So chapter 20 is gonna be another cultural development one, (probably every 5 chapters, so ch 25/30/35, etc) so let me know some ideas for that, okay?
So chapter 20 is gonna be another cultural development one, (probably every 5 chapters, so ch 25/30/35, etc) so let me know some ideas for that, okay?
How about scientific and philosophical advancements as well , would be interesting to see what's this alternate world can offer.
How about scientific and philosophical advancements as well , would be interesting to see what's this alternate world can offer.
I can maybe do something with philosophy, but right now I can definitely say tech is on par with otl 1650s. Because I have no idea what to do with scientific history
World Map 1650s
World Map 1650s.png

The current world map is finished. Let me know what you guys think (and if I missed anywhere that would fit the definition- neither I nor Vixen could think of any but we're only 2 people)
Part The Nineteenth
In fall 1653, Governor Philippe D’Messipi of Caroline was in a very difficult position. He was the Duke of Messipi, based around the city of New Paris, which meant that he had to deal with the native frontier, as well as the trade and the Gulf of Campechia. However, as Governor of Caroline, he also had to deal with the entire colony, as well as other nobility. This posed a problem, due to how the Governorship of Caroline worked; the Governor was nominally the King’s perpetual regent in the colonies and had such powers. However, due to being appointed from the Dukes of the Colony, they often struggled to establish superiority over their fellow Lords. Not helping matters were the disjointed interests of the colonies- while all of them were host to many slave plantations of cash crops, this was only the core element to some of their economies. Moindre Caroline, centered almost entirely around Fort Nantes and the ports in its immediate vicinity, actually made a lot of its money hosting the Navires and its sailors, as well as trade; D’Messipi’s home Duchy of Messipi was in a similar position, holding the biggest ports in the Gulf of Campechia, and the Messipi River, that seemed to take up the entire continent, and had trade from Danes and native settlements making its way downstream. In fact, Apalachee, the southeastern peninsula, made more money off the slave trade, than actual cash-crops, due to its inhospitable environment, but it was in a relatively good position to import slaves from either Africa or Mondo Gallico and sell them to other Duchies. However, Grande Caroline, as well as most other Duchies in the Governorship, were reliant upon slavery, as opposed to it simply being a useful component of their economies.

Colony Map #7.png

The French Empire of the Americas, with the Duchies used to administer the realms

Economic differences translated into political tensions. While the Governor struggled to rule the entire colony, he alone had the authority to request settlers and direct where they go. Messipi, on the western frontier, wanted to expand further north and into the west in order to secure new trade with native tribes and deal with raids from less hospitable locals. But when Governor Phillippe sent word to Louis XIV to focus settlement on Messipi, other nobles were rather irate about it, especially Apalachee’s Duke Jean Gascogne. Gascogne argued that his Duchy needed settlement and investment more than the borderlands of a relatively new part of the colony, to which d’Messipi argued his subjects, estate, and economy were too at risk of native raids for expansion to not be a priority of his rule as Duke and Governor. Other frontier Dukes such as Leon Amiral of Terrenord, or Alexander Auger of Desbatisseurs agreed with the Governor but privately petitioned him that in the next few years to send settlers to them. His refusal to promise this, saying such matters would depend on his success with his expansion, alienated key potential allies.

While the Dukes of Caroline were agitating for more European settlers, the population issue was not as severe as they claimed. The esclavage en brique that was used to develop infrastructure in the colony enabled a fairly high standard of living for the time for free citizens in major towns or near enough to large plantations, as less were required for hard labor; in turn this translated into relatively high birth rates. In this time period, the vast, vast majority of people lived off subsistence farming and selling their little excess in small markets, but even many of these towns were within two weeks' travel of the larger cities, meaning they were selling to a reasonably large market. Another important aspect of colonial society was the natives- while the colonial Lords were aggressive in their want of expansion, they were also generally willing to uphold France’s mandates of tolerance in these regards. In earlier periods, native convertit were viewed with distrust, many of the colonial elites began pushing that the natives were just as important to the colony as the white people; there were many reasons for this, from genuine respect of native rights and cultures (most common in the Duchies with high amounts of native population), or a want to Christianize them from the church, however, the most common one, backed by several journals or messages between lords and planters alike, was because if the natives that had been brought into the colony were treated poorly they could leave- which would give the slaves ideas. Worse still, many feared that if the natives were abused, they would encourage and aid in a slave revolt.

Regardless, the power struggle brewed as d’Messipi tried to exert influence. He made strongman measures to raise taxes on the slave trade and used his power of Governor to commandeer slaves and develop Messipi. Despite issues with many other nobility, he did have some major allies- his daughter was betrothed to the heir to Moindre Caroline, and the Duke of Entre Rives had generally been loyal to the Governor- Philippe personally believed the young man was attempting to win the Governorship when he died, something the Governor found intriguing. Eventually, militias from Desbatisseurs did mount an invasion, sparking the Governoral War. Duke Alexander’s stated goals were to end the absolutism employed by D’Messipi and establish a system similar to the British House of Lords, something most colonies could get behind, though Entre Rives and Moindre Caroline did back the Governor. Shortly after news of the invasion, Governor d’Messipi fled Fort Nantes back to New Paris in order to better coordinate the defenses.

Due to the colonial militias being involved, battles were very hit or miss. When one side won, rarely was the victory repeated. Due to this situation, it was clear that whoever got the backing of France Proper would win, and both governments attempted it. Louis XIV rather overtly favored the New Paris government and sent a bit over two thousand men to crush the rebellion. When these troops landed, D’Messipi was notified that after their victory, the troops would be housed in New Paris and Fort Nantes in order to put down further uprisings and maintain order in the aftermath- Philippe grumbled but knew full well he had no choice.


A French officer sent with his army to help with the Governoral War

It was well the Governor didn’t challenge the soldiers, as they made short order of the rebellious nobility, reliant on militias compared to professional French soldiers. The capital of Desbatisseurs, San Jean, was captured with little real effort. The rebellious nobility surrendered in short order; they knew their fate was a prison at best, but if they surrendered, their children might be allowed to keep their positions. Unfortunately for the Lords, not only were they hung, but their titles were revoked from their children and distributed to d’Messipi’s loyalist group. Using this position of having crushed a major revolt, the Governor was able to establish his superiority over the other Nobles and the King’s superiority over himself, enabling taxes and internal policies to be made easier.

The civil war and the French aid in restoring order to the colonies endeared the overlord to the subject. While Louis XIV was generally more concerned with the idea that the rebellious government would attempt to seek independence, this was not obvious to the peasantry and was ignored by the elite. The way these people saw it, it was the French caring enough for their subjects to quell a dangerous power grab that would seek to embolden abuses already endured by the lower classes. Of course, there was risk of such feelings turning into one of resentment, but this was evaded as the soldiers had some barracks built to house them as opposed to quartering with colonists. The soldiers were in Caroline a little less than a year before being returned to France and their families.

Across the Atlantic, France was once again looking for a proper foothold in Africa. This was not a simple landgrab to secure slaves or for glory; as it was the ability for France to quickly reach India and China was reliant upon using the river networks that made up Ottoman Mesopotamia- war with the Turks was subsequently not an option. There was a rising French merchant community that had approached the King about buying part of Mesopotamia, something that Louis XIV had laughed out of his room before it was even on his desk. But it did give him ideas. The Kingdom of Oman had terrible relations with Portugal- they’d fought more than a few wars against each other. But the French merchants were rarely involved in Arabia, and diplomacy was more cordial. So the King of France sent orders to one of the wealthier French merchants living in Arabia to recruit settlers, free and not, and settle on the mouth of the Red Sea in southern Arabia beyond where the Omani controlled. This way, Oman could not be too irate with the French, and the French still gained a point of control they could use to reach India even if relations with the Ottomans broke down. While it would not be perfect, and the King still needed to find a proper part of Africa, it was a start.

Ville Rouge, named for the Red Sea, was actually supported by the Ottomans just as much as the French. Selim II was a bit of a francophile, and was certainly a close ally of the French (another reason that Louis XIV found the prospect of war with the Turks unpleasant- it cut off India in a way that might be permanent if the war was a loss, it would be greatly expensive, and it would alienate a key ally). More important than his relationship with France in the matter, however, was his relation with Portugal- it was frankly horrible, and if France was in a good position in the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean, they would be able to help Turkey deal with their shared problems. The Sultan sent many criminals- focusing on catholic Christians, though the demographics of the Empire did mean there were a lot of Sunni Muslims sent- to help establish the city. When Louis XIV heard of this, he sent a message personally thanking the Sultan and giving him a golden bust of Selim. The colony grew relatively quickly due to this Turkish support, and the governor commissioned a statue of both Louis XIV and Selim II. The colony was still small, mostly being a walled-off port with some farmland nearby, but France was rather proud of it, seeing it as a symbol of the Franco-Ottoman alliance.
Another point of interest was Guinea. The west coast of Africa was rich, and France had many small ports, but they were just that- small. France, like most colonial powers, was not able to exert power into inland Africa- the only one who had had any major success was Portugal; even the Dutch were confined to the few miles surrounding their forts, and they could not exactly build forts every five miles if they wanted to run a profit or have any real quality to the fortification. King Louis was not so ambitious as to attempt to replicate Portuguese success with their colonies in Africa, but he did want to establish a French city in the continent that could be used to make the travel to Ville Rouge easier and thus shorten the trip to India.

In 1655, King Louis ordered the Arrêt Américain, a cessation of colonists going to Caroline. Instead, the settlements in Africa and Arabia would take precedent. This enabled him to further build out the ports in French West Africa and expand them. While the King had looked toward the Senegal river for a potential settlement, this was eventually discarded; while it would be useful for the slave trade, it would also do very little to actually shorted the way to India as was the goal. Instead, Louis XIV ordered the construction of a city in the eastern part of the Gulf of Guinea. The planned settlement was called Ville Médiane in the planning stages, but it was not long at all until the formalities were dropped and it was simply known as Médiane. The settlers of Médiane were from all over France, though the majority were Normans and Flemish convicts or heretics.

Médiane, however, took many years for any form of self-sufficiency. The natives were hostile to these foreigners- this part of Africa did not have many large scale settlements and thus conflicts toward each other based on way of life were inevitable. Not helping matters were the fact that Portugal had come to the area before France, and by now much of the slave trade had devolved into mass kidnapping. The few white people the natives had seen had taken their people, and now another group wanted to settle? One could hardly blame them for their worry. However, perhaps an even bigger issue than the natives- who could be bought off or killed if worse came to worst, was disease. The biggest reason that Europeans were unable to break into the heart of Africa was the prevalence of illness. Throughout Médiane’s first ten years, only twenty percent of deaths were due to native raids, while a staggering sixty percent were from diseases- the final twenty being more varied. Malaria, or Roman Fever, was easily the worst of these plights, though cholera certainly claimed an impressive share.

However, these facts did not stop Louis XIV. He wanted Médiane to succeed desperately and would do anything to get it. One of the first things he did was open the settlement to Tolouisian and Bretton settlement, though the majority still came from further north in France. While this would help, it did not quite stabilize the population. However, the colony was in a good position to be augmented by something else. In June of 1656, the King ordered that the next shipments of settlers get slaves from anyone willing to sell them, and use them to help with the development and population of Médiane. However, in order to not have these slaves run away from the colony, the colony was given orders to free them in five years. Unlike in Caroline when slaves were first imported, soldiers were based in Médiane and were given express orders to enforce the emancipation if the colony resisted.

King Louis was not doing this out of a distaste for slavery, more out of pragmatics. Due to the fact the town was being built nearly from scratch, the slaves would not be in too bad of conditions compared even to the freemen, which could help build some community with the colonists. Worth noting is that unlike the slaves in Caroline or the sugar colonies, slaves in Africa would be surrounded not by broken men and women who shared their pain, but by energetic pseudo nomads who looked like them- the King was worried these facts would see them run away in greater numbers, wasting money and providing another reason to try and create a community with the settlers.

While King Louis XIV did not act out of sympathy for the slaves, nor particularly care for his free black subjects, this action did have ripple effects. For the first time in the rise of the French Colonial Empire, people began to question the morality of slavery. To many, it seemed odd for the King to try and regulate slavery if it was a natural thing. While actual abolitionism was still on the fringes of the fringe in regards to philosophy or political thought, sympathy for the slaves was higher in the metropole than it had been in the past. While this did not reach the New World for a long time, when it did, the nobility and the planter class were concerned. This could phase out and leave the public conscious, of course, but it could linger still. And if these thoughts lingered and matured, that could become very dangerous to their wealth. Ultimately, however, they chose to do nothing- they were an ocean away, most of the ones in power were loyal to France and d’Messipi, and even if the slave trade was regulated, they still had their institutions. Naturally, they kept their concerns about such thing hidden best they could from their slaves.

In the Holy Roman Empire, the absorption of Brandenburg-Prussia into the kingdom of Denmark-Norway worried the central German states. Elector John George I of Saxony was an old man by now, aged seventy-six. But he knew that his choices were either to make his Saxon Electorate a major power within the Holy Roman Empire and Europe or to be at the mercy of Denmark-Norway; if he was lucky, it would be the Austrians who got involved, not the Danes. His son and heir, also named John George, was also aware of this, but he was more interested in artistic and cultural developments. However, Saxony was rich in silver and furs alike, as well as being an Electorate; these facts meant that she was a primary target. He hired French and Dano-Norwegian generals to help him professionalize and modernize his army and tactics. With these things, the Elector made his son promise to reclaim authority and power for House Wettin.


The Saxon Flag

In late 1656, John George II rose to power. Before even being crowned, he invaded the Landgraviate of Thuringia. The Landgraviate had been established to appease the second son of Frederick II, overriding the primogeniture succession. John George II argued this disregard for the law of succession made the treaty illegitimate and that the entire Erstine line was wholly illegitimate and their holdings were rightfully his. Over the next several years, the Uncrowned Duke led his armies to victories all throughout central Germany. By 1662, the Erstine Duchies were all ruled by John George, who only then took the Crown. To cement his argument that the Erstine dynasty and thus their duchies, carved out for sons as they were, he only took the title of Elector of Saxony. There had been mounting resistance to his conquests from other German states, but he received aid from the Dutch Lowlands, who were eager for another power in North Germany; the way William I figured, the rise of Saxony right on Brandenburg’s border would weaken the ability of Denmark-Norway to make war with their German possessions. It is worth noting that while Frederick William and Queen Isabella were still alive, almost everyone regarded Brandenburg-Prussia as part of Denmark by default.


Opernhaus am Taschenberg- the Opera House at Taschenburg

John George II’s coronation was lavish and prestigious. Many high ranking lords, such as Queen Isabella of Denmark-Norway and Emperor Maximillian II were invited, even King Louis XIV was in attendance. He used the wealth of his conquests to commission a large church with a nearby opera house- the first of its kind in Saxony. Several operas were written in the final months before the opera house was opened that glorified the Duke and his valor in conquests, from his respect to the towns he conquered to his investments to rebuild them. Emperor Maximilian II had originally been quite contemptuous about the Elector’s rise to power, but the cultured air that the Saxon put on and his assurances that his wars would stop now that the illegitimate dynasty of the Erstines was deposed and the proper primogeniture had been restored had both warmed the Hapsburg to him.
So I noticed this chapter didn't quite get the reaction the other new chapters have gotten. If I may, did you guys not enjoy this one? If not, what was the issue? I'm down to revise it if needbe
I personally thought it was alright, nothing special but the part of the rebellion in the French colonies was interesting and the shifting in the HRE was nice too, personally though I was expecting the French to make a colony in South Africa not only is it a more strategic location but also has "healthier airs" (IE better climate for europeans and their kind of livestock), I don't know if the Dutch are there but seeing as nobody is using it the king of France could use this finer area rather than somewhere in Guinea, just a suggestion though. Liked the chapter and eagerly await for the next one!
I personally thought it was alright, nothing special but the part of the rebellion in the French colonies was interesting and the shifting in the HRE was nice too, personally though I was expecting the French to make a colony in South Africa not only is it a more strategic location but also has "healthier airs" (IE better climate for europeans and their kind of livestock), I don't know if the Dutch are there but seeing as nobody is using it the king of France could use this finer area rather than somewhere in Guinea, just a suggestion though. Liked the chapter and eagerly await for the next one!
My rationale for Guinea is actually to get into SA more easily. While they could definitely reach it, the Cape would be far out of the way of their current empire, and the King wants a secure path.

And while I didnt get the chance to specify where it is, the french are actually in Limbe, Cameroon. Once the colony is more established, they'll probably go for the Cape.
My rationale for Guinea is actually to get into SA more easily. While they could definitely reach it, the Cape would be far out of the way of their current empire, and the King wants a secure path.

And while I didnt get the chance to specify where it is, the french are actually in Limbe, Cameroon. Once the colony is more established, they'll probably go for the Cape.
Interesting, this will definitely give them a bigger say in African matters and considering the rich of the land there(even if for the moment it will serve as a station for India) expect the French to get some very very valuable stones soon, also how are the Incas? A update on eastern Europe would be interesting as well.
Finally I caught up!
Really interesting chronology, I can't wait to know the rest.
As for some names in French I find them a little "bizarre". For example "D'Messipi" would sound better in "De Messipi", the adjective "De" marking the belonging to the nobility in France (in the same way as "Von" in Germany"). "D' " is only used in front of vowels.
Very interested in Saxony and Denmark-Brandenburg. Moreover the Dukes of Prussia will not seek to be recognized as King of Prussia since they are King of Denmark now?
Are you still interested in me trying to make a Worlda map of your chronology?


As a Frenchman this acronym made me laugh a lot! 😂
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Finally I caught up!
Really interesting chronology, I can't wait to know the rest.
As for some names in French I find them a little "bizarre". For example "D'Messipi" would sound better in "De Messipi", the adjective "De" marking the belonging to the nobility in France (in the same way as "Von" in Germany"). "D' " is only used in front of vowels.
Very interested in Saxony and Denmark-Brandenburg. Moreover the Dukes of Prussia will not seek to be recognized as King of Prussia since they are King of Denmark now?
Are you still interested in me trying to make a Worlda map of your chronology?

View attachment 584914
As a Frenchman this acronym made me laugh a lot! 😂
Ah, my bad. I don't know much about French- can you DM me some of the more egregious examples and some alternatives? And yeah, Prussia is pretty much butterflied.

And I'd still be very interested in a map, thank you. Just about anything will look better than a MS paint thing
Just letting you guys know, i haven't given up on the timeline, it's just that chapter 20 has been really difficult to write, and I started college a couple of weeks ago. The chapter's on philosophies, and there's something of an early nationalism ttl since one of the leading questions is "what is a Frenchmen?"

Also, I have a general plan for Germany that I like, and i'm willing to guess most of you have an idea of what it is (hell i might've actually mentioned it in prior messages), but I haven't been able to think of a plan I like for Italy long term. Milan's almost certainly relatively frenchified, same with a lot of savoy by now. meaning there's not exactly a lot of room for nationalism to take root In the north like otl. So if you can think of an idea, please don't be afraid to DM me about it. specifically DM since if I do go with it I don't want too many spoilers
Ohhh I'm looking forward for these chapters, your take on early nationalism especially on France will be VERY interesting to see, since the French are already with some parts of Italy is most likely the rest of the peninsula will get very cozy with a powerful neighbor (Aragon or Austria come to mind) because in their mind France with a foothold on the peninsula is bad enough and with them having absorbed Milan and Savoy they feel it's only a matter of time before the franks come for them, I will certainly be paying close attention to whatever is gonna happen in germany it is bound to be important..
Part The Twentieth
With her implementation of absolute rule, Queen Isabella was in a good position to continue her legislative reforms. One of the biggest issues of Denmark-Norway was that it was rather decentralized, despite its absolutism, with the two kingdoms having separate coinage, distinct laws, and their armies weren’t quite united. Queen Isabella sought to change that. Beginning in 1656, she worked to unite the two legislatures into one Kingdom of the North Sea, similar to the Kingdom of Britain. However, Isabella was not interested in provoking a civil war, and worked to make compromises with her peerage. It was agreed that Norwegian coin would be used, with the Danish to be fazed out over the decade, and that Isabella’s second son would be the one to inherit the territory of Prussia, as well as Scania (however, Prince Henry would retain the Electorate of Brandenburg.) By December of 1656, the Northern Compromises were complete; Denmark and Norway were no more, only the Kingdom of the Northmen.


Norwegian coinage from the period, a variant of which is still used today

Isabella’s husband, Elector Frederick William of Brandenburg-Prussia, had complex feelings about the whole affair. While he was annoyed he had to divide his realm to unite the two crowns, he recognized the long term benefits. Centralizing the states meant they were harder to sever- as it was before Norway could technically have been inherited away from Denmark, opening her northern flank. Now, however, that was no longer the case. Regardless, he turned his attention to his younger son, Frederick. The boy was to be duke of Prussia, and was second in line for the Kingdom of the North Sea. He would need to know how to rule in his own right. Frederick would receive the best training and education possible, with a focus on the martial. On his father’s grave, the boy would be a Prussian.

This is not to say that Prince Henry was neglected, far from it. However, his education was handled by his mother more than the Elector. Henry was taught by philosophers and lawyers more than he was his generals, as Isabella wanted him to be a cultured, prestigious king. He received a grand naval education, however. The admiralty was perhaps the most important part of the Northern military, more than the army. While Henry would need to know how to lead his Kingdom in his own way, on his mother’s tomb, he would be a Northman.

DN Alt Flag.png

The flag of the Nordic Kingdom. Red and white indicating Denmark and Norway, with the cross's border coming from Norway
The yellow was chosen to represent God

One of the greatest questions, and thusly one that dominated Prince Henry’s schooling as he grew older in this time period was ‘how to define a nation.’ While many, more conservative schools of thought argued it was the government and the language that defined a nation (the Venetian Republic was Venetian because of their republic and their dialect of Italian, the Kingdom of Britain being British because of their King and Parliament creating a uniquely British government and identity tied to their language), this was fiercely debated. After all, Roman identity hadn’t been dramatically altered when Augustus was crowned Imperator and the Republic was dissolved. Other scholars argued it was a matter of history and the culture surrounding that- that it was a shared history of conflict with the English and lately the Holy Roman Empire that made French people French, and that even then the descent from the Frankish tribes (even in the territories that now made up the French Lowlands) were the factor that really made them French. Even Lombardy, it was argued, had a history inseparable from France due to the Holy Roman Empire and Lotharingia.

An extension of this thought process was taking hold in Italy. Due to a combination of fears of the French, a surge in Romanesque art and writing as part of the last vestiges of the renaissance, as well as the National Question, there was a thought of having the Italian states unite under one Kingdom… with Hispayna Y Secila. This idea was called Romancism, and while perhaps unusual, it did have some historical basis. Currently, the Italian states and Hispayna were the oldest parts of the former Roman Empire still under Christian rule- while the Italians were Catholic and Hispayna was officially Protestant, the Iberian state had made no real attempts to convert their other Italian possessions. The notion of Hispanic-Italian unity was likewise popular in Hispayna; it would bring them wealth and power, and give them greater ability to spread power in the Mediterranean.

In fact, the notion was so popular, delegates of King Henry III approached the Neapolitan King, Enrico II with a proposition- Henry’s son Peter would marry the daughter of Enrico, Mary, and the pair would rule the joined Kingdoms together. This in of itself was not unusual, save for the fact that Enrico had a son already. To this end, Henry offered to grant Enrico’s son (also named Enrico) the islands of Sardinia and Sicily proper to rule in his own right. This was… unique. Enrico protested fiercely, saying that he would never deprive his son of his rightful domain. It seemed negotiations were about to break down, but at some point word of it leaked outside the court. When the merchants heard, there was great celebration at the notion of unity, as the joint kingdom would grant them far stronger markets than they could access from the rump state in southern Italy. These celebrations were not long to last, however, and when they found out that the King was not interested in his dynasty losing power, they turned riotous. Unfortunately for Enrico II, Naples had been less than successful in establishing a standing army, and so struggled to put down the peasants and merchants. When King Henry III heard of these riots in his own court, he reportedly was incredibly pleased; he then sent a minor force to ‘restore order.’

By February of 1657, Mary had been crowned Queen of Naples and betrothed to Prince Peter, both at age 12. There was uproar across Europe, but unfortunately, the rebellion had killed Prince Enrico, and the Trastamara line had long struggled to produce male heirs in Naples, depriving the powers an excuse to invade. There was however, one major power that supported Mary of Naples- Britain. Queen Jane felt that Hispayna would be a tremendously useful ally for Britain. The Basque-Spanish state had no desire for overseas colonies compared to other European powers, seeing it as incredibly expensive for little confirmed gains; in addition, they had serious tensions with France due to the Aragonese roots of Hispayna.

Across the seas, there were debates in the colonial elites. Most of this stemmed from the same debates of nationality that had led to the overthrow of Enrico II. After all, almost all the major colonies- French, English, Portuese, and the Nordic Hudson Bay- had over a century of divergent history, and even those who travelled between the two had noticed the differences in speaking between the colonies and the mother country. Were they still the same nation, then, as their old homeland? They certainly wouldn't recognize it as such. But if they weren’t, then what were they? But at the same time, France took a very active role in the government of their Gulf Coast Empire, and their putting down the rebellions with ease in 1653 and 54 made thoughts of revolt unpopular.

The debates were fiercest in Brazil. Portugal’s benign neglect of their largest colony meant the issue of identity was more pronounced, due to feeling like they were second fiddle to African land such as Angola or Mozambique, or even Portuguese India. The notion they were little more than a lumber exporter was rather common, even if they did not advocate something such as independence. These feelings also existed in British North America, colloquially known as the 15 Colonies, but the presence of France to the south and the Kingdom of Northmen to the west meant that there were credible threats to the colony, making them more loyal to London. Gihonia was one of the only new world colonies not suffering through this crisis of identity; due to being surrounded on nearly all sides, and more profitable than the 15 Colonies, Britain was more active in patrolling and protecting this colony. The only other colony lacking notable issues was the Nordic Southern Cone, and that was mostly due to how recently they were established, causing them to feel more attachment to the mother country.


Were they really Portuguese?

The Ottoman Empire entered a state of mourning in 1661 with the death of Selim II, who had died on a pilgrimage to Mecca. The Sultan had stalled in doing this until old age due to his reforms and wars on either side of his empire, and so when he contracted an illness he was not able to survive. Regarded as a wise and model sultan, his death saddened many rivals- even in Paris he was missed, and a few cardinals sent their regards to the family. But politics never stop, and the new Sultan needed to emerge quickly. Unfortunately, Selim had made one crucial mistake in his rule- not his alienation of the military decades prior, but that he took many of his sons with him, using it as a way to teach them to rule away from Constantinople, and as an excuse to bond with his sons. Including Selim’s favorite, his second son Bayezid.

Bayezid was a major force in Selim’s modernized navy, being Grand Admiral in the Black Sea fleet. He was known to be one of the more brutal commanders, expecting nothing short of perfection- at the same time however, whenever he punished his men, he would join them, feeling he had failed them as they had failed the Empire. This made him very popular with the foot soldiers and most of the navy. However, this meant that he already had a few rivals, and one of them was the Grand Admiral of the Red Sea, Ibrahim Azim. Grand Admiral Azim backed another candidate to the Ottoman throne, the elder son and the would-be Mustafa II. Now, Mustafa was a competent young man when left to himself, but he lacked the abrasive personality that made Bayezid popular in the capital and with his army.

As a result of Azim’s aid, Mustafa made it back to Constantinople first, but Bayezid was not far behind. The fragmentation between the two prince’s claims led to the coronation to be difficult. While Mustafa was older, Selim had been very clear that if Bayezid lived, he was to be crowned. And so when Bayezid did reach the capital, there was mass unrest. The people of the city wanted Bayezid, but the governor of Rumelia wanted to raise Mustafa the throne.

Part of the tension was due to the results of Selim’s reforms. While he had professionalized the army and navy, his efforts to minimize the militarist faction had emboldened the nobility, whose influence had declined under prior sultans. As a result, the governors of Rumelia, Mesopotamia and Egypt were backing Mustafa, as they wanted to strengthen their privileges, but the vast majority of the soldiers declared loyalty to Bayezid. The Ottoman Civil War had begun.

… And lasted only a few months, as the few soldiers the rebellious governors were able to rally to their cause were peasants or some of the last janissaries. Not only were Bayezid’s forces more numerous, but they were of far higher quality. Bayezid’s coronation was finished under the light of a new moon, something he would personally use as a symbol of his rule, illustrating his personal glory. As a result of the war, nearly all remaining privileges of the aristocracy were stripped away and all power was officially made the Sultan’s, with any influence held being the gift of Bayezid III.

One of the first things Bayezid did after his victory was invade the Caucus mountains, citing mistreatment of the Muslim population as well as raids. The validity of this claim is debated, but the real reasons were more likely to be to protect the Ottoman flank and to oust the Persians from the region. The caucuses were, in this time, a network of Safavid client states that had been a subject of many wars between the two major powers. But Bayezid was confident in his ability to secure a victory due to his father’s modernization and his own experience as a commander. While the Persian suzerains did come to the aid of their client states, the Turks were almost always the victors- while the Safavids were aware of Selim’s reforms, they had not been able to replicate them, causing them to falter against the Ottoman forces. By 1665, the Caucus War had been decidedly won by Bayezid III, who personally united the Caucus region under one government that he took for himself, not trusting the aristocracy.

Further east, the British were making gains in China. The British Cathay Company had been separated from the East India Company that ran affairs of the subcontinent and the Luzon archipelago by Queen Jane in 1660, and they had a state-mandated monopoly protecting all trade from China to Britain. In the last five years they had been able to secure trade cities like Portugal’s Pearl River Territory, but further north. Most of these were in the north and center parts of the country, as the Qing were more accommodating to Britain than other claimants to the mandate, seeing them as a useful ally against the French who had drawn the Qing’s ire. As one shareholder, James Kent said, ‘The [Cathay] Company does not have friends, only prophet margins. And the Qing’s anger at France is very profitable.’ One of the largest cities now in the BCC now held for the Qing was the city of Tianjin, and this was the company’s headquarters. Like most other companies of the sort, the BCC had a private army and fleet, but they often found less use for it than other such companies. The company’s navy was much more important, enforcing a maritime order in the Yellow Sea.


The BCC was distinguished form the BEIC with the two yellow stripes,
chosen for the Yellow Sea

However, something would eventually present Britain and the BCC with a serious opportunity. Korea shut off all trade with the Qing, and the Qing’s allies. The BCC could not handle losing such a market, and soon their private army was waging a war of conquest in the southern half of the Korean peninsula- what was independent of the Qing. Despite the best efforts of the Korean Emperors, corruption still ran rampant and the army had not made any major improvements since the Qing had invaded, giving Britain a noticeable advantage in quality of troops- in many cases even a superior number as the infighting led to Korea not being able to levy its full force. In 1668, after three years of war, the British had taken Seoul and defeated almost the entire Korean army. The terms to end the war were harsh- Korea would become a vassal of the BCC, and lend much of its army and wealth to the British Cathay Company; in addition, Korea’s trade policy would be decided by the company. However, the Korean court had little choice but to agree- their army was defeated, their capital held hostage, and them along with it.

When news reached London, Queen Jane was unsure how to react. The BCC wasn’t meant to conquer large swathes of China, but at the same time, this could be incredibly profitable. She ultimately decided to remove the board of directors and create a new one to keep the Company more under control, however, corruption was not unique to Korea, and the letter was prevented from even leaving London- its existence only is known because of the men who destroyed it mentioning being angry at the Queen for interfering in these matters, as well as Queen Jane’s own words. In fact, the person who orchestrated the letter’s disappearance was a highly respected commander and member of parliament- 61-year-old Oliver Cromwell.

Cromwell was a leading member of the army, having been a modernizing figure after the defeats against France. But he was also greedy and terribly corrupt; he himself was in good standing with one of the Directors who would be set to lose his position, and if Cromwell kept the man afloat he was in a good position to acquire the position for his own son when the man died- the man had no pretensions about how long he was for the world. As it was he had to make sure Queen Jane did not realize the letter had been destroyed until he or his son was on the BCC Board of Directors, and prevent his own detection; a tough thing to accomplish for one who was not over 60 years old.

Unfortunately for Cromwell, Queen Jane had never trusted the man, and she was actively looking for a reason to arrest him. While Parliament had become more and more corrupt, and Cromwell was wealthy, he wasn’t liked, and other members of Parliament were seeking any chance to see him thrown from his position. However, Cromwell was a smart man,and hadn't written about the letter, denying anyone the ability to provide the Queen evidence. However, one of the servants in his house had overheard him explaining the situation to his wife, and this servant had contacted one of Cromwell’s peers in the House of Commons. This would prove Oliver’s undoing, as immediately he was sold out to the Queen and the Cromwell estate was seized.


Oliver Cromwell in one of his last portraits
before he stopped commissioning them

With Cromwell’s arrest, documents condemning nearly a third of Parliament emerged. When news of this and the subsequent arrests got out, the people were rightly angry- why did Queen Jane allow Parliament to become so corrupt? Why were the Members of Parliament so greedy? Around this time there was a surge in Protestant thought that linked the greed of the political institutions with the Church. Naturally, this wasn’t popular with said authorities who attempted to crack down on the matter, but that only exacerbated the protests, which would continue throughout the 1670s.

France was similarly having issues. As Louis XIV grew older, he left more power to his son, August. August was Louis’s third son, however, as the elder two had died of illness and a hunting accident (that had occurred while Augustus was in Lombardy and twelve, indicating he was not responsible.) This status as a junior prince meant that Augustus did not acquire much formal training in ruling and that he was struggling to learn to rule. Due to this, he was not quite able to hold the nobility as in line as his father had been. This came to a head when revolts broke out in Flanders and Lombardy- the former was angry that they were restricted from trading with the British, one of the biggest markets on the North Sea; the other was revolting due to increased attempts to frankify the region by the local government. Thankfully, the French forces were some of the most capable in Europe and the Dauphine was able to suppress the rebellion in Flanders with relative ease while his cousin handled the Italians, but when the lords heard of these revolts, they argued this was the reason absolutism didn’t work for France. If Louis XIV was as capable as he seemed, why would the peasants revolt? Clearly, devolution was needed, and local privileges restored.

When Louis XIV died in 1672, August I acquiesced to the nobility. He was relatively young and shaken somewhat by the revolts against his rule as regent as well as the death of his father. However, Augustus was not going to undo the centralization of his father, instead, he reformed the Estates-General. First and foremost, he responded to changes in French society by adding two more estates- the army and the burghers. The army estate, for Augustus’s purposes, was any non landed soldier or officer who had served for at least five years, while the burgher estate was for those who did not have any noble estates but did hold distinctive amounts of wealth- the head of a prominent merchant confederation or who owned a shipyard. Of course, the Estates-General was generally considered somewhat weak, barely more than an advisory board. To remedy this issue, and to take some of the burdens of command off of himself, King August I decided that national laws and wars would have to pass through three of the five estates- and that half of an estate approving the matter would count as the estate’s approval. However, the King maintained taxation authority, giving himself a distinct bargaining chip.

While there would be further democratization as time went on and people now question how much the Augustine reforms changed things for the commoner, it is important to remember several things about this. This was an absolute monarch not only giving up power to his nobility willingly, but giving distinct rights to those outside the noble class- up to this point and even after, even the richest commoner did not approach most nobility in the matter of wealth, and King August had little reason to actually do this.

In central Europe, Saxony was looking for allies. Elector John George, having united his Wettin inheritance, had little more interest in politics than was needed, but he knew both Vienna and Copenhagen would be more than willing to take his realm from him if it benefited them. Recognizing that if he held two electorates- or at least married closely into one. Prior marriage proposals had fallen through for various reasons, but in 1672, he married Maria Magdalena of the Palatinate, a daughter of the Wittelsbach electorate. Part of the deal was that if Austria took action against either of the two parties, their support would go to just about any other candidate.
This was hell. This is like my 3rd version of this chapter, and I ultimately had to scrap focusing on philosophy stuff if i ever wanted it to see the light of day. But I got it out eventually and I honestly think it's a decent chapter. I wanted it to be 4k to make up for how long this took but honestly I couldn't think of anything else to do with the chapter. I'm so sorry this took so long to get out.

But enough about that, let me know what you think of this chapter and what you want to see more of. I'm curious though- out of everyone I've had to make up for this timeline, who's been your favorite, or someone you think a fuller biography on might be interesting? I don't know if i can keep the cultural chapters as regularly as I would like but I do still want to shake stuff up every so often