For want of a better name- Preview of my new TL

My second attempt at a TL. The first one... never took off, lets say. Hoping this will be better.:)

Im making a preview thread to test the waters for the demand for such a TL, and also cos I havent thought up a good name yet.
To be brief, the main idea is that the OTL Lombard League that booted the HRE out of Italy around 1183 went a step further and by 1198 created a de facto confederation in Northern Italy.

The main action, apart from a few wars and intros, will take place after 1500 and I think a good part of it (if it hopefully reaches there then I might split the TL into two parts) after the ATL French Revolution. The Butterflies will be immense, but I'll try to appease them somewhat while not letting them influence so much.

The few parts I've prepared serve as an 'introduction' and show just how Italy got into it's situation. As usual, comments critisicm and advice all welcome. Hell, tear it to bits if you have good reason to:D.


Part 1- The Italian League

At the Peace of Constance, in 1183, the Lombard League of North Italian cities ended their war against the Holy Roman Empire, gaining their independence in nearly all but name. Some in the League saw this as a great step forward, and some even dared to dream of a state similar in structure and concept to the Empire, finally uniting Italy after hundreds of years.

This idea, which evolved and soon became known as the Unionist movement, soon took the initiative, and in 1197 when the HRE was occupied by internal strife, several members of the movement rose to positions of control in the League, partly due to large support among the people themselves. Beginning what would later be known as the ‘Italian Incident’ of the conflict in the Empire, the League invaded Savoy and Genoa to ‘liberate’ them from the Empire, with the sometimes direct support of the Byzantine Empire, the Pope, and Venice.

The Savoyard Count, Thomas I, himself a supporter of the Unionist movement, gave his full support to the League. The Savoys would eventually dominate Italy, but for now they were just a noble family ruling a rather peripheral corner of Italy. Savoy, though, was considered a core part of the Empire and it took some effort for the League to take control of it. By August 1197, most of North Italy was under the control of the League and its allies. It was then that many Italian nobles, now united in their struggle against the Empire, began to think of a real united Italy. An expanded Lombard League, perhaps.

In September, the counts and dukes of northern Italy met together in Milan for a short summit about what to do with the now largely independent north Italy. The Italian cause was championed by several of the representatives including the Savoys and the delle Torre of Milan, and in the end it was decided to create an ‘Italian League’. In essence the League was a confederation of semi-independent counties and small states, a logical successor to the Lombard League. Before the organization of the League could be sorted out, though, there were still some Imperial troops in Italy, who now began thinking of retreating to Germany.

Spotting an opportunity, Count Thomas commanded an army that finally caught up with the remaining Imperial troops at Lake Como in November. The battle did not last long at all and there were only few casualties as the Imperial soldiers only wanted to retreat and join the internal struggle in the Empire, and Thomas wanted a ‘victory’ for publicity purposes. A truce was hastily signed, which soon would be recognized by both the contenders for the Imperial throne as a treaty in which they relinquished all claims to the Kingdom of Italy in order to win support for their cause. The Kingdom of Italy, which had only been a de jure division of the Empire, was finally formally dissolved.

By December, nearly all the Italian leaders and several international representatives gathered in Genoa for a long discussion about the new Italian League. Even Venice and Genoa now asked to join the League. Florence and other Tuscan cities expressed some interest in ‘further association’. After a brief ‘war’ that had hardly involved any aggression, aided by the ongoing struggle in the Empire, Italy had finally gained its independence.

It was going to be a rocky road, full of cunning, deceit, bribery, intrigue, war, and most of all, pure dedication, towards unification.


I have a second part ready and a map too but I'll wait and see the comments first. Thanks to everyone who commented and helped me in various threads where I mentioned my idea and special thanks to Franciscus Ceasar who's already read through what I've written.

Comment away!
Jim
 
My second attempt at a TL. The first one... never took off, lets say. Hoping this will be better.:)

Im making a preview thread to test the waters for the demand for such a TL, and also cos I havent thought up a good name yet.
To be brief, the main idea is that the OTL Lombard League that booted the HRE out of Italy around 1183 went a step further and by 1198 created a de facto confederation in Northern Italy.

The main action, apart from a few wars and intros, will take place after 1500 and I think a good part of it (if it hopefully reaches there then I might split the TL into two parts) after the ATL French Revolution. The Butterflies will be immense, but I'll try to appease them somewhat while not letting them influence so much.

The few parts I've prepared serve as an 'introduction' and show just how Italy got into it's situation. As usual, comments critisicm and advice all welcome. Hell, tear it to bits if you have good reason to:D.


Part 1- The Italian League

At the Peace of Constance, in 1183, the Lombard League of North Italian cities ended their war against the Holy Roman Empire, gaining their independence in nearly all but name. Some in the League saw this as a great step forward, and some even dared to dream of a state similar in structure and concept to the Empire, finally uniting Italy after hundreds of years.

This idea, which evolved and soon became known as the Unionist movement, soon took the initiative, and in 1197 when the HRE was occupied by internal strife, several members of the movement rose to positions of control in the League, partly due to large support among the people themselves. Beginning what would later be known as the ‘Italian Incident’ of the conflict in the Empire, the League invaded Savoy and Genoa to ‘liberate’ them from the Empire, with the sometimes direct support of the Byzantine Empire, the Pope, and Venice.

The Savoyard Count, Thomas I, himself a supporter of the Unionist movement, gave his full support to the League. The Savoys would eventually dominate Italy, but for now they were just a noble family ruling a rather peripheral corner of Italy. Savoy, though, was considered a core part of the Empire and it took some effort for the League to take control of it. By August 1197, most of North Italy was under the control of the League and its allies. It was then that many Italian nobles, now united in their struggle against the Empire, began to think of a real united Italy. An expanded Lombard League, perhaps.

In September, the counts and dukes of northern Italy met together in Milan for a short summit about what to do with the now largely independent north Italy. The Italian cause was championed by several of the representatives including the Savoys and the delle Torre of Milan, and in the end it was decided to create an ‘Italian League’. In essence the League was a confederation of semi-independent counties and small states, a logical successor to the Lombard League. Before the organization of the League could be sorted out, though, there were still some Imperial troops in Italy, who now began thinking of retreating to Germany.

Spotting an opportunity, Count Thomas commanded an army that finally caught up with the remaining Imperial troops at Lake Como in November. The battle did not last long at all and there were only few casualties as the Imperial soldiers only wanted to retreat and join the internal struggle in the Empire, and Thomas wanted a ‘victory’ for publicity purposes. A truce was hastily signed, which soon would be recognized by both the contenders for the Imperial throne as a treaty in which they relinquished all claims to the Kingdom of Italy in order to win support for their cause. The Kingdom of Italy, which had only been a de jure division of the Empire, was finally formally dissolved.

By December, nearly all the Italian leaders and several international representatives gathered in Genoa for a long discussion about the new Italian League. Even Venice and Genoa now asked to join the League. Florence and other Tuscan cities expressed some interest in ‘further association’. After a brief ‘war’ that had hardly involved any aggression, aided by the ongoing struggle in the Empire, Italy had finally gained its independence.

It was going to be a rocky road, full of cunning, deceit, bribery, intrigue, war, and most of all, pure dedication, towards unification.


I have a second part ready and a map too but I'll wait and see the comments first. Thanks to everyone who commented and helped me in various threads where I mentioned my idea and special thanks to Franciscus Ceasar who's already read through what I've written.

Comment away!
Jim
Heheeee thats mee:D Again Jim great work!
 
Sounds like fun - eras must go in streaks here, I've finally got a few parts down for mine, too - but as I did the first 5 parts, I found it wans't focusing much on the Waldensians after the initial PODand while Arthur of Brittany would be prominent I didn't want to only do England, as I don't have much research ability anyway. Just Wikipedia and y'all (and y'all are no doubt better :))

Aw, why not I'll post the start, as well as the reason it's going to be more than a month till it gets started; I don't want to start something and leave it hanging.
 
Sounds like fun - POD eras must go in streaks here, I've finally got a few parts down for mine, too - but as I did the first 5 parts, I found it wans't focusing much on the Waldensians after the initial PODand while Arthur of Brittany would be prominent I didn't want to only do England, as I don't have much research ability anyway. Just Wikipedia and y'all (and y'all are no doubt better :))

Aw, why not I'll post the start, as well as the reason it's going to be more than a month till it gets started; I don't want to start something and leave it hanging.
 
@ Franco, thanks, Ill consider them.
@ Baseballfan, are you posting it the wrong thread? If not, err... thanks, I guess.
 
I know, my rambles are legendary if I don't have an outline in my head of what I want to say. :) I am looking forward to reading yours, once I have time. I'll just say that.
 
All right, let's begin with the troubleshooting! :D

First: the Lombard League was an alliance based only on the effort to force the emperor to come to terms. Many of the cities that made up the league were bitter commercial rivals (Cremona and Milan for example). Having them to collaborate after the end of the emergency will be nearly impossible, unless you posit an external threat. And even so, sooner or later, one city will gain a leading position, causing rivalries among the others and, inevitably, a civil war in the league.

Second: The lombard cities didn't gain indipendence at all. They gained large autonomies in exchange for determinated taxes and homage that had to be paid to the emperor. When they stopped after the death of Henry VI, war resumed as soon as Federick II came to age. The process that brought them to detach completely from the Empire ended only in late 14th century.

Third: In this period there wasn't any "unionist" sentiment I'm aware of. You could make it up, of course, but I don't see how you could explain it. People in Italy saw themselves in first instance as citizen of a town, in second as members of the Empire and finally as christians, never as "italians".

Fourth: The Papacy. The Popes politic during these centuries can be summed up with the old proverb "Divide et Impera". A stable Lombard League in the north would be dangerous just as a strong empire. So the Pope would try to ostacolate the league to the best of his possibilities.

Fifth: The South and the normanns. The union between the normanns and the Empire will be the one of direst threat to the Lombard League. The economic and military power that Federick II commanded nearly defeated the second league. You should really insert them in your TL when you'll write it.

Sixth: The separation of the kingdom of Italy from the Empire is impossible. The imperial crown was linked to the italian one, not the german. Only who was crowned king of Italy, could claim the imperial title. The german kings could lay a claim on the italian crown, because Otto I had linked both of them. Consider that when Napoleon decided to be crowned emperor, first he had to be crowned king of Italy, using the old lombard Iron Crown.
Finally, even if you decided to force things into a separation anyway, the prospective emperor had to came to Rome to be crowned emperor by the Pope. The Lombard League could to grant him a free passage, but on the long run this would spark new conflicts between the Empire and the League. In other words: don't believe that the german kings will renounce so easily to the most wealthy part of their kingdom.

Seventh: Venice will never join the League, no matter what. Venetians had an high consideration for their own indipendence.
 
All right, let's begin with the troubleshooting! :D.
Good, some criticism. I'll try and answer as much as possible but you have some darn good points!

First: the Lombard League was an alliance based only on the effort to force the emperor to come to terms. Many of the cities that made up the league were bitter commercial rivals (Cremona and Milan for example). Having them to collaborate after the end of the emergency will be nearly impossible, unless you posit an external threat. And even so, sooner or later, one city will gain a leading position, causing rivalries among the others and, inevitably, a civil war in the league.
Exactly. You're 100% right. The league was very loose, but rivallries will appear, don't worry. And yes, there will be a civil war :).


Second: The lombard cities didn't gain indipendence at all. They gained large autonomies in exchange for determinated taxes and homage that had to be paid to the emperor. When they stopped after the death of Henry VI, war resumed as soon as Federick II came to age. The process that brought them to detach completely from the Empire ended only in late 14th century.
I know that they de jure did not gain independence, but the very concept that a band of cities could defeat the empire, plus the actual autonomy they got, was quite a statement.

Third: In this period there wasn't any "unionist" sentiment I'm aware of. You could make it up, of course, but I don't see how you could explain it. People in Italy saw themselves in first instance as citizen of a town, in second as members of the Empire and finally as christians, never as "italians".
Youre right, of course, but dosent one have some writers liscence or something along those lines?

Fourth: The Papacy. The Popes politic during these centuries can be summed up with the old proverb "Divide et Impera". A stable Lombard League in the north would be dangerous just as a strong empire. So the Pope would try to ostacolate the league to the best of his possibilities.
I doubt that, apart from religious ifluence (and theyre not gonna excommunicate every Italian) the pope can't do much. The league just beat the HRE for starters, and will 'bribe' the Papacy with spoleto in the next part.

Fifth: The South and the normanns. The union between the normanns and the Empire will be the one of direst threat to the Lombard League. The economic and military power that Federick II commanded nearly defeated the second league. You should really insert them in your TL when you'll write it.
I will, thanks for the reminder.

Sixth: The separation of the kingdom of Italy from the Empire is impossible. The imperial crown was linked to the italian one, not the german. Only who was crowned king of Italy, could claim the imperial title. The german kings could lay a claim on the italian crown, because Otto I had linked both of them. Consider that when Napoleon decided to be crowned emperor, first he had to be crowned king of Italy, using the old lombard Iron Crown.
Finally, even if you decided to force things into a separation anyway, the prospective emperor had to came to Rome to be crowned emperor by the Pope. The Lombard League could to grant him a free passage, but on the long run this would spark new conflicts between the Empire and the League. In other words: don't believe that the german kings will renounce so easily to the most wealthy part of their kingdom.
The League will let everyone pass. They are SEPERATE sovereign states after all. They also have no special hate for the empire.

Seventh: Venice will never join the League, no matter what. Venetians had an high consideration for their own indipendence.
Consider the league as more loose than the EU. They joined becuase... it benefitted them immensely. Don't worry, later on Venice will get more powerfull and compensated for their joining.

Thanks for all the comments. I hope you like the TL after all :).

EDIT: Baseballfan: Thanks. A little more info on your TL would also be great.
 
EDIT: Baseballfan: Thanks. A little more info on your TL would also be great.
I posted it in the "Sweet Lands of Liberty" thread. I actually came up with a title, which I didn't think I would, and decided to post a few parts to see how they might be improved, and have a half doezen or so questions after that.
 
I know that they de jure did not gain independence, but the very concept that a band of cities could defeat the empire, plus the actual autonomy they got, was quite a statement.
Well, Jimbrock, I've always thought that the importance of Costanza peace had been exaggerated by historiography, but that's me :D.
It's true that the whole free cities phenomenon was pratically unknown north of the Alps (to Federick I and his nobles took quite a time to wrap their mind around the idea), but anyway we are talking about large autonomies and self goverment instead of direct control. The situation is more similar to the great fiefs like Saxony, rather than independence.

Youre right, of course, but dosent one have some writers liscence or something along those lines?
Of course you have it. I was just pointing out that there wasn't anything to base it on, so you'll have to be pretty convincing...:D

I doubt that, apart from religious ifluence (and theyre not gonna excommunicate every Italian) the pope can't do much. The league just beat the HRE for starters, and will 'bribe' the Papacy with spoleto in the next part.
Don't understimate the Pope powers. He can ruin the relations of the league with any other christian power, sparks any kind of fight inside the cities belonging to the league and use his ascendance to separate the league members.
For example, the fight against heretics was used as a crowbar in Italy to sistematically infiltrate the northern cities and slowly gain their control...
Finally...The Pope can't do much? Go and tell that to the Albigesians. A crusade called against the lombard league would probably successed.

The League will let everyone pass. They are SEPERATE sovereign states after all. They also have no special hate for the empire.
Don't think of this just as a mere formality. The sacral and ritual dimension of the incoronation was extremely important. Some emperors went through lots of troubles to be formally crowned. It was the sanction of their power. Think of it as a legal contract: it can be a formality, but it's the formality that makes it real and legal.
So the emperors will never renounce easily to the italian crown and will always claim it as their own. This will lead to a lot string of fights between german kings and lombard league.

Thanks for all the comments. I hope you like the TL after all :)
I'm looking forward to it. Pardon me if I seemed a bit too "harsh" in my critics, but these are quite important points that simply had to be discussed ;).

Cornelius.
 
Well, Jimbrock, I've always thought that the importance of Costanza peace had been exaggerated by historiography, but that's me :D.
It's true that the whole free cities phenomenon was pratically unknown north of the Alps (to Federick I and his nobles took quite a time to wrap their mind around the idea), but anyway we are talking about large autonomies and self goverment instead of direct control. The situation is more similar to the great fiefs like Saxony, rather than independence.



Of course you have it. I was just pointing out that there wasn't anything to base it on, so you'll have to be pretty convincing...:D



Don't understimate the Pope powers. He can ruin the relations of the league with any other christian power, sparks any kind of fight inside the cities belonging to the league and use his ascendance to separate the league members.
For example, the fight against heretics was used as a crowbar in Italy to sistematically infiltrate the northern cities and slowly gain their control...
Finally...The Pope can't do much? Go and tell that to the Albigesians. A crusade called against the lombard league would probably successed..
I guess so, but OTL the Pope and the Byzantines supported the League, so why not a pan-Italian one? For now theyre just happy the HRE is at bay, and as I said, the Italian League is not a state, just a *for now* loose alliance of states.



Don't think of this just as a mere formality. The sacral and ritual dimension of the incoronation was extremely important. Some emperors went through lots of troubles to be formally crowned. It was the sanction of their power. Think of it as a legal contract: it can be a formality, but it's the formality that makes it real and legal.
So the emperors will never renounce easily to the italian crown and will always claim it as their own. This will lead to a lot string of fights between german kings and lombard league.



I'm looking forward to it. Pardon me if I seemed a bit too "harsh" in my critics, but these are quite important points that simply had to be discussed ;).

Cornelius.
The truce at Como is temporary and will be followed up soon, dont worry. The Kingdom of Italy will dissolve, but formally and with 'successors'.

It's OK, I was hoping for a critic and I got one. I dont take anything as offence. In fact, Im happy that you like it and if all goes well tomorrow I'll post the next part.
 
I guess so, but OTL the Pope and the Byzantines supported the League, so why not a pan-Italian one? For now theyre just happy the HRE is at bay, and as I said, the Italian League is not a state, just a *for now* loose alliance of states.
I have to disagree. The Popes saw any organized power in Italy as a possible menace for their independence. This explain the hostility of Alexander III to the empire for example.
Their main tactics was to play each possible enemies against each other, just to act later as mediator (hence the Divide et Impera). The Lombard League would be seen as a possible threat and dealt accordingly. It doesn't matter that currently the league is friendly toward the pope, for the pope what it mattered was the possibility of such threat.
Remember, the papacy was probably the only medieval nation to think on long terms. Some of the claims they made (on politics, doctrinal, land based...etc.) came to fruition centuries later their formulation.

A possible way to avoid conflict could be a sort of papal patronate over the league. IIRC, Alexander III gave to the league the Saint Peter Banner (vexillum Sancti Petri), this was a recognition of the bearer as a fighter blessed by the Holy Seat. Both Robert the Guiscard and William the conqueror were given one, if memory doesn't fail me.
The banner posed, beside, all the conquered land under the papal patronate, which, dependig on legal interpretation and force ratio between the pope and the banner bearer, allowed the Pope several rights, being in essence a vassalage agrrement.
Such agreement would probably protect the league by the pope, but you should consider it with wariness: it's like invinting a wolf into your house...

It's OK, I was hoping for a critic and I got one. I dont take anything as offence. In fact, Im happy that you like it and if all goes well tomorrow I'll post the next part.
Excellent! I thought to have gone a bit too far, but, on the other hand a thread without critics wither ;)
 
The Pope will be compensated now, and later, with land. Also, if all these things do not content him, he cant do awfully much can he. The League is not a threat to his power anyway, as it is not a united state.

The second part of the Introduction desribes what happened after the HRE descended into unrest and Italy was reorganized. I have a noobish map, but unless I have cries of MAP! MAP!, I'l probably try to improve it and use it to bump the thread :).

Part 2- The Genoa Conference

The Genoa Summit on the Italian League was overshadowed by the Genoa Conference, a meeting of international leaders about what to do now the HRE was kicked out of Italy. Because of this, the League leaders were able to formulate a common agenda for the Conference, which would be very useful later. The result of the conference would change the map of Italy, and begin the long journey to unification.

Savoy, now one of the main drivers of the Italian League, was given territory south of the Po and elevated to a Duchy. The Republic of Genoa was also given the entire Ligurian coast, to compensate it for joining the League and being attacked in the beginning of the war. Asti, Alessandria, and the surrounding area all the way to the HRE border was united in the ‘County of Montferrat’ under a local noble, William of Montferrat.

The County of Emilia, newly created from Parma, Reggio, and Modena, was given to Obizzo d’Este, a nobleman who had helped in the fight against the Emperor. The Republic of Venice was given extra territory around the Po Delta to reward it for joining the League. The march of Verona, which had been divided by the war and now lost most of it’s territory, was formed into the Republic of Verona under the virtual control of Venice.

The rest of the territory in the defunct Kingdom became the ‘Duchy of Lombardy’ under the Milanese Della Torre family. The Savoys detested this family because they favoured a very loose confederation and encouraged smaller noble families in their Duchy.

What was left of Romagna was a rump state that was prone to be annexed by one of the Powers of Italy, The Pope or the League. This encouraged the communes of Romagna to make an offer to the March of Ancona, in a similar situation, to form a federation. ‘United, we are stronger’, they said. It was true, because Ancona was a big prosperous port and Romagna was on the biggest trade lines of Italy. To make the federation of ‘Romarche’ stronger, Bologna was asked to join. In return, it would be the capital of Romagna, and Bologna soon accepted.

Unfortunately, Spoleto was not so lucky. As ‘payment’ for its relinquishing of pseudo-control over Romagna and Ancona, the Papal States annexed the small duchy. The Tuscan league further north developed separately as a confederation of small communes. Florence, finally winning it’s traditional fight against Lucca, took the reigns as the capital.

Hope everyone likes it. As usual, criticise away.
 
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