Industrial Progress: A Story Of Venetian Suffrage (2019-09-11)

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Irene, Sep 14, 2017.

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  1. Irene Professional Cactus

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    Its sorta like Venezuela or decolonization, bad institutions need to be sidelined or torn out entirely. Simply co-opting an exploitative system is simple, but it doesn't generate growth.

    I kinda went into this in my last TL, without Egypt and with the Persian region too volatile there's only Northern India and Indonesia as consistent potential scholarly patrons and Northern India has the problem that it needs to balance with the Hindu majority.
     
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  2. Threadmarks: 112. Promisione Maleficorum

    Irene Professional Cactus

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    112. Promisione Maleficorum

    Venetian Republic
    1470s-1500s

    The various tangle of legislation and legal precedence was first codified in the "Promisione Maleficorum" during the late 13th century. Laws were enforced primarily through the "Avogadori", with judges drawn exclusively from the Patriciate. Known as a civil law system, the Venetian judge takes the lead in court by bringing charges, establishing facts, and applying the law. The Venetian system was in strict with punishments for monetary losses but gave considerable discretion to judges for matter such as violence and grievances. Anyone could bring charges against anyone and anonymous tips can be deposited in the mouth of the statues of St.Mark's lions that dotted the republic. There was also a court of appeals in Venice open to all, though access in practice was limited by the ability of people to travel to Venice and present their claims (ie; not slaves). Intended to maintain the Patrician monopoly on power an feeling of "Pessimistic Vigilance" pervaded the texts of the Promisione Maleficorum. To the Patriciate law enforcement was seen as an endless and unwinningable struggle against rebellion, the best case was when crime was kept to tolerable levels. Enforcement was difficult and expensive, with many crimes unsolved and patchy outside of the city. Logically the best choice in the Patriciate's view was to maximize severity in order to deter crime and reduce enforcement costs. The Patriciate attitudes was best personalities by the statue of lady justice in the ducal palace, her eyes unblindfolded and reflecting the Patrician's right to dispense justice. In practice, as Venetian rule was light outside the city and local cooperation was needed as resources were limited. [1][2]

    So much has changed since then, the Patriciate are no longer a closed class nor are the institutions of a city-state the same for an empire. A expanded bureaucracy with paid and trained men and women was established for political purposes during the 1380s-1410s only to have its intended inheritor reject it relegating the system to the secondary task of administration. [3]

    The most visible change was the method of punishment from the traditional fines towards jail time. Simple and lucrative fines were the standard punishment for crimes of light to moderate severity, with debtor's jail for those unable to pay. In practice fines were an non-issue with the Patriciate and rich while the paupers were unable to work in jail while their health faltered in continuous confinement. During the 1390s, the doge Niccolò Foscari decided to deal with the glut of paupers crowding the jails and costing the state money by replacing fines with jail time. Intended primarily to help keep the Patriciate in line and to reduce costs the change had positive effects for the poor, who were no longer expected to pay fines while locked up and kept away from work. In practice the poor spent less time in jail overall and a there was a greater perception of fairness.

    The second most visible change was the extension of enforcement; not only had the Republic expanded its reach it but also intensified its enforcement. If a community was too small, distant, or didn't have special arrangements with Venice for a court then the locals would be left to their own devices for everyday matters while itinerant judges (mostly women around the Adratic, men around the Nile and frontiers) would come by seasonally and resolve the worst offenses in the name of the Republic. While the laws were by no means uniform as some lands entered the Republic by negotiation, conquest, or a mix of both there is a steady pull towards uniformity as the bureaucratic training is centralized and merchants lobby for uniform laws to expediate commerce. [4]

    The penalties for theft was no longer punitive and monetarily proportional to property loss, punishments were still based on time/mutilation with the max penalty being the gouging of an eye (even repeat offenders). Death and mutilation was no longer the penalty for repeat offenders or theft of more than 20 soldi (240USD) as those condemned to death in the past often resorted to exile or brigandry and this was seen as an undesirable outcome for an empire with few places to run to and vast lands to police. Whether they realized it or not, the law was shifting away from vengeance towards rational repression. [5]

    The penalty for assaults used to be a fine of 12 soldi (130USD), for assaults which drew blood used to be left to the discretion of the judge. In practice enforcement reflected contemporary morality of Patricians instead of a legal tradition. Homicide was to be judged at the discretion of the judge and was in theory operating under the mantra of "innocent until proven guilty". In practice the discretion of the men enforcing the institutions was more important in determine guilt while punishments were susceptible to judge bias and corruption. The most severe crimes were arbitrated through majority voting by the Council of Forty, staffed by forty amateur Patricians with little training or experience with procedures being both over-complex and personal. In practice this meant the enforcement of the forty Patrician's personal preferences as the second highest authority below the court of appeals. By the 1490s the costly fines have been replaced with jail time within a prescribed range while the discretion of the judge had been curtailed somewhat. The rationale behind the change was two-fold, the first was the prevalence of casual violence and the cost of fines, while the average Venetian laborer earned 20 ducats a year the poorest were often unwilling or unable to pay the fines and resorted to drastic measures to avoid punishment/pay fines, to say nothing of the lower standard of wealth outside the city. The second rationale was the overarching centralization of the empire, there simply wasn't enough Patricians to staff the Empire's Avogadori and schools were setup to train bureaucrats in Venetian law leading unintentionally towards standardization of law enforcement. The council of forty, had for the most part been abolished in the power-struggle between the doge and the Patriciate; it was simply too disruptive a cost to assuage the egos of Patricians and also reflected changes in Patrician culture away from vanity. [6]

    The penalty for rape was clearly defined by the status of the victim with the fines leveed accordingly; whether she was a virgin, unmarried, married, and the honour of the victim (nobles>...>prostitutes). Fines were meant to cover the dowry to provide for the victim or if she was provided for the dishonour to the family patriarch and given the nature of male-orientated society cases were often dropped for lack of proof or judge leniency. The worst case would've been the rape of a Patrician for which a vengeful Patrician court would condemn to death or exile. On average non-patrician rape was at worst a fine of 4 ducats (500USD) if it was proven to be premeditated, the victim a virgin and especially sympathetic (a child, abducted, impregnated). The rape of men was judged differently as homosexuality was a capital offense, though like rape evidence was difficult to prove and judged infrequently. Unlike other aspects of law which saw standardization there was never enough interest in the manly senate to consolidate laws involving rape and enforcement was judge-dependent for better or worse. Yet there was change as growing numbers of women staffed the bureaucracy and their opinions manifested in cases. [7]

    Initially used to free up manpower after the Battle of Venice inertia, lower-market wages for women, and the sheer cost of halting and replacing the bureaucrats of a running system kept women within the bureaucracy and the considerable leeway given to judges had led to a more feminine but still Patrician enforcement; the onus of proof no longer overwhelming stacked against women, the punishments more considerable with jail time, the common-woman given fairer consideration at the same time the Patrician or educated women of the bureaucracy scorned prostitutes and the paupers harshly ruling against them and the idea of destitution and disgrace that haunted the well-to-do. The cultural aspect was the shift in Patrician attitudes towards daughters as the old emphasis on the secluded virginity of daughters faded towards active family members and potential heiresses; the dowry was no longer in vogue and with it the penalty of fines meant to compensate for the dowry and in this regard encouraged rape as the difficulty of proof (even with a shift in onus) and lack of fines meant less consequences on average. [8]

    Perhaps the most important change was the cultural aspects outside the legal system, the halting and uneven progress away from favoring the rich, the more rationalized punishments, and the increasing difficulty of evasion as the Republic grew has helped instill/enforce the commoners' trust in/obedience of the law. This cultural change manifests itself in subtle ways such as more helpful bystanders for investigators or more willingness to engage in court instead of extrajudicial vengeance. [9]


    [1] IOTL the Promisione Maleficorum was a aggregation and attempted rationalization of Venetian law. IOTL the lion heads pervaded the republic in both public and private capacities from town squares to the small confines of a small workshop, Venetians brought their police-state habits with them.
    [2] Check out Venice's lady justice, the lack of a blindfold tells volumes about the city-state before this TL.
    https://st4.depositphotos.com/10059...k-photo-lady-justice-statue-palace-venice.jpg
    [3] IOTL, the main difference between modern and premodern bureaucracies was training and paid positions; both of these helped ensure that office holders are qualified (as opposed to some relation or whoever paid the most) and that corruption was reduced (as opposed to offices with no income which meant only the corrupt/rich could take office).
    [4] IOTL the trend in Venetian law was towards general leniency with the occasional measure bout of extreme penalties. This was IOTL partially due to the limitations of enforcement and the relatively porousness of borders, ITTL the same results occurred but more for administrative reasons in contrast to limitations.
    [5] IOTL the practice of exile or harsh penalties often led to brigandry since the law usually didn't have the full confidence of the community in Italy and that the condemned had to sustain themselves, usually by staying near their network where they resided. ITTL the creation of empire helped "internalize" the problem leading to changes in law from a local to imperial scale.
    [6] IOTL Venetian law was trending towards more leniency and less fines by the 1800s, ITTL the sheer demographic damage in 1378, opening of the ranks in the Patriciate, and empire drastically expedited change while sidelining/killing stubborn conservatives.
    [7] Just as IOTL.
    [8] IOTL and ITTL slut shaming is eternal and usual interweaved with classism, educated women tend to be better off and treat the poor little different than we do with street people downtown today. So yes more trained women in law gives justice more empathy for women, but only women viewed as part of their group.
    [9] The ultimate purpose of law is to change societal behaviour, although lawmakers and enforcers often fail to grasp the point. More to come in the civil law post.
     
  3. Lenwe Well-Known Member

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    Yaaa you are back, good stuff, give more please
     
  4. Sceonn Peace at a Bargain Price

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    I honestly thought the TL was on indefinite hiatus, thankfully I was wrong. ;)

    This is big esp. for the region.

    How far does the Venetian Hegemony/Empire extends into Anatolia and the Balkans?
     
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  5. Al-numbers Well-Known Member

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    Law has never been my strong suit, but for this, I'll make an exceptional comment and say that I'm intrigued.
     
  6. Irene Professional Cactus

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    Its a matter of degree, the coastal areas are all parts of the Republic, ranging from autonomous Albanian tribes which provide manpower to policed Greek cities that serve as local markets for agricultural and textile goods. Generally speaking the interiors are the less governed, mostly clients supported by Venice to police and fragment the locals. Interesting to note that while the republic's military knowledge is freely transmitted in these areas, none of the small states have the stability nor economic power necessary to copy their Venetian counterparts. It also works both ways, local communities trying to accommodate Venetian trade would try to strike up agreements changing the way they live, while actual Venetian trade would alter how the people make their living with long-term changes in world-view.

    There's also downsides, regions near the Hungarian borderlands are given special privileges, regions with less senate control near the Transylvanian-Hungarian border are purposefully unfortified least the locals' dubious loyalty are tested.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2019
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  7. Threadmarks: 113. Industrial Progress: Part 1

    Irene Professional Cactus

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    113. Industrial Progress: Part 1
    Venetian Republic
    1380s-1500s


    There is a tendency for historians to associate pre-industrial economic growth with specific inventions and urbanization. The steam engine and bustling cities in particular lingers in the popular imagination, perhaps as the vast majority of future Venetians will come to live in cities or the omnipresence of mechanical power in the future, yet in the grand scheme of things they were but steps near the top of the ladder. The main drivers of pre-industrial economic growth were transportation networks, arcane mechanics of financing, rule of law, peaceful successions, and morally questionable aggression none of which were particularly dazzling in the eyes of Venetian historians. What was happening in Venice was not special by any means as productive enterprises flickered in and out of existence throughout Christendom and Venetians emigrated while foreigners immigrated. Yet unlike the rest of Christendom the gains in Venice were steadily taking on a more permanent nature. [1]

    The cornerstone of the Venetian empire was naval transport in all its forms. Traditionally reliant on galleys the Republic had steadily phased out galleys as the primary mode of transportation. While independent of wind-power and capable of bursts of speed the galley was cramped, labour intensive, prone to instability as water could flow into windows for oars, and poorly suited for the Venetian Republic. In the aftermath of the battle of Venice the bruised Venetian ego was open to innovation while the Arsenale was opened to public bidding. The result was the creation of dedicated naval roles with ship designs ranging from the Xebec hybrids and the ubiquitous blackships. The Xebecs were built for Sconvòlgers, being an oar-sail hybrid that was fast, maneuverable, and roomy enough to accommodate the new bombards.

    The newer Xebecs and sailing cargo ships required less crew, allowed more room for cargo/cannons, and was available in the thousands. In a mutually reinforcing cycle Venetian naval commercial or military success often invited the respective partner ultimately cumulating in a peaceful Mediterranean sea with the fall of the Mamluks and the Aragonite alliance.

    Going hand in hand with shipbuilding were hydro-engineers and canal-building, increasing in both scale and sophistication. Traditional dams based around earthen-dikes had a tendency to lose water that could be used for watermills or irrigation and were ad-hoc in their construction leading to a lot of uncertainty in their strength and excessive material use. The sluice gates which accompanied the earthen dikes were dangerous to operate, when the gate was opened water from the reservoir would rush out while peasants attempted to pull the ship against the flow and gravity; ships were limited to the smallest size with a risk of damage from transit.

    Given the generous funding of a Patrician church and the urgent seriousness assigned by Venetians living on water the Ministry of the Waterways hosted some of the foremost aquatic engineers in Christendom. Pound locks, utilizing ample Kosovo iron gradually replaced sluice gates allowing for greater differences in elevation, safe transit for much larger ships, and standardized size. Canals became standardized for ease of transit and lined to reduce water loss. Knowledge was shared among the saloons of Venice and construction became more efficient on materials as simple rules of thumb were refined to engineering concepts. Yet these efforts were limited in Terrafirma, the water works of Lombardy constructed over the last two centuries were functional enough to make improvements uneconomical and as a result some mainlanders found it easier to work with Milan than Venice.[2]

    Pottery was an industry which saw sparse technical improvements but rather organizational progress as work was broken up into repetitive steps each of which had dedicated craftspeople employed. Better skilled and faster than a generalist potter production excelled in quality and quantity as a result. For many of the potters the employment change was generally better, while work was more monotonous it was often deemed worth the financial security a salary offered. The artisan potter in contrast, was forced to bear the complete gains and losses of a dynamic market while being the one least capable of affording it (compared to merchants or managers) much to their discontent. [3]

    Compared to artisan work employment within the manufactorates were often more monotonous, anti-social, and restrictive. Managers rarely had positions for the whole family and many peasants chose traditional employment that offered more family time, this cultural quirk was one of the key reasons for the spread of the Venetian language; Sconvòlgers were guaranteed to know some Venetian, at least functionally literate, often young, mobile, did not have families that needed employment, were generally more likely to settle down, and thus heavily favored by Patricians and Venetian industries. [4]

    Ironworking was a key industry which saw dramatic changes within the last century. While one of the most abundant ores in the world, iron ore needs to be smelted down and forged in a process requiring large volumes of charcoal. Unknown to the blacksmiths of the era using charcoal as fuel released carbon which was absorbed into the iron in a primitive form of alloying and this was what made steel strong and ductile. The process was guesswork and inefficient due to the lack of theoretical knowledge or means of measurement. Too much carbon alloying made pig iron; a strong but brittle material for the poor warriors. Too little carbon alloying made wrought iron; a ductile but weak material used for everyday tools. Only steel, at 0.3%-2.1% carbon content with minimal impurities had the ideal combination of strength and flexibility needed to sustain repetitive strain. [5][6]

    Traditionally centered around the regions of Treviso for its proximity to the alpine mines the Venetian Republic was also dotted by the generalist town/village blacksmiths which handled nearly all the needs of their local region. By the 1390s the bronzesmiths of Cyprus joined Treviso as a major metalworking center as the Republic adopted bombards and guns which required bronze as ironworking techniques were deemed inadequate. Yet this was not to last as general deforestation in Italy deprived the blacksmiths of fuel and drove up costs contributing to the private conquest of Dubrovnik; cementing Venetian hegemony over the Adriatic coast's lumber preserves and the mines of Kosovo.

    Soon after the conquest of Kosovo coke came into use as a fuel now that the Republic had direct access to coalfields. It was discovered that coke was an excellent substitute for increasingly rare charcoal. For the first time in a long time blacksmiths did not have to follow the forests as Kosovo mined coal and iron in abundance, output soared and the residents of the Republic found their lives slightly easier as iron tools and implements became more common. [7][8]

    Organization-wise the production of iron has also evolved since the traditional blacksmith, as the Republic's infrastructure improved and the seas were cleared of pirates the stage was set for organizational innovation. As the Patrician majority and a minority of blacksmith cooperatives discovered the emerging mass market allowed for efficiencies of scale never seen before. Greedy and lazy Patricians and blacksmiths invested in expensive and massive blast furnaces to replace traditional hearths to save on fuel costs, these were more expensive still by newer architectural configurations that recycled the heated air to save further fuel. Water-powered iron rollers replaced the arduous and fuel wasting process of hammering reducing the need for skilled labourers. All of this was only possible as the modern blacksmiths were producing thousands of identical iron objects for millions in contrast to the traditional blacksmith's menagerie of products covering everything a village needed.[9]

    A major breakthrough came at the turn of the century the with "coffin steel" where soft wrought iron is encased within a coffin over the course of weeks with coke. While poorly understood the process allowed for controlled carbonization, with the unfortunate side-effect of carbon concentrating at the surface which made it brittle while the core stayed too ductile. While weaker than proper steel forged by masters coffin steel was good enough for everyday purposes at a fraction of the cost and labour. It was only a matter of time until the process was refined and the Adriatic canals are into Kosovo are finished with blood and sweat.[10]

    Yet none of these industries could claim to be as important as the textile industry, employing over half of all industrial workers within the Republic, international in scope, and incredibly labor intensive there was great potential for both industrial progress and upheaval.



    [1] IOTL proto-industry was endemic in India, China, Japan, and Europe; the problem was that its value was marginal and progressing to full-time specialization required markets and institutions.
    [2] IOTL the rulers of Milan took considerable pains and expenses to irrigate and connect Lombardy, turning the Po Valley's marshes to productive farmland and the region to a regional powerhouse.
    [2] IOTL and ITTL pottery was an industry where the major technological breakthrough was organizational technology, this was of course dependent on cheap access to a wealthy mass market like ITTL Venice or IOTL Roman Empire.
    [3] IOTL without an understanding of the chemistry behind ironworking superstitions abounded blacksmiths from harmless practices like bringing down the deacon to banish the "sow" to more harmful practices like feeding the furnace "crisp, cold air" as if it were a human with preferences which increased heating costs.
    [4] IOTL so many factors impeded the creation of a free labour market. For women it was administratively from guilds, tariffs, monopolies, the legal status of women (ie; women were often not held legally responsible for debt, which was often attributed to the men, the result was a self-reinforcing reluctance to deal/loan with women) and such to cultural factors such as family dynamics, the perceived dependence and fragility of women, the indignation most non-Venetian men felt when serving under a female manager, to simple poverty among the peasantry.
    [5] The only difference between fine 15th century steel and modern steel is the way its produced, the end-product is just as tough if only produced in lesser quantity.
    [6] IOTL coking was in use in China by the 4th century and Britain by the 17th century. ITTL luck, exposure to the east, and cold Serbians heating their homes with poorly ventilated hearths led to widespread use of coke and coking around Kosovo.
    [7] Much like making charcoal the process of coking burns out the impurities in coal which fouls iron it works with. Kosovo is unique in the high phosphorus content of its coal in contrast to the usual sulfur coal which makes iron brittle, to make things better Kosovo's coal contains limestone content which helps absorb sulfur, and Kosovo hosts large surface and near surface deposits. IOTL these were many of the reasons that Kosovo was a major mining center since antiquity.
    [8] IOTL many of the iron making "inventions" within 17-19th century Britain was already in use at one time or another in human history by another culture. The unique thing about IOTL Britain and ITTL Venice was that they got/their getting most of their economic conditions right at the same time within a short enough period to escape the Malthusian trap of hitting the limit of the land and starvation.
    [9] IOTL, innovations such as water-powered hammering were already in place by the renaissance of the 12th century, ITTL Venice is intensifying existing technology while incrementally improving them.
    [10] My love! My Honey! If I was ever ISOTED to a society with pre-18th century technology this is how I'm making my keep. Steel making is simple once one understands the chemistry behind it, yet without the theoretical and applied knowledge we possess nor any easy method of measurement our ancestors relied on accumulated experience which could only go so far.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2019
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  8. Alessandro Well-Known Member

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    As always amazing new chapter!! I love this story and how much time and effort you have pour inside it for ours enjoyment. Good Job!!! ^^
     
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  9. Missingnoleader Well-Known Member

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    Everything has culminated into this, 100+ updates to ignite industrialization.
     
  10. Irene Professional Cactus

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    Yeah, it had always bothered me in TLs where all they present is an eccentric noble into steam toys, metal roads in mines and bam! 600 years of progress in 20 years and the Roman dreadnought sails into Canton.
     
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  11. Nyvis Well-Known Member

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    Concerning pottery, since you mention it... Is Chinaware filtering into Europe?

    If it goes like OTL, exposure to some pieces of Chinaware will generate massive demand traders have a hard time meeting, even as trips to China by sea become possible, leading to a lot of drive to try reproducing or imitating it.

    Reproducing the process took a lot of time because you need to figure out the required kaolinite. In the meanwhile, a lot of people tried to make imitations. OTL, one of the most successful was Delft in the Netherlands, with their glazed pottery. I don't know if the interest in Chinaware is there yet at this point?
     
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  12. Al-numbers Well-Known Member

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    And so, little by little, La Serenissima inches forward to the Industrial Revolution. The mass-production of tools and cloth are going to raise a lot of eyebrows both regionally and far beyond, though I do wonder if there's a chance for the markets to expand further.

    Speaking of which, has Venice realized just how close the Med is to the Indian Ocean? That could rocket up a proposal to build a waterway through Suez and the Nile Delta.
     
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  13. Irene Professional Cactus

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    Slowly, though Venetians are in the dark due to limited access and infrequent access in Canton. Its "fine" China as a luxury good while the Ming are happy enough to trade it for silver.

    I personally try to avoid that term as it implies abrupt change when it was very gradual IOTL.

    Impractical at the moment, one needs regular dredging, be wide and deep enough to take ships in both directions, provide enough food and water for the people and pack animals pulling the ships, and pay itself back while competing with age-old caravan routes and the pharaoh's canal in the south that operates during flood season. There really has to be a military impetus or machine tools.
     
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  14. Nyvis Well-Known Member

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    Does Venice even have reliable sources of silver in the quantities needed to expand on the China trade yet? OTL, that really took off after the Spanish started strip mining the new world. Before that, there just wasn't enough precious metal to throw at China. India and Indonesia are probably going to see more trade for now since they're open to dealing in goods rather than just currency.
     
  15. Irene Professional Cactus

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    Paper money and Serbian mines that fell to the Ottomans IOTL. ITTL Venice has very little need for silver except in FOREX and silverware
     
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  16. Nyvis Well-Known Member

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    I wasn't really worried about internal currency, honestly. But China will only take cold hard silver and Serbia may not provide enough to kickstart Chinese trade. But there will be enough to create curiosity if anyone can do the trip and bring back some Chinaware. It will probably remain a small market until more silver is located though.
     
  17. Rakhasa Well-Known Member

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    We are already at the end of the 15th century. America should be discovered any decade now, and even if they are not conquered as OTL the silver will reach Europe via trade. The conditions for the discovery aren't much changed: Western Europe is cut off from the path east to Asia; the fact that the ones with the monopoly are christian Venetians rather than muslim Ottomans does not make it less of a monopoly. Aragon is allied with Venice, but Castille and Portugal should be doing the same as OTL and be searching for new trade routes. Eventually one of the two will attempt to go directly west.
     
  18. Nyvis Well-Known Member

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    Nah, you specifically need the conquests and the slave trade for the amount of silver involved OTL to happen. The natives had quite a bit of precious metals and were willing to trade it, but they weren't hellbent on strip mining the continent.

    Also, even if the discovery was sponsored by Iberian monarchs, there was a history of Italian financial and naval involvement. Columbus was Genoese and learned to sail with Genoese trade for example. Someone will still try sailing west at some point, that's true. My point is just that a steady exploitation of New World silver is needed before China trade becomes truly attractive.
     
  19. Irene Professional Cactus

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    Well don't narrow your scope like that, there was IOTL plenty of regional naval trade which the Europeans muscled in, plenty of silver from Japan, and as some keen poster noted there's undiscovered & accessible jade deposits in Taiwan for which's even more valuable than silver to the Chinese; https://www.alternatehistory.com/forum/threads/wi-europeans-discover-jade-in-taiwan.397805/

    Overall, nothing substantial will happen until Venice has a way to get ships in number into the Indian Ocean. Also, in terms of industrial progress Venice's colonies is the Nile which towers in importance over anything Venice can plausible conquer. IOTL, high-profile and very well-documented the industrial and luxury goods from the Indian Ocean was just that; luxury items while the bulk of textiles, food, and iron which accounted for the majority of industry and agriculture was regionally produced.

    Also, I've written in passing that by virtue of Isabella running away to elope with Ferdinand to the ignorance of Venice, the Republic is now begrudgingly stumbling into an alliance with the Castile-Aragon union.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2019
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  20. Rakhasa Well-Known Member

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    Columbus was Genovese, but Gil Eames, Bartolomeu Dias and Vasco da Gama were all portuguese. The Iberians had plenty of experience with atlantic navigation, and the Italian naval involvement was a cause for that, not a impediment. Because the Italians controlled the Mediterranean, Castille and Portugal were searching for alternatives. ITTL, where they control it even more, they will be searching harder.

    And even with not conquest, Aztecs and Inca were quite able to ruthlessly exploit the mines by themselves. As they were already doing when the spanish arrived. That silver will get to Europe with trade, because it is worth remembering that castille did not sail to mexico with the intention to conquer an empire: They were planning to do the same as Portugal in Africa and Asia: Build or conquer trade ports and get filthy rich trading with the nations beyond the port.
     
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