King Theodore's Corsica

Dried cod was very popular in Venice,
Stockfish -dried cod- was not popular in the Med. On the other hand, Portuguese, Spanish, Italians and Greeks were (still are) crazy for salted cod. If we want to be specific, it was either salted cod or first salted and then dried cod. In either case, different in taste than straight up dried norwegian cod. At the time period of the timeline, Newfoundland saltfish was the second biggest british export in Spain and Italy, after textiles.
 
It's also fascinating to think of the potential knock on effects and outside persception of land enclosures with the objective of building up and stabilizing a class of land-owning freemen.
There's some similarity with the process of enclosure in Denmark in the late 18th century, which was also focused on using land reform to turn peasants into independent freeholders (rather than landless wage laborers, as in the English model). Dano-Corsican relations are going to become a lot more significant in the 1770s, so it's quite possible the Corsican reformers might take some inspiration from them.

Mediterranean people traditionally made citron marmelade. At least in Greece, citrons are also used to make liqueur. The problem with exporting citron products and not just the fruits, is that you need great quantities of expensive imported sugar.
Traditionally most Corsican citrons were candied in Livorno, where sugar was sold by the English and other foreign merchants. It’s true that sugar is a major expense, but clearly having direct control of sugar-producing colonies was not a prerequisite for having a succade industry.

Corsica’s potential advantage is their control over the citron supply. Corsica was always a major producer, and by the 1880s one American source claimed that Corsica produced two-thirds of the entire commercial citron crop in the Mediterranean. With that kind of share, a tax on the export of brined citrons could potentially make a domestic succade industry competitive. Livorno can still source citrons from Italy and Greece, but it was generally agreed that Corsican citrons were superior to those varieties, particularly for candying.
 
Jewish people buying Citron from Corsica to support Theodore is like getting a patreon account to support your favorite creator.

"Well it'll help reach that stretch goal that I really want so yeah I'll put down a little more money!"
 
Stockfish -dried cod- was not popular in the Med. On the other hand, Portuguese, Spanish, Italians and Greeks were (still are) crazy for salted cod. If we want to be specific, it was either salted cod or first salted and then dried cod. In either case, different in taste than straight up dried norwegian cod. At the time period of the timeline, Newfoundland saltfish was the second biggest british export in Spain and Italy, after textiles.
I mentioned Venice specifically because I read somewhere that stockfish specifically (Norwegian IIRC) was imported there, but in general you are right: it's salted fish that it still widespread in local cuisine, and that is generally popular in many parts of southern Europe.
 
I love the fact that this TL, about a noble scoundrel and the adventure of Corsica, can produce engaging discussions on citron and dried cod. :happyblush

So very few TL's can produce such an atmosphere and community. It just feels so pleasant to have a place where things like this can flow.

(I feel like I'm back in Malê Rising, watching the discussions of spaceflight and drinking champagne in zero gravity. :D )
 
Unanswered Questions
Unanswered Questions



Emperor Pyotr III of Russia


Taken together, the War of the Austrian Succession and the Four Years’ War put to rest most of the troublesome dynastic and political questions which had troubled continental Europe in the early 18th century. The matter of the Habsburg succession in Italy, the cause of intermittent wars for half a century, was settled with treaties in 1748 and 1752 recognizing a partition that was further solidified by marriages between the Habsburgs and the Spanish Bourbons. The question of whether Austria would persevere in its dominion of Germany was also decisively answered; the attempts of Bavaria and Prussia to steal the patrimony of Empress Maria Theresa had ended in failure. Even the ancient feud between France and Austria had been set aside, and though their mutual alliance was looking rather shaky by the 1760s neither side had any interest in a resumption of old hostilities.

British statesmen felt a great deal of unease as they surveyed this European landscape. They had won vast colonial conquests at the expense of France in the recent war, but the death of “Friedrich der Kühne” had also left them without a powerful continental ally. Dividing Bourbon resources between the colonies and the continent had thus far been the cornerstone of British wartime strategy, but without a capable European partner this would be impossible. Some still hoped to resurrect the “old system” of the Anglo-Habsburg alliance, imagining that warmer relations with Austria would be a silver lining upon the otherwise dark cloud of Prussia’s demise. While the tone of the London-Vienna relationship did improve after 1760, however, Maria Theresa had no reason to break with France. By the mid-1760s, events had convinced her the greatest threat to her empire was not France or even Brandenburg, but Russia.

In just a few decades, the Russian Empire had evolved from a diplomatic afterthought to a serious European power. Russian might had been demonstrated for all to see on the battlefields of Pomerania, and after the Russo-Polish treaty of 1761 the empire’s borders were closer to central Europe than ever before. Russia’s power and proximity were made even more unnerving by the fact that this new power was in the hands of Emperor Pyotr III, a belligerent and ambitious monarch who displayed an uncannily Friedrich-like contempt for political conventions.

As the Duke of Holstein-Gottorp, Pyotr laid claim to lands in Schleswig which had been lost to the Gottorp house in 1721. Negotiations over the Gottorp claims had been ongoing since the 1740s, but the solution proposed by the Kingdom of Denmark-Norway - a territorial swap of the Gottorp lands in Holstein with the Danish-owned German counties of Oldenburg and Delmenhorst - was unsatisfactory to Pyotr.[1] In 1761 the existing Russo-Danish treaty expired, leaving Pyotr free to break the stalemate by force. Such a course of action was opposed by many of his advisors and senior officials, who were not only afraid that the war would be impolitic but warned that Russia’s navy was unready for the contest. The emperor, however, was undeterred.

King Frederik V of Denmark was alarmed to find himself utterly alone against this menace. Austria, England, and France had all guaranteed Denmark’s possession of Schleswig as recently as 1758, but it soon became clear that not one of them was willing to directly oppose Pyotr’s designs. Yet Pyotr, too, was isolated. His attempts to entice Sweden into war with the prospect of conquering Norway ran aground on the anti-Russian policy of the ruling “Hats” party and the ineptitude of Russian envoys; the best he could do was ensure Sweden’s neutrality. Brandenburg was somewhat more receptive, as Prince-Regent Heinrich eagerly sought an alliance with Russia to guard against Austria. Heinrich, however, understood that the electorate was in no state to launch an offensive war after its recent defeat, and could promise the emperor only free passage and some logistical support.

Several attempts were made by other powers to defuse the growing tension - including an offer of mediation made by King Theodore of Corsica - but once Russian troops entered Brandenburg in 1763, King Frederik decided he could afford to wait no longer. Marshal Claude Louis, Comte de Saint-Germain, an experienced French general in Danish service, was determined to take the offensive. The fleet sailed forth to Bornholm, while Saint-Germain extorted a forced loan from Lübeck and then occupied western Mecklenburg. Pyotr had not intended to launch the war this early, but these provocative actions were too good of a casus belli to resist. In August, Russia declared war on Denmark, and Emperor Pyotr personally led his army into Mecklenburg.



The Comte de Saint-Germain, field marshal and supreme commander of Danish forces during the Schleswig War

Saint-Germain was trying to make the best of a bad situation. Although he had worked hard to overhaul the Danish army, that army had not seen a battle since the Great Northern War, and Saint-Germain possessed only 28,000 soldiers against nearly 40,000 Russians. To maximize his chances, Saint-Germain took a position near Wismar where both his flanks were anchored on bodies of water, preventing the Russians from encircling him or bringing their full force to bear. With supreme confidence in his troops, Pyotr obligingly ordered a frontal assault. The Russians proved their worth, and in the end the Danish army was forced to retreat. The Russian victory at the Battle of Wismar, however, was dearly bought. Multiple assaults had been necessary to exhaust the Danish defenders, and in the end the Russians suffered nearly five thousand dead and wounded compared to three thousand Danish casualties.

A more decisive engagement came eight days later at the Battle of Rostock. The Danish fleet under Admiral Gaspard Frédéric de Fontenay intercepted a Russian naval convoy and dealt a shattering defeat to a Russian squadron.[2] This defeat effectively knocked Pyotr’s navy out of the war, as Russian warships no longer risked leaving port. This left the Danes free to enforce a tight blockade, which cut off all maritime supply to the imperial army. Pyotr described Rostock as more of an annoyance than a catastrophe, but as the Russians advanced it soon became clear that supplying their forces in Danish territory by long overland routes was beyond the capacity of the empire’s logistics. The emperor’s army slowed to a crawl so as to not outpace its supplies, which gave Saint-Germain strategic freedom. Moreover, without sea transport any attack against the Danish isles was impossible, and even taking fortresses on the mainland was made vastly more difficult because of the glacial pace of Russian siege trains and the inability of the Russians to prevent the Danes from supplying these fortresses by sea. Although the Russians were able to advance into Holstein and seize most of Schleswig, the Russian supply situation was so bad that Pyotr was forced to relinquish his conquests and retreat back to Lübeck with the coming of winter. Humiliatingly, Kiel - the capital of the Gottorp duchy - was seized by the Danes.

The emperor was considering his next move from his winter cantonment when word arrived that King Augustus III of Poland had died, kicking off the next contest for the Polish throne. Pyotr immediately left the army and made for Saint Petersburg to coordinate his response, but shortly after his arrival he was very nearly abducted in an attempted coup by the partisans of his wife, Empress Ekaterina. Such was the seriousness of this affair that Pyotr was briefly forced to flee the capital and orders were sent to recall the army from Lübeck, but long before these orders arrived the capital was secured and the conspirators were seized by loyalist forces under Field Marshal Burkhard Münnich.

Maria Theresa fully supported the candidacy of Augustus’s son Friedrich Christian, but Pyotr was less than enthusiastic. The election of a third consecutive Wettin smelled a great deal like a hereditary monarchy, which - if realized - might curtail Russia’s influence in Polish affairs. Fighting Friedrich’s election would have been a difficult task in any circumstance; he had the backing of Austria, as well as support from Polish magnates who had benefited from his father’s acquisition of Ducal Prussia. It was made much harder, however, by Pyotr’s decision to support his ally Prince Heinrich of Brandenburg as an alternative candidate.

Prince Heinrich did have some Polish support, but the problems posed by his candidacy were numerous. He was a Protestant, and although he professed a willingness to convert for the crown, his religion coupled with Pyotr’s open support for religious liberty and the rights of Polish “dissenters” alienated many staunch Catholics. Russian support for his candidacy came as a rude shock to the powerful Czartoryskis, who had cozied up to Pyotr expecting that he would support a “Piast” (that is, a native Polish prince) from their own clan. In Vienna, the empress considered the idea of a Hohenzollern Poland so deeply objectionable to her interests that she committed herself totally to the Wettin election even if it meant a confrontation with Russia.

Shaken by the recent coup and urged by his loyal councillors to abandon the Danish war, Pyotr consented to a British offer to host negotiations at Lüneburg. The Danes seemed to have the upper hand, but the Danish foreign minister Count Johann von Bernstorff knew that his position was not as strong as it seemed. Russia was far more capable of replacing its losses than Denmark, and Danish finances could not bear the strain of an extended war. Seeking to gain an advantage for his state while still giving Pyotr a face-saving exit, Bernstorff suggested concluding a treaty on the basis of earlier negotiations - to wit, the exchange of Holstein-Gottorp for Oldenburg and Delmenhorst. Pyotr, however, still considered the Oldenburg counties to be a poor trade for his ancestral duchy, and secretly hoped that come spring another battlefield victory would force the Danes to accept the status quo ante bellum.

The Russian army, however, was ill-prepared for offensive action. The supply situation had not improved, and the leadership had suffered from a post-coup purge of a number of senior officers deemed to be unreliable. Command had been given to General George Browne - a cousin of the more famous Austrian Field Marshal Maximilian Ulysses Browne - who was himself an opponent of the Schleswig War. Browne dutifully began the march, but Saint-Germain was also on the offensive. The French general had been obsessively training and reorganizing his army all winter, and had now been reinforced by soldiers from Hesse-Kassel obtained with subsidies from France. Browne, expecting the usual defensive and delaying tactics which Saint-Germain had employed in 1763, was surprised to find himself facing an aggressive Danish army with more or less equal numbers to his own.

In early May, Browne and Saint-Germain finally came to grips with one another at the Battle of Ascheberg. Tactically, the battle was a draw; both armies withdrew after heavy fighting, with the Danes taking somewhat more casualties than the Russians. Strategically, however, Ascheberg was the nail in the coffin of the Russian war effort. The Danes had proven that they would not be easily swept aside, and the Russians were facing critical shortages of ammunition, fodder, and other essentials, as well as widespread illness. Browne broke off the advance, concluding that no further progress was possible without substantial resupply and reinforcement. However good his reasons may have been, they did not appease the emperor, who remembered Browne's earlier "defeatism" and suspected the general of having deliberately sabotaged the war effort. Browne was recalled, stripped of his rank, and banished from Russia, but it was too late for a shakeup in command to change the course of the war.

Facing a military quagmire and mounting expenditures, uncertain of the loyalty of his own army, and further embarrassed by a Danish squadron which was raiding the Livonian coast with impunity, Pyotr finally yielded. Although he considered Bernstorff’s deal disadvantageous, the fact that it was a trade rather than a one-sided cession obscured the fact of Russian defeat. For a few further modifications to the proposal - most notably, a Danish guarantee of the Gottorp-Eutin possession of Lübeck and a pledge from Emperor Franz Stefan to elevate Oldenburg and Delmenhorst to ducal status - the Russian envoys signed the Treaty of Lüneburg in June of 1764.[3][A]

The Russian emperor fared no better in the Polish matter. Pyotr was simply not in a position to risk an open conflict with Austria over the Polish succession, while Maria Theresa was ready to go to the mat to avoid a Hohenzollern Poland. Prince Heinrich ultimately withdrew his candidacy to spare Pyotr the embarrassment of abandoning him, and the emperor gave his grudging support for Friedrich Christian’s election. All in all, it was a rough introduction to international politics for the young tsar. He had underestimated both his foreign and domestic opponents, and had been punished for it. Yet Pyotr still had his crown, and while chastened, he was far from vanquished.



Friedrich Christian, King of Poland and Prussia, Grand Duke of Lithuania, Elector of Saxony


For Britain, like Russia, the events of 1763-64 represented a serious setback to their foreign policy. Although as mentioned some British statesmen still hoped the “Diplomatic Revolution” might be reversed, more practical minds had already come to the conclusion that Britain’s best hope for a continental ally was Russia. It was the desire to maintain Russia’s friendship - as well as their access to Russian timber and naval stores - that had caused Britain to remain neutral in the Schleswig War despite their dynastic connections to the Danes. This careful neutrality, however, had won them no friends. It had alienated King Frederik, who resented the “cowardice” of the British, and it had ruined their chances for an alliance with the Russian emperor.

Emperor Pyotr suspected from the outset of his reign that a formal alliance with Britain would be inadvisable, and the events of 1763-64 confirmed his suspicions. The British were entirely capable of turning the Schleswig War in his favor, but chose to remain on the sidelines. Pyotr sought British diplomatic and monetary assistance for Prince Heinrich’s election, but Britain declared that Poland was none of their concern. After Lüneburg, when Pyotr suggested that Britain could help him pay down his war debts, London loftily replied that it was not their policy to subsidize allies in peacetime. It seemed to Pyotr that the British were less interested in gaining an ally than in gaining a pawn: They expected him to exert himself mightily in their interest, even to the point of fighting a war against the Bourbons, but were unwilling to exert themselves in the slightest to further his interests. After 1764 Pyotr extracted what he could from Britain, signing a commercial treaty and procuring their help with rebuilding his navy, but when discussions turned to an actual alliance he remained slippery and noncommittal.

British anxiety over their isolation was heightened by the fact that, for them, the Four Years’ War had never really ended. The European war was over, but the native peoples whose land had been traded away at Paris did not consider themselves bound by a treaty they had no say in. Native tribes in the Ohio Valley who had enjoyed cordial relations with the French rose up against the British in 1761, resulting in a brutal frontier war that lasted for another four years. Britain’s attempts to shore up their defenses and revenues in the Americas only made their colonial subjects resentful, a development which the French observed with keen interest. On the other side of the world, the East India Company was mired in wars with local Indian rulers throughout the decade, some of them directly backed by French money, arms, and soldiers.

Despite this proxy fighting it was Carlos III of Spain, not Louis XV, who was most enthusiastic about the prospect of another war with Britain. As the Four Years’ War had unfolded, Carlos - then King of Naples - had been alarmed by British successes in the Americas and dismayed by the failure of his pacific half-brother, Ferdinand VI, to assist his French ally. In the wake of France’s defeat and his own accession to the Spanish throne, Carlos was convinced that Britain represented a mortal threat to his global empire, to say nothing of their continued occupation of rightful Spanish land (that is, Gibraltar and Minorca). The king, however, understood very well that fighting Britain alone was an impossible task. Without France, there could be no Spanish victory.

Louis was not quite as eager as his cousin. The disastrous Treaty of Paris had stirred a desire for revanche among many French statesmen, but Louis himself professed to be quite sick of war. French diplomatic policy in the 1760s seemed more effective: France had arguably saved Denmark twice over, first by diplomatic maneuvering in Stockholm that helped prevent a Russo-Swedish alliance, and second by extending subsidies and loans which allowed Frederik to pay his armies in the 1764 campaign. Between the Danish victory and the Wettin election, French diplomatic policy on the continent - which was essentially an anti-Russian policy - was looking very robust indeed.

Even if another war with Britain had been the king’s dearest aim, however, Louis’s ministers knew that the time was not yet ripe. The kingdom’s finances were strained, and it would take years of work before the French navy was prepared to confront Britain again. Initial estimates of the time it would take to build a competitive fleet proved far too rosy, and the ministry was continually pushing back its timeline for a possible war. Until then, the French government urged the Spanish to avoid any confrontation with Britain that might spark a war before the Bourbon allies were capable of winning it. Thus, despite considerable certainty on both sides that a new Anglo-Bourbon war was both inevitable and imminent, a tenuous peace lingered through the remainder of the decade.

Peace on Europe’s eastern front also proved worryingly fragile. Far from solving the “Polish Question,” the election of King Friedrich opened new conflicts. His election had been secured in part by the political defection of the Familia, which had become gravely disillusioned with Pyotr on account of his support for toleration and his backing of a Hohenzollern over a Czartoryski candidate. Finding that the Saxon elector was in favor of many of the centralizing reforms they wished to advance, the Familia had given him their support. A few preliminary measures had been passed in the Convocation Sejm of 1764, but the more radical projects - an overhaul of the state’s finances, the establishment of the Sejm as a permanent body, the expansion of the army, and the abolition of the liberum veto - were put off until the Sejm of 1766.

This project was opposed by the Russians and Prussians, who had no interest in seeing Poland regain its political cohesion or military power. To this end, Emperor Pyotr - already famous for establishing religious tolerance in Russia - dispatched agents among the Protestant and Orthodox communities spreading dire warnings that Czartoryski “reform” was nothing less than a plan for the introduction of Catholic despotism. Armed clashes broke out between the supporters of Friedrich and the Familia on one side, and confederations formed by Dissenters and Catholic republicans on the other. Pyotr threatened Russian intervention to defend noble liberties and religious equality. With the Saxon army and finances still in a shambles, Friedrich called upon Maria Theresa for support, while the Ottoman Sultan Mustafa III warned that a Russian incursion into Poland would be an unacceptable provocation.

It was only a lack of will that prevented the crisis of 1766-67 from escalating into a full-blown war. Maria Theresa had been ready to take up arms for the Wettin succession in 1764, but fighting a war to avoid a Hohenzollern Poland was very different from fighting a war for the sake of Polish political reforms. Despite his bluster, Pyotr did not feel confident in taking on both Austria and the Ottomans, particularly given that his sole ally Friedrich Wilhelm IV, Elector of Brandenburg, was signalling that his state was still unready for such a confrontation. King Friedrich supported reform in theory, but he was not so dedicated to the project that he was willing to risk anarchy and war, particularly given the lamentable state of Saxony and the obvious reluctance of the Austrian empress to fight on his behalf. In the end the Russian-backed push for religious equality was defeated, but Friedrich retreated from far-reaching political reforms and the Familia was forced to greatly scale back its ambitions. Such concessions defused the immediate crisis, but - as with the Anglo-Bourbon conflict - it seemed to many that a war for Poland’s future had only been deferred, not avoided.[B]



Map of Europe in 1765 (Click to Expand)


Footnotes
[1] These talks were broken off during the Four Years’ War, when the Danes had rather unwisely attempted to intimidate the Russians by suggesting that if the swap was not made, they might throw in their lot with Prussia. The Russians saw this for the empty bluff that it was.
[2] Despite his name Admiral de Fontenay was a native-born Dane, the son of a French Huguenot nobleman who had immigrated to Denmark after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes.
[3] Gottorp-Eutin was a cadet branch of the Gottorp line. The Princes of Eutin served as the secular rulers of the Prince-Bishopric of Lübeck, which was adjacent to (but not the same as) the Free City of Lübeck. Prince Friedrich August of Gottorp-Eutin served as an advisor to Emperor Pyotr, and from 1764 he was also the regent of Oldenburg and Delmenhorst in Pyotr’s absence.

Timeline Notes
[A] I was surprised to learn that the Treaty of Tsarskoye Selo, in which Catherine II exchanged Holstein-Gottorp for Oldenburg and Delmenhorst, was not the invention of Danish or Russian diplomats in the 1760s but originated from a Danish proposal which had already been on the table as far back as 1745, when Peter (then merely Duke of Holstein-Gottorp) reached majority. We know that Peter at least entertained the idea; the suggestion that Oldenburg and Delmenhorst ought to be elevated to duchies, which became part of the Tsarskoye Selo agreement, appears to have originated with Peter’s concern that trading a duchy for two counties would be accepting a diminution in his status. Ultimately Peter deemed the swap unsatisfactory and felt justified in breaking off talks entirely after the Danes threatened to join Prussia during the Seven Years’ War. It seemed to me that Peter might agree to the swap ITTL when faced with a worse alternative - to wit, losing territory to Denmark without compensation - and thus the Russian defeat in the Schleswig War leads to what is essentially an earlier Tsarskoye Selo, albeit in the context of enmity rather than an alliance. Whether Peter will honor the cession of his ancestral duchy remains to be seen.
[B] I hesitated for a long time on this update because posting it fills me with dread; 18th century Polish and Russian politics is very far outside my usual wheelhouse. I can only hope I didn't make too many glaring mistakes. As far as the general course of eastern politics, although a general "Polish War" is potentially foreshadowed in this update, it seemed unlikely to me that it would happen just yet. The Schleswig War has taught Peter a lesson about the perils of overconfidence, and nobody else is really excited to go to war for the sake of Polish reform. IOTL tensions over Poland's internal politics led to the partition and eventual dissolution of the state, but in my opinion the events of the TL thus far have made that series of events very unlikely. Austria is not particularly hungry for new territory, an intact Saxon Poland serves them well as a buffer against Russia, and Vienna's policy is anchored on the principle of preventing any Hohenzollern expansion to keep Brandenburg from recovering its status as a peer competitor. Austria's strength and Brandenburg's weakness relative to OTL suggest that even a Russo-Brandenburg alliance will not be able to force Austria into accepting a partition of Poland - at least, not without a fight.
 
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Poland and Russia may be far outside your wheelhouse, but you'd never know from the level of care and detail put into this post, making it very much of a piece with the others. As always, this TL continues to be an engaging read. Keep up the great work!
 
Did the British establish Port Egmont in the Falklands ITTL? (I don't see why not).
The Falkland crisis ITTL may very easily spiral into war (it nearly did IOTL after all, and it would have if not for the personal aversion of Louis XV for that). ITTL France's financial position is more secure and the overall thrust of their foreign policy is broadly similar, so I'd assume that he would be less reluctant to commit.
 
Austria being friendly towards Poland makes sense, but it's interesting to see the Ottomans also prefer the Poles to the Russians.

Interesting to see Britain being so bad at diplomacy. They were isolated OTL as well, so it makes sense. However, it does seem obvious that this non-committal approach is likely to result in gaining no allies, rather than keeping their dynastic pact with Denmark while making friends with the tsar.

All in all, this looks a lot more like setting the stage for the next great war rather than an update wherein one small war was kept small in scale and a larger one averted. If the Bourbon-Hapsburg alliance gets too cozy, they might well see several powers arrayed against them simply because they would be too powerful as a united front.
 
The Falkland crisis ITTL may very easily spiral into war (it nearly did IOTL after all, and it would have if not for the personal aversion of Louis XV for that). ITTL France's financial position is more secure and the overall thrust of their foreign policy is broadly similar, so I'd assume that he would be less reluctant to commit.
I have made no determinations as to the status of the Falklands at this time, but given that we're dealing with the same Louis XV, a war may not be any more likely than OTL. France's financial situation may be improved, but I have never encountered any suggestion that Louis's objection to war in 1770 was the result of financial calculations. He seems to have genuinely lost his taste for war (which was never all that great to begin with) and was discouraged by the disastrous Treaty of Paris (which is only moderately better ITTL than IOTL).

May we also assume Pytor is getting a Russian-style divorce, and perhaps marrying his longtime mistress Elizabeta Vorontsova?
It is certainly safe to assume that Catherine is not having a great time right now, although her precise fate is undecided. As for Elizaveta, her birth three years after the POD puts her very existence into question. The emperor probably does have a mistress, but her identity is not established.

Austria being friendly towards Poland makes sense, but it's interesting to see the Ottomans also prefer the Poles to the Russians.
Put simply, the Russians are a threat and the Poles are not. IOTL, the presence of Russian troops in Poland to enforce the "Repnin Sejm" and subsequently to put down the revolt of the Bar Confederation was seen by the Ottomans as a violation of treaty agreements and led directly to the Ottoman declaration of war against Russia in 1768. It seemed sensible to me that, in light of Peter's threats, Mustafa would at least warn the Russians that such action would be a provocation. One can also see the hidden hand of French diplomacy at work here: The French have more influence in Constantinople than any other European power, and they're doing their best to incite the Ottomans against the Russians. France may not be eager to fight a war themselves, but they would love to see Austria and the Ottomans teaming up to stomp on Russia.

Interesting to see Britain being so bad at diplomacy. They were isolated OTL as well, so it makes sense. However, it does seem obvious that this non-committal approach is likely to result in gaining no allies, rather than keeping their dynastic pact with Denmark while making friends with the tsar.
This may be a controversial opinion, but my impression is that British diplomacy throughout this entire period was generally incompetent. In the WAS, the British plan for an "anti-Bourbon front" was delusional, courting Austria's enemy Prussia in the midst of war was dangerously foolish, offering Finale to Sardinia in the Worms treaty very nearly resulted in the loss of Italy (which was saved only by the even greater incompetence of d'Argenson), and the British got completely played at the peace table by the French. The Westminster Convention was a massive blunder that prompted the Diplomatic Revolution and left Britain with only a single ally, which they then proceeded to alienate so badly during the SYW that the Anglo-Prussian alliance collapsed thereafter. Their attempt to court Catherine as an ally after the war was completely inept. The British were constantly blundering into desperate situations as a result of their diplomatic miscalculations, and escaped those situations only through the unparalleled strength of their economy and navy. It's actually rather infuriating to see a country manage its diplomatic affairs so badly and yet continually escape the consequences of their actions - at least, until the American War of Independence.
 
I for one still hope to see Austria brought down a few pegs.
I mean Peter the third is chastened not humbled. I for one thinks that he will probably learn from this experience and try to work against Austrian-french alliance as that seems to be the biggest hindrance to any continental moves. However, it probably won't be anytime soon especially as both Russia and Brandenburg are exhausted.
 
Honestly I think that Peter III is something of a fool like in OTL. The war over Gottorp was pure foolishness, Denmark and Russia in this period should have been natural allies, but his actions have ensured that such a alliance will be impossible for decades. What’s more Denmark have gotten a lot of prestige out of this conflict, which will likely result in minor north German states turning toward Denmark.
 
Honestly I think that Peter III is something of a fool like in OTL. The war over Gottorp was pure foolishness, Denmark and Russia in this period should have been natural allies, but his actions have ensured that such a alliance will be impossible for decades. What’s more Denmark have gotten a lot of prestige out of this conflict, which will likely result in minor north German states turning toward Denmark.
I mean honestly i think we are going to see a cautious Peter III. Denmark has received some prestige but not alot, the fact they gave PEter a way to save face really limits any prestige gain. I see this war coming off as something that highlights the hapsburg-bourbon alliance.
 
This may be a controversial opinion, but my impression is that British diplomacy throughout this entire period was generally incompetent. In the WAS, the British plan for an "anti-Bourbon front" was delusional, courting Austria's enemy Prussia in the midst of war was dangerously foolish, offering Finale to Sardinia in the Worms treaty very nearly resulted in the loss of Italy (which was saved only by the even greater incompetence of d'Argenson), and the British got completely played at the peace table by the French. The Westminster Convention was a massive blunder that prompted the Diplomatic Revolution and left Britain with only a single ally, which they then proceeded to alienate so badly during the SYW that the Anglo-Prussian alliance collapsed thereafter. Their attempt to court Catherine as an ally after the war was completely inept. The British were constantly blundering into desperate situations as a result of their diplomatic miscalculations, and escaped those situations only through the unparalleled strength of their economy and navy. It's actually rather infuriating to see a country manage its diplomatic affairs so badly and yet continually escape the consequences of their actions - at least, until the American War of Independence.
This is not particularly controversial. I not an expert, but historical works dealing with the period often highlight the erratic nature of British diplomacy at this time, when they indeed blundered repeatedly into making alliances disfunctional and managed to waste opportunities by following questionable schemes.
This is actually in tune with the general amateurishness of all European diplomacy of this era, but the British seem to have been worse at it than, say, the Spanish or the French (who also could boast some monumentally incompetent diplomats).
 
Honestly I think that Peter III is something of a fool like in OTL. The war over Gottorp was pure foolishness, Denmark and Russia in this period should have been natural allies, but his actions have ensured that such a alliance will be impossible for decades. What’s more Denmark have gotten a lot of prestige out of this conflict, which will likely result in minor north German states turning toward Denmark.
It's not the worst idea for a Baltic-centered foreign policy. A Russian Schleswig-Holstein would have some strategic value and afford Russia more influence in northern Germany. It would also create the possibility of a Russian-owned canal between the Baltic and North seas, which could be very valuable for a Russian state seeking to become a serious maritime power. The Danes started building the Eider canal as soon as they gained full control of Holstein from the Treaty of Tsarskoye Selo, and Peter could have done the same (although I don't actually know if that was his intention). One must also remember that the restoration of the Gottorp lands had been a semi-consistent point of Russian policy for decades, all the way back to Peter the Great in the 1720s - so even if it was a bad idea, it was hardly a new one, and it may not be fair to single out Peter III for foolishness in that regard (although the manner in which he pursued that aim ITTL was certainly foolish, or at least naive and overconfident).

Certainly Denmark has gained prestige. So has Saint-Germain, who IOTL was eventually fired because of opposition to his overly ambitious reforms. ITTL, after saving Denmark from the Russians he probably has enough political capital to do whatever he wants with the Danish army. The war, however, was very expensive for Denmark (even with French subsidies), and much of the ducal territory was plundered by hungry Russian troops. The Danes have demonstrated themselves to be a significant regional power, but it remains to be seen whether they have the resources (and desire) to pursue any sort of broader political project in the Empire.
 
It's not the worst idea for a Baltic-centered foreign policy. A Russian Schleswig-Holstein would have some strategic value and afford Russia more influence in northern Germany. It would also create the possibility of a Russian-owned canal between the Baltic and North seas, which could be very valuable for a Russian state seeking to become a serious maritime power. The Danes started building the Eider canal as soon as they gained full control of Holstein from the Treaty of Tsarskoye Selo, and Peter could have done the same (although I don't actually know if that was his intention). One must also remember that the restoration of the Gottorp lands had been a semi-consistent point of Russian policy for decades, all the way back to Peter the Great in the 1720s - so even if it was a bad idea, it was hardly a new one, and it may not be fair to single out Peter III for foolishness in that regard (although the manner in which he pursued that aim ITTL was certainly foolish, or at least naive and overconfident).

Certainly Denmark has gained prestige. So has Saint-Germain, who IOTL was eventually fired because of opposition to his overly ambitious reforms. ITTL, after saving Denmark from the Russians he probably has enough political capital to do whatever he wants with the Danish army. The war, however, was very expensive for Denmark (even with French subsidies), and much of the ducal territory was plundered by hungry Russian troops. The Danes have demonstrated themselves to be a significant regional power, but it remains to be seen whether they have the resources (and desire) to pursue any sort of broader political project in the Empire.
While Peter come across as less foolish than in OTL (by not ending the war with Prussia), Russian policies about Gottorp made more sense when they were a Austrian ally, with a weakened position in Poland and a hostile Austria, they can’t really use Gottorp to project power, while the Eider Canal have high mercantile importance, it have relative little military one, because any power can just occupy Gottorp and control or sabotage the canal. Of course Peter made the right decisions in the end and didn’t get as much lose of face as he could have. So I could see Peter shift to try to improve his relationship with Denmark. With Catherine having betrayed him, I could see him divorce her and try to seek a marriage with a Danish princess or if none is available a closely related one and when try to engage his children or future children to Danish princes or princesses.

As for the Russian plundering , this have primarily hit the large noble estates of eastern Holstein and likely to lesser extent the crown/ducal land of Eastern Schleswig. Altona lies somewhat protected by it fortifications and its Western position. Flensburg would be the first important town the Russians have reached and its fortifications have likely kept the Russians out. The manufacturing Denmark had lies protected on the islands and the mines in Norway. The ducal nobility have likely been the hardest hit economical, the peasants outside the murdering and raping have likely lost relative little as they was mostly focused on cereal farming. The cattle herds of the marches of the west have likely been somewhat harder hit, but in this wetland region, Russian raiders have likely seen significant attrition.

In general the Danish tax base have been relative mildly hit, the ducal nobility on the other hand need a generation to rebuild and the ducal nobles with land in Denmark will likely come out on top, I could see the result being a increased integration of nobility of the duchies and the kingdom. This will be increased by the fact that the king sell land in Denmark and buy land up in the duchies.

Another benefit is that without the OTL trade of Gottorp for Oldenburg, where Russia gained influence in the succession of the duchies, I expect to see a greater de jura integration of the kingdom and the duchies. This will likely also mean that the land reforms, will likely be pushed harder in the duchies, weakening the ducal nobility in the same manner as we saw in Denmark.
 
How many people live in Corsican in this time line
Historically, the population of Corsica was about 120,000 at the start of the revolution. The French census in 1741 reported the same number, and the one conducted following the annexation in 1770 reported about 130,000.

For a variety of reasons, it is probably safe to say that the Corsican population ITTL is marginally higher. Achieving independence in 1749 means that the revolution is shortened by twenty years, which means twenty fewer years of violence, emigration, and occasional famine. Although there was some population loss after independence as a result of Genoese emigration, that has been offset by immigration - Jews to Ajaccio, post-revolutionary Genoese to Bastia and Calvi, and some other mainland Italians to Bastia and the northeast. I am not a demographer and I'm hesitant to give firm numbers, but I would guess the total population of the island in the 1760s ITTL is probably between 130 and 140 thousand, possibly reaching the latter figure by the end of the decade.

IOTL the island surpassed 160,000 people by the end of the 18th century and nearly 300,000 by the end of the 19th, but collapsed in the mid-20th century (falling to as low as 210,000 in the 1960s) and has only recovered to 300,000+ in recent years. Corsica's terrain suggests that it is destined to always be a rather low-density country, but population has more to do with economics than land - see Malta, for instance, which is a much smaller island than Corsica but has a much larger population today. Some "blame" for Corsica's low population lies with France, which through much of Corsica's post-annexation history did little to develop the island. The lack of any tariffs resulted in the near-total destruction of the Corsican agricultural economy at the end of the 19th century when steamships and French industrial farming flooded the market with cheap food. Waves of emigration followed around 1900, after WW1, and most drastically after WW2, as the population left for metropolitan France and the colonies to find a better life or enter government/military service.
 
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