goat to war.”
Murray looked at him then and asked. “So, are the rumours true then, Your Royal Highness? Will we be moving to war?”
William hesitated, he’d not had any definitive proof, but at the same time he’d said what he’d said now, and there was no point trying to take it back. “I believe soon enough the peace that has been in existence since the Spanish war will come to an end. Therefore, we need to be prepared.”
Murray nodded. “Well I know the regiments here are prepared, Your Royal Highness. And of course the special regiments are prepared as well.”
William nodded. “Good, that is good. We will need them to be as prepared as possible.” With that he bid Murray a farewell and walked to his chambers. He smiled the moment he saw his wife in bed with nothing on.
“I’ve been thinking about you all morning.” He growled, removing his clothes as quickly as he could.
Chapter 220: Imperial Pretensions
Joseph shifted slightly in his chair. Since turning fifty he had begun experiencing shortness of breath and other ailments which he knew his father had also experienced. At the time he had thought he would not get them, but it seemed time had proved him wrong. Deciding to ignore the pain for now, he looked at his ministers and noted who looked tired. Salm was definitely tired, Metternich had a sense of life about him, Gaz had some sense about him and then there was Leopold, his pride and joy who remained alert as always.
“The Elector Palatine’s son has married the sister of the Duke of Orleans, making that the second marriage to a French Princess that our so called allies have made in the past few years.” Joseph said. “We are concerned at what this means. Though we are technically at peace with the French, their expanding influence in Italy and the Empire concerns us. We remember the power and influence of King Louis the Sun, we do not wish for his grandson to achieve through marriage what he could not achieve through war.”
Metternich spoke then. “Sire, I do not believe the marriage of the Prince of Palatine will mean anything. Johann Philip has shown himself to be steadfast in his loyalty to you, and has increasingly moved away from the more tenuous policies that his father showed. I believe that if we can simply keep him on side we shall not need to fear him.”
“Keep him onside how?” Joseph asked. “He already has command over several new road projects to link the Empire closer together, and we have deliberately favoured him over his cousin in Bavaria for promotions within general bureaucracy. What more could he want?”
Here Metternich did not seem sure what to say, indeed, it was Leopold who spoke. “We could offer him a marriage.”
“His son is already married.” Joseph said.
“Yes, but his cousin is not.” Leopold said.
“Go on.” Joseph said waiting to see what his son would suggest.
“His cousin, Karl of Poland is roughly the same age as my daughter Wilhelmina. It would be no stretch to offer her as a bride for the boy. And we know the two branches of that family are quite close. A marriage between the two would bring Poland closer to us, and by consequence the Palatine.” Leopold said.
Metternich eagerly latched onto that. “His Royal Highness is right, Sire. Johann Philip increasingly views his cousins in Poland as his closer family than those he has of his own blood. If this marriage is suggested it is likely to bring positive results. After all, the French detest the Poles.”
Joseph considered it, it would be a good marriage. After all the current King of Poland was his uncle, therefore, it would make sense that the man would consider it. “Very well, send word to our ambassador and ask him to make the suggestion to the King.” Joseph said. That took away one of his concerns but left another one there.
“That does not solve the matter of Tuscany, however, the Grand Duke is said to be on his death throes. With the Duke of Modena having married the sister of the King of France, we think it is fairly obvious what policy the Duke would pursue if he became Grand Duke. He has already taken a hefty loan from Versailles.” Joseph said.
“Then perhaps the solution is to turn back to Lorraine?” Leopold suggested. “The man is a soldier, and his son is a good man. It would make sense.”
“It would also follow the agreement that was signed at the end of the last war.” Salm said speaking for the first time.
“But it would raise concerns from France, Sire.” Metternich said. “After all, we did negotiate that deal with them that would allow Modena to take over Tuscany when his uncle died. And he does have the superior claim. So, from a legal stand point Lorraine would be on shaky ground.”
Joseph wanted to sigh, but he also knew that Metternich was true. However, Eugene had pointed out recently that their army was far superior to the French one. “We do not want to bring a war about, but we will do so if it means securing our interests.”
“Could we not simply get the Pope to decide the matter?” Leopold asked. “After all, that was traditionally his role was it not?”
“His Holiness is nothing more than a puppet, a servant at the hands of those who aggrandise themselves.” Metternich said. “He will do nothing.”
“Then perhaps we could suggest an alliance with Naples?” Leopold suggested. “The King of Naples has fallen out with his French brother, and has arranged a marriage with a Portuguese Princess. We could suggest that his daughter marry my son.”
“A marriage with Naples would bring with it closer ties to the Italian lands, and would be of more use than the French marriage, Sire.” Salm said.
“Exactly and who wouldn’t want to see their daughter become an Empress?” Leopold said.
Joseph thought on it for a moment and then said. “Send word to Naples, let us see what this King has to say before we make any movements.” Though as he said that he had a feeling that Naples would agree.
Chapter 221: Leopold, King of Spain
Despite the fact they’d hated one another towards the end, his mother and father had died at the same time. Leopold remembered being woken up by his attendants and told that the Queen and her husband had died. He had not believed it. The old pains in his back had seemed as if they would live forever, and yet now they were gone. He did not know how to feel about that, but well it was the fact that they were gone and he was now undisputed King of Spain. Or rather Castile and Aragon and their associated Kingdoms. He had to bite back a laugh, knowing his councillors, some of whom were from his mother’s reign and others who he’d grown up with would likely not approve of him laughing.
He picked up the document before him. “The regional governor of Leon writes to say that he fears there will be discontent as winter continues. The taxation burden that our Mother placed on the realms it seems has come home to roost.”
Nicholas, Duke of Alcala and one of his mother’s financial advisors who he’d appointed Treasurer spoke then. “Sire, the taxation rate has seen the treasury filled with money. Money which has been used to improve the roads of the Kingdom, and to ensure that there is clear and clean water for the people to drink. If anyone is to rebel it will be those who were done for corruption.”
Leopold nodded, he had led the group that had penalised any noble caught taking money from the people and using it to aggrandise themselves. “We are aware. However, the way the governor writes, this is likely to be a serious issue. We need solutions.”
“The only solution would be to reduce the rate of taxation, Sire. Across the levels, to ensure nobody can complain.” Alcala said.
“That would cause such a shock to the system of the market, I am not sure it is wise.” The Marquess of Godoy said. Godoy was a friend of Leopold’s from childhood, but increasingly Leopold was finding him useless.
“It is the only solution I can think of to prevent a rebellion, Sire.” Alcala said. “Otherwise the army will need to be brought to the fore.”
Leopold shook his head. He knew the state of the army. “No. We shall not use the army. Begin a gradual rate of lowering the taxes, and inform the market of this movement, so that they do not respond harshly toward it.”
“Yes, Sire.” Alcala said.
Velez, his foreign minister spoke then. “Sire, if we are addressing the matter of taxation, I feel it prudent to mention the colonies.”
Leopold looked at the man and just knew that something bad was going to come his way. “What of them?”
“Sire, the Viceroy of Peru has written to state he fears that some of the nobles there and some of the merchant class feel they are not getting a suitable return in on their taxes.” Velez said.
Leopold snorted. “They are being protected by the third best fleet in the entire known world, they are no longer suffering at the hands of that man Barbanegra. What more do they want?”
“Similar works as are being done here, Sire.” Velez said softly. “They believe they are owed it.”
Leopold sighed. This was why he had wished for his mother to have implemented some reforms and to have broken the power of the nobles somewhat. Still, he supposed it was not so far for him to accomplish. “What are they suggesting?”
“They wish for roads to be built, or rather for the funding of roads, and for the funding for schools and missionaries. They also believe that they need more assistance in dealing with Portuguese raids.” Velez said.
“Do we have the funds for that?” He asked his treasurer.
“We do, Sire. Though we might need to send it in stages, and heavily guarded.” Alcala said.
“Then do so.” Leopold said. “We also want a paper written on the best way to reduce the power of the various Cortes.”
“Yes, Sire.” Godoy said, that would be his expertise put to use then.
Leopold nodded, and then said. “Our children are now of an age to marry, therefore, we wish to consider appropriate betrothals for them. However, we do not wish to align with the French anymore than we have to.” He thought he might physically harm himself if he married his daughter or son to a French royal.
There was some silence as his ministers considered this, then Godoy said. “I believe Archduke Joseph is considering marriage now after many years putting it off.”
“He is far too old for our daughters, and regardless we would not waste one of our daughters on him. His brother already has children.” Leopold said dismissively.
“The Crown Prince of Poland could be a suitable husband for Her Royal Highness Princess Theresa, Sire.” Godoy suggested then.
Leopold thought on it for a moment and then nodded his agreement. “Indeed, write to our ambassador in Poland, we shall speak with the Polish ambassador here and see if we can arrange something. And as for our son, perhaps a Neapolitan Princess could be considered. Maria Anna Victoria would make a sensible marriage.”
“Quite rightly so, Sire. Shall I write to the Neapolitan ambassador and ask him to return from his break?” Godoy asked.
“Yes, do so.” Leopold commanded.
Definitely curious to see if anyone gets the nod to a famous someone in this chapter
Close but not close enough
Separate names with a comma.