Conversion to Catholicism

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Matti23, Mar 12, 2018.

  1. Matti23 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2017


    After watching this series I had an idea. Could we see a European equivalent of this with different Christian groups replacing the groups in the video's scenario?

    If tech is roughly at the 1700's level and an unusually advanced Catholic nation is offering weapons with the caveat that only Catholic nations can buy their weapons, what would be the weakest possible weapons technology from the future (relative to the 1700's) you would have to offer to a Protestant King in order to have them convert to Catholicism? Would Minie Balls and American Civil War era rifles do the job? The Protestant nation involved is one of Europe's colonies surrounded by other Protestant nations of varying denominations who hate each other anyway and constantly war among themselves.

    How bad would the consequences of such a conversion be? Would a large chunk of the entire region gang up to crush the convert?

    We'll assume that we're dealing with an unscrupulous, power hungry King but I suppose the weapons would have to be pretty powerful relative to what they had before to be worth it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2018
  2. funnyhat Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2013
    I'm not sure why this nation would want to offer weapons when it could just keep them for itself and dominate everyone else? This is way before the era of the military-industrial complex.

    I think other nations would just send spies to steal the technology rather than abandon their religion.
     
    kholieken and Polish Eagle like this.
  3. Spelf Habsburgs and Hot Dogs

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2013
    Location:
    Albany, New York
    Probably not that much in the 18th century given the Westphalian settlement - plenty of Protestant countries had Catholic Kings (Saxony and the Electoral Palatinate come to mind).
     
  4. Kellan Sullivan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2012
    Well, by the 18th century there were several Protestant houses who had Catholic members/branches floating about. The Wettins and the Wittelsbachs are the best known examples. Then the Hohenzollerns had the Sigmaringen branch. However, as far as converting goes most of those changed before Westphalia or had never become Protestant to start with.

    Usually, it was younger sons with no chance to inherit who went into the imperial service. Those younger sons then converted to gain promotion (Philipp of Hesse-Darmstadt, governor of Mantua; Maximilian of Hannover (younger brother of Georg I) and I think a prince of Mecklenburg-Strelitz (ICR if it was a brother or nephew of Queen Charlotte) in the Imperial ranks.

    Of course, other ruling princes converted (Johann Friedrich of Brunswick (uncle to Georg I and father-in-law to Josef I), Anton Ulrich of Brunswick (grandfather to Elisabeth Christine, wife of Karl VI) and I think a prince of Hanau swapped over as well) as well, but if judging by how it went over in England when they had a Catholic king, I don't think we'll be seeing anything crazy like the king of Spain going Protestant or the king of Prussia becoming Catholic.
     
    Spelf likes this.
  5. Jan Olbracht Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2012
    Location:
    Polska
    IIRC over 50 German monarchs converted to Catholicism between 1600 and 1800. Among these converts interesting example is Frederic Augustus/Augustus II Wettin-being Catholic himself, he still discriminated Catholics in Electorate of Saxony.
     
    Torbald and Theodoric like this.
  6. Koprulu Mustafa Pasha Sadrazam of the Roman Empire

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2017
    Location:
    Sarajevo
    A catholic discriminating catholics. The pope would get a hearth attack hearing this :p
     
  7. Jan Olbracht Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2012
    Location:
    Polska
    Augustus would not mind this. After all he was supposed to have few hunderts illegitimate kids (he tried to beat Louis XIV ;) )) and allegedly his last words were: 'God, forgive me my whole life, because it was one, big sin'.
     
  8. Matti23 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2017
    I see. There's a bit of flexibility between Protestants and Catholics and stealing weapon tech is probably the way nations might go.

    What about Othrodox Christians and Catholics? There's a Byzantine Empire where the battle of Manzikert never happened who are attempting to retake the Italian Peninsula where the Renaissance is severely crippled outside the Byzantine Empire. This is because the people fleeing the crumbling OTL Byzantine Empire for the most part never leave in this timeline. These are the people who OTL would have contributed to kicking off the Renaissance outside OTL Byzantium. The Byzantine Empire is now an early adopter of gunpowder weaponry instead of the Ottomans, who never exist in this timeline.

    The Byzantine Empire supports local lords on the Italian Peninsula if they convert to Orthodoxy and try to mostly use locally sourced forces as much as possible. Is this going to work out for the Byzantines? Nope, it ends with them being kicked squarely in the nuts for their trouble. Definitely something you can see a Byzantine Emperor becoming obsessed with.
     
  9. Denv Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2017
    This is going to end with a crusade called against the Byzantine Empire.

    I think the extreme close proximity to the pope is going to make people pretty hesitant to convert.
     
  10. Gloss Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2014
    The concept of crusades didn't exist until well, the First Crusade(or chronologically the People's Crusade), especially the idea of crusades against heretics.
     
  11. Denv Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2017
    @Gloss, good point there. Although Manzikert is mentioned in that post but so are guns so I'm guessing the first crusade could have happened prior unless the first crusade has been butterflied away.