King Theodore's Corsica

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Carp, Jun 11, 2017.

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  1. Threadmarks: Title Page

    Carp Literally a fish

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    [​IMG]

    King Theodore's Corsica

    From March to November of 1736, Theodore von Neuhoff, a Westphalian baron, ruled Corsica as its king.

    Theodore's kingdom is obscure today—and perhaps understandably so, as it existed so briefly. Later writers often dismiss the "Kingdom of Corsica" as farcical and Theodore himself as delusional, a sort of real-life Don Quixote with ambitions unmoored from reality.

    I disagree. Theodore von Neuhoff was certainly an unorthodox character, but he was neither a fool nor a charlatan. He was a man of intelligence, courage, political skill, and extraordinary charisma. The allegation that he acted out of naked self-interest is refuted easily enough by the fact that, despite repeatedly talking investors into giving him loan after loan and providing him with (literal) boatloads of guns and supplies, he was essentially broke all his life and died a pauper. Theodore was genuinely committed to the cause of Corsican freedom, and even after leaving the island for the last time he was constantly writing letters to ambassadors and ministers, calling in old favors, and cajoling merchants and investors, all for the benefit of a country he spent less than a year in.

    Although he left the country, Theodore wasn't really deposed in 1736. His departure was ostensibly to drum up the foreign support he had promised his followers. He remained in close contact with the rebel leaders for years, and as late as 1744 the Corsican rebels were still drafting proclamations which recognized Theodore as king. Although often dismissed as a mere adventurer playing at royalty, he was by any reasonable standard a legitimate monarch. Elected by the preeminent men of Corsican society by means of a constitution unanimously ratified by the consulta (the national assembly of the rebel movement), his claim to leadership is no worse than that of Pasquale Paoli, who was similarly chosen by the consulta 19 years later to be the supreme general of the Corsican nation.

    The Corsican rebellion, which lasted intermittently from 1729 until the conquest of Paoli's republic in 1769 and its subsequent annexation to France, could have succeeded. The singular most important condition for its success, I believe, was that it happen within the context of a greater European war, a war in which Genoa would be unable to call upon a great power (read: France) to intervene and save their crumbling hold on the island. The best and most obvious choice is the War of Austrian Succession, over the course of which Genoa itself was occupied by Austrian troops. Indeed, the British and Sicilians supported an attempt to drive Genoa entirely from the island during that war, but it failed because of the fractiousness of the rebels and the incompetence of the leaders of the expedition. Theodore had done far better in 1736 even without the British Navy supporting him.

    I suspect that if Theodore had been able to hang on to his throne until 1741, when the war began in earnest, the chances for a successful Corsican revolution would have increased dramatically. That may seem like a tall order given that his actual reign didn't even last a year, but it's worth noting that although Theodore himself left in 1736 some of his own German kinsmen actually held out as guerrilla leaders against the French occupation forces until the summer of 1740, less than a year before the French withdrew from the island. With a bit of luck, I don't think it's impossible—or too implausible—that Theodore could have weathered the forces arrayed against him long enough for him to become an asset to the Pragmatic Allies and fully exploit the general European war to gain Corsica its independence.

    And that is what will happen in this timeline.

    The Plan

    My intent is that this timeline will unfold in two "stages." The first, covering approximately the years from 1736 to 1748, will be a "wartime" timeline which will detail the alternate Corsican rebellion and how it attained victory; it will focus on personalities, strategies, diplomacy, and the occasional battlefield narrative. The second stage will be less about war and more about government, economics, and culture, as a small, poverty-stricken island kingdom under the upstart House of Neuhoff attempts to make a success of itself over the latter half of the 18th century and steer a course through the dangerous waters of European diplomacy.

    While I consider myself pretty well-read about Theodore and the Corsican rebellion, my knowledge of 18th century Europe more generally is quite shallow. Thus, while the first stage is relatively well thought-out, the second stage is (mostly) wide open, and I will certainly be soliciting your help to paint a historically plausible picture of Corsica's fate.

    As the life of Theodore and the history of the Corsican rebellion are probably not well-known to many people, the first few posts will be a pre-POD digest of relevant Corsican history, the early life of the Baron von Neuhoff, and how those two things came to intersect.

    The style of this timeline will be similar to that used in Sons of the Harlot Empress—that is, like a work of popular history—but I'm a little more open to experimentation here, and historical vignettes, book excerpts, and other such things may make an appearance. (This is something of a "side project" for me, by the way, and doesn't mean that SotHE won't continue.)

    The Rule

    There is but one commandment which I must insist upon in this thread: Thou Shalt Not Mention Napoleon.

    I've noticed that whenever Corsica is mentioned in the context of the 18th century on this board, discussion inevitably turns to the fate of the World's Most Famous Corsican. It's no surprise—Napoleon is probably the best argument ever made for the Great Man Theory of history. He had such an outsize effect on the history of the world that any timeline which substantially changes or omits him must inevitably become a global affair, which in my case risks exploding a little story about a strange man and his island kingdom into a something much, much larger. Considering that the POD of this timeline occurs not only before Napoleon was born, but before his parents were born, I consider his mere existence ITTL to be impossible without some extreme butterfly gymnastics.

    How I intend to approach this problem—or indeed whether, for I may simply decide to end the timeline near the close of the 18th century—is a bridge I shall cross when I come to it, and not before. Until then, I must humbly request that you make no posts mentioning him, by name or otherwise, lest the thread be dragged into Napoleonic speculation.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2017
  2. Alex Zetsu Well-Known Member

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    Ooo, cool
     
  3. Alex Zetsu Well-Known Member

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    Also, unless you have a POD three generations before Napoleon or at least one generation before but you know involving something his parents were involved, there is a good chance he'd probably be born anyways. A different monarch might affect his family's wealth so their son might not feel the pressure to be such a decorated officer. So a 1066 POD that has nothing to do with Normans is unlikely to affect the Kingdom of England or Henry II's existence (but possible! There are enough decades to butterfly him away), but a POD in 1130 that involves an aquatiance of Geoffrey Plantagenet probably would. Both could affect the circumstances Henry grows up in, which would in turn affect the world.
     
  4. Alex Zetsu Well-Known Member

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    I mostly know about the British and Austrian politics at the target point. The most I know about this region is Sardinia, and that's only because of the Savoys. I hope you make interesting personalities in the war. try to come up with at least 3 distinct leaders of the victors side, and give us battle tactics.
     
  5. Threadmarks: The Cause of Liberty

    Carp Literally a fish

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    The Cause of Liberty
    Or: How Not to Run a Colony


    It may be uncharitable to the Genoese to characterize the whole history of their rule over Corsica as “a long exercise of oppression and misgovernance,” in the words of one 18th century British commentator. Under Genoese rule, the ports of Corsica grew into modest yet prosperous urban centers. These port settlements, however, were initially intended as Genoese enclaves in which native Corsicans were not permitted to reside. This ban was eventually lifted and some Corsicans were able to gain the full benefits of citizenship and assimilate into Genoese society, but that path was generally only available to the highest echelon of Corsican society.

    Genoa's rule was not totally without positive contributions, most notably the introduction of Corsica's famous chestnut trees, which the Republic compelled the natives to grow in order to provide an alternative to poorly-performing cereal crops. As a rule, however, the Genoese administration of Corsica was exploitative by design, with little thought for long-term development or integration of the "highland" Corsicans into the Genoese state. As official posts in Corsica were not considered very desirable or prestigious, the administrators of the island were usually drawn from the lesser nobility. For such men Corsica was of interest only insofar as its tax base might be tapped to fund their subsequent careers. By 1729, after nearly four centuries of Genoese rule, there remained a vast economic and cultural gap between the Genoese-dominated port cities and the villages of the mountainous highlands where most Corsicans lived.

    In the second half of the 17th century and the opening decades of the 18th, the Republic of Genoa underwent an economic and political decline which would eventually seal its fate. As the fortunes of the Genoese Republic began to fail, the burden which the republic’s officials placed on Corsica became more and more onerous, even to the point of frustrating the ability of the people to make a living. Despite being heavily taxed for the benefit of the Bank of Saint George and providing the Republic with many of its soldiers, Corsicans were prohibited from hunting and fishing on their own island. It was said that before the arrival of Baron Neuhoff in 1736, the Corsicans had never tasted the oysters which grew abundantly in the eastern lagoons: they were exploited solely for the benefit of the Genoese. The more Genoa suffered – from plague, the gradual loss of their Mediterranean colonies, the decline of the Spanish Empire whose sovereigns they had bankrolled, and aggression from France and Savoy – the more it relied on the exploitation of Corsica and its people.

    Since the days of the Romans, Corsica was infamous for its contumacious natives, and in the early 18th century ever larger numbers of young Corsican men were turning to violence. Although the Genoese termed this activity "banditry," much of the violence was inter-familial and concerned honor rather than robbery. Corsica had arguably the highest per capita murder rate in Europe at the time, estimated in one recent study as 700 per 100,000 people in the early 18th century;[A] property crimes, in contrast, appear to have been very rare. The origins of Corsica's tradition of the vendetta are complex, but it certainly had much to do with the feckless and inept Genoese administration which offered the Corsicans of the interior no justice or any other means to resolve disputes. Increasing conditions of poverty and hunger undoubtedly only made these problems worse.

    The problem became serious enough that the Genoese senate passed an edict in 1715 providing for the forced disarmament of the Corsicans. Disarmament, however, would have financial consequences: Genoese merchants held a monopoly on weapons sold in Corsica and the Genoese government made money on arms licenses, so the cessation of arms sales would harm the republic’s own finances. Driven at least in part by the need to address this expected shortfall, the Genoese introduced in the same year a new hearth tax upon every Corsican household in addition to the significant taxes on salt and other goods already levied upon them.[1] Perhaps to assuage the anger of the Corsicans, the Genoese promised that this tax would be levied for no more than 10 years. When 1725 came around, however, the Genoese Senate found parting with their new revenue stream too painful to consider, and the “temporary” tax was extended indefinitely.

    In 1728, the island was beset by a very poor harvest. The Corsicans, facing the prospect of a famine, petitioned for a relief from the hearth tax. In an uncommon act of (partial) leniency, the Genoese Senate resolved that only half normal payment would be collected in 1729. This mercy, however, failed to trickle down through the venal and corrupt administration. Many tax collectors continued to demand the full amount, and the Senate was either uninterested in or incapable of reigning in the cupidity of their officials.

    According to local legend, the spark was provided by an old man named Cardone in the pieve (district) of Bozio. In October of 1729, he attempted to pay his tax, but the Genoese lieutenant of Corti deemed his payment insufficient, claiming that one of his gold pieces was under-weight. Cardone's payment was refused and the lieutenant threatened him with the confiscation of his property if he did not pay the full amount within one day. The old man told everyone he met of the injustice, and soon there were stirrings of rebellion everywhere. The Genoese sent a hundred soldiers to Bozio, but they were seized upon in the night and disarmed by the populace. With bills, axes, and captured muskets, the people then stormed the fort of Aleria, slaughtered the garrison, raided the armory, and attacked the administrative capital of the island, Bastia.

    The rebellion now became island-wide. A consulta (assembly) of rebel delegates at Furiani elected three Corsicans of prominence - Luigi Giafferi, Domenico Raffaelli, and Andrea Ceccaldi—to be the "generals" of the nation. For two years, the Genoese miserably failed to crush the upstarts, and in 1731 they appealed to the Holy Roman Emperor Karl VI for assistance. Four thousand German soldiers under Baron Karl Franz von Wachtendonck arrived to suppress the rebels, but the Corsicans were more formidable than expected. A rebel force under Ceccaldi delivered a stunning defeat to a force of German soldiers at Calenzana, necessitating the dispatch of a larger imperial force under the command of Friedrich Ludwig von Württemberg-Winnental.

    [​IMG]
    Imperial troops disembark on Corsica, 1731

    This time the rebels felt compelled to come to the bargaining table. A deal was negotiated under imperial auspices in which the Genoese would grant some liberties to the Corsicans and the Corsicans would send their generals as hostages to Genoa. The Genoese, however, acted in exceptionally bad faith; when the hostages reached Genoa the Senate decided to execute them. Only the intervention of imperial officials, who were scandalized by the dishonorable behavior of the Genoese—and, perhaps, pressure from another character whom we will soon mention—prevented these executions from actually being carried out. As soon as the imperial forces withdrew, the Genoese reneged on their earlier concessions. The Corsican rebellion immediately resumed, now under the leadership of Giafferi (who had returned to Corsica) and a new general, Giacinto Paoli.

    By this point the Corsican rebels had begun to realize that outside assistance might be necessary for their struggle. They first turned to King Felipe V of Spain, to whom they offered the crown of Corsica if he would rescue them from the Genoese. Felipe was good enough to reply to their appeal and promised the rebels that he would not support the Genoese with troops, but he declined to become their monarch and offered them no assistance. In 1735, the Corsican-born lawyer Sebastiano Costa drafted a constitution for the rebels which declared Corsica to be an independent commonwealth under the protection of the Immaculate Virgin, presumably since no other monarch would take them.[B]

    An earthy sovereign, however, was closer than they thought.


    Footnotes
    [1] The tax was commonly known as the Due Seini, "Two Sixes," as it amounted to twelve scudi.

    Timeline Notes
    [A] For comparison, this is a murder rate nearly seven times higher than the 2015 murder rate of El Salvador, at that time the highest in the world.
    [B] Or not. The idea that the Corsicans made the Virgin Mary their queen is a widely-circulated bit of trivia, but it's unclear whether it actually happened. The major source for the claim is Voltaire, but the memoirs of Costa - the man who actually wrote the constitution - mention no such dedication, and several other contemporary sources state that the rebels erected a republic with no mention of the Holy Virgin.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2018
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  6. Yanez de Gomera notorious procrastinator

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    This is great stuff! Subscribed!

    When you hinted at this project in a thread about Corsica some weeks ago I hoped you would really start it soon and you didn't disappoint!

    Unfortunately I am more up to date with Sardinian rather than Corsican stuff (if only there was a POD for an independent Sardo-Corsican state...) but I will follow this with great attention.
     
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  7. Herr Frage Jesus Christ Is In Heaven

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    This looks promising. A new historic figure to research too.

    Please carry on.
     
  8. Carp Literally a fish

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    You broke the rule, for shame! :eek:

    Well, I'll allow it just this once. The POD of this TL is going to be in 1736, which is a decade before the birth of Napoleon's father Carlo and 15 years before his mother Letizia. Both of their families had histories which are likely to be profoundly disrupted by the Corsican Revolution as it unfolds ITTL. Carlo's father was a delegate to the consulta of 1749, which suggests he's a man of some political note who is likely to play a role in Theodore's administration (whether small or large). Letizia's father became a Genoese army captain IOTL, and since he was born in 1723 he must not have held that position until the 1740s, so depending on how things go ITTL he might not even have the same career path.

    So yes, I agree with you in principle that a POD need not cancel someone's existence if it's near enough to their birth and it has little effect on the lives of their parents, but we're talking about a POD in which two of Napoleon's grandparents are young enough to be in elementary school, and I think it's quite likely that the lives of all of Napoleon's OTL grandparents will be significantly altered by this timeline. For those reasons, I just don't see Napoleon working out here.

    I'm sure your knowledge will be useful, then - British politics in particular is going to be important ITTL, particularly once we get into the War of Austrian Succession. Austrian politics is a little more peripheral, but not unimportant.

    Thanks! I'm excited to be starting this up - Theodore is probably my favorite historical figure, and we'll learn much more about him shortly. His life story is almost too incredible to be believed. I only hope I can do some justice to how he might have managed as a reigning monarch.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2017
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  9. Threadmarks: The Baron

    Carp Literally a fish

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    The Baron

    [​IMG]
    Coat of Arms of the Neuhoff Family[1]



    To say that Theodor Heinrich Nicetius Steffan, Freiherr von Neuhoff zu Pungelscheid was "a German" is technically true, but woefully inadequate—he was a true international man even by the standards of the nationally fluid European nobility of the 18th century. Born in Germany and educated in France, he traveled over the course of his life from Sweden to Tunisia, from Turkey to Portugal, and nearly every country in between. He was a French lieutenant, a Bavarian captain, and a Spanish colonel. Language was always one of his intellectual strengths, and by the age of 40 he is known to have been conversant in German, French, Greek, Latin, Spanish, Italian, Swedish, Dutch, and English. He gave his title as Freiherr von Neuhoff but always spelled his given name in the French manner, Theodore.

    The Neuhoff family, while not a house of great significance, was of a venerable baronial line. Its founder was Rotger, a "well-born squire" (wohlgeborner knape) who was endowed with the castle of Neuhoff, formerly referred to as Nienhave or Niggenhove, by Count Heinrich of Nassau in 1331. The family's fortunes rose under Rotger II "the Dove" (1378-1447), who despite his pacific nickname was an effective soldier in the service of Count Adolf of Mark and Cleves, the son-in-law of John the Fearless of Burgundy and uncle of the French king Louis XII. Rotger II managed to consolidate and greatly expand the family's holdings, which were mostly concentrated in the County of Mark, but they were permanently divided by his sons Johann and Hermann. Johann, the eldest, retained Castle Neuhoff itself[A] and his line was known as von und zu Neuhoff. Hermann received the lordship of Pungelscheid and his descendants were titled von Neuhoff zu Pungelscheid. Both sides of the family proved effective at conserving the overall patrimony, in large part through strategic cousin-marriages. Theodore's great-grandfather Wilhelm, for instance, married a daughter of the family of Neuhoff gennant Ley, a cadet branch of the von und zu Neuhoff line.

    Theodore was the oldest child of Leopold Wilhelm, himself the eldest son and presumed heir of Dietrich Stephan, Freiherr von Neuhoff zu Pungelscheid. Ordinarily the succession would have been straightforward, but there was no familial love between Baron Dietrich and his rebellious son Leopold. Leopold had, in express disregard for his father's wishes, married Maria Catharina von Neyssen. The problem was not just that he had married for love rather than family advantage, but that his wife was of dubious nobility, for although her father was a baron her mother was the child of burghers. Dietrich filed suit to have his son's marriage annulled on the basis that it was done without parental permission. Soon after, Leopold seems to have converted to Calvinism, possibly because marriages were more difficult to annul in the Calvinist faith but perhaps just to further enrage his staunchly Catholic father.

    Leopold pursued a career in the Prussian army but was killed in 1695 at the Siege of Namur.[2] His only son Theodore had been born only a year before, and his only daughter Maria-Anne Leopoldine was born posthumously at Namur, for Leopold had taken his wife with him on campaign. The widowed Maria Catharina had her children re-baptized as Catholics in the hope of reconciling with her father-in-law, but not even Leopold's death would stop Dietrich from pursuing his suit against his son. In 1700 the baron finally prevailed in having his son's marriage declared posthumously invalid and his children by it made legally illegitimate. Maria Catharina died in 1701, leaving Theodore and Maria-Anne as not only illegitimate but orphans too. Baron Dietrich died not long thereafter.

    Because of the annulment of his parents' marriage, young Theodore did not inherit the family holdings. They passed instead to Leopold's younger brother and Theodore's uncle Franz Bernhard Johann. Fortunately, not all relationships in the Neuhoff family were as poisonous as that of Dietrich and Leopold. After Leopold's death, Franz Bernhard took his late brother's family under his own roof and ensured that his niece and nephew received every opportunity. He paid for Theodore's instruction at a Jesuit school, where by all accounts Theodore was an excellent student; he showed a particular talent for language, mastering Latin and Greek at a young age.

    In 1709, at the age of fifteen, Theodore was sent along with his younger sister to the court of Elizabeth Charlotte, the Duchess of Orleans and mother of the future Regent of France, Duke Philippe II. Theodore became a page, while his sister became a lady-in-waiting of the duchess and would subsequently adopt the name Elizabeth-Charlotte in her honor. Only noble children could serve in such posts, but if the Duchess knew of their legal illegitimacy she did not care, and what was good enough for the Duchess of Orleans was good enough for everyone else who mattered. Theodore's sister married well, wedding Andre de Bellefeulac, Comte du Trévoux,[3] nephew of the king's confessor.

    Footnotes
    [1] Usually blazoned Sable, a broken chain of three links in pale Argent. Occasionally the links are displayed as being whole, but Theodore exclusively used the "broken chain" version.
    [2] The Neuhoffs had lived under the dominion of the Hohenzollerns since the County of Mark had come into the possession of John Sigismund, the first Duke of Brandenburg-Prussia, in 1614.
    [3] Actually Trévou-Tréguignec in Brittany, not Trévoux in southern France. "Trévou" was sometimes written "Trévoux" at the time.

    Timeline Notes
    [A] Known today as Schloss Neuenhof. Although his family name derives from the site, it has nothing to do with Theodore's life, since he was of the junior line of the Neuhoff family which never possessed the castle. His own family's seat, Burg Pungelscheid near the town of Werdohl, was struck by lightning and ruined in 1797. Nothing remains of it today.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2018
  10. St. Just STOP BUMPING STOP BUMPING STOP BUMPING THREADS

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    Ooh, this looks interesting!
     
  11. The Merovingian To whom the Capets aspire.

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    I think I might enjoy this more than your 'sons of the harlot empress' TL. Its premise vaguely resembles that of Sarawak, and their foreign English dynasty. how regularly will this be updating?
     
  12. ramones1986 Grumpy and Lazy

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    Interesting thread, because I think for the first time Corsica became the focus of an alternate history scenario.

    By the way, what would be the potential capital of the island-kingdom under the Nuehoffs, Bastia or Ajaccio?
     
  13. Earl Marshal Well-Known Member

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    An independent Corsica timeline you say? This is gonna be good!

    I am curious as to what sort of lasting effects this will have beyond the obvious one that is not totally not being discussed at all here. Regardless, I will watch this with great interest Carp.
     
  14. Yanez de Gomera notorious procrastinator

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    For one thing this is very likely to keep Corsica inside the Italian cultural area, although of course we don't know if it will become part of it polofically too.

    If it remains neutral and independent until today it could become a sort of mega Monaco, centered on tourism and probably a fiscal heaven. I'd like to see it taking the place of Panama as supplier of flags of convenience.

    If there is something akin to otl's Risorgimento I imagine that Corsica could be an hotbed of liberalism, hosting lots of exiled patriots, but maybe my perception is coloured by the later stages of the Corse rebellion, when they produces some pretty progressive constitutions iirc.

    But this is all quite far in the future.
     
  15. The Undead Martyr GOP Delenda Est

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    Well, color me intrigued. If heard mention if this timeline on the Italian Corsica thread and I look forward to it. Subbed.

    In the long term I'm not sure how Corsica could avoid getting swept up in the Resorgimiento... If there is still a Resorgimiento. He who must not be named had a massive impact on Italian nationalism (and nationalism generally) and absent that and the blatant landgrabs by the powers at Vienna I'm not sure if you would see either Italian or German Unification, if say Prussia (which might also be altered by the pod, as Frederick the Great is only thirteen... I hope not, though, Prussia is my favorite cabinet wars great power) evolves into a Polish dual monarchy a la Austria Hungary and isn't stuck with the Rhine then it won't happen there, and without Spain being evicted or Austria being the sole guarantor of Italian status quo I don't see the other powers (namely France) letting it happen in Italy either.
     
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  16. Carp Literally a fish

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    Well, it's a very different time period from SotHE - I assume it might have a different appeal. As for updates, they'll be very fast at first, as I already have a fair amount written up, and will slow down a bit once we get into the Revolution itself. I don't really have a schedule.

    A good question, and one which I can't answer yet. Theodore's provisional capital, as we will see, is at Cervioni, but that's because the rebels don't initially hold any of the port cities.

    Bastia is a bad site. It has no natural harbor, a poor water supply, and is the capital only because of its proximity to Genoa, which obviously is of less use once the island is no longer Genoese. Ajaccio is a much better site, but it's in the wrong part of the island - most of the people and most of the best agricultural land is in the north (the Diqua) not the south (the Dila), and Ajaccio is pretty remote from the northern regions.

    Other possibilities include Porto Vecchio, Calvi, and San Fiorenzo (modern Saint-Florent). It's not an easy choice, and one I might poll the readers on when we get to that point.

    Possibly, but that's a long ways off! Well, except tourism - this is, after all, the age of the Grand Tour, and given the OTL popularity of Theodore in the British newspaper press I can definitely see an independent Corsica being a destination for young, well-to-do Englishmen doing their tour of Italy.

    Theodore is something of a super-liberal, particularly when it comes to religion, but he's counterbalanced by a population that is overwhelmingly Catholic and quite conservative. Theodore, however, won't rule forever, and it remains to be seen how liberal-friendly his successors will be.

    All good observation, and we'll get there as we get there. I will say that I do not presently believe either the WoAS (aside from the "Corsican Theater") or the Seven Years War will be significantly changed by this POD, but since we aren't quite there yet I can't say for sure, and all bets are off once we get towards the end of the century.
     
  17. Alex Zetsu Well-Known Member

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    I imagine the War of Austrian Succession would be almost the same, except Corsica becomes a new Kingdom.
     
  18. Gonzaga Well-Known Member

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    I'm looking forward what you will do with Corsica and Theodore. Sons of the Harlot Empress is a well written and researched TL, and I hope you keep the good work here!

    I'm not an expert, but it seems that San Fiorenzo is near to the old capital of Bastia, and has a good source of fresh water in the Aliso river. I would vote for it.
     
  19. Carp Literally a fish

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    San Fiorenzo has a decent water supply, a great harbor, and is in the heart of prime agricultural area. Its only real drawback is the same curse that hangs over much of coastal Corsica, and is a big part of what holds the island back: Malaria. Some of Corsica's best farmland, mainly on the east coast, is completely unlivable on account of its "bad air," and SF had some nearby pools that caused the same problem. Historically that issue wasn't solved until the Americans drenched the island with DDT in the 1940s. Drainage might have been possible earlier, but as a provincial backwater Corsica was not really a priority for French public works. An independent Corsica is more likely to make it a priority, and indeed Theodore wanted to do something about it, but whether he has the resources to do so is another question.

    Thus SF is possible, but only with work, or else we're going to burn through our available Neuhoffs pretty quickly.
     
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  20. Herr Frage Jesus Christ Is In Heaven

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    Well as it seems every major city on the island has a major mark against, I am just going to go out on a limb here. What about founding a new capital? I know it would be expensive to say the least and nothing major; but as the other options seem to be like pick your poison might it not be better to pick a likely spot and start building? You could run government out of another city as a temporary capital for a time like the Americans did while Washington was being built.

    It doesn't 'have' to be a thriving metropolis to be a government seat after all.
     
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