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. Helga Duchess of Saxony-Zwickau

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    Ireland
    I find the efforts for education fascinating as I sometimes wondered how many bright minds were wasted by being uneducated back in those days. People may have become sucessful farmers or craftsmen anyway, but missed their call to be scholars or inventors or something like that.

    Thanks for mentioning Zwickau in the last chapter, always makes me happy seeing it. The city had a very good classic language school founded in 1290 and was always interested in education and culture. So much so that Frederick the Wise called the city a pearl in the electorate of Saxony. Melanchthon said something similar...

    I'm looking forward to more of this TL, thanks for your effort writing it. Well done.
     
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  2. Threadmarks: The Life of Elector Friedrich IV, Holy Roman Empire, 1551

    Dr. Waterhouse A Mighty Fortress Is My TL

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2008
    Julius of Brunswick armor.jpg

    The very well-preserved field armor of Duke Julius of Braunschweig, detail

    Welcome back to Resignations, our continuing privatcast look at all the great quitters of history, and the story of how they all came to make the decision to walk away from it all.

    So, where were we? Ah yes. Friedrich IV's trusty chancellor Brueck, whom he inherited from dear old dad, and who was probably the only person left in the world other than himself he trusted enough to do such a thing, attended in Friedrich's name a meeting of Charles V's rogues gallery at the sumptuous Chateau d' Chambord, in France. There, Henri II of France, Philip of Hesse, Albrecht of Prussia, Johann Albrecht of Mecklenburg, and Albrecht Alcibiades of Brandenburg-Kulmbach, all agreed to the pretty much straight-forward plan: the Kingdom of France would go to war with Charles V as really only the Kingdom of France could, fighting him as a strategic equal. Simultaneously, it would provide support for those princes, formerly of the League of Eisenach, so that they could fight Charles inside the Holy Roman Empire. Ideally they would keep him bottled up in Italy, where had been pursuing the restoration of Parma to his vast array of territories, with the ultimate goal of simply evicting him from the imperial throne. France's help would be in exchange for the vicariate, the three imperial cities of the Elsass region--Metz, Toul and Verdun.

    Now, Friedrich, who since the Spanish War began had never seen a bash-the-Charles V-in-the-teeth party he could stay out of, objected to this plan. And, not for the last time this episode, Friedrich's motivations are as clear as mud. Generations of historical scholarship who view him as "The Holy Prince", and an equal number generations of revisionist scholarship who view him as "Friedrich the False", have only managed to weaponize the ambiguity of this moment in service to their various religious, national and ideological objectives. So, let's just sketch out the different possible reasons here for Friedrich's response. Why did Friedrich first object to the plan? Especially since he'd had little trouble cashing all those checks from Francis I previously, usually written while Charles was also at war with France, usually written also so that Friedrich could make as much mischief as possible inside the frontiers of the empire for his imperial lord and master.

    The first possibility is that Friedrich was a sincere German patriot who would rather gouge out his own eyes than agree to hand over a chunk of the empire, even a relatively minor one, to the French. In this view, it's one thing to side with the enemies of Charles since Charles was in the view of these princes, a foreign king and an illegal usurper, who had violated his coronation oath and was trampling the German liberties. It's another to harm not Charles, or the soldiers mobilized under Charles, but the empire itself, to cut it up and parcel it out to another foreign enemy. Considering what we've seen of Friedrich thus far, does this seem a bit idealistic to you? Well, not to Sigismunda Killinger. The great German historian, who has done so much otherwise to moderate and rationalize a sometimes excessive Protestant German reverence for Friedrich, would apparently cut you if tried arguing with her that her boy was the least bit cynical on this question.

    The second possibility, which to my mind is a bit warmer, is that Friedrich realized how it would look on the stage of imperial politics, to the other electors, and beyond them to all the states represented in the diet, to strike this deal with France. While some of the princes more invested in the struggle with the emperor or more inclined to doctrinal innovation might take for granted that giving up some glorified villages on the left bank of the Rhine would be worth ridding themselves of Charles, and with him the Duke of Alba and that Spanish army for good, to the middle-of-the-road princes who held the balance of power in the empire--the Electors of Brandenburg and the Palatinate, the Duke of Cleves, the Duke of Bavaria, it might not look that way at all. The same Friedrich who had been so fastidiously cautious and law-abiding before the war began recognized the importance of not offering the sort of provocation that would give Charles a golden opportunity to build a multi-confessional coalition against him.

    The third possibility, not necessarily mutually exclusive to the second, was that Friedrich had handicapped the likelihood of military success over the long term, and found it tipped somewhat on the side of Charles, even with the alliance with the German princes.

    And then there's the fourth possibility, which is that Friedrich already envisioned something very much like what he was ultimately going to do.

    Regardless, Brueck reported to the other princes meeting at Chambord his master's hard and fast refusal to countenance any concessions of imperial territory as a condition for the aid of an outside prince. And of course those princes immediately interpreted Friedrich's decision in a manner very much not like the way Sigismunda Killinger did. Because they did not go, "Oh Friedrich, this angel given human form, is too good, too pure to deal with the likes of us, we must do the best we can without him, for surely he is above being swayed from noble principle by mere material gain." Instead, and let us remember all these men had known Friedrich on a personal basis and dealt with him for the better part of twenty years, they figured Friedrich was just holding out for a better deal. And that was precisely what they offered: if Charles could be driven from power, the empire would be Friedrich's. And if the electors specified by the Golden Bull could not be convinced to vote Friedrich into power, well then some new device would be created. It's all just so much vellum after all, isn't it?

    Realizing he needed to get Friedrich's approval to this offer quickly (act now, while supplies last!), Brueck set out immediately for Saxony in the heavy snows of January, 1552. But age and the rigors of the road caught up to him, and on February 6 Brueck died en route at Simmern.

    At this point, a new character enters our story. Friedrich had sent as Brueck's deputy and secretary the ducal prince Julius of Braunschweig. Julius, only 23 years old, was the son of Heinrich V, the Catholic firebrand who had been an implacable foe of the Saxons since the war first began. Julius, the youngest of Heinrich's three sons, was the sort of progeny whose character may as well have been crafted by a novelist to make his Roman Catholic warlord father's gorge rise. Julius was a Protestant, a Francophile, and an intellectual. Though Heinrich had preferred his two older brothers to Julius, Julius had stayed loyal to the family.

    Until at Havelberg in 1549. First Friedrich had offered to restore Heinrich's lands to him if he would grant his evangelically-inclined subjects liberty of worship. Heinrich had refused. Then, Friedrich had made a subsequent offer, one almost designed to slide between the ribs of familial loyalty. Friedrich would return the duchy to the scrappy Welfs, if Heinrich would permit it to go not to himself or to his eldest two sons, but just the third-born Protestant, Julius. This way Heinrich or the two elder boys would get have to touch the issue of religious tolerance themselves. No explicit guarantees of freedom of worship would be needed in his case. While the actual words Heinrich used to answer Friedrich were not recorded, probably because no small amount of profanity was involved, suffice it to say Julius did not leave Havelberg filled with filial devotion. So Braunschweig-Wolfenbuettel went instead to Friedrich's trusted ally Erich, and Julius said his goodbyes to his father.

    Much is made of this next part, because Julius's boarding of the good ship Saxony is the beginning of a long, winding, important career. And people love to discuss it in terms of the personalities: Friedrich had an opening for the role of son, since his was away learning the catechism of the Roman Catholic Church! In fact, some of the historians who love to dig deep into mentalitical stuff love to point that if Friedrich had married early and produced an heir right away, perhaps with that certain English cousin Mom was always trying to pair him with, that son would be around Julius's age. And what do you know, Julius needed a Dad now, because his hated him! In any case, their personalities as Protestant intellectuals jelled, so Julius came to the Saxon court and quickly proved himself indispensable. Just how much so will not be obvious until deep into the reign of Alexander.

    But for our purposes, the crucial part is that it is to Brueck the princes gathered at Chambord hand their proposal. And it is Julius who in turn hands it to Friedrich three weeks later, by which time if they are going to do this they really must act immediately to raise that Saxon army and get it south to head off the passes before Charles V can get back across the mountains from Italy.

    Receiving the proposal at his favorite listening post of Coburg, Friedrich canvassed his closest advisors immediately. Johann, always one for a good fight, was pretty much ready to start planning Friedrich's imperial coronation. And if the Duke Alexander might happen to die as a consequence of Friedrich breaching the truce, for once just presuming too much upon Charles's patience and mercy? Well, Johann and those three sons of his just might be able to live with it, considering they would have the succession to keep them warm at night.

    The rest of Friedrich's close council favored war on the side of France too, but on somewhat less self-interested grounds. Remember, to these guys Charles had always been the aggressor, having started the war using an army funded by the diet for the purpose of fighting a crusade against the Turk, to instead fight a crusade against them, who had themselves paid taxes to him for the purpose. And by now, Charles had proved beyond any doubt that his ultimate goal was the eradication of the new religion and the supplanting of the princes' traditional role. If anything, Friedrich's reluctance to just jump right in, especially given the deal he had been given, seemed to his own nobility, almost inconceivable.

    Only one person present offered contrary advice. Julius of Braunschweig, the courier boy, whom we might picture heaving and panting after that long journey from France, argued instead that Friedrich needed to see a competing offer from the emperor before he made a final decision. Once again, one can imagine the scene, the shocked expressions; Johann, honestly dumbfounded as to the point, probably asking something like "an offer for what?"

    And to be clear, the proposal from France, Hesse, and Co. was for a surprise attack, a seize-and-hold-the-passes deal, which giving the object advance notice of would mean prejudicing the attack, perhaps lethally. To an extent Julius and even Friedrich were refusing to admit, this was an either-or situation, rather than one providing a spectrum of options. Each delay catapulted them further towards the inevitability of one of the options. Nonetheless, Friedrich's answer, to the shocked silence of his family, his nobles, his advisors, the people who had been with him his whole reign, for whom Charles truly was an agent of the devil, and for whom Philip of Hesse had been several times over now, the savior of the nation, was simply: "then go find out what Charles will pay."
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2018
  3. Dr. Waterhouse A Mighty Fortress Is My TL

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    Nov 12, 2008
    Actually the greater introduction of mass education in this era is one of my favorite aspects of it. And Luther himself is rather effusive in some of his writings about not letting people with natural talent be squandered for lack of opportunity. To modern eyes, that seems like a given. But in a world where many people relied on the idea a social hierarchy driven by status at birth, or who had a greater fear of literacy among the wrong sort of people than of talent dying undiscovered, it's huge.

    Very soon we're going to have to break off the Friedrich-narrative to backtrack and catch up on things in England. But before too long we're going to shift toward mapping out the institutional, social and cultural changes that are going on just out of frame of the narrative state history. And I think that'll be really interesting, and present a refreshing change for us from the Battle of so-and-so between him-and-him.
     
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  4. Threadmarks: Supplemental on Geography, World

    Dr. Waterhouse A Mighty Fortress Is My TL

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2008
    Altered meridians 2.jpg
    The placement of the American and Galilean meridians.


    1. How did the world fix points of longitude?

    As you probably know, lines of latitude, which run east-west, are parallel to each other and are measured against a natural pre-existing point, the Earth's equator, which is midway between the earth's geographic poles.

    By contrast, lines of longitude, or meridians, which run north-south between the Earth's geographic poles, are while each equally distant from each one adjacent, are not parallel. A meridian will be further separate from another meridian the closer it gets to the equator. And at the Earth's geographic poles, the meridians converge.

    This absence of a set point from which to measure, and this absence of a set distance between meridians, contributed to the historic problem of longitude by which ships navigating the oceans had great difficulty measuring how far east or west they were. Now, the story of how the world evolved the means, first astronomical, then technological and mathematical, to discern on which longitude an object lies is fascinating. But it does not immediately concern us.

    Instead, we are focused on the question of what point the world chose to measure longitude from, how it did so, and the reasoning it used.

    By 1826, all of Europe's great maritime nations produced their own sets of charts marking longitude from their specific capitals: London, Paris, Amsterdam, and Wittenberg all had meridians which were zero longitude to their patriotic citizens. Even smaller, landlocked or otherwise insular nations would provide at their local consulate, free of charge, a way to navigate the world beginning from their capital, even if such maps frequently just gathered dust from disuse.

    But especially with the greater use of oscillary communications, and the ever-increasing speed of modes of various new modes of travel, it was becoming more and more necessary that consistent measures be adopted. This was especially the case since the problem of longitude was becoming more and more not just a problem of space but one of time. For example, you could measure the time against Paris by adding three or subtracting three hours, but because neither London nor Paris neatly lined up to an hour increment in relation to the other, that proved chaotic and inconsistent.

    So as ever, commerce twisted the arm of national pride.

    The result was the Congress of Venice, with la Serenissima chosen because its maritime and commercial history made it the natural site for such an enterprise. But as soon as the representatives of 37 nations convened in 1829, representing most of the world's wealth, commerce and population, it was plain that national pride did not intend to cede the stage gracefully. For three months the world's leading diplomats were locked in grandstanding for their respective states, their commitments to national honor locked and inflexible. The Russians wanted to center all human life around the person of the tsar, and found it odd other nations were reluctant to agree, since it was so patently rational. The English were tenacious and insistent, cornering other nations' ambassadors with anecdotes about the contributions of Flamsteed and Halley to the enterprise, and demanding their kingdom's proportionate reward. For their part, the French made their case on the basis of certain universalist claims: in effect, all human beings should be so lucky as to place themselves in relation to Paris.

    At one point, the diplomatic impasse grew so terrible that the nations were about to abandon the necessity that the meridians occupy vertical lines or enclose uniform angles so that horsetrading might result in a deal. Only the prospect of some kind of universal outcry by the world's scientists stopped such absurdity.

    In the end though, more out of exhaustion than any principled compromise, and reflecting the shared significance of the site to Christian, Jewish and Muslim faiths, the proposed meridian aligning with the Temple Mount inside the Old City of Jerusalem was chosen. Most of this proposed line ran through rural Russia, the mountains of Ottoman Anatolia, the Mediterranean, and some especially rugged parts of eastern Africa. However this line necessitated a second, at the literal opposite side of the world. This would bisect the far northwest corner of North America, where Russia at the time maintained a few trading posts. Otherwise, the line would only cross water.

    This scheme also had the benefit of conveniently aligning the proposed hemispheres of the earth with European notions of occident and orient. Athens, Rome, and the great commercial centers of the colonizing technological powers all lay in the west. The great Eurasian land empires, symbols of stagnation and "Oriental despotism" that they were, lay largely in the east. Of course succeeding generations would return and reexamine these value judgments to find them wanting. But not yet.

    There only remained what to call the meridians structuring the new scheme. First, some witless person suggested it simplest to just begin with prime. But this occasioned the immediate and obvious objection: that to call zero longitude "prime", meaning first, would sew confusion. It was the Doge in his role as host and honorary chairman who proposed the meridians be given proper names to resolve all ambiguity and to give them the ring of personality and familiarity. The Jerusalem meridian would be the Galilean Meridian. Its counterpart in the west would be the American* Meridian. Galileo Galilei and Amerigo Vespucci had both made valuable contributions to the early efforts to solve the scientific problem of longitude, and their roles would now be written into the maps of the world.

    *Subsequently, there has been some preference for referring to this as the Pacific Meridian.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2018
  5. Zulfurium Well-Known Member

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    I wanted to burst out laughing at Julius' proposal. That is genius! I can't wait to see what concessions Friedrich rings out of Charles.
     
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  6. Nyvis Well-Known Member

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    Aug 23, 2013
    Risky though. It could easily alienate all his natural allies and the integrity of the protestant side. He can't stand alone.
     
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  7. Zulfurium Well-Known Member

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    Definitely, but if he plays it right then things could really turn around for him.
     
  8. Dr. Waterhouse A Mighty Fortress Is My TL

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    Nov 12, 2008

    Heh heh. And it's certainly no spoiler to imagine there's an equal or more amazed moment of silence when Charles hears the notion, after all that's transpired. By the way, one of the most fun details in the history that has formed the backbone of this story is that there's a whole theme, or running joke, about Charles not wanting to accept certain documents or hear from certain people, so that it was an almost impossible task even to put a copy of the Augsburg Confession in the hands of one of his secretaries at an inn (something not too far from "he has it! he doesn't know what it is! now run before he realizes!"). Like Charles would be culpable even for coming into contact with the ideas. Anyway, I'm going to have to include some kind of song and dance between he and Julius the next installment over the circumstances under which he will permit himself to hear Friedrich's notion.
     
  9. Dr. Waterhouse A Mighty Fortress Is My TL

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    Apologies for the delay. I just learned the dangers of composing updates on the board's reply tool. Yes, it now saves drafts, wonderful. But I did not know the drafts after a duration, or maybe a hard shut down of the computer, could be lost. And so, stupidly, I lost the first bit of hard social history I had written for the timeline, a discussion of immigration and Huguenots I was going to slot in before returning to our main narrative. Bear with me. Normal service will be resumed shortly. In any case, does anyone have any questions about our story until now?

    Also yes, I am being deliberately opaque about events in England. That's going to require its own separate in-depth treatment.
     
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  10. Unknown Member

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    Corpus Christi, TX
    Sorry to hear that, @Dr. Waterhouse. Hope you can restore it and go back to normal; was wondering what had happened. Looking forward to the next update...

    As to the story itself, no problems with it; like how you keep dropping hints about TTL...
     
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  11. souvikkundu25140017 Well-Known Member

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    West Bengal, India
    Will this be limited to europe only, or will you expand it to asia?
     
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  12. Dr. Waterhouse A Mighty Fortress Is My TL

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    The old iteration of the timeline got a little bit too grandiose when it went global. The byword here is going to be restraint. Seriously, hold me to it. As the ripples spread outward, first we're going to address differences in the settler colonies in North America and elsewhere, but eventually, yes, there's going to be major differences in the European colonial empires in Asia. I'm thinking not just in terms of how real estate gets allocated, but in the power structures at work, and which pre-existing states survive, or don't.

    In OTL, the European nation-states entered the century of peak-colonization heavily militarized following the wars of the French Revolution, focused on territorial acquisition and great power competition. If we have a very different eighteenth century, then I'm thinking that's going to carry over into differences in the interactions between Europe and the wider world. I'm not thinking colonialism is going to be sidestepped. But I'm thinking it might look different. We still have a few hundred years to work this out.
     
  13. souvikkundu25140017 Well-Known Member

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    West Bengal, India
    Do You think in this timeline India or china able to integrate European tech enough to create barriers against colonization? at least enough obstacles that European's focus more on America?
     
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  14. Dr. Waterhouse A Mighty Fortress Is My TL

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    Once again, we're a few hundred years off, and so I don't want to set down too many markers that I might have to end up going back on. But I will say that another factor crucial to how we end up dealing with subcontinental colonialism here is going to be the European balance of power. It's likely going to be more diffuse. And that's going to create opportunities. How far those opportunities can be pushed is another matter. Like I say, once we get closer to the material I might start reading sources on this and decide my present thinking is rubbish. But we'll see.
     
  15. Threadmarks: The History of Religious Freedom, Saxony, 1533-1560

    Dr. Waterhouse A Mighty Fortress Is My TL

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    Massacre_of_the_Vaudois_of_Merindol.jpg arts-graphics-slid_1192256a.jpg

    Massacre of the Vaudois at Merindol by Gustav Dore; Martyrdom of Saint Catherine by Lucas Cranach the Elder

    Die Franzoe-Sachsen:
    The Huguenots and the Origins of the Saxon Religious Settlement.


    from Paper Realm: The Rise of Saxony, 1533-1676, by David X. Haller

    The Reformation and the turmoil it unleashed was accompanied by suppression and violence on all sides. With only occasional exceptions, like the Reciprocal Concession between Saxony and Bohemia between 1534 and 1547, believers in traditionalist religious practice who found themselves under a reformer prince were enjoined to conform, likewise those practitioners with reformist inclinations within the territories of princes still obedient to Rome. And on both sides, where these believers refused or resisted, they frequently met the force of law, and worse, physical violence. Thus the age of the Reformation and the struggle it began is also an age of the movement of peoples, as believers on both sides of the divide left home in search of places where they could practice their faith free of outside coercion, and they would be protected by the local rulers rather than endangered by them.

    As an initial consideration, we must understand what migration meant in this context. First, England, where feudal institutions had long been in decline, and Saxony, which with its free peasantry was so different from its neighbors like Brandenburg, were exceptions. In most of Europe at this time, certainly in most of the princely states of the Holy Roman Empire, there were classes of person bound to the land for whom the details of leaving, resettling and securing a new livelihood were only secondary problems. But beyond that, we must understand that life in the middle ages relied on local affiliations of family, church, estate, village, town, and, to those whom it applied, guild. Identity within these affiliations was no mere abstraction. In the world before a person's biography could be pulled up on a slate or their criminal records checked by the tap of a few keys, a person's character as it had been exhibited over the course of his or her whole life to those who knew him or her secured the means by which they lived in a shared community. Even for those conceivably legally entitled to move beyond their place of birth, the risk of leaping from the world of the known into the unknown, even for fear of one's life or immortal soul, must have been enormous.

    For good reason then, the initial flows of persons across frontiers were slight. We must remember in the early days of the Reformation nobody imagined the situation as it was then would be permanent. Either a council of the church would resolve the dispute, or a compromise would be struck, or some catastrophe would render the matter moot, but no one thought they were living at the beginning of a permanent territorial division of Christianity into practitioners of different doctrines. So there was little reason, even for the Christian on the wrong side of a border with respect to his or her specific confession, to uproot themselves forever. This was even more the case since the princely states of the Holy Roman Empire were by no means static in their religious doctrine even once the struggle began in earnest. States like Saxony or Bavaria that chose a side and stayed consistent, we must remember, were the minority. Cologne, the Duchy of Saxony, the Electoral Palatinate, were all turned this way and that depending on the conscience of their rulers, those same rulers' calculations of the political winds within the empire, and even military force. Thus the hesitation to leave one's home was only reinforced: one had no real way of knowing how durable one's destination of choice would be as a refuge for one's particular faith. Even Saxony, the most secure destination for Lutherans seeking the freedom to practice their faith, must have seemed to many of the rural peasantry so memorably immiserated by the Duke of Alba in 1548 on the cusp of a reversion to the old ways.

    Likewise, the first movements were not great treks. Saxony's partition into Ernestine and Albertine had occurred in the living memory of some of the elders still around when the Ernestine house followed Luther and the Albertine house chose the opposite path. Local kinship did not keep neatly to the borders the Wettins drew, and it was a relatively small matter for a Lutheran family fleeing the repression of Duke Georg to find themselves in the lands of the Elector Johann the Constant, or one of Johann's traditionally minded subjects to make their way to Leipzig or Dresden. Only gradually, as the conflict was progressively militarized and the militaries in question were turned on subject peoples to seal their obedience or send them packing, did longer distance columns of the newly landless make their way further afield in search of new beginnings.

    The young elector Friedrich IV, whether out of a sympathy born from his early flirtation with Sacramentarian ideas or the broad-minded liberality with which he is associated, from early on expressed deep concern over the well-being of members of various Protestant sects outside Saxony. Despite the necessity of maintaining close and friendly relations with his uncle, Henry VIII of England, Friedrich expressed deep grief over the execution of William Tyndale in 1536. And from Charles V's 1539 suppression of the revolt of Ghent and the accompanying reinforcement of Catholic dominance in the Netherlands, Friedrich let it be known Electoral Saxony would welcome any Christian fleeing persecution in a land still loyal to Rome. This followed hard on the heels of his famous debate with Luther about the Jews, which had in itself scandalized much of Saxony. But more ominous still, it followed hard on the events at Muenster in 1537, which had served as a lesson to all the princes of the empire as to the danger to public order presented by uncompromising religious radicalism.

    All the princes of the empire, that is, save Friedrich. Concern that his throwing open of the doors of Saxony so wide constituted a dangerous over-liberality was widespread. Certainly, the theologians of the Leucorea were deeply troubled. Luther, his ties to this elector never too strong, realized he could not intervene without pushing Friedrich the opposite direction. Thus it was left to the kindly, moderate Philip Melancththon to supplicate the elector that perhaps some brakes should be applied to his policy before every hare-brained zealot or penny-ante prophet in Europe made their way to his territory, promising immediate rapture and utopia.

    The result was the Strangers' Law of 1541, much of which became an enduring part of the Saxon, and then the German, religious law, and some of which is even in force in the Second Realm even today. An in-depth examination of its terms is outside our scope, but fundamentally it established the rules governing the religious rights of (1) persons previously non-resident in the Saxon realm; (2) who are Christian; and who (3) stay outside the Lutheran Church once they reside in Saxony. Fascinatingly, enforcement of the Strangers' Law necessitated a system of professional investigators in the pay of the state. Thus it marked an important stage in the development of an internal state security apparatus in late-medieval Saxony.

    To some extent though, the dye was cast before the Strangers' Law was passed. The first significant wave of new arrivals in Saxony who did not hail from neighboring princely states were from the Netherlands, and they were weighted heavily towards doctrinal innovation and idiosyncrasy. In 1543 the estates of Electoral Saxony, alarmed, petitioned Friedrich to limit the new arrivals to fellow Lutherans, and recommended what would be essentially a questionnaire to ensure homogeneity of belief between the existing Saxon Lutheran population and the immigrants. Friedrich's reply, really not even without a semblance of sincerity, was to promise that Lutherans would be accommodated first.

    It was during this period though that the larger and more consequential mass-migration began. It is hard to underestimate just how closely the Elector Friedrich followed religious developments in the western empire, the Swiss Cantons and France in this period. In this case, a crude comparison of bulk is helpful. The collected letters exchanged between Friedrich IV and Luther take up a single volume, icy and impersonal on both sides. Melanchthon? Three volumes. Of course much communication could pass among these men in person, for much of the year unless he was at war Friedrich IV lived down the street from the Leucorea, but nonetheless his correspondence with the men who were formulating the doctrine according to which the spiritual life of his people would be conducted was slight. Now by contrast, Martin Bucer of Strassburg, and later of Cambridge? Six volumes. John Calvin, who arrived on the scene somewhat later than the rest? Seven volumes.

    Of course, not all of this is Biblical explication, recollections of Karlstadt, or even mean-spirited gossip about Martin Luther. Perhaps at most only five hundred pages of the letters exchanged with Calvin have to do with that. Instead, from fairly early in his tenure as elector, Friedrich IV is interrogating his interlocutors in points west about the attitude of state authorities towards them where they are, what princes are repressive, and what are tolerant of or sympathetic towards, the evangelical project. And he is asking them to make known to their other correspondents that his realm is open to those who are in need of refuge. Now we have no doubt who was meant here by "other correspondents": the evangelical ministers in places like Languedoc, Lorraine and Savoy facing various degrees of official persecution.

    What Friedrich was not willing to do on this point was to set his name directly on any papers that might cross into France and come into the hands of Francois I. In this case, as with Henry VIII and Tyndale, Friedrich, or more particularly, his military, was reliant on a flow of monetary assistance. Francois, even though he offered support for the evangelical German princes against Charles V, instigated a policy of ferocious bigotry at home. This is by the way quite likely not accidental: Francois aiding Protestantism abroad probably necessitated steps that would make sure none of his prelates or nobility understood him as having reformist inclinations himself, which if they had could have gravely destabilized his reign.

    But for whatever reason, Francois I engaged in violence targeting non-Roman Catholic Christians generally and Lutherans specifically. Friedrich was sickened, and yet felt that even a direct protest to the French king, never one to take an insult lightly, would endanger his stipend and increase the risk to Saxony. In 1545 Friedrich received word of the massacre of the Waldensians of Merindol on Francois's order. Of course this coincided with the diplomatic rapproachment of France and the Holy Roman Empire that would serve as the preface to Charles V's campaign against the Lutheran princes. Thus the Saxon elector, both outraged, and seeing that he had little to lose from making his feelings on the matter known, commissioned from the Cranach workshop a monumental painting of the massacre. Comparable in its dimensions to Cranach's famously elaborate hunting scenes, it depicts the hellish abuses suffered by the Waldensians at the hands of the French. By the time it was completed, Friedrich himself was being held in Toledo at the behest of the emperor. His return to Wittenberg on the occasion of his mother's death, after two years of captivity and a third of desperate warfare, was the first time Friedrich saw the completed work.

    Overcome by the result, he ordered Das Gemetzel Bei Merindol hung in his throne room, behind his seat. It was of course an unusual choice, not evoking power, opulence or tradition. Instead, the Saxon Elector wanted to make sure no one addressing him failed to understand that the consequences of failure of the evangelical state's enterprise against Charles V were depicted there on the canvas. He wanted the violence of the scene to be constantly on the mind of those present, and he wanted them to understand it was constantly on his mind, the evil against which all his strategies, policies and campaigns were directed. It was not without diplomatic significance too: when the French ambassadors arrived in 1550 to invite Friedrich, or his representative, to negotiate a new alliance at Chambord, Friedrich did not hesitate to ask their opinions of the painting behind him.

    Cranach's Merindol--gargantuan, profane, harrowing--was of course propaganda. And Friedrich was a ruler who made use of propaganda with both bombast and sophistication. But here the message went deeper: Friedrich would no longer let maintaining good relations with France turn his head from what he saw as the duty of his conscience, and so the efforts that were previously covert, indirect, cautious, were now ostentatious and urgent. The word went to Geneva, and from Geneva to Bordeaux and Marseilles and Lyons: Saxony welcomed all those persecuted in the name of the Pope and the King of France.

    Thus what had been a steady drip in the 1530s and a trickle in the 1540s became in the 1550s a flood. 30,000 French immigrants had settled in the lands of the elector by his death in 1560. Most were Huguenot followers of Calvin, though a sizable number were Lutheran, and there were also more than a few openly practicing Waldensians. Some settled, poetically enough, the lands that had been vacated by Catholics in the brief but violent repression of Duke Johann in 1547-9. Others made their homes in the villages and farms despoiled by the Duke of Alba in his nightmarish campaign of 1549. And of course the forests and mountains of northern Germany in this era did not lack for places where a hardworking family could clear a farm.

    But, perhaps recognizing the safest place for themselves was in sight of the man friendliest to their cause in the whole realm, the largest site for Huguenot settlement was Wittenberg. By 1560 it was estimated that between three in ten and four in ten Wittenbergers spoke French at home. Simultaneously, the Huguenots brought with them their trades of silk-making, lace-making and weaving, creating a sudden boom in the domestic production of luxury goods in Saxony in general and in Wittenberg in particular. A town that in 1500 had been a few thousand people on a swampy island, with abundant space behind its thick walls, was now teeming with industry and trade and filled to the brim.

    Of course, Saxony's economic and cultural benefit from the Huguenot influx of the mid-sixteenth century is well-recorded. Soon even the beloved Leucorea would be in competition with the city's well-funded and demanding Neue Franzoesische Schule for preeminence among the educational institutions of Wittenberg. But even that does not capture in full the transformation entailed by the Huguenot arrival.

    For, you see, before Friedrich IV, Elector of Saxony was der heilige prinz, he was le saint prince. The idea that Saxony was the unique redoubt of evangelical Christendom, regardless of any specific creed, and its elector the protector of all the scattered churches united by their opposition to Rome and Rome's efforts to stamp them out, originated not in the Saxons. For them, Friedrich IV was always a bit too reckless, a bit too conniving, and a bit too strange, and truth be told many much preferred the genteel calm of life under his uncle. No, that fervor originated in the Huguenots, who quickly made themselves the special constituency of the Saxon electors. No campaign was announced against the Catholic powers without them making monetary contributions, unasked. No army was raised for service against an imperial threat without a rush of eager Huguenot volunteers. It even became the custom among some to have an extra son in the family to contribute to the army, called la taxe du garcons. Such fervor might seem pathological to modern eyes, but it is best explained by the nickname for the Elector Friedrich IV the Huguenot immigrants preferred before even le saint prince: the protecteur contre torches.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2018
  16. Nyvis Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2013
    Welp, you just made half my family German. Congratulations!

    As a descendant of Hugenots, this is really amazing to read.
     
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  17. Unknown Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2004
    Location:
    Corpus Christi, TX
    Yeah, this is interesting; if something like the Wars of Religion still occur in France, Saxony is going to be a prime area for the Huguenots to flee to...

    Waiting for more, @Dr. Waterhouse, and this TL keeps getting more interesting...
     
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  18. Dr. Waterhouse A Mighty Fortress Is My TL

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2008
    Well this is one of the ways that TTL Saxony follows the script of OTL Brandenburg-Prussia. The Great Elector threw open his borders to French Protestants in pretty much just this way, and his policy informed Prussian state practice all the way through the reign of Frederick the Great. In fact, the Great Elector actually went a good deal further than Friedrich. He actually suspended the duties imposed on immigrants and basically tried to eliminate the costs of their travel to Brandenburg. The ramifications of that policy is seen in Germany today, where there are a good many French last names that have nothing to do with Alsace-Lorraine, and where you have some prominent figures, like East Germany's last prime minister Lothar de Maiziere, who are descended from the Huguenots. There was even a smattering of that fierce loyalty alluded to in the final paragraph exhibited in the First World War, although the dynamics of the religious question was different in the case of the Hohenzollerns because they converted away from Lutheranism and so are much closer to the religious position of the Huguenots than Friedrich's heirs will be.

    Of course the wider Huguenot diaspora is still going to happen, with various families migrating to England, the Netherlands, and eventually the settler colonies of the wider world. (Believe me, if I thought I stood a decent shot of making Coligny's fever dream in what's now Rio de Janeiro work, I would be on it in a heartbeat.) One thing that is going to change though is that, because Friedrich's intervention is so early, more of the Huguenots are going to make it. Rather than getting caught up in the culls of the wars of religion, they'll be in Magdeburg making lace, or trying to make the crops that worked for them in the Mediterranean climate of France grow on the banks of the Elbe.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2018
  19. souvikkundu25140017 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2014
    Location:
    West Bengal, India
    what does the line means? protecteur contre torches
     
  20. Dr. Waterhouse A Mighty Fortress Is My TL

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2008
    This is definitely going to be the case. And moreover, you see how first, Friedrich's refusal to expel the Jews, then his permissiveness towards Roman Catholics, and now his embrace of the Huguenots, all are creating implicitly and practically, a culture of pluralism. Eventually it is going to be the case that people in other states and other situations facing violent repression are going to think of Saxony as a potential refuge. In fact, the next group of arrivals are literally just around the corner.
     
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