Opinions on a venice TL

I am looking for opinions on a TL i am strongly considering making. i have recently been posting this idea on other threads and now i feel like taking it on. just looking for some opinions/suggestions on it

I am thinking of having the Venetians not sack Constantinople in the fourth crusade but instead claim it as their own. After this a possible war against the Ottomans will cause the Venetians to begin capturing ottoman lands as their own, and after a span of time, control the borders of the ottoman empire as we know it.

This will then be followed (or begin by, i'm stuck on this), by Columbus asking the Venetians for their financing his voyage to the new world. Venice, not wanting anyone else to put a damper on their monopoly on the spice trade, accepts and sends him out, hence Venice takes all Columbus claimed lands, possibly leading for Venice to resemble the ottoman empire, Spanish empire, or both! this would be my first timeline so please be kind, i feel this is a great idea. Educated comments/ suggestions strongly encouraged!

Thank You!
Franciscus Caesar
 
I am looking for opinions on a TL i am strongly considering making. i have recently been posting this idea on other threads and now i feel like taking it on. just looking for some opinions/suggestions on it

I am thinking of having the Venetians not sack Constantinople in the fourth crusade but instead claim it as their own. After this a possible war against the Ottomans will cause the Venetians to begin capturing ottoman lands as their own, and after a span of time, control the borders of the ottoman empire as we know it.

This will then be followed (or begin by, i'm stuck on this), by Columbus asking the Venetians for their financing his voyage to the new world. Venice, not wanting anyone else to put a damper on their monopoly on the spice trade, accepts and sends him out, hence Venice takes all Columbus claimed lands, possibly leading for Venice to resemble the ottoman empire, Spanish empire, or both! this would be my first timeline so please be kind, i feel this is a great idea. Educated comments/ suggestions strongly encouraged!

Thank You!
Franciscus Caesar
You must understand two things essential to comprehending the history of
Venice.

1. You said that you wished to have Venice control the borders of the Ottoman Empire. Not only is this unlikely in the most general sense, it would also start Venice's decline.

Venice, of course, was a nation whose wealth and power was based on the size of its merchant marine and the greatness of its commerce. To give Venice substantial mainland holdings would force it to focus its attention elsewhere, neglecting its primary sources of power.

This can be said with such certainty because this is just what happened to Venice. The more it began to lose its prominence in the Eastern Mediterranean, the more it began to expand onto the Italian mainland. It became a territorially larger power, yes, but at the cost of its greatness. This is why the Venetians, so many times in their history, especially their early history, were not downtrodden when their mainland possessions were taken from them. They were not important.

2. This fact may be more important than the first. You said you wished to have Venice finance the voyages of Colombus.

Venice was, it is painful to say, so devastated (in the long run) by the discovery of new routes to the east, that Vasco da Gama's expedition has been referred to as one of the three greatest disasters in the history of Venice. It transformed Lisbon into the primary port for Europe, especially in terms of international trade. To have discovered the New World would have left the primary colonial nations of OTL as available as they were in OTL to colonize and conquer, yet Venice would not be able to cash in on it, for its world was the Mediterranean.


I like your idea of making a stronger, longer-lasting Venice, yet I find your means of attaining this end implausible. I recommend you read the magnificent work on the subject, The History of Venice, by John Julius Norwich.
 
You must understand two things essential to comprehending the history of
Venice.

Venice was, it is painful to say, so devastated (in the long run) by the discovery of new routes to the east, that Vasco da Gama's expedition has been referred to as one of the three greatest disasters in the history of Venice. It transformed Lisbon into the primary port for Europe, especially in terms of international trade. To have discovered the New World would have left the primary colonial nations of OTL as available as they were in OTL to colonize and conquer, yet Venice would not be able to cash in on it, for its world was the Mediterranean.

So ur saying that Venice itself would be able to colonize the new world as Spain did, however not reap the cash reward from it? what if they were to exploit colonies such as french dominique, which provided large cash sums to the french?
 
You must understand two things essential to comprehending the history of
Venice.

Venice was, it is painful to say, so devastated (in the long run) by the discovery of new routes to the east, that Vasco da Gama's expedition has been referred to as one of the three greatest disasters in the history of Venice. It transformed Lisbon into the primary port for Europe, especially in terms of international trade. To have discovered the New World would have left the primary colonial nations of OTL as available as they were in OTL to colonize and conquer, yet Venice would not be able to cash in on it, for its world was the Mediterranean.
So ur saying that Venice itself would be able to colonize the new world as Spain did, however not reap the cash reward from it? what if they were to exploit colonies such as french dominique, which provided large cash sums to the french?
No, he's saying that the Venetians did not have the resources to exploit both the Mediterranean and the New World. If they wanted to do one they'd have to forsake the other. If they forsake the New World then...why both discover it in the first place? If they forsake the Mediterranean their finances will crash long before they actually start making money.

It's a bit of a problem, the way that many people see the Americas as a land of bounty and have the idea that as soon as Europeans turned up there, they were rich. The biggest source of income in the 17th and 18th centuries from the Americas was the Caribbean islands which had rich sugar plantations. However, these plantations took a long time to set up. Spain spent the first few decades of its existence in the Americas transporting gold and silver back to Europe from the Americas - this was the primary source of wealth from the Americas in the 16th century. However, and this is something few realise, the gold they transported back was a poisoned chalice. What happens when you ship millions in gold ever year is not that you become fabulously wealthy. It's that gold MASSIVELY loses value. The Spanish currency devalued COLOSSALLY in the 16th century. Indeed, I read one study which said that Spain did not actually gain any money whatsoever from transporting gold back to Europe - 3/5ths of it went to paying off their loan debts, and the remaining gold devalued the currency so much that in terms of asset wealth, the new gold equaled how much their existing gold had fallen in value by. The thing is, as soon as they started transporting gold back to Europe, the plummet began, and since there was no understanding of economics in this era, the only way the Spaniards could fight the inflation was to, ironically, import more gold. It became like a heroin addiction - their finances were being ruined by the effects of the gold, yet the only way to avoid the massive, possibly fatal effect of denying themselves gold was to have more gold. Spain actually declared bankruptcy four times, just during Philip II's reign (1556-1598) alone...

To cut a long story short, if you want a country to get properly rich from the Americas, have them start colonising around the year 1600, just like OTL England and France. For some countries, such as Spain, they may be big enough to handle the problems of gold importation. For a trading nation like Venice, a country which only existed on profitable dealing, colonising America early would honestly be the death of them. The Venetian state would collapse from the economic problems.
 
This can be said with such certainty because this is just what happened to Venice. The more it began to lose its prominence in the Eastern Mediterranean, the more it began to expand onto the Italian mainland. It became a territorially larger power, yes, but at the cost of its greatness. This is why the Venetians, so many times in their history, especially their early history, were not downtrodden when their mainland possessions were taken from them. They were not important.
Eh, I don't think this is fair. More accurate is it to say that the Venetians, as a city-state, were caught out of their weight in a time of the rise of centralized states.
 
To cut a long story short, if you want a country to get properly rich from the Americas, have them start colonising around the year 1600, just like OTL England and France. For some countries, such as Spain, they may be big enough to handle the problems of gold importation. For a trading nation like Venice, a country which only existed on profitable dealing, colonising America early would honestly be the death of them. The Venetian state would collapse from the economic problems.
Hmmm, Very interesting! So if i move the date of colonization to the 1600s you believe that the riches would be more easily accessible? What would happen with Columbus' possessions? should his birth date be moved to the late 1500s? I'm sure the issue of Venetian Manpower would not be THAT much of a problem. I'm sure Venice could start a union/ merge with Milan and Florence due to some special outcome of the league of Cognac... though come to think of it, thats still not the population of Spain. Is there any way you can even remotely have this situation work for Venice?:confused:
 
This makes little sense:

- How do you claim Constantinople for your own? It's the center of an empire. The Crusaders only managed to get in by allying with a Byzantine faction. You can't just "claim" it, you have to conquer it, and that will result in its sacking.

- The Ottoman Empire didn't exist until 100 years after the Fourth Crusade, so I don't see how it's possible for Venice to conquer it.

- Venice is a Catholic, Italian city state. How on earth do you think they are going to control an area populated by a huge number of hostile Muslims and Orthodox Christians? It's just not feasible. Venice was sagging badly under the burden of it's small empire in OTL - this is just impossible.
 
This makes little sense:

- How do you claim Constantinople for your own? It's the center of an empire. The Crusaders only managed to get in by allying with a Byzantine faction. You can't just "claim" it, you have to conquer it, and that will result in its sacking.

- The Ottoman Empire didn't exist until 100 years after the Fourth Crusade, so I don't see how it's possible for Venice to conquer it.

- Venice is a Catholic, Italian city state. How on earth do you think they are going to control an area populated by a huge number of hostile Muslims and Orthodox Christians? It's just not feasible. Venice was sagging badly under the burden of it's small empire in OTL - this is just impossible.
When i said "claim" i meant conquer. It doesn't have to be sacked in the fourth crusade, it can be done when the ottomans were surrounding the city and Constantinople was begging the Christians of Europe to help the city. the pope offered help if the the city was to convert to Catholicism (or something along those lines). How to conquer hostile peoples? Crush them. This is not impossible, just very difficult.
 
- Venice is a Catholic, Italian city state. How on earth do you think they are going to control an area populated by a huge number of hostile Muslims and Orthodox Christians? It's just not feasible. Venice was sagging badly under the burden of it's small empire in OTL - this is just impossible.
I dunno if sagging is the appropriate term; who cares about the city-state of Pisa?
 
When i said "claim" i meant conquer. It doesn't have to be sacked in the fourth crusade, it can be done when the ottomans were surrounding the city and Constantinople was begging the Christians of Europe to help the city. the pope offered help if the the city was to convert to Catholicism (or something along those lines). How to conquer hostile peoples? Crush them. This is not impossible, just very difficult.
Another niggling factor with all this conquest and colonization: However rich Venice may be at any one time, its manpower is laughable. The Fourth Crusade was less a Venetian affair and more simply Venetian-dictated-- virtually all the Crusaders were from elsewhere and agreed to the sacks along the Grecian coastline and Constantinople only to pay off their debts to Venice. An Italian city-state has little manpower to tap into for permanent garrisons, a standing army, etc. on its own, and would probably have a hard time of things even if it managed (through some miracle!) to get most of North Italy.
 
When i said "claim" i meant conquer. It doesn't have to be sacked in the fourth crusade, it can be done when the ottomans were surrounding the city and Constantinople was begging the Christians of Europe to help the city. the pope offered help if the the city was to convert to Catholicism (or something along those lines). How to conquer hostile peoples? Crush them. This is not impossible, just very difficult.
Actually, it IS impossible. You're talking about a city-state with a population of maybe 30,000 people "crushing" 30 million. Not going to happen. Even assuming you have every man, woman, and child in Venice armed and going to war, that's one Venetian for every 1,000 people in the area in question.

At the time of the 4th Crusade this is ASB. Now you're suggesting the Venetians defeat the Ottoman Empire under Mehmed II and take all their territory? That's like suggesting Luxembourg in WWII invading and conquering Germany. Actually, it's more like Malta doing it. At least Luxembourg was adjacent, so it would have been easier for them to conquer Nazi Germany.
 

Nikephoros

Banned
Since you seem to be a Venice fan Franciscus Caesar, maybe we could propose better ideas for Venice? Give me a day and I can find one.

But I agree with everyone else. Venice is not Great Power material.
 
Isnt most of the Venitian fleet designed for the Med so wont be able to handle the storms etc of the atlantic? You would need a whole new ship building programme, not to mention a port for them (You'd need berber/ spanish/portugese ports)
 
Probably a better TL for Venice is either an alliance with the Ottomans in which a Suez Canal is built, or Ottoman conquest of Italy, in which Venice becomes a leading trade city of the empire.

The former could lead to Venetian domination in the Indian Ocean, although that's probably unlikely since they don't have the networks and expertise they would need.

The latter, though, could lead to a very favorable position in the Mediterranean world and possibly lead to a Venetian-led movement for Italian unity later on.
 
Since you seem to be a Venice fan Franciscus Caesar, maybe we could propose better ideas for Venice? Give me a day and I can find one.

But I agree with everyone else. Venice is not Great Power material.
Thank you very much Nikephorous! Yes i am a Venice/ Italy fan and a new idea would be greatly appreciated. It seems this idea is not possible:(
 
Naa, Venice could NEVER conquer the whole Ottoman Empire. As many have already pointed out, it's either territory or money for the venetians, and anyone in their right mind would chose money.
Venice in an early unified Italy, on the other hand...

Jim
 
Naa, Venice could NEVER conquer the whole Ottoman Empire. As many have already pointed out, it's either territory or money for the venetians, and anyone in their right mind would chose money.
Venice in an early unified Italy, on the other hand...

Jim
So, what if Italy united earlier (yes i've been reading all the threads saying this can't happen, but how COULD it)? Then Venice would build an Atlantic fleet, have the manpower...? If Venice would unite under a kingdom of Italy (even without the Kingdom of Naples, under Spanish rule) would it be possible? then you have the rich Italian city states of the north merged into one, with the money and manpower. maybe the ottoman thing still wouldn't work, but colonization!? I'm determined to make this work! And again, thanks everyone for the opinions and the help!
 
I remember reading somewhere (can't remember exactly where) that many Italian cities banded together in a league to fight the Hoffistans (I know that I've butchered the family name, but they were the HRE dynasty from Sicily, same time as Pope Innocent III). Having that league stay together could provide the nucleus for a unified Italy.
 
I remember reading somewhere (can't remember exactly where) that many Italian cities banded together in a league to fight the Hoffistans (I know that I've butchered the family name, but they were the HRE dynasty from Sicily, same time as Pope Innocent III). Having that league stay together could provide the nucleus for a unified Italy.
Thank you!! I'm sure this can be used to an advantage! i will definitely look this up. Now were gettin somewhere!:D
 
I remember reading somewhere (can't remember exactly where) that many Italian cities banded together in a league to fight the Hoffistans (I know that I've butchered the family name, but they were the HRE dynasty from Sicily, same time as Pope Innocent III). Having that league stay together could provide the nucleus for a unified Italy.
It was the house of Hohenstaufen and it formed the Lombard League which included cities such as: Milan, Piacenza, Cremona, Mantua, Crema, Bergamo, Brescia, Bologna, Padua, Treviso, Vicenza, Venice, Verona, Lodi, and Parma. All very powerful cities! The League was formed to counter the Holy Roman Empire's Frederick I, who was attempting to assert Imperial influence over Italy. Frederick claimed direct Imperial control over Italy at the Diet of Roncaglia (1158). The League had the support of Pope Alexander III, who also wished to see Imperial power in Italy decline. At the Battle of Legnano on May 29, 1176, Frederick I was defeated and, by the Peace of Venice, which took place in 1177, agreed to a six-year truce from August,1178 to 1183, until the Second Treaty of Constance, where the Italian cities agreed to remain loyal to the Empire but retained local jurisdiction over their territories.

This can be changed:cool:
 
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