Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by dontfearme22, Oct 23, 2017.
This is great. Where can I read about that tiny Valoisian enclave on the east coast of Spain?
That was ceded earlier in the 1600s (map wasn't updated last time). Like the Balearics, it was a land sell, this time to Valois, to bankroll one of the many governments that controlled Aragon in quick succession after the fallout from their disasterous invasion of Andalusia. You had various cliques of nobles fighting for the throne, or even ruling outright without even a nominal ruler. With the economy in shambles, large-scale land selling was one quick way to raise the finances necessary to bankroll a government. Because these noble cliques came from the north, they did not care as much if land on the southern coast, like near Valencia, was sold off. It doubled as a way to punish their rivals among the Catalan nobility anyways.
Pragmatically speaking, Valois has not done much with the land -yet-. It is obviously prime coastal territory, but because Valois already has ports all along the French riviera, it is not as precious as it might otherwise be. Also, the local people are all Catalan-speaking peasants and/or middle-class townsfolk. What will probably happen is it will be used as a fortified base on the southern Iberian coast to put pressure on shipping lanes there, get closer access to Gibraltar, or even watch movements between the Wazirate and Aragon on land. It was plainly idiotic for Aragon to sell it off, but thats what you get with rulers only concerned about short-term financial gain.
Alright, here goes nothing.
I am surprised the Purepecha are still holding out! Given the power of the Andalusi state, I'd expect the polity to have been nommed into the Riysh. Though with the palace coup and everything, the state is starting to feel the strain of being neighbors to an overarching empire. I don't know if I asked this before, but given their metalsmithing skills the Purepecha might be the best polity to copy Andalusian weapons and adapt them into their own. How far are they in the smithing scale ITTL?
Further north, we are seeing the first signs of native polities and cohesive identities, and given your last update I am relishing the thought of seeing a native state actually halt the Arab expansion north. The Cachuran Confederation reminds me a bit of the Mongols, or the Gokturks, or the Huns; weak when scattered, but deadly if united. They won't be the last time the native Oriolans band together, I bet, and the intrusion of Islam and Christianity must have created a reactionary/reflective resistance-faith among certain tribes and peoples, such as what happened to Tecumseh IOTL.
A bit surprising to see Arabs and Englishmen getting along in Virginia, but ey, war is tiring. There goes the native Amazonians there though; How are the English viewing the local peoples there?
The Purepecha are a interesting case. Inside of Mishika you have this galaxy of small, warring states under the Arab hegemony, which deliberately encourages this as a 'divide and conquer' policy. The Purepecha are the largest of those, by far. Unlike any other surviving states they retain a degree of autonomy above the others. They also are much more culturally intact as few Arabs have settled the region permanently.
Metal weapons have been flooding the region for years. The smithing tradition does not transfer over well because native copper smelting is a far cry from old world blacksmithing techniques. You cannot exactly jump quickly from hammering out a copper plate to a steel steel. There is a fledgling native blacksmithing industry growing, slowly, however over time. Mixed-race Arab artisans are a big part of that momentum in the larger cities in Mishika.
The Cachuran are like other regional states in that they operate based on chains of hegemony vs. simple conquered territory. This group pays tribute to this group who pay it to this group. It makes no efforts to culturally assimilate conquered peoples or control their territory like the Arabs do. Some tribes that moved through otherwise 'Arab' territory paid to both the Arabs, and the Cachuran. It is definitely not the last group to attempt this. The Arabs inability, or unwillingness, to curb the growth of these large tribal groups before they reach a critical mass will lead to only more problems down the road.
As much as Christians may relish the thought, Christianity is going to have trouble establishing itself in the region. For most natives already exposed to one abrahamic faith, another will seem redundant - especially since Christian missionaries can only offer salvation, not trade goods. It will take a concerted effort for missionaries to entrench themselves with local communities for their work to pay off. Among nomadic groups ravaged by Arab slaving, Christianity will have better chances than the sedentary, already semi-converted farmers of the river valleys to the south [Pima peoples] and the mesas in the north [Puebloans].
Native Amazonians are hostile to colonists, owing to first years of Arab slave raids and then early skirmishes with other colonists. A few tribes trade with them, but by and large the English do not have meaningful contacts with local peoples on the same level as they did in OTL N. America. The Dutch, and Valoisians farther to the south are getting along better with local groups in their areas.
Jolly old England update is coming, just gotta find the time. This timeline, Wales had some weird stuff happening in it.
In the meanwhile I am thinking of doing another focused cultural update, like the one I did on fashion - is there anything people specifically want more information on or should I just do my current plan of focusing it on feminine hygiene products.
Children, literacy and animals.
How is the andalusi/riysh literature? It would also be interesting to know how it affects Europe by itself, because well, being the richest country in the world has its culturally privileges, mainly in exporting your culture
A random question, how many books does the largest library in Ishbiliyya have? And what are the biggest in the new world? (if there is any of course)
An specific update on the arab-amazonic cultures will be great too. I imagine the name of a muslim Manaus: "Manauws/Al-Manauws" (That comes from the local tribe "Manaós")
I would like to hear about architecture in the New World. How much Andalusi and how much native influence is there?
The Kingdom of England
15th – 17th centuries CE
Oh quatch England, dost thou not see thy predicament?
William Hargreave, English parliamentarian, 1550.
England is a complex nation. Perched atop Europe, it can intrude into continental affairs at leisure. While several hundred years of history can never be adequately summed up in any number of pages, this text will focus on some key themes and major events as best it can.
England underwent major political changes in the years preceding its rise as an international power in the 15th century. After the Norman conquests England had developed into a cosmopolitan state with a thriving self-sufficient economy, ruled by a francophone elite of mixed Anglo-Norman descent. There was always tension between the feudal aristocracy and the monarchy. Unlike France, which was often a kingdom in name only in a landscape of near-autonomous lords England retained the tradition of a strong central king going back through the Anglo-Saxon period centuries before. England spent much of the 13th century ruled by the Angevin kings, who consolidated economic and legal power under them before successive political infighting in the late 13th - early 14th centuries pushed the idea of the monarch towards that of a warrior-king bound by laws, rather than a lawyer-king who ruled totally over all. This change roughly corresponds to the establishment of the Plantagenets on the throne. The constant back and forth between the nobility and the throne built the institutions of the medieval English state. On one side, the monarch and on the other a parliament, each with separate vested powers who together bound the unified nation of England (and, at times, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland).
The Plantagenets were characterized by war, especially foreign war. Through the 14th, the throne continued to spar with the landed nobility while funding larger and larger international expeditions. This was concentrated in France, where English armies served as just one chisel hammering into the growing cracks of the once mighty French state. The English royal family was of course, continental in origin and the efforts of the French monarchy to control its own fractious territories brought it into direct conflict with English inherited possessions there. Throughout the 14th to 15th centuries, English kings jockeyed with parliament and internal revolts all while pursuing to various levels of seriousness their claims in France – the so-called Hundred Years War. This reached a crest in 1356, where English forces even captured the king himself, and then subsequently laid claim to the country. Later French kings slowly reversed these gains, eventually throwing the English out of the country by the late 14th century except for a few coastal bastions. As much as individual English kings could win impressive victories, they always relied on local allies – like in Burgundy, and the cooperation of the economy at home to hold their sprawling conquests. The success of the monarchy in its continental ventures was deeply tied to the monarch in power, and the circumstances during which he ruled. As English gains were reversed over the course of the 14th century, the over-extended English ‘war state’ crumbled in on itself. Parliament became less and less willing to indulge royal expeditions. However, the kingship survived its missteps. England remained in the 15th century a firm monarchy, albeit one with stern caveats placed on the monarch. Recovery from grueling campaigns abroad dampened the economy, but England remained involved in foreign affairs throughout the 15th century. Unlike other Western European nations who spent decade after decade embroiled in Mediterranean wars, England was able to sit comfortably insulated on the far side of the continent to pursue its own ambitions at leisure. These ambitions focused on curbing the advances of their old rival, France, by allying with rival powers to form various enclosing webs of restriction. Unfortunately, as much as England was herself a formidable military power, English kings showed themselves poor choosers in European diplomacy. After the signing of a 1392 treaty, English monarchs (and parliament, though not unanimously) backed Aragon in the great game for control of the Mediterranean. The Aragonese empire at its height controlled sprawling territories over North Africa, Italy, Iberia, and beyond, but poor governance continually undid its own successes on the ground. English international ambitions in the 15th century were always limited by their own allies. Tensions with the papacy between England and its allied powers also pushed the country farther away from the Catholic fold, priming it for the rise of Protestantism decades later. This period is defined most by the rise of two great power blocs in Europe: France, an increasingly imperial, catholic, state with its allies vs. England. Both blocs often jockeyed increasingly not on French soil but through Iberia. A near-constant state of war in Iberia, and then by extension the western Mediterranean, provided the arena for England to push against France.
More than anything, Protestantism transformed England during the 16th century. It transformed the Anglo-French conflict to a deeper Protestant-Catholic one. It strengthened bonds across Northern Europe and found unlikely foes and allies in Iberia. Over time, political centralization and counter-reformation on the continent created a large bloc of Franco-Spanish interests to oppose England, and a few choice protestant footholds in the west. Even when Catholics graced the throne, conflict rose again and again with the continent for the simple reason that should France and Spain both become strong, England would be entirely cut off from European affairs by a hostile power. This fear of a Catholic bloc in western Europe dominated English thought for centuries, well above any concerns about Islamic hegemony like most other European nations. England was defined as much by its distance from both Istanbul and Seville, as other nations were by their proximity to them. During the 1560s, one later monarch (Elizabeth) even took Ottoman coin to fund her personal rivalry with her half-sister Mary, then on the throne. Even expansion in the New World was driven by an urge to outmaneuver France as much as it was economic curiosity, conquest of Moorish territories there was always a secondary concern.
The reign of Queen Elizabeth I is a watershed moment in English history. She finished the work of previous rulers in crushing English Catholicism. Between her, and the fanatical purges of Queen Mary years earlier, by the 1580s – 90s British Catholicism was whipped out of existence, surviving only in Ireland and Wales. Anti-French sentiments combined with a protestant zeal also led to another enduring feature of England in the years to come that of a ‘mercenary state’. English mercenaries would become a fixture in continental wars. Either by direct order, or simply by turning a blind eye, successive monarchs would fill their treasuries by licensing privateer captains (the gentlemen pirates, as they dubbed themselves) both on land at on sea to attack enemy property or serve in foreign armies. Combined with a formidable navy, England became the main naval power of the North Atlantic that could protect its interests even against vastly larger enemy states. While the monarchy always supported this ‘dishonorable policy’ parliament was at times decidedly against it. Because the monarch could supply privateer ‘letters of marque’ as they saw fit, parliament rightfully viewed it as the throne circumventing the legislature to fund their own private expeditions. This back and forth continued even while English soldiers rampaged across half the globe. This privateering also brought the world to England. High culture flourished in England, buoyed by a resurgent economy and political stability. By the mid-1600s England, now unified with Scotland, continued to enjoy prosperity through the reign of the two Charles – Charles I and the II, who despite quarrels with parliament avoided the political instability that plagued other colonial empires at the time.
The greatest threat to English prosperity at this time was internal revolt from a familiar direction – Wales, and Scotland. The Welsh Rising of 1621 and the subsequent damage to the crown, which personally bore the brunt of the fighting, paved the way for parliament to assert itself over the king in an unprecedented way. Like during the latter years of the Hundred Years War, the monarchy over-extended itself in military expeditions, could not sustain its gains, and suffered at home for it. This time, interventions in Scandinavia, expensive campaigns in Ireland, and then the suppression of the Welsh pushed the crown to unprecedented concessions to Parliament, so that by the late 1600s the concept of an absolute monarchy in England was functionally dead. It would, however, take many more decades before further events would solidify it in law. England was fortunate in that in its heartland, it was a more united, prosperous, nation than its rivals. Threatened only from the periphery (the Celtic fringes, which remained ethnically and religiously distinct) it cultivated a sense of national harmony that proved far more resilient than the controversies of any single king. England was a nation free to indulge in the wars of other states, on other frontiers, and enjoy peace at home.
This is a very, very brief breakdown of how England has fared over the course of this timeline. You will of course notice that by and large things follow OTL closely until you get to the mid 16th - 17th centuries. Two major changes happen to diverge the timeline here. First, the Hapsburgs are not a significant power. This leaves France, and eventually France + Spain as the leading power in continental Europe. Like the Hapsburgs, France (Valois) becomes a Catholic superpower, but unlike the Hapsburgs this state is a more territorially cohesive power more focused on direct military conquest than diplomatic expansion. It is also, obviously, centered in France rather than on a Hapsburg Spain / HRE.
Second, England is more Protestant in this timeline. Unlike OTL which saw a constant back and forth between Catholic and Protestant influences going up through the OTL English Civil War, here England became firmly Protestant by the mid 1500s. Catholicism survives, as it does OTL, on the fringes of the British Isles. England is ATL a more cohesive nation. Catholicism is more firmly a political them , and combined with more powerful ATL Islamic states, English identity is quickly defined in opposition to those two. Charles I and II are both of similar personality to OTL, but they have less ground to stand on to oppose Parliament. In this timeline, Englands expansion as a mercenary power under royal authority, also means that at times when its byzantine international network of influences falters the crown falters with it. Parliament forces itself over the crown more and more like OTL, but with far less violence, because there is far less worth being violent about, and because the crown has less will to resist also. England is going into the 18th century peaceful, prosperous, and powerful. It is surrounded by allies while its enemies are faltering. Rule Britannia.
These are the broad strokes of course. I plan on another post detailing the Welsh Rising, the Swedish Intervention (Currently theres but a sentence in my timeline referencing it) and some of the home politics involved.
Writing this post:
It was also a class war. The entrenched nobility and rural peasents vs middle class merchants etc and urbanised population. While you covered the religion the rise of middle class played a just as equal reasoning in the civil if not more reasoning for the civil war than religion.
Btw how did charles the 1st work he was a straight up absolute believer of absolutism and divine monarch so much it was only when they signed his death warrent did he realise what was happening. Charles would never bow to to there pressure its simply not in his character thats why we had a civil war so what happened differently here charles wouldn't have avoided conflict because he is england nicolas 2nd a fucking idiot.
Also no union of the crowns?
It is not that cut and dry. The historiography of the English Civil War is itself a complex topic, but in all my research class warfare seems to have been a factor - but not *the* factor, not was it as clear as Parliamanent and the new rich / working man vs. the King and the landed nobility / church. ATL, similar tensions exist, but they are being diffused in different directions. England is not idyllic by any means, but it does not dissolve into war over these issues. Theres more detail in other posts to come.
Union of the crowns still happened.
You broken my world. No english civil war, and andalusia has no standardised military uniform during the time of early modern warfare how can they do this your breaking the rules of physics by not giving them a standardised colourful uniform.
Btw what do you mean by church? Catholics supported the king more protestant zealous and types protestantism were more likely to support the parliament.
Man why have them all be one boring shade when you can march in style.
Andalusia has standardized uniforms inside specific regiments. Think of them more like the Ottomans than a European, Christian power. There is a lot of regimental pride in the Andalusi army, different units like to outfit themselves in distinctive ways, often recalling the regiments collective city or region of origin.
So they are similar to warhammer fantasy empire army.
Well there was a good reason for standardised uniform is too know what forces are yours, pride, and discipline the uniforms all helped with this. Having standardised uniforms was showing a level of development professionalism and modernity. This in it self is interesting as it shows the andaulsia military culture and development is different and in some ways is backwards. Also when your reforming the military wipe out the regimental pride an entire overhaul is needed for this rotten system.
When you do another military update can you do a bit on uniforms and standardisation as there are greater meanings behind it. Look at the english civil war one of the main things of english new model army was it was standardised and uniformed. It was a greater reflection of what the new model army was and its foundation. The Cavaliers often had there own individual uniforms which represented them.
Also god no andalusia stop being soooo stupid don't adopt ottoman style of warfare its going to end very badly. Adopt a european style of warfare not ottoman.
This going to be a meme come on in this world. Regimental pride! *army collapses*
I cant wait for next military update. Is it safe to say that the smart military leaders of andalusia know a major overhaul of the army is needed similar to peter the great reforms some major reforms but most are nothing more than superficial.
Wait sorry i may have forgotten but no Habsburg please tell me calais is still english.
Oh man do I have bad news for you...
I do want to say that the lack of widespread uniform standardization does not equal backwardness. The Andalusian army is falling behind, but the uniforms are not part of the problem. The primary purpose of uniforms is indeed, to identify oneself on the battlefield, but Andalusi's are not fighting anyone who could be mistaken for friendly forces. All their opponents in the field are either Christian Europeans or indigenous forces in Africa / the Americas. Andalusian forces also use a extensive system of flags to both mark troops and coordinate movements. There are no difficulties telling friend from foe. Even non-uniformed troops say, indigenous Mishikan forces, can wear temporary signs like colored sashes, bands, to distinguish them.
The larger problem is this lack of a national identity. The Wazirate is a more modern government compared to the Ayshunids, but it still is built in the same culture, one that is strongly regional. As time is moving forward the Andalusian empire is operating socially more and more like several sub-nations under one government. This is partially just geographic seperation, but also unintentionally due to policy: in the army there is a custom of recruiting en masse from a single area and then shipping all those troops together to a different area, you are not only encouraging individual regimental identities but also reinforcing cultural differences by placing them in alien environments where they are much more similar to each other than any man in a different unit. A lot of this is intentional to encourage a sense of comradeship between men who were expected to always fight together - but it also strains the larger armies unity. The focus of the current cadre of Andalusian officers is reforming military technology, not army structure. New and better guns, ships, enlarged armories and fortresses. The general principle of the army in the 17th century is to reinforce its strengths rather than radical reform. Most Andalusians believe that their military is in no need of such reform. Often it takes disaster to force a course-correction, and the Andalusian state is undergoing a slow erosion of power, not a sudden collapse that might change the consensus view. Even the Aragonese invasion ended in victory. Across the oceans, Andalusian ships are still holding territory, Andalusian armies are still conquering land. These processes of decay are too subtle for the public at large to notice.
This lack of national unity in Andalusia contrasts with the rise of national identity in European states. Andalusia is distinct from its neighbors in all directions, borrowing cultural cues from each but remaining firmly set in its own identity. This identity however, is as much Iberian, as it is Andalusian. The problem is, is that developing concepts of sovereignty, identity, and statehood in Andalusia are all bound to that specific region, and to hell with the colonies. There is no sense of say, a Englishman in OTL New England being English but living in America. Here, Andalusians live in Iberia, and the Riyshis live in the Riysh, and one rules the other. Andalusians have developed this deep imperialism that is sustaining their empire at the moment, but blinkering their vision. This will be the real downfall of Al-Andalus - not uniforms.
okay but what about calais? Who controls it know?
France. Calais fell in the late 1400s during the wars in Europe. It did not last as long as it did OTL - as part of a effort to shore up the Burgundian frontier by Charles VIII. The inflitration, and subsequent sabotage of a portion of the defenses by a group of spies let a French force take the town. The fall of Calais, Englands most notable bastion in the continent, to Catholic deception, played a part in driving then-Queen Mary of England further into the mires of protestant zealotry.
Finally! I managed to catchup with this amazing timeline, one of the best I have ever watched. Looking forward to seeing how this goes
Spoiler: In the next update
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