A Destiny Realized: A Timeline of Afsharid Iran and Beyond

Because Canada was the actually somewhat developed part of New France. Between New Orleans and Illinois Country (which was most easily accessed from the north) there was basically just wilderness and a few trading posts. If they took Canada it would be game over for Louisiana, which is why the French happily handed over what they were left with to the Spanish.
Other than New Orleans, most of Louisianne is devoid of white people or infrastructure apart from some frontier forts.
But wasn't the war in North America about expanding the territory of the colonies?
 
I'm going to bring up how the 7 years' war will affect Afsharid Persia. Trying to stay on the middle east here. I think it will make the biggest effect on Persia's trade.
 
But wasn't the war in North America about expanding the territory of the colonies?
Yeah, specifically in the Ohio Valley (which was the site of heavy fighting and eventual British victory) and it snowballed out of control from there. As to why they made no effort to penetrate Louisiana, if Britian takes and keeps the St. Lawrence valley the French have no real choice but to give up on maintaining a continental empire, which is what happened OTL.
 
I'm going to bring up how the 7 years' war will affect Afsharid Persia. Trying to stay on the middle east here. I think it will make the biggest effect on Persia's trade.

It was stated in the trade update that Russo-Persian trade was on an upswing for the next several decades. A victorious St. Petersburg may demand more Persian goods to satisfy their monied classes, though there was also the words 'Russo-Persian War', so I'm guessing the goodwill won't last long.

Figures remain unreliable, though a Malay merchant resident in Abadan in the 1790s reported that

*screeeeeeech*

Hello there~ I take it that some Malay, Javanese, or Bugis state has grown into a mercantile power in Nusantara? :D To travel all the way to Persia from down there is no small feat.
 
Great update. I think one of the reasons the Hapsburgs get to much hate is their near-ASB levels of inheritance shenanigans combined with their poor performance later on, it'll be cool to see how they turn out with Prussia gone.
How much influence do the Ashfarids have on the surrounding countries at this point? They were bound to lose some after Nader died but with Reza's more stable hand they should be gaining some soft power.
 
Yeah, specifically in the Ohio Valley (which was the site of heavy fighting and eventual British victory) and it snowballed out of control from there. As to why they made no effort to penetrate Louisiana, if Britian takes and keeps the St. Lawrence valley the French have no real choice but to give up on maintaining a continental empire, which is what happened OTL.

But if they got Louisiana, then the southern colonies stand benefit in expanding westward. Along with improving the opinion of colonial rule.
 
Globally, this will have some interesting effects. The lack of a British Bengal has greatly changed the situation in India, leaving the European trade companies as small players in the game of Indian power-politics, though we already knew this.

Will this be true for the East Indies?
 
Which of the Thirteen colonies do you think I am referring to?
The southern ones. If Canada falls, France can't support Louisiana, and (just as in OTL) will hand at least part of it it over part and parcel with Canada. Going after Canada has the same net outcome as going after both Louisiana and Canada, while using fewer resources. There's absolutely nothing to be gained from sending a British expedition into the Mississippi basin.
 
Considering that the 7YW could be said to lead to the ARW British holdings in North America appear to be more secure.
For the time being, that's true. The Americans are unlikely to seek independence or anything of the sort while the French still remain a serious player on the North American Continent.
WWI is a big factor, but I'd also link it to wikipedia's inability to convey nuance in a war's outcome (30 Years War is a Habsburg defeat despite settling the Bohemian matter in their favour, War of Austrian Succession is a defeat despite them retaining the throne of the HRE, 2nd and 3rd Silesian Wars are Prussian victories despite failing their stated goal of taking Bohemia...) and video games (Empire Total War just making Austrian line infantry outright inferior for no reason, EUIV giving Austria an idea set that is underwhelming compared to France, the Ottomans, or Sweden), which have significant sway over what hobby-historians think.
Unfortunately it does seem that popular culture has something of a bias against the Austrians. To add to your examples, the Prussian units have higher stats than any of the others in Napoleon Total War despite their less than inspiring efforts in the wars, compared to the Austrians who almost fought Napoleon to a standstill even at his height.
The music the bloomed from their dynasty's rule is something I can admit to liking. Though it was the Timurid dynasty that gave solace in the wake of Trumps Election day.
WHY did the British never pursue conquest of the southern half of New France anyway?
Timurids? I have to learn how they managed to improve things...
How did they console you?
I happened to be in Vienna when he was elected. On the day that I learned that he'd been elected, me and my other half had a very nice day in Tiergarten Schönbrunn, which originally started life as a Hapsburg menagerie.
Because Canada was the actually somewhat developed part of New France. Between New Orleans and Illinois Country (which was most easily accessed from the north) there was basically just wilderness and a few trading posts. If they took Canada it would be game over for Louisiana, which is why the French happily handed over what they were left with to the Spanish.
Other than New Orleans, most of Louisianne is devoid of white people or infrastructure apart from some frontier forts.
This, essentially. Louisiana had probably around a tenth the European population that Canada did under French rule, making it very sparsely populated indeed.
I'm going to bring up how the 7 years' war will affect Afsharid Persia. Trying to stay on the middle east here. I think it will make the biggest effect on Persia's trade.
Iran's trade with Europe (outside of Russia at any rate) is still relatively small. The East India Company has received a knock-back in Bengal, and may well focus on trying to improve relations elsewhere. As of 1763, the French do not yet have a presence in Iran, with only the Dutch VOC maintaining a trading presence in the country. Some Iranian goods may well be in demand in a Britain that is still increasingly prosperous as the Industrial Revolution begins, but it may prove to be a double edged sword.
So did France conquer Hannover and force Britain to trade Canada back for it?
Yes. After all, King George would have to be a complete madman to give up Hannover just to keep his hands on some frozen wilderness...
It was stated in the trade update that Russo-Persian trade was on an upswing for the next several decades. A victorious St. Petersburg may demand more Persian goods to satisfy their monied classes, though there was also the words 'Russo-Persian War', so I'm guessing the goodwill won't last long.

*screeeeeeech*

Hello there~ I take it that some Malay, Javanese, or Bugis state has grown into a mercantile power in Nusantara? :D To travel all the way to Persia from down there is no small feat.
The Russo-Persian War refers to the one that took place in 1750-51. Although there may well be conflict in the future as Russia seeks to expand, her priorities lie elsewhere at the moment.

And perhaps Malacca gets the inheritor that she deserved. Or maybe more than one. The really big changes in Nusantara come as butterflies make their way through mainland Southeast Asia and from Europe, but as the next update will show, some small changes have arrived already.
Great update. I think one of the reasons the Hapsburgs get to much hate is their near-ASB levels of inheritance shenanigans combined with their poor performance later on, it'll be cool to see how they turn out with Prussia gone.
How much influence do the Ashfarids have on the surrounding countries at this point? They were bound to lose some after Nader died but with Reza's more stable hand they should be gaining some soft power.
Well with Prussia gone, there is no German state that can hope to match up to the power wielded by the Hapsburgs. Saxony, Bavaria and Brandenburg are all too small. The French may have more of a hand to interfere, though this will naturally bring the British in on the Hapsburg side, and despite being on the winning team, the French haven't done that well in the past war. Although less important than in the past, Germany's Protestants have also lost their main champion.

Afsharid influence is still somewhat limited beyond her borders as her rulers have the task of bringing the realm fully under their control. Iranian cultural influence is strong, especially in India where Persian is the language of administration and culture for many, but Iran is still something of an economic midget with a severe balance of payment problem.
Will this be true for the East Indies?
Ironically enough, the VOC is left as the largest European company in Asia. However, she is vulnerable both due to mounting financial problems and the increasing weakness of the Netherlands vis-a-vis powers such as Britain and France. The Netherlands maintains an impressive string of colonies, but it may well turn out to be a house of cards.
 
Reform in the Muslim World - 1747 to 1783
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Responses to the Rise of the Afsharids: Centralisation and Reform in the Muslim World

Since the 15th century, there had been in Western Europe a broad trend of centralisation. Feudal Lords lessened in power and importance, and the central state became more powerful. “Renaissance Princes” may have been remembered for their patronage of the arts, but just as importantly they were the rulers of new states in which the monarch’s position was increasingly unassailable. Even when the power of the monarch was in question, such as in England during and after the Civil War, the power and functions of the state were not restored to local actors but tended to be kept in London, with the powerful English Parliament. In other parts of Europe such as Russia and Scandinavia, the process was mirrored, enabling the Russian Tsar to subjugate the Boyars who had previously dominated Russia. This centralisation enabled European States to raise more taxes than ever before, among other things allowing them to raise larger armies.


In the Islamic World, with a few exceptions, the opposite process had taken place. Although a few monarchs, such as Iran’s Shah Abbas in the 17th century, had indeed managed to centralise power in their own hands and hold their own against the centrifugal forces in their countries, most of the Islamic States of the world experienced the opposite process. Tribal forces, local notables and regional governors generally managed to wrest income and power away from the hands of the central state and into their own. Particularly in larger states such as the Ottoman Empire and the Mughal Empire, regional governors became rulers in their own right, commanding large armies and in some cases, passing power in a hereditary fashion. Not for nothing do some historians describe the Ottoman Empire of the 17th and 18th centuries as a “commonwealth” more than an Empire in the traditional sense. Although Ottoman Governors gained their legitimacy in part as representatives of the government in Constantinople and shared a common Ottoman culture, they in practice ruled their own states.


In the middle of the 18th century however, a formula for centralisation appeared to have been found by Nader Shah of Iran. Although of tribal origin himself, Nader had managed to marginalise the tribes of Iran, playing them against each other as well as against his conscripted force of Iranian musketeers. In this, he was helped somewhat by the rising importance and effectiveness of firearms in Middle Eastern warfare, which had until now lagged somewhat behind Europe [1]. Nader ensured that Iran’s revenues came through himself before being redistributed to the provinces, lessening opportunities for corruption and forcing regional governors to depend on income from the centre rather than being in control of their own revenues. Within a decade, he had transformed Iran from a collection of warring states into the preeminent power in the Middle East. With his invasion of North India and the Ottoman Empire, he arguably controlled the most powerful state in the Muslim World. This did not go unnoticed by other Muslim rulers from the East Indies to Morocco, and thoughts now began to turn to how Nader’s success in centralising and stabilising his power may be emulated in their own countries.


Morocco had previously attempted to centralise during the reign of Moulay Ismail, the second king of the Alawite Dynasty, though the “Black Guard” that he had created to act as an body loyal to the king only had mutated into a power behind the throne which was able to make or break rulers. Added to the existing tribal politics of Morocco, they exacerbated the tendency of Morocco toward political instability, hampering economic and social development. Sultan Sidi Muhammad, who ascended the Moroccan throne properly in 1757, saw in Nader’s actions an example to follow [2]. Using the Berber and Arab tribes to suppress the Black Guard, he supplemented these forces with a paid soldiery which he used to war on the European presence on Morocco’s coastal regions. In doing so he saw considerable success, finally forcing the Spanish from their final outpost in Melilla in 1780. While he managed to advance the authority of the king within Morocco, finally side-lining the Corsairs in a way his neighbours were unable to, the Berber and Arab tribes remained important forces throughout his reign. While far from unquestioned however, the Moroccan state had restored much of the power it had lost following the reign of Moulay Ismail, and here at least, reform seemed to produce a lasting change within the internal power structure of the country.


In other respects however, Morocco’s march toward stability and the consolidation of the state were to take a rather different form than Iran’s. Whereas Nader had actively clashed with the Ulama, taking steps to reduce their influence in society Sidi Muhammad instead followed a policy of rapprochement. By and large he eliminated practices considered un-Islamic by the Ulama, including the use of the Black slave soldiers, while restoring the Moroccan capital to the city of Fes. Unlike Nader he did not fund his new army with increased taxes, instead attempting to promote increased trade, especially with European powers. In order to achieve this the power of the Barbary Corsairs was lessened, which in turn reduced the threat to European shipping and the consequent damage in Morocco’s relations with European powers. It was the improved relations, particularly with the British, which allowed him to take on the Iberian powers who held sections of Morocco’s coast.


In the rest of the Maghreb however, the situation was somewhat different. Although the various regional governors who owed their allegiance to Constantinople had more or less transformed into rulers in their own right by the 18th century, they still had a number of powerful interests which had to be managed. In Algiers in particular, the Corsair Pirates were measurably stronger than in Morocco, Tunis or Tripoli, making and breaking Deys. In the first half of the 18th century, the power of the Corsairs declined somewhat as their fleets were reduced in size and the navies of Christian powers became more powerful, though there was something of an Indian summer for Barbary Piracy during the Seven Years War in Europe. Algiers was to suffer from the decline of Piracy as a source of income, yet Tunis was better placed to thrive. With a considerable manufacturing base, Tunis derived much of her income from trade as opposed to piracy, Tunis’ economy grew in the 18th century. However, this trade tended to be carried on European rather than Maghrebi ships, and the Dey of Algiers in particular complained of the poor welcome his trading ships received in ports such as Marseilles. While Algiers remained dominated by interest groups such as tribes and Corsairs, the Beys of Tunis were able somewhat to secure more power for themselves.

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In India, Nader had given Muhammad Shah advice in order to keep his Empire together and strengthen his own position when the two met in Delhi [3]. It was not the Mughal Emperor himself who would be able to stabilise his Empire along the lines that Nader suggested, but his supposed vassals. The various Nawabs of the Mughal Empire gradually began to solidify their own positions in the Empire through the 18th century, turning the Mughal Empire into a “Commonwealth” of semi-independent states, much as the Ottoman Empire had become. In Bengal, the Nawab had become independent in all but name after his victory over the British in 1757, which enabled him to root out elements disloyal to him and begin the consolidation of a Bengali State, free from the interference of Delhi in addition to the Marathas and Europeans. For other post-Mughal States however, the move was not as clear cut. The Nizam of Hyderabad had to focus his resources on resisting Maratha encroachment, while the Subedar of the Punjab faced the threat of insurgency from Sikh elements in the Punjab. The hapless Emperor in Delhi was far too concerned with the encroaching Marathas to focus on the reform of the state so here too, there was little done to enhance his own power.


It was in the Ottoman Empire that the most serious efforts to emulate elements of Iran’s reforms were made. As in Iran, the Ottoman government began the process of replacing tax farmers with tax collectors in an attempt to increase revenues. The Ottoman bureaucracy, which had remained miniscule in comparison to the empire for much of the 17th and 18th centuries now began to grow, as salaried Ottoman officials began to be found outside of Istanbul. The process of centralising the government in such a fashion was slower than was the case in Iran, partially due to the lack of a “clean slate” in the sense that Nader and his successors possessed, but also due to the greater size of the Ottoman Empire and the great strength that regional notables had built up. Nevertheless, despite the difficulties that were associated with the centralising process there continued to be great progress made through the latter part of the 18th century affording the Ottoman Government more resources. This enabled the growth of the regular army which was able to halt the southward advance of Russia in the Russo-Turkish war of 1768-1770.


The Ottoman government also began to take inspiration from the rising powers of Europe as well as from Iran. She had wisely stayed out of the fray in the Seven Years War and had benefitted from a long period of peace, though the difficult war with Russia had shown that in technological and organizational terms, the Ottoman army was beginning to fall behind that of the Europeans at an alarming pace. European innovations and tactics proved effective against the Ottoman armies, who held on in the Pontic Steppe largely due to the strength of her fortifications, and there was now an acceptance among some in the army that European expertise was needed to modernize the Ottoman Army. The 1770s saw the first European advisors who were not renegades (that is, Europeans who had converted to Islam and abandoned their ties with their respective nations). In particular France had sent a number of advisors, keen as they were to cultivate the Ottomans as allies against the Russians and Austrians whom France were increasingly suspicious of.


The increased involvement of Europeans within the government of the Ottoman Empire, as well as the side-lining of traditionally influential classes such as the Janissaries was beginning to heighten animosities within the empire. Koca Ragıp Pasha was able to keep the competing interests from halting the process of reform using a mixture of concessions and personal charm, evidently a skill honed from his time in Egypt. With his death in 1767 the Sultan had to rely on a number of Grand Viziers of lesser ability who could not persuade the Janissaries and Ulama to so easily accept the radical reforms. In the wake of the difficult war with Russia, which seemed to vindicate voices for reform, this was a dangerous tendency. While the Ottomans had arguably seen the most progress in the race to re-centralise and revive the government, it was they who faced the most challenges. Russia had been fended off but would almost certainly return in the future, and there was the ever-present concern of Austria turning southward once again. There was progress in the Ottoman Empire, but would it be enough?


[1] – So much so that Michael Axworthy notes that in both the Safavid and Afghan armies, firearms played a relatively small role when compared to European armies. For both sides, the sword and the lance were still of primary importance.


[2] – In OTL by contrast, Sidi Muhammad decentralised the Moroccan Kingdom, attempting to come to terms with tribes and regional elites rather than enforcing his authority on them. In this sense, strong parallels can be found between OTL’s Morocco under Sidi Muhammad and Iran under Karim Zand.


[3] – Axworthy supposes however that Nader knew full well that Muhammad Shah was not in a position to follow his advice.

* * * * * *

Author's Notes - The update is a little look into the responses around the Muslim world following the defeat of the Ottomans and Nader Shah's impressive successes. The 18th century of OTL had seem some attempts at centralisation in the Muslim World, though this often floundered on the strength of local notables and tribal elements, especially in semi-arid areas. While attempts by various Muslim monarchs to centralise are unlikely to produce absolutist states in the European mold, they are still likely to provide rulers with more resources as the century turns. This will likely have different affects in different areas.
 
It was in the Ottoman Empire that the most serious efforts to emulate elements of Iran’s reforms were made. As in Iran, the Ottoman government began the process of replacing tax farmers with tax collectors in an attempt to increase revenues. The Ottoman bureaucracy, which had remained miniscule in comparison to the empire for much of the 17th and 18th centuries now began to grow, as salaried Ottoman officials began to be found outside of Istanbul. The process of centralising the government in such a fashion was slower than was the case in Iran, partially due to the lack of a “clean slate” in the sense that Nader and his successors possessed, but also due to the greater size of the Ottoman Empire and the great strength that regional notables had built up. Nevertheless, despite the difficulties that were associated with the centralising process there continued to be great progress made through the latter part of the 18th century affording the Ottoman Government more resources. This enabled the growth of the regular army which was able to halt the southward advance of Russia in the Russo-Turkish war of 1768-1770.


The Ottoman government also began to take inspiration from the rising powers of Europe as well as from Iran. She had wisely stayed out of the fray in the Seven Years War and had benefitted from a long period of peace, though the difficult war with Russia had shown that in technological and organizational terms, the Ottoman army was beginning to fall behind that of the Europeans at an alarming pace. European innovations and tactics proved effective against the Ottoman armies, who held on in the Pontic Steppe largely due to the strength of her fortifications, and there was now an acceptance among some in the army that European expertise was needed to modernize the Ottoman Army.

Is it a pipe dream to hope that the Circassian Genocide would be prevented this time around?
 
Speaking of the Marathas, though they were always fairly confederal since the time of Shivaji, it was really the Third Battle of Panipat which turned the Empire into a Confederacy. How did that battle go, anyways?

It was Pyrrhic Victory for both sides as while the Durrani's where kept out of Delhi, the Maratha's lost their Heir apparent Vishwas Bhao. Whose death started the decentralization of the Maratha Empire
 
It was Pyrrhic Victory for both sides as while the Durrani's where kept out of Delhi, the Maratha's lost their Heir apparent Vishwas Bhao. Whose death started the decentralization of the Maratha Empire

I’m talking about how the battle went ITTL with its very different situation.
 
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