What if instead of becoming a theocracy administered by the Teutonic order, Prussia and Lithuania became a crusader state led by one of the German houses like the ones in the levant? What would be the major effects of Prussia becoming an actual monarchy 300 years early and united with the Baltics?
 
What if instead of becoming a theocracy administered by the Teutonic order, Prussia and Lithuania became a crusader state led by one of the German houses like the ones in the levant? What would be the major effects of Prussia becoming an actual monarchy 300 years early and united with the Baltics?
How exactly Lithuania ends as a part of such a state? It was bigger than Prussia, ill-suited for the conquest by what the Western Europe had at that time as a military force and as an area not very attractive for the colonization so it is anybody’s guess if it’s conquest was realistic.

Prussia as an earlier monarchy is a different story but:
(a) Wouldn’t it still be a vassal of Poland?
(b) Would it be better off (on the initial stage) without resources the Order had in Europe?
(c) Being a secular state, would it keep attracting the visiting crusaders?
 
How exactly Lithuania ends as a part of such a state? It was bigger than Prussia, ill-suited for the conquest by what the Western Europe had at that time as a military force and as an area not very attractive for the colonization so it is anybody’s guess if it’s conquest was realistic.

Prussia as an earlier monarchy is a different story but:
(a) Wouldn’t it still be a vassal of Poland?
(b) Would it be better off (on the initial stage) without resources the Order had in Europe?
(c) Being a secular state, would it keep attracting the visiting crusaders?
I just though to bundle all Northern crusade spoils into a single state. The land was cleary attractive enough to the Lithuanians and the Germans did try to conquer the Baltics twice for settlement during the world wars (though admittedly it might've been just to deprive it from Russia).
 
I just though to bundle all Northern crusade spoils into a single state. The land was cleary attractive enough to the Lithuanians

Which does not mean that it was attractive to everybody else. Besides being densely forested, it also had extended swampy areas in which the locals knew how to live but which made invasions quite difficult. Another “attraction” was in the fact that is was bordering more developed (but not too strong) areas of Poland and Rus and this allowed to the ordinary raids develop into something of a national business.

While the lightly armed Lithuanians were not a match to the “heavier” opponents in an open battle, the raids developed in the efficient tool of expansion: as had been demonstrated by Witold, it was often much better just to submit and pay reasonable tribute than to suffer from the constant destruction from the raids.

Of course, the Lithuanians could not take the well-fortified castles but you can’t live exclusively within castle’s walls and as soon as you are out, you are in trouble.
and the Germans did try to conquer the Baltics twice for settlement during the world wars (though admittedly it might've been just to deprive it from Russia).
Not all “Baltics” is uniform and the XIII century was quite different from the XXs. The Germans did settle in various parts of the region but failed against Lithuania. So your kingdom could, more or less realistically, be located in Prussia and Livonia (a considerable competition there) but inland Lithuania is questionable,
 
The Germans did settle in various parts of the region but failed against Lithuania. So your kingdom could, more or less realistically, be located in Prussia and Livonia (a considerable competition there) but inland Lithuania is questionable,
Fair enough. Since the locals would still initially be majority pagan, would there be anything different now that converting the populace is being managed by nobility rather than a holy order?
 
It would not work for several reasons. Lets start with these: Teutonic Order was invited by Konrad, Duke of Mazovia, who wanted to use the Order as tool to conquer Prussia. He would not invite some German duke to do the job. Initially TO state was funded on Chełmno land, given to the Knights by Konrad of Mazovia, and from there they expanded into Prussia. Being institution of Catholic Church they received help from other Catholic nations and attracted volunteers from various parts of Europe. There is no Holy Sepulchre in Prussia to attract crusaders, thus mere duke would not receive as much help as the Order did.
 
What if instead of becoming a theocracy administered by the Teutonic order, Prussia and Lithuania became a crusader state led by one of the German houses like the ones in the levant? What would be the major effects of Prussia becoming an actual monarchy 300 years early and united with the Baltics?
Do you perhaps mean Prussia and Livonia, not lithuania?
 
The only Baltic state ending up that way was Estonia, which was made into a Danish Duchy, you would need a state rather than a military order conquering Prussia and then setting up a younger son as duke. The most likely candidate for this is of course Denmark, but Sweden could also do it. A Danish conquest by Valdemar II would be interesting,

The Duchy would still mainly be settled with primarily Germans and secondary with Poles (Masurians) as in OTL, but the duchy would follow Jutish Lawinstead of Magdeburg Law and would be placed under the Archbishop of Lund instead of first Bremen and later Riga.
 
What if instead of becoming a theocracy administered by the Teutonic order, Prussia and Lithuania became a crusader state led by one of the German houses like the ones in the levant? What would be the major effects of Prussia becoming an actual monarchy 300 years early and united with the Baltics?
The Teutonic Order's success compared to the orders in the Middle East largely came because they did not adopt the crusader kingdom structure you mention. It was already mentioned that the Order was able to use the resources it had in Europe to support its war in Prussia - castles, land holdings, hospitals, etc. which a crusader kingdom would not have. In addition, while you shouldn't really overwank it, the monastic organization and the structures which the Order State inherited from the Teutonic Order lent it far greater centralisation than a monarchy could allow in the same place. To a degree, of course, you still had land carved out to bishoprics, land holders and cities.

Finally, the Order State enjoyed imperial immediacy and so could rely on direct diplomatic support from the Emperor (or even military, too, you had Emperors going to Prussia to fight against the Sambians for example), something which an early Prussian monarchy, effectively just a prince of the HRE, wouldn't receive in the same extent.
 
The only Baltic state ending up that way was Estonia, which was made into a Danish Duchy, you would need a state rather than a military order conquering Prussia and then setting up a younger son as duke. The most likely candidate for this is of course Denmark, but Sweden could also do it. A Danish conquest by Valdemar II would be interesting,

The Duchy would still mainly be settled with primarily Germans and secondary with Poles (Masurians) as in OTL, but the duchy would follow Jutish Lawinstead of Magdeburg Law and would be placed under the Archbishop of Lund instead of first Bremen and later Riga.

Danish conquest would not look like TO conquest and would be limited to coastal areas likely. Nucleus of TO state was Chełmno Land, westernmost part of Duchy of Mazovia, and TO received substantial support from Polish dukes, something Danes would not receive. Also, various monarchs, including Czech king Premysl Otakar, after whom Konigsberg was named, came with their forces to support Monastic State. Czechs would not bother to fight for Danish king or prince.

Also, even OTL conquest of Prussia by TO could collapse due to Herkus Monte's uprising. Prussians were tough nut to crack and Prussia was more inland and more populous than Estonia (and more exposed to Lithuanian raids).
 
Danish conquest would not look like TO conquest and would be limited to coastal areas likely.

Seems like that in OTL the Danes managed to conquer only the Northern Estonia (Duchy of Estonia) and, because OP does not say a word about the Livonian Brothers of the Sword of Livonia, there is no reason to assume that situation in that region seriously changing comparing to OTL: Danes on the North and a mixture of the Church lands and Order’s lands in the rest of the territory (IIRC, the Livonian Order had been formally subordinated to Archbishop of Riga).

The obvious difference is that in an absence of the TO after defeat at the Battle of Saule in 1236 the Livonian Brothers of the Sword are not going to be incorporated into the TO and the alt-Prussian state is not getting a foothold in Livonia and various local events could go differently (in OTL the TO played main role in crushing the Estonian rebellion in the XIV century).

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Nucleus of TO state was Chełmno Land, westernmost part of Duchy of Mazovia, and TO received substantial support from Polish dukes, something Danes would not receive.
Yes, while there were initially some comprehensive reasons for inviting and supporting TO, the reasons for giving the task to the Danish state (even if formally separate from Denmark) are much less clear and the schema looks more dangerous for the Masovian/Polish side. After all, the TO was a reputable religious institution and nobody could guess that it is going to grow into a reasonably powerful state but trusting conquest of Prussia to a foreign duke would be just an invitation for such a state to get created.

BTW, just out of curiosity, would an invited Danish princeling have military resources needed for conquest of Prussia p his own?




Also, various monarchs, including Czech king Premysl Otakar, after whom Konigsberg was named, came with their forces to support Monastic State. Czechs would not bother to fight for Danish king or prince.

Yes, the monastic “component” made a continued “crusading” effort popular in Europe all the way to England and France (Henry Bolingbroke, Boucicaut and less prominent figures) but helping some obscure duke to fight the local heathens does not look equally attractive.
Also, even OTL conquest of Prussia by TO could collapse due to Herkus Monte's uprising. Prussians were tough nut to crack and Prussia was more inland and more populous than Estonia (and more exposed to Lithuanian raids).
It took TO fifty years to conquer Prussia and for sustaining a needed effort the secular duchy would have a considerable amount of its own resources besides outside help. The TO had such resources but the dukes would be completely dependent upon a continued help from Denmark. Tyehen, TO deported or killed a considerable percentage of the local population and compensated by sponsoring immigration from the HRE and Masovia. Did Denmark have a surplus of the population big enough? Wouldn’t it be rather dangerous for a Danish ruler to have mostly foreigners (including nobility) as the subjects?
 
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