Update 58b - Kitpoo (part II)
Update 58b – Kitpoo (part II)

(Nouvelle Genève, July 1667)

“Where are they taking us?” Kitpoo asked the captive next to him. Kitpoo's companion Aplikmuj, who was also L'Nuk by birth, had spent enough time around the Kanatians that he knew their language. While Kitpoo had tried to pick up as much of the language as he could in the month in which he had been held in captivity, he still barely understood his guards' instructions.

“I think the guards said we're going to Terasara,” the man replied. “We're probably being sent to the iron mines there. Of course, we wouldn't go directly there. We'll probably be brought there via Hochelaga. My guess is that these packs we are carrying are only going as far as Hochelaga. We'll probably get new packs for the remainder of the journey.” [1]

Kitpoo and Aplikmuj stood side-by-side in a column of nearly one hundred captives which walked forward two men abreast. Each of them had his head shaved, walked barefoot, and had been dressed in the plain woollen robes that all captives wore. Each carried a pack bearing some unidentified cargo. Each captive was bound to the man beside him by a pair of metal cuffs joined by a chain. These cuffs were strung together on a long rope running the front of the column to the back. [2] Clearly, the Arkevujay warriors who marched at the front and back of the column were worried about the captives trying to escape.

Kitpoo had gotten a chance to meet most of the other captives during his month-long stay in Fort Josev. Most of them were warriors like himself who had attempted a raid on Nouvelle Genève or on settlements in Kanata proper. However, there were some who had claimed to have had no intention of engaging in warfare, and had simply been caught by Arkevujay patrols while off hunting in the wrong part of the Abenaki Mountains. Everyone told Kitpoo that the Arkevujay were ranging deeper into the Abenaki Mountains than they ever had before, although Kitpoo hadn't been around long enough himself to know. [3]

The column of captives and soldiers marched along the road away from Fort Josev, following the bank of the St-Joseph River. As the column passed through a gap between two hills, Kitpoo caught sight of the city of Nouvelle Genève. It was a lot smaller and shabbier-looking than Kitpoo had thought it would be. He had envisioned something like the English settlement at Lennox Harbour with its stone buildings and earthen ramparts. The buildings of Nouvelle Genève were made of wood and plaster, and were surrounded by a simple log palisade. Kitpoo could see why Nouvelle Genève, with its weak defenses, was such a tempting target for raiders.

It was only shortly after Kitpoo first caught sight of the city that he saw the puff of smoke and heard the crack of musket fire. The noise and smoke was coming from the far side of the city, indicating that Nouvelle Genève must be under attack. By the time Kitpoo realized what was happening, he was already surrounded by commotion as the Arkevujay warriors began shouting orders to each other. The column of captives were stopped as most of the warriors rushed off in the direction of the city. Only a dozen warriors were left to guard the captives. Clearly, the Arkevujay were confident in their captives' restraints.

“Are we just supposed to stand here?” Kitpoo asked his companion. “If we're not walking, wouldn't it be better to sit down?”

“The guards specifically asked us to remain standing,” Aplikmuj replied, “they want us to be ready to move at a moment's notice. Besides, getting all of us to sit without tangling the ropes would probably be quite … what's going on?”

Kitpoo noticed it too: arrows whizzing through the air towards the Arkevujay soldiers who stood guard. The arrows deflected easily off the soldiers' wooden armour, although one was struck in the neck. The others turned to face the direction that the arrows had come from, moving away from the column. It was as the soldiers drew away from the column that Kitpoo heard the crack of musket fire again, and smoke rose from the trees above the road. The ambushers were clearly a large group of well-armed warriors, and not just a half-dozen men with bows. Within minutes, all of the soldiers were either dead, incapacitated, or had fled.

Leading the group of ambushers who emerged from the trees was none other than Kitpoo's friend Chegual. “You've come to rescue me?” Kitpoo asked in surprise.

“No, no,” Chegual replied, “I wouldn't be able to convince all these men to follow me if I was just here to free a few captives. What we're really after is in your packs.”

“And what's that?” Kitpoo asked as Chegual began cutting the rope that bound the captives to each other.

Chegual reached a hand into Kitpoo's pack. After fumbing around for a bit, he drew out a small leather pouch. Inside were a number of intricately shaped metal disks. “These,” he said, “are pelt tokens. Each is equal in value to a beaver pelt. They are collected from Nouvelle Genève as tribute by the Arkevujay.” [4]

By now the ambushers had succeeded at cutting the ropes, and were leading the captives away into the woods. Looking back, Kitpoo could tell that the soldiers who had rushed to the defence of Nouvelle Genève had by now realized that the attack had simply been a ruse, and were on their way back. The captives would need to move quickly in order to make their escape.

“When we got back to Fort Henry after the last attack,” Chegual continued, “there was a man from Nouvelle Genève waiting for us. He had reached a deal with the English to trade them furs if they could secure some of these pelt tokens for him. The English, in turn, needed our help to get these tokens. This man had connections inside Fort Josev, and knew when a large shipment of pelt tokens would be sent from Fort Josev back to Hochelaga. We timed our raid accordingly, and were lucky that we made it past Fort Josev without being detected. If we can make it back to Fort Henry, the English will make us rich!”

* * * *

(Fort Henry, July 1667)

The past few days had been a blur. Kitpoo felt like he hadn't really stopped walking since he had left Fort Josev, although he knew that wasn't really the case. They had taken that break early on the first day to remove the cuffs from the captives' wrists, and had stopped a couple times every day since to check the traps that Chegual had set on the way too Nouvelle Genève. Most of the traps were empty, but, every so often, there was a rabbit or bird that could be cooked for dinner. And, of course, they would stop walking at night, once it got too dark to continue safely.

Every night, they had caught sight of the campfire of their pursuers behind them. It seemed that every night, the Arkevujay fire had been a little closer than it had been the night before. At the same time, every night the fugitive party got closer and closer to the safety of Fort Henry. However, the fugitives simply couldn't keep up as good a pace as the Arkevujay warriors. Many of them had been wounded when they had first been captured, and they were all barefoot and poorly clothed. While their rescuers had often offered to share their own shoes and clothing, there was simply not enough to go around.

It was just before noon on the last day that Kitpoo first caught sight of the Arkevujay in daylight. Chegual had stopped the group in order to check another one of his traps, and Kitpoo was walking down a hillside to a small stream when he noticed the shapes of other men on the next ridge behind them. Judging by the distance, it was likely only hours before they caught up. Kitpoo quickly turned and ran back to the rest of the group “How far to Fort Henry?” Kitpoo asked Chegual. “I just caught sight of the Arkevujay. They're not far behind us now.”

“Oh, we should be there by mid-afternoon,” Chegual replied. “We can make it. We just need to keep up the pace.” Chegual got up from his trap and called out to the rest of the group. “Come on everyone! Rest time is over. We need to get moving, or else we'll be dead before we make it to Fort Henry!”

For the rest of the afternoon, the group was tense as they walked. They made a better pace than they had on other days, but Kitpoo still felt that it wasn't good enough. That afternoon, Chegual refused to give the group a break when they caught sight of Fort Henry. The Arkevujay were closing fast, and would soon be within range to fire. “We can rest for days once we're inside those walls,” he said, “but for now we need to keep walking. It's better to be alive with bleeding feet than to take a break and get killed.”

Fort Henry stood on a small hill surrounded by a large field overlooking the Kwinentucket River. In was only shortly after the fugitives left the forest and emerged onto the field, that the Arkevujay themselves emerged from the trees. They were definitely within firing range now, and probably had been for quite some time, but their approach had been obscured by the forest. “Run,” Chegual cried out. “They will open fire as soon as they can the forest. We need to get to the walls of the fort before we are killed!”

Sure enough, Kitpoo heard orders shouted behind him as the Arkevujay readied their weapons. The first volley was launched, and men fell on either side of Kitpoo. With the second volley, Chegual fell out of sight. Still, Kitpoo ran towards the fort as best he could. His bare, bruised feet stung with pain with every footfall. With the third volley, Kitpoo felt a searing pain in his leg and fell to the ground. Looking up he could see men lying in the grass all around him crying out in pain. It would only be a matter of time before the Arkevujay shot down the last of their former captives.

A loud BOOMstartled Kitpoo. It sounded like a musket shot, but was louder and deeper somehow. Another BOOM, and Kitpoo came to realize the sound wasn't coming form the Arkevujay. It was coming from Fort Henry. Another BOOM and Kitpoo saw the metal balls whizzing by overhead. They looked like musket balls, but were much, much larger. They flew in a cluster overhead, all travelling together to where the Arkevujay soldiers stood. [5] He looked back and saw the Arkevujay retreating into the forest. The English, the English had come to their rescue! Kitpoo breathed a sigh of relief. He collapsed into his pain and lost consciousness.

Footnotes to part b:

[1] Using captives to carry cargo in packs is a cheap method of transportation to areas not easily reached by river or road. It also keeps the captives consistently more tired than the soldiers escorting them to demoralize them and discourage them from trying to escape. However, the arkevujay do also use riverboats, ox-carts, and/or pack animals to transport goods when captives are not readily available.

[2] While building iron cuffs and short chains is well within the capacities of the Arkevujay smiths, building a chain long enough to make a proper chain gang is too expensive, so rope is used instead.

[3] An explanation of why the Arkevujay are being more aggressive with their expeditions into the Abenaki Mountains will be provided in the next update.

[4] As mentioned in some previous updates, the Kanatian economy is on its way to becoming a money-based economy, with coins being introduced as tokens which are equal in value to a standard beaver pelt. This allows the Arkevujay to collect tribute in the form of coins rather than pelts, and to then use those coins to purchase food and other agricultural goods. These coins are made from an iron-based alloy. The other ingredients in the alloy are added mostly to give the coins a different appearance from regular iron to deter counterfeiting (while there are many independent smiths who could conceivably make counterfeit coins, the Arkevujay control the only mines and ore-smelting facilities, making it difficult for anyone else to produce the exact alloy).

[5] They are firing grapeshot from Fort Henry's cannon. I've tried to describe grapeshot in the way it would be perceived by someone unfamiliar with artillery. I hope I've done an adequate job.
Can you actually see the shot in grape shot at it travels? I'd have thought it travelled far too fast.

certainly 19th and 20th century grapesshot travels much too fast. i somehow figured that since 17th century muzzle velocities were a lot lower, that round shot and grapeshot would be easier to see. but the question is really would it be enough easier to see.

it also depends on the size of the grapeshot balls and the distance of the observer from the shot's trajectory (farther away makes for a slower apparent velocity). my guess is that he would be able to detect that something was moving overhead but would be unable to resolve the individual balls.

at the same time, my priorities are always to create a plausible culture, language, and politics rather than writing plausible battle scenes. I have almost 0 interest in military history on the tactical level, and so really i'my just not willing to research grapeshot or musket technology the way I research languages and cultures.
Update 59 - the Second Wabanaki War
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Update 59 – The Second Wabanaki War

(a) an excerpt from The History of Old Kanata 1500-1700 by Georges Hantero (Turtle)

To some Euro-centric historians, the name “Second Wabanaki War” simply refers to nothing more than the North American theatre of the War of the Darmstadt Succession (or First Rhineland War). These are often the same historians who describe the “First Wabanaki War” as being the North American theatre of the War of the Scottish Succession. While the Second Wabanaki War would have been very different if there had been no European conflict between England and France at the time, it wasn't simply a theatre of the European conflict, but a war of its own which was exacerbated by the conflict in Europe.

What is commonly referred to as the “Second Wabanaki War” was actually a convergence of two separate, but related wars. There was the ongoing Arkevujay-Wabanaki War which had its epicentre in the St.Joseph-Kwinentukett Corridor, and in which England and France intervened, and a separate Anglo-French War which in North America amounted to a naval war between the English and French colonies. While these two wars took place at the same time, and involved many of the same players, they had distinct causes, and evolved somewhat independently. For the purposes of Kanatian history, the only relevant detail of the ongoing Anglo-French war was the way in which the intervention of both colonial powers in the Arkevujay-Wabanaki conflict led to a period of more intense warfare. It is really this intervention that I will be describing here.

The conflict between the Arekvujay Empire and the Wabanaki Confederacy had been brewing for decades before England or France got involved. The Wabanaki Confederacy had been undertaking extensive raids on Kanatian-French trade ever since the 1640s. These raids grew in intensity as the value of the Kanatian-French trade increased, and as the Wabanaki themselves ran out of local sources of furs. By the early 1660s, these raids had become a major liability for the Arkevujay and New France alike.

Thus, in 1662, the Arkevujay and the government of New France began a campaign aimed at stopping these raids before they could get anywhere near the Wanedawa [OTL *St. Lawrence]. Both New France and the Kanatian Arkevujay began undertaking regular patrols of the land South of the Wanedawa, and two new forts were built in order to serve as bases for these patrols. The French built Fort Gérard near the abandoned gold fields, both as a base for patrols as well as to defend against any raids on Stadacona which attempted to make use of the Swift River [OTL *Chaudière] valley. The Kanatians built Fort Josev on the upper reaches of the St.-Joseph River [OTL *Rivière St.-François] upstream from the City of Nouvelle Genève. [1]

When Nouvelle Genève had been originally founded, it had depended on trade with New England (via the upper Kwinentukett [OTL *Connecticut River] Valley) for its survival. English maps from the 1640s and 1650s often showed Nouvelle Genève as being a part of New England, even though it lay beyond the watershed boundary that was supposed to mark the edge of New England (according to their treaty with New France). [2] While the New English government in New Bristol claimed Nouvelle Genève as falling under their jurisdiction, they never enforced their authority, and refused to protect Nouvelle Genève from Wabanaki raids.

The construction of Fort Josev, beginning in 1663, angered the government of New England, who saw this as a violation of their territory by the Arkevujay. New Bristol soon ordered the construction of an English fort, Fort Henry, on the upper Kwinentukett River, just opposite Fort Josev. Fort Henry would be garrisoned by only a token English force, but would serve as a supply base from which the Wabanaki could launch more frequent raids against Nouvelle Genève. These raids in turn upset the Arkevujay, who began patrolling deeper and deeper into New England's claimed territory in search of Wabanaki raiding parties.

At the same time, New England's refusal to defend their claimed territory around Nouvelle Genève from Wabanaki raids forced the city to turn to the Kanatian Arkevujay for defence. In exchange for this defence, the Arkevujay collected tribute from the citizens of Nouvelle Genève. At first, this tribute usually amounted to craftspeople in Nouvelle Genève taking on Arkevujay trainees as apprentices. However, by the 1660s, the Arkevujay had learned most of the skills that they could from Nouvelle Genève, and instead demanded tribute in the form of furs or pelt tokens.

To a certain extent, it was the inability of Nouvelle Genève to acquire the furs or tokens necessary to pay the tribute which was the immediate cause of the Second Wabanaki War. A group of citizens form Nouvelle Genève, angered at what they saw as extortion demands form the Arkevujay, hatched a scheme to steal pelt tokens from the Arkevujay themselves in order to pay the owed tribute. In the summer of 1667, they would make contact with Fort Henry where they would recruit Wabanaki raiders to steal some pelt tokens for them. They would pay the Wabanaki in furs, but at only half the tokens' face value, allowing the schemers to make a tidy profit.

In the end, this scheme backfired. The Wabanaki raiders, after stealing the tokens, were pursued to the walls of Fort Henry itself. In a one-sided battle outside the walls, the Arkevujay proceeded to kill most of the raiders, while they were watched by the Fort Henry's English garrison. If the French had not been allied with the Arkevujay against the Wabanaki raiders, or if the English and French had been on better terms in Europe, things might have gone differently. However, French-English relations were bad enough at the time that the officer in charge of Fort Henry was eager to find an excuse to start a war against a French ally. He ordered Fort Henry's sole cannon to be loaded with grapeshot and fired on the Arkevujay soldiers. After only a few volleys, the Arkevujay turned and ran back into the woods.[3]

It must be made clear that, at this time, the Arkevujay had long seen the English as an enemy. In Arkevujay eyes, the English supported the Wabanaki and the Wabanaki were the greatest nuisance on any of their borders at this time. However, until the construction of Fort Henry, the Arkevujay had simply had no way to strike at the English. New Bristol was too far from Kanata to be easily attacked, and the English traders which had long frequented the Upper Kwinentucket Valley weren't worth attacking.

However, now that Fort Henry had been constructed within a few days' march of Fort Josev, the Arkevujay had a target which they thought they could take. Only a few weeks after the initial battle outside the walls, a newer, larger Arkevujay army arrived to beseige Fort Henry and starve the garrison into submission. The Arkevujay knew better than to launch a head-on assault, as Fort Henry had one cannon, while they had none. However, Fort Henry at this time was dependant on the Kwinentukett River for its water supply, and by building a camp opposite the river from the Fort, the Arkevujay could succeed at mowing down any Englishman who left the fort to fetch water. While the defenders of Fort Henry had stored some water before the siege began, the water stores were not enough to last long. After less than a month of siege, Fort Henry surrendered, and its garrison turned over control to the Arkevujay.

When news of the capture of Fort Henry reached New Bristol, Governor Joseph Lockley was livid. The fall of an English fort to people that Lockley saw as 'savages' was simply unacceptable to him. He spent the winter scraping an army together, and insisted on leading the troops himself in the Spring. Lockley's small army of 300 men was made up mostly of militiamen who had previously fought against the Nipmuc and Pequot. Many of them were unaccustomed to fighting a disciplined adversary, and few were professional soldiers. Moreover, Lockley had neglected to make adequate logistical preparations, and had departed so early in the spring that the ice had still not melted from parts of the Kwinentukett River. Thus, Lockley's army was often forced to march ahead of the Wabanaki canoes that had been contracted to carry their supplies, and morale was very low by the time the English troops reached Fort Henry.

Needless to say, the 1668 Battle of Fort Henry was a disaster for the English. Lockley only barely survived the battle himself, and was relieved of the governorship once news of his disgrace made it back to England. However, by this time, France had become embroiled in the War of the Darmstadt Succession, and the government in Coventry was in the processing of debating whether or not they should get involved. Going to war against the Kanatians in North America was seen as a way of taking advantage of France's distraction in Europe without having to commit to an all-out war with France. Thus, the new governor, William Spence, was sent to New England in the late months of 1668, accompanied by 500 professional soldiers, and was given the explicit task of taking not only Fort Henry but also Fort Josev, and, if possible, Hochelaga itself.

Before the reader scoffs at how utterly implausible it would be for an army of 500 to take out Hochelaga itself, one must remember, that, at the time, the total fighting-age strength of the Arkevujay Warrior corps was likely no more than 5000. Even the Arkevujay headquarters in Hochelaga never contained a garrison of more than 500, and no Arkevujay fort was built to withstand artillery attack. Spence hoped that his force could recruit enough New English militiamen to outnumber the Arkevujay garrisons, and that its artillery could smash the Kanatian forts before reinforcements could be mustered.

Spence, unlike Lockley, was acutely aware of the logistical limitations of New England, and was able to secure a better contingent of Wabanaki auxilliaries, and would send many of them ahead with supplies. The campaign of 1669 saw 800 men under Spences' command make it to the walls of Fort Henry, accompanied by a few small artillery pieces. After losing a battle against the English outside the walls, the Arkevujay decided to withdraw from Fort Henry, which was simply not equipped to withstand a siege.

After the capture of Fort Henry, Spence would move on to his next target: Fort Josev. Fort Josev was larger than Fort Henry, and was capable of housing 500 defenders. However, it was built out of wood and was very vulnerable to artillery fire. After winning a number of small battles, Spence and his army made it to Fort Josev, where his cannon made short work of the walls. The Arkevujay were again forced to retreat, leaving both Fort Josev and Nouvelle Genève in English hands.

However, before Spence could advance any farther than Nouvelle Genève, winter set in. The Kwinentukett River froze up, preventing supply canoes from making it upriver to Fort Henry. Thus, Spence was forced to feed his army by raiding the granaries of Nouvelle Genève, and employing his Wabanaki auxilliaries to hunt for food. The harsh Kanatian winter was demoralizing to many of Spences' soldiers, and Spence was forced to repeatedly loot Nouvelle Genève in order to find goods to trade to the Wabanaki for food. By the time spring came, most of the population of Nouvelle Genève had fled, and Spence found himself occupying an empty land.

The spring of 1670 would see the Arkevujay strike back against Spences' forces with renewed vigour. An army of 2500 would be deployed to the St.-Joseph theatre. While the Arkevujay had lost almost every battle they had fought in 1669, this was largely because they were not used to fighting a better-equipped, more discipled enemy. They had spent the 1669-1670 winter preparing to fight the English, and had even secured French support in loaning them two artillery pieces complete with the crews to operate them.

However, despite their improved morale and numerical superiority, it would take the Arkevujay three attempts to finally recapture Fort Josev. This was partly due to English tenacity in defending their position, and partly due to improvements that Spence had made to the fort over the winter. However, the Arkevujay troops attacking Fort Josev were also experiencing a shortage of powder at this time; the Arkevujay had not adequately prepared themselves to fight a disciplined, gunpower-armed enemy. It was largely this powder shortage which led the Kanatians to cease their advance once they took back Fort Josev, allowing Spence to withdraw to Fort Henry.

The gunpowder shortage at the end of the Second Wabanaki War would be the beginning of a much longer period of general social upheaval. The war fought against Spences' English army was the first time that the Kanatian Arkevujay had fought even a small European force, and their gunpowder stores had not been adequately stocked to supply such a war effort. During the winter of 1669-1670, the Arkevujay were forced to step up gunpowder production which led to a need to procure additional raw materials, including manure. Throughout much of the winter, Arkevujay regiments would visit villages throughout the Amekwista Valley, demanding that they surrender their manure stores in return for freshly-minted pelt tokens.

In the early spring of 1670, one sole village, Adewato, refused to turn over its manure stores, as the manure was needed to fertilize the fields before spring planting. In retaliation, the Arkevujay rounded up the Clan Mothers of the village and executed them before taking the manure anyways. This punishment for disobeying the Arkevujay was not unusual for the time, and had been practiced for decades. However, in Adewato, there was one Clan Mother who escaped punishment. Her name was Madeleine Avatreskvati, and she had taken refuge with the Magdalene Priestesses. Avatreskvati's writings - printed by the Huguenot printing presses and distributed by the Magdalene Priestesses - would inspire the 'Amekwista Revolts' which would eventually grow to give rise to the Kanatian Revolution. [4]

By the summer of 1670, the Arekvujay leadership was willing to sit down and negotiate peace with the English. The Peace of Nouvelle Genève, signed by New France, New England, the Kanatian Arkevujay, and key leaders amongst the Wabanaki, would be the first peace negotiation in North America to include more than one colonial power as well as multiple Native leaders. According to the treaty, the boundary between the Arkevujay Empire and New England, like that between New England and New France, would run along the height of land between the St.-Joseph and Kwinentuckett watersheds. Thus, New England would be allowed to keep Fort Henry while the Arkevujay could keep Fort Josev.

While the Peace of Nouvelle Genève would essentially restore the territorial status quo, the war itself had displaced the Huguenots who had previously settled in the area, meaning that the land now needed to be resettled. As had been done with other conquered lands, the Arkevujay settled the St.-Josev valley by inviting ambitious young women to become Clan Mothers of new villages to be founded in the new Jenev and Josev districts. [5] While some Huguenots would return to Nouvelle Genève, most would remain in the lands to which they had fled. Many would settle in 'Petite Rochelle' communities amongst the towns and cities of the Maisouna and Dekektare districts. Those Huguenots who had collaborated with the English occupiers (especially young women who had become entangled with English soliders) would go on to settle in the region now known as the 'French Hills' near Fort Henry. Even today, many of the oldest families in the French Hills can still trace their genealogy to Huguenots who fled from Nouvelle Genève during the Second Wabanaki War.

As peace was returning to the St.-Joseph-Kwinentukett corridor, a greater calamity than war would befall Kanata. It was likely the arrival of English soldiers in Nouvelle Genève which had first introduced measles to Kanata. The new disease would spread like wildfire, reaching Maisouna and Hochelaga in 1570, Wendake by 1571, and Chikakwa in 1572. While the Red Sisterhood had taught the Kanatian people how to identify the early warning signs of smallpox infection, allowing the sick to be confined to hospital before they became contagious, measles spread too quickly for such a quarantine to be effective. Even when patients were confined to hospital, their sickness would simply spread to the Red Sisters, who had no immunity to the new disease. It was largely the consequences of this measles epidemic, together with the ongoing Amekwista Revolts, which would lead to the upheaval of the Kanatian Revolution… [6]

(b) an excerpt from Europeans in America: A History of Colonization by Georges Hantero (Turtle)

…In the early months of 1670, William Bourbon, King of England and the Netherlands, entered the War of the Darmstadt Succession by issuing a declaration of war against France. While much of the fighting between France and the Netherlands would be land-based fighting in Flanders and the Rhineland, the Anglo-French war would be largely fought at sea as the English and French fleets clashed with each other.

To understand this naval conflict, and how it affected the North American colonies, it is important to understand the different natures of English and French naval forces at the time. England and the Netherlands both had larger merchant fleets than France, and most of their wartime naval capacity was drawn from their merchant fleets (either through the purchase or hiring of merchant ships by the Crown or through privateering). Both countries' principal naval antagonist for most of the 17th century had been Spain. The English and Dutch naval warfare against Spain had largely consisted of raids on the Spanish treasure convoys returning from the New World, and had largely been carried out by privateers. Neither England nor the Netherlands had had a need to invest in large purpose-built warships, as their plentiful merchant fleets could double as privateers in wartime. Thus, the few Crown-owned warships in England and the Netherlands were used mostly for coastal defence and naval confrontations in European waters, and few were truly capable of trans-Atlantic voyages.

At the same time, the French, who had a much less extensive merchant fleet, had spent much of the 17th century investing in large galleons and other warships. These galleons, starting with the King Charles Galleons in the 1590s, were built with the explicit purpose of being able to mount offensive naval actions on both sides of the Atlantic. It was largely this war fleet which had enabled France to successfully capture New Valencia [OTL *Argentina and *Chile] from the Spanish, and which had secured Jamaïque and the other French holdings in the Caribbean. While both England and the Netherlands had more ships at their disposal than France, the only English and Dutch warships of the same quality and range as the French galleons were owned by the English and Dutch East India Companies, and were permanently stationed in the Indian Ocean. Neither the English nor the Dutch Royal treasuries could afford the aggressive shipbuilding programs undertaken by the French, as neither country had a tax base anywhere approaching that of France.

This meant that, in the 1670s, the English and Dutch colonies in North America were quite vulnerable to French attack. While the merchants of New Bristol, New Amsterdam, and Sint Pieter were able to put together large enough defensive fleets to fend off French attacks, these same merchants were often unwilling to defend the smaller harbours where they had no commercial interests. Thus, French raids on the Narragansett District, New Groningen, and Van Hoorn went largely unopposed. The Robertsburgh Company of New Scotland found itself declaring neutrality in the ongoing war in order to prevent an attack by the French navy. [7]

The only major naval battle lost by the French during this time was against the Danish fleet based out of Christiansborg in Danish Florida. [8] Denmark had put much of its income from sound tolls towards building a fleet of warships to rival that of France, and was the only European power at the time which could match France in terms of warship quality. The Danish were thus able to defeat the French on the seas, keeping French raids away from Danish Florida (and Southern New Netherlands). This meant that French raids would remain focused on New England in the North.

One of the first attacks made by the French navy in 1670 was directed at the English port of New Calais [near OTL *Pictou, Nova Scotia], which lay in close proximity to the French naval base at Port Vert [near OTL *Souris, PEI]. After a quick battle, much of New Calais was set on fire, and the ships in the harbour were taken as prizes back to Port Vert. This devastating attack had infuriated the residents of what was to become the Calais District of New England, and soon a counterattack was organized. The next spring, while the French fleet was out patrolling the Cabot Strait, [9] a fleet of small fishing boats slipped through the Strait of Unamakik [OTL *Strait of Canso] and attacked Port Vert by surprise. While the attack was unable to penetrate the town or fortress guarding the harbour, the attackers did succeed at capturing a number of ships that lay at anchor, including three French galleons.

The “fishermens' raid”, as this attack became known, was responsible for drawing French attention to the strategic importance of Unamakik Island [OTL *Cape Breton Island]. While France had recognized Unamakik as English territory since the end of the First Wabanaki War, they changed this position during the Second Wabanaki War, claiming that Unamakik (which they called 'Ile-St-Pierre') was one of the 'islands of the St. Lawrence Gulf' which had been assigned to France. [10] St. Peter's, [11] the only English settlement on Unamakik (from which Ile-St.-Pierre got its name), was destroyed by the French just before the end of the Second Wabnaki War. While England would get a chance to rebuild St. Peter's after the war, France would also build a settlement of their own, building a town on the banks of the Baie du Sable [OTL St Anns Bay, Cape Breton] which would go on to grow into the great French fortress of Colline-du-Roi.

By the end of 1671, the War of the Darmstadt Succession had ended in Europe, and the North American colonies would return to a state of peace. The peace treaty signed in Europe said nothing about the colonial borders in North America, and thus no territory changed hands. However, the devastating French raids had forever altered the settlement patterns of the Protestant Colonies. Many who had lived along the shores of the smaller harbours instead retreated inland or relocated to the larger ports of New Bristol, New Amsterdam, and Sint Pieter. The many peninsulas and islands which protruded into the Atlantic were abandoned by European settlers, and many would soon become Reserves for the various Native nations which were being displaced from their lands. The vulnerability of sea-borne trade to French attack led to the construction of roads joining the various colonies, and the development of inland riverine trade routes. While coastal trade was still the norm in times of peace, these roads and rivers provided an extra measure of trade security, and allowed people to move more easily between the English and Dutch colonies. The most ambitious of these road projects was the Bristol-Burbon road which connected the Northern end of the Dutch river network at Fort Burbon with the New English capital at New Bristol.

Thus the War of the Darmstadt Succession, while it had little direct impact on the colonial borders, would shape the development of the Protestant Colonies. In the history of the Protestant Colonies, the last quarter of the 17th century is often known as the 'conquest of the hinterland' when the focus of the colonial governments moved away from the founding of new far-flung opportunities to instead concentrate on developing the areas between and around the existing colonial centres. The 'conquest of the hinterland' is often described as a time of colonial expansion brought on by the economic successes and demographic grown of the colonies founded earlier in the century. However, critics of this sort of triumphalist historiography instead describe this period as a sort of 'flight to the hills' brought on by French naval raids…


[1] Nouvelle Genève is only a “city” in its form of govenment. Its population is about 1500 and most of that population is engaged at least part-time in agriculture. However, due to frequent raids, the people of Nouvelle Genève don't live on isolated farms but clustered together in a palisaded village. They commute to and from their farms each day.

[2] Remember, at the end of the First Wabenaki War, the boundary between New England and New France was set at the Baie de Chaleur and along the *St. Lawrence/Atlantic watershed divide. It roughly parallels the Southern border of OTL Québec. Many aspects of the border are as of yet undefined, but the disputed regions (mostly near the OTL Madawaska region) are of little importance to the colonizers. However, while the border between New France and New England (and the border between the Arkevujay Empire and New France) has been defined, that between the Arkevujay Empire and New England has not. The Arkevujay only really started thinking about defined borders recently.

[3] This was the battle scene at the end of the last update.

[4] More will be said about the period of unrest leading to revolution in a few updates.

[5] The Jenev District is named after Nouvelle Genève, and contains the upper St.-Joseph (OTL *St.-François) valley in what is the OTL Eastern Townships of Québec. The Josev District is the remaining land between the Jenev District and the Maisouna and Dekektare Districts. The creation of these two districts has meant a loss of political autonomy for the Huguenots, although many of them still live in the area.

[6] At this point, the Kanatians have gone remarkably long without a major epidemic. The Red Sisterhood has done a good job of keeping smallpox under control, but, again, their methods of quarantine once the first symptoms are detected only really works for smallpox and not other diseases because smallpox isn't infectious until the rash becomes visible. In fact, I don't really have a good reason why measles hadn't hit Kanata until now, except the excuse that it's too fast spreading to make it across the Atlantic (it spreads through the crew of a ship and burns itself out before the ship makes it across). There will be an update specifically about measles coming up soon.

[7] Note that the Kingdom of Edinburgh, which has sovereignty over New Scotland, has not declared war on France while England and the Netherlands have. This is possible largely because William Bourbon, who is King by marriage in both England and Edinburgh, has the power to declare war in England but not in Edinburgh (for reasons discussed in an earlier update). Edinburgh wants to remain out of the war so it can safely bring New Scotland fish to market in Glasgow, and France, currently enjoying the privilege of unlimited fishing rights on the Grand Banks (earned by defending Robertsburgh in the 1620s) has not desire to antagonize Edinburgh. William himself has no need of the tiny bit of extra military capacity that the Kingdom of Edinburgh would provide, so is perfectly happy with this arrangement for now.

[8] Yes, Denmark, Germany, England, and the Netherlands are all on the same side in this war. France's only allies are Portugal (which provides naval support and not much else) and the Grand Duchy of the Rhine (which is a French puppet anyways).

[9] I'm guessing that this name predates the POD. If not, sorry for the convergence.

[10] The treaty at the end of the First Wabenaki War had given 'the mainland South of Chaleur Bay' to England and 'the islands of the St. Lawrence Gulf' to France. At the time, the assumption had been that Unamakik/Cape Breton was not one of the 'islands of the St. Lawrence Gulf', but France has now come to dispute this position.

[11] Recently, I learned that St. Peter's, Nova Scotia actually was a Portuguese settlement called 'Santo Pedro' around the time of the POD. It was abandoned OTL and TTL, but, in both cases, the name stuck.
Update 60 - The First Rhineland War
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Update 60 – The First Rhineland War

The following is an excerpt from the book 17th Century Europe by Anton van der Meer.

The First Rhineland War, also called the 'War of the Darmstadt Succession' began with the death of Landgrave Ludwig V of Hesse-Darmstadt in 1667. Ludwig, the sickly only child of Georg II (who had led Hesse-Darmstadt through the Second Schismatic War) was the last of the Hesse-Darmstadt line. Ludwig was likely infertile, probably due to an illness he had contracted in his youth. Whatever the reason, Ludwig's death meant the end of the Hesse-Darmstadt line.

According to the traditions of the House of Hesse, the extinction of the Darmstadt line would mean that the lands of Hesse-Darmstadt would now be inherited by Landgrave Wilhelm VI of Hesse-Kassel, head of the last remaining branch of the House of Hesse. [1] However, there was one complication. Wilhelm VI was a Lutheran who, in the past, had advocated for the intervention of the Empire of the German Nation [2] in disputes within the Grand Duchy of the Rhine.While any land inherited by Wilhelm VI would remain a part of the Grand Duchy of the Rhine, the Grand Duke had such little power over his vassals that there was nothing to prevent Wilhelm VI from siding against Grand Duke Ludwig II in any future war.

Ludwig II, Grand Duke of the Rhine, son of 'Ludwig the Great' who had lead Palatine armies to victory in the Second Schismatic War, was a fearful, suspicious man in many ways unlike his father. He had inherited a state which had been held together by his father's personality and reputation. Under Ludwig II, the vassals which had been staunch allies of his father had started looking for allies beyond the Grand Duchy's borders. Ludwig II was thus constantly suspicious of attempts by the Holy Roman or German Emperors to steal his vassals away from him. He had only been able to prevent such attempts in the past through his alliance with France, the largest and most powerful nation in Europe.

With the inheritance of Hesse-Darmstadt by Hesse-Kassel, Grand Duke Ludwig became suspicious of the possibility that Wilhelm VI was just the vanguard of a Lutheran invasion of the Grand Duchy of the Rhine. Darmstadt itself was only a short distance down the Rhine valley from the Grand Ducal capital of Heidelberg, and Ludwig had purportedly had nightmares about Hessian troops marching up the Rhine from Darmstadt to destroy Heidelberg. In the end, Ludwig refused to recognize the inheritance of Hesse-Darmstadt by the Hesse-Kassel line, and instead decreed that, in the future, Grand Ducal lands could not fall by inheritance to heirs outside the Grand Duchy of the Rhine.

This decree by Grand Duke Ludwig II wise widely condemned as overstepping Ludwig's powers as Grand Duke, and was seen by many as having no legal force. The controversy surrounding it was only made more complicated by the fact that the Grand Duchy of the Rhine had no written constitution, and had not been around long enough to have accumulated constitutional traditions. However, the decree was justified by an appeal to a Rationalist [3] argument that it was simply 'irrational' for Wilhelm to serve as vassal both to the Grand Duke of the Rhine as well as to the German Emperor, and that some other heir inside the Grand Duchy would need to be found.

By 1668, it was clear that Ludwig's actions were going to lead to war. Landgrave Wilhelm had refused to vacate Darmstadt, and his neighbour Count Joachim of Nassau had agreed to come to his aid. Joachim was of the same Ascanian dynasty as Saxe-Lauenberg and Grand Duke Ludwig's decree had threatened the Ascanian family compact. [4] Ludwig had called on French troops to help put down his 'rebellious vassals', and Wilhelm and Joachim had in turn called upon the armies of the German Empire to support them.

In July of 1668, a Franco-Rhenish army would enter the lands of Hesse-Darmstadt. Darmstadt itself would be quickly besieged and taken, giving Grand Duke Ludwig possession of the disputed capital. However, Landgrave Wilhelm had escaped with a good part of his army. The remainder of the 1668 campaign season would see the armies of Hesse and Nassau make a fighting retreat towards Kassel, drawing the Franco-Rhenish army to the border between the two halves of the Landgravate of Hesse. The hope was that if the Franco-Rhenish army crossed into the territory of the German Empire, the army of the German Empire could come to the aid of the two fugitive Princes.

At first the commander of the Franco-Rhenish army (François de Gondi-Retz, the Marquis de Belle-Isle) refused to take the bait. However, Grand Duke Ludwig had had difficulty maintaining order in the occupied territories, as the people of Hesse-Darmstadt still saw the fugitive Wilhelm as their rightful Prince. Thus, after much pressure from Grand Duke Ludwig, Belle-Isle relented and ordered the army to cross the border into the Empire of the German Nation. After all, France was willing to risk a war against the German Empire as many in France felt it was a war they could easily win.

The 'Kassel Campaign', as the 1669 phase of the war was called, saw the Franco-Rhenish army steadily advance towards the city of Kassel, capital of Landgrave Wilhelm. While their advance was opposed by an army led by Elector Augustus of Brunswick-Lüneberg, Augustus' forces proved insufficient to stop the Franco-Rhenish advance. In June, Augustus tried to make a valiant stand in the Battle of Edertal. The battle, while it was a victory for the French, would go on to give Augustus a reputation as a brilliant general, as he was able to inflict twice as many casualties on his enemy as he took himself. However, despite Augustus' attempts, the city of Kassel itself would be under siege by mid-July, and the Augustus' army would retreat across the Weser to await reinforcements.

While many historians have described the Kassel Campaign as a threat aimed at the very existence of the Empire of the German Nation, this description is more sensationalism than objective fact. The Franco-Rhenish had limited war aims, intending only to force Landgrave Wilhelm to sign away his rights to Hesse-Darmstadt. There was never any plans for the Franco-Rhenish army to cross the Weser themselves, as the Marquis de Belle-Isle was acutely aware of the limitations of the long supply lines stretching from France to Kassel through the narrow corridor of Hesse. However, there was much fear at the time amongst France's rivals that the Kassel Campaign would result in a repeat of the Second Schismatic War, and France would break off another chunk of Germany to form into a brand new Grand Ducal puppet. [5]

While this was not apparent to foreign observers at the time, the German Empire would have been easily able to defeat any French advance beyond Kassel. The army under Elector Augustus which had been defeated by the Marquis de Belle-Isle was only a small part of the German Empire's defensive forces. Under agreements that had been reached in the 1660s, the German Empire was divided into five 'circles' (and the 'unencircled lands' of Silesia and Lusatia), which would each have an army of its own led by one of the five Electors. [6] Each circle had responsibility to defend a different portion of the border, with the Weserland Circle, under the leadership of the Elector of Brunswick-Lüneberg, having responsibility for the border with the Grand Duchy of the Rhine. While the Weserland Circle's portion of the German army was not sufficient to fend off French attack, reinforcements would soon be arriving from the other Circles of the Empire and from the armies of the German Emperor himself, the aging Frederick of Denmark.

However, during the summer of 1669, while Kassel was under siege, the Hapsburg and Bourbon powers began contemplating intervention in the ongoing conflict. The Spanish Hapsburgs had little interest in entangling themselves in German affairs, although were willing to go to war alongside their Austrian allies. The Austrian Hapsburgs themselves were busy with ongoing conflicts in the Balkans, and had no interest in preventing a collapse of the German Empire (as such a collapse would be a ripe opportunity for the reunification of the Holy Roman Empire under Austria). Thus, if anyone was to intervene, it would seem that it would have to be King William of England, the Netherlands, and Edinburgh.

King William's mother had been a French princess, and his father had always been a close ally of France. William had been brought up to think of the Spanish as the greatest threat to the liberty of the Netherlands, and to think of the French as the protector of the Dutch against Spanish aggression. After all, it had been the French who had won the Navarro-Spanish War, and who had destroyed the Spanish Netherlands. At the end of the Navarro-Spanish War, the French presence in Flanders had been seen as a benefit to the Netherlands as it provided a guarantee of French aid against any Spanish attempt to reconquer the Netherlands.

However, since the end of the Second Schismatic War, relations between France and the Netherlands had only grown more tense. With the destruction of the Spanish Netherlands, Flanders was no longer a vulnerable French possession, but was instead a threat aimed at direct at the heart of the Netherlands. Antwerp, still the Netherlands' largest city (although no longer the richest), and the seat of the Dutch States-General, lay just across the river from the French Netherlands. In the 1650s, the Dutch began making offers to purchase Northeastern Flanders from France in order to secure Antwerp against attack. Offers of money were turned down by France, as was a generous offer by the Netherlands to turn over the Duchy of Jülich to France. It was largely French refusal to part with Northeast Flanders that led to the breakdown of the Franco-Dutch alliance in the late 1650s.

In the 1660s, the strengthening of the Anglo-Dutch alliance into a personal union meant that it was now conceivable that the Netherlands could acquire Northeastern Flanders via warfare. Almost immediately after William Bourbon's coronation as King of England, English and Dutch generals began drawing up plans for an invasion of Flanders. While the Netherlands had the most to gain from the planned war with France, it was actually England which was more eager to begin the attack, [7] as England had little to lose while the Netherlands could face a potential French occupation of Antwerp.

Thus, even with War of the Darmstadt Succession already underway in Hesse, the Dutch States-General was reluctant to support a war. However, as England was already ready to commit to a conflict, King William and the English government began a strategy to provoke a French declaration of war on England. The idea was that if France declared war first, it would force the Dutch States-General to come to the aid of their ally. In 1668, English troops were sent to the North American colonies, ships of the London East India Company were encouraged to attack Portuguese possessions in the East, and English financial aid was given to Moroccan rebels (who were in turn backed by France's ally in Portugal). The hope was that an attack on French allies would either allow England to expand its overseas holdings without penalty or would force France to come to its allies' aid.

However, it would not be France in the end that would declare war on England, but the Dutch States-General which would eventually come around to support a declaration of war against France. The key motivating factor were a series of documents smuggled out of Paris in late 1669 by spies working for King William. These documents contained plans for a new fortress to be built at Terneuzen in North Flanders. Terneuzen, located along the Lower Scheldt downriver from Antwerp, was of little use to the French except as a choke point to cut off trade to Antwerp. The threat of a real fortress at Terneuzen forced the Dutch States-General to act and to try to take Terneuzen before any fort could be built.

Thus, in March of 1670, both England and the Netherlands simultaneously issued declarations of war against France. The Dutch armies crossed the Scheldt just South of Antwerp, and began marching downriver, securing the old Spanish forts along the riverbank. Meanwhile, English ships would land troops in Ostend from where they would attack Bruges. By June, French garrisons had been forced to retreat from North Flanders, and were stuck desperately defending Ghent against both English in the West and Dutch in the East. While the French had been prepared for an attack by the Dutch, they hadn't adequately prepared for a simultaneous English assault from the sea.

When the attack on Flanders had begun, Landgrave Wilhelm of Hesse-Kassel and Count Joachim of Nassau had been prepared to negotiate peace with France. By this time, both their lands were under occupation by the Franco-Rhenish army, and the attempted German counterattack in the fall had failed. While German Emperor Frederick was determined to continue the war for the time being, Landgrave Wilhelm had begun to feel that he had nothing to gain and everything to lose from a continued conflict. He was prepared to give up his claim to Hesse-Darmstadt in exchange for a Franco-Rhenish withdrawal from Hesse-Kassel, and the only sticking point in negotiations was the fate of the County of Nassau.

However, when news of the Anglo-Dutch intervention reached Hesse, Wilhelm and Joachim immediately pulled out of the ongoing negotiations and began petitioning the Dutch to intervene directly in Hesse. In July of 1670, a Dutch army crossed the border and entered the Grand Duchy of the Rhine, claiming to defend the rights of Hesse-Kassel and Nassau against the tyranny of the Grand Duke. By the end of the summer, the French army in Hesse, like that in Flanders, was fighting on two fronts, and had its supply lines threatened. By the fall of 1670, France had abandoned Kassel, and the County of Nassau was home to a Dutch army. The German army, under Elector Augustus of Lüneberg, had crossed back over the Weser, and had retaken almost all of Hesse-Kassel.

The war in the North had gone similarly poorly for the French. While a French counterattack directed at Liège and Southern Brabant had succeeded at capturing a number of border forts, it hadn't made a deep enough advance to threaten the Dutch heartland. Meanwhile Ghent had fallen and the combined forces of England and the Netherlands had advanced farther and farther South. The Dutch-speaking population of Northern Flanders largely welcomed the occupiers, although French-speaking cities like Lille and Tournai [8] continued to hold out. By the time the armies retired to winter quarters, almost all of Flanders was under Anglo-Dutch occupation.

While 1669 had gone in France's favour, and 1670 had seen a reversal against France, France began to turn the tide again in the early months of 1671. The Anglo-Dutch army was defeated in a large battle outside of Lille which not only stopped the Anglo-Dutch advance, but cost thousands of casualties amongst the Bourbon allies. While the German army continued to advance into Hesse-Darmstadt, they were unable to take Frankfurt and cross the Main, and so were unable to advance as far as the City of Darmstadt itself. Meanwhile, French forces advanced deeper into Liège and Brabant and King William decided it was time to make peace.

As a truce was made and peace negotiations began, it became clear that the peace treaty would align itself rather closely with the state of affairs on the ground. The Northern part of Hesse-Darmstadt North of Frankfurt would go to Landgrave Wilhelm while the City of Darmstadt itself would go to Grand Duke Ludwig. The Northern, Dutch-speaking part of Flanders would be annexed to the Netherlands while the Bourbon allies would withdraw from French-speaking Southern Flanders. The Bishopric of Liége and French Namur, which each held enclaves within the other's territory, would exchange a number of these enclaves in order to 'rationalize' their mutual borders. [9]

One of the most important results of the end of the War of the Darmstadt Succession was the transfer of the Landgravate of Hesse-Darmstadt (at least the part of it inherited by Hesse-Kassel) and the County of Nassau from the Grand Duchy of the Rhine to the German Empire. At first these two Princes would find themselves under the Elector of Lüneberg in the Weserland Circle. However, when Emperor Frederick would finally pass on in 1674, he would be replaced by Elector Augustus of Lüneberg, who had led the German armies to victory. Augustus would detach Hesse and Nassau from the Weserland Circle and would grant them the new status of 'Crown Vassals' to be overseen and taxed not by any particular Elector but by whomever currently held the office of German Emperor. [10]

The precedent set by Nassau and Hesse meant that Princes in the Grand Duchy of the Rhine began to no longer trust their Grand Duke to protect them. Many began to form alliances with outside powers: the Free City of Frankfurt formed a loose alliance with the German Empire, East Lorraine [11] and the Archbishopric of Trier sought French protection, Luxembourg [12] became an ally of the Netherlands and England, and the Archbishop of Mainz came under Austrian influence. Grand Duke Ludwig, while he had enlarged his own demesne through the capture of Darmstadt, found himself more powerless than ever, serving only as a figurehead.

England was the only major belligerent in the anti-French alliance who found herself without major gains. While King William had made no specific promises to the English Parliament in order to convince them to support the war effort, communication between Parliament and the Dutch States-General had made it clear that England would be granted gains 'in the colonies' to offset the Dutch gains in Flanders. At first, the hope had been that the English army would win great gains against New France and Kanata in North America, although, by 1670, it was clear that no such gains would take place. Instead, the Dutch offered a number of small concessions to placate the English.

In North America, England would gain claim to all of the West Bank of the Kwinentuckett River North of 43°N latitude. This region was under de facto English control anyways (as it was North of the Northernmost settlements of New Groningen, and reasonably close to the English outpost at Fort Henry), but the de jure change of ownership made it easier for New England to settle the region. The Port of Ostend, which lay at the Western edge of Northern Flanders was transfered from Dutch to English control to give England a forward base on the mainland for future wars against France. In the Caribbean, the islands of St. Vincent and Angelsblade [OTL *St Lucia] (at the time still known by its orginal Dutch name 'Engelsplaad') were given to England.

This last transfer proved later to be quite controversial, as the Amsterdam West India Company had recently purchased both islands from their original private owners. [13] While the transfer of the islands to English sovereignty didn't require the West India Company to surrender ownership of the land itself, the West India Company lost their trade monopoly with the islands. This meant that English and Dutch ships were now in competition for the islands' sugar trade. Both fleets saw the others' activities as illegal smuggling, and the two fleets soon began to engage in open combat. King Williams' attempt to end the 'St. Vincent War' by buying out the West India Company's property on the island were met only with hostility by the Amsterdam merchants who controlled the company. The resulting tension (together with a perception that William's policy choices during the War of the Darmstadt Succession had favoured Brabant and Flanders over Holland and Zeeland) would go on to become one of the main causes of the Dutch Civil War.

Despite the tensions and sources of instability that still remained, Europe after the War of the Darmstadt Succession was generally more at ease than it had been before the war. While before the war, France's neighbours had been fearful of her growing power, after the war, these same countries felt confident that they could defeat France again if they stood together against her. At the same time, France herself began to feel less diplomatically isolated, and began to build ties with Denmark and Brandenburg. The Germano-Danish bloc, having gained substantially from the war, began to display confidence in the face of their three more powerful rival blocs. It wouldn't be until the late 1680s that tensions would again begin to rise and the Dutch Civil War would begin the spiral down into the Second Rhineland War.


[1] There was a reference a while ago to 'two of the three Hesses' implying that in the 1620s Hesse was divided in three rather than just in two. The third of these ATL branches (which didn't exist OTL), which I declined to name, died out in the 1630s, and now Hesse-Darmstadt has also gone extinct.

[2] It's not explicitly mentioned here, but you might recall that, at the end of the Second Schismatic War, Hesse-Darmstadt became part of the Grand Duchy of the Rhine while Hesse-Kassel became part of the Empire of the German Nation.

[3] Remember, TTL's 'Rationalism' is highly political unlike that of OTL's Descartes et al, and demands a 'rationalization' of international borders to form 'medium-sized countries'.

[4] The idea is that Saxe-Lauenberg and Nassau is each supposed to be heir to the other's lands. This agreement is what is threatened by Grand Duke Ludwig's decree.

[5] 'WI: Grand Duchy of the Weser' is a favourite topic on TTL's version of AH.com.

[6] If you're curious: the King of Denmark (also Elector of Silesia) has responsibility for the Low Saxon Circle and the border with the Netherlands, the Elector of Mecklenburg has responsibility for the Mecklenburger Circle and defence of the Baltic Sea coast, the Elector of Brandenburg has responsibility for the Brandenburger Circle and the border with Poland, the Elector of Saxony has responsibility for the High Saxon Cricle and the border with the Holy Roman Empire, and, lastly, the Elector of Lüneberg has responsibility for the Weserland Circle and the border with the Grand Duchy of the Rhine.

[7] England has gone nearly two generations without a 'proper' war, as the Supplicant War in Scotland was mostly won by the Supplicant Militias before England even entered the war, and England had almost no involvement in the Second Schismatic War. The Spanish occupation of London is now a distant memory, and the English feel that the France can be kicked out of Flanders as easily as the Spanish were kicked out of Dublin.

[8] Yes, Lille and Tournai were both part of Flanders at the time of the POD, and are still parts of Flanders at this point in time in TTL. If anything, the term 'Flanders' in TTL will wind up including Artois and Hainaut (which were also, at one point, French territories under the Holy Roman Empire) unlike OTL where it includes large parts of Northern Brabant.

[9] I haven't shown any of these enclaves on my maps, but they're there as the Namur/Liége boundary hasn't changed since the POD.

[10] The constitutional structure of TTL's German Empire is starting to diverge significantly from OTL's HRE. In some ways, TTL's 'German mediatization' already occurred during the Second Schismatic War and immediately after whereby the five Electors increased their own power over the other Princes in their respective circles. The creation of 'Crown Vassals' is in sense a re-granting of Imperial Immediacy while being careful to make sure that these 'Crown Vassals' don't have any more rights than 'Circle Vassals'. The idea is that the power the Electors have over their respective 'Circle Vassals' is exactly the same power the Emperor has over the 'Crown Vassals'.

[11] Remember East Lorraine was the consolation prize granted to the House of Hohezollern-Ansbach after they were ousted from Ansbach proper.

[12] Again, Luxembourg is now the headquarters of the House of Württemberg, which has become the most successful of the dynasties uprooted by the Second Schismatic War.

[13] See the Caribbean portions of the 'Fracture of New Spain' update.
Update 61 - the Balkan Conflagration
Update 61 – The Balkan Conflagration

The following is an excerpt from the book 17th Century Europe by Anton van der Meer.

The time period from the late 1650s to the late 1670s is a time known as 'the Conflagration' by Balkan historians. This time period saw almost continuous fighting from Albania to Crimea in the border territories between the fragmenting Ottoman Empire and the expanding Austrian [1] and Russian Empires. While some historians treat the Rumelian Civil War, the ongoing Carpathian Wars, and the First Crimean War as separate conflicts, I feel that the multifaceted nature of these conflicts make them best understood as part of a wider Conflagration period.

While each individual conflict of the Conflagration had its own immediate cause, part of the reason that these individual conflicts gave rise to wider wars was the weakness of the Ottoman Empire following the conclusion of its civil war. The newly-reformed Ottoman Empire had its capital in Alexandria, far form the Balkans, and its governor in Constantinople was hard pressed just to maintain order in Western Anatolia and Thrace. Thus, the Principality of Rumelia and the Khanate of Crimea, while still vassals of the larger Ottoman Empire, were largely left to fend for themselves. Military aid from the Ottoman Empire, which would have come quickly in past centuries, was often too slow to arrive, meaning that Rumelia and Crimea became easy targets for Austrian and Russian expansion.

While Venice, Persia, and Franco-Portuguese North Africa had taken advantage of the Ottoman Civil War itself to expand their borders, Russia and Austria had both been distracted for much of this time. Austria had been busy fighting the Schismatic Wars in Germany while Russia had been busy in its many wars against Poland. It was only in the 1650s that both these states of distraction would end and Austria and Russia would ready themselves to act against the Ottoman Vassals.

The First Crimean War

With the death of Tsar Feodor II in 1651 and the succession of his son as Tsar Boris I, a new era in Russo-Polish relations was born. Feodor II had been obsessed with Russia's irredentist claims to much of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, and had spent his life pursuing his vendetta against King Jan of Poland (who, after all, had been responsible for the death of Feodor's father, Boris Godunov). Boris Godunov’s grandson, also named Boris, had little interest in another war aimed at Smolensk, and spent the first years of his reign building a lasting peace with the Polish-Lithuanian Union. Marital alliances were pursued, with two of Boris' own daughters betrothed to the eldest sons of Grand Duke Vladislav of Ruthenia and Grand Duke Mykolas of Lithuania.

Every since the rule of Tsar Feodor had established the presence of Cossacks at the court in Moscow, the ongoing conflict between the Cossacks and the Khanate of Crimea had become well-known. The Cossacks of the steppe had long been subject to Tatar raids, and had responded with raids of their own. However, until the end of the Russian Civil War, the Cossacks had been unable to obtain an alliance with a state capable of defending them from the. During the reign of Feodor II, Moscow had financed the construction of a number of fortresses in Cossack territory, securing trade routes along the upper reaches of the Dnieper and Don Rivers. However, the mouths of the Dnieper and Don still lay in Tatar-controlled lands, and thus were often unsafe for shipping.

In 1655, Tsar Boris began a series of conferences attended by representatives of Russia, Ruthenia, Poland, Lithuania, and the Cossack leaders. In these conferences a plan was drawn up to finally oust the Tatars from the Steppe, securing access to the Black Sea for both Russia and the Polish-Lithuanian Union. The Cossacks would get an end to Tatar raids and the protection of Russian and Polish-Lithuanian garrisons. In exchange, the Cossacks would have to accept Russian and Ruthenian suzerainty, and pay taxes to Moscow or Kiev. It was the last point, necessary for the financing of the upcoming war, which would prove most controversial, and it would take the Cossack leaders three long years to come to trust the Russians and Ruthenians enough to believe that an end to independence would not mean a return to serfdom.

Thus, in 1659, the First Crimean War would begin as Russian and Ruthenian armies would advance South along the Dnieper and Don Rives, flanked by hosts of Cossack horsemen. While these armies could easily defeat the Tatar hordes in a pitched battle, the Tatars knew this well, and refused to meet the armies in battle. Instead, the Khanate's cavalry would attack the allies' supply lines, hoping to cut off the armies from their stocks of food and ammunition. Thus, the First Crimean War would not be a quick victory, but would drag on for years as the Russians and Ruthenians were forced to built forts to defend their supply lines and secure crossings of the Dnieper and Don before they could advance farther South.

Thus, it would not be until 1662 that the Russians would take the fortress of Azov, securing the mouth of the Don, and not until 1665 that they would reach their ultimate goal: the Isthmus of Perekop. The hope was that, if the allies could secure control of Perekop, they could cut off the Crimean homeland of the Tatars from the mainland Steppe, ending raids once and for all. Perekop was a very difficult fortress to besiege, as it could be resupplied both by land from the Crimean peninsula, and by sea by the Ottoman Navy. However, Tsar Boris knew that Perekop was all that stood between him and control of the Steppe and thus put everything Russia had into the siege.

If the Ottoman Empire had responded to calls for help from Crimea quickly and in greater force, there is a chance that Perekop would have never fallen. After all, the Russian assault on the fortress only succeeded because they defenders had run out of gunpowder. The Sultan in Alexandria, while willing to send Ottoman ships to resupply Perekop, had neglected to send a large enough fleet, or to stock it with sufficient ammunition for the year-long siege. While the first fleet returned to Constantinople with a more urgent plea for help, the second fleet sent to Perekop would not arrive before the fortress had fallen.

The fall of Perekop, while it would mark the end of the allies' southward advance, would not yet end the fighting on the Steppe. Hundreds of thousands of Tatars remained North of Perekop on the Black Sea Steppe. Those Tatars who were settled in villages and towns were largely allowed to remain in place, provided they lay down their arms and submitted themselves to the Cossacks. The nomadic Tatar cattle-breeders, on the other hand, were all potential raiders, and Cossack cavalry was dispatched to hunt them down and confiscate their horses and herds. Their reduction to the status of outlaws drove many of these Tatar horsemen to abandon their herds and increase their raiding activity. The period from the late 1660s to early 1680s, known as the 'Taming of the Steppe' in Russian historiography, saw massive amounts of destruction as desperate Tatar horsemen looted the countryside.

The ‘Taming of the Steppe’ would see Cossack leaders maintain much of the responsibility for local affairs, as Steppe lands would be divided into three Cossack Hetmantates. The Dnieper Hetmantate along the Eastern bank of the Dnieper River would be secured from Tatar raids by the capture of Perekop, and would go on to become a productive agricultural region. The Don Hetmantate would see itself in continued conflict with the Lesser Nogai Horde South of Azov, although the land North of the Lower Don would be safe for agricultural development. Those Cossacks who wished to continue raiding rather than settle down and farm would largely migrate East and form the Caspian Hetmantate around Astrakhan. It would be these Eastern Cossacks who would take part in Russia’s Eastward expansion across the Eurasian Steppe.

The Russian state was only able to maintain its fragile control over the Steppe through its network of forts stretching down the Dnieper and Don Rivers to the sea, preventing Tatar horsemen from escaping the Black Sea Steppe. Despite these forts, and despite the bands of roaming Cossacks, many Tatars did escape. Those who crossed the Don would go on to join the Lesser Nogai Horde who dwelt between the Don River and the Caucausus Moutains, and were still outside of Russian control. Those who crossed the Dnieper crossed into what was now nominally Ruthenian territory, although, the Grand Duchy of Ruthenia, unlike Russia, had much more difficulty maintaining order. This was largely due to the fact that the Cossacks of the Steppe were loyal to Russia and willing to enforce the laws of the Russian state, while Ruthenia was still seen as an embodiment of the institution of serfdom from which many of the Cossacks had fled. [2]

These Tatars who crossed the Dnieper soon found an ally with the Ottoman garrison at Vozia [OTL Ochakiv] on the Black Sea coast. Vozia was one of the few Ottoman fortresses too far North to have been swept up by the tide of the Rum Army that had taken control of the Silistrian Coast. In 1666, when the second Ottoman fleet sent to resupply Perekop found the fortress in Russian hands, it was to Vozia that the fleet was redirected. Thus, Vozia had put up stiffer than expected resistance to the Ruthenian army sent to besiege it, and Ruthenia had been forced to retreat rather than take the fortress. This gave the Ottomans control of the coast, and gave a place for the Tatars to seek refuge. While the Ruthenian state would firmly establish its authority in the land between the Dnieper and the [Southern] Bug, the coastal lands West of the Bug would become the home of the newly-formed Horde of Vozia which would raid both North into Ruthenia, West into Moldavia, and South into Wallachia. The Horde of Vozia would be responsible for much of the destruction of the later half of the Balkan Conflagration.

The Carpathian Wars

Before we talk about the Horde of Vozia's effects on the Balkan theatre, we need to discuss what was happening already in the Balkans in the 1650s and 1660s. Since the 'Wallachian War' of the 1630s had destroyed the native leadership, Wallachia had been divided between zones of Transylvanian and Moldavian occupation. While this occupation had at first been welcomed by the Christian Wallachians (who had welcomed their fellow Christians over the previous Ottoman occupiers [3]), over the decades since then, the Wallachians had become resentful of the occupying forces. This resentment was strongest in the Transylvanian zone of occupation where the Orthodox population was subject to Catholic and Protestant overlords, and where Hungarians, Saxons, and Szeklers were granted representation in the Transylvanian diet while the Orthodox Wallachians were not.

Transylvania, at the same time, was engaged in a struggle with Hapsburg Hungary, which was attempting to reassert its suzerainty over Transylvania and reinforce Catholicism on the Transylvanian populace. Beginning in the early 1650s, Emperor Karl VI began to crack down on Transylvanian religious freedom, provoking a number of revolts which would soon grow into full-scale war. It was in 1657 that Prince Stephen Bathory II of Transylvania first rose in open revolt in defence of his Protestant subjects against the policies of Karl VI. This Transylvanian Revolt would open a new phase of the Carpathian Wars (of which the last phase was the Wallachian War) and would begin the descent of the Carpathian Principalities into Conflagration.

In order to support its war against Hapsburg Hungary, Transylvania would raise taxes, and levy soldiers not only from Transylvania itself, but also from occupied Wallachia. This provoked the anger of a number of Wallachian boyars, who soon rose in revolt against Transylvania. However, these boyars on their own did not have the resources to recruit a large enough army to fight the Transylvanians. While an offer of alliance was made to Hapsburg Hungary, it was not Hungary but Rumelia that was the first to come to the aid of the Wallachian rebels. In 1659, Prince Ioannes Palaiologos of Rumelia would capture Curtea de Arges (the capital of Transylvanian-occupied Upper Wallachia) and would be elected the new Prince of Wallachia by the rebel Boyars.

Soon after expelling the Transylvanians from Upper Wallachia, Ioannes Palaiologos came to realize that he could only legitimately claim to be Prince of Wallachia if he also fought to expel the Moldavians from Lower Wallachia. Thus, in 1660, the Prince of Rumelia would declare war on Moldavia and begin a campaign directed at liberating Tergoviste. While the liberation of Upper Wallachia had been quick and easy, Ioannes Palaiologos would face a bigger struggle in Lower Wallachia. The people of Lower Wallachia hadn't faced the same repression under the Moldavians as Upper Wallachia had under the Transylvanians, and Moldavia wasn't engaged in a war with one of Europe's Great Powers as Transylvania was with the Austrian Empire. Thus, while the newly-crowned Prince of Wallachia would be able to capture Bucuresti and the Northern bank of the Danube, he would be unable to make headway against the Moldavians who still held Tergoviste. Tergoviste was particularly important, as it had served as capital prior to the division of Wallachia in the 1630s, and Ioannes' legitimacy as Prince of all of Wallachia would require capture of the city.

Before we continue on with the liberation of Lower Wallachia, it will be important to discuss the internal politics of the Principality of Rumelia. The Principality of Rumelia had arisen as a rebellion of the Christian Rum Army against the Ottoman Empire, and thus had little political or administrative tradition to draw upon. While the Millet system of the Ottoman Empire had given a Christian legal tradition for Rumelia to draw upon, Christians had never been part of the political or administrative hierarchy of the Ottoman Empire. Thus, the Principality of Rumelia was led by those generals who had risen through the ranks of the Rum Army, with each general ruling as warlord over a district of the Principality of Rumelia. The result was a state which was only held together by the reputation of Ioannes Palaiologos as the leader who had liberated the Christians from Muslim rule.

The decade and a half between the end of the Ottoman Civil War and Ioannes' crowning as Prince of Wallachia had been a time of stagnation and instability in the Principality of Rumelia. The warlords had had difficulty adjusting to peacetime, and many had felt the need to win further victories in order to stay in power. Thus, the warlords of Serbia and Albania would make raids against Venice and the Janissaries of Greater Bosnia, and those in Macedonia would attempt a reconquest of Ottoman Greece. Prince Ioannes, who had become a vassal of the Ottoman Empire, would be forced to come to the Ottomans' aid against his own subordinates in Macedonia, although, in exchange, the Ottomans provided Ioannes with aid against rebellions by other discontented warlords. While Ioannes was able to maintain his own position at the top of the hierarchy of warlords, his position was never secure. There was no time in the 1640s or 1650s when there was not an ongoing revolt or minor war between the various warlords.

To a large extent, Ioannes' war in Wallachia had been an attempt to unify the warlords behind him by giving them a common enemy and the prospects for new conquests. However, by 1661, many warlords had become disillusioned with this new war, as Lower Wallachia was proving difficult to conquer. The warlords had begun demanding a piece of newly-conquered land, and Ioannes was unwilling to confiscate the lands of the Upper Wallachian Boyars who had invited him in. However, before a fresh revolt could break out, the aging Ioannes would suffer a heart attack in the middle of a battle. The founder of the Principality of Rumelia and liberator of Upper Wallachia would be dead within days.

The Rumelian Civil War

As news of the death of Ioannes Palaiologos spread throughout Rumelia, various contenders would enter the competition to become the next Prince of Rumelia. Ioannes' chosen heir, his son Petar Palaiologos (who is known by the Serbian rather than Greek form of his name), was still a teenager, and was ruling in Sofia in Ioannes' stead rather than accompanying his father on campaign. While Sofia remained loyal to young Petar, the garrison in Sofia was no match for the warlord armies which would soon besiege the Rumelian capital, and young Petar would wind up as a puppet of the other players in the Rumelian Civil War.

The various warlords, eager to seize the Rumelian throne for themselves, would soon divide themselves into factions along ethnic lines. The Bulgarian faction, led by a warlord by the name of Georgi Marinov was the most powerful, as it controlled not only Bulgaria proper, but also Silistria stretching along the Black Sea coast. The Serbian faction was the second-most powerful, and was led by the warlord Mihailo Rajic who made his captial in the city of Nis. The other ethnic factions were the Albanian faction led by the Catholic warlord Pjetër Buzuku and the Macedonian faction led by the ethnically Greek Alexios Drakos. [4]

Caught in between the various factions was Ioannes Palaiologos' army in Wallachia, which had been made deliberately ethnically diverse. Ioannes had also been careful not to keep ambitious men close to him, and thus none of the generals left in charge of his army made a claim for the Rumelian throne. At first, these generals organized themselves into a 'Regency Council' and claimed to command the army in the name of young Petar Palaiologos. However, as Sofia came under siege first by the Bulgarian and then by the Serbian faction, it became clear that Petar was in no position to take command of the army which remained loyal to his name.

Instead, the 'Regency Council' decided to take matters into their own hands a build a power base for themselves in occupied Wallachia. Constantin Grabovan, a Vlach general originally from Macedonia, was soon elected as the new Prince of Wallachia by the Upper Wallachian Boyars. Grabovan was not only a prominent member of the Regency Council, but had also been chosen by Ioannes Palaiologos to be the liason between the Rumelian army and the Wallachian Boyars, and thus had a good rapport with the Upper Wallachians.

While the Bulgarian and Serbian factions were busy fighting over who would complete the siege of Sofia, Constantin Grabovan would be recruiting a new army from amongst the people of Upper Wallachia and would lead them in an invasion of Silistria [5]. Prince Constantin I (as he would later be known) aimed to take control of territories that Wallachia hadn't held for centuries, and in doing so, bring himself the legitimacy necessary to win over the loyalty of the boyars of Lower Wallachia. Constantin's plan was not to intervene in the fighting between the Bulgarian and Serbian factions until the two sides had worn each other out and Constantin could use Wallachia as a power base from which to retake Rumelia.

The City of Sofia would fall in 1664 to the armies of the Serbian faction, but would be taken again by the Bulgarian faction in 1665. While the Bulgarian armies would remain in control of Sofia for the rest of the Rumelian Civil War, they would find that Petar Palaiologos had already been taken back to Nis, where he was being held by Mihailo Rajic. By 1667, it was clear to most observers that the Bulgarian faction would end up on top, and Georgi Marinov was finally recognized by the Ottoman Empire as the rightful Prince of Rumelia. Before this point, it had actually been the Macedonian faction which had had the support of the Sublime Porte, as the Macedonian messenger had been the first to reach the Ottoman shiklet network [6] at Salonika, and thus his message had been the first to reach the Sultan.

The recognition of Georgi Marinov as the new Prince of Rumelia would lead the remaining factions to unite against him. However, Marinov himself was not without allies, and had promised the port of Durrës to Venice if they would fund a Bosnian invasion of Serbia and Albania. The last holdouts of the Macedonian faction would fall in 1668, and the Albanian faction would soon follow in 1670. However, by this time, a new player would enter the scene: the Austrian Empire.

The Austrian Intervention

Hapsburg Hungary had already been involved in the Carpathian wars since their 1650s battle against Transylvania. By the time Ioannes Palaiologos had declared war on Moldavia, Transylvania had already submitted to Hungary, and Catholicism had been reimposed throughout the Principality. Even then, an understanding had been reached between Prince Ioannes and the government of Hungary that they shared a common enemy in the Prince of Transylvania. However, as Ioannes, as Prince of Rumelia, was still a vassal of the Ottoman Empire, a full-fledged alliance couldn't be made.

With Ioannes' death, and with the rise of Prince Constantin I Grabovan to power in Wallachia, however, a new alliance could be negotiated. Constantin promised Hapsburg suzerainty over any captured lands in Rumelia, and in exchange, the Hapsburgs would provide funding for Constantin's campaigns. Thus, it was with Hapsburg support that Constantin captured Constanta (giving Wallachia access to the Black Sea) in 1664 and finally drove the Moldavians from Lower Wallachia in 1666. To conquest of the mouth of the Danube, together with the loyalty of the garrisons on both sides of the Danube to the Regency Council of which Constantin Grabovan was part meant that the Hapsburgs were now suzerains over almost all of the length of the Danube from its source to its mouth. The only part of the Danube beyond Hapsburg influence was the 'Belgrade stretch' through Serbia, which was still under the control of Mihailo Rajic and his Serbian faction.

During the mid-1660s, the stance of the Wallachians and Hapsburgs toward the Serbian faction was one of friendly neutrality. The Bulgarian faction was seen as a common enemy, although, unlike Constantin Grabovan, Rajic was unwilling submit to Austrian overlordship for fear that it would hurt his claim to be Prince of all of Rumelia. Thus, Rajic got no Austrian subsidies nor military support. It has often been theorized that, if Rajic had been able to reach a better understanding with the Austrians sooner, he might have been able to remain in power. As it was, without direct Austrian support, his days were numbered.

It was in 1669, when the Janissaries of Greater Bosnia would capture Belgrade, that Austria would finally commit itself to intervention in Serbia. The Austrian army would take Belgrade in 1671, the same year that the Mihailo Rajic would finally be expelled from Nis. The remnants of Rajic's army would soon reach Austrian positions, where they would be offered the chance to serve under the Austrian banner against the Janissaries and Georgi Marinov. While much of the Serbian faction would obtain positions as officers in the Austrian occupying forces, Rajic himself would be imprisoned and the Austrian army would proclaim young Petar Palaiologos (who had been kept alive and imprisoned by Rajic) as the new Prince of Serbia.

The imprisonment of Rajic and the crowing of Petar Palaiologos was an act which often seems puzzling to students of history. Rajic had been a proven and capable leader of the Serbian faction and was friendly towards Austrian interests. Petar Palaiologos was a young and unproven ruler with a claim to the throne of Rumelia, but with little loyalty amongst the people of Serbia. However, in further analysis, it seems that Petar Palaiologos was placed on the throne of Serbia largely because his rule was expected to be unstable enough that he would require Austrian support in order to keep his throne. The Austrian Hapsburgs intended to turn Serbia into a puppet state, and Petar Palaiologos would serve as a much better puppet than the ambitious warlord Rajic.

The crowning of Prince Petar I of Serbia made for a complicated political situation in Constantin Grabovan's Wallachia. Prince Constantin I had originally risen to power as part of the 'Regency Council' for the imprisoned Petar Palaiologos, and the land he had conquered in Silistria and Transdunaria, he had conquered in Petar's name. However, at the same time, Constantin had himself amassed a great deal of power as Prince of Wallachia; the warlords under Constantin who had taken control of Silistria and Trandunaria [7] had no desire to serve a Prince of Serbia who was himself held as a puppet of the Austrians. While some Palaiologos loyalists would defect to join the Serbian army, Constantin I would be able to use Austrian pressure to force Petar I to formally renounce his claim to Silistria and Transdunaria, allowing Constantin to integrate these conquered territories as parts of Wallachia.

The crowning of Prince Petar I of Serbia is often times seen as marking a turning point in the Balkan Conflagration. Before this point, the Conflagration was a multi-polar struggle where many of the belligerents were often at war with all of their neighbours at once. However, the Late Conflagration would end up as a largely bipolar struggle between two networks of alliances. On one side stood the Austrian Hapsburgs, their vassals in Wallachian and Serbia, and the Polish-Lithuanian Union, represented by the Grand Duchy of Ruthenia and their vassal in Moldavia. On the other side stood the Ottoman Empire, their vassal in Rumelia (now under the control of the Bulgarian Faction), the Horde of Vozia, the Republic of Venice, and the Janissaries of Greater Bosnia. These two alliances were not without their internal disputes: Wallachia and Moldavia had only made peace in 1669 once intensifying raids from the Horde of Vozia had forced Moldavia to give up any attempt to recapture Lower Wallachia, and the Janissaries of Greater Bosnia were still suspicious of the post-civil-war Ottoman Empire.

This two-sided conflict would largely play out along three fronts. The first would be fought by mostly Austro-Hungarian troops against Janissaries in Bosnia and Serbia. Along this front, the Austrians would succeed at pushing the Janissaries back to the Sava River, freeing up the land between the Sava and Drava to be annexed to Hapsburg Croatia.

The second front would stretch along the Balkan Mountains from Serbia to the Black Sea. In the late 1660s, Wallachia had succeeded at occupying much of Northern Bulgaria, all the way up to the peaks of the Balkan Range. Through the Late Conflagration the Ottoman Empire would support the Principality of Rumelia in taking back much of this land, hoping to push Wallachia back to the Danube. At the same time, Rumelia would attempt to capitalize on their capture of Nis and push deeper into Serbia, although Austrian support for Serbia would prove this campaign fruitless.

The third front of the Late Conflagration would be the fight by Ruthenia, Moldavia, and Wallachia against the Horde of Vozia. The Horde of Vozia had been responsible for much destruction throughout all three states since it had first formed in 1666. Moldavia had been particularly hard-hit, and had spearheaded a coalition effort by all three Orthodox Christian states to destroy the Horde of Vozia and drive the Tatars out. This effort would prove to be quite difficult, as destroying the Horde of Vozia would require the construction of networks of forts to guard river crossings and thus impede the Horde's movement so that it could be contained and eliminated. While the fortress of Vozia itself would fall to a Ruthenian siege in 1676, remnants of the Horde of Vozia would continue their raids into the 1680s, and stories of highway robberies committed by bands of mounted Tatars would occur as late as the 1710s.

By 1677, both sides were exhausted from years of war. At the same time, both of the most powerful belligerents had achieved their war aims. The Austrians, through Wallachia and Serbia, had succeeded at securing suzerainty over the entirety of the Lower Danube. The Ottomans had succeeded at restoring order to Rumelia and had captured enough land back from Wallachia to ensure the security of Sofia. Thus, it was in 1677 that both sides would finally sit down to negotiate peace. The Principality of Rumelia was nearly halved in size with Silistria and Transdunaria going to Wallachia, Durres going to Venice, and the new Principality of Serbia being formed with a capital in Belgrade. The Janissaries of Greater Bosnia would give up land in the North and South, but would finally gain international recognition as an independent state under Venetian suzerainty. The Ottomans would give up their claim to Vozia and their protection of any Tartars living outside the Crimean Peninsula, although the fight against the Horde of Vozia would continue.

While the Balkan Conflagration would cause widespread destruction throughout the Balkan region (15% of the general population of the region and up to 40% of the military-age male population was killed as a result of the war), the result of the war would be an era of greater stability and prosperity. The post-Conflagration Principality of Rumelia would see an end to warlordism and the establishment of a stable administrative apparatus with Ottoman support. The destruction of the Horde of Vozia and the confinement of the Tatars to the Crimean Peninsula would mean that trade could now flow more easily from Russia and Ruthenia to the Black Sea. Much of this trade would be captured by the Austrian-controlled Danube, where it would bring prosperity not just to Austria and Hungary, but also to Serbia and Wallachia. [8]


[1] Note that, in OTL, the ‘Austrian Empire’ only came into existence after the destruction of the Holy Roman Empire. In TTL, the term ‘Austrian Empire’ is an informal historiographic term used to refer to the lands over which the Austrian Hapsburgs hold ultimate sovereignty. This includes the rump Holy Roman Empire (which by now has been reorganized into the three Kingdoms of Bohemia, Bavaria, and Swabia) and the Crown of Hungary (including Croatia and Transylvania). Officially there is no ‘Austrian Emperor’ but simply a single man who is simultaneously Holy Roman Emperor, King of Bohemia, Bavaria, and Swabia, and King of Hungary and Croatia.

[2] At this point in time both Russia and Ruthenia practice the institution of serfdom. However, in particular, the Cossacks of the Dnieper Valley (‘Zaporozhian Cossacks’ in OTL) were descended from peasants who fled serfdom in Polish-Lithuanian controlled Ruthenia. Thus, Ruthenia is seen amongst the Cossacks as embodying serfdom in a way that Russia isn’t. Also, the Godunov dynasty in Russia was allied with the Cossacks during the Russian Civil War, and thus are seen positively by the Cossacks.

[3] Remember, the ‘Wallachian War’ was a desperate attempt by the Constantinople Sultanate to secure tribute via an invasion of Wallachia. Transylvanian and Moldavia had pushed the Ottoman armies out of Wallachia, but had simply replaced them with their own occupying forces.

[4] Note that many of these warlords were kidnapped and taken into the Janissaries as children, and only reconverted to Christianity to enter the Rum Army as adults. While the majority of the soldiers of the Rum Army were simply recruited directly to the Rum Army, the officers were often ex-Janissaries. This means that the ‘ethnic’ identities of the various factions are stronger amongst the common soldiers than they are amongst the warlords, but historians exaggerate these ethnic divisions to make the factions more easily identifiable.

[5] ‘Silistria’ is a more common term in TTL than in OTL. It refers to the region between the City of Silistra and the Black Sea Coast south of the mouth of the Danube.

[6] Remember, ‘shiklet’ is TTL’s name for an optical telegraphy/semaphore network. Such a network has first been put into use by the Ottoman Empire, and currently stretches from Alexandria to Baghdad to Constantinople. There will be a post on the development of ‘shiklet’ technology in the 1675-1700 cycle of updates.

[7] ‘Transdunaria’ (literally ‘across the Danube’ in anglicized Romanian) is the region of TTL Wallachia on the South bank of the Danube. In OTL this would be Northern Bulgaria.

[8] The Don River – Black Sea – Danube will be a much more important trade route from Russia to Western Europe than it was OTL. This is partly because Russia has no direct access to the Baltic, partly because Danish sound tolls are higher TTL than they were OTL and partly because a single power being in control of the full length of the Danube makes improvements on the riverine trade route easier (for example, the Roman canal allowing navigation through the Iron Gates will be reconstructed by 1700).
I quite enjoyed this update!
What's a Map of this area looking like, after the dust has all settled?
Also how's the religious distribution in the Balkans after all the changes?
An interesting update: I'm a little unclear, how is Poland-Lithuania politically organized at this point?

Poland-Lithuania is a federation between five constitutents: the Kingdom of Poland, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, the Grand Duchy of Ruthenia, the Grand Duchy of Livonia, and the Duchy of Prussia. Each constituent has a monarch from a different branch of the Jagiellonian dynasty, and each has their own 'House of Deputies' (i.e. parliament), although there's also a 'United Sejm' that meets in Warsaw and is responsible for federal matters.

This arrangement isn't stable as the military is supposedly a federal affair, but each constituent has the authority of taxation over its own subjects, and thus the federal government is constantly cash-strapped and has been forced to delegate much of its authority in exchange for cash. Thus, the Grand Duchy of Ruthenia has de facto control of its own army even though, constitutionally speaking, all armed forces must be part of the Royal Polish-Lithuanian Military. The Polish-Lithuanian Union is experience centrifugal tendencies which will erupt into crisis in the 18th century.

I should also mention that while Poland itself has a very wide franchise and thus is one of the most democratic states in Europe, Lithuania, Ruthenia, and Livonia have much narrower franchises. Ruthenia in particular is very aristocratic with only the Grand Duke and a handful of other families holding real political power. However, these families, while Polish and Lithuanian in origin have converted to Orthodoxy in order to help ease the resentment of their Orthodox subjects.

I quite enjoyed this update!
What's a Map of this area looking like, after the dust has all settled?
Also how's the religious distribution in the Balkans after all the changes?

I've actually be working on a map just yesterday. It should be ready by this weekend.... It turns out that the reason I actually decided to write this post in the first place was that I thought it was time to update the map of Europe, and I realized that I needed to write about what was going on in Eastern Europe first.

I'm not 100% sure of the religious distribution because I'm not that sure of the OTL religious distribution at this time anyways. I did a bit of research and couldn't find any maps online of ethnic/religious distribution from before 1800. However, there are a few things I can say.
1) There are, generally speaking, a greater proportion of Christians in the Balkans than OTL due to the Ottomans being expelled from most of the Balkans a lot earlier than OTL. However, the absolute numbers are probably lower because of the devastation of both the Ottoman Civil War and the Conflagration.
2) The one exception to the above would be OTL Greece which is one of the few areas of the Balkans which is still under direct Ottoman rule. Many displaced Muslims from farther North in the Balkans have settled in OTL Greece. In addition, many Greek Christians had joined the Rum Army and had then settled in the Principality of Rumelia after the Ottoman Civil War. Thus Thrace and Southern Macedonia (the area around Salonika/Thessaloniki) are probably Muslim majority areas by now.
3) The Catholic/Orthodox divide is probably in roughly the same place as OTL. Croatia and Hungary are majority Catholic, Serbia, Wallachia, Moldavia, and Rumelia majority Orthodox, Albania and Transylvania split. With the territory of OTL Albania being divided between Rumelia, Venice, and Greater Bosnia, we'll see the Albanians segregate themselves along religious lines with the Catholics moving to the coast, the Orthodox Albanians migrating inland, and the Muslims migrating North to Greater Bosnia.
4) Greater Bosnia is going to be almost 100% Muslim very shortly. This is because the Janissaries who are in power there are continuing to practice Devshirme and kidnap Christian boys. The per capita rates of Devshirme are increasing as Greater Bosnia's territory (and hence manpower) is shrinking, meaning that Christian families are often left without sons. This has led many families to leaver or convert, further reducing the pool of potential Devshirme recruits. Again, as I've mentioned before, Greater Bosnia is not really a successful state, but is simply the manpower pool feeding Venice's pet Muslim army.
5) Transylvania has been the same haven for Eastern European Protestants in TTL in the same way it was OTL. However this has just come to an end. Many of these Protestants will move to Bohemia and Poland where religious freedom is still allowed.
It shouldn't be surprising that Rumelia wasn't a state that was going to last beyond the lifespan of its founder. The Ottoman Empire looks to benefit long-term from the influx of Balkan Muslims into its remaining territories - so long as it can play off the post-Conflagration statelets against one another. Good update btw!
Map 13 - Europe 1680
The map is here:
Update 62- the Displaced Nations
Update 62 – The Displaced Nations

a chapter from Europeans in America: A History of Colonization by Georges Hantero (Turtle)

While the purpose of this book is to tell the story of the European colonizers in North America, the story of the colonizers is not complete without telling the story their effects on the indigenous nations that they displaced. Just as my other books on Native North America have discussed the Native people’s interactions with European colonizers this book on European colonizers must also tell the story of their effect on Native people.

The thirty years from 1670-1700 saw many of the existing Native nations on the North American East coast be either displaced or completely destroyed by incoming European settlers and their Native allies. Many nations were displaced from their lands, either by treaty or by more forceful means, and often ended up in conflict with other Native nations and European colonizers. While the Reserve system implemented during this time provided some nations with a stable homeland, others were forced to either flee over the Alleghevian Mountains or live in perpetual conflict with the European colonizers. By 1700, the only Cisalleghevian nations [1] which remained without a significant reduction in their original territory were the Wabanaki Confederacy in the North and the Cheraw Empire in the South. All nations in between had been either fully or partially displaced.

One of the reasons that this period of time was particularly tumultuous was the frenzy of road-building that followed the end of the War of the Darmstadt Succession. The colonists of New England and the New Netherlands, fearful of the French navy, were determined to build inland transportation routes in order to allow trade and communication between the colonies in the event of a blockade. The construction of roads and bridges required the ‘pacification’ of the many Native nations which frequented the area. This time, described by Eurocentric historians as the `conquest of the hinterland’, was not a time of triumphalist expansion but instead a time of war, famine, and death amongst the Native people.

While both New England and the New Netherlands followed policies requiring that land required for road construction be ‘purchased’ from Native nations, the facts on the ground didn’t lead to a peaceful transition of land occupation. Firstly, the agents tasked with purchasing land from the Natives often looked for opportunities to pocket the money themselves rather than negotiate legitimate purchase agreements. Secondly, it was often difficult for Europeans to determine who, if anyone, amongst a Native nation had the authority to sell land to them. Thirdly, lands were often used seasonally by different nations at different times of the year, with no individual nation having any ‘ownership’ over the land itself. Instead, each nation often sold the Europeans the use of the land at one time of the year or another when the Europeans thought they were buying the land itself.

The result was that many Nations found that lands they were accustomed to using were now occupied by European road-builders without these Nations’ consent. This inevitably lead to war between Natives and the European road-builders, which would usually end in displacement of the Natives. These Natives would then flee to lands occupied by other Natives, starting a new war. The cycle of warfare would continue almost continually from 1570 to 1600, resulting in a Cisalleghevian Native population in 1700 that was only half the 1670 population. [2]

The War of the Five Nations

The area in which the warfare was most intense was in the Middle Kwinentuckett Valley [3] caught between New Holland to the West, New England to the East, New Groningen to the South and the Wabanaki Confederacy to the North. In 1670, there were five Nations using the area: the Mahican, Wapani, Pequot, Nipmuc, and Pocumtuc. Each of these five Nations had been pushed into the Middle Kwinentuckett Valley by the expansion of European settlement, and tensions were already high between the various nations. The construction of the Fort Burbon-New Bristol road starting in 1674 simply pushed the existing tensions over the edge into outright war.

The War of the Five Nations would begin with conflict between the Nipmuc and Pequot and between the Mahican and Pocumtuc as the Nipmuc were forced Southward and the Mahican forced Northward by road construction. As the Pocumtuc and Pequot were in turn displaced, war would begin between the Pocumtuc and Nipmuc and between the Pequot and Wapani. Conflict was exacerbated by the English and Dutch authorities who each attempted to broker a peace between the warring nations, but were unable to agree between themselves on what such a peace should look like.

For example, when the Pequot were destroyed as a coherent Nation in 1681, and the Wapani would cross the Kwinentucket to take up their abandoned lands, New Groningen would occupy the old Wapani lands West of the Kwinentucket. New Groningen had supplied the Wapani with arms in exchange for their lands, but this exchange was contingent on the Wapani being able to occupy new lands East of the Kwinentucket. These new lands were under New English jurisdiction, and New England was unwilling to recognize Wapani ownership of the old Pequot lands, instead granting them to English settlers as part of a new Pequot District of New England. This would lead to the Wapani fighting both the English and the Dutch until they were themselves destroyed in 1686.

By the end of the Five Nations War in 1691, the Pequot and Wapani would be completely destroyed, and the Mahican [4] and Nipmuc would flee North to be taken in as refugees amongst the Wabanaki Confederacy. The only one of the Five Nations to survive relatively intact was the Pocumtuc, who had taken refuge in the mountain range which now bears their name [OTL Vermont’s Green Mountains]. New England and the New Netherlands would find vast tracts of land now opened to settlement and road construction, although hundreds of European settlers had been killed, and thousands more left homeless by the nearly two decades of war.

The Reserve System

It was largely as a result of the Five Nations War that the governments of New England and the New Netherlands would set up the Reserve system where certain parcels of land would be reserved for the exclusive use of Native nations, to be forever free from European settlement. The idea was that, by giving the Native nations stable boundaries, future war could be avoided while still allowing the opening of large tracts of land for settlement. The hope was also to isolate the remaining Natives from European settlement so as to prevent the deaths of settlers and the destruction of settlements. Most Reserve lands were chosen from amongst undesirable lands which were poorly suited to farming or vulnerable to attack. Many of these were located along coastal areas which had been abandoned during the War of the Darmstadt Succession, [5] although the largest Reserve - the Abenaki Reserve – was instead located along the boundary with New France.

As was typical of European attitudes at the time, not every Native Nation was given Reserve land. Mostly, Reserves were assigned to those Nations which were located particularly close to European settlements, or who were allied with the European powers. Those Nations which were far from European settlements and who were enemies of the settlers (such as the Pocumtuc and Powhatan) were instead expected to flee across the Alleghevian Mountains to find new lands on the other side.

The Reserves were established through negotiation with the various Nations involved, and were established one at a time starting in the 1680s. The Wampanoag Reserve in 1682 and the Lenni Reserve in 1684 were the first two established. The Montaukett Reserve in 1687 completed the ‘original three’, all established along the coast on peninsulas and islands particularly vulnerable to sea-borne attack. After the ‘original three’, the remaining reserves were slow to be established. The L’Nuk Reserve in 1692 and the Nentego Reserve in 1696 were the last two to be established in the 16th century. The last of the Cisalleghevian Reserves: the Abenaki Reserve, wouldn’t be established until the 1710s as New England would attempt to improve its defensive position against New France in the years leading up to the Second Intercolonial War. [6]

The establishment of Reserves was better for some nations than it was for others. Some nations, such as the Wampanoag and Montaukett would use their coastal reserve land as a base to exploit the abundant East Coast fisheries, using peace with the local Europeans to acquire better boats and nets than they could produce themselves. Both the Wampanoag and Montaukett would wind up as prosperous elements of the colonial economy in the early 18th century, and would owe this prosperity to the Reserve system. On the other hand, the peoples of the Wabanaki Confederacy, who had long been allies of New England, were confined to the most marginal and indefensible portions of their land by the Reserve system. The creation of the L’Nuk and Abenaki Reserves was largely seen as an act of betrayal amongst the Wabanaki, and would lead to the defection of a large number of Wabanaki warriors to the side of the French during the Second Intercolonial War. In the remainder of this chapter, I will study the effects of the Reserve system on two of the largest Native nations of the New Netherlands: the Lenni and the Nentego.

The Lenni Nation

Since the 1630s, the Lenni Nation had been divided into three subgroups: the Northern Lenni, the Southern Lenni, and the Western Lenni. [7] The relationship between the Lenni and the colonies of New Holland, New Brabant, and Vrijstad had been cordial at first, although the growth of all three colonies had begun to raise tensions. The construction of the New Brabant-Vrijstad road had led to interest in opening the lands between New Brabant and Vrijstad for settlement, and in the early 1680s, negotiations were opened for the creation of the Lenni Reserve.

The negotiations went well at first. The Northern Lenni and Southern Lenni had both suffered from the turmoil created by the road construction and from a measles epidemic which had recently swept through, and were willing to relocate in exchange for stability. The Western Lenni, on the other hand, were accustomed to a lifestyle which took advantage of the vast hunting grounds of the Alleghevian foothills, and were unwilling to relocate to the chosen Reserve lands along the coast. Frustrated with the way in which negotiations were coming along, the Dutch finally offered the Western Lenni an ultimatum: either relocate to the coastal Reserve, or be driven Westward over the Alleghevian Mountains.

Thus, the year 1684, which marked the creation of the Lenni Reserve, also marked the beginning of the Lenni War between the government of New Brabant and the Western Lenni. New Brabant declared that no Lenni were welcome anywhere in the New Scheldt drainage basin, [8] and began deploying its militia to drive the remaining Lenni over the watershed divide and out of New Brabant’s claimed territory. The fleeing Western Lenni would find themselves pushed into Haudenosaunee lands, who did not welcome the new refugees. While volunteers from the Northern and Southern Lenni would head West to join with their displaced brethren, the ultimate fate of the Western Lenni would be a dispersal into small bands of refugees which would settle in the Kanatian Republic to the North.

The Nentego Nation

The Nentego people had occupied the peninsula which now bears their name [OTL Delmarva peninsula] since before the arrival of the first Dutch colonists. However, the arrival of the Dutch colonists, which displaced a number of the Nentego’s neighbours led to a dramatic change in lifestyle amongst the Nentego themselves. Unlike the Lenni or Piskatawij who were willing to trade with the Europeans, the Nentego preferred to raid European settlements to obtain cloth, metal tools, and other valuable goods. The Nentego people had begun regular raids against New Brabant, Van Hoorn, and Piskatawij almost as soon as those colonies were founded, and had been a perennial nuisance to all three colonies. While punitive expeditions were often attempted against the Nentego, the Nentego had a particular ability to disperse and hide in the maze of estuaries and marshes, and were rarely caught after a successful raid.

The plantations of New Brabant, Van Hoorn, and Piskatawij were worked by slaves and debtor-workers, [9] and Nentego raids soon became an opportunity for slaves and debtor-workers to escape the plantations. These escaped workers would bring knowledge and skills back with them to the Nentego villages in which they settled, and soon the Nentego raiders were using stolen firearms and rowboats rather than bows and canoes. The Nentego proved exceptionally willing to adopt fugitive slaves and debtor-workers into their population to replace members lost to disease

The increase in intensity of the Nentego raids throughout the mid-17th century was largely what led to the demand for African slaves in the New Netherlands colonies. While Native slaves could more easily blend into Nentego society, and European debtor-workers could eventually escape back into the general population of the New Netherlands, Africans stood out and were thus easier to catch and return to the plantation owners. However, even African slaves were welcomed amongst the Nentego, and, by the 1670s, most Nentego villages contained residents of Native, European, and African descent.

While the governments of New Brabant, Van Hoorn, and Piskatawij had regularly attempted counterattacks against the Nentego, they had never succeeded at bringing the raids to an end. In 1695, After the end of the First Intercolonial War, the governments of all three colonies decided to use their militias (which had just recently returned from the fight against Danish Florida to the South) in a coordinated invasion of the Nentego Peninsula. The Nentego, while experienced raiders, were unaccustomed to large-scale battles, and had to flee to offshore islands while the colonial armies occupied their mainland villages.

While almost the entirety of the Nentego Peninsula was occupied by the colonial forces, few Nentego raiders were taken prisoner, and few fugitive slaves were returned. Instead, faced with the increasing cost of the occupation, the colonial governments decided instead to open negotiations with the Nentego leaders. The colonial governments were willing to offer Reserve land to the Nentego in exchange for the return of fugitive slaves and an end to raids against the New Netherlands.

The return of fugitive slaves was the sticking point in negotiations as many slaves had incorporated themselves into Nentego society. In the end, it was accepted that slaves that were already living amongst the Nentego as of 1696 would be granted amnesty, but that any future escaped slaves would be returned. In order to facilitate the identification of recent escapees, all slaves in New Brabant, Van Hoorn, and Piskatawij would be branded with a new mark to indicate that they were still enslaved in 1696.

The dire need of the Dutch colonies to bring an end to the raids meant that the Nentego ended up with much more extensive Reserve land than other Native nations of comparable population. The Southern half of the Nentego Peninsula would remain as the Nentego Reserve while the Northern half would be divided between New Brabant and Piskatawij. Van Hoorn, which had hoped to obtain the Southern half of the peninsula, was paid monetary compensation by New Brabant and Piskatawij for the cost of its share of the occupation.

The Nentego Treaty (as the agreement creating the Nentego Reserve was called) would lead to a change in lifestyle for the Nentego people. As raids against the Dutch colonies were no longer possible, the Nentego would begin to venture farther afield and launch raids against Danish Florida, Spanish Florida, and the Caribbean. Peace between the Nentego and the Dutch would allow the Nentego to purchase better ships and weapons with which to rage farther and farther afield. The Nentego would go on to be key allies of the Dutch in their invasion of Danish Florida during the Second Intercolonial War. While, by 1750, the Nentego’s lifestyle would much resemble that of pirates more than anything else, and most Nentego people would carry more European and African blood than Native blood, they would still maintain cultural practices and a distinct identity derived from the pre-colonial Nentego nation.

The ‘conquest of the hinterland’ in the last quarter of the 17th century would displace many nations and cause much death and cultural destruction amongst Native people. However, it would also lead to the creation of stable borders for those nations able to obtain Reserves. It would also lead to cultural adaptation amongst some Natives in order to allow them to integrate themselves into the growing colonial economy.


[1] Note that this author isn’t counting the Muskogi/Creek as being ‘Cisalleghevian’ since they live South of the Southern end of the Alleghevian/Appalachian mountains. In general, for political reasons, the term ‘Cisalleghevian’ is usually reserved for that region of the East Cost lying north of the Danish Florida/Spanish Florida border.

[2] Note that this halving of population is true of the overall population, but not necessarily of individual nations. Some nations, such as the Cheraw and Nentego, are in fact expanding during this time, while others have been destroyed.

[3] Remember TTL Kwinentuckett = OTL Connecticut. The area they’re speaking of is the area around OTL Springfield, Mass.

[4] Note that, 50 years earlier, the Mahican were good allies of New Holland, but now that their fur-producing lands have been trapped out, they’re considered expendable to the European colonizers.

[5] Remember that England and the Netherlands had been uprepared, navally-speaking, to defend their colonies against the French.

[6] In order to clear up some terminological confusion, I’m going to explain some of TTL’s naming conventions:

(a) the First Rhineland War was the War of the Darmstadt Succession – the North American theatre of this war was the Second Wabanaki War (although the Dutch colonies were uninvolved at this point).

(b) the Second Rhineland War is also known as the Luxembourg War. The North American theatre of this war will be called the First Intercolonial War.

(c) the Third Rhineland War is also known as the Archbishops’ War. The North American theatre of this war will be called the Second Intercolonial War.

There may be a Third Intercolonial War and Fourth Intercolonial War eventually. I’m currently unsure about that.

In terms of how the Rhineland Wars are named, the War of the Darmstadt Succession began as a conflict over Hesse-Darmstadt, and similarly the Luxembourg War will begin as a conflict over Luxembourg and the Archishops’ War will begin as a revolt by the Archbishops of Mainz and Trier against the Grand Duke of the Rhine.

[7] Look at the North America 1650 map to see the three subdivisions of the Lenni.

[8] New Brabant was originally established as a colony with jurisdiction over all land draining into the TTL New Scheldt/OTL Delware River.

[9] ‘Debtor-worker’ is the TTL term for what we would call an indentured servant. This is because TTL’s indentured servitude contracts are more explicitly referred to as loans.
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I love the holidays. I've been able to get two updates and a map together in a little over a week, while the last couple updates had taken over a month. I'm back to work tomorrow, so don't expect this pace to be maintained.
Hey, I've been really enjoying this TL, both the native american and european parts, but this latest updates leaves me kind of confused. If the Darmstadt Succession war took place in the late 1600s, why are you referring to a period from 1570-1600 that saw a lot of roadbuilding because of it? I think you've been using '15XX' dates in this update where it should have said '16XX'. Correct me if I'm wrong in correcting you of course! Other than that, keep on developing that Kanata :)
Hey, I've been really enjoying this TL, both the native american and european parts, but this latest updates leaves me kind of confused. If the Darmstadt Succession war took place in the late 1600s, why are you referring to a period from 1570-1600 that saw a lot of roadbuilding because of it? I think you've been using '15XX' dates in this update where it should have said '16XX'. Correct me if I'm wrong in correcting you of course! Other than that, keep on developing that Kanata :)

ack! thanks! i've been getting my centuries confused a lot! i'll go fix that!
Update 63 - No (European) Man's Land
Update 63 – No (European) Man’s Land: the Border Colonies before the First Intercolonial War

a chapter from Europeans in America: A History of Colonization by Georges Hantero (Turtle)

The Atlantic coast of North America between 34°N and 37°N had been disputed territory since the Peace of Venice which ended the Second Schismatic War. Denmark claimed this land as part of Danish Florida while the Netherlands claimed that it was terra nullis and thus open to Dutch colonization. The final border between the two colonial spheres wouldn’t be settled until the end of the First Intercolonial War, [1] and thus, for a period of more than half a century, this land would be the site of colonization attempts by both powers. It is these initial colonization attempts which I will study in this chapter.

The Peace of Venice had required both Denmark and the Netherlands to recognize the other’s colonial presence, although both Kingdoms used a different demarcation point as the border between their two colonial empires. Denmark claimed that its purchase of ‘North Florida’ from the Spanish had included all of North America North of 32°N, and that, with the Peace of Venice, it had given all up claims only to existing Dutch colonies, meaning that Denmark still claimed everything south of the 37°N Southern border of Van Hoorn.

The Netherlands, on the other hand, argued that Spain had had no right to sell any land North of 34°N. The Netherlands didn’t recognize the validity of the Treaty of Tordesillas and the accompanying papal bulls, from which Spain derived its claims in North America. Instead, the Netherlands argued that the Spanish claim to Florida ended with the Northernmost extent of ‘permanent Jesuit missions’, which the Dutch placed (somewhat arbitrarily) at 34°N. [2] This meant that, on Dutch maps, Danish Florida stopped at 34°N, and all land North of that line was free to be claimed and settled by the Dutch.

Dutch Midburgland

The land between 34°N and 37°N, later to be known as the ‘Border Colonies’ would be first explored by the Dutch in the 1650s and 1660s. At this time, Denmark was still busy settling the area around Christiansborg itself, and had no capacity to expand to the North. In the year 1657, King Willem I of the Netherlands (who had not yet become King of England) granted a charter to the Colonial Company of Middelburg to settle the land South of Van Hoorn. However, after financing a number of exploratory voyages and building an unsuccessful settlement, the company would declare bankruptcy. The company’s claim to the territory would be sold, and the only lasting influence of the Colonial Company of Middelburg would be a number of place names including the name ‘Midburgland’ for the territory in question.

Between 1663 and 1674, the Dutch claim to Midburgland would be controlled by the Van Hoorn company, which had bought up the old colonial charter in the hopes of expanding Southward. However, the events of the War of the Darmstadt Succession showed the vulnerability of coastal settlements to French raids. [3] Thus, instead of planning to expand Southward along the coast, the Van Hoorn Company began efforts to reach inland towards the Voorgebergte [OTL we would say ‘Piedmont’] region. The only land South of 37°N which would be developed by the Van Hoorn Company would be the south shore of the Powhatan River [OTL James River], which lay immediately adjacent to already-developed lands and within the protective estuary of Van Hoorn Bay [OTL Chesapeake Bay].

In 1674, the Van Hoorn Company would finally find a buyer interested in purchasing the rest of Midburgland. The United Dutch Navy (the VNM) [4] had been established immediately following the War of the Darmstadt Succession, and had taken on the task of supplying the Netherlands with a large, ocean-going fleet capable of taking on the French galleons. While Dutch shipbuilders were amongst the best in Europe at the time, they were forced to import their raw materials from the forests of Scandinavia. Not wanting to have to rely on imported wood and pine tar for naval supplies, the VNM began a search for a possible domestic source. The coastal forests of Midburgland contained strong oak trees exceptionally suited for shipbuilding while the interior forests were rich in tar-bearing pine trees. Thus, with their purchase of Midburgland, the VNM hoped to gain better access to needed naval supplies.

In the late 1670s and early 1680s Dutch settlements began throughout Midburgland, as the VNM began taking control of the forests. Most of these settlements were little more than temporary encampments, as the VNM preferred to completely harvest one section of forest before moving on to the next. However, more permanent settlements were built along the coast where supplies of timber and tar from the interior would be transshipped and processed. The cities of Hondhaven [OTL Oriental, NC] and Jansmeulen [OTL Edenton, NC] were established during this time by the VNM as coastal mill towns. Other VNM mill towns were also located South of the eventual Midburgland/New Saxony border, [5] but would be abandoned after the First Intercolonial War.

To defend the inland lumber camps and mill towns of the estuaries, a naval base was established by the VNM at Willemsburg on its coastal island [OTL Roanoke Island]. While Willemsburg’s climate didn’t allow for large-scale settlement, its defensible position, and its status as one of the few permanent Dutch settlements allowed it to become a regional centre. The naval base at Willemsburg was crucial for allowing the Dutch to maintain control of the region, as, in 1690, there were less than 1000 Dutch settlers living permanently on the mainland.

While the settlers in the coastal mill towns would often reach an understanding with the local Native peoples, the establishment of seasonal lumber and tar camps would often anger the local Pamliko people who dwelt in the Midburgland estuaries [6]. Sailors and labourers would often arrive at a site targeted for logging without warning, and their extraction activities would destroy much of the local wildlife, depriving the Pamliko of game. The Pamliko in return would often raid the camps, but these raids were rarely successful, as the VNM usually provided the workers with adequate defense. However, the state of hostility between the Dutch and the Pamliko would prevent any permanent Dutch settlement beyond the mill towns, and would lead to the VNM joining the colony of Van Hoorn and allying with the Tuskarora.

Danish New Saxony

‘Danish Florida’ had been originally been established in the 1640s as a plantation colony centered around the port (and naval base) of Christiansborg. [OTL Charleston, SC] At first, it had been administered as a unitary entity, but, by the 1670s, its growth had become stagnant. This was largely due to the domination of Christiansborg by the local planter elite who resisted the opening up of new lands for fear of competition. In 1673, to combat this stagnation, Danish Florida was subdivided into three parts. The Christiansborg region became ‘New Scania’, as the planter elite which dominated the area was made up of descendants of second sons of Scanian Nobility. The Southern frontier, along the border with Spanish Florida, became known as ‘New Jutland’, and soon became a plantation colony much like ‘New Scania’. The Northern frontier, however, which would become known as ‘New Saxony’ would take a different path.

One of the problems that had led to the stagnation of New Scania was the lack of opportunity for white settlers. The planter elite made sure that new lands would only be sold to planters of noble blood who could pay large sums to the existing planters to offset the costs of competition. The plantation labour was provided by African Slaves imported via the Danish colony at Fernando Po. [7] The only opportunity available for white settlers was to work as an overseer on a plantation or to find work in the shops of Christiansborg. While white settlers were in enough of a demand that transportation loans were offered to Danish city-dwellers to come to New Scania, the pace of white settlement was much slower than in the New Netherlands or New England.

The other factor that had driven settlement in the New Netherlands was the flood of refugees fleeing down the Rhine from the Schismatic Wars and Rhineland Wars in Germany. While the number of refugees travelling down the Rhine far exceeded those travelling down the Weser or Elbe, there were enough refugees arriving in Danish Low Saxony, [8] that the Danish government soon began searching for a way to put them to use.

New Saxony was thus founded as a colony where the land should be divided into small farms rather than large plantations, with the intention that these farms would be settled by the refugees arriving in Low Saxony. The idea was that the farms of New Saxony would grow food to feed the slaves in New Scania, while New Scania’s plantations would grow cash crops such as sugar, indigo, and tobacco for export. At first, attempts were made to find settlers willing to pay their own passage in exchange for free land, although few who were desperate enough to flee to unsettled land across the Atlantic had the funds to cover their own passage. Instead, a number of opportunist Hamburg bankers began to offer loans to cover the cost of passage, using the free land in New Saxony as collateral. Thousands of settlers were able to travel across the Atlantic in this way, and a good third of these settlers were eventually able to pay of their loans and take ownership of their land.

However, approximately two thirds of land grants given to settlers of New Saxony would wind up in the hands of bankers in the old Hanseatic cities of Hamburg, Bremen, Lübeck, and Kiel. [9] This was due to the fact that New Saxony, unlike most of the Dutch colonies farther North, lay well within the Malarial zone, and large numbers of settlers perished due to disease. A smaller number of settlers lived, but were unable to make a profit off farming in a foreign climate, and thus defaulted on their loans. With various bankers finding they now held ownership of New World property, a company was set up to manage these lands and make profit off of them. The ‘Hamburg American Company’, as it would be called, would continue to farm food in New Saxony. However, the company managers would quickly discover that the Northern European crop package was poorly suited to the subtropical climate of New Saxony. Instead, a rice-based crop package was introduced, and agricultural workers experienced in rice production were imported from Italy. While the majority of New Saxony’s white population would be Germanic [10] in origin, the large Italian minority would shape the culture of cities such as New Venedig [OTL Southport, NC].

By the late 1680s, the Danish authorities grew apprehensive of the growing power of the Hamburg American Company. However, they lacked the authority to revoke the Company’s lands or shut down its operation without fear of sparking a revolt of the Free City of Hamburg (and its allies in Bremen and Kiel) against Danish overlordship. Thus, instead, regulations were passed making it illegal for any private company to offer transportation loans, and the Danish Crown became involved itself in offering loans to would-be settlers of New Saxony. From this point on, the land of settlers who perished or failed to pay off their loans would returned to the Crown to be offered again to the next wave of settlers.

By the mid-1690s the pattern of settlement in New Saxony was beginning to come clear. Southern Coastal New Saxony both East and West of the Bremerfluss River [OTL Cape Fear River] was largely under the control of the Hamburg American Company. The one exception was the town of New Bremen [OTL Wilmington, NC], which as the capital of New Saxony, was under the control of representatives of the Danish Crown. This land was dedicated to rice-based plantation agriculture, worked largely by African slaves, with a smaller Italian and Saxon population working as overseers and in the skilled trades.

Farther North lay areas which had not fallen under control of the Hamburg American Company and were instead still divided into small-scale farms held by individual farmers. While these farmers are often described generally as ‘Saxons’, they contained amongst them strong Danish, High German, and Lutheran Dutch minorities who soon picked up the Saxon language and assimilated into Low Saxon culture. [11] The distinction between the ‘Dutch American’ and ‘New Saxon’ populations which would become important in the 18th century had more to do with religion and language than with ancestral origin. These farmers were often less successful with their agricultural package than the Hamburg American Company farther South. Along the middle reaches of the Bremerfluss River between New Bremen and the Cheraw Empire, these farmers were able to supplement their farming yield by trading with the Cheraw and Tuskarora peoples. Along the coastal regions North and East of Holstein Bay [the OTL New River estuary], the New Saxon settlers would instead come in contact with the VNM and their lumber and tar camps. It would be these interactions which would largely shape the character of the ‘Border Colonies’.

Dutch-Danish Interaction before the First Intercolonial War

During the 1670s, in the aftermath of the War of the Darmstadt Succession, Denmark and the Netherlands saw each other as allies. Thus, when Saxon settlers granted land by the Danish government found that land already in use by the VNM, the resulting conflict was largely resolved peacefully. Usually, the VNM would give notice to the Danish authorities in New Bremen whenever they had completed the logging of a new stretch of coastline, and the authorities in New Bremen would then assign that land to new settlers. This both allowed the settlers to avoid having to fell the trees themselves while also preventing direct conflicts between the VNM and settlers. The VNM soon found that their mill towns were also useful to the German settlers as trade posts and supply depots. The VNM was able to make a profit off of trade with the settlers while in turn acting as tax collectors for the authorities in New Bremen.

While this cooperation was welcomed by the settlers and colonial governors in North America, it created a complicated diplomatic situation back in Europe. In 1686, the Dutch and Danish governments agreed to fund a survey expedition to explore the border region between New Saxony and Midburgland and draw up a border which would separate the German settlers from the lands used by the VNM. The discovery by the survey expedition that much of the region was in use by both the settlers and the VNM prevented the resolution of the border dispute, and ensured that the ‘Border Colonies’ would become a place of conflict during the First Intercolonial War.

The Native Peoples of the Border Colonies

In 1650, the expansion of the Cheraw Empire had already significantly disrupted the lifestyle of the Native people of the coastal ‘Border Colonies’. A number of small nations had been forced to turn to their neighbours for support, leaving only two significant local Nations by the time of the European settlement of the region. These were the Tuskarora and Pamliko nations. The Tuskarora were largely farmers and hunters and had inhabited the inland areas, while the Pamliko frequented the estuaries and fished in addition to farming and hunting.

It was the Tuskarora who had borne the brunt of Cheraw attacks and were driven North and East throughout the middle decades of the 17th century. This had in turn put the Tuskarora in conflict with the Pamliko with whom they were at war for much of the last quarter of the 17th century. Accounts of the Tuskarora from the 1650s and 1660s speak of a desperate people forced to raid the Pamliko for food.

However, by 1670 the Tuskarora had made contact with the Dutch in Van Hoorn and had established a trading relationship with them. The Tuskarora still had a trade network extending just beyond the Alleghevian Mountains[OTL Appalachian Mountains] and thus were valuable to the Van Hoorn colonists. Through this trade relationship, the Tuskarora were able to acquire the weapons necessary to hold back the Cheraw advance, and, at the same time make war against the Pamliko. By 1690, the Pamliko had been completely destroyed and the Tuskarora controlled the entire length of the Tuska River [OTL *Roanoke River] from the Alleghevians to the sea.

The Tuskarora would also be useful allies of the Dutch in Van Hoorn against the Powhatan who blocked the colony’s expansion. In the decades from 1690 to 1720 the Tuksarora would undertake regular attacks against the Powhatan, leading to their eventual displacement over the Alleghevians. They would also serve as a buffer between the aggressive Cheraw and the Voorgebergte region of Van Hoorn, protecting new settlements from attack.

However, while Dutch/Tuskarora alliance would allow the Tuskarora to survive, it wouldn’t be enough to allow them to prosper. While the Dutch-built Tuskarora guns were superior to the Cheraw swords and pikes, the Cheraw could afford to outfit armies of thousands with iron weapons while the Tuskarora could rarely gather a war party of more than a few hundred. Moreover, the Cheraw had guns of their own (bought from the Danes), and would continually defeat the Tuskarora in battle after battle. By 1690, the passes over the Alleghevians had been secured by the Cheraw, and the Tuskarora were cut off from their trade route to the interior. This would be the beginning of a long period of decline for the Tuskarora, which would see them survive only as long as they were useful to the Dutch.

In fact, the expansion of the Cheraw Empire was one of the factors that would drive the colonization of the middle Bremerfluss valley. While the Cheraw had traditionally come to Christiansborg to trade with the Danish there, the Northward expansion of the Cheraw led to the conquest of lands farther and farther from Christiansborg. The settlements of New Saxony in the Bremerfluss Valley, however, were easily accessible from the Northern reaches of the Cheraw Empire and thus became the preferred trading partners for the Northern Cheraw. The Saxon settlers would provide the Cheraw with European-made goods in exchange for food and furs, and trade with the Cheraw would provide a livelihood for struggling farmers.

The relationship between the New Saxon settlers and the Cheraw was much closer than that of the Cheraw with the Danish planters farther South in New Scania and New Jutland. It was largely colonial officials in Christiansborg who conducted trade with the Cheraw, while the planters were content to pay taxes to the government in Christiansborg in order to ensure Cheraw protection against raids by other Native nations. However, in the middle Bremerfluss Valley, struggling Saxon settlers in an unfamiliar land would often turn to trade with the Cheraw for food and seeds suited to the local climate. Unlike the agriculture of the lower Bremerfluss, which was rice-based and used farming methods imported from Italy, the agriculture of the middle Bremerfluss would soon become corn-based and would use farming methods learned from the Cheraw themselves.

The extensive trade between New Saxon settlers and the Cheraw would lead to a degree of cultural mixing greater than that in the rest of the Danish colonies. Saxon settlers would take Cheraw wives, and settlers who failed as farmers often times found themselves valuable amongst the Cheraw for their knowledge of European technology. While the government in New Bremen and the local Cheraw authorities recognized a dividing line between those farms paying taxes to New Bremen and those paying tribute to Cheraw, this line was more of an administrative divide than a cultural one. There were culturally Cheraw farmers who owned land South of the line (usually the descendants of New Saxon men who had taken Cheraw wives and died young, leaving their children to be raised in Cheraw cultural traditions) and Saxons living North of the line amongst the Cheraw.

The border colonies in the late 17th century were largely a land without boundaries. Saxon farmers, Dutch sailors, and Cheraw traders freely interacted without the pre-established borders that were present in many of the other colonies. While the First Intercolonial War and later the Second Intercolonial War would see this region become a battleground between the Dutch, Danish, and Cheraw, the 1670s and 1680s were a time of friendship rather than conflict. The borders that would later be drawn across the region, and would serve to facilitate the development of distinct Midburglandish and New Saxon cultures were not yet present at this time.


[1] Remember the ‘first Intercolonial War’ will take place in the 1690s. We won’t be there for quite a few more updates.

[2] The 16th-century Spanish missions in Southeastern North America extended a little farther North in TTL than they did in OTL, but didn’t reach beyond the OTL North Carolina/South Carolina border.

[3] Remember, TTL France is larger and richer than OTL France and has heavily invested in an Atlantic navy. England and the Netherlands have neglected purpose-built warships, instead leaving their various colonial companies to defend their own possessions. This will shortly change.

[4] VNM stands for Verenigde Nederlandse Marine. As TTL’s Netherlands is larger and will remain a Great Power for longer than OTL’s Netherlands, this acronym will become as common as OTL’s RN or VOC.

[5] The eventual border between Midburgland and New Saxony will be placed along the OTL Neuse River, but this will not be determined until the end of the First Intercolonial War.

[6] In TTL, Pamlico Sound and Albemarle Sound are collectively known as ‘the Midburgland estuaries’.

[7] Remember, Fernando Po was captured from the Portuguese by the Danish in the Second Schismatic War, giving Denmark a foothold in Africa.

[8] The phrase ‘Danish Low Saxony’ here is a bit of an anachronism. Currently, the Empire of the German Nation does contain a ‘Low Saxon Circle’, which is in turn dominated by Danish Holstein. However, the Low Saxon Circle is not yet a unitary state, but still contains a number of free cities and small small states under Danish domination. It won’t be until after the breakup of the Empire of the German Nation that the Grand Duchy of Low Saxony (in personal union with Denmark) will be established.

[9] Note that Hamburg, Bremen, and Kiel are all part of the Low Saxon Circle, and thus are dominated by Denmark. Lübeck is actually part of the Mecklenburger Circle, but is still closely tied to the other Hanseatic Cities.

[10] In TTL, by 1900, the term ‘German’ will be mostly restricted to High German peoples while Low Germans will be called ‘Saxons’. ‘Germanic’ here refers to High Germans, Low Germans, and Dutch. There is a bit of flexibility around the term ‘German’ just as, in OTL, Austrians are sometimes considered ‘German’ and sometimes not (depending on whether we are talking about ethnicity or the German state).

[11] The ‘Saxon’ language is Low German.
Oh boy, been writing this update for months. I have a lot less time to work on this now that I'm a mom, but I would like to keep in going. I'll do my best to update when the baby lets me, but don't expect frequent updates.