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. Franciscus Caesar Caesar of Greater Toronto

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    Attached is a map of the Indian Ocean and Red Sea in 1521. In Europe, the Venetian Republic can be seen in blue, the Ottoman Empire in green, and the Spanish Empire's possessions in orange.

    Clarification:

    Overseas bases and possessions of European nations (Venice and Portugal) are shown with names and their respective flag. Portuguese holdings are in Portuguese, and the remaining place names are in Venetian (excluding the legend titles for non-European regions, which are in English for simplicity).

    Outside of Europe only countries that Venice has made direct contact with are shown. Some of these meetings (in the case of much of South-East Asia) haven't been expressly mentioned in the TL, but have occurred as a consequence of sailing the areas mentioned.

    As the focus is the Indian Ocean and Red Sea coastlines, and not Europe, Africa, or Asia specifically, most states there have been omitted for clarity, leaving just the most pertinent ones to the TL. The path of the Ptolmeic Channel can be seen in Egypt.

    This map is so everyone can get their bearings right. Another will be uploaded later with travel routes and battles fought. Let me know if I've forgotten anything!

    Lastly, a new part will be up shortly.

    Indian Ocean Explored by Venice - 1521.png
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2013
  2. Alex Richards A mapper I, from near Dar-bai. Donor

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    That is a really interesting and possibly unique way of showing things. What a great idea!
     
  3. Al-numbers Well-Known Member

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    Nice map! Now I don't have to go back and forth to Google Maps anymore. :eek:

    On another note, it's a bit interesting how the Central Indian kingdoms are still named, even though there are no foreign Europeans anywhere near them.

    Something tells me we will hear about them very soon...
     
  4. Herzen's love-child rootless cosmopolitan

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    Una mappa elegante! :)

    Più storia, per favore!
     
  5. Franciscus Caesar Caesar of Greater Toronto

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    Thanks! I'm glad everyone seems to like it :)

    My apologies :eek:

    You're right, they will be appearing more so in later parts, but the Venetians have already contacted them. If you recall, the joint Otto-Venetian mission sent into India to search for allies against the Portuguese is when the contact with these nations occurred.

    Certamente, grazie!
     
  6. Franciscus Caesar Caesar of Greater Toronto

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    Part 31, La Masacre

    Early September:
    After months of small naval skirmishes, including a separate large Ming Chinese victory at Tämäo in May, the main Portuguese fleet from India meets the Otto-Veneto-Sino-Malaccan alliance fleet off the coast of Colombo. The Portuguese armada consists of 23 naus, manned by just over 2000 soldiers. The alliance fleet consists of 11 Venetian carracks, 7 Ottoman caravels, 3 Malaccan war-boats, and a squadron of Ming junks.

    The faster Venetian and Arab ships meet the Portuguese first, with mixed results. Both sides are battle hardened, but the Portuguese have many years of experience. The tide of battle swiftly turns in favour of the alliance when the Chinese junks enter the fray. Their powerful guns, combined with sheer numbers are enough to send the rival flotilla fleeing to regroup. Losses sustained by both sides are moderate.

    Mid September: The Revolt of the Communeros finally begins to draw to a close in Spain, thanks to Charles’ realization of the true scope of the riots. At the urging of Adrian of Utrecht, the Emperor quickly announces new policy initiatives such as cancelling many hated taxes, and assigning two new Castilian co-regents. In one fell swoop, Charles negates two of the biggest drivers of the revolts. After large clashes between the opposing factions in April led to the capture and beheading of many high ranking rebel leaders, Charles’ new policies combined with the lack of centralized leadership deals a decisive blow against the previously raging movement.

    This seeming end to the conflict further frustrates the already frazzled merchants of Venice, as they see their last hope of Spanish involvement against the Portuguese fade away. Nevertheless, desperate as the group is, one thing they’ve learned through business is that with enough ducats, many things can be achieved no matter what the circumstances.

    Mid October: Manuel finally concedes that he must search for help from Europe in order to end this war. While the proud and secretive Portuguese nation is usually content at solving its issues alone, the circumstances at hand prove to be far more ominous; without its trade revenues the war is getting progressively more difficult to fund.

    Though taking the Iberian route by requesting assistance from Spain would seem to be the natural course of action, Manuel recognizes that his neighbor is in a hazy situation as well, with a war on France and internal unrest. Despite the wishes from some of his court members to request Spanish assistance regardless of the current situation there, the ever devout Manuel decides to take his own natural route and contacts the Pope. The Portuguese king and the Catholic Church have always shared strong relations, evident by Manuel being the only person ever to receive a second Golden Rose from the Papacy for his Christian endeavors. A Portuguese delegation is sent to Rome with the intent to exploit the prevalent feelings of Venetian jingoism there after Venice’s capture of the coveted Romagna, as well as her unholy alliance with the Turk.

    October 25: The surrender of Toledo is orchestrated with the royal government of Spain giving in to some final minor rebel quibbles. All comuneros are to vacate the Alcázar of Toledo in six day’s time, in order for officials to resume governance of the city.

    October 27: As night falls over Toledo, so too does commotion in the bowels of the Alcázar, as a screaming match is underway between members of the remaining comuneros. One faction of more extreme rebels has suddenly become disheartened with the result of the negotiations, taking anger that the movement end over demands of such a submissive nature. Those wanting to continue the riots try profusely to convince their counterparts to join them, which is met by adamant refusal. The situation quickly deteriorates as shouts turn to blows, creating dissension in the ranks that ends with one of the extreme rebels spilling that his faction has been nicely paid to continue the rebellion. In an effort to convince the opposing side to join them he further explains that they’ve all been guaranteed funding in order to continue to fight for their cause, until the true ruler, Joanna of Castile, is on her rightful throne. The new revelations have the opposite effect of what was intended, and splinter the factions completely. Some agree to join the prolonged effort until the true goal has been achieved in return for payment, while the side wishing to uphold the current peace maintains furiously that this is not a glorious rebellion anymore, but a mercenary pursuit. The fighting worsens, and swords are drawn. As morning arrives, the massacre of the Toledo comuneros is over, with the numerically superior anti-continuation faction remaining.

    Amongst the blood of the dead, Portuguese coins are found scattered about, having fallen from the pockets of the deceased…

    Early November: Charles is informed of the comuneros massacre in Toledo. Amid the understandable fury, the wise king spots an opportunity as well. He instructs for his statement to be declared throughout the country, so that all people, comunero and royalist alike, may be aware. The king’s statement honours the brave comuneros who fought and died battling those who wished for continued Spanish quarrel. That these men, though identifying as comunero, laid down their lives defeating those who wish to see Spain burn is a testament to Spanish nationhood, and the fact that though men in the realm may think differently, they all share the common Spanish identity in the eyes of Jesus Christ. Charles’ court applauds his statement, which intends to unify a divided people after the events of the rebellion.

    With internal matters understood, Charles now turns his attention to the Portuguese coins found in the pockets of the rebels, and the reports from the few detained that a Portuguese man named “Rui” paid them out. The entire thing sounds overly blatant to Charles, but given the past years’ rumours of Portuguese involvement in the riots, which he had chosen to ignore, this latest event has the emperor far more open to the realization that his brother in law is in fact the puppeteer. Having no trust left in the Portuguese leader, Charles furiously writes his sister asking whether she has any knowledge of her husband’s involvement in the comunero uprisings.

    In Portugal, as soon as Manuel is alerted of the presence of Portuguese coins at the massacre in Spain, the already strained monarch has a fit. Regardless of the fact that he was not the one behind the event, this development doesn’t bode well for his case in joining the war against Venice if Spain is an enemy. Manuel is somewhat aware of the whispers in Spain linking the uprisings of the comuneros to his country, but is assured by his wife, Charles’ sister, Eleanor of Austria, that Charles is not under the impression that Manuel has had a hand in the riots himself. The official Portuguese stance on the matter through its duration has been one of contempt for anyone in the country aiding in the internal conflict of their neighbour, as this is not the Christian way.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2013
  7. Al-numbers Well-Known Member

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    Oh boy. The anti-continuation faction is sure to stir up even more muck now unless Charles and Manuel reach for fast reconciliation.

    I'll be waiting for it when it all fails in December. :D

    EDIT: Wait, are the one's who survived want Charles deposed or for the revolt to end? From what Charles' said, it seemed that the ones who died wanted to end the rebellion.
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2013
  8. Al-numbers Well-Known Member

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    Also, Franciscus, I took some time to make a masterpost in the Alt-History wiki about this amazing timeline. Unfortunately, I'm kinda bad at describing things and I would rather wish you could edit the description to your liking, if you can. :eek:

    Also, you made a numbering error early on in the TL.
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2013
  9. PariahNihil Well-Known Member

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    I finished this timeline and am now eagerly awaiting the next installment.
     
  10. Franciscus Caesar Caesar of Greater Toronto

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    Looks like somebody's been wikiing ahead!

    Sorry if it came off confusingly, I couldn't think of another name for the runaway comunero sect. The answer is technically no. The ones who survived are the ones who had wanted Charles deposed before the tax and government reforms, but are content with the outcome of the rebellion. The ones who were defeated were those supposedly paid off by the Portuguese to continue the rebellion.

    Thanks Doodle! That's really cool, looks awesome. Sure, I'll get an overall summary drafted up. Wow... That's embarrassing. I'll talk to a mod about hopefully being able to edit that and get back to you.

    Good stuff! More on the way soon.
     
  11. Alex Richards A mapper I, from near Dar-bai. Donor

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    Had the same issue myself. I ended up making part 1 a Prologue and altering the first 4 rather than editing the other 20
     
  12. Al-numbers Well-Known Member

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    Franciscus, have you heard of the book Danubia by Simon Winder?

    For a book about Habsburg Europe, it sure has a lot of information about Central Europe and the Ottoman Empire that could be used in this timeline. For instance, I didn't know that up until the reconquest of Central Europe a lot of the Ottoman-conquered territories - up until Buda(pest) - had a substantial Muslim and Jewish population, or that there was a lot going on behind the scenes that could've changed Habsburg rule completely, or that there was once Protestantism in Bohemia and Austria until Ferdinand II came along, or that Transylvania was remarkably tolerant for the time.

    I think you'll like the book for all the info that could be used. :)
     
  13. Herzen's love-child rootless cosmopolitan

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    That is a fascinating book. I'll second it with the caveat that it best when it touches history after the 19th C.
     
  14. Herzen's love-child rootless cosmopolitan

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    I'm tempted to suggest Braudel's "The Mediterranean and the Mediterranean World in the Age of Philip II" for an amazing look at the socio-economic picture of the region, even though it is focused on the century after where this TL is living at the moment. It is a very long read but very influential.

    There are many useful tidbits for the taking.
     
  15. Irene Professional Cactus

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    Well I'd suggest : "The Ottoman Administration of the Spice Trade in the Sixteenth-Century Red Sea and Persian Gulf" (2006) from The Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient . I'd spare you the details but it goes in depth on OTL's Ottoman Spice Trade. It details how it was much faster, cheaper and safer to transport spice by the Middle East vs the Cape-to the point that the Portuguese would send urgent messages by Venetian courier service through the Ottoman Empire.

    Asides from all the geographical advantages the main reason was simple, due to the presence of Mecca as a pilgrim site the entire region was already equipped with the necessary infrastructure for massive amounts of traffic. At its peak in the 1540s-1560s it accounted for 20% of the Ottoman revenue, but this system broke down once central authority weakened and the provinces started raising individual tariffs to the detriment of the state as a whole.
     
  16. Franciscus Caesar Caesar of Greater Toronto

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    That's smart, I may have to do this too.

    Thanks a lot for the suggestions everyone! Much appreciated. Coincidentally I've recently been stressing to find good material on topics such as the Habsburgs specifically, as I see this TL naturally involving central Europe in the very near future, for obvious reasons. And of course anything on the Ottomans/Mediterranean is always appreciated, seeing as they/it are/is a main protagonist/the major theatre as well. (I)

    I wanted to get a part up Sunday but we've only just gotten power back now. Southern Ontario was beaten with a bad ice-storm during the weekend as I'm sure some of you have heard. The next week will be hectic with Christmas and all but I'd like to get a part up by the 25th if I have a moment to proof read and post.

    If I don't get to the board by then, to all of you part of the La Serenissima family, have a merry Christmas and enjoy your holidays :)

    Best Regards,

    Franciscus Caesar.


    (I) That may sound confusing but I'm keeping it like that...
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2013
  17. RyuDrago Italian? Yes, but also Roman

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    Really interesting developments, however I don't think Spain will intervene against the Portuguese in any form. Aside for the fact the Iberian kingdom was somewhat exhausted of the revolt, Charles's Catholic devotion should prevent himself to favour a sort of "traitor" of the Christianity such as Venice in anti-Portuguese key. So, I smell a war between Papacy and Venice in the future if not with an active intervention at least with a silent approval of Charles. Venice could win against the Papacy? Maybe yes, but if other Italian states, above all Genova, should intervene, things will become really troubled for the Serenissima.

    Aside that, I just realized the Venetian-Portuguese conflict was the first TTL colonial war between European countries, at least a century before the Dutch oversea campaigns against the Portuguese-Spanish settlements... This brought me to think if the age of colonization here will be more faster and cruent than OTL, for example, seeing a small country as Venice developing already a colonial empire, France and England should be interested to look to West more early...

    ...while, at the same time, the European piracy could bloom in the Indian ocean as well. And not only the traditional one from Atlantic countries, but also from Italians as well. It could be intriguing seeing pirates at the service of the Pope to raid Venetian or Ottoman vessels in the Indian Ocean, while hiding in Malaysia or in the African coast...
     
  18. Al-numbers Well-Known Member

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    That reminds me of something. The Orang Laut of Malaya and Riau used to be notorious sea pirates and their knowing of the islands, channels and currents of the straits make them a constant threat until the Sultanate of Malacca decided to employ them. Within a blink of an eye, they became the 'living bodyguards' of the Straits, repelling real pirates while directing merchant ships to port.

    In this timeline, they could still be haggling Portuguese trade just like OTL, but they could also provide extra help to the naval alliance in terms of logistical support, and since Malacca's authority is still strong they wouldn't break up and degenerate into piracy again. If a Pope or some other power decides to do a little raiding in the area, he's going to have a shock! :rolleyes:

    I've always wondered why did the title of "Laksamana" (admiral) was so exalted in my schooling days...

    EDIT: I wonder if Venice's involvement would lead to a development of firearms there...
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2013
  19. Fox-Fire I've jumped into the fire.

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    So much time has passed, I'm so glad this TL had developed this nicely and continues on with strength and also sorry for not posting for so long (I am now working in my own really wired TL). Nevertheless I've been lurking here since then everyday from my cel.

    First of all, the map you made is awesome.

    I wonder what is and will happening with the Maldives now that the race for the Indian Ocean is on (the idea of another city of channels sounds very tempting indeed). And maybe we will be seeing Venetian East Indies.

    For the most part I can see Venice replacing the role of the dutch in colonization, on the other hand there has to be a Venetian style on this.

    If the wealthiest are already conspiring to bring the Spanish against the Portuguese so early I can only what could happen when España tries to conquer more of the Americas, the Venetians jumping on their seats is not a tranquilizing vision, especially if you are talking about a probable future when weapons can be smuggled to America via the pacific.

    España (or the Pope for that matter) calling a new coalition against La Serenissima might be a war to behold, the first global war maybe if it occurs a few decades later than the point which is being observed now. You DO NOT want to bring Suleiman I to a global war, Naples is only christian today (to my understanding of course) because the Ottomans didn't have a fleet to transport their troops... so maybe another, rounder, funny hat will be sitting in the city of the seven hills. Something that can't be seen as so far away ITTL.

    Hopefully Vienna has ticker walls this time or the existence of Austria can be butterflied out of Europe, but with François I undecided yet in the face of such a conflict we can expect anything.

    Something that intrigues me is the fate of the Safavids, if the Republic and Empire can arrange an alliance with some of the Indian Kingdoms on the grounds of a defense pact against Portugal (or any other colonial powers) as it is implied, that could signify that Persia is going to be attacked from the east as well as from Mesopotamia. Though a large Persia would be nice the size in OTL which the Safavids dominated is in my humble opinion, out of the question.
     
  20. Franciscus Caesar Caesar of Greater Toronto

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    True, good points, but as a whole I must disagree.

    As you've correctly said, "the Iberian kingdom was somewhat exhausted of the revolt". In terms of the revolt, other than the added massacre (at no cost to the Spanish royal army) it played out as per OTL, which leaves Spain with enough military power to enter all the OTL engagements it will otherwise enter.So in that regard the revolts wouldn't be enough to dampen any further Spanish wars.

    Your second point is spot on, and was grappled with by myself and a few other AHers in the original TL. Charles, the uber-Catholic that he is, will be hard pressed to favour the unholy alliance over his Catholic neighbour. However, one must consider the year of conditioning Charles has been exposed to, of rumours of Portuguese meddling in the comunero riots, and the anger that has been simmering with that (along with feelings of Habsburg betrayal in Manuel fighting Spain though Charles wed his own sister to him to prevent such a case. He clearly had some kind of suspicion even before the riots). Still, his own anger wouldn't likely be enough to cause him to strike.

    However, in the end it must be considered that, this being the 1500s, with the right exchange anything can happen, as long as it is worth the while. We'll shortly see how things develop.

    I agree, regardless of how events play out with Spain and the Portuguese, a war involving the Papacy and La Serenissima is likely to happen IMO. Just in the current Veneto-Portuguese war alone there is enough Venetian betrayal/jingoism to inspire the Pope and other Italian states to want to quash the Venetians. That being said, the events of TTL Cambrai would have to be considered. This will be interesting to watch and see where attitudes lead.

    Precisely, this would be the natural course of events.

    Awesome, you're really looking in the right direction! In fact by this time I had already thought there would be European piracy in the Indian Ocean, but upon writing/researching for it I found a few things that stumped the process. If European pirates are to raid the Indian Ocean, they're making the perilous adventure around Africa. I can't see Venice or the Ottomans opening the Ptolmeic to foreign ships built for such a purpose for long, which brings us to the next point. Likely only countries with Atlantic coasts would engage in the expensive building/design efforts required to build a new carrack fleet as the Venetians did. And even if they have the capability to do so, the returns in raiding Venetians in the ocean must be greater than the costs, which is unlikely IMO. There are a couple more reasons but I'll leave it at that for now. Of course, these are just what I ran into, maybe you see a way around these?

    Very cool, I'll have to look into this. It's unfortunate I couldn't have included it earlier! Continuing from the reply to Ryu above, this was another consideration I had RE: European piracy. From what I can gather: Islamic pirates were the most feared/successful ones of the day. I'm not sure if this was specific to the Mediterranean, or altogether incorrect. 1. If true though, would a European power that faces off against the Orang Laut, as you say, encounter defeat at the experienced hands of the Muslim pirates? Or, 2. would the advanced European carracks that manage to successfully complete the voyage be sufficient enough to destroy any pirate threat down there? I personally find the latter to be more likely, but any help with this would be greatly appreciated.

    All in due time.

    Thanks! Glad you're still enjoying it. I'm interested in the new TL, can you tell us more?

    :D

    Ah, in many of these points will Act II of the TL come into its own, especially over the next decade. You're curiosities will be answered in time!

    I haven't really factored the Safavids in yet, but at the moment I'll take your word for it.