In this country , it is good to kill an admiral from time to time

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Antony444, May 18, 2013.

  1. Antony444 Well-Known Member

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    Duly noted. I will...consider purchasing it in the next summer steam sales if I don't flash on anything more interesting.

    There are plenty, though the UPNG is the only first-class power. The Republic of the Carolinas, the Republic of California, the Republic of Ireland, the Republic of Chile...those are all democracies, though of course like every type of political system they have their share of issues.

    Hmmm..fairly good. Unlike China, the reunification was done in a fashion which didn't make the other side a war-torn wasteland and as you said they added more lands without bleeding their armies white. Unlike China, they also have no anti-foreigner policy, making them a very important hub for expensive finished goods. Add to this France doesn't consider them a problem because French interests in eastern Asia have significantly decreased, and Japan can be a valuable partner for the Bourbons.
     
  2. Sébastien Well-Known Member

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    I can very well see France "uses" (not really the correct word but the best approaching one in my limited vocabulary) Japan to control the Pacific.
    Carolinas and UPNG can't really concentrate on the Pacific in case of war because France obviously will NOT let a good and proven ally (with even greater potential) be assaulted. Carolinas really doesn't have the best strategic position right now. Sure, they have colonies but they are far, very far and France is so very close of both their mainland and of their colonies. UPNG is better off but because of his short-time policies, it is isolated on the diplomatic stage. Without China and Carolinas in no position to contest France, their own colonies are also very exposed. California isn't really a heavy hitter and in a very similar position as Carolinas.

    In fact, France is less isolated than I first thought because all the others are more or less in the same situation or worse. Spain is on the verge of collapsing, Russia is also very busy inside his frontiers, the losers of the Great War can't stand each other or when they can, their situation isn't that positive either.
    All France has to do to conserve her supremacy and peace (at least for her and allies) is to reinforced England and Japan, to maintain Ireland and Bengal in good condition. Ethiopia and Madagascar need to prove themselves trustworthy but a good look at history should show the advantages of being France's ally. Sure, France still need to "digest" her conquest but this is not her first time doing it, so it should go smoother than for others. A-H can probably be assured that France is not its enemy and really the Bear is more terrifying, no? Poland is probably obsessed by Russia and reconquering the Grand Duchy of Poland.

    Really, if the Empress doesn't make major mistakes, her reign should be one of confirmed supremacy and consolidation of said supremacy in all domains: economy, sciences, culture, social, military, wealth, infrastructure and health. The major danger is arrogance.
     
  3. Antony444 Well-Known Member

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    New Iberian Troubles? (The Iberian Peninsula 1906-1910)

    To say the return to peace was difficult for the Holy Empire of Spain and the Kingdom of Portugal was somewhat difficult was a large understatement. Both governments were of course declared victory the next day after the peace treaty was signed and paid large sums to the newspapers and the information means they didn’t control to ensure their version of events was the correct one.

    In the ‘liberated’ lands of Portugal, the new King Luis IV and his ministers had not a lot of successes convincing the population of this victory. That was, in part, due to the fact they weren’t that many Portuguese citizens in several cities. Not because of the Spanish massacres, though these had played a role in the mind of the lower classes. No, the real reason there weren’t that many Portuguese anymore...they were leaving. A majority of the men and women departing were now deathly afraid of a resumption of hostilities between their country and Spain, and they wanted to get out before the next war began and they were forced to learn to speak Spanish. It was obvious the ‘Portuguese victory’ had been bought with English lives, foreign volunteers, English weapons and French political assistance. If those things had not been there to help Luis III, everybody agreed annexation would have been unavoidable.

    Thus Portuguese workers, bourgeois and merchants who had lived for centuries at Porto, Lisbon or in the lands of the Crown of Portugal left, much like the Dutch had once done decades ago for Batavia. Thousands crossed the Atlantic to find a new life in Brazil or tie their futures to those of distant cousins, but they were definitely a minority. Easily thrice or four times these numbers went to the last colonies of Portugal, Angola and Mozambique. It would be there they would rebuild their fortunes, away from delusional Kings and world-shattering European wars.

    Luis IV, as a result, inherited a country which was in dire economic condition and there was little sign of improvement. Worse, the population was less and less Portuguese. Many adventurers and volunteers, seeing the local population sell everything and leave before 1906 or 1907 was out, decided it was a good idea to buy. Consequently, the plains and the hills of the Iberian Peninsula saw English, Irish or German-speakers arrive and settle in these war-torn areas, often at prices they couldn’t have afforded in their country of birth.

    And these new dwellers were not exactly satisfied by the political and administrative state of things in Portugal. To make it worse from a monarch’s perspective, the army of Portugal was for all intent and purposes an extinct species. People who fled to other continents included a large proportion of soldiers, who had not appreciated being forced to fight a horde of fanatic Spanish. As such, Luis was forced to rely on the diminished English garrisons if there were problems...and the loyalty of his troops to him was somehow questionable. As such, the nobility lost most of its remaining privileges, the Cortes was remodelled to serve as a genuine Parliament with vote for those citizens who paid some low-level amount of taxes and the power of the legislative branch was significantly reinforced despite several ministers fighting tooth and nail against it. By 1910, Portugal was a parliamentary monarchy in all but name...time would tell if it was enough to satisfy the electors.

    The Holy Empire of Spain was in a somewhat better situation at the end of the war. True, it had lost far more soldiers than Portugal, but in a way it was the excess of war veterans who had caused problems to the stability of the Empire and now thousands of them were dead. Furthermore, the fighting –with the exception of the coup of Duke Cadiz – had been done in foreign territory and on this point the peace conditions were eminently satisfying: paying reparations was embarrassing, but it beat rebuilding a country where everyone hated the Spanish-speaking people. Isabella III, thanks to the diplomatic support of France, was at last able to push for reforms removing the great nobles of the sensitive positions of power. Administration tests and land grants to the loyal regiments introduced at last some measure of meritocracy in the Spanish internal affairs and the grumblings were much reduced. For those who thought a new rebellion was necessary, there were ships ready to take them to South America where they would enjoy building new roads and bridges. Isabella III wanted to make Southern Andalusia an indivisible part of the Spanish realm, and wanted to increase the percentage of Spanish-speaking population in the newly conquered territories. Southern America, by contrast, had yet to mobilise when the English Crown officially buried the war hatchet.

    The years which followed were a sense of artistic and architectural renewal for Spain, though it was a melancholic one, after the losses of an entire generation to the Great War and the recent Iberian War (Portuguese-Spanish-English War didn’t sound particularly good). The middle-classes profited extremely well from the disgrace of the high nobility, and while the Spanish industrial sector remained very limited, it grew rapidly as Madrid exported fruits, wine, iron and new textiles all over the Mediterranean. But the Holy Empire remained an absolute monarchy with an omnipresent church, and it had not only its good points...
     
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  4. Azureora Well-Known Member

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    Slow recovery, but the rot remains. Instead of great nobles controlling everything, the Church does. And while the Church is placated for now, they will eventually clash with the monarch for power.

    Furthermore, the newly empowered middle class won’t be seeing any large increases in growth. All education is still under the preview of the Church and you can expect varying competence. As such, the middle clash will soon stagnate as monopolies come to fruition without much competition.

    As for Portugal, well we all saw this coming. However, I didn’t expect the English (and minor entrepreneurial Germans) to make investments into Portugal. Or the sheer amount of immigrants leaving Portugal. Hmmmm...
     
  5. Antony444 Well-Known Member

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    True. To be fair to the Empress, it's hard to change religion...and it's even harden when the faith is big foundation of the Empire. Remove that, and the number of rebellions is going to massively increase. And yes, the middle class won't get the achievements it would gain in a moderate capitalist society.

    Investments from foreigners in the Portuguese markets remain modest, but TTL Portugal is significant smaller and poorer than it was with OTL frontiers. So of course, even small investments are critically important for Luis IV and his regime at a moment more Portuguese are willing to get out of the sinking ship.
     
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  6. Xgentis Member

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    I could see some immigration to the new world but that the majority of portuguese to leave is kind of not realistic to me, especialy to the point for foreigner to replace them. I can't buy it.
     
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  7. Sébastien Well-Known Member

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    Really? That's the history of our world. Millions of people have been displaced to flee wars. Here, Portugal had already lost territory to Spain, a country who isn't the most stable and after the recent atrocities that can be repeated I can see the people who have the means deciding enough is enough. I mean how many Portuguese kings were competent in the last century?
     
  8. Xgentis Member

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    As I said sure that some emmigrate I can see that but not to the point of depopulating the country.
     
  9. Antony444 Well-Known Member

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    Summer Revival (Ottoman Empire 1902-1910)


    When it came down to it, the Ottoman Empire was undoubtedly one of the nations which had the best conquests/investment ratios of the Great War. The Sublime Porte didn’t even have to declare war: all it had to do was to wait for the Omani and Persian rule to collapse under the strain of war and economic exhaustion before marching forwards. Mesopotamia was retaken and once again the Ottomans had access to the Persian Gulf.

    The celebrations at Istanbul and in the major cities were particularly long and sonorous. From the old walls to the mosques on the Asiatic side of the Bosphorus, the wealthy and the poor celebrated this turn of events. For the first time in living memory, the Empire had not seen its borders shrunk further inwards, but extended them. And since the expedition to reoccupy Mesopotamia was led by a scion of the House of Osman, it did not take long for a Sultan to return to the top.

    More than four hundred years after the fall of Constantinople, a Sultan called Mehmed was once again living in Topkapi Palace and was acclaimed by cheering crowds. The Mesopotamian Mosque was planned by several of the best Imperial architects in 1904 and its construction would last only five years before every visitor could admire its green dome and its four minarets.

    This reassertion was costly for many powerful families of Istanbul and Izmir. For several decades, Great Viziers had been content to abandon foreign ventures and tighten their grip on the Ottoman society they thought they could trust. This long work was brutally broken and Mehmed began to give land grants to new officers who had climbed up in the ranks. Many of these new settlements were in Mesopotamia, but the possessions seized from several Viziers were also included in the lot.

    By 1905, the Ottoman Empire had a population of eighteen million, and optimism was definitely everywhere. Many great public works were ordered in the capital and elsewhere to repair what earthquakes and neglect had done to mosques and great monuments of the past. Architects and artisans had the opportunity to prove they had nothing to be ashamed when compared to masters of the past. Between Europe and Asia, the Ottoman Empire assimilated many of the rising tendencies now spreading out from the Great Powers and made them its own. Reforms were made in language and education.

    But all was definitely not well in the Ottoman Empire. While it had returned Bagdad and Mesopotamia to the fold, these were poor and destitute lands they were now forced to administer. The east required more investment in infrastructure, education and military oversight than ever. The Persians had stagnated and done little to make the once prosperous valley attractive; it was the Ottomans’ dubious privilege to correct this scandalous behaviour.

    Naturally, these efforts cost a lot of money. The same was true of the pet projects of Sultan Mehmed and his main advisors. But to acquire this money was more and more a problem. With the Suez Canal a gateway to India, Batavia and China, no longer the Europeans needed to buy from the Empire. The Muslim scientists, healers, innovators and mathematicians who had once been the leading experts in their fields were now badly lagging behind the universities of Paris, London, Vienna and Copenhagen. Porcelain and mosaic were now produced at will west of Budapest. The demand for the famed Ottoman carpets could not compensate for the devouring needs of the Ottoman aristocracy in luxury products coming from the French Empire.

    It was little surprise, as a result, that Istanbul was heavily indebted to the Bourbon state and other foreign investors. The tax system was described in three words: unfair, discriminatory and inefficient. Reforms succeeded to other reforms, but the problems remained. The Ottoman administration was incredibly corrupt even by the most permissive standards, and every exchange, law and arrangement required copious amounts of graft to work.

    The military, in the meantime, required more funds and new weapons. Weapons the Ottoman industry was constantly unable to deliver in large quantities. There were centres of Industry in Europe and Asia, but they were all dispersed between the Bosphorus and the Anatolian region. Most battleships and specialised machinery were imported, often with the foreign engineers in the next wagons. The Empire needed brand-new trains, railroads and vehicles, and the Orient Express was not enough to hide the flaws of the modern European state.

    There were some attempts – and military coups – to introduce a Parliament and some elections, but they went to nought and by 1910 Sultan Mehmed had restored the Ottoman regime to its absolutist state. It was not pleasing for the minorities like the Kurds and the Armenians, and to say the least the Ottoman army was forced to recruit more young men, not less.

    The biggest threat, unfortunately, was external, not internal. From the moment the Great War ended, the general opinion in the streets was to recognise the French were no longer the more threatening opponent in the theatre. To be sure, King Louis XVIII had extended his rule on every continent, but Paris had not sent armies in their direction and not once had a French bishop declared in public it was imperative to bring back the cross to the city which had once upon a time been called the Second Rome.

    This was not the case with Russia. The new Patriarch approved by Tsarina Anastasia was known to be a particularly anti-Muslim spokesperson and the size of the Russian armies in Transylvania had not decreased contrary to what had been promised in several Congresses. The last conquests of the carnivorous bear were ultimately a massive encirclement from the north and the east. It was threatening on a map, and it was little better in reality. New fortresses and artillery batteries were ordered, but when looking at the dome of Hagia Sophia, the inhabitants of Istanbul wondered how long the summer was going to last...


    Note: you have two tries to guess where I went on holidays and the first doesn't count.
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  10. Arlos Sad monarchist Donor

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    Well, if the Russian attack the Ottoman I think they can count on the Greeks to jump in, and maybe the Serbs as well.
    England might try to get land too.
     
  11. Israel_Dan the Man Well-Known Member

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    Russia seems to fancy Middle Eastern Countries as a meal. If I had to guess, Persia was an appetizer, the Ottoman Empire is lunch, and everything not owned by France or an ally of France is dessert.
     
  12. Azureora Well-Known Member

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    Tsargrad? :p

    Looks like the Ottomans are trying to catch up but isn’t committing to a full on reform. They may have changed leadership to a more stable and competent one but the rot and inherent problems remain.
     
  13. Antony444 Well-Known Member

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    Yes, the friendship between the Greeks and the Ottomans is well-known. :biggrin:
    More seriously, even if Greece and Serbia declare war on the first day, the Ottomans are not going to be that terrified. The two armies have lost a lot of men during the Great War and like the Ottomans, they lack a lot the heavy weapons and the training the Great Powers are taking for granted in an army corps.
    The Sublime Porte can afford to remain on the defensive against them and beed them dry...they can't exactly do that with Russia.

    England, on the other hand, is not going to involve itself save maybe in a few industrial interests. It's far from their area of influence, and if things get hot the supply line they will have to sustain doesn't bear thinking about.
    Portugal was one thing. Constantinople is an entire different proposition.

    It's spicy, right. ;)
    But yes, retaking Constantinople has always been a long-term ambition of several Russian sovereigns.

    That or Romanovgrad or Anastasianople (or Anastasiapolis or Nicholasgrad...)...the list of possible names boggles the mind. ;)

    Pretty much, for the Ottomans. Of course, full, unbridled reform looks very nice on paper but it's always a pain to make it a reality. And a lot of rulers always have difficulties keeping their heads when the changes in the social structure are getting unpopular. The new Sultan Mehmed does want to remain on the throne, you know...
     
  14. Arlos Sad monarchist Donor

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    I thought the Greeks literally spent the entire war sitting around doing nothing?:p
    I mean, sure, by themselves the Greeks and Serbs aren’t scary, but if they attack while the Russians are already going at it, I fully expect a nervous Breakdown from Ottomans High command :biggrin:
     
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  15. Israel_Dan the Man Well-Known Member

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    Let’s face it, there is no one who can challenge France or Russia even by themselves. Russia and France are only rivaled by each other, they are like Godzilla (Russia) and France (Ghidorah).
     
  16. Antony444 Well-Known Member

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    For the Greeks that's mostly the truth, but one of the reasons why they effectively did this (though they never admitted it to their allies) was the fact they had already quite taken an enormous butcher bill in the conflict before the great War. Their army was still fragile, and internal instability could easily become a new civil war if the army got trashed in a failed offensive.
    And they still took casualties, mainly in the last year, but also the fact the nation was not self-sufficient and the various diseases epidemics which always plague armies since the dawn of time.
    Greece is not France, so even these light or very light casualties were not made good.

    But yeah, if a coalition Serbia-Greece-Russia decides to stop bickering (it's the Balkans, eh...) and agrees on a coordinated offensive, the strategists based at Istanbul are going to hear the thunder and see the smoke and fires rapidly come towards their capital. Between these three, 100% of their European frontier is now in contact with an enemy, and on the Asian side, the ones who are not are the Bedouins (who spent centuries fighting and killing Ottomans) the French and the Omani...it's really, really not good.

    That's somewhat true...but there are countries which could put up a fight alone (like the UPNG or Southern China) and if one of the two giants is onvolved in a war somewhere, it has to be careful that the rival competitor is not seizing the opprtunity for a massive land grab while it is unable to intervene.
     
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  17. Sébastien Well-Known Member

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    I think Russia is too greedy and it will explode in their face. I mean how many minorities (very badly treated to stay polite) are inside their border? How many people aren't Russian inside their border? How many are looking for any weakness? The Ottoman Empire isn't a Great Power but it is still a Regional Power that have debt to France. I don't think France trust Russia anymore, at least not the Empress. And well, without the protection of France, how many countries would jump the gun? Poland, Austria-Hungry, China, Japan, California, Carolinas, UPNG, Ottoman... Not exactly light weight and put together against the same target without fear of reprisal by France. On contrary, France could even help them in goods and make an embargo against Russia.

    I'm sure some of you are thinking "Now why would France do that?", it is a very cheap way in blood and money (for France, not the others) to bring down a peg or two an insolent ally/rival and an excellent precedent to show to some allies with bad ideas. Sure, it can backfire really bad, really fast but letting your enemies torn each other apart without lifting a finger while at the same time you are reinforcing yourselves on their blood and wealth... Well, look at OTL USA, without WWI and WWII, the USA wouldn't be the tenth of their actual strength, the different European Empire would still existed too and still be the holders of most the world power. Here, France is already a superpower, so such a tactic would probably have even more results.
     
  18. Israel_Dan the Man Well-Known Member

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    Good thing Russia isn't into making allies, or another Great War (or just a Cold War with massive tension and military buildup) would be right around the corner. Imagine if Chuan China, Japan, and some other nations which hate France joined the Russian side? I kinda hope Russia gets some allies (read: puppets) or just decently-tough nations who need Russia to counter the French and France's allies, otherwise France has a 100% chance of winning a war with them.

    Imagine if Chuan China and Russia made an alliance, French India and Bengal would freak out.

    Btw, what is Russia's population? And out of that, how many are ethnic Russian?
     
  19. Xgentis Member

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    My guess the French don't want to see Russia in controle of Constantinople. So if war happen the French will unoficially help the Ottoman with weapons and military advisors.
     
  20. Israel_Dan the Man Well-Known Member

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    All the advisors in the world can't help the Ottomans. Russia has about 200 million people if I had to gues, including about 150-180 million loyal peoples. They can just do what they did in 1900 and drown the Ottomans in blood, and that won't even be necessary since Russia actually beats the Ottomans in quality and equipment (a rarity for Russia in any timeline).

    I can see Russia also taking some of the Northeast provinces, making Trabzon and Erzerum part of the Empire "for their own good".