Prussia's Demise and Poland's Second Chance, or how the 7 years war changed Europe

Chapter 1
The Year is 1757 and at a place called Leuthen, the Prussian Army was facing off against an Austrian Army twice their size. In command of the Prussians, Frederick II, who in another life would have been called the Great for his masterful victory in the 7 Year's War, but who in this life was on the verge of losing everything. He had commanded his army to roll up the Austrians at their weakest point and was maneuvering to that effect, but he did not count on a Saxon Army of some 15,000 to arrive and spoil the surprise under Prince Frederick Christian of Saxony. The Saxons had arrived in a Rush and had little heavy artillery to bring with them, however the speed of their advance and the fact that they had caught the Prussians mid maneuver served to tilt the balance of the Fighting in Favor of Saxony.

The Austrians under Prince Charles of Lorraine heard the commotion from behind the low hills where the Prussians were maneuvering and realized the Prussian plan. Charles moved to shore up his right flank and by the time the Saxon attack had spent itself, the Austrians were moving in.

Frederick, with Saxons to his front and Austrians to his rear, was enveloped and, in a fit of melancholy, fell on his sword rather than witness the destruction of his Army. This left Prussia to the care of his 13 year old Son, Frederick William. With the Prussian Army Destroyed in Silesia and Frederick I dead. The Saxons and Austrians moved to Join the Russians in Brandenburg.

The Campaign in Brandenburg was short and only lasted till April 1758, when the final resistance was crushed at Berlin. Prussia it seemed, was out of the war, and indeed, possibly reduced to a Rump State.

With Britain's Main European Ally Crushed, France was now able to commit more men to various Colonial Theaters in India and North America, if only just. This Influx of Men was sufficient to induce the Mughal Empire to declare war on Britain in India as well as, and this was perhaps more significant, prevent the Fall of Fort Louisborg at the Mouth of the St Lawrence in June. A Final Naval Battle took place off Cape Breton Island in August, where Louisborg was situated which was inconclusive as the Guns of the Fort were able to add their firepower to the smaller french fleet, forcing the British Fleet to return to Acadia, though Britain did manage to seize possessions in the French Caribbean, including the Vital Coffee and Sugar producing Colony of Saint Domingue.

However with Prussia crushed and the French Gaining ground in the Ohio Country, Britain was forced to sue for peace in August of 1758.

The Treaties that followed were merciless on defeated Prussia, but also benefited Britain. In a Cunning Stroke of Diplomacy, Britain managed to get France to Cede their territory in the Ohio Country in exchange for the Return of Saint Domingue and the French Caribbean, thus largely fulfilling their original war aims, though everyone agreed to Status Quo Ante in India. Prussia on the other hand was mauled. Saxony recieved Cottbus and a strip of land to connect Saxony to Poland-Lithuania from Prussia, East Prussia went to Russia, and Silesia went back to Austria, reversing the Treaty of Aix La Chappelle of 1748. Bavaria, for her small contribution of only 4,000 Troops was to recieve financial Compensation from Prussia Only. Prussia herself was reduced to the Electorate of Brandenburg, leaving the Hohenzollerns worse off than at the start of the War.

Meanwhile Russia presented an offer of a Trade to August III and the Polish Sejm, they would Trade the relatively well developed lands of East Prussia for The Duchy of Courland. After some deliberation, the Sejm agreed and called on August to Ratify the treaty, which he did. East Prussia was promptly integrated into the lands of the Polish Crown, though with some grumbling by the Germans who lived there. This was mollified by August Granting them Sejm Seats in September of 1759.

The Peace would last for 5 years. . .until August III, Elector of Saxony, King of Poland, and Grand Duke of Lithuania died. The Familia and the Russians Wanted Stanislaw August Poniatowski for King, the newly instated Junker Sejmjiks and Austrians wanted the newly crowned Frederick Christian I of Saxony. This Required Frederick Christian to travel to Warsaw, and thankfully this travel allowed him to miss getting infected with smallpox, as he would in another life, dying shortly thereafter.

Frederick Christian Traveled with an Austro-Saxon Army, Stanislaw August traveled with a Russian one. It seemed as though military conflict would determine the Kingship of Poland-Lithuania. This was not so, thankfully. For though the Russians had spent close to 2.5 Million Rubles in bribes to elect the Tsarina's Lover, Poniatowski, the Austrians, Junkers, and Saxons combined their efforts and managed to outspend the Russians. With the monopoly on force not limited to one candidate, money was the deciding factor, and there were simply too many factions behind Frederick Christian.

In the End, the Wettins would retain the Throne of Poland Lithuania. Frederick Christian was a reformer by heart, and he knew that his new Kingdom was weakened by policies left over from 200 years ago. He also knew that he would need time to reform his new Kingdom. His Father's Excess spending on his court in Saxony also could not be continued under his reign. He wanted a stable, Prosperous Kingdom. For that, he would need time, and for that, he would need allies.

Frederick Christian approached his Cousin, Maria Theresa, Empress of Austria for an Alliance and outlined his plans for her. Maria Theresa Agreed that she needed a Strong Ally in the face of Russia, which was always a rival to Austria, even though they had both been on the Same Side in the War. She agreed to the Alliance and would back Frederick Christian's Play in Poland in exchange for a favorable trade treaty and some minor border revisions. Frederick Christian agreed to her conditions.

Soon he would begin to enact the first of his reforms, his aim was for enough revenue to be generated from these for further reforms to be enacted. For now he would stick to small things like economics, so that he could build up a base of support in the Sejm, but his eventual goal was to get rid of Liberum Veto and institute a 3/4ths majority requirement for any veto to be raised. These were rules often associated with the calling of a Confederated Sejm, and so would not be too foreign for the nobles, still he expected trouble. Better to work up to that with smaller reforms first. . .
 
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I'm trying this again. I know, I know, people are all pissed off at me for trying to tell stories in Before 1900, but if you'll just bear with me, I think you'll enjoy this one.
 
North America in the Aftermath of the War
In North America the immediate aftermath of the 3 years war was an influx of settlers in French North America. King Louis XV, in a bid to balance French Finances, was auctioning off land grants in Louisiana and French Canada to those who could afford them. Many third sons of Nobles and Wealthy Merchants bought land from the Crown, hoping to gain estates that they would otherwise not have. In Particular, Louisiana seemed a popular destination for many of the Nobles and Merchants, with it's southern areas suited to plantation farming, notably of Sugar and Cotton. French Canada and the more northerly parts of Louisiana were parceled into smaller estates and auctioned off to freeholders, many of whom would go on to establish ranches or farms in the plains areas. Astonishingly, with the Ohio Country ceded to Britain in exchange for the return of France's Caribbean Possessions, the few French Settlers of the territory opted to move west along the lakes where they established a presence near the Chicago River, a settlement and attendant fort grew up around the River and was soon expanded to the Lake under the leadership of Jean Baptiste Point du Sable, a Grandson of Prominent Detroit Merchant Pierre Dardennau du Sable via one of his sons and a slave. Du Sable was set up by his father and grandfather with an estate where the Chicago River meets Lake Michigan, which was gained in treaty with the local Potowatomi tribe and so naturally was eager for the new settlement to reach his home.

The Du Sable family at this time was well entrenched in the Great Lakes Region and ran everything from fur trading, to logging, to shipping, to even a few small mines in the area. It was this network that would allow the new Town of Chicago du Sable to flourish in the early years. In 1759 there were only 200 Settlers at the settlement, by 1761 that number had jumped up to 4,000 as more settlers were encouraged to go to the new World by the Government of Louis XV and his land grant program. Not all the settlers proceeded to the farms or plantations, as many found work in the rapidly growing settlement. It was not just Chicago du Sable that found it's population growing, established cities like Nouvelle Orleans, Detroit, Biloxi, Montreal, and Quebec City all found their populations growing, as the tax codes of the colonies were more lenient than those of Metropolitan France. Before the War, New France only had some 70,000 French Inhabitants, over the next five years that population would double as it acted as a release valve for the discontented lower classes of France proper, Louis XV having needed to raise taxes to pay for debts incurred during the war.

Unfortunately, though the population of New France was booming, it still could not hold a candle to that of the British 13 Colonies, whose population had reached in excess of 1.7 Million prior to the war, and only seemed to be growing since they gained the Ohio Country. However, Britain still would not allow the colonists to settle areas beyond the Appalachian Mountains, preferring a series of forts and trade posts in the Ohio to boost revenue via trade with the natives. While this would cause some tensions, things would not reach a boiling point for another decade and a half.

In Florida, Tejas, and the Southwest, Spain had her colonies. Many wealthy Landowners in New Spain would seek to further their holdings by sponsoring a new class of small landowner to establish Ranches in Tejas, California, and elsewhere. These Rancheros were more of a feudal throwback than anything else, with contracts stating that they would send a proportion of their earnings to their financial backers in New Spain, they were effectively vassals. This state of affairs did not cause discontent however, as the presence of the local natives such as the Comanche and Apache, tribes that were fiercely independent and often raided the Rancheros settlements, necessitated the keeping of militias that were, once again, financed by their backers in New Spain. With their Backers paying to keep them safe from the local Indios, the Rancheros could not afford to rise up against them, remaining effectively vassals of the wealthy land owners of New Spain. Another reason that made rebellion an impossibility was that many of the Wealtheir Landowners had the ear of the Governor and could count on his support, as well as perhaps support from the Cortes of Mother Spain if they were wealthy enough, for these landowners were dutiful taxpayers and Peninsulares besides, while the Rancheros were often Poor Mestizos who had no such ties to the government. In this way, New Spain managed to increase the population of more sparsely settled territories, but with a cost to stability, albeit one that would not be a problem until much later.
 
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Wait who pissed off at you? And why?

Ah the last story I did got a bunch of people pissed off at me for stuff and wanting me to change things to be more of what they thought was plausible, even though the casualties taken by rome were only moderately more severe than IOTL, AND it was necessary for a plot twist down the line. . .
 
Ah the last story I did got a bunch of people pissed off at me for stuff and wanting me to change things to be more of what they thought was plausible, even though the casualties taken by rome were only moderately more severe than IOTL, AND it was necessary for a plot twist down the line. . .
We're they pissed off or just adding in constructive criticism? If they were just mad they don't have to read it and you shouldn't let them dictate what you do.
 
We're they pissed off or just adding in constructive criticism? If they were just mad they don't have to read it and you shouldn't let them dictate what you do.

They wouldn't let it go even after I told them that it would pay off later.

See when I write, I'm more interested in telling a good story and will sometimes make plausibility bend to fit the story rather than the other way around. The way I see it, stories are more fun that flat out timelines, if they wanted that, then they were free to read something else.

I laid this out for them, but instead of reading something else, they decided to continue to pester me about details until I gave up.
 
We're they pissed off or just adding in constructive criticism? If they were just mad they don't have to read it and you shouldn't let them dictate what you do.
It was just constructive criticism.OP couldn't bare people telling him what's plausible or not,claiming that good writing is more important than plausibility.
 
It was just constructive criticism.OP couldn't bare people telling him what's plausible or not,claiming that good writing is more important than plausibility.

Good writing IS more important than Plausibility, like literally every author will tell you that. . .Besides, you don't HAVE to read my stuff. If you think it sucks then go read something else, don't ruin other people's fun with your naysaying.
 
Good writing IS more important than Plausibility, like literally every author will tell you that. . .Besides, you don't HAVE to read my stuff. If you think it sucks then go read something else, don't ruin other people's fun with your naysaying.

This is getting a bit off topic, but I think it's a bit of both. Good writing is certainly important, but we are dealing with Alternate History, and so some fidelity to the historical record and plausibility is equally important (just like, in science fiction, you can fudge science, but you should still be somewhat reasonable ... Otherwise you cross the border into fantasy). That being said, in my Amalingian timeline, I had some early commentators say that they didn't think it realistic for the Gothic language to take hold in the region I had settled them - I took their opinion to heart, but also provided my reasoning and stated which way I was going.

If I may offer some advice - don't take constructive criticism personally. We're a pretty close knit group and most people want to see writers succeed. That doesn't mean you have to agree with those comments and you can make your own counter argument. But, in 90% of the cases, people mean well and are trying to help.

Now, all of that said:. God Save Poland!!!
 
I personally like the begining of this timeline and eagerly wait for more.
With the whole plausibility thing a lot of Otl event could easely seem implausible/borderline ASB by someone from another timeline.
 
India and Africa in the Aftermath of the War
India in the Aftermath of the 3 Years War was stuck in a state of perpetual arms race. The Marathas, fed up with the Mughal Sultan's Handling of the War with Britain, which was a mess, overthrew the Mughal Empire and insttuted their own Regime. While this caused some dissent, the Marathas were largely able to keep control over former Mughal Territories thanks to their military might and arms from the British East India Company. In a single year the Marathas had crushed all of the local rulers that sought to break away with the Exception of Sultan Haider Ali Khan of Mysore, who had received arms and training from the French. Meanwhile the Nizam of Hyderbad, France's Traditional Ally in India was also receiving Arms and Instructors from the French, and in 1761 in the face of Renewed Marathan Agression, stoked by their British Backers, Hyderbad and Mysore signed an alliance with each other with French Backing.

Meanwhile in the South, the Dutch were sitting in Ceylon pondering whether or not to get involved in this colonial dispute, or use the opportunity provided by the distraction to Seize Portuguese Goa and the Portuguese forts in Gujarat. The Portuguese certainly wouldn't be able to hold the Colonies in the face of a Dutch Assault, and Goa at least would net the Dutch East India Company a Tidy Profit. In the end, it was decided to wait and see whether things trended towards war or not.

Eventually the situation boiled over, but at a much lower temperature than expected, both the French and British Colonial Authorities being told plainly to not drag France and Britain into War so soon after the last one. The Indian War of 1762 was largely a Proxy War between the British Aligned Marathas and the French Backed Mysore-Hyderbad Alliance. The Maratha Empire had the advantage of Numbers, but the Alliance had better Leadership and a larger proportion of Modern Forces, not needing to equip so many former Mughal Conscripts. The War went entirely in the Alliance's Favor, with Mysorean Armies led by Haider Ali Khan pushing defeating several Maratha Armies to push all the way to within 50 Miles of Bombay. The Nizam's Forces did Less well, but still managed to Capture the Majority of Circars and Orissa before being Halted. Without the direct intervention of Europeans, it seemed the Alliance's Quality would win out against the Maratha's Quantity. A treaty was signed in Sptember 1762 that Saw the gains made by the French Backed States ratified.

To avenge their loss against the southerners, the Maratha Peshwa, Nanasaheb, Embarked on the Three Month War with Multan, Sindh, and Lahore, all of whom broke their alliances with the Marathas during the Indian War. Here, the Multanis, Jats, and Punjabis did not have a qualitative or quantitative advantage and soon all three were officially Subsumed into the Maratha Empire, leaving Oudh and Behar as the only free states in the North.

Meanwhile, in Africa the French, having had success in Senegal, were expanding their African Operations into the Gold Coast but ran into an unexpected Snag. They had expected the British to have a presence, but not the Dutch or Danes. The French set up a colony at Lome in Togoland and inquired with the Danes about purchasing their nearby colonies off the Gulf of Ghana, but the French, owing to financial pressures gave too low an offer. The Danes would keep their gold coast colonies. The Dutch were approached, but the French were told in no uncertain terms that the Dutch were not looking to sell their Gold Coast Ports, which provided a strategic waystation on the route to their East Indes Possessions, along with Ceylon. Thus, for now, the Gold Coast remained divided between French, Dutch, Danish, and British Concerns.
 
What about Austrian Netherlands ITTL? IOTL Austria agreed to exchange Southern Netherlands (which would be given to Philip of Parma) with Duchy of Parma (second Treaty of Versailles) but those plans were abandoned because quick victory over Prussia was not achieved as planned.
 
I'm having a hard time seeing Frederick Christian do any better than OTL Stanislaw August Poniatowski in this scenario. Actually, he might even do worse.

Stanislaw August was able to push through so many reforms in his reign because he had the Familia on his side, who were pro-reform. Frederick Christian is not only a Wettin, which by then had become almost universally despised through the Commonwealth due to their indifference towards the problems of the state, but he also has no internal faction supporting him. The Familia are against him, the soon-to-be Radom Confederation will be against him, and the only major ally he has in this scenario is Austria, who I doubt would want the Republic of Both Nations to grow any stronger.
 
I'm having a hard time seeing Frederick Christian do any better than OTL Stanislaw August Poniatowski in this scenario. Actually, he might even do worse.

Stanislaw August was able to push through so many reforms in his reign because he had the Familia on his side, who were pro-reform. Frederick Christian is not only a Wettin, which by then had become almost universally despised through the Commonwealth due to their indifference towards the problems of the state, but he also has no internal faction supporting him. The Familia are against him, the soon-to-be Radom Confederation will be against him, and the only major ally he has in this scenario is Austria, who I doubt would want the Republic of Both Nations to grow any stronger.
What Austria definely wants to avoid is Russia going stronger, also Saxony (which is not devasted by Seven Yers War ITTL) will have more to say in PLC. Wettin is compromise candidate because he would maintain status quo. PLC would remain Russo-Austro-Saxon condominium like its used to be. Everyone except Prussia (which is out of the game) accepted it.
And Wettin, residing mostly in Dresden is less likely to piss off everyone around like Poniatowski did, altough Familia will be problematic.
About reforms-even Russians pushed for limited reforms because PLC became to difficutl to control with growing anarchy. And limited reforms is all what is needed. Radical reforms of Poniatowski led to cathastrophe.
What is most important-during Saxon times Poland ecperienced decades of peace, after devasting wars PLC recovered economocaly and demographicaly. Just continue this trend, its enough in short run.
 
Wettin is compromise candidate because he would maintain status quo. PLC would remain Russo-Austro-Saxon condominium like its used to be. Everyone except Prussia (which is out of the game) accepted it. And Wettin, residing mostly in Dresden is less likely to piss off everyone around like Poniatowski did, altough Familia will be problematic.
Except that the opening post clearly tells us that Frederick Christian is a reform-minded king who puts the interests of the Commonwealth first, and is required to reside in Warsaw rather than in his home Saxony, so both of these points have already gotten thrown out the window.

About reforms-even Russians pushed for limited reforms because PLC became to difficutl to control with growing anarchy. And limited reforms is all what is needed. Radical reforms of Poniatowski led to cathastrophe.
Again, Frederick Christian over here is already planning to abolish Liberum Veto and most likely also cancel the resolutions of the Silent Sejm of 1717, so he's definitely going to be much more radical than the Czartoryski-Poniatowski reforms of 1764-1766 that sparked both the Bar Confederation and the Repnin Sejm, and eventually the First Partition. Not that, in my opinion, mild reforms were even going to save the Commonwealth in the long run.

What is most important-during Saxon times Poland ecperienced decades of peace, after devasting wars PLC recovered economocaly and demographicaly. Just continue this trend, its enough in short run.
This would be reasonable if the situation of the reign of Augustus III was the same as in the end of the 18th century, which it is not. During the Saxon era, the reform-minded opposition was still weak and unable to affect the situation, but by the time of the 1763 election and after it, the Enlightenment had caught up to Poland-Lithuania, and there was no longer the unilateral support for keeping the old ways, the whole "the country survives through chaos" shtick that marked Augustus III's reign was not going to fly.

And I wouldn't say that the Saxon era was peaceful or good to the Commonwealth. Augustus II's reign possibly had the most conflict throughout the history of the nation, and Augustus III's reign started with a five year long civil war, not to mention that the nation's disarmament thanks to the Silent Sejm meant that the King was incapable to put a stop to noble conflicts and nobility wars, not to mention the numerous confederations forming, and foreign armies could freely march through and pillage PLC territory without any opposition. Sure, the country was recovering more or less, but it's not a preferable state to be in.
 
Like - will watch and accept some handwavium used to form a story...

I was dragged here because of the old Dizaster at Leuthen TL, same POD - lets look how it goes...
 
Unlike Poniatowski, Wettin has also Saxony to care about, which, as hereditary land would be more important to him, PLC is just addition, he will not be desperate about reforming it. And his main problem, at least initialy would be Familia, whose candidate just missed chance to get crown. PLC is like OTL Spain-is weak, but could not be partitioned by neighbrous without provoking major European war-when Prussia is reduced to rump state Russian attemps to annex Poland would cause alert even in London-Russian sphere of influence is to close to the hearth of Germany.
If Familia attemps to depose Christian Frederick there could be civil war in late 1760s. If Russia decides to back Familia status quo is broken. Then either Austria agrees that Christian Frederic is too problematic and could be replaced by other candidate or there is another war-Austria, Saxony and Ottomans vs Russia.
 
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Unlike Poniatowski, Wettin has also Saxony to care about, which, as hereditary land would be more important to him, PLC is just addition, he will not be desperate about reforming it. And his main problem, at least initialy would be Familia, whose candidate just missed chance to get crown. PLC is like OTL Spain-is weak, but could not be partitioned by neighbrous without provoking major European war-when Prussia is reduced to rump state Russian attemps to annex Poland would cause alert even in London-Russian sphere of influence is to close to the hearth of Germany.
I'm just going by what is presented in the post and comparing it to the OTL equivalent.

Russia wouldn't try to annex the Republic, imo. Even they know it's beyond their strength. Most likely they'd occupy the Belorussian and Ukrainian territory and leave the rest as a rump state, dominated by either them or Austria.
 
All PLC needs to do is survive, even in rump state until Revolutionary Wars, if they are not butterflied away. With fall of Prussia Britain lost her sword on continent, so new one must be forged. IOTL even during Congress of Vienna 1772 lands of PLC were considered rightfully Polish, but there was new balance of power estabilished and with strong Prussia there was no place for PLC in balance system. ATL Britain would look at PLC and Saxony as counterbalance to Russia.
And like Prussia (which also survived only as rump state until Congress resurected it) was upgraded to power status again to keep eye on Russia and France, the same could be done with PLC.
 
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