Great update! Great to see what culture is like ittl, also it seems you're hinting at an independent Scotland.

This seems to hint a surviving French aristocracy.
I was very careful with what was said in this. I don't wanna ruin any surprises but still, I love foreshadowing.
 
Chapter Thirty Eight - New Holland
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Infanta Beatriz of Portugal.

Although things seemed fine at the court of St George in Lisbon, Portugal, the royal family was facing an internal crisis by the start of the Colonial War against Spain. King Philip had a strained relationship with his mother, the de facto ruler of Portugal, as he despised her lover, the Duke of Aveiro, and was offended by her retaining her powers of regent even after his majority.

When King Philip’s daughter was born on 08 July 1594, she was named Maria after her mother and the Virgin Mary, even though many at court expected Queen Margaret to be a namesake to her first Infanta granddaughter. The name Margarida was not common in the Portuguese royal family, however, and King Philip used that excuse to explain his behavior, though his mother was upset either way.

This family strife was increased by King Filipe using his minimum authority and power by appointing his younger sister, Princess Beatrice, as a lady-in-waiting to his wife. This effectively took thirteen-year-old Beatriz out of her mother’s custody and saddened the Dowager Queen, who was considered a loving mother even by modern standards. When questioned about it by his mother, Filipe replied that he had done it because he feared for his sister’s innocence if she continued to be cared for by those appointed by Margaret. Philip believed his mother lacked good judgment for her companions, something made obvious by her ‘intimate’ friendship with the Duke of Aveiro.

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Infante Henry of Portugal.

Margaret did not take the insult lightly. Offended, she attempted to exert her motherly and royal authority and tried to force her son to apologize, something Filipe refused to do. “The Duke of Aveiro is a good and loyal companion to me. I shall not hear you speak such lies against him.” Margaret of France is reported to have said, upon which her son, Henry, responded, “It’s precisely that, lady Mother, what angers the King. How good he is to you.”

The failure to find a suitable marriage for Princess Beatrice also caused anger between Margaret and Philip. In early 1594, Beatrice was rejected as a bride for Edward Seymour, second-in-line to the English throne, a match that had been suggested by her mother. Philip, offended in his sister’s name, blamed Margaret for the failure, as he thought Elizabeth I would have accepted the match if it had come from anyone else. In 1595, Beatrice married her sister’s widower, King Charles of Savoy.

When 1595 began, it was clear to all that the relationship between mother and sons was strained beyond repair. With the two fighting for political power, a crisis swept over Portugal. This caused their enemies in Spain and Burgundy to celebrate, as the Colonial War seemed to have been forgotten by the King and his mother.

King Johan of Burgundy founded two armed forces in 1595 to better face the Portuguese in the war. They were called Dutch East India Company and the Dutch West India Company, called Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie, and Geoctrooieerde Westindische Compagnie in Dutch. The companies were granted charters to invade the East Indies under Portuguese control, as the aftermath of the Triple Alliance caused many Portuguese merchants to avoid Dutch and Burgundian tradesmen. This severely weakened the economy of the newly-made country and inspired King Johan to join his brother against the House of Aviz.

With the war, John planned to ultimately re-establish the spice trade centered around Flanders and Antwerp. This, he hoped, would enrich his kingdom once more and weaken the Portuguese severely. Much like his brother, Philip III of Spain, John thought the Portuguese had betrayed his family and were to blame for the death of his younger brother, Infante Fernando in 1585.

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Sigil of the Dutch East India Company.

At dawn on February 25, 1596, three ships of the Dutch East India Company (VOC) seized the Dom Filipe, a Portuguese galleon. It was such a rich prize that its sale proceeds doubled the capital of the VOC. The legality of keeping the prize was questionable under Dutch statute and the Portuguese demanded the return of their cargo. The scandal led to a public judicial hearing and a wider campaign to sway public (and international) opinion. As a result, Hugo Grotius in The Free Sea (Mare Liberum, published 1599) formulated the new principle that the sea was international territory, against the Portuguese mare clausum policy, and all nations were free to use it for seafaring trade. The 'free seas' provided a suitable ideological justification for the Dutch to break the Portuguese monopoly through its formidable naval power.

Soon after the capture of the Dom Filipe, the Dutch would make their first true offense in the war by hitting Portugal where it most hurt: the spice trade. Since the dawn of the exploration age, Portugal had used its naval power to conquer key points in the continents of Africa and Asia that could produce chokeholds on the high sea, ensuring its control. This made them one of the richest countries in the world, as it protected their military bases from naval attacks, and provided suitable places for their water and food supplies to be replenished during long trips.

Portugal's Indian Ocean empire relied on three bases placed in strategic locations: Goa, Malacca, and Macau. The first connected the State of India with Portugal proper, the second connected Goa to the Pacific Ocean trade stretching from the China seas to Australasia, and the third was a center point for trade with China and Japan. Two other cities were important but not crucial: Diu and Hormuz. Diu controlled the Gulf of Cambay and the Arabian Sea and Hormuz was the keystone of the Persian Gulf trade, both between Persia and Arabia and between Mesopotamia and the Arabian Sea. If both Diu and Hormuz fell, that would prevent the Middle East markets from being taxed by Portugal which would deny Lisbon the revenue from the southernmost course of the Silk Route. This was a lucrative trade but not as essential to the Indian Ocean network at large.

The Dutch East India Company, however, suffered from the same weakness as Portugal: lack of manpower. Thus, a Spanish-style colonization effort was never feasible and the only dominion of the seas would allow it to compete. The Portuguese had a century head-start in the region and their empire allowed them access to converted and loyal local populations, which shored-up inland, which naval power could not ensure at sea. Hence, the Dutch directed their efforts to the periphery of the Portuguese empire. Avoiding the Indian coasts, they set up their own headquarters in the southeast Indies, in the city of Jakarta, later known as Batavia. This put them safely distant from Goa but opportunistically close to Malacca and the Indian Ocean – Pacific Ocean-connecting sea lanes.

But the Dutch committed one terrible mistake: they forgot to consider other countries in the war. Scotland had established the colony of Nova Scotia colony on the eastern coast of the island that came to be known as Australia. With a large port, ships of different nationalities including Portuguese and Dutch could stop there to rest after paying a high fee in return for a neutrality zone free from attacks of other ships. This was essential after the Triple Alliance divided Catholic Europe, especially turned Spanish and Portuguese against each other. In 1597, inspired by their Scottish counterparts, the Dutch implemented the Dutch colony of New Holland on the western coast of Australia.

New Holland offered lower taxes to ships traveling between the Americas and Asia, as well as those returning to Europe. The offended King James VI, despite being married to John and Philip’s sister Catherine, turned to the Portuguese for help. An alliance was made and, in 1598, Scotland joined the Colonial War.

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A Dutch map of New Holland, not including Nova Scotia.
 
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Great update! Hopefully the Colonial War goes well for Portugal and Philip can stop fighting with his Mother.
 
Ooh this Colonial War looks really neat so far.. I wonder is the relationship between Filipe of Portugal and Margurerite well end like that of Edward III and Isabella of France, with mother being overthrown by her son in a coup?
 

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Ooh this Colonial War looks really neat so far.. I wonder is the relationship between Filipe of Portugal and Margurerite well end like that of Edward III and Isabella of France, with mother being overthrown by her son in a coup?
I think it will be less bloody. Filipe can't execute a prominent member of the Portuguese nobility, after all.
 
I think it will be less bloody. Filipe can't execute a prominent member of the Portuguese nobility, after all.

Why not? John II killed his cousin Diogo de Viseu e Beja himself and had another Fernando II killed and a bunch of more people. John I killed the Count of Andeiro during the 1383-1385 Crisis. During the Restoration, they killed Miguel de Vasconcelos and must I say something about the Távora Affair where a Duke of Aveiro was killed?
 
Why not? John II killed his cousin Diogo de Viseu e Beja himself and had another Fernando II killed and a bunch of more people. John I killed the Count of Andeiro during the 1383-1385 Crisis. During the Restoration, they killed Miguel de Vasconcelos and must I say something about the Távora Affair where a Duke of Aveiro was killed?
Filipe is too religious for it.
 
Chapter Thirty Nine - Prussia
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Anna of Prussia.

Grand Duke Sigismund Valois of Poland married Anna of Prussia on 14 August 1594. They had been betrothed since Sigismund’s mother, Queen Jadwiga II, gained the custody of Anna and her younger sister, Marie of Prussia. The two girls were heiress to their father’s lands and their marriage were procured with the hopes of uniting the Duchy of Prussia, by then only a fiefdom of the crown, with the ruler of Poland. Marie was promised to Sigismund’s younger brother, Henry of Poland.

The girls had other sisters named Sophie, Eleanor, and Magdalene Sibylle, who were not taken in by the royal family. They would later marry prominent members of the Holy Roman Empire, such as the Elector of Saxony.

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Marie of Prussia.

The marriage between Sigismund and Anna was considered to have started well, as the couple had known each other since their childhood. Anna was close with King Henry, who may have been reminded of his own daughter, also called Anna, and tried to form a close bond with the Queen Anna Vasa of Sweden, her husband’s stepmother. Anna Vasa had two children by 1594, Mary and Charles (Maria and Karol, in Polish).

Grand Duke Sigismund, unlike his full siblings, was not fond of his father’s second wife. Modern historians believe the young man, by then sixteen, had yet to recover from his mother’s death in 1590. It’s known that Sigismund was very close with his mother. When he was twelve, he was taken by his father in progress around Poland, so the people could know the future ruler. In his letters to her, Sigismund writes, “I love you most.” and “I have been missing you much lately, and your embraces. (Unintelligible) Papa says we will soon return to Kraków, for Henri’s birthday, and I have to admit it is you I am most anxious to see.”

Sigismund blamed his mother’s death on the Polish Parliament, also known as the Sejm. He believed Queen Jadwiga would’ve still been alive if his parents had real royal authority, instead of having to answer to the Parliament, as the peasants wouldn’t have attacked them as they did. This was seen in his refusal to attend a meeting of the Sejm in late 1594 with his father, and his stubborn decision to not answer letters that were written by prominent members.

Anna and Sigismund were considered to be intellectual equals, although they differed on the matters of religion. Anna preferred the Lutheran faith despite being nominally a Roman Catholic, while Sigismund was considered too religious by his father and brother. This caused many arguments between the two, arguments escalated by Anna's tendency to be temperamental and strong-willed. She is reported to have thrown plates and glasses at her spouse whenever they argued.

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Grand Duke Sigismund of Poland.

In early 1595, Albert Frederick, Duke of Prussia died after a period of long illnesses. Anna succeeded him and the young couple moved to Königsberg, where their first child, Maria of Poland and Prussia, was born in the summer. Many believed the young Grand Duchess would be named Hedwig, or Jadwiga, after her paternal grandmother, but Sigismund refused. It’s now known that Sigismund was the first to believe the name Jadwiga to be cursed, as the two queens who bore it died painful deaths and his younger sister, Hedwig of Poland, died at six months of age in 1597.

Anna was much offended when her cousin, John Sigismund, Elector of Brandenburg, started rumors that her father had been poisoned by agents of the King. According to John Sigismund, Albert Frederick was being poisoned since the start of his regency in 1579, so the king-appointed regent, Marek Sobieski could continue ruling in his stead. The duke’s death could have been an overdose of the poison, which John Sigismund could not name. This offended the royal family, as it implied their man couldn’t be trusted, and caused even more rifts between Brandenburg and Prussia, not to mention Brandenburg and Poland.

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John Sigismund, Elector of Brandenburg.
 
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