.....As for the decision... the smart heads in Sweden will likely choose merchants, but the irrational (and popular) voices will likely choose to beef up the army for round 2.
Given two wars just ended, those mercenaries might even be cheaper. Though if I was Sweden, I’d go for just the Danes, bribing Russia with Ships or such.

Russia will target P-L for sure...after they improve their economic situation (which will take some time). Besides, there will be a war within a few decades that will either accelerate or delay a Russo-Polish war.
Since I’m no expert: does Russia produce enough usable materials & transport capability to trade via these ports? And do they have the shipping from those ports?

And how’s Britain responding to the vastly different European map?
 

Oddball

Monthly Donor
First was Denmark-Norway, who intended for Sweden to suffer for centuries of conflict. The first term (which surprised nobody) was the return of Scania to Danish rule. However, Denmark then made a rather bold demand of the return of the Jämtland region which had been taken from Norway roughly 7 decades prior. It then demanded the annexation of Schleswig-Holstein, along with Swedish Pomerania and Bremen-Verden (and all other German territories that Sweden owned). Sweden also forfeited her right to duty-free passage of Øresund. In return for all this, Denmark-Norway would pay 1.2 million Riksdaler to Sweden.
Not to be greedy, but all this, and then not Bohuslän, Halland & Blekinge?

All of them would in its own would be highly preferable before Jämtland...
 
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Venice in the early 18th century until 1730 New
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As of the early 18th century, the city-state of Venice was (while still being one of Europe's richest nations per-capita) on a decline, the past few centuries having seen them gradually lose their economic might to the western powers thanks to their colonial empires in the New World. But despite their decline, they still possessed a respectable merchant fleet with an economic far larger than any other Italian state, and their territory stretching from Greece to Northern Italy.

The problem facing them now was if they could hold on to this land with hungry neighbors looking for an opportunity. The likeliest nation to attack in the near future was the Ottoman Empire, and the Venetians knew it. However, not all the Ottomans were in the mood for a conflict (especially after the nations of Europe had routed them 3 decades earlier). Besides, the pro-war party had lost a lot of political power in 1710 when Charles XII had been given as a prisoner to the Russians, causing Sultan Baltacı Mehmet Pasha [1] to decide against a war with Venice.

The pro-war party tried pushing it again a few years later, only to once again be rejected when Russian forces on the Ottoman border increased after the end of the Great Northern War. Venetian Crete and Morea would be safe, for now at least.

Venice, of course, did not plan to just sit still and wait until the Ottomans eventually did strike. They decided to sign a defense agreement in February of 1715 with the Russian Empire, as both of them wanted to contain the Ottoman Empire and prevent any expansion into Europe. After all, neither of them wanted to see the Ottoman hordes besiege Vienna or take over the Ukraine again (with Russia desiring to take the Crimea for itself in the future).

In addition to an alliance with Russia, the Venetian Senate in 1724 decided to improve their military after seeing the warfare displayed by the later years of the Great Northern War [2] by accepting the reforms of Marshal Count Schulenburg, who was in effect Venice's most successful commander (he later retired to the city and became a noted art collector). Under this reform, the peacetime army was composed of 20,460 men, as follows:

  • Infantry (18,500 men)
    • 12 Regiments of Italian Infantry (named Veneto Real and II to XII) 9,600 men
    • 4 Regiments "presidiali" Italian Infantry (di Padova, di Verona, di Brescia, di Rovigo) 4,000 men
    • 3 Companies of "Veterani Benemeriti" ("metitorius veterens) 360 men
    • 3 Companies of "Presidio alla piazza" Italian Infantry of the fortress at Palma Nova 240 men
    • 5 companies of " presidiali di fanteria greca per le piazze" of Prevesa, Vonizza & Butrinto 300 men. These were the three towns Venice owned in Epirus, Greece.
  • Cavalry (1,600 men)
    • 1 Regiment of Cuirassiers 300 men
    • 1 Regiment of Dragoons 300 men
    • 2 regiments of Croatian cavalry 600 men
    • 1 regiment of Cimariotti cavalry 400 men The Stradioti, irregular cavalry hired from Albania, Dalmatia and northern Greece, had a long history in the Venetian army, and were one of the characteristics that separated it from other Italian armies.
  • Artillery (200 men)
    • 2 companies of artillery
  • Engineers (160 men)
    • 2 Companies of miners (80 men)
    • 2 Companies of engineers (80 men)

In case of war the militia would be called up, producing, in theory, a total of 48,000 men. In addition there were the eleven Regiments of Marines in the Navy, the Oltremarini (also called Schiavoni) with a further 8,800 men.

Of course, it would take quite some time to reform the army (and likely 1 or 2 decades before the army reforms were finished), but it would turn Venice's army from being completely made of mercenaries into a true military force.

With new deals struck, armies reformed, and rivalries strengthened, it seemed that the stage for Europe's next war was already being set.

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[1] ITTL, the pro-war party is weaker as a result of there not being any war against Russia (IOTL, the pro-war party was powerful due to them spanking Russia, which was a large factor in them declaring war on Venice), so they will decide ITTL to not declare war on Venice just yet. As for the future, I make no promises. Also, Sultan Baltacı Mehmet Pasha does not get overthrown by the pro-war party and as of 1715 is still Sultan of the Ottoman Empire.

On the bright side for the Ottomans, the absence of a war with Venice means no war with Austria, which means that they don't lose their Serbian territories, though that won't be the only thing this war changes...

[2] The Venetian army ITTL approves of the army reforms 5 years before OTL due to a minor butterfly effect caused by the different style of warfare at the end of the Great Northern War, which will very much help them better withstand the wars in the coming decades.
 
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@dunHozzie
1. Funny you should mention Russia and Denmark because I have something interesting planned in one of the next chapters, mwahaha!
2. Just like IOTL, Russia will need time to build and properly use the new port cities (along with Saint Petersburg), but the war ending almost 7 years earlier allows it to begin development earlier, which might not seem significant now but will have big effects on Russia's future.
3. I wouldn’t say it is “vastly” different (yet), but Britain is now going to keep an eye on the rising power of Denmark. This will have HUGE ramifications in a century or so, as the 2 of them build a rivalry that will end up ripping Europe apart.

@Kurd Gossemer I wish I could do a map but I have zero map-making skills. I am trying to find someone but I do apologize.

@Oddball I changed it so Bohuslän was also taken (as to cut the Swedish off from the Skagerrak), but like @The Professor said, I mean the historical Scania region and not just Skane.

@The Professor Yes, thank you for clarifying that.
 
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Big gains for Russia, Denmark and France in the previous update. I really like this TL because it goes with some ideas that I haven't seen much in other TLs focusing on this time period; weaker Sweden, stronger Russia & Denmark. Also really cool seeing that France will be far stronger than IOTL by 1900! I'm eager to see what's next for Denmark and Russia soon.
 
@dunHozzie
1. Funny you should mention Russia and Denmark because I have something interesting planned in one of the next chapters, mwahaha!
2. Just like IOTL, Russia will need time to build and properly use the new port cities (along with Saint Petersburg), but the war ending almost 7 years earlier allows it to begin development earlier, which might not seem significant now but will have big effects on Russia's future.
A shorter GNW would be, in theory, beneficial for Russia if Peter was not going to look for a new sources of problems like happened in OTL ( war with the Ottomans which he lost and successful war with Persia which proved to be worse than a defeat: his successors had been desperately looking for a reasonably stable regime in Persia to return these gains and cut the losses). It seems that in your scenario this is still the case and, just as in the GNW, he picked out the least useful (for him) ally possible (congratulations for reflecting his thinking process so perfectly 🤗).

As far as “containment” of the Ottomans is involved, I have serious doubts that this was Peter’s major consideration at any point because they were not trying to expand anywhere close to the Russian borders. Just as during Sophia’s regency, his activities were a pure aggression. However, if in the case of Sophia it is rather hard to tell what was the ..er.. “realistic goal” (I doubt that at that time conquest of the Crimea was realistic, at least in the attempted way), with Peter we have a beautiful clarity: he wanted a port using which he could build a navy. These goals were accomplished as a result of the Azov campaigns: he built Taganrog and Azov Fleet. From this point on we are in the area of “the Great Unknown” because it is absolutely unclear how he was planning to use this fleet. In OTL after the Peace of Constantinople it was just “being there” doing nothing and when Peter embarked on the Pruth lunacy he clearly planned it as a single theater campaign in which fleet was useless (surely, it could launch an attack on Kerch or conduct some operations along the Crimea coast in a hope to distract some Tatar and Ottoman forces).

When you are taking about the new ports, which area do you have in mind? If you are talking about the Baltic coast, there were numerous existing ports including major ones of Riga and Revel. He tried to found a new military port atRågervik but it proved to be impractical (construction stopped in 1726, renewed by CII in 1762 and finally stopped in 1768 as being too expensive and lacking a practical sense). Perhaps ironically, Peter was trying to “kill” the existing trade ports by forcing imports/exports flow through St. Petersburg. He was not fully successful with the established Baltic ports but AFAIK for few years he closed Archangelsk. Here goes the same question: he built a big and expensive Baltic fleet to which purpose? During the GNW most of the naval engagements had been conducted by the Russian galleys. And between Peter’s death and the 1st Archipelago Expedition the Baltic “ship” fleet did not see too much of an action. During the Russian-Swedish War of 1741-43 it was avoiding any encounter with the Swedes. During the 7YW it was used during the 2nd and 3rd sieges of Kolberg (naval bombardment and supplies) and that was pretty much it.

It does not look like Peter was excessively busy with promoting creation of the Russian merchant fleet and the same goes for the Russian merchant class. Even close to the end of the CII reign according to the French Ambassador, Count Segur, Russian naval trade was almost non-existent due to the absence of both credit institutions and general interest. So building the new ports on the Baltic coast would cost money but hardly going to be conductive to the Russian economic development.

A word of a warning. In your coming Russian-Venetian-Ottoman War please keep in mind that Peter’s army by its tactics and logistics was ill-suited for the war against the Ottomans unless it is either purely defensive or conducted somewhere on the remote end of the Ottoman Empire so that sending reinforcements would be difficult while the Russian supply lines remain rather short and secure. Theater of the Pruth Campaign was pretty much the worst case scenario for Peter. The region remained a major theater for the next century (and nightmare logistically, getting supplies remained a major issue) but at least starting from the 1730s Russian army had a clear tactical advantage: even the cumbersome Munnich Squares had been a huge step forward. A idea of a square or columnar infantry formation acting offensively simply was not there, yet during Peter’s reign and weakness of the cavalry would not allow to copy methods of Prince Eugene (well, absence of his military genius also would be important 😢). But, besides the “objective” factors, there was also a psychological one: fear of the Ottomans. With the odds that Peter faced at Pruth any decent Russian general of the 2nd half of the XVIII would attack without a hesitation and win a victory (as Segur pointed out, by that time Russian perception was that the Ottomans are going to be beaten no matter what) but Peter freaked out and basically played Crassus: remained in a camp without access to the water and suffering from the heat and food shortage.

So if you are intended to stick to your wank Russia scenario and Peter is still going to war then probably you need to start with “wanking” him into a decent general (and to make some reasonable reforms prior to the campaign like introduction of the cuirassiers and hussars). Not to deviate too far from a reality, you may want to look at the Battle of Stavuchany (I suppose that the Battle of Kagul, not to mention the later Suvorov’s victories, would be slightly too much of a jump). Perhaps he can even be absent in an active army trusting command by his generals. Sheremetev was perhaps too cautious but in OTL Menshikov proved to be a decent and energetic field commander and Prince Michael Golitsyn was already on his way up (commander of the Guards at Poltava and lieutenant-general) and could get an independent command. And of course, Prince Anikita Repnin ( a lot of experience, even if somewhat uneven, commander of the Russian center at Poltava). Then there were good cavalry commanders like Carl Ewald von Rönne (the only one who acted with a remarkable success during the Pruth campaign forcin* capitulation of Brailov fortress) and Bauer.

And, of course, there is no need for the whole thing to go along the OTL lines strategically. There were enough forces for a multi-prong campaign in which the Azov flotilla could make a meaningful contribution. Perhaps a minimized version of the war of 1735-39 can be useful in the terms of ideas.
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You left Latvia within the PLC. Should be in Russia. 😜
Actually OP mentioned in some previous post that during the peace treaty, PLC demanded for Swedish Livonia and Swedish Courland (non-existent though, because Sweden did not own any part of Courland, as far as I know), so it seems like this demand was fullfilled. Not sure why Russia had given up Latvia to PLC nearing total military and political decline, but maybe Augustus II the Strong in this timeline is a better schemer and convinced Peter to fulfill initial plan and give Latvia to him. And Latvia/Livonia won't be incorporated anyway, the plan was to make this PLC's fief with Augustus II as a hereditary prince of Livonia paying homage to king of Poland (himself).
 
Actually OP mentioned in some previous post that during the peace treaty, PLC demanded for Swedish Livonia and Swedish Courland (non-existent though, because Sweden did not own any part of Courland, as far as I know), so it seems like this demand was fullfilled. Not sure why Russia had given up Latvia to PLC nearing total military and political decline, but maybe Augustus II the Strong in this timeline is a better schemer and convinced Peter to fulfill initial plan and give Latvia to him. And Latvia/Livonia won't be incorporated anyway, the plan was to make this PLC's fief with Augustus II as a hereditary prince of Livonia paying homage to king of Poland (himself).
To quote from @Israel_Dan the Man, “Livonia was taken IOTL before the POD occurred, so that was not one of my changes.”

A chance for Peter giving away the most valuable part of his Baltic conquest would be too small to discuss it seriously. In OTL he even agreed to pay Sweden a considerable compensation providing a Neystadt Treaty wording explicitly tells about the direct transfer of the provinces to Russia forever thus giving Peter a good excuse for ignoring his treaty with August. August being a better schemer would not help much: by the time of POD he is already defeated and Peter was considered his restoration on the PLC throne as enough of a reward. The PLC was not in a position to demand anything by the time of Neystadt: the treaty was strictly between Russia and Sweden.


I also doubt that the Estates of Livonia would prefer August: Peter confirmed all their privileges, they swore loyalty to him and Russian Empire was providing defnitely much better employment opportunities for the nobility and probably better economic situation for the burghers than the PLC or August’s personal domain. Definitely, a much greater security.
 
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A chance for Peter giving away the most valuable part of his Baltic conquest would be too small to discuss it seriously. In OTL he even agreed to pay Sweden a considerable compensation providing a Neystadt Treaty wording explicitly tells about the direct transfer of the provinces to Russia thus giving Peter a good excuse for ignoring his treaty with August. August being a better schemer would not help much: by the time of POD he is already defeated and Peter was considered his restoration on the PLC throne as enough of a reward. The PLC was not in a position to demand anything by the time of Neystadt: the treaty was strictly between Russia and Sweden.


I also doubt that the Estates of Livonia would prefer August: Peter confirmed all their privileges, they swore loyalty to him and Russian Empire was providing defnitely much better employment opportunities for the nobility and probably better economic situation for the burghers than the PLC or August’s personal domain. Definitely, a much greater security.
Allegedly, around 1710 Peter toyed with that idea (although according to this source he intended to give Livonia to PLC, which is contradictory to Augustus's intention). Augustus being a better schemer and somehow managing to convince Peter to give him Livonia is the only chance to get something like initial agreement between Augustus and Peter witht this POD (and this is a flimsy chance, at best, so I wrote about this to express my great doubt in Peter giving Livonia away). I didn't also mention anything about Livonian estates's opinion.
 
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