The Underdogs of Pre-1900

People like me enjoy an underdog story; out of curiosity I am wondering what states you would consider to be the underdogs of Pre-1900 history.

My pick that I always root for is Poland, even though up until 1648 they were kicking tail, I always view them as the kid who gets bullied due to the partition and occupation later on.

In your opinion, are there other states which you generally view as the underdog, regardless of some success during certain periods?
 
Well I don't technically see them as an 'underdog' but France always seemed to have everything blow up in their face. Also, Prussia is stylish and cool (I like united Germany, only for their fashion sense). Mexico seems to get punished a bit much too.
 
Well I don't technically see them as an 'underdog' but France always seemed to have everything blow up in their face. Also, Prussia is stylish and cool (I like united Germany, only for their fashion sense). Mexico seems to get punished a bit much too.

I agree with you on Mexico; France kinda sorta. I have never viewed Prussia as being the underdog- usually having the support of Russia or Great Britain until it was strong enough to be on its own.
 
The Ottomans are generally viewed as the underdog unless they're subduing rebellious Muslim vassals - Janina, Tripoli, Iraq etc

Montenegro!

Best Regards
Grey Wolf
 
The Ottomans are generally viewed as the underdog unless they're subduing rebellious Muslim vassals - Janina, Tripoli, Iraq etc

Montenegro!

Best Regards
Grey Wolf

Was not even thinking about the Ottomans, and haha yeah! Montenegro! I think they would fit the bill.
 
Basically any Balkan state (they're usually kicked around/absorbed by either the Ottomans, Austria, or a resurgent ERE).

Africa. The whole damn continent.

Latin America (generally).

Indigenous North/South American peoples (when they're not being unrealistically wanked).

Oh, and I suppose the Celts (and Celtic nations), too... But I'm pretty guilty of forgetting about them myself...
 
Basically any Balkan state (they're usually kicked around/absorbed by either the Ottomans, Austria, or a resurgent ERE).

Africa. The whole damn continent.

Latin America (generally).

Indigenous North/South American peoples (when they're not being unrealistically wanked).

Oh, and I suppose the Celts (and Celtic nations), too... But I'm pretty guilty of forgetting about them myself...

Haha those are pretty general but I see where you're coming from. That being said there are some states in Africa and Latin America that could also play the roles amongst themselves not being considered in a global context.
 
Indigenous North/South American peoples (when they're not being unrealistically wanked).
This, though honestly it's really just the Aztecs who get unrealistically wanked. Some people underestimate them, but on the other hand there's no counting how many maps and stuff have them gobbling up half of North America and South America in a couple of years. Hell, it's even to the point where a pre-Christ PoD will still somehow end up with Aztecs ruling Mexico or at least people who apparently inexplicably speak faux-Nahuatl run the show. I almost said the Inca are also unrealistically wanked, but then again they had a mongo empire IOTL despite certain disadvantages, so I'll say the only other native people who have a high ratio of unrealistic powers gifted to them are the Sioux, who are apparently the third of maybe 5 tribes people know about, out of the dozens that were at least as significant and more powerful.
 
This, though honestly it's really just the Aztecs who get unrealistically wanked. Some people underestimate them, but on the other hand there's no counting how many maps and stuff have them gobbling up half of North America and South America in a couple of years. Hell, it's even to the point where a pre-Christ PoD will still somehow end up with Aztecs ruling Mexico or at least people who apparently inexplicably speak faux-Nahuatl run the show. I almost said the Inca are also unrealistically wanked, but then again they had a mongo empire IOTL despite certain disadvantages, so I'll say the only other native people who have a high ratio of unrealistic powers gifted to them are the Sioux, who are apparently the third of maybe 5 tribes people know about, out of the dozens that were at least as significant and more powerful.

Ah yes, the faux-Nahuatl... The saddest part is that it's rarely anywhere near as awesome as actual Nahuatl :p

And I seem to recall seeing a few cringe-worth Inca wanks (if Europeans are nowhere to be seen, it's not uncommon for Tawantinsuyu to swallow all of South America *shudders*)... And of course the Iroquois always a good candidate for ridiculous inflation... Where's an enduring Mississippian state, dammit!? Or how about an ass-kicking Seminole state?

On another note, another underdog group comes to mind: Anatolian peoples (e.g. Hittites, Luwians, Lydians, Phrygians, Carians, etc). With the exception of the odd Hittite wank, it almost looks like these folks exist purely to be Hellenized...
 
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Norway went from a nice-sized North Atlantic empire, with Iceland, Greenland, the Faroe Islands, the Isle of Man, the Hebrides, the Orkneys, the Shetlands, and large portions of Sweden, to playing second fiddle to its larger neighbors for centuries.

The Kongo was on a fast path toward Westernization before it fell to obscurity and was gobbled up in the colonial fray without a whimper.

Vietnam and Korea are definite underdogs.

Many of the South American countries seem to have underdog status, even in wars against one another.
 
Ahh, I would not automatically think of the Norwegians.

And while I don't generally think of the Congo as an underdog state, I definitely think that Leopold was a heartless dbag.
 
Ahh, I would not automatically think of the Norwegians.

And while I don't generally think of the Congo as an underdog state, I definitely think that Leopold was a heartless dbag.

Belgian Congo isn't the same as the Kongo. The Kingdom of Kongo that I'm referring to here was a precolonial, indigenous, Bantu-speaking state that was located in what is today Angola and Republic of Congo (formerly French Congo) rather than the Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Belgian Congo). The Portuguese made contact and introduced Christianity, which the Kongo monarchy eventually took a liking to. The Kongo nobility sent their children to be educated in Europe, built schools, churches, and other infrastructure, and made contact with the papacy.
 
Wales is definitely a good example. People underestimate them so much that I've ran into people here who thought they were conquered hundreds of years before they actually were. And someone can make a TL about England's history spanning centuries throughout the medieval period and Wales would get nary a mention.
 
Hm, where to start?

*Most of the Slavs (except Russia) - Poland, Bohemia, Bulgaria, Serbia, Montenegro...

*Spain is rarely considered a real player, especially after 1600...

*Scandinavian countries as well - Rarely do I see a powerful Scandinavia-based power (exception being Cnut's kingdom...)

*African countries (except Carthage and maaaybe Egypt)

*India

*Brazil
 
In Europe: France, Portugal, Burgundy, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Norway, Sweden, Empire of Trebizond, Georgia, the Golden Horde, Crimean Kahnate, Poland, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Crown of Aragon, Navare, and every God damned German and Italian state (excluding Austria, Bavaria, and Prussia of course).

In the Americas: all native peoples, Mexico, Spanish Colonial Empire, French Colonial Empire, the CSA, and the USA before the conclusion of the War of 1812.

In Asia: virtually everyone except China, Mongolia, and Russia, and often China is an underdog too.

In Africa: every indigenous nation is an underdog, and all foreign empires are likely winners, provided the PoD is after the First Punic War.

Conclusion, England, Germany, the Ottomans, Russia, and Denmark seem to be the least likely nations to ever be the underdog anywhere, ever ever ever, in any TL or in reality.
 
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