La Serenissima: Venice, Dawn of a New Power 2.0

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Franciscus Caesar, Aug 13, 2013.

  1. jkarr Well-Known Member

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    I dunno why, but i have a feeling we havent seen the last of the Great Renaissance man....either in his works, or in person, from the way his friend left so quickly
     
  2. Franciscus Caesar Caesar of Greater Toronto

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    Well I assure you of two things: Firstly, the master Leonardo da Vinci is in fact dead in person. He, regrettably, will not be making another appearance.

    Secondly, you're definitely correct. Leonardo was, and will continue to be an integral part of Venetian development through his works. His mark on La Serenissima is one of sheer admiration. If I may take the liberty to wonder into the incredibly distant future, I would expect war ships and other things to be named after him abundantly. In the not so distant future though, through the continued and new use of his works it will feel a lot more like the artist really is still with us...
     
  3. kasumigenx Well-Known Member

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    Actually, Venice could have its own religion - Aquilean or Ambrosian Church.
     
  4. Al-numbers Well-Known Member

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    I don't think so... They are staunchly Catholic in OTL even with all the trading with the Muslim World. In this timeline though, I could see them getting to be more open and comfortable with the non-Christian world compared to their neighbors; and that they would step down from some Catholic doctrines as a result, compared to OTL.
     
  5. Franciscus Caesar Caesar of Greater Toronto

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    As Sketchdoodle said, currently the Venetians are staunchly Roman Rite Catholics. While I can see that future run ins with the Ambrosian Rite may happen, it would depend on the relationship between Venice and Milan to determine if it could gain any traction there.

    Eventually yes, I can see this being a natural outcome. Still staunchly Catholic (to OTL degree, maybe less depending on events), but letting the dogma of commerce dictate its interactions with people, not their religion. I'm not sure about stepping down from some, but definitely being more relaxed. Time will tell.
     
  6. Michele Well-Known Member

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    Er... The Aquileian and Ambrosian rites belong to the Catholic church. That is, as far as Aquileia goes, after the end of the schism in 698.
     
  7. Al-numbers Well-Known Member

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    I know, but at the time I thought what the poster meant was a separate Church taking hold in Venice. My bad.
     
  8. Michele Well-Known Member

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    Oh, well, it seems I misunderstood you, too. I guess much depends on what one means by "their own religion" and "separate Church", anyway!
     
  9. Franciscus Caesar Caesar of Greater Toronto

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    Atto II

    Part 25, So It Begins

    Mid June: Elector states of the Holy Roman Empire convene in Frankfurt to finally make their decision in regards to who will wear the great crown. Many of the Prince-Electors have been promised exorbitant sums of money in return for their vote, as well as glorious and powerful titles by the kings of France and Spain. What is clear among the Electoral states is the general distaste in their populations at the thought of a French Emperor, causing for great deliberation on the subject.
    The decision of who to elect is graciously aided by Charles of Spain, who stations an army in a field near the Electoral meeting in Frankfurt.

    June 28: The Electors, in response to the army assembled nearby, obligingly cast their vote unanimously in favour of Charles, who becomes the newest August Emperor of the Romans. This adds to his collection of lands, already including both the Spanish crown and the hereditary Burgundian lands in the Low Countries.

    The election of Charles leaves Francis I infuriated. He had invested enormous sums in bribing the Electorate, and threatens to use the Treaty of London as a justification for Habsburg-Valois conflict.

    July 4: Martin Luther joins the debate regarding Papal authority against John Eck at Leipzing.

    Late July: Pouring in from the Ptolmeic, Venetian carracks have been successfully collecting at the new Red Sea forts, most of which are completed other than for final touchups. The Ottomans, currently rebuilding much of their southern navy thanks to hard losses sustained from skirmishing with the Portuguese, disburse an army of craftsmen across theirs and Venetian forts. This will give the alliance the edge in being able to rebound quickly from damage after battle. This is reassuring to the Venetians, who witnessed the effectiveness of the Ottoman craftsman army in the war of the late 1490s.

    Maranazzo meets with other Venetian and Ottoman generals at Massaua, the base of operations for the campaign against the Portuguese. The men are aware that the situation in the region is not totally ideal for them yet, since some forts are still being completed and a sizeable portion of the Ottoman fleet intended for the assault is being rebuilt. Nevertheless, in keeping with the initial objective to disrupt Portuguese shipping in the crucial month of August, it is deemed senseless to keep all the logistics piled up in the region dormant for yet another year until next August, or blowing the element of surprise at a month where the Portuguese will be in a better position to call reinforcements. The decision is made that the first strikes against the Portuguese will be made in August of this year.

    August: The mysterious black drink brought back by the Massaua merchants has quickly established itself as the most popular item at the Scola Orientai. All but the very most pious believers indulge in sipping the drink, echoing the initial reactions had towards it by the merchants themselves. Through incessant rambling on the subject my Scola members, word about the drink quickly spreads around the Veneto area; the interest amplified by the populace’s intrigue toward the Scola itself.

    Some of the lagoon’s wealthiest citizens turn their intense curiosity into demand for the drink, paying extraordinary prices to merchants that are willing to sell the seeds required for it to them. This behavior towards what is still thought to be a morally illicit substance thanks to its popularity among Muslims is enough to draw the attention of prominent religious figures in the community.

    Late August: Far off the coast of Goa, a Veneto-Ottoman force confronts a large Portuguese India Armada heading from India back to Portugal. The Portuguese ships are heavy with valuable booty from the Indian subcontinent. The Portuguese are taken by surprise; until now the Veneto-Ottoman forces had been content to stay protected inside the Red Sea. While eventual action was obvious and planned for, the Portuguese expected such attacks against them to take place in the Gulf of Aden, where they would then repulse the unholy alliance back into the Sea.

    The attack is successful thanks to the excess weight of the treasure onboard the Portuguese ships, matched against that same room being used for artillery on the Venetian ships. One Portuguese nau is captured, three are sunk, and the remaining 5 retreat back to India. The battle is the first time many of the men have used the new Venetian ships in actual battle, and, while they were victorious, the battle makes the novelty of the men onboard glaringly obvious. The captains of the ships knew this would be the case, and stress to the men to learn from the ship’s handling and features during the battle.

    September: Months after the completion of the Ptolmeic Channel, the mostly Slavic slave population that toiled to build the waterway has been a complicated subject in Egypt. Much of their futures depend on the conditions in which the slaves were purchased from Crimea. After the canal’s completion, this population was approximately divided equally between those still bound to slavery, and those freed after the Ptolmeic’s opening.

    To those still belonging to slavery a large portion was resold by both their Venetian (i) and Ottoman owners to recover some further investment. The remaining slaves will serve the important function of keeping the Ptolmeic clean, since it is integrated into the Nile and will require constant care to ensure that silt and sand don’t build up.

    Those who were freed from slavery have been left to their own devices in Egypt. With fear of recapture by Arabs and being forced back into slavery again, some follow the free zone of the canal to the shared Ptolmeic cities of Suez and Damietta, where they hope that the strange laws of the cities will offer them safety. Others decide to continue a bolder trip further west through Egypt to arrive at Alexandria, where they know the Venetian rulers will be far more hospitable to the Christians than will be the Ottomans.

    Early October: To appease the Council of Ten, the Contarini announce that the Church of Alexandria will be built using white marble from Venetian controlled Istria.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (i): Recall that the building of the Ptolmeic was financed both privately and publicly in Venice. After complicated discussion it is decided that this first group of slaves still under Venetian control would be given to the ownership of private financiers of the Channel. Their sale will help recover funds for this group, bringing some money back into the homeland. The remaining slaves under the control of the government will be the ones who continue the upkeep of the Channel.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2013
  10. Franciscus Caesar Caesar of Greater Toronto

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    As a businessperson I tend to think everything is better with an Income Statement. Here is one for Venice in 1519. This is edited from an earlier 1500 version I found to take into consideration the crushing blow dealt by the Portuguese interference on trade, as well as the cash generated by the cities in Romagna (as well as their costs). Other economic considerations were also taken into account, but I will not bore with specifics.

    Comparisons:

    Leonardo da Vinci was paid 400 Ducats per annum by the state the year preceding this document. 1 Ducat to him was spending money.

    A normal Venetian citizen required 8-10 days work to make the equivalent of 1 Ducat.


    Venice I.S..png
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2013
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  11. Herzen's love-child rootless cosmopolitan

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    Now this is something you don't see very much in Alt History TLs. Excellent.
    But how much tweaking of the books might there be? ;)

    (actually, the Serene Republic had some pretty effective comptrollers, relative to the Era)
     
  12. Al-numbers Well-Known Member

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    Wow, fighting the Portuguese sure takes up a lot of cash! :eek:

    And yeah, we don’t get a lot of *current account balances in Alt History, so that’s interesting.

    So it looks like events on the Continent are going as smoothly as OTL (which is to say, still tumultuous). Charles V will have a hard time enacting authority over the HRE (hi there, German nobles), and given the different systems of alliance ITTL he might make a different impact on the Ottomans and the Venetians ITTL, especially if Mohács and Vienna are involved.

    As for the Portuguese, I’m thinking they will try to attack the Veneto-Ottoman fleet in the Med once their “push-to-the-Red-Sea” fails, but by that time their enemies would have learned from previous battles and push back just as hard. IMO, unless Portugal is able to muster a fleet alliance, they’re screwed.





    *That is a current account balance, right? I completely failed my intro to accounting when I took the subject.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2013
  13. Irene Professional Cactus

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    I'm sure it's just a new AH.com business model. Either we will be asked to help fund Venice through certain kits with which we can also make loads of money with ourselves if we just sold two of the kits for 200$ each. That or he is ready to take the Serene Republic for an IPO and profit from insider trading.

    On a similar note the Serene Republic was the birthplace of a good deal of accounting fundamentals, in fact it was the first place that came up with the golden equation of Equity = Assets − Liabilities. A few economists even argue that this concept was the start of the industrial revolution as it made capital accumulation a clear option (of course it falls apart as soon as you look at the historically low savings rate of proto-industrial Germany, England and France.).
     
  14. Franciscus Caesar Caesar of Greater Toronto

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    Thanks! No, its not something seen much on this forum unfortunately. I've always read TLs hoping to get more of a monetary orientation in them, but they usual tend to stay focused only on war and politics. I'm hoping we can break that mold here!

    The tweeking was totally legal! Pretty much what I could gauge the effects on Venice's finances to be given the research done (revenues being affected, higher costs and a different level of public bond issuance based on several factors). But as Irene said, Venice was probably the most capable nation around at the time in terms of accounting, so we can expect these books to be quite accurate.

    Definitely a huge cash drain. Actually its poignant to note here that the Venetian war budget has actually gone down considerably (approx. 100,000 Ducats IIRC). Numbers in later parts will really enforce the fact that trade is hurting at home...

    Well your part right in some of the above (not where you may think so though). The war will have considerably more twists and turns than it did in the original TL.

    Ah, accounting... many frustrated, sleepless nights have been spent trying to decipher what exactly those textbooks were trying to tell me. I'm a finance man myself, so I have to speak the language of accounting solely out of necessity, beautiful as it is.

    Its really just a simple income statement. I guess the name differs depending on where one is from. But yes, it shows the year-ending balances for these (temporary) accounts

    There's no money in the first option, everybody know that! Besides, you know I want all of you to be better off than you would be in front line sales. The latter though is quite lucrative (even excluding the insider trading). I just want the best for LS: VDNP Corp., and if you guys can profit in the long run by getting in early that's great.

    Precisely. Read similarly to what is written at the beginning of every accounting textbook I've read, thanks to Luca Pacioli and the double-entry system the world stumbled out of the dark age of business and slowly got crafty enough to develop things like derivatives. Look how great those turned out!
     
  15. Franciscus Caesar Caesar of Greater Toronto

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    Just a little thought: Given those who have stated so in the discussion, and through PM to me, I know many readers of this TL prefer to read without posting anything. This is perfectly fine; as long as you're enjoying the story as much as I am I honestly couldn't be happier.

    It was recently suggested by someone though that some may want to post, but the TL may be too specific for them to want to volunteer a comment. I don't really see that being the case, but if it is I'd like to assure everyone that any contribution to the discussion is worth it. Even something small can spark a much larger discussion. I realize that not many are familiar with Venetian history.

    In checking to validate the above comment, I've realized that most of the "views" for the TL are accumulated when the "usual" posters are offline, so I know it isn't just them refreshing the page a few hundred times each :p
     
  16. Alex Richards A mapper I, from near Dar-bai. Donor

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    Well, that's nice to know. And yeah... don't expect many comments from me on the accounts;)
     
  17. Al-numbers Well-Known Member

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    So today I was looking through the books in my Uni library searching for phycology books and for no reason at all I had a brief water-cooler moment of what a more “sound” Venice could do.

    I’m thinking that with greater access to trade and more interaction with other peoples, the Venetians might become more complacent with religion and race as time goes on, and that makes me wonder… I have in my mind this Venetian captain sailing into the Atlantic under orders from the Council, who have become intrigued by all the news in the Continent of a new land to the West. He may have served in the Indian Ocean and may have worked alongside Ottomans, Ethiopians or other peoples, making him less of an asshole when it comes to meeting others. He may set down in the Caribbean, or maybe he sailed up to the north, where the land is practically unclaimed (or not, depending on the definition of “claimed”).

    Now, the Council doesn’t actually see the new continent as important as the IO, but just in case there’s a good kingdom to trade with, then it’s all the better if they establish relations first. The fleet did not find any kingdom that they could trade with, but they did find another tribe that could be of trading importance once they land. Because of his experiences, the captain could think differently of the pre-Colombian peoples, and could really mean it when he said that they were trade explorers, not colonists. After a few weeks of discussion a new deal was struck; the only Venetian trading post in the Americas. The effects would be minimal at best and negative at worst with diseases taking a toll on the locals, but soon after that.... Plus, if the outpost and the surrounding area are one of the more “safer” places for the natives to work and live with, then there could be an exchange of ideas between the Venetians and the natives about the ideas independence, freedom, sovereignty and all the rest, as well as how to better and improve their lives.

    Of course, this could all be bonk since the TL is centered around the Serene Republic and the Indian Ocean, but it’s kinda cool to think about. Also, this idea could also be used on East Africans and help them get a leg up against colonial powers (not the Venice-trading kind, but the resource-pillage kind).

    Ok. Natives aside, will there be a pollination of Islamic medical practices into the Serene Republic in this TL? As far as I know, Islamic medial practices were leagues ahead of Europe at the time. Now if only an Ottoman or a Venetian would get the idea of washing hands before conducting surgeries…

    P.S: Will there be a sort of Diamond trade between the Golkonda Kingdom of India and Venice? As far as I know, that place was the only one in the world where diamonds could be mined and sold up until the 19th century.
     
  18. Franciscus Caesar Caesar of Greater Toronto

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    Ah, you're sounding like me 4 years ago, except I was thinking even bigger than just 1 small Atlantic outpost. Unfortunately, after researching it tirelessly looking for an angle that would come forth naturally where Venice could nab some of the Americas, as well as starting a whole opinion thread about it on the forum, the decision for Venice to colonize West is highly improbable. The whole Spain as master of the gate thing just blows that idea out of the waters (many, many reasons).

    Now I know that you may be thinking; Go around Africa, now that Venice has its own private entry into the Oceans. Well, butterflies ahead my friends.

    So, for now there won't be a Venetian Atlantic colony (though, as I always mention, things can change).

    This is probably bound to happen thanks to the Ottomans and Venetians working together in close quarters in the Red Sea forts.

    Where there is demand, supply will soon follow, and vice versa with the skilled mercantile hands of Venetian traders.
     
  19. Unknown Member

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    Da Vinci's last days were sad, but at least he will be (fondly) remembered by many in Venice (the last meeting will, of course, be swept under the rug). Heck, the new canal might be named in his honor.
     
  20. Franciscus Caesar Caesar of Greater Toronto

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    The last encounter definitely won't be made public. It's as if it never happened, to the public at least. The man simply grew depressed from old age.

    The Leonardo da Vinci Channel. I like that a lot, never thought of it actually. In the other TL there was in fact a Channel name change in 1521 IIRC. I don't think any name change will happen here though. LDV Channel would be far too Venetian for the joint operation, and Ptolmeic goes nicely with the Orientalist hues felt in La Serenissima right now, plus the Ottomans like it because it's a reminder that they've conquered the land of the Pharaohs.

    Hah, really? For some reason I actually believed you to be an accounts kind of guy, through your writing I guess.