The Lion and the Eagle - A TL

For this TL I've decided to step outside of my usual favourite period (1800-2000). The POD will soon makes itself evident ;).

The Lion and the Eagle

Chapter I: Prelude to the Union and Baptism of Fire, 1708 – 1740.

1708 was an important year in the War of the Spanish Succession as this year would be a turning point in the future of two emerging European great powers: Great Britain and Prussia. This year, although seemingly no different from other years, would define Europe’s and indeed the world’s future, leading to the largest empire in history. This turning point was the Battle of Oudenarde which was a decisive victory for the British, Dutch and the Holy Roman Empire over the armies of French King Louis XIV who sought to unite France and Spain in personal union. In this battle, however, Duke George of Cambridge, who was the heir to future King George I, was in the vanguard and died as his horse staggered and he fell off, breaking his neck. Barely a year later, his son Frederick contracted tuberculosis and passed away. The result was that Sophia Dorothea of Hannover, who was married to King Frederick William I of Prussia as Queen Consort, became the only heir to the British throne although the immediate implications of this were disregarded by other powers as they wished to vanquish the French and so the war continued unabated.

In the meantime, the Duke of Marlborough and Eugene of Savoy marched on to take Lille while the Austrians sacked a number of cities. These disasters brought France on the brink of ruin and it induced Louis XIV to negotiate; he offered to relinquish Spain and other French conquests except for Naples and provide money to dethrone Philip V of Spain. The Allies offered a more humiliating deal, namely that the French used their army to dethrone Philip V themselves. Louis XIV was insulted and chose to fight on and appealed to the French people, bringing in thousands of new recruits. Three invasions of France were attempted in 1709 although two were so small that they were only diversionary. The third was more serious as Eugene and the Duke of Marlborough attempted a march for Paris which resulted in the Battle of Malplaquet, an Allied victory over Duc de Villars and the bloodiest battle in the war. They, however, couldn’t capitalize on their victory due to their heavy losses.

It was a turning point in the war: the invasion was successful, but the Allies couldn’t exploit their victory. Several more victories were scored by the Allies although their alliance weakened. Marlborough lost political influence because the friendship between his wife the Duchess of Marlborough and Queen Anne ended while Holy Roman Emperor Joseph I suddenly died and was succeeded by Charles VI. With exhaustion near, the two parties agreed to peace which was made official with the Treaties of Utrecht and Rastatt in 1713 and 1714 respectively. The foremost issue was the succession to the Spanish throne. Philip V was recognised as the successor to Charles II, but had to renounce his claim to the French throne, thus avoiding a personal union of the two. There were also many territorial redistributions: Spain was forced to cede the Spanish Netherlands, the Duchy of Milan, the Kingdom of Naples to the Habsburgs, Sicily to Savoy, and Gibraltar and Minorca to Britain. France’s former conquests were recognised, but the French recognised British sovereignty over Rupert’s Land and Newfoundland, ceded Acadia to Britain, and also ceded half of Saint Kitts to the British. The Dutch retained several fortresses in the Southern Netherlands and annexed part of Guelders. The result of these peace treaties was a short war known as the War of the Sextuple Alliance when Philip V of Spain tried to reclaim his Italian possessions. Britain, the Holy Roman Empire, the Netherlands, Savoy, France (now led by Louis XV who had succeeded Louis XIV in 1715) and Prussia (de jure still part of the Holy Roman Empire) defeated Spain. The Treaty of The Hague forced Spain to renounce its claims on its former Italian possessions. With this done, a short period of relative peace from 1720 to the early 1730s could begin while a new power emerged: the Anglo-Prussian Alliance.

With the death of King George I in 1727, Sophia succeeded her father as Queen Sophia I of Great Britain and Ireland. This brought Prussia and Britain much closer since she was Frederick William I’s wife and her son and only heir, Frederick, would unite the two in personal union after both his parents were dead. Sophia’s accession to the throne did lose her the Electorate of Brunswick-Lüneburg (formally known as Hannover) which had Salic Law which resulted in a ridiculously distant cousin of George I related to the house of Mecklenburg-Schwerin gaining the title of Duke of the Electorate of Brunswick-Lüneburg. For now, Prussia remained the lesser and the two states and both signed a military alliance. Sophia was officially Queen of Great Britain and Ireland (and her territory included Scotland due to the 1707 Act of Union which made them a single country instead of the personal union founded in 1685). In Prussia, however, she was only Queen Consort and needed to consolidate her power, using her position as Queen of Britain as leverage. She spent most of her time travelling back and forth between Great Britain and Prussia and managed to put British aristocracy in the Prussian government on honorary positions and vice versa in a crosspollination to strengthen ties. The Prussian elites and King Frederick William I were wooed by access to British trade with its colonies in America: the thirteen colonies, Nova Scotia, Rupert’s Land and Newfoundland. This provided Frederick William I with power as the money allowed him to form a large, strong army and strongly centralize his country and concentrating power into his own hands. The result was that he became the new model absolutist monarch instead of Louis XIV who had held his model role since the late seventeenth century. His country became heavily militarized with military officers becoming leading figures. His soldiers were intensively drilled, firing speed was heightened and the army was streamlined, making it a modern standing army.

In the meantime his wife steered for more control over India. English and now Britain had had permission to trade in India from the Mughal Emperor since 1617. They also gained free trade permission from the de jure Emperor although he was nothing but a British puppet. Britain was a dominant power in world affairs and a naval force while Prussia became to increasingly dominate north German affairs as it fielded a strong, professional 70.000 men army, the fourth largest in Europe even though Prussia’s population was twelfth with 2.5 million. Together, the two formed a strong power bloc, a geopolitical force to be reckoned with. Both Sophia and Frederick William were confident and steered to conflict.

Sophia had never officially recognised the reign of her distant German relative over Hannover as the Elector in spite of Hannover’s Salic Law. In 1732, Sophia managed to pressure her husband into supporting her claim on the throne of Hannover and he was easily convinced because it would increase his base of power over the north of the Holy Roman Empire, making it the dominant power among the Protestant northern German states and weakening Habsburg influence over his fledgling country. He threatened to declare war on Hannover if they didn’t abolish Salic Law and recognise his wife’s ‘legitimate’ claim as Elector of Brunswick-Lüneburg, also known as Hannover. Hannover refused to bow to the demands of Prussia and Britain and so a 75.000 strong army made up of Prussian and British forces entered Hanoverian territory which dispelled their notion that Sophia and Frederick William had been bluffing. A 12.000 strong Hanoverian force was squashed at Lüneburg in a one sided battle and the Elector retreated with his total 8.000 remaining soldiers while the Habsburgs declared their support for his cause and declared war on Britain and Prussia, thus initiating the War of the Hanoverian Succession (1732-1735). French King Louis XV decided to support his former enemy the Habsburgs as the French feared growing Anglo-Prussian power and possible encirclement. They preferred to maintain a relatively weak Holy Roman Empire under de jure Habsburg domination, but de facto a smattering of independent bickering little states. Undue Anglo-Prussian influence there was not wanted. Louis XV ignored France’s terrible financial situation which had been caused by Louis XIV’s incessant warfare which had caused major debts which the French hadn’t been able to pay off yet. Savoy opportunistically threw in its lot with the Prussians and British to end strong Austrian influence over northern Italy, thus starting the world’s first global conflict.

Austria mobilized, albeit more slowly than the Prussians because they used the old system of nobles conscripting a number of peasants, usually three out of every four households so that one remained to tend to the farms of the others. This was not a professional and permanent standing army like the Prussian army and was qualitatively inferior although it did have numerical superiority. Prussian forces took Leipzig which was a city in northern Saxony, thus involving this Electorate too with Elector Frederick Augustus I, who was also King Augustus II of Poland, declaring war. Therefore Saxony and Poland sided with Austria and France although it might not be enough with Russia looking to expand at the expense of Poland which meant the Poles could never throw in their full weight. They were already Russian puppets since Augustus’s reforms to strengthen his country had failed to take effect, also due to opposition from the strong nobility. Because of this, 1732 was a good year for the Anglo-Prussian-Savoy alliance. They crushed an Austro-Saxon force at Dresden and sacked the culturally important city despite superior Austrian numbers. Prussian efforts in Silesia didn’t change the frontline all that much.

The British engaged in a naval campaign against the French and scored a number of decisive victories with their superior navy. By 1733, France’s possessions in the New World were conquered by British troops as French forces couldn’t be adequately supplied as the Royal Navy terrorized its supply lines by sea, denied them reinforcements and cut off communications with Paris. British troops were marching into New Orleans and Quebec after crushing limited French forces. Defence cutbacks had rendered France a shadow of its former self and with this resounding defeat and a major peasant revolt in the countryside, it requested an armistice. France was no longer the dominant power of Europe, not even in name. It was a sideshow, struggling to maintain its image while combating an economic crisis of unseen scale. An unstable France had surrendered just before a revolution, fortunately for Louis XV although his country was now a sideshow. Savoy forces defeated the Austrians and marched into Parma, Modena and Luca. After some indecisive campaigning back and forth in Saxony and Silesia, and some messing in central Germany with Prussia being supported by the Protestant north, Austrian forces received a crippling blow in the Battle of Chemnitz in 1735 in which an enormous 80.000 men Anglo-Prussian forced commanded by 23 year old future king Frederick won. His cavalry formations flanked the Austrian army while his massed artillery battered the centre of the Austrian army commanded by none other than Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI himself. He commanded a 110.000 strong army, but the heavy artillery bombardment decimated his centre and the sweeping cavalry flanking manoeuvre broke down his army completely with panic erupting. Frontlines moved very quickly.

His forces were routed and he sued for peace while Russia moved into Poland to move forward its border since Poland’s fate was clear. Peace was negotiated in the Treaty of Potsdam which thoroughly redistributed power in Europe. Queen Sophia I’s status as Duchess of Brunswick-Lüneburg was recognised and Hannover abolished Salic Law. Britain annexed Louisiana and Quebec to form one contiguous colony of British North America. Prussia annexed Silesia, Saxony, Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Posen and what would become known as West Prussia. Austria was weakened enough for the Prussians to let Charles VI’s succession by Maria Theresa slide. Frederick William I assumed the title King of Poland and united Prussia and Poland in a personal union, but was forced to cede Lithuania and everything up to and including Minsk to appease Russian Empress Anna. Finally, Savoy was allowed to annex Luca, Parma, Modena, Lombardy, Tuscany and Venice to form a northern Italian state to which Naples was added. Savoy thus controlled all of Italy except for the Papal States and also had Istria and Dalmatia. The Kingdom of Italy was hereby founded, thus destroying Austria’s aimed sphere of influence in Italy.

A few years after in 1740, Frederick William I passed away and Frederick II became King of Prussia and Poland while his mother remained Queen of Great Britain and Ireland, and of course her massive empire in north America which her son Frederick stood poised to inherit.
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Britain doesn't practice Salic Law. Therefore the eldest heir of George I (Sophia) will inherit and not his closest male heir (Frederick). Secondly, George II was not king yet in 1708, otherwise Frederick would have become king indeed.
Britain doesn't practice Salic Law. Therefore the eldest heir of George I (Sophia) will inherit and not his closest male heir (Frederick). Secondly, George II was not king yet in 1708, otherwise Frederick would have become king indeed.

Now as a Devil Advocate(i should study history than economics... but love economic history.:rolleyes::D) The British will avoid being in Personal Union by the reason before mentioned it.

A PU with Prussia means commit more troops and money in Continental Europe than OTL...and the British having the French as a nemesis and Frederick II plans against Poland.... that will be a lot of wars and battles... and money expenses in that... but that can help the British Army a lot training with the prussia in their auge moment.

But giving the Butterfly benefit, that is Cool Idea, and whan to see the Impact than wil be in History(maybe not USA nor something almost unrecgonizable than OTL one)
... but that can help the British Army a lot training with the prussia in their auge moment.


Not to mention that Britain is now much more capable than ever before in preventing a continental hegemony by one power or the other ;).
Not to mention that Britain is now much more capable than ever before in preventing a continental hegemony by one power or the other ;).

Yes.. in fact, they now will look for the Hegemony in their side, that will be a scream for the Habsburg and the Bourbons too.. and that means fun.

well, waiting for more , now with having Frederick the Great as King of Prussia an in the Future King of Great Britain

Nivek von Beldo

P.S With the POD, some of the relationship of Fritz with his daddy was butterfly away.. and that means not the scandal of the ran away with Von Kattle(aka for the bad tounges.. his Lover) and maybe a Frederick gonna leave descendance?
A Great Britain-Prussian Unification = the world in a heap of trouble. The best army and the best navy are in 1 nation! :eek:
Wow this is a double wank. Putting the Prussian Army and Royal Navy together doesn't just mean bad news for Europe its bad news for the rest of the world. Though one wonders how English will evolve. I'm guessing much more Germanic influence than OTL and I suspect that the language spoken in Prussia/North Germany will further seperate from Southern German with much more English influence.
Britain doesn't practice Salic Law. Therefore the eldest heir of George I (Sophia) will inherit and not his closest male heir (Frederick). Secondly, George II was not king yet in 1708, otherwise Frederick would have become king indeed.

The British system doesn't work that way I'm afraid. George II is George I's heir, and Frederick (of Hannover) is George II's. If George II dies before George I, then Frederick H steps up and becomes heir. It's the same nowadays, if prince Charles dies before the queen then the next king will be prince William, not prince Andrew.

Rather than lose the extreme coolness of this TL however it might be easier just to have Frederick die young of the sort of illness that childhood was prone to in those days (heck, OTL he died of injuries associated with being struck by a cricket ball - this could easily happen as a teenager, no need to wait until he's 44. He was a lifelong devotee of the sport after all...). This would mean Hannover under Salic law reverting to some absurdly distant cousin of George I, which would make Sophia's war of the Hannoverian succession look much more reasonable than if she was attacking her own nephew.
The British system doesn't work that way I'm afraid. George II is George I's heir, and Frederick (of Hannover) is George II's. If George II dies before George I, then Frederick H steps up and becomes heir. It's the same nowadays, if prince Charles dies before the queen then the next king will be prince William, not prince Andrew.

Rather than lose the extreme coolness of this TL however it might be easier just to have Frederick die young of the sort of illness that childhood was prone to in those days (heck, OTL he died of injuries associated with being struck by a cricket ball - this could easily happen as a teenager, no need to wait until he's 44. He was a lifelong devotee of the sport after all...). This would mean Hannover under Salic law reverting to some absurdly distant cousin of George I, which would make Sophia's war of the Hannoverian succession look much more reasonable than if she was attacking her own nephew.

Good suggestion. I put it in the TL:D (along with some minor editions).
This is probably the worst case of Prussian-wank ever. Prussia in a single war got larger than it ever was IOTL, and you unified Italy pretty much on a sidenote (and possibly including Corsica).

I like it. :D

Maybe we could see German-speaking colonies in North America?
Onkel Willie asked me to make a map, so I hope this is fine. It was taken off a 1750 base map, so it might not be entirely correct, but it's better than nothing.

Update time again :D.

Chapter II: Formation of the Union and Birth of an Empire, 1740 – 1786.

The early period of Frederick II’s rule over Prussia and Poland was mostly peaceful as he consolidated the conquests made by his father which had made Prussia not only the dominant north German state, but also the most prominent continental power. Prussia had nearly doubled in territory since 1732, not counting the territory added by the personal union with Poland (which had lost the Lithuanian part to Russia). Especially Poland proved to be a headache for Frederick II due to the power of its nobility. Prussian military power, however, was enough to subdue an insurrection by the Polish nobles who were silenced after they suffered a crippling defeat at Warsaw in 1740 and swore their allegiance to Frederick who they now recognised as King Frederick I of Poland. Frederick solidified his rule and dominance over northern Germany by means of a number of strategic alliances with various north German states while both France and Austria licked their wounds from the previous defeat and looked on in anger and despair, powerless to stop the Prussians from de facto dominating the Holy Roman Empire instead of the Habsburgs.

This started a chain reaction as the northern Protestant states sided decisively with Prussia while only the Electorate of Bavaria, the Duchy of Württemberg, the Bishopric of Würzburg and a number of smaller Catholic states sided with the waning Habsburgs, splitting the Holy Roman Empire. Frederick II also made a strategic marriage with Maria Amalia of Hessen-Kassel in 1741 to strengthen his influence in central Germany. After the unfortunate death of William VIII’s intended successor as landgrave in a riding incident, Maria Amalia was the only heir that William VIII had left. The marriage produced one son, Frederick, who was born in 1755 after which Frederick II mostly ignored his wife and spent his time in his Spartan court running state affairs. Austria had decisively lost influence not only here, but in Italy too. Savoy had founded the Kingdom of Italy in 1735 which only excluded the Papal States, boxing in Austria and strengthening Prussia further. Austria was now just the de jure ruler over the Holy Roman Empire while Prussia was its de facto ruler and dominant power in north-western Europe.

Britain, in the meantime, was still being ruled by Frederick’s mother Sophia I who sought to expand the British East India Company’s trade monopoly while at the same time keeping the Company on a tight leash. Sophia proved to be a tough negotiator and agreed to a trade monopoly for the company provided that this trade was British-Indian trade and that the crown gained a ten percent share in the Company’s stocks. Through pressure, manipulation, fear of Prussian influence and the threat of allowing competition, the EIC agreed. Furthermore, property acquired by conquest rather that treaty was vested in the crown rather than the Company. This weakened the Company’s political influence although it did remain wealthy enough and provided loans on occasion, notably to Prussia. Fortunately, competition from France had been reduced to a few trading posts, thus eliminating a threat to British trade and investment. Conquest began when the British marched towards Bengal to crush the last independent ruler there since he had become unruly. It would take several more decades and wars to subdue India completely even though the Indian subcontinent was divided into many states who also fought each other which was amplified by religious and cultural differences between Muslim and Hindu states. The largest states in India would give the British a tough time, but Britain would counter with a reformed army.

In 1757, Sophia I finally passed away and therefore her son and Prussian king was crowned King Frederick I of Great Britain and Ireland, thus realizing a personal union between Prussia and Great Britain and ending the reign of the House of Hannover. In its stead, the House of Hohenzollern would rise to rule a superpower. Frederick’s realm was now enormous, perhaps the largest in the world. He controlled Prussia, Great Britain, Ireland, the bulk of North America except for the west coast and the Spanish territories in the southwest known as New Spain, Poland and India. With the death of William VIII of Hessen-Kassel, this landgraviate was added to his empire too albeit with his wife nominally in charge although she fortunately was not interested in state affairs. Frederick still saw himself mostly as a continental Prussian ruler initially although the realities of his time forced him to rethink his standing and face it that Germany was not the only region that required his attention. Fortunately, he was as adept a politician as he was a military leader.

He spoke German and learned English although French would remain his primary language for conversation until his death. Reality was obvious with the tough resistance against British forces in India and Frederick all too well realized he was running an empire whose interests stretched beyond those of just Prussia. He deployed 80.000 men to India and Indian forces proved to be no match for Prussian forces. The British army was reformed into a more potent force with a centralized command, a good officers corps, extensive drilling for the soldiers and high firing rates, leading to the creation of a new professional standing army with an iron discipline. Frederick campaigned in India between 1759 and 1761, inflicting a series of devastating losses for the native kingdoms that opposed him, bringing himself glory in battle and earning him the name Frederick the Great. He left again and a 120.000 strong Anglo-Prussian army and a portion of the Royal Navy stayed behind to support the East India Company. Mysore and Nizam were subdued by the end of Frederick’s 1759-’61 Indian Campaign, thus establishing a single colony on the southern tip of India. In the subsequent Anglo/Prussian-Maratha War (1759-1771) which was an on and off conflict which lasted for twelve years, the former won and the Maratha Empire was absorbed into British India. Frederick established it as a colony and was made Emperor of India, taking over from the Mughal Emperors.

In the meantime, his enemies struggled to regroup themselves and did so with relative success. Louis XV, due to the stresses of war, the stress of running a country on the brink of revolution, the problems of running a bankrupt state and the opposition of large segments of the population, including many nobles who were finished with his incompetence, led to a fatal heart attack in 1750. He was succeeded by his son Louis XVI who would prove to be a much more effectual king than his weak father had been. Controversially, he cut the army down to size severely, but reformed it to the Prussian model and made it a professional army to make it more efficient. This notably decreased pressure on the French treasury, more so since Louis XVI instated his own ‘Pax Francia’ which meant that he refused to go to war any time soon.

This made sure tax revenue was available for paying off French debts which were gigantic due to the wars waged under Louis XIV and Louis XV. Tax pressure on the population was, however, high and unevenly distributed to benefit the clergy and aristocracy. Moreover, the bourgeoisie was clamouring for more political influence, befitting their wealth and social status. All in all, Louis XVI had to reform or he or perhaps his successor would face revolution, and he proved to be up for the job. The nobility and clergy saw the threat and knew what had to be done. They acquiesced to a program of serious reform in France which they otherwise would have revolted against to put a more compliant king in charge. Louis wrote down a constitution similar to the Bill of Rights in Britain, but with the preservation of a lot of royal power. The king maintained veto powers, the right to appoint and dismiss ministers, and supreme command over France’s military forces, but not the right to disband the government. Much like in Britain, parliament was divided into a House of Commons and a House of Lords and suffrage was granted to all men above 21 in the upper and upper middle class tax brackets (thus excluding the lower middle classes and peasantry). It was a start in moving away from absolutism. Two parties formed: the Liberal Party which supported the interests of the bourgeoisie and the Conservative Party which was reactionary, traditionalist and supportive of the power of the nobility and clergy. In return for voting, however, both the clergy and aristocracy contributed some taxes. Primitive forms of socialism also known as collectivism also arose, but remained embryonic and unimportant outside intellectual circles for now.

Austria went in a different direction as Maria Theresa died in 1777 and was succeeded by her son Holy Roman Emperor Charles VII who was much more reactionary. He turned back many reforms and acknowledged the temporal power of the Popes (the current one being Clement XV). He increased his army in size and tax levels went up to contribute in strengthening the Habsburg Empire. In order to regain power over the Holy Roman Empire, Charles VII renounced any claims on further expansion in the Balkans and made friendly ties with the autocratic, reactionary Tsar Peter III of Russia. He also strengthened ties with France and made an alliance with the new, revitalized France to form the Triple Alliance consisting of France, Russia and Austria. Frederick the Great responded by signing an alliance with the Kingdom of Italy which wanted to conquer the Papal States and the Ottoman Empire which had reasons to fear Russian ambitions. The Anglo-Prussians, Italians and Ottomans formed the Triple Coalition.

One of the first actions of the Triple Alliance was trying to stir up rebellion in Britain’s American possessions. Frederick, however, handled colonial unrest by means of appeasement since he couldn’t use a colonial war which would distract him from his enemies in Europe. This was exactly what they wanted and Frederick refused to fall for it. He gave the colonies full representation in the Houses of Parliament, instated religious freedom and allowed for the colonies to trade freely with whom they wished, thus putting to rest colonial grievances. At the same time, the colonials expanded westward from Louisiana and the first explorers reached the west coast in 1785, a year before Frederick’s death. They established a few trading outposts although real colonization would have to wait until the 19th century.

Frederick died in 1786, leaving his son an empire that controlled much of North America (save for New Spain in the southwest and the frozen lands to the northwest of the continent), northern Germany, Britain, Ireland and India. Frederick III of Prussia, known as Frederick II in Britain and Poland, was much more of a man of the world. He would focus on his entire realm and determine world politics on an unseen scale as a true world leader, a modern leader and enlightened despot. And it was like this that what was called the Anglo-Prussian Empire could enter the 19th century and with it the Modern Age.
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About Ceylon - it was mostly Dutch, and the independent kingdom remaining, Kandy, was entirely landlocked. So Frederick can't campaign there without attacking a neutral European power.

Incidentally, whose side are the Dutch on? I'd guess the Franco-Austian, since hyper-Britain is such a serious threat to their investments overseas. See Dutch foreign policy in the AmRev War for a similar example.

I'd also expect Denmark and Sweden each to have a sponsor... and given Russia's alignment, the Swedes may well tie themselves to the Coalition.

In the 18th century, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Sweden are still a much bigger deal than in your beloved 19th. :)

Spain certainly a French ally, and the Pope wall well be too.

Portugal will probably maintain the old alliance with the UK but in practice favor neutrality. And if the Alliance is really clever, they'll support Persia as a natural counter to Turkey - in which case a clever Indian viceroy might support the Durranis.

Oh BTW - the colonies getting representation in Parliament is probably the most important accomplishment so far. Even w/o all your other POD's, that would ensure that Britain remain a territorial juggernaut through the present day, and it will eventually be aped in other white colonies (Australia, the Cape, and/or Patagonia, perhaps).