The Extra Girl: For the first heaven and the first earth were passed away.

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Dr. Waterhouse, Apr 19, 2018.

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  1. B_Munro Member

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    Did this show involve puppets? :)
     
  2. Dr. Waterhouse A Mighty Fortress Is My TL

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    Oh, you're thinking Spitting Image. I was thinking something with actors, silly and over-the-top like The Young Ones, but done in skits. Not Monty Python, because this is more topical and direct, but definitely not the same tone as, say, Saturday Night Live.
     
  3. Nyvis Well-Known Member

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    The RCR get hit pretty badly, and its normal politics would have complicated finding a solution. That one judge getting elected makes sense because people would want a solution, but the level of fuckery needed to work through that system and do anything radical and new to the chamber is enormous. They get way too lucky and we miss a chance at exposing the limitations of a system full of appointees for life.
     
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  4. Kitiem3000 Donor

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    Was it really luck? It read as a sustained campaign to remove opposition. Both public (3 executed for financial crimes) and private (house fire and 7 car accidents).
     
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  5. Nyvis Well-Known Member

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    The fact they: 1- got the figure capable of leading that at the right time, and 2- managed to do said campaign without a massive amount of backlash before they could finish sounds like it would take quite a bit of luck.

    Luck is all over history, but it's usually less convenient than that.
     
  6. AmericaninBeijing Not Particularly Well-Known Member

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    It seems quite clear from context that Steeltoe arranged for the assassination of 8 opponents and judicial murder of three more. This isn't really luck; history is rife with things like this happening in political systems which trend towards stasis.

    The destruction of political norms such as the filibuster by American politicians in both parties is, in a way, a similar response to a system which makes it all but impossible to change when rapid change is required, albeit one that's vastly less ruthless.
     
  7. AmericaninBeijing Not Particularly Well-Known Member

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    We're getting more frequent hints that whatever it is that happens to Russia during the 20th century, it isn't good.

    This is the sort of thing one writes IOTL about North Korea, which is literally the only state on earth with sufficiently opaque policymaking for outsiders to not be clear on the broadest strokes of policy. Even China, Ethiopia, Cuba, and Eritrea are open enough to omit "it is believed" from discussions like this.
     
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  8. Unknown Member

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    Seven in car accidents?!? Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, so what does that make seven? IMO, it's obvious he had them all killed and made to look like accidents...
     
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  9. B_Munro Member

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    I think the "luck" here is in getting away with all these murders; Steeltoe lacks the institutional absolute power of a Stalin, and therefore is at rather greater risk for getting a very short haircut (say, negative twelve inches) himself once his opponents cotton to what is happening.
     
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  10. Threadmarks: Additional Discussion to the RCR Response to Returner's Curse

    Dr. Waterhouse A Mighty Fortress Is My TL

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    The question of the RCR's constitutional structure and how it responds to Returner's is really fascinating. And I think Nyvis's train of thought is different from mine, but at the same time not wrong. As the update suggests, the policy is just barely enacted, and in an atmosphere of profound crisis, at that. Now, here's the question, given the ideological character of the electorate of the RCR, would a more democratic system have done better? Especially if we think of this over a duration, as Steeltoe faces the equivalent of re-elections, by-elections, mid-terms, having to justify his decisions and facing a coordinated backlash to keep from getting kicked out. Instead, under the RCR system, he's free to implement what he thinks is best for the republic, and the backlash is limited to the ability of the electorate to elevate additional judges within the extreme demands of the system (remember, a majority of all voters gets you in the chamber). It's a bit of a Burkean fantasy whereby these legislators give the pure exercise of their judgment (when things work like they should). Of course, like Nyvis says, there's also a lot of people in this system who will have won election to the chamber decades before, making decisions on the basis of science they can't begin to understand in a world that has changed substantially. All these factors are at work.

    I think Unknown and B_Munro also have a point that I may make it too obvious what is happening for it to be believable, even within a political culture like the RCR's that is in some crucial ways more like the Roman Empire's than contemporary America's. I may need to make it more subtle. Also, clearly it's not just Steeltoe. The military is convinced it's fast-approaching a preparedness crisis, and the RCR has just pulled off a major victory that has left the former European colonial overlords intensely pissed off. So they're perceiving this internal danger, push Steeltoe forward to be the face of the necessary reforms, and begin doing what they think is necessary.
     
  11. Dr. Waterhouse A Mighty Fortress Is My TL

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    Precisely. Alt-twentieth century Russia is complicated. But these are the key analogies. Either these people are being treated according to a policy that does not correspond with what's in the law books, which can be cited and challenged in courts, or the laws themselves do not have to be publicly justified to an independent judiciary, which would be a step backward even from the Tsarist Russia of Tolstoy's novels, which are rife with references to the rule of law.

    And as to the survival rate among the afflicted in the state interventions we are talking about, as you can probably guess it's quite low.
     
  12. Nyvis Well-Known Member

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    Yep, that was my point. Not that he was attempting it, but that the system didn't hit back hard enough to make it fail. Because when he gets elected, he's basically the only one with the right idea in the chamber. Of course, as Dr. Waterhouse pointed out, the fact other organizations see the issue helps. The opinion of the military must hold quite a bit of sway in the RCR.
     
  13. Threadmarks: The Life of the Elector Alexander of Saxony, 1562-1570

    Dr. Waterhouse A Mighty Fortress Is My TL

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    Maximilian_II_of_Austria_(1527-1576),_by_Sofonisba_Anguissola.jpg

    Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian II, by Sofonisba Anguissola

    Elias Mukhumbeni, The Age Between: The Diplomatic History of Saxony, 1560-1612.

    In November 1562, having freshly seen off the regency, the Elector Alexander traveled to Frankfurt-am-Main to vote for a new King of the Romans. The entire spectacle must have seemed surreal to the survivors of the Spanish War and the other twists and turns of his father's reign. For Alexander traveled alongside none other than the Archduke Maximilian, son of the Emperor Ferdinand, heir to the thrones of Bohemia and Hungary, and the only candidate contending at Frankfurt. And there was none of the nail-biting tension or high-stakes game-play that marked whenever Charles V and Friedrich IV were in each other's presence. Instead, Elector and Archduke exhibited an easy informality. And the whole of Saxon knighthood traveled with them, not as protection for the young elector, but for the Habsburg, to whose well-being Alexander was sworn as well.

    To some extent the amity did not come hard. Though Alexander exhibited the aloof, even cryptic, demeanor that marked him from his father, Maximilian was affable and charismatic. Moreover, in a way emphatically unlike his uncle Charles V, Maximilian exhibited German customs and seemed at ease with Germans. In no way could Friedrich have made the case against Maximilian that he had made against Charles, that here was a foreign conqueror alien to German ways, and dependent on an army alien to the country. Moreover, Maximilian held personal sympathies in common with the Protestants. Of course, that same uncle against whom he so strenuously contrasted himself had made similar-sounding promises of a thorough reform of the Catholic Church, but Maximilian's sentiment on these matters was held as being much stronger and more sincere, and Alexander at least took his good will for granted.

    The reasons for this have to do with Maximilian's life to that point. He had corresponded with leading figures of the Reformation, and the Elector Friedrich had granted rare leave for his theologians to correspond with Maximilian on the off-chance of Lutheranism gaining a convert. This had never come to pass, but the experience left Maximilian confirmed in at least his tolerance of Lutherans, if not his acceptance of the doctrines. It was for these precise reasons Maximilian was passed over for consideration in administrative roles in religiously sensitive regions like the Netherlands and Bohemia. Then in 1550, it was Charles's discomfort at the idea of Maximilian succeeding his father as Holy Roman Emperor that occasioned Charles's desperate gambit to have his own son Philip be Ferdinand's successor, though, or perhaps partly because, Philip had no relationship to the Empire or its culture. Though these plans had failed because Philip was intensely unpopular with even the Catholic princes of the Empire, and everyone knew his election as emperor would mean a fight to the finish on the question of religion, Maximilian had been forced into the humiliating position of supporting Philip as the heir the imperial throne over himself. Later, Maximilian had barely survived at least one poisoning attempt, which was believed to have been undertaken for Philip's advancement.

    In fact, many writers noted the similarities of the two men, including their uncertain rise to power, their complicated familial disputes, and perhaps most keenly of all, their complicated relationship to the church to which they belonged. While Alexander had been examined on matters of theology by the doctors of the Leucorea and been found soundly Lutheran in his understanding, he remained the last Wettin prince to have undergone religious training in the Catholic tradition, had produced no works descriptive of his religious faith, and made no sweeping declarations, unlike his father, who could scarcely go a week without beating his breast and shouting to the wind over some or other theological question. For this combination of reasons, Alexander was seen by some in the Lutheran community as weak in his faith, or even a crypto-papist. Johann had declined to press this argument during the controversy over the end of the regency, but the Johannine camp was beginning already to see this as an error and make good its correction. Some even went as far as Flacius, who wisecracked that Maximilian and Alexander's positions on religion were so close they could have traded places and no one would have particularly minded.

    In short, even if Alexander and Maximilian not been friends, it would have been hard to imagine a Catholic candidate for the throne of the empire, or a Habsburg one, more in the interest of Saxony than the Archduke Maximilian. There were still some differences of opinion--Maximilian held out his belief in the reunification of Christendom, a formulation long in use by Charles and Ferdinand--but Alexander clearly preferred to see this as a position of necessity to prevent the loss of critical supporters in the Catholic camp, including the House of Habsburg.

    Whatever the case, Alexander's public enthusiasm for Maximilian as King of the Romans and a future Emperor was bounded only by his discretion: too supportive of the Archduke, and he might arouse the suspicions of the pro-Spanish and pro-Roman factions at the court of the Vienna and in the Empire, endangering Maximilian's prospects for the imperial throne, but that way he might also arouse the danger to himself from the more absolutist and uncompromising school of Lutheran thought, which had found its spokesman in Flacius and a figure ready to exploit it in the elder duke. Thus Alexander was limited primarily by his own caution, but inevitably cast his vote for Maximilian, received in return the customary gratuity, and saw elected at Frankfurt a King of the Romans in whom he had more confidence than many in his own family. To give some notion of the unique character of Maximilian's election, he received the support not only of Saxony but the ecclesiastical electors, and his election as King was endorsed by the papacy, though the pope made no immediate plans to personally crown him.

    The next year, Maximilian was crowned King of Hungary, and on Ferdinand's death in 1564 he became King of Bohemia and Croatia, as well as Holy Roman Emperor. For the rest of his reign, the Habsburgs and Wettins were as close to a lasting peace within the framework of the Holy Roman Empire as they would ever be. Saxony now had confidence it had an emperor who would not act to extirpate its religion, a situation which Alexander still thought not just desirable but necessary given the state of Saxony's military.

    Only one problem threatened this Golden Friendship of Emperor and Elector, Alexander's other friend, the Elector Palatine. When Alexander left Saxony during the regency he found his way to the lands of the Upper Palatinate and was received generously by the Elector Friedrich III. Friedrich had just taken the bold stand of becoming the first German prince to formally embrace Calvinism. He badly needed allies, and recognized Saxony with its tolerance of multiple strains of Protestant faith and demonstrated sympathies for the plight of the Calvinists in France was the most plausible friend he could find. This was one reason for his generosity to Alexander during his the latter's time in his realm. He even accompanied Alexander to meet his next host, in Juelich.

    Alexander had in the end decided against marrying Friedrich's daughter Elisabeth, instead marrying her off to one of the johannine princes. All the same they retained close relations. Thus when in 1563 a convention of Protestant theologians gathered at one of Friedrich's castles produced the Heidelberg Catechism of the Christian Faith, Alexander was at once connected to the enterprise. In short, it was a systematic statement of Calvinist Christianity, one that did not shy from radicalism on the most controversial theological questions, including whether Christ's body and blood was present in the Eucharist. This occasioned a stirring condemnation from Flacius in Wittenberg, who stoutly defended Lutheran doctrines on the matter. Fpr his part, Friedrich reacted to the objection of the Lutheran priests within his realm by dismissing them and replacing them with those who subscribed to his new faith.

    What was received as an outrage in Wittenberg surely found no more sympathetic audience in Vienna. And all understood clearly what Friedrich's adoption of the critical language with respect to the sacraments had done. The Palatinate had gone outside the Augsburg Settlement and the protection it had extended to some, but not all, Protestant churches. At that moment, Maximilian was attempting to wring concessions out of the Catholic Church with which he hoped to lure back the Lutherans to the Catholic fold. Plainly, he would lose much of his leverage if he did not convince the princes of the church that he was in fact a zealous defender of the Church and its prerogatives. Thus, even if he had been in sympathy with the Calvinists, and there is no evidence to say that he was, Maximilian could not have afforded to show leniency to Friedrich of the Palatinate.

    Friedrich wasted no time transforming the doctrine produced at Heidelberg and a later council at Maubronn into law, which Maximilian quickly invalidated citing the religious law of the Augsburg Diet. The whole business was then held over until another Diet could be held, also at Augsburg, in 1566. Despite Alexander's misgivings the entire empire united behind the Emperor in the cause of defending the Eucharist against what was seen as radical innovations, and passed edicts authorizing a return to more established religious forms in the Palatinate, by force if necessary.

    Into this debate stepped the now aging Duke Johann. He proposed that Saxony take up the role of enforcing the imperial edict against the Palatinate, in return for Saxony's annexation of the Upper Palatinate, a region adjacent to Bohemia and Upper Franconia where Lutheranism was popular and well-established and the local population bridled at Friedrich's innovations. Maximilian wavered, and then offered Alexander the final decision as to whether to proceed in this way. Without question, everyone knew the course of action the previous Elector of Saxony, who had valued aggrandizement of his realm above all else, would have chosen. For his part Alexander feared what would happen if Saxony took up arms against its fellow Protestants. Could they at any point later be expected to work together? Even if this were not the result of an intentional strategy to introduce ill will between the various Protestant factions, it might still have that effect.

    In the end, Alexander declined to lead a war against Friedrich of the Palatinate to force the repudiation of the religious policy formulated at Heidelberg. In one sense, this represented fidelity to the spirit of the Holy Prince in that Alexander had sided with the right of princes to chart their own way as to religious doctrine. In another, it was tantamount to a betrayal of his policy of enlarging Saxony however possible. Moreover, in the eyes of both Flacius and the leading theologians of the Leucorea, it was a repudiation of the defense of Lutheranism and of the cause of the religious freedom of practicing Lutherans, given that Friedrich of the Palatinate was seeking to enforce conformity with his Calvinist doctrines on the Lutheran Churches in his realm, and on the Upper Palatinate in particular. Moreover, this war in defense of Lutherans and the rights of Lutherans was not against, but alongside, and with the happy approval, of a Catholic Habsburg Emperor.

    As they left Augsburg, Duke Johann was beyond apoplectic, his dream of one final war of conquest dashed, his doubts about his nephew intensified, his ambition by no means diminished. Alexander for his part attempted to placate his uncle by saying that he would endeavor to persuade Friedrich by letter to ameliorate the situation of the Lutherans under his rule, and that if this did not occur, the matter of enforcing the 1566 Augsburg Diet on the Palatinate would be reexamined. But neither Johann, nor the Lutheran church officials who were increasingly his constituency, have any confidence in this.

    And already the next struggle loomed, for the next year in Wittenberg the second decennial council would be held, and a new Respondent would be elected to replace Flacius. Flacius could hardly have done anything more to have alienated the young Elector of Saxony than he already had, and so this promised to be a test of the power of his party within the church against the influence of Alexander.
     
  14. Threadmarks: The Life of Maria Eleonora, 1566-1567

    Dr. Waterhouse A Mighty Fortress Is My TL

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    800px-Anthonis_Mor_009.jpg

    Antonis Mor, Margaret of Palma, as Maria Eleonora, Electress of Saxony, (c. 1580's)


    Marie Kilgrave, Consorts and Concubines: The Companions of the Electors and Dukes of Saxony, and How They Shaped the New Realm.

    That consummation so devoutly to be wished, which is to say the long-sought, and long-delayed, and long yearned-for, and long-opposed, marriage of the Elector Alexander was finally at hand in autumn 1566.

    Finally, Maria Eleonora, the betrothed, was of age. Of course there was one final round of objections from the Duke Johann to the effect that the Duchy of Juelich was too minor a principality of the empire to produce a consort for Saxony. It was not, he asked, without the slightest trace of irony, that Alexander would want to be in the shadow of his own first-cousin, who had as a wife a daughter of a king? Perhaps it would be best if Alexander waited some small additional while, until another of those became available, rather than marry so precipitously. Such advice was given all the consideration it merited.

    For whatever other factors obtained, Duke Wilhelm had supplemented any defect of Maria Eleonora's rank with a prodigious dowry. Moreover, just as Duke Johann had married Maria Eleonora's aunt Sybille partly in the hope he might one day inherit the Duchy of Cleves, now Maria Eleonora as the eldest child of Duke Wilhelm stood only behind her two brothers in the succession to that sprawling and wealthy collection of territories in the west of the Empire. And most importantly, as a young woman, Maria Eleonora could hope to produce a now much-needed heir of Alexander's body.

    Anna of Denmark had recently born to Johann Wilhelm, eldest son of Duke Johann, two sons, Magnus and Christian, in 1563 and 1565. Duke Moritz's widow, Agnes of Hesse, had even born to Johann's second-born Johann Heinrich her own son, named Philip, also in 1563. And Elisabeth of the Palatinate had born to the third-born son, Johann Georg, a daughter Marie, also in 1565, only for the child to die the following year. In short, Alexander was falling ever further behind in the race to procreate, and Duke Johann's self-serving advice aside, could not afford to tarry.

    One consequential complaint against Maria Eleonora was on the matter of religion. Her father the Duke of Juelich-Cleves-Berg-Mark-Ravensberg was still nominally a Catholic, as was she. It did not matter that, as Alexander knew, the princess was of a stalwart Protestant predisposition that had created trouble in her house, and virtually eliminated on its own the likelihood of her successfully marrying into a Catholic house. None of this knowledge was as yet available to the commons. Instead to them prince who was putatively at least the great defender of Lutheranism was marrying a Catholic, with the expectation for all they knew that their heirs would be Catholic as well.

    But within that worry was another. Friedrich had procured at great risk his marriage to Dorothea of Denmark on the notion that an heir produced from that union would be less likely to be a target for usurpation by the Habsburgs, because that heir would be part-Habsburg as the grandson of the sister of the Emperors Charles V and Ferdinand I. And Alexander's time at the court of Burgundy when a young boy had bought him insight into Habsburg attitudes and beliefs. So now in one sense Saxony reaped the fruit of Friedrich's strategy from thirty years before, enjoying peace and security as a Protestant state under a Catholic Emperor partly on the basis of the shared kinship. The problem was, after a decade of war and a much longer period of fear and uncertainty over Charles V's hostility to the Reformation, that Habsburg connection made Alexander suspect. In fact, some of the same propaganda propounded from the presses of Saxony at the Elector Friedrich's insistence now came back to haunt his son.

    In proposing to marry the Emperor's granddaughter, Alexander now only redoubled these fears, presenting the possibility of a progeny literally more Habsburg than Wettin, an apparent problem for which Duke Johann knew only too well the quick cure.

    Thus the arrival of Maria Eleonora, though it promised the first marriage of an elector since 1534, and occasioned the most lavish public festitivities of Alexander's reign, saw little public rejoicing in Wittenberg.

    What of course all these fears and speculations had not considered was the actual character of Maria Eleonora. Her first guests at the schloss of Wittenberg were none other than Melanchthon and Flacius, whose interrogations of her theology she parried ably, demonstrating strong Lutheran feeling and a verve for theology that if anything far outshone that of her husband. She also hired Martin Luther's son Paul as her personal physician in an additional display of her attachment to Protestant teaching, and in a repetition of the famous act of Alexander's mother on her arrival in Wittenberg, kissed Luther's Bible in the marketplace.

    That said, Maria Eleonora's wit, and the dignity with which she carried herself, quickly became the source of stories. That, for example, Anna of Denmark's promise to be as a mother to her was received with nothing but a clucking of the tongue, a roll of her eyes, and the command for Anna to fetch her her gloves, as a subordinate. That she catered neither to the whimsy of the Elector's mother that she was the true queen of Denmark nor to his aunt Katerina that she was a queen of England, clearly enraging both women. When asked whether she feared the consequences of such provocations, she clucked simply, "all over the world, girls do play as queen, yet that does not make it so!"

    All this, when the young electress was still just 16. At the same age, the Electress Dorothea had been hiding behind the skirts of her mother-in-law.

    Immediately, her arrival brought her into danger, and not just from wagging tongues. Her third week in Saxony, she was out hunting when a loud noise from an unknown source spooked her horse, which almost threw her. A few months later, her spaniel died and the physicians called it poison. The young Elector was not a passionate man, but this was enough to drive him to distraction.

    So not long afterwards, Alexander took the extraordinary step of dissolving the independent households of Duke Johann and his three sons, ostensibly for reasons of economy. Instead, all living members of the House of Wettin would reside at Schloss Hartenfels. The only exceptions would be Alexander, Maria Eleonora, who was now showing signs of pregnancy, and Anna of Denmark and her three living children. Alexander asked her to accompany them to Schloss Wartburg, that distant refuge on which the Wettins always relied in time of crisis, where she would assist with the heir's pregnancy.

    It did not matter of course that already Maria Eleonora and Anna despised each other, or that in actuality Anna had little incentive to bring Maria Eleonora to a successful completion to her pregnancy. But nothing more needed to be explained, as all the Wettins were long since familiar with what even the most polite and veiled instances of hostage-taking looked like.

    They were still at Wartburg seven months later when Maria Eleonora gave birth to a baby boy. Naming him made for a frustrating problem: Friedrich seemed obvious, but would also connect the child to the renegade Elector Palatine Alexander had so controversially shielded; Karl, Ferdinand and Maximilian, though natural choices for children born to German princes in these years, were also politically unwise; and Alexander was about to retreat back to the mists of antiquity for a Julius or August, before Maria Eleonora recommended the choice she felt most likely to, if not repair the family breach, at least shield the child from some future arrows. And so they returned to Wittenberg, as soon as it was safe to travel, with Anna and her brood, and the baby Johann.

    Thus by 1567, Maria Eleonora's victory was complete. She had become more than the footnote-wife, who obediently waits in the shadows of history to bear her lord husband heirs and pass into obscurity. In every way, she was companion and mate to Alexander. A trusted adviser, sometimes the only trusted adviser, she knew the dynastic situations of all the European houses and could play the marriage markets of the nobility of Christendom with a keenness that would awe the sharpest Magdeburg financier, she corresponded with well-placed men and women across Europe to make herself a source of useful intelligence about all matters, and most perhaps most importantly, she ruled the electoral court with the indefatigable will of an oriental tyrant.

    The age of wondering who the first woman of Saxony was was over.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2018
  15. Threadmarks: Family Tree, The House of Wettin, 1567

    Dr. Waterhouse A Mighty Fortress Is My TL

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    Keeping Up With the Wettins--The Family Tree as of 1567
    Wettin family tree to 1567.png
     
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  16. Dr. Waterhouse A Mighty Fortress Is My TL

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    Nov 12, 2008
    By the way, I just want to say that I am enjoying the family-tree madness going on here. It's only going to get more and more out of control until the First General War, at which point I think the effect is going to be pretty dramatic.

    Also: I don't think we're at the point where we need a separate Brandon family tree yet, but that will be forthcoming. A different House of Hesse-Kassel family tree actually has butterflies, because believe it or not Gustavus II Adolphus is descended from that. Also, if people are interested we can work through what we'll be calling the Collateral Marriage Effects. For example, Dorothea in our timeline married the prior Elector Palatine (the one immediately before our present Calvinist Elector), and they had no children, so making her the mother of our present elector and his offspring has no Collateral Marriage Effects. But! Anna of Denmark, Maria Eleonora, and Elisabeth of the Palatinate were all married to other people and had children by them in our timeline, so those people not being born has a cumulative knock-on effect going forward.

    And finally, I needed to note this somewhere. You may have caught a reference in the Returner's Curse post to a United States with a capital of Amsterdam, and yes that means exactly what you think it does. At some point I was going to make that an effect of the distressing marriage situation of Moritz's daughter Anna of Saxony, since in OTL she marries none other than Wilhelm the Silent and begets nothing short of the House of Orange as we know it during the most critical years of the Netherlands' existence. But I just don't feel prepared enough to tackle Dutch history yet, and don't want to begin monkeying with things there too early.

    Also, Anna in addition to marrying Wilhelm has an affair with Rembrandt's father. So if I short-circuit that marriage and send her elsewhere (okay, I thought about marrying her to Eric XIV of Sweden), we interfere with the life of Rembrandt, and I don't want that on my hands.
     
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  17. Cate13 Well-Known Member

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    Oct 25, 2016
    Something that might help would be https://familyecho.com

    It's a website that lets you make up family trees and you can get a url that allows others to review the tree but not edit them.
     
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  18. Threadmarks: Supplemental Note on Contemporary Crime, New Amsterdam

    Dr. Waterhouse A Mighty Fortress Is My TL

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    Nov 12, 2008
    Nationalekrant

    Charpentier Synthtranslate * Engels * August 6, 2013

    Today the police announced their hunt for the violently mentally ill person who has been terrorizing the streets of New Amsterdam has ended. Jef Piotrowski, an entrepreneur who had made a name for himself as a major supplier of specialized technologies to the English and German suratmospheric programs, had earned billions in lucrative contracts. Yet, following the inexplicable mania that is gripping some affluent men in the American Republics, he apparently invested a sizable portion of his fortune in hyper-resilient body armor, synthetic musculature, and most oddly, adhesive polymers that allowed him to climb buildings. When he chose, Piotrowski could also project a version of these polymers, which are in use in the construction of Jacob's Ladder, for the purpose of disabling and binding his victims in imitation of a predatory arachnid. To complete However, Friday night just after 1 am this bizarre affair ended when Piotrowski fell by accident nine stories in Manhattan after attempting to climb a luftschloss in the reserved quarter, dying instantly.

    Police released the name of the deceased, after notifying his family, at 7:03 am. Later in a press conference with reporters Detective Leo Rhys-Kuiper said police were still searching Piotrowski's three-story penthouse on the 87th through 89th stories of the Sunrise Center in Kip's Bay. There, they found many of the machinery and other synthetic elements of the apparatus he had used to stalk his targets in Manhattan. Piotrowski's first victim had been David Grant, a developmentally challenged youth originally of Staten Island who was playing with a plastic sword on the street where he lived in the Kreekstad neighborhood. Piotrowski, apparently under the unreasonable impression that Grant intended to earnestly threaten passers-by with the sword, bound a frightened Grant and suspended him from a streetlight using the polymer developed by his companies. When Grant's weight and struggling caused the polymer to rip while emergency services were on their way, he fell to the sidewalk, breaking both legs. Then and at other times while committing his crimes, Piotrowski wore a costume designed to make him look like an arachnid with a human shape, thereby inflicting great fear both on those he encountered directly, and the inevitable onlookers.

    Piotrowski then began a pattern of behavior whereby he would follow a person he believed likely to be plotting to commit a crime. When that person would then see Piotrowski geared in this manner, sometimes on the side of a building several stories up, they would run. To Piotrowski this would signal their abandonment of their criminal design. But somehow he also saw it as an admission of guilt to the crime they had not yet committed, and Piotrowski would proceed to beat them. In this way, Walter Willemsen, of Canarsee, Doris Pagan, of Nieuw Bali, and Michael Ball, of Zion, were all attacked, injured, and left bound, with accompanying explanatory notes for the police written by Piotrowski. In all three cases there was no evidence of any crime committed by them. Willemsen and Ball were apparently chosen on the basis of provocative clothing, and Pagan because she was walking slowly while speaking into her tablet looking for the address at which friends were holding a birthday party, which behavior Piotrowski took to indicate she was planning a robbery.

    Most recently Piotrowski actually did disrupt a loud argument between a married couple, Josephine Loosdorp, and Annette Klinger, that seemed about to turn violent. In this case the women on seeing Piotrowski both fled and reported him to the police. Piotrowski, clad in his characteristic spider costume, fled the scene well before he could be captured. Apparently, last night when Piotrowski fell, he had just begun his "patrol" for criminals, and had as yet assaulted no one that evening.

    These events come less than a year after the ailes de cuir murders in Mascoutaine, in which a wealthy man similarly dressed in an outlandish costume and undertook to kill those whom he thought were antisocial elements, most especially illicits dealers. The Illinois case resulted in the arrest of Neupreussian banker Artur Chesney-Braun after four deaths, and earned widespread approval for the speed of the investigation by the Mascoutaine Special Crimes Unit, which made use of motion-sensitive cameras, drones and orbital surveillance to catch Chesney-Braun.

    Chesney-Braun in turn is believed to have been inspired by the Eisenherr case in Kaizerin. There, apparent police disinterest in finding the culprit has meant that approximately 80 people in the past two years have been attacked by the armored individual in question, all supposedly because of their alleged criminal activity. However there was sufficient evidence for only six of these cases to go to trial, in which only one defendant was convicted. At the same time, 67 of the Eisenherr's victims have required medical treatment, nine have been permanently disabled by his attacks, and two have died. The Oeffentlicher Waechter newspaper of Kaizerin recently broke a major story by discovering a 700 million Boru-Thaler (BT) anonymous donation to the Kaizerin Police Department may be linked to the department's lassitude toward the Eisenherr.

    There is little such ambivalence however in the response of the public officials in the Three Nations region. Reached for comment at his family's Nieuw Bali townhouse this afternoon, Mayor Suparman said that though Piotrowski's grim fate was tragic, he hoped it would dissuade other individuals thinking to undertake this sort of activity from doing so, and that for everyone's good, fighting crime would be left to the police and other public safety officers.

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    Last edited: Dec 31, 2018
  19. B_Munro Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2004
    Location:
    Albuquerque
    Wow. Waaay too many people on that subsidiary branch for comfort.

    Edit: Mayor Suparman. Snerk.
     
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  20. Unknown Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2004
    Location:
    Corpus Christi, TX
    Good interlude update; like the focus on masked "superheroes" and how the police and public respond to them, @Dr. Waterhouse...
     
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