Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Schnozzberry, Jan 26, 2017.
Why Minnesota? The Yukon's colder...
Because I don't know how much land TTL America is going to control, so I guessed something approximating OTL's Lower 48 at the least. It's ultimately up to @Schnozzberry to determine how far TTL America goes.
I'm back! Sorry for not responding to the last bit of speculation (and your really nice words @HonestAbe1809), I was busy with classes. Anywho, I've got an Austria update again and the flames of Revolution draw ever closer, but the next update will definitely be on America. It's been yonks since I've talked about America, and this timeline is ostensibly an America-centric timeline.
"Soldaten! Zu den Waffen! Ihr Land schreit vor Angst!"
--Johann Freiherr von Hiller
As von Hiller and his five thousand seized Schönbrunn Palace, something was wrong. Von Hiller was delayed from seeing the Emperor for hours by palace staff. After having enough, von Hiller, flanked by loyal men, began to force his way towards the Emperor’s room, determined to get answers. The whole way there, staff attempted to stop him, pleading for von Hiller to stop. Finally reaching the Emperor’s room, von Hiller found him motionless, being attended by doctors and staff, his last rites being read to him.
Joseph II, by the grace of God elected Holy Roman Emperor, forever August, had fallen into a coma two days prior. Joseph had long been ill, having been bedridden since 1788. However, his health had been in significant decline throughout 1790, and when Emperor Joseph heard of von Hiller’s march on Vienna, the Emperor seemed to have given up on life. Having long since seen his reign as a failure, Emperor Joseph grew despondent upon hearing of the mutiny and refused to eat, directly leading to him falling into unconsciousness.
As von Hiller watched the Emperor being read his last rites, he knew his time to act was now. That day, von Hiller proclaimed himself the President of the Hofkriegsrat and his five thousand, along with what elements of the Viennese garrison pledged loyalty to von Hiller, secured their grasp over Vienna, arresting many government officials in the process. The only major official of the Austrian government who avoided the arrests was State Chancellor Anton who had fled days prior.
Emperor Joseph never recovered from his coma, and less than five hours after von Hiller’s coup seized Schönbrunn, the Emperor’s body let out one last breath. His death would spur on von Hiller to declare himself Regent for Joseph’s successor, his brother Leopold. Leopold, at the time the Grand Duke of Tuscany, refused to recognize von Hiller as Regent. Unfortunately for Leopold, the Austrian army did, although several higher officers would resign in protest in the following weeks. With the support of the Austrian army, von Hiller’s regime was secure in operating against Leopold’s wishes - at least for the short term.
Being first and foremost a military leader, von Hiller’s first actions revolved around the military situation Austria was in. The corruption and mismanagement that had led to the army in Prussia going hungry was swiftly cleaned up with the establishment of the Kriegsversorgungskommission or War Supply Commission. The Commission’s chief purpose was to operate as the army’s personal tax collectors, seizing money, foodstuffs and other supplies necessary for the war effort from the peasantry. Additionally, the Commission was to clamp down on corrupt officials and ensure competence in supply distribution. Ultimately, the Commission was extremely unpopular with the Austrian people and would bring about the collapse of von Hiller’s regime, but in the short term it significantly improved the supply situation.
As to the conduct of war, von Hiller changed Austria’s objectives in the east. Prussia was still the chief enemy, so von Hiller continued to dedicate the bulk of the Austrian war effort into Prussia’s defeat. However, the Russian and Polish forces still posed a significant threat, especially if they should cooperate with Prussia, so von Hiller decided to make overtures of peace with Austria’s eastern enemies. Both Tsarina Catherine and King Stanisław were overjoyed with the news of Austria’s capitulation as it meant that the swift and relatively bloodless war in Galicia would remain a swift and relatively bloodless war that could be far more easily exploited politically. Neither Tsarina or King particularly wanted the war with Austria to become a long grinding war akin to the Great Dutch War as such a war would almost certainly be massively unpopular, especially for Russia due to the defeats Russia had already suffered at the hands of the Ottoman Turks and Sweden.
One obstacle stood between the peace that all sides wanted, and peace: the differing objectives between Russia and Poland. Tsarina Catherine had hoped to humiliate Austria as a boost to Russian prestige, but the Tsarina did not want to actually break Austria or inflict enough damage that the Austrians might side with the Ottoman Turks against Russia, rather than the other way around. King Stanisław on the other hand wanted to reclaim Galicia, and if possible, leave an Austria angry at Russia that could be a possible future ally when Poland re-asserted its independence. This left a slightly awkward situation at the peace negotiations as von Hiller was perfectly willing to give up Galicia and Poland was perfectly willing to accept it, but Poland’s ostensible ally, Russia, rejected any proposal for Poland to regain Galicia. While negotiations would drag on, the “peace” that emerged during the process allowed for von Hiller’s regime to focus its entire military attention to the war in the west without fear of the Russo-Polish invasion pushing farther.
Unfortunately for Hungary, this also allowed von Hiller to ignore the war in Hungary as well. Regent Kazinczy would be recognized by von Hiller and token aid was sent to the forces of the Kingdom, but Kazinczy’s government was largely abandoned by Vienna. This led to Kazinczy reaching out to Leopold for assistance which Leopold was happy to provide. Upon learning of this, von Hiller was outraged and in private began to consider using his control to split the Austrian and Hungarian crowns. On August 16th, Leopold departed Tuscany for Hungary, intent to be crowned King in prelude to forcing his way to Vienna. Leopold wouldn’t reach Hungary however as his journey by was by sea, which allowed the Venetian navy to capture the uncrowned Emperor on August 29th.
Leopold’s capture led von Hiller to fear a betrayal of Austria by the uncrowned Emperor, that Leopold would surrender to Venice, Prussia and Britain in exchange for support against von Hiller’s government. Therefore, on September 16th, von Hiller declared the Habsburg monarchy suspended and that from this point forward, Austria, including her holdings in the Holy Roman Empire, Galicia and Bohemia would be split from Hungary to form the Commonwealth of Austria. Von Hiller would remain as Regent, however by von Hiller’s command, the royal house of Habsburg-Lorraine were forever removed from being eligible for the throne.
The move sent shockwaves throughout both the Habsburg domains and Europe. In Hungary, Kazinczy declared von Hiller a traitor and began to make plans to move against von Hiller after the Republicans were dealt with. The Hungarian republicans mistakenly believed von Hiller to be a crypto-republican and made moves to ally with Vienna which were promptly rejected. British papers mocked von Hiller as Austria’s own Cromwell while the Russians questioned whether a second Poland-Lithuania had been born. Loyalists throughout the Austrian Netherlands mistook the event as a sign Vienna had abandoned them. And on September 28th, citizens of Prague reacted by throwing representatives of von Hiller’s Commonwealth out a window. The Third Defenestration of Prague marked the beginning of the brief First Prague Uprising against von Hiller’s regime which despite being put down on October 19th showed the growing resentment the people had towards von Hiller’s government.
Hoping to boost his regime’s popularity in the aftermath of the First Prague Uprising, von Hiller proposed the establishment of an Austrian diet. On October 26th, von Hiller called for representatives of the first diet to be decided to assemble on July 5th, a year exactly after he proclaimed himself Regent. Von Hiller’s planned diet was to consist of four hundred delegates, 100 from the clergy, 100 from the nobility, 100 from the army and 100 from all others in a rough imitation of the French Estates-General. The proposed Diet did placate the Austrian populace some, and with the situation improving for the army, von Hiller’s control over the military remained absolute through the end of 1790.
In the western parts of the Holy Roman Empire however, trouble brewed. Already unstable as a result of the Great Dutch War, the Rhineland and Swabian regions saw widespread harvest failure in the fall of 1790. The crop failure drove food prices steadily higher, prompting widespread unrest throughout the region. Austria had already been sending troops into the region to maintain order, but as unrest continued to grow, von Hiller’s government found itself forced to divert manpower meant to reinforce the Silesian and Istrian armies to garrisoning the west instead. With disease running rampant through the army, despite the improved supply situation, the Austrian army in Silesia and Istria would shrink through the winter despite not fighting a single battle. Thus, when the snows melted and the campaign season of 1791 began, the Austrian army found itself too weakened to resume the offensive. Von Hiller remarked that “the Rhine is a bleeding ulcer and if it is not healed soon, we shall surely be bled to death.”
Spring of 1791 also saw the collapse of Stattholder William’s Orangists. Since the fall of Amsterdam, William and his government held out against British and secessionist pressure for as long as possible, however The Hague and Utrecht would both fall in March, and with them William’s last bastions of control. The Stattholder would flee to Austria, seeking refuge with von Hiller’s government. With the Orangist collapse, the new governments promoted by Britain and Prussia would be able to fully actualize. In the north, the Republic of Friesland would be fully established, and a new Principality of Drenthe-Ommelanden would be organized and annexed by Prussia. In the south, the Brabantine Republic would be carved out of both Dutch and Austrian Brabant by the British backed rebels. The remainder of the Austrian Netherlands and the overthrown Prince-Bishopric of Liege was generally under the control of the United States of Belgium however Austrian and Liege loyalists still maintained slivers of control, particularly in the regions around Luxembourg and Loon. The loss in the Netherlands soured the morale in Austria, but von Hiller refused to accept defeat, not with Silesia under Austria’s firm grip and (as far as von Hiller knew) Spain was still intent on seeing the war through as well.
But the future of Austria wouldn’t be determined through a battle in the fields of Prussia or the Netherlands. For the spring also saw the first meeting of future delegates to the Diet in the Schottenkirche, marking the birth of the Schotte Society...
I nominated you for the Turtledoves.
Woah, thank you very much! The fact my timeline is good enough for a nomination is crazy to me.
I guess it makes sense that Cromwell would be a more popular republican figure given the failures of other republicans to stabilize and consitutial monarchy being more common.
Slightly unrelated but I always felt sorry when I actually learned about Cromwell. He so desperately wanted a Republic but the parliament kept on screwing it up.
I don't think popular is the right term, at least in the context of the moment as the Cromwell comparison was meant in a mocking manner.
But that has gotten me thinking. Since there are is a bit more of a precedent for a right-wing Rouge and authoritarian mentality to republics, republicanism could be far more split between more libertarian, egalitarian, Rot Republicanism and more aristocratic, religious, Rouge Republicanism. It wouldn't be a cut and dry line obviously, but I would see it as a divide between political mentalities. Republics like the Venetian and Dutch Republics might not be seen as corrupt forms of republicanism or as pseudo-monarchies, but a separate form altogether, and Rouge Republicans might view Cromwell and von Hiller as Rouge Republicans born too early and celebrate them.
I think republicanism can certainly mesh well with a ideology in which the justifying principle of the republican form is not popular sovereignty but national sovereignty, the nation ruling itself by choosing its best and without recourse to royals of uncertain patriotism or ability. Von Hiller certainly seems to be approaching this with his decision to cut Hungary loose and focus on the "Austrian nation".
Future Rougist republics will likely then be required to protect certain national traditions, which may involve giving the state or affiliated cultural/religious organizations (e.g. churches, parties) a limited role in influencing and regulating culture. The main opposition to this might be from more centrist republicans inspired by positive examples abroad. Hopefully there will be enough of those TTL.
No one else.............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................ok then I'm gonna do it.................................................................................................................................................................................Heil Hiller!
I think the national sovereignty as the basis of Rouge Republicanism is a really good way to represent it. The representative part of republic could be taken as the national need being representative of the people, rather than an actual direct representative government.
I had initially considered having von Hiller become the "Leader" of the Commonwealth rather than Regent. It seemed a bit too on the nose.
Regent feels more organic, and more fitting for von Hiller's hybrid polity. Makes me think of Miklos Horthy.
I do wonder about the Hungarian conflict-- if Martinovics's republic is not long for this world, and Kazinczy's main backers have been deposed, who actually ends up winning? A third figure backed by the Schottes? The Russians or Poles?
The real question mark in the upcoming conflict, though, is France. Will it just stay neutral to preserve its peace and avoid provoking the Septimanians or the Parisian reformists? And how have France's colonies fared during the Civil War years?
I've got a question, whatever happened to Robespierre?
I realize I didn't really explain it the best, but the Hungarian conflict can be relatively easily resolved by Kazinczy's government once it gets going, the Hungarian Republic isn't really an organized force, the description of it as "little more than a rioting mob" is fairly accurate, the only thing that has changed is the size of the mob.
But that doesn't mean that there won't be Russian or Polish involvement, and Schotte Austria will definitely be involved at some point.
As for France, well, I know I referenced France threatening to get involved, but the French will stay out for now. Nobody in France will really want to go to war as the country needs time to rebuild, the petite-guerre in the northwest is still festering, and the tensions between Paris and Septimania could boil over again.
France's colonies stayed loyal to Paris and relatively peaceful. Saint-Domingue/Haiti could still be destabilized as in OTL if Paris isn't careful, but it remains firmly in French hands at the moment.
Robespierre would be one of the more radical reformists in the Estates-General, but as with OTL when the reforms of the French Revolution were relatively moderate, Robespierre has been sidelined by the moderate faction.
Excellent! As long as Robespierre is kept away from power then everything should be fine. How is Jacques Pierre Brissot doing?
Actually, France will be pretty alright.
I'm not too familiar with Brissot, but after reading a bit on him, I have an idea based on his role as an abolitionist. If I use it, it'll pop up soon.
I don't like that gif. Oh never mind, I didn’t see the white text.
Hello everyone! So, the next update isn't quite done still, but I believe I'll finish it tonight.
But, the next update has reference to the Legions of the United States, and I started banging together vexilliums for the four Legions that the United States has currently organized.
Thought you all might enjoy seeing these, and I'm curious to see what you all think of them.
Spoiler: Legion I Philidelphia
Spoiler: Legion II New York
Spoiler: Legion III Boston
Spoiler: Legion IV Savannah
Ooh, Roman! I’m guessing the new Royal Kingdom of America will try to have a classical design?
America will have a bit of the Roman aesthetic with Americans viewing their country as consisting of "the Liberties of the Republic, the Empire of the Caesars."
Effectively, it's just ramping up the OTL idea of America being a successor to the Roman Republic to being a complete successor to Rome.
My nicknames for each legion?
Philidelphia- the Firsters, or the Prouds
New York- the Yanks
Boston- the Indians or Tea spitters, box chuckers
Savannah- the Lions ( to themselves) the Blacks/among others (Smartasses in the other legions.....and civilians)
Nice little hint. I think we've all been waiting for you to get back to the glorious empire.
Separate names with a comma.