NOTE: All text below the following line is copyright (C) of Faeelin.
1421- the Doge, in consultation with the Senate, agrees to launch a full fledged attack on Ottoman territories, in exchange for Thessalonica. The Ottoman navy is quickly destroyed, and the Balkan princes, taking advantage of the chaos, invade Northern Greece and Bulgaria. The Empire, with the support of Venice, besieges Smyrna and quickly takes it. Attempts to move further are repulsed by Murad and Mustafa, who negotiate a peace and nominate Murad as the Sultan.
Filippo Maria Visconti, duke of Milan, conquers Genoa.
1422- With Murad proving incapable of defending the empire, the Jannisasaries overthrow Murad, and throw their support behind Mustafa. With little option other than to gain a peace, he accepts the loss of all European territories, and western Anatolia.
The Ottoman Empire has been effectively reduced to an Asian power.
1426- Venice and the Florentines ally against Milan, whose imperialistic tendencies have risen once again. Francesco Bussone, the famous mercenary general, agrees to work for Venice. He then proceeds to (at the behest of the Senate, who doubts the loyalties of Francesco) to besiege Brescia.
1427- Brescia falls, but the Duke of Savoy refuses to join the war against Milan, for fear of reprisal. Thus, the Milanese army that was on its western border heads East to face the Venetians. At the battle of Bergamo, the Venetians are defeated. Cries of treason are called against Francesco, but he stays out of Venice and avoids assassination attempts.
1428- Florence is able to move on Milan from the South, while the treasury of Venice raises another army of condottierre. Bergamo is besieged, and Francesco defeats the Milanese army.
1429- Emissaries of the Pope assist in negotiating a peace, in which all land from Bergamo to the Po is ceded to Venice.
1431- the Milanese, in concert with Genoa, march to war once again. Genoa hopes to reassert itself in the Eastern Mediterranean, and In the chaos in Florence, the Medicis take control of the city. Venice, using Constantinople as a base, take the Black sea possessions of Genoa, while the armies march on Bergamo. Francesco wins, but pursues halfheartedly.
The senate has had enough. Francesco (a.k.a Carmagnola). He is brought to Venice, where he is tricked into being arrested and sent to the dungeons. After the services of a master torturer from Padua, he confesses to be working for the Duke of Milan.
The trade in the Orient (now exclusively Venetian) is pouring in an average income of 1,000,000 anum.
1435- The Duchy of Athens is inherited by the Emperor of Byzantium through much lawyering. In reality this is done to prevent the Emperor from providing aid to Milan covertly, as well as to shore him up against the Ottomans. Milan, meanwhile, negotiates a peace with the Venetians.
1437- In order to avoid any future casus bellis against itself by the Duke of Milan, the Venetians approach Emperor Sigumund of the Holy Roman Empire, and ask him to recognize his claims.
As Filippo hadn’t even bothered to see the emperor on his way to Rome for the coronation, he readily agreed.
Filippo of Milan breaks the peace treaty, and marches east.
1439- Brescia is besieged by the forces of Filippo. The inhabitants are on the brink of starvation, and “the people long for death; sometimes there is no bread at all and they wander through the streets, faint with hunger. Yet they bear it without complaint rather than submit to the Duke of Milan.” The city is relieved by Francesco Sforza the following year, after the victory at Verona.
Francesco Sforza is also, through a marriage with Filippo’s sole daughter, the heir of Milan.
1440- Mustafa has finished consolidating his position in the Empire, and is now the ruler of most of Central and Eastern Anatolia. Despite this, he has no desire to wage war with Byzantium, despite its weakened state.
1442- The Republic of Lucca is annexed by Florence.
Naples is inherited by Alfonoso V, King of Aragon, who is now “King of the two Sicilies”. Southern Italy and Sardinia are now under the control of Aragon.
Peace is once again brokered between Venice, Florence, and Milan. Among the conditions if the independence of Genoa, which is reduced to its coastal holdings of the early 15th century.
Florence is seeking to limit Venetian power on the continent, but due to its own conquests, is actually a power whose own expansion is sought to be limited. Thus, Venice and Florence have no choice but to continue to remain allies.
1446- With Filippo an old and sick man, Francesco Sforza moves to gain the French throne. The Senate promises Sforza support, and he crosses the Adda to Milan itself. Unfortunately, without any siege cannons or engines, the Venetians and Sforza are unable to take the city. He is forced to withdraw to the Romagna.
1447- Filippo dies in August, and with the vacuum in Milan, various claimants press to take power. Among them:
Charles of Orleans, who has an army waiting in Asti. As the nephew of Filippo Maria through the latter’s half-sister Valentina Visconti, he is the most legitimate heir.
Alfonso of Aragon, whose claim asserts that Filippo named him heir on his dethbed. Alfonso’s claim is strengthened by the presence of his troops inside the Castello, the fortress which guards Milan.
Frederick III of Austria, who claims that Milan was a lapsed imperial fief.
Alfonso’s troops are repulsed, but in the chaos that follows as the Tuscans march north, Charles’ forces take the city.
The Pope recognizes Charles claim to the Duchy, effectively insulting the Emperor, but at the same time urges the cessions of the lands the Venetians and Florentines now hold. Venetian dominance stretches to the River Adda, while the Medicis rule to Pavia.
1448-Mustafa dies. A prince of the Renassance, he made the unfortunate mistake of leaving behind 4 male sons, going against the Ottoman tradition. Civil war ensues, which is gleefully fanned by Byzantium. Two powerful heirs quickly dominate; Suleiman, and Kabal. Suleiman dominates the new territories in the east, while Kabal is strongest in the west. Suleiman is supported by the janissaries, while Kabal is supported by the uleema (Ottoman head of Islam).
1448- Seesaw battles rage throughout Anatolia, as Bursa (capital of Kabal) is besieged by Suleiman, but then relieved by reinforcements. Kabal’s capital of Trapezus is then besieged, only to be defeated by the Tartars.
Seeking to take advantage of the opportunity, Byzantium invades Kabal’s territory. Byzantine Inquisition begins.
1449- With The Byzantine Emperor Manuel taking Bursa, Kabal is quickly overthrown by the uleema, who welcome Suleiman back. Refugees from Western Anatolia tell of rape and pillage amongst its Muslim inhabitants, and conversions by sword.
Suleiman urges a jihad against the Byzantines, and several thousand Tatars flock to his banner. After several months reequipping, the army attacks the winter encampments of the Byzantines at Corum on Christmas Day, crushing it utterly. Suleiman’s army marches on Smyrna, which it promptly besieges.
Emperor Manuel appeals to the Venetians and other Orthodox nations for help. Due to pressing concerns at home, Serbia, Moldovia, and Wallachia do not intervene.
Venice dispatches an army of condottierre to Anatolia, 15,000 strong. The Ottomans promptly slaughter it. Despite this, efforts to take Smyrna are frustrated by the resupply by the Venetians. Due to the exorbitant costs of the war, poor financing, and the region’s chaos, the Byzantium Empire is forced to take a loan from Venice.
Condottierre fail to play a meaningful part in the rest of the war. There is a very important reason for this, which the Council of Ten realizes. Quite simply, they do not wage war.
Condottierre are assorted armies of mercenaries-therefore, they have no principles or patriotism to fight for, and as they are paid for wars and not for peace, it is in their duty to drag wars on as long as possible, with a minimal loss of life. Therefore, war developed into a system which was about as dangerous as fencing today. When faced with an enemy who was quite willing to fight a decisive battle, the condottierre run away.
1450- Byzantium raises 50,000 from the Balkans in the form of mercenaries, vassal princes, and would-be crusaders Emperor John Paleologus of the Byzantines dies childless. Demetrius, Despot of Morea and Athens, becomes the emperor. To cement his claim to the throne, he marries Caterina Cabbotto, daughter of an important Venetian Senator. According to the marriage contract, she was not merely the royal consort, but also the queen, with full right of succession.
The Ottoman army engages the mercenary army in battle. Although initially victorious, Suleiman is hit by a stray arrow, and the last heir to the house of Osman is dead.
1451- During the chaos followed by the Sultan’s death, the Byzantine/Venetian mercenary army reaches the river Sakarya. Malik Arslan Beg becomes the sultan of the Ottoman Empire, and is able to rally the forces against any incursions across it. A peace treaty is signed, recognizing the Byzantine claims.
Byzantine Inquisition restarts. All property of those who refuse to convert is transferred to the state. Not surprisingly, most of the property is used to pay off the debts to Venice.
Empress Caterina gives birth to a son, named Alexius. Two other children have been born, but as girls, they are not, and would not be, heirs to the Imperial throne.
Byzantine Renaissance begins.
1453- Venice begins reforming the military, hiring mercenary trainers from England and the Swiss canons. Several Byzantine captains of war are also hired, and the Republic’s army is retrained on a system of recruitment from the mainland territories.
The people of Milan revolt, and are promptly crushed. The Duke, unwilling or unknowing of the way of life in Italy, kills 300 members of the leading families in response.
1455- Emperor Demetrius dies. Caterina claims the throne as her own, and promises to step down when Alexius comes of age. The Byzantine nobles, however, fail to believe her, and see this as a ploy on the part of Venice to gain control of the empire, as opposed to the economic dominance they enjoy. (With some reason; many Venetians hoped that would happen, but Caterina was more concerned about her children than Venice at this point).
The Byzantine nobles rise up against her in a coup, taking control of Athens, and Smyrna. The attempt to gain control of Constantinople, however, fails.
Beginning of the War of the Tulips
Caterina appeals to the Republic of Venice for help. The Republic, grudgingly, agrees to provide naval support and cut off trade with the Royalist territories. It also agrees to loan 900,000 ducats, in exchange for the expulsion of Genoese merchants.
1457-By this point, Caterina’s forces have gained the upper hand. Smyrna has fallen to her forces. With victory in hand, she takes the opportunity to crush the nobles, and begins the establishment of a civil service based, ironically enough, on the Ottoman system.
Caterina also, in exchange for trading protections, receives the promise of naval support for Byzantium for 100 years.
1460- Ladislas eager, for more territorial expansion (and revenge on Venice for supporting Byzantium) invades Dalmatia. Dalmatia is valuable to Ladislas for two reasons:
1) It produces a great deal of grain, and is the breadbasket for the region. 2) It would give him access to the Mediterranean.
Diplomats are sent from Venice, proposing (once again; this last happened in 1410) that Venice might hold Dalmatia as a Hungarian fief, paying a token annual tribute. As one might expect, Ladislas wants more than a token tribute.
Spalato is besieged by Polish forces, and is taken in August after a 6 month siege. Venetian forces, reorganized on a hybrid of Swiss and Byzantine models, manage to fight well, but the weight of numbers results in the Hungarians winning the war of attrition.
1463- The war doesn’t officially end, but both sides agree to a 7 year truce, at the request of the Pope (who would like to see both sides bleed each other white).
Unfortunately, King Ladislas uses the truce to defeat the Teutonic Order, gaining West Prussia, Pommerania, and other territories. Now that ihis rear is secure, King Ladislas (who is now 74) is free to turn against Venice wholeheartedly.
1470- Spalato,, Clissa, and Sebenico have fallen to Ladislas forces. However, his attempts to enter the Italian peninsula are thwarted by Venetian forces at Udine, leaving Italy’s mainland territories intact.
1474- Segna falls to Polish forces, but King Ladislas dies. His successor, Zygmund, makes peace with Venice on relatively light terms. Venice cedes Zara and Spalato to him, but may keep the rest of its holdings in Dalmatia. However, Venice acknowledges it is a fief from Zygmund (as King of Hungary), and pmust pay an annual tribute to him.
The war has left Venice’s treasury at a rather low level, but a new source of funds appears. Bartolomeo Colleoni, the leader of Venice’s military efforts to reform (and ironically enough, a former condottieri) Bartolomeo Colloni, leaves Venice 216,000 ducats in gold and silver, and twice that in land and property.
1475- The Ottomans invade Georgia. Emperor Alexius declares that as defender of the faith, he will have no choice but to join his fellow Christians in a war against the Turks. Beginning of the Alexian War.
Sultan Selim, known as Selim the Sot, leads his army across the Sakarya river. His men ravage the surrounding countryside (which is, by this point, mostly Orthodox) and he besieges the city. The city is bombarded for two weeks, devastating the walls, but causing few casualties. Then Alexius’ river squadron appeared down the Sakarya, while cavalry, lining the banks, cut off the Sot’s retreat. The battle raged for five hours, and it was reported that the river turned red with blood. The Byzantines, with the craft designed on the Venetian model, broke through the chain of Ottoman vessels, dispersed them, and captured fourteen galleys.
After this, Alexius led his troops into the citadel of Angora to relieve the garrison. Breaches in the wall were quickly repaired, and plans made ready. Meanwhile, Selim ordered his Janissaries to, by night, make a major assault on the city. Selim finally forced his way into the lower part of the city, while groups of his forces scaled the walls to penetrate the citadel itself.
Alexius, however, withdrew his troops from the walls and ordered his men to hide. As Janissaries scattered through the emptry streets, searching for plunder and women, the signal was given by Alexius. The Janissary shouts of victories were drowned by Byzantine cries of “God wills it!” and the small groups were quickly cut to pieces.
The remaining Janissaries fled down from the citadel’s walls, only to meet with an even grimmer surprise. The night before, Alexius had ordered bundles of wood steeped piled together, and as the Janissaries fled, said piles were set alight and thrown at the retreating forces. As one might expect, the Turks below burn to death, some trapped, some burned as they ran. At this point, Alexius army marches against Selim’s artillery. Breaking before them, they fall back to a line of defense before Selim’s camp. Roused in fury, he charges into battle where, being drunk, he is promptly killed.
Winter falls with the Ottomans, and their new Sultan (4 year old Ismael) are in full retreat. The rest of the war consists of a mopup of the Ottoman forces.
1477- Ismael, under the direction of his viziers, agrees to peace. The Ottomans lose all from Kayseri west, and pay a heavy annual tribute to Georgia.
1478- on Easter Day, in the cathredal of Florence, Lorenzo de’ Medici is wounded by assassins. He knows that the plot had the secret support of the Pope and the Archbishop of Pisa. The Archbishop is executed, and Pope Sixtus excommunicated Lorenzo and interdicts Florence.
Beginning of the Easter War. Venice supports Florence, and King Ferdinand of Naples allies with the Pope. The viceroy of Milan also supports the latter, though halfheartedly (King Louis XI is busy consolidating his rule of the lands gained from Burgundy).
The war rages indecisively for two years, before ending in a peace which restores the status quo.
“You Venetians, it is certain, are very wrong to disturb the peace of the other states of Italy rather than to rest content with the most splendid state of Europe, which you already possess. If you knew how you are universally hated, your hair would stand on end… Do you believe that these powers in Italy, now in league together, are truly friends among themselves? Of course they are not; it is only necessity, and the fear which they feel for you and your power, that has bound them in this way… You are alone, with all the world against you, not only in Italy but beyond the Alps also. Know then that your enemies do not sleep. Take good counsel, for, by God, you need it…”
Message from Ferdinand, King of Naples, to Giovanni Gonnella, Secretary of the Venetian Republic.
1481- Duke Ercole of Este begins provocating Venice, with the support of his father-in-law, King Ferdinand of Naples. He:
1) Buildt saltpans on the mouth of the Po, defying a Venetian monopoly 8 centuries old.
2) Raised several obscure issues of frontier boundaries (which probably weren’t worth quarreling over)
3) When a Venetian consul had a local priest arrested for unpaid debts, and was excommunicated by Ferrara’s vicar, he supported the vicar.(The vicar’s bishop condemned the action). Despite the fact that Pope Sixtus himself was scandalized, Ercole refused to reinstate the consul.
Clearly, the Duke was looking forward to a fight; he also knew that Venice was weak from the war with Ladislas and the Italian states. What he didn’t quite realize was that those embarrassments made Venice all the more determined to prove to the world that she was still Venice, the Serrenisima.
Naples joins Ferrara, as does Florence. Sixtus joins Venice, hoping for a piece of the Duchy. Venice’s troops, well-trained, and not led by condottierre, smash the Duchy’s forces.
1484- Pope Sixtus switches sides when the King of Naples marches on Acona. He appeals for Venice to accept a peace.
Venice refuses, explaining how its armies (which had recently been blessed by His Holiness) were triumphant. Sixtus lays Venice under an interdict. Venice’s representative refuses to forward the bull to his government, which forces Sixtus to send it by courier to the Partriarch.
The Partriarch is too ill to pass it on (naturally). He did inform the Council of Ten, however, who ordered that the churches should perform as usual. Venice informs the Pope they shall appeal to a Council.
King Ferdinand, whose fleet has been devastated by Venice, sues for peace. With Modena occupied, Duke Ercole is forced to recognize Venice as his overlord, and and cede the Duchy of Ferrara to Venice.
Pope Sixtus, a bitter man, dies. His successor, Innocent VIII, lifts the interdict.
1489- Caterina, Queen of Cyprus, abdicates. She cedes her kingdom to Venice.
1492- King Charles VIII of France raises an expedition to lead his way to Naples. His goal is, with the expedition, reclaim the Kingdom of Naples, which he feels is unquestionably his. The King of Naples also, automatically, receives the King of Jerusalem, and he believes that once achieving those two, he may launch a great Crusade.
Charles, unfortunately, was broke. Forced to pawn his jewels before leaving, he should have flinched at the thought of leading an army across long and fragile lines of communication and supply, and being at the mercy of several powerful, potentially hostile states. He is egged on, however, by factions from most of Italy (excluding Venice) and his chamberlain.
1503- On August 13, Pope Alexander VI is suddenly struck by a fever. Returning home, he was bled. Despite the profusion of blood that was removed, the doctors are unable to save him. He died on the 18th, of pestilence.
Cesare, the pope’s son, and Duke of Valentinois, seizes the keys to the Papl treasury and occupies Rome. He intimidates the Cardinals into electing Pius III, who promptly ups and dies within a month. Cesare then finds himself with a new problem: the ambitions of Venice.
When the Duke conquered the cities of the Marches and Romagna, the dispossessed lords had fled to Venice. Thus, when Cesare fled to Rome to deal with the new Pope, Venice provided the lords with active support, providing they would govern in her name with Venice as their overlord. By January of 1504, the banner of St. Mark flew as far south as Rimini, effectively giving control over northeast Italy.
Upon Pius III’s death, Venice put their influence in the Sacred College between Cardinal Guiliano della Roverre, believing his hatred of the Borgias would grant his consent. The Cardinal, was elected, but betrayed Venice; Cesare was shipped off to Spain as a prisoner, and the Pope made it clear that the Venetians must cede the territory to Rome, as it had always belonged to the Papal states. Despite offers of tribute, Venice then defied him.
Julius then, decides to wage war upon Venice; but the Papal States are not equipped for such an action. He contents himself with the conquest of Perugia and Bologna, and sends messages to King Louis and Emperor Maximilian about dividing Venice amongst themselves. A bit hypocritical for the pope who said “Venice makes both herself and me the slaves of everyone- she to preserve, myself to win back. Otherwise, working together, we might have found some way of freeing Italy from the tyranny of foreigners”. A pity he invited all of Christendom to invade it.
1504- By the autumn, the Papacy has entered an alliance with the Emperor to carve up Venice. France, however refuses to sign. Maximilian wants control of Genoa, Milan, Verona, and Vicenza; King Louis believes that after 30 years of occupation, it’s pretty obvious the Duchy of Milan is French. In the end, he walks out of the negotiations.
When word of the treaty of Blois reaches the rialto, Venetians are furious. Ambassadors are dispatched to Louis, proposing to use her navy to help him gain control of the kingdom of Naples; and with it, the title of the king of Jerusalem. In return, King Louis will cede Ortranto, Taranto, and Brindisi to Venice, giving her an uninterrupted supply of bases on the Mediterranean shoreline; and King Louis a chance to move against the Low Countries.
The Pope moves against Bologna and Perugia, in the Marches. Venice supports the two despots on terms similar to those of Romagna; if they accept the Republic as their Sovereign, they will have the support of the Republic. Pope Julius II backs down, and sends messengers to Savoy, Spain, and Hungary. He refuses, of course, to contact Byzantium (who in any case is losing much of eastern asia minor to the Turcoman nomads).
Leonardo Da Vinci heads to Venice, and then to Byzantium. There, he triggers a love of all things Italian in the court of Emperor Manuel. Partly in a response to the Renaissance’s humanistic ideas, the Emperor begins a policy of assimilation and colonization in Anatolia.
1507- Vasco Da Gama reaches the Kingdom of the Congo, and opens trading relations. Christopher Columbus, in case anyone is wondering, does not exist. His father was butterflied out of existence when Genoa was crushed by Venice and Milan.
1508-In the summer of 1508, Maximilian sets the continent ablaze. At the head of a rather large army, he requests to enter Venetian territory to attend his coronation in Rome. Venetian agents had discovered that his true goal was to gain Genoa from France, Milan from Venice, along with Vicenza and Verona. Venice informs him that he would be welcome if he came “without warlike tumult and the clangour of arms”.
As one might guess, there’s a very loud clangour. In February he marches on Viczenza while the Marquis of Brandenburg leads a force towards Rovereto (in northern Italy).
Venice, with French help, defeats his forces, and with the contracts of his soldiers expired, Maximilian agrees to a truce for three years. Pope Julius is less than pleased.
Venice, at this point, is feeling very arrogant, and appoints its own bishop to the see of Vicenza. Julius is furious at this point, and sends messages to discuss the dismemberment of Venice and her Empire. He cannot, however, win over King Louis. Spain joins in with the promise of Crete; Savoy, Cyprus; Maximilian is promised all of Northern Italy.
Meanwhile, France and Venice agree to begin the plans for the invasion of Naples. The declaration of war reaches the League of Cambrai on December 9, 1508; the day before they sign.
The treaty of the League of Cambrai agrees to “put an end to the losses, the injuries, the violations, the damages which the Venetians have inflicted, not only on the Apostolic See but on the Holy Roman Empire, on the House of Austria, on the Kings of Naples and on divers of other princes, occupying and tyrannically usurping their goods, their possessions, their cities and castles, as if the had deliberately conspired to do ill all around them…
Thus we have found it not only well-advised and honourable, but even necessary, to summon all people to take their just revenge and so to extinguish, like a fire, the insatiable rapacity of the Venetians and French, and their lust for power.”
1509- The year opens with the invasion of Flanders by France, which meets little opposition initially. To the south, the Venetians land at Taranto, quickly take the city, and then sail around it, linking up with a French fleet on the western coast of Italy, which sailed from French Genoa. In retaliation, on April 27, Pope Julius issues a bull which declares that Venice was under excommunication and interdicted, and permitted any other state or person to attack or despoil her or any of her subjects, to obstruct her traffic on land or sea and to do her all possible harm and hurt. Venice announces, via a proclamation nailed to the door of St. Peter’s, her plans to appeal to a council.
As if this was not bad enough, Bartolomeu Dias reaches the Cape of Good Hope, but does not continue onward.
On April 15, 1509, the first troops of the Empire march into Venetian Milan. At the battle of Agnadello, the Emperor’s forces are cruashed as they charge up a marshy, wet ground, across vines and irrigation dishes. As the Austrians retreat, they are caught in the rear by King Louis’ forces.
It becomes clear by now that the Venetian military, despite its Byzantine and Swiss influence (although in reality, because of) is far superior to the Condotierri. However, their limited use of them only adds to the idea that they are not true Italians amongst their enemies.
On April 20, Naples falls to French forces, while being blockaded from the sea by the Venetian fleet. With Reggio, Naples, and Ortranto in French and Venetian hands, King Louis rushes to Naples for his coronation, which takes place in May. Thus accomplish, he marches north. Rome, after all, awaits.
Maximilian, however, marches south again, and besieges Padua. For a fortnight, German artillery. But by the end of September, he is forced to raise it, and goes home with 40,000 men. Meanwhile, the French take control of all of the Low Countries southwest of the River Maas.
1511- Florence enters the war on the side of Austria. This proves to be a mistake. Venice, although in debt, can still send its army into Florence. After an initial defeat, the Condotierri melt away, as the promises of easy loot prove false. Venetian troops enter Florence in May. The city itself becomes a tributary of Venice, and the city’s empire is incorporated into Venice’s.
By September, the war winds down. The French cannot cross northeast of the river, and have been repulsed on the Pyrenees; Venice is exhausted. However, the Papal states are under occupation, The Emperor’s invasions have been crushed, and Florence has been eliminated from the war. Both sides accept King Henry’s offers of mediation.
The Treaty of Blois, signed on Easter of 1512, agrees to the following items:
-King Louis renounces all claims to Milan, but his inheritence of Genoa is accepted as legitimate. He is, in turn, acknowledged as the King of Naples (and hence Jerusalem), but Sicily is affirmed as part of the house of Aragon. Flanders is returned to Austria, but for heavy reparations and Franc Comteis ceded to France.
-Venice gains all legal title to its territories in Lombardia, along with Verona and Vicenza. The Pope cedes all territory east of Anagni and north of Civita. Venice now controls almost all of Northern Italy.
Now about the popes: The Borgias (a family who had a couple of popes) tried to carve out their own state in the papal territory, and failed. Miserably. If ayone wants to see a map of Italy at this point, paste their email, and you'll see how the marches and romagna are now venetian bulwarks (along with the heel of Italy). When the Pope excommunicated Venice, it decreed that it would appeal to a grand council. Having won the war, it would seem likely that the superiority of a council over the papacy has been proven by force of arms. How this effects a reformation remains to be seen; but almost certainly, Venice won't be that sympathetic to the counterreformation. On the other hand, if Martin Luther is burned at the stake (as could very well happen, with no turks to force maximillian to grand concessions) a grand council attempt to bridge the gap between the protestants and catholics?
Thus, the pope's ability to use the interdict has been shattered, by force of arms. Moreover, the fact that it proposed to carve up the state that is known as the destroyer of the turks in christendom reflects poorly on him, in eyes of the common man. The Popes, in other words, are viewed as even more corrupt and unholy than they were in otl in my timeline.
I figured I'd write up a brief update on what the status of the major nations are, before continuing.
The Holy Roman Empire: Under Maximillian, the problems of the empire have become grossly apparent. Despite leading 40,000 men into Italy, he could not keep the nobles from withdrawing. Moreover, many of the electors believe that Maximillian (and therefore the rest of the Hapsburgs) have sacrificed the interests of the Empire for their own advantage and claims. Flanders and Lombardia have been removed from the empire. The Swiss have also gained (for all intents and purposes) independence from the empire. They have also failed to defend the eastern fringes of the Empire against the Triple Kingdom of Poland,Lithuania, Hungary. Moreover, Venice has been hurting the great merchant banking houses through tariffs and economic war; something that shall come into play when the new emperor must be chosen.
The Reichsregiment, however, has been gaining power. Maximilian was unable to convince the Diet of Ausburg to dissolve it, and it has gained power, functioning as the Empire’s executive branch. Consisting of 20 officials appointed by the nobles and free cities, it often clashes with the Emperor and his deputy on council. Most nobles, however, favor a strong Reichsregiment and Diet.
France: With the acquisition of Flanders and much of the low countries, France is considered by many to be the strongest nation in Europe. Moreover, France possesses Naples, at the center of the Mediterranean. Although relatively poor, its geographic position (not to mention the prestige from being King of Jerusalem) expands France’s influence in the Levant. Francis V is considered one of the possible candidates for the crown of the Holy Roman Empire, but many fear what that would do to the balance of power if the Empire and France were ruled as one.
Portugal: Trade with Africa has enriched Portugal, but not the extent that it was in OTL. The spice trade is largely in the hands of the Venetians (more on that later) and expeditions beyond the Cape have only just begun. They are tied to the Spaniards by ties of blood, and there is talk of a marriage between the young Charles and a member of the Portuguese royal family.
Spain: With expeditions to the new world just beginning, they have set out to find a route Asia from the West. So far in the Caribbean, medium-sized reserves of gold have been discovered. But tales speak of a civilization drowning in the stuff to the West….
England: Not too much different from OTL. Maybe more merchants in the Levant trade, as they were driven out in the 1480’s by Turkish privateers.
The Triple Kingdom: Poland, Lithuania, Hungary: King Ladislas III reigns over the three kingdoms. The various are loyal to varying degrees, with Hungary being the least loyal. In the early 16th century Poland took much of Pommern from the Empire, and is expanding into the Ukraine.
Venice: Technically the weakest of the powers listed, it is also the strongest. It’s navy is supreme, and the industries of northern Italy are under its control. With the elimination of Genoa, it controls virtually all the spice trade. Yet Portuguese expeditions are sailing up Africa towards India, and will soon reach it. When they do, the consequences are feared greatly. The Byzantine Emperor Manuel, who has begun importing western ideas, has been making strides in retaking the Levant trade (and the Venetian islands). Venice is the wildcard. If it can consolidate Northern Italy, the resources of the Serenissima will be equal (or superior to) that of the Kings and Emperors of Christendom.
Byzantium: The Empire struggles on. Although it has made gains in Anatolia, ever-present revolts and border raids by the Persian supported Nomad tribes threaten the security of western Anatolia. However, Emperor Manuel has taken steps towards reforming the navy, in hopes of capturing the Aegean Isles from Venice.
1512- With the Empire shaken, King Ladislas III invades Kustrin in Eastern Germany. Maximillian is relatively indifferent to the invasion; but the Reichsregiment is able to get the Diet to approve the raising of troops. In the end, the rapid cavalry forces of King Ladislas III triumph over the empire, and at the treaty of Hamburg in 1514 Poland gains the city of Kustrin; but for doing what the empire could not, the members of the Reichsregiment is able to wield increasing authority over the disparate nobles.
Meanwhile, the Venetian captain Gian Trivulzio sails up and down the coast South America for Spain. He coins the term New World to represent these new lands.
Venetian merchants, in conjunction with those of Pisa, finance an expedition to the New World. Led by Massimiliano Loredan, it sails up and down the coast of Brazil. Upon discovering Brazil wood (important in textiles), they found the colony of Nuevo Verona; so-called because Loredan is from there. Sugar is imported from Crete and Cyprus and grown to feed the insatiable appetite of Europe.
1513- Vasco Da Gama returns to Europe from Asia, bearing silks and spices. Venice is shocked. No longer would merchants have to trust slow caravans; more importantly no longer would merchants in spices have to deal with Venice. It is reported that “some Venetians refused to believe the news, and others who averred that the King of Portugal could not continue to use the new route to Calicut, since of the thirteen caravels which he had dispatched only six had returned safely, that the losses outweighed the advantages, that few sailors would be prepared to risk their lives on such a long and dangerous voyage”.
But most thought that this was the hour of doom for the Republic. “The city was stupefied – and the wisest men held it to be the worst news that there could possibly be”.
Venice was already in a large debt from the wars; yet it is clear to Venice that there is only one solution: A canal must be built across the isthmus of the Suez. A special advisory committee is set up to determine the cost of such an endeavour; and return with the figure: 90 million ducats, over a period of 15 years, assuming that labor supplies can be found. Negotiations with the Sultan of Egypt occur, and the figure is raised to 110 million ducats, to cover the buying of the land for the canal. How then can the money be raised?
The answer, to the Council of Ten, was simple. Bypassing the Great Council (who would likely override it) The Council announced that it would sell membership in the Venetian nobility to mainland citizens of the Republic for 100,00 ducats a family. Among the applicants are members of the Medici family, who(after a long period of debate, they are accepted.
1514- Construction on the Grand Canal begins. Also this year, the English claim North America.
The Reichsregiment begins negotiations with the Hanseatic League. Maximillian assents. The League, being kicked out of Russia the year before, eagerly embraces the proposals of protection and support from the Empire.
The fuggers finance an expedition to the new world, which explores much of Canada’s coast (Newfoundland, Quebec). Hanseatic fisherman soon follow, along with some fur traders and lumberjacks.
Niccolo Machiavelli enters the Civil Service of Venice (all mainland inhabitants are considered full citizens) and writes the political Treatise The Doge, which states that it is in a governnment’s best interests to channel the people’s energy’s into private enterprise.
1515- Spanish explorers led by Juan de Grijalva land in the Yucatan Penninsula. They return home to Europe, where the tales of the natives are largely dismissed. However, several Venetian merchant companies, hoping to replace the feared loss of trade with the Orient, decide to search for the mythical civilization the natives spoke of.
1516- Antonio Priuli leads an expedition of 9 ships from Pisa to the Carribean. They discover Jamaica, and land at the site of Veracruz. Travelling inland, they reach the court of Montezuma. Although initially considered gods, the fact that they do not come bearing the cross (and Antonio’s nickname the Moor) calm things down a bit. Antonio returns home to Venice, laden with gold, chocolate, and the potential for further trade.
1517- Leonardo Da Vinci dies in Constantinople. Before dying, he was responsible for helping to found the Library of Constantinople, and rebuilding the newly restored Hagia Sophia.
Martin Luther nails 95 theses to the Wuttenburg Church. Due to the invention of the printing press, it rapidly spreads across Europe. Punishment
1518- Magellan begins an expedition to reach the spice islands by circumnavigating the globe.
The Aztec Trading House is founded in Venice.
Emperor Maximilian dies a broken man. During the chaos surrounding his death, Martin Luther is able to escape from being executed by the Diet; but he is exiled from the Empire. He flees to Venice, which takes him in. His message regarding the Papal involvement in secular affairs is particularly listened to.
But meanwhile, the Empire is left without an Emperor. Two obvious candidates vie for supremacy. Francis I, King of France, is considered as the leading candidate; as many of the electors were influenced through financial persuasion. But at the same time, the French had recently invaded the Empire, and a French king would do as the Hapsburgs had done. King Charles of Spain is also considered, but his financial resources are less limited, and he is a Hapsburg. The deadlock and Pope Leo transfers support to Charles; but Venice, through agents in the Diet, proposes, Philip I “The Magnanimous” as a candidate. Using its own financial resources, and the unpleasant taste of the two nonGerman Emperors, Philip is elected on July 2, 1519 at Frankfurt.
Venice eagerly welcomes the new Emperor to Italy, inviting him to stop at Venice on his way to the coronation in Rome. For the course of a week, Philip is enthralled by festivities in Venice. Banquets, plays,acrobats, and a great many festivities go for day and night in the city. Festivities, of course, are occurring not just for the Emperor, but because the Aztec Trading House just received the rights to import basic luxuries such as glassware to Mexico. He also visits the arsenal, where, in the morning, he sees a ship’s keel being laid. Returning at night, the same ship is leaving the dry dock, prepared for war.
1520- Luther is excommunicated from the Catholic Church, and the Pope demands that Venice hands him over to the Inquisition. Venice refuses, mainting its long tradition of tolerance. Besides, Luther’s (toned down) beliefs that the Church had been corrupted by materialistic Popes receives a great deal of sympathy in Venice and Italy, who were nearly conquered by the Empire, French, Spaniards, and each other due to the Papacy.
1520- Luther is excommunicated from the Catholic Church, and the Pope demands that Venice hands him over to the Inquisition. Venice refuses, mainting its long tradition of tolerance. Besides, Luther’s (toned down) beliefs that the Church had been corrupted by materialistic Popes receives a great deal of sympathy in Venice and Italy, who were nearly conquered by the Empire, French, Spaniards, and each other due to the Papacy. Among the beliefs of Luther is that only faith in God and good works (an influence from the humanist Renaissance in Venetian Italy) earn one entrance into heaven; the sacraments are unimportant. Reading the Bible gains a new emphasis, especially in Germany and Italy. The printing houses of Venice begin to publish propaganda on the Reformation, although much of the Republic is still Catholic.
European diseases devastate the Aztec Empire. Subject tribes take the opportunity to rise up against them, and mercenaries (and weapons) from Europe are bought for gold.
1521- Diet of Worms. It initially opens on the subject of the Hanseatic League, which gains full support and protection. Turning toward the heresies of Luther, the pro-protestant Emperor Philip I decrees that the Empire shall tolerate the heresies, and suggests that the Pope should look long and hard at the reasons for Luther’s doctrine. He promises the support of the Empire for Protestant nobles, but all nobles who confiscate lands from the church must hand over 1 part in 4 as an Imperial fief.
The King of France signs a pact with the Baesilus Basili “The Turk”, swearing alliance against Venice. In response, Venice reaffirms its alliance with the Holy Roman Emperor Philip, and King Henry VIII joins in the alliance against Francis. Carlos V, King of Spain and Duke of Austria, is torn. He decides to remain neutral.
Beginning of the Levant Wars.
Vasco Da Gama returns to Portugal. This is slightly unnoticed, as all the major powers (save for the Triple Kingdom, which is dealing with revolts from Ukrainian Cossacks) are now at war.
1522- Byzantium blockades the Bosphorus, cutting Venice off from her Black Sea Colonies (which promptly fall). At the same time, however, the attempt to take Negropont fails; Venice’s fleet of 100 galleys drives back the Byzantine one of 150 through “love for Christ, love of Country, love of discipline, and love of courage” and then sacks Smyrna.
Francis attempts to march through Switzerland in an attempt to invade the Duchy of Milan from the North. The Cantons enter a “perpetual alliance” with Venice, and at the battle of Sampach, defeat the French. Sampach marks the beginning of cavalry and artillery superiority on the battlefield. The cantons, Venice, and the Imperial Diet form the League of Geneva, dedicated to ensuring their mutual defense.
Imperial forces, under the Marquis of Brandenburg, march into the French Low Countries. With help from King Henry VIII of England, they are able to retake Flanders.
1523- Thessalonica is taken by Byzantium, along with Varna. However, King Zygmund I of Poland, Lithuania, and Hungary begins making moves along the Byzantine border. A Venetian fleet, to compound problems, succeeds in breaking the blockade of the Bosphorous, and is only pushed back by the fortifications along the strait.
Emperor Basil makes peace with Byzantium. The Black sea is now a Byzantine lake, and Kaffa, Thessalonica, and Varna are returned to Byzantium. But at the same time, the Emperor agrees to only subject Venetian merchants to a 2% tax. The Emperor also invades Rhodes, expelling the Knights of St. John.
With Byzantium out of the war, Venice’s navy raids the Kingdom of Naples, and cuts it off from France. Venice also invades Genoa by sea, which revolts (as does Naples; the French have imposed crushing taxes similar to the Spanish which turned southern Italy into a backwater in OTL).
Charles enters the war, and raises taxes from the Communeros. This leads to the rising of Toledo, Segovia, and other Castillian cities revolt, and though it is put down a year later, it is marked by violent class warfare.
Malta, the barren spanish isle of little importance, is taken by Venice.
1524- Philip is running low on funds, especially with the entrance of the Hapsburgs into the war. This brings southern Germany into a civil war against the Emperor. He comes upon an idea. Much of the south is undecided on Protestantism; what’s more, the Hapsburgs rule much of Southern Germany, were staunchly anti-Luther at the Diet of Worms, and the Emperor decides who rules the ecclesiastical estates; if Emperor were to break away from the Church, the estates (and their treasuries) would fall to the Emperor.
In May of 1524, Philip forms the Imperial Church. With strong Lutheran influences, the Church nevertheless maintains a hierarchal base. Martin Bucer, the reformist who unites the doctrines of Luther and the South German and Swiss reformers, is its first head. The Reichsregiment provides unanimous support of the new Church (coincidentally, many of its members receive estates in the former ecclesiastical lands). The new church is very similar to the Anglican Church, with the Holy Roman Emperor the Supreme leader of the Church, with: “full power and authority from time to time to visit, repress, redress, reform, order, correct, restrain, and amend all such errors, heresies, abuses, offences, contempt, enormities whatsoever they be which by any manner, spiritual authority or jurisdiction ought or may be lawfully reformed“
Meanwhile, in Italy, the Reformation spreads. The Senate, Council of Ten, Great Council, and Doge all issue decrees banning intolerance of either side. When Luther informs the council that he protests their tolerance, and that he has been moved by God to expel the bishops, the Council informs him that they have been moved by God to execute anyone who disobeys their decrees. He takes the hint.
The Pope excommunicates the Holy Roman Empire, the Diet, and the Reichsregiment. He furthermore elaborates that Papal support is provided only to Charles V and Francis, and that Charles is the rightful Holy Roman Emperor. Henry VIII considers dropping out of the alliance, but is promised the Low Countries in the peace treaty in the event of a victory. The Pope threatens to excommunicate Venice unless they hand over Luther.
Venice is furious. The Reformation has been gaining ground, but up until now it has been as a desire to reform the catholic church, not to replace it. The Doge warns Julius that “You must know that we are, every one of us, resolute and aren’t to the last degree, not merely the Government but the whole nobility and people of our State. We ignore your excommunication: It is nothing to us. Think now where this resolution would lead, were our example followed by others”.
1525- Venice invades Rome. Rather than sack the city, the Republican army merely carts off the Papal treasury, and leaves the rest of the city intact. The Pope had already fled to Avignon.
Savoy joins the war on the side of the Empire and Venice, in return for the promise of Marseille in the peace settlement. He marches west, but his mercenary army is defeated at Toulon.
Vienna is invested by Imperial forces.
In a daring move, Naples offers itself to Emperor Basil, along with much of the King of Naples, on the belief that a distant overlord is preferable to the Venetians, French, or Spaniards. He agrees, but religious differences cause problems almost immediately, despite his promises to tolerate the Catholic Church.
Just as Imperial and Venetian forces border on triumph, the Triple Kingdom intervenes, at the behest of the Pope (and an eye for Bohemia, which has been ruled by several Polish kings over the last century, before passing to the Elector of Hesse). They are unable to, however, cross the Oder.
The Pope’s excommunication of Venice continues, and the Doge, when accused of Heresy, responds, “What is a heretic? We are Christians, as is the Pope himself, and Christians we shall die, whether others like it or not.”
To cement their ties, King Francis marries Charle’s sister.
1526- Europe is exhausted. At Peace of Nice, the two sides come to an agreement.
The Hapsburgs are cast out of the Holy Roman Empire; Austria is divided up among the Protestant princes to the North.
The Low Countries are ceded to England, Genoa is ceded to Venice. In return, Venice pays France 40 thousand ducats for injuries to French shipping.
Savoy gains Toulon, but not Marseille. The Emperor cedes Imperial territory East of the Oder (and recompenses the princes with Austrian territory).
The Pope refuses to remove the excommunication. Much of Northern Italy is now Protestant, by this point, and Luther advocates merging the Church of Venice with that of the Empire.
The Byzantine Emperor goes to war with France over Naples, however. Venice helps the French eject Naples by harassing the Byzantine shipping, and breaking a fleet off of Naxos.
1527- Revolts in Germany by peasants, seeking political freedom, are crushed. Heresies spring up by the dozen, but only the more radical are crushed.
Cortez is finally brought under control by the establishment of the economienda system. He is the first viceroy of New Aragon. Gold begins flooding the Hapsburg treasury, but Venice encourages resistance in the Mayan city-states to the South.
King Henry VIII of England, Holland, and Flandern requests the Pope to anull his marriage. Refusing to take one step back and reaffirm the Church’s superiority, he refuses. England’s treasury is filled by the trade with the Low Countries, and Henry finances several voyages to the New World, landing in Chesapeake Bay.
Emperor Philip travels to Venice to discuss a union of the Churches. Along with him journey Zwengli, Melancthon, and Johanes Oecalampadius, who convene the Colloquy of Mantua. The Council of Ten is rather impatient, and so orders the theologists to endure poor food and conditions. They quickly agree that the Sacrament is symbolic in the material world, but spiritually represents the soul’s joining with Jesus.
Oh, and apparently the armenian kingdom had fallen by 1375, about 50 yeras before the POD.
1527- The Holy Federated Church is formed. A loose network of the Protestant realms, it combines the Venetian and Imperial Protestant Churches into one religion, although doctrine varies between region. The cornerstone is the superiority of the sovereign rulers over the Church: cuius regio, eius religio (His land, his religion).
The Grand Canal finally opens, and is renamed the Canal of St. Mark. St. Mark, although technically not a Saint to Venice, is still a popular folk hero and myth for the city. An expedition of 20 ships, 10 from Venice, 5 from Florence, and 5 from Pisa, set out, under the command of Antonio Baldunicci. The ships reach Calicut, and Malacca in the following year.
Venetian glassware and European crafts sell well in Calicut, especially weapons. The ships have a profit of 2000%. But Muslim merchants are hostile to them, and Doge Andrea Gritti tells the Senate that they must wage “cruel war with fire and sword”, and in 1530, Baldununicci sets out once again to negotiate trading agreements
The Mameluke Sultan begins hinting that unless the Senate begins paying him rent for the canal, he might take control of it. The Senate politely ignores him.
1528- King Henry VIII of England implements the anticlerical policies designed to force Clement to acknowledge the divorce. The Pope still refuses, currying support with King Carlos of Spain. Henry makes inquiries as to the entrance of England into the Holy Federated Church.
The Reicshregiments commissions the shipyards of Lubeck, designed to develop the shipping industry. It also authorizes the integration of the Hanseatic’s League’s navy into the new Imperial fleet. Phillip crushes a revolt by the last Catholic faction in the Swiss Cantons.
Russia crushes the Khanate of Ashtrakhan, opening the gateway to Siberia.
The Mayan cities of the Yucatan continue to resist the conquistadors of Spain. Nueva Aragon, as the former Aztec empire is called, is resettled by Castilans and Aragonians, after most of the Native population died off.
The Portuguese slave trade begins to pick up as the Venetians, Spanish, and English found colonies on the Carribean isles. The Hansea claims Puerto Rico.
The Venetian navy captures Aden, on the end of the Red Sea. The end to a busy year.
1529- Emperor Basil, seeking a last achievement before he dies, comes to an agreement with Venice to dismember the Mameluke Sultanate, in the event of “hostilities inspired by the zealous aggressions of the Infidel.”
Baldunicci sets sail, landing on Ceylon. He supports the Raja of Calicut in crushing his longtime rival of Cochin, and obtains very favorable terms in a trading agreement over an empire which rules much of the southwestern Indian coast. He then sets sail north, and captures Goa for Venice. There, he promises to treat the Muslim peoples with good faith, and becomes the Venetian podesta for the city. Goa becomes the first Venetian holding on the Indian subcontinent Baldunicci then establishes a fort at Hormuz, defeats the Persians, and assures the Venetian monopoly on the spice trade.
1530- The Mameluke Sultan Mohammed II decides to take control of the canal, blockading the northern end. Venice and Basil agree to dismember the Empire, and the Byzantine Army invades from Anatolia, smashing the Mameluke armies in its path. The Venetians land a force near Alexandria, and rapidly overrun it and Cairo. Despite the courage of the Mameluke cavalry, it proves no match for Byzantine and Venetian tactics of using artillery and infantry, and within a year the sultanate is overrun.
1532-It is with much rejoicing that Byzantium raises its banner above Jerusalem. The Orthodox church takes possession of the holiest sites, but the Emperor placates the Pope and Islamic Sultans with the promise that the city will be open to all. Sinai and Egypt are given to Venice, who now has the slightly embarrassing problem of ruling an Empire it didn’t really want. Egypt ends up being a complex center of intrigue, where Coptic Christians and the urban classes are pro Venetian, while the Islamic countryside often seethes with revolt. That said, under Venetian rule, Egypt becomes a center for cotton and other tropical fruits, and once again becomes the granary of the Mediterranean.
The Mayan cities continue to resist the Spaniards, but begin to lose due to disease. Not even weapons from Venice and the Empire help them, and by 1540 the Yucatan Penninsula is in Spanish hands.
Phillip negotiates a pact with Venice for the use of the canal, and the reduction of customs between the two realms. Venice may only tax Imperial shipping which uses the Canal. (The Canal is closed to everyone but Venice and the Empire).
The Pope names Carlos the Defender of the Faith, for his persecution of Protestants in Southern Italy and Sicily.
Henry (VIII) pressed Cardinal Wolsey to move the Pope to grant an annulment, but Wolsey was unsuccessful, was accused of treason and died on the way to face the King. A new minister, Thomas Cromwell formulates a plan by which the crown assumed spiritual as well as temporal authority in England.
Pizarro leaves Panama for Peru, and promptly conquers the Empire. The Venetians are starting to get irritated by the constant Spanish conquest of their trading partners.
1533- Basil dies, and the new Emperor John comes to power. He seeks tos solidify control of the Levant, and dreams of taking the canal. Emperor John of Byzantium conquers Rhodes from the Knights of St. John, who are disbanded. The organization had been reduced to a sorry state of piracy, and was crushed.
Anne is married to Henry, and the popes subsequently excommunicates him. Somehow, based on the past 20 years of excommunication suffered by Central Europe, he isn’t that worried.
Pizarro sacks Cuzco, carrying away thousands of pounds of gold.
1534- The Hanseatic League sells the colonies in Newfoundland to the English for several thousand pounds. This causes a clash between the Reichsregiment and the League, who each viewed the cities as sovereign. Eventually, the emperor consents, but declares that any new settlements founded will be under the Emperor’s juridstiction. To complement this, he sends an expedition to southern south America, which founds the free city of Phillipsburg on the Rio Del Plata. To expel heretics, he issues the edict of tolerance for all who settle in the Imperial colonies.
The English establish a small colony led by the Dutch to OTL Manhatten, which is called New Flanders.
Jan Tarnowski, a Polish noble, calls upon the Triple Kingdom to defend his claims to the throne of Moldovia. It does so, but Byzantine support makes the conquest an expensive one.
1534- Pope Clement VII gives Loyola his full support, and the Society of Jesuits is formed, aimed at driving the protestant heresy from all Christian nations.
Parliament passes the Act of Supremacy. Henry VIII now leads the Church of England.
Jacques Cartiers sails for France, and explores much of the Carolinas and Florida.
Bad news for the mughals. Persia will be stronger than it was in OTL. By a lot. It has direct contact with europe, and the venetians will want to ally with them against byzantium.
This next section is a very, very, busy one, so if anyone has some feedback on it…
1535-Quito is founded by Venetians to support their New World colonies, and act as a buffer to Spanish Peru.
The Venetians sieze control of Tindor, which, along with Ternate, completes the conquest of the spice trade. Money from it finances the development of primitive manufactories in Italy, along with the upgrade of the Venetian navy to a new type of ship designed in the Imperial Low countries.
1536-Calvin preaches in Geneva. Phillip lets the man preach, as his heresies spread in Southern France, Northern Spain, and, of all places, Scotland. He also quietly encourages Calvin’s followers that they might wish to seek out their future in Phillipsburg.
Act of Union ties both Wales and the Counties of Brabant, Flandern, and Hainutt into English Parliament.
Henry VIII approves the Ten Articles, establishing the Anglican Church on a firm protestant basis.
1537- Christian III and Gustavus I of Sweden defeat an attempt by the free city of Lubeck to reinstate King Christian II. The Imperial navy defeats the Danes and Swedes in the Baltic, and King Christian presses his opportunity. He returns Sweden to the Union of Kalmar, and crushes the Swedish rebels. He also favors the teachings of Calvin, which spread throughout Scandinavia. Reforming the Union, Christian will be called the Christian the Good by Future Generations, establishing the power of Scandinavia’s middle and lower classes at the expense of the nobles.
The Jesuits begin their work in Sigmund’s Poland, causing many of the German protestants in Danzig to flee to the West. Phillip begins responding to Emperor John’s diplomatic proposals. Venice would also like Dalmatia back, as Polish pirates have been harassing shipping in the Adriatic.
Profits from the canal begin to flood Italy, causing the joke that the “Hapsburg gold pays for Venetian warships”. The Venetian Senate also uses the profits to increase literacy, reform Cyprus and Crete, and modernize the fleet, replacing galleys with warships.
1538- The small reform movement in France is crushed by Francis. The Hapsburgs begin strengthening fortifications in Sicily and on Malta, while Francis and Charles reaffirm their ties. Charle’s brother Ferdinand
The Spanish army invades Algiers, seeking to end the piracy of Barbarossa. They also hope to gain a route to march on Egypt.
1539- The 2nd League of Cambrai is formed by Venice, along with The Empire of Russia, Byzantium, and Empire, to end the Polish oppression of all good Christians, “as the Pope speaks of Heresies in the city of Sodom.”
The Council of Palermo. In the stifling sun of Sicily, the Catholic Church reaffirms its doctrines, and swears to fight the heresies. No efforts are reconciliation are made, which disappoints The Senate and People of the Republic of Venice.
Ferdinand, Duke of Sicily, marries Isabella of Portugal.
1540- King Sigismund II dies on a hunting accident. With encouragement from Byzantium and Venice, the nobles of Hungary rise in revolt. Russia supports the Eastern Orthodox populace in Lithuania, who declare for the Czar. Poland asks Francis, Carlos, and John III of Portugal to honor Pope Clement’s pleas and come to his defense. They do so, along with King James V of Scotland, the last Catholic monarch in the British Isles.
Ireland rises in revolt against Henry, and the Scots (lavishly funded with Hapsburg gold) march into Yorkshire.
1541- Henry VIII defeats James’ army, and the Protestant nobles conspire with Henry against James.
Francis invades Savoy, killing its Duke on the battlefield.
Surprisingly, Christian II, who styles himself King of Scandinavia, joins the war on the side of Poland. Christian hopes to gain Holstein from the Empire, long a bone of contention.
Spanish funds encourage the Muslims of The Nile to revolt. They need little encouragement.
But efforts to take the canal are foiled at the battle of Ortranto. A combined Byzantine-Venetian fleet (an irony, there) smashes the Iberian and French fleets. By the end of the year, Venetian forces have taken Malta and Palermo.
1542- At the battle of Pinkie, King James V of Scotland is killed, and King Henry VIII of England achieves the English dream. His son, Edward, will be married to Mary, Queen of the Scots. But invasions of Ireland by England are beaten back.
Rome finally falls to Venetian forces. The Pope flees to Avignon. Again.
Russian armies are defeated by Polish cavalry on the steppes of Russia, but the Empire reaches the Danzig. From Amsterdam, an Imperial fleet sets sail for Copenhagen, but is driven off by a larger Scandinavian force.
1543- Venetian army forces clash at Turin with those of Francis. In a battle fought by starlight, the Italians triumph, driving the French back to Savoy.
From Mombasa, a Portuguese fleet attacks Aden, key to the Red Sea. It is defended, but barely.
A small squadron in the New World of English ships captures the city Marie (roughly where Jamestown was, in otl) from France by a John Smith, but Pocahontas is nowhere to be found. Before departing, however, John does give the Indian the gift of blankets with smallpox.
The Low Countries are (as usual) the scene of battle between England and France. Calais is actually taken, but Francis cannot cross the river.
Luther goes too far. His pamphlet entitled “On Jews and their Lies” has him drawn before the Council of Ten. They warn him that if he continues to urge burning down the property of productive citizens of the Republic, it will be he who is used as kindling.
Calvinists are burned at the stake in France for the first time. Several Italian cities harass Catholics within when news reaches them, forcing the Senate to declare Martial Law in those cities.
1544- In exchange for territorial concessions, Russia drops out of the war with Sigismund III. He uses the Lithuanian cavalry to bring the whip against the Hungarian nobles. Then he gives up Moldavia (rather worseless, in any case) to Byzantium, before turning on Venice.
He quickly retakes the cities of Dalmatia, but cannot take Trieste. However, to compound matters, Emperor John seizes outright, with no provocation, several Venetian trading posts on Morea. (In actuality, doing so was part of his agreement with Poland for Moldovia). The Free City of Ragusa joins the Empire of Byzantium, fearful of being overtaken.
John can now make a bid for his canal but he overestimates the power of a modern fleet. At the battle of Lepanto, new Italian frigates tear through Byzantium war galleys. Then, to repay the courtesy of Morea, sack Athens.
1545- The Mayans rebel in New Spain. In response, Mayan codexes are burned by the thousands. Only 474 survived, mostly in the hands of Venetian art collectors.
The Venetians pay Barbarossa of Tunisia to invade Spanish Algiers, and a Tangiers is taken by a Venetian fleet.
The revolt in Egypt is finally suppressed. The Senate of Venice finally adopts the ideas of Niccolo Machiavelli, the first Venetian Doge of Egypt, and reverse Islamic traditions. For the rebellion, several larger mosques are converted into churches, and Muslims will pay a higher tax than non-Muslims.
1546- The Empire and Venice cannot win a war against Sigismund, Christian, Francis, and Charles at once. But they are not losing either; a stalemate has occurred. The Senate and Reichsregiment both agree to bribing their enemies to leave the war.
Sigismund drops out after the battle of Mohacs. He has solidified Hungary under his rule, and regained Dalmatia, but according to the treaty of Danzig, will return Danzig and the former Imperial territory of Kustrin and Pommerania to the Empire.
Christian leaves the war after receiving Holstein, leaving only Francis and Charles.
1547- Treaty of Amsterdam. Venice gains Sicily, Malta, and the Duchy of Savoy is divided between France and Venice. Byzantium gains all Venetian outposts on Morea, and Moldovia. Rome, reduced to a backwater, is formally incorporated into the mainland empire of Venice, on the condition that she will honor the shrines of the city.
Francis II, tired from the wars, is exhausted. His son, Henry II, has been killed by the English in the low Countries, and he dies soon after. Before dying, he decides that his empire shall pass to Carlos I, King of Spain, and a relative of the King through one of Francis’s sisters.
Now, according to Salic Law, succession cannot pass through a female. But Pope Clement issues the Declaration of Marseilles, which removes the Law from French law, on the basis of the threat to Christendom. Despite this, French nobles rally around the Guise. Spanish gold and guns triumph, however, and by 1550, Carlos is King of Spain and France.
Where We Stand Now
The Church is Divided. The Pope has fled to Avignon, while the heretics of the Protestant Church spread across Europe. Only Poland, Portugal, Spain, and France remain loyal to the Holy See. Venice, in Northern Italy, controls the spice trade, but is in a constant battle with the Hapsburgs. The Tudors of England are colonizing the New World, and in exchange for concessions, may return to the fold. Despite this, the period between 1550-1570 represents one of comparative tranquility, as Europe collectively catches its breath.
Italy is divided into two states, and more and more two ways of life. In the north, in protestant Venice, the beginnings of industry are developing. Merchants who invested in the spice trade have begun developing large manufactories which use the power of the Po to process Egyptian cotton, and cloth from Northern Italy. The putting-out system develops, in an attempt by merchants to bypass guilds. Merchants loan equipment to small farming families, who complete a step in a production, and then receive a portion of the profits. The system spreads into the low countries, England, and northern Germany. Northern Italy, poor in resources in itself, trades textiles, spices, and other products for Imperial ore and lumber.
Economically, the canal has resulted in the dissolution of the remnants of the feudal system in Venetian Italy. Venetian banks and merchant houses have spread to the mainland, resulting in similar developments there.
Venice, at the close of the war of Polish succession, buys the title “King of Italy” from the Holy Roman Empire. This adds to the Doge’s long list of titles, which now include: Duke of Dalmatia, Sultan of Egypt, Podesta of Milan, and Prince of Verona. The new title represents the growing feeling of Italiano which has characterized Venice, and leads to one of the odder, longest landing, offshoots of the Renaissance.
Venice views itself as the successor to the Roman Republic. The professional, citizen-soldier army has helped to solidify Italy under Venetian control, and confiscating the lands from treacherous nobles (the Medicis) and the Church has allowed it to be broken up into small private farms for retired soldiers. For those who cannot receive land in Italy, of course, there is always a plantation in Brazil…
Also, the civil service is open to all citizens, and the Council of Ten has begun removing nobles from the ranks of the Great Council if they cannot pay the taxes. Italians in northern Italy are undecided on whether they are Venetians, or Italians, but most view themselves as a collective group.
Thus, literature in Italy stresses a commitment to the Roman ideals of Discipline, Hard work, and Education. These go hand in hand, of course, with those of the Federated Church. Documents from the Doge begin bearing the mark SPQV: The Senate and People of the Republic of Venice.
Southern Italy, on the other hand, remains mired in a backwater. Constant Venetian invasions, and brutal oppression by the French have dragged what was once a prosperous area into poverty. The nobles are now thoroughly French, but many hope for the Venetians to conquer the area.
The Holy Roman Empire
The Empire is also changing. It has become more and more Germanic, to the chagrin of the Dutch. Phillip dies in 1556, but he is replaced with John Albert of Mecklenburg. Albert’s ascendancy triggers a minor civil war in the Catholic remnants of the South. They refuse to swear fealty, as the pope will (of course) not coronate him as Emperor. Although the rebels initially received support from the Hapsburgs, the Venetians cut off the supply of funds and weapons through the Alps, and the rebels die.
This does pose an interesting problem though. What happens to the Empire? The answer becomes obvious. The Empire becomes the Kingdom of Germany, which is but another name for the current Empire. Phillip is its first king.
Located near the North Sea, he knows the value of commerce, and begins to revitalize the Imperial Fleet; and raise taxes on the nobles. Several proposals are floated for a joint navy for the Church, but while the two nations move closer in military spheres, they remain separate militaries. According to Albert, “Only an ally who’s alliance is worthless trusts his ally completely.”
On a darker note, the Hanseatic League, seeking easy profit, begins the Triangle Trade, selling slaves to Brazil and the Sugar Islands of the Carribean, and returning to Lubeck with the profits.
King Ferdinand I, the new King of Scandinavia, further cements his ties with the middle class. He also founds the town of Christiania (Oslo) in Norway. Although his reign is plagued by revolts among the Swedish nobility, Ferdinand develops the Kingdom’s natural iron deposits, and builds up a fleet which rivals that of England. He makes good use of the fleet, invading the remnants of the Teutonic Order in Prussia.
The Danes also make a halfhearted effort in the colonial rush, claiming the Bahamas.
Ladislas II, King of Poland, Hungary, and Lithuania, centralizes the three kingdoms into one crown, placing the sejum in Warsaw in 1559. The sejum, unfortunately, will overpower the kings of Poland in the future, dividing the kingdom.
Russia spends the time between 1550 to 1570 expanding East into Siberia. This movement was begun by the Cossacks, who in 1564, under the leader Yermak, conquered the Khanate of Sibir. The gateway to the Pacific was open. Ivan the Terrible, Czar of Russia, takes the opposite route of Ladislas. He crushes the nobles (boyars) and established a central, autocratic government, with the czar as absolute monarch. Emperor Alexius, meanwhile, is considered to be one of the worst rulers since the 4th Crusade. He wastes the treasury, issues several edicts which inspire revolts amongst the Muslims, and his invasion of Persia fails miserably (thanks to Venetian backing, which will be detailed in the section on the Orient). Henry’s ambassador to the Byzantine court wrote that “one more emperor such as he, and the Republic will have nothing to fear from the Empire.”
The British Isles
Henry VIII died in 1550, and is succeeded by his young son, Edward VI. Edward, the boy king, comes to the throne when he is 12 years old. Edward’s Uncle, the Earl of Seymour, becomes Regent for Scotland, England, and the Counties of Flanders and Artois. Under his reign, Protestantism continues apace, and the colony of New England is founded by Catholics fleeing persecution.
Scotland flares up in revolt at the instigation of the Catholic Church, but it is rapidly put down. Edward (the Earl, not the boy-king) grants concessions to the Scottish nobility, include grants of land, pacifying the nation. He also encourages the merging of the navies, which is completed by 1564.
Ireland is invaded once more in 1562, and is conquered. Catholic monasteries are burned, and the plantation of Meath is established, founded by Protestant Scots.
Edward also joins the Hapsburg alliance, coveting the rest of the Low Countries. But his reign also sees the beginnings of the cottage industry, copied from Venice.
The Christian Empire Carlos, King of France, Spain, and Naples, personally welcome the Pope in Avignon. Clement gives a stirring speech on how this is the Church’s darkest hour, when the forces of heresy are preparing for the final war. He appoints Carlos as “Emperor of Christ, the West, and God willing, the World.” Clement then makes some noises to sooth Ladislas, appointing him the Protector of the Faith. The creation of the Christian Empire backfires, as even the Catholics of England and Italy view this as a political move.
Carlos I dies, and is succeeded by his son, Filippo, in 1563. Not content with his current holdings, Phillip turns his eyes on Portugal, which has been, for the last 40 years, a Spanish vassal anyway. With the support of the Pope, King Sebastian dies, and Ferdinand, Duke of Mexico, is put forward as a candidate for the throne (his wife was a sister of Sebastian). Ferdinand gains the throne of Portugal after a Spanish invasion, and France, Portugal, and Spain are under the rule of the Christian Empire. With that task completed, Filippo begins construction of the Christian Armada, and sends messages to Alexus, Edward, Ferdinand, and Ladislas. Ferdinand politely declines, and begins sending messages to Albert and the Senate regarding an alliance, but Edward and Ladislas agree to support any moves against the nations of Venice and the Empire. In 1572, on Easter Sunday, the galleys of the Empire set sail.
Byzantine rule over the holy land is a rough and turbulent affair. There are strong Christian minorities, but much of the population is Muslim. Attempts to convert them fail, by and large. The area is brimming with revolt, and Venice is constantly encouraging it.
In a move of uncharacteristic genius, Alexus, in 1564, decreed that Muslims could remain free, but they are subject to heavier taxes. Alexus was probably only increasing taxes to supplement his treasury (the Emperor began, at the encouragement of one of his concubines, wearing jewels in his beards. Care to guess how many Byzantine theologists see references to the Pharoah in this?
Byzantine rule is made possible by support of the Christian minority, especially Syrians. The Syrians rule over a Muslim minority, and are uneasily caught between the Byzantine Greeks and the Muslim Arabs of the region. Some believe that the Persians may make a move for the region; but it is unknown if the Sunni Muslims would prefer Shi’ites over Orthodox. One Mufti, who is the leader of the Muslims of Jerusalem, says, “Better an infidel than a heretic.”
Egypt, meanwhile, is enjoyed prosperity unseen since the Caliphate. The Venetian merchant, Vitale Falier, imported Indian cotton and a primtive cotton gin known as a charka from India in 1540, and the growth of the material has rapidly expanded.
In addition, Egypt also grows rice, some sugar cane, and a few other “oriental” crops. It exists as a depot for East and West, and has become more profitable than once imagined.
Revolts, of course, are common, particularly after bad harvests. But by 1560, Christianity has made significant inroads in Egypt once again, especially among the literate urban classes. The largest Christian religion is the Coptic Church. Venice has greatly encouraged the development of the Church, and there is talk of a council to hammer out the differences between it and the Federated Church.
Cyprus and Crete were victims of mass deportations of the Greek populace. The Senate and Council of Ten were fearful that the Greeks would welcome the Byzantines as their new rulers, and since 1540 began shipping them to the New World or to Egypt. This has had the welcome side affect of breaking the backs of the aristocracy of the two islands, who were largely French. In addition to producing cash crops, the islands are major naval bases for the defense of the canal, and with the completion of new fortifications at Fagamagusta in 1562, are expected to remain so.
North America is divided into two territories. Starting with the expeditions of Cabot in the early 15th century, English sailors have been fishing off of New Foundland, and sending men ashore for lumber. Fur quickly became a valuable commodity, and the trading post of Nieu Flandern became a thriving town by 1535. 1540 marked the effective beginning of New England, which centers around Massachusetts. New England was settled by Catholics fleeing persecution, and the populace rapidly expands.
Further South, New Scotland is founded in 1550, as a gift from Edward to the Scottish parliament. Technically, it is Scottish territory, but as the two kingdoms have the same monarch, for all essential purposes it is English territory. New Scotland (some times called by its Latin name, Nova Scotia) is located roughly where Baltimore would be. Tobacco cultivation is a cash crop for the area, and younger sons of Scottish nobles often emigrate there to raise it. As a consequence, Glasgow becomes a flourishing center of the tobacco trade, and a canny Scottish merchant develops cigarettes, when he begins selling the scraps in small rolls of paper to the poor.
After Nova Scotia, there is a wide buffer zone (roughly encompassing north Carolina) before one enters New France, part of the Christian Empire. New France is largely undeveloped, as the French Hugenots can’t afford to leave France, and the Christian Emperor has no use for the land. There’s no gold, after all.
The Carribean is a mess. Cuba is Imperial (Spanish), the Bahamas Danish (Christian wanted to flex his muscles outside of the Baltic), Puerto Rico a Venetian outpost, and England holding Haiti, Guadelope, Jamaica, and the Virgin Islands. The Empire has taken Trinidad and Tobago, but it is uncertain how long the islands can support this many players. Piracy runs rampant, as everyone engages in privateering on one another.
New Aragon & Peru
Mexico is known as the Duchy of Nueva Aragon, and is controlled by Ferdinand, now King of Portugal. The economienda system has been imported from Southern Spain, and the natives have been wiped out, toiling away on plantations and silver mines. The limpios (pure) are the large landowners, while the cities are home to the poorer populace of Spain. In recent years, dispossessed peasants from France have emigrated to New Aragon and Peru, and many end up in the city.
Trade with New Aragon is restricted to Christian ships officially, but it is not uncommon to see a Venetian ship in the port, trading gold for spices. Occasionally an honest Spanish official will stop them, and this has heightened tensions between the two nations. Venetians continue to harass the fringes of the Spanish Empire, supplying guns to the Mayans in the jungles of the Yucatans, and to the tribes to the north of Neuva Aragon.
Chile is another profitable mining territory, but the gold follows a circuitous route up the coast to Panama.
German South America
After the fiasco involving the League and Newfoundland, Emperor Phillip established firm Imperial control of all trade abroad. German South America, known as Atlantica, runs roughly from Curitaba to the Ferdinands (Falklands). The chief colony if Phillipsburg, located on the Bay of Sconset. Various religious dissidents have fled from the Empire, and the area has developed a society which best resembles colonial Pennsylvania. It is the most densely populated territory of the colonies, and thanks to the trading agreements with the Venetians, is part of the Triangle Trade. In particular, it is home to a rapidly growing portion of the Imperial fleet, and several of its leading burghers have expressed desires to take Peru. Venetian merchants have invested extensively in ships and join-stock companies that participate in the slave trade, and the city of New Berlin is the center of most privateering operations in the Pacific.
Currently, there are only 3 free cities in German territory. As the population grows, though, there is a demand for greater say in Imperial government. The population reaches 400,000 by 1570.
In the early 16th century, the Portuguese began setting up factories, much like their ones in Africa, along the coast of Brazil. The Venetians were following them as well, and the two began an unofficial trading war for Brazil wood. But the Venetians planted the first colony, and in 1520 planted the city of Berretta (named after the Berretta trading family, who financed the expedition) n the site of OTL Recife. As the Venetians didn’t try to force the natives to convert, they had popular support, and muscled the Portuguese out of the market. Greeks were deported in the 1550’s to resettle the cities, along with the surplus population of Sicily. The end result is a system of small landowners intermingling with a population of gentry. Coffee is beginning to be introduced, as the drink is spreading across Europe from Egypt, making Verona one of the thriving ports on the coasts.
(the Gold of Minas Geras will be discovered towards the end of the century).
The Portuguese were very successful in trading for slaves in northwest Africa, but gradually they fell into a decline. Although the Spanish would happily buy the slaves and ivory, Hanseatic merchants expanded further south, and supported tribes in West-Central Africa. Portugal was unable to develop a market in Brazil, where Venetian tariffs kept them out, but welcomed the Hanseatic League, or in English north America, which did not need a slave population until the end of the 16th century. Thus, their empire proved to be the least valuable of them.
This was the scene when Phillip began Hanseatic expeditions to Africa. Although German merchants were making money through the canal (indeed, they monopolized trade with China), they were hoping to establish a monopoly on one good that would be readily sellable to the Venetians. Slaves were the unfortunate result, and a triangle trade was established. Slaves would be sold in Verona, which would sell tropical goods, such as coffee, sugar, and cotton for Western Europe (the Venetians had no problem with other Italians in the new world developing industries; after all, they were also citizens, with the same rights. For now).
The German merchants would sell the products in Flemish and German ports, thus earning a tidy sum. The Republic frowns on slavery, but views itself as having little other options for raising the crops.
Improvements in ship design have made it easier for nations to compete with the canal, as the waters around the canal are relatively calm. Venetians would dearly appreciate a way to sail without wind.
India & The Spice Trade
Once the Canal opened, it was a foregone conclusion who would dominate the Indies. Venice took Calicut from a Muslim ruler, and expanded across the subcontinent, especially the coast. An expedition established a foothold on the East Coast, and only Sri Lanka remains in the hands of the Christian Empire. The English have made attempts to trade with India, but such attempts have largely been unsuccessful.
In the East Indies, Venetians captured Malacca in a quick battle in 1527, and have since expanded across Java, Ternate, and Tindore. The British, though, have lately begun making an appearance, and have established a colony near Mindanao.
In 1564, members of the Royal Cathay Trading Company negotiated an agreement with Nippon. The Royal Cathay company encourages the daimyo Nobunaga to equip his armies with muskets, and he is so impressed by the missionaries of the protestants that he allows them to preach. He crushes his fellow warlords, Hideyoshi and Obunaga, and establishes himself as Shogun of Japan. He also encourages free trade, castle building, and in 1572 invades Korea.
Ever since the reign of the Shah Tahsmap began, the Venetians have had trading contacts in Persia. They approach him with the offer to train his military with Venetian weapons, and he accepts. Persia, already strengthened by the infusion of Ottoman nobles, Lebanonese merchants, and other refugees from Byzantium, deploys an army equipped with muskets against the Byzantines when they invade the Euphrates. He chases the Byzantines west, and actually besieges Antioch in 1566. Tahsman renounces Shiiteism (most of his population is Sunni still) and declares that the Abassids (the caliphate’s dynasty) has been in hiding amongst the Persians. No one believes it, but Persia is still viewed as the leader of Dar-Islam. Eastern products such as rugs and silk are traded along the canal, and in 1567 the first Qu’ran is printed by a printing press in Ishafan. Tashmap’s gunpowder army smashes the tribes, and establishing the Shah as the supreme head of Persia.
1572-As mentioned, Phillip, in 1572, sends the Christian armada towards its target: St. Mark’s Canal.
Unfortunately for him, his navy, although larger than the Venetian, has several disadvantages. Among them is the vast variety of ships: Portuguese galleons, Aragonian galleys, and French frigates are all in it. They sail at different speeds, of course, and the ships become separated. This is why the ships sail in a convoy fashion, stopping at Marseilles, disgorging troops in Naples, then sailing to Tunis. From Tunis, the ships are to sail for the canal, where they will smash the fortifications there, by grace of God (and a hoped for insurrection).
Real life, as real life has a way of doing, worked differently. Don Juan, writing of the armada’s experience, writes after its defeat that “No battle plan survives the enemy; but with the Venetians, no enemy survives contact with the battle plan.”
Venetian frigates, standardized, made of the exact same design, are able to sail together and pick off the Spanish warships. Galleys of the Christian Empire are in particular victimized. By the time the Armada reaches the Canal, in July, they have lost a third of their ships.
Andrea Dorea, leader of the Venetian fleet (and a Genoan, ironically enough) rallies his men to battle, and comes up with a plan to smash the Spanish fleet. Before the battle, he is recorded as giving the following speech to his officers: At the end of five months of war one thing has become more and more clear. It is that Phillip seeks to establish a domination over the world completely different from any known in history. The domination at which the Hapsburgs’ aim is not limited to the displacement of the balance of power and the imposition of supremacy of one nation. It seeks the systematic and total destruction of those conquered by Hitler, and it does not treaty with the nations which he has subdued. He destroys them. He takes from them their whole political and economic existence and seeks even to deprive them of their history and their culture. He wishes to consider them only as vital space and a vacant territory over which he has every right. For us there is more to do than merely win the war. We shall win it, but we must also win a victory far greater than that of arms. In this world of masters and slaves, which those madmen who rule at Berlin are seeking to forge, we must also save liberty and human dignity.
The Venetian task force of 90 warships, and defenses, faces 130 Christian Imperial ships. The use of fire ships by the Venetian admiral Andrea Dorea results in the destruction of 20 Spanish man of wars, and the Spanish right breaks. Caught between Venetian fleet, and the fortifications of the canal, Don Juan fights a bitter battle. By the time it ends, 30 Venetian warships have been destroyed; but the Christian Empire’s fleet is broken, save for 40 ships which Don Juan breaks out with.
The Battle of the Suez, with its climactic tale of heroism, will be known in Western literature as the beginning of the 20 Year War.
Phillip, furious at John, begins raising troops. The Triple Empire adheres to the alliance, and King Edward joins the war on the side of the Catholic nations, seeking the rest of the Low Countries (and colonial territory).
Emperor John swears to join the war, as does the Czar of Russia.
The massive invasion forces marches north from Naples, and quickly takes Rome. Dividing in two, half marches towards the city of Lucca, while the other half towards Ortranto, to eliminate Venice from the Adriatic coast. The Siege of Lucca is lifted in November, following a battle in which Swiss soldiers, armed with flintlocks and bayonets, break the center of the Christian line. Ortranto falls, and in a chaotic orgy, the Spanish General, the Duke of Estramudara loses control of his men, who slaughter much of the city. Taranto, supplied by sea, struggles on. The Venetian army beings swellings its ranks as conscripts arise to avenge the deaths of Italian citizens.
The Ministry of War in Venice, meanwhile, develops a strategy. They will break the Christian Empire. First, though, the Venetians must gain control of the Straits of Gibraltar. With the massive coastal defenses, an attack by land would be necessary. Venetian manpower is stretched thin, though, and the Ministry develops a plan to aid an insurrection.
The Holy Roman Empire of the German nation invades the Triple Kingdom in July, while the Empire of Russia does likewise. Christian swears to honor the alliance, and lands on the Baltic coast. But Polish cavalry smashes the Imperial amies near Danzig, and launch a counter invasion west into Pommerania.
King Edward of England and Scotland joins the Catholic side, hoping to gain colonies in the Carribean and the rest of the Low Countries. Amsterdam declares for him, and an English army marches into Oldenburg in the beginning of 1573.
1573- Venetian troops almost cut off the army of the Duke near Taranto, but he withdraws towards Naples. The Venetians pursue, and for much of the year the Venetian and Spanish armies maneuver throughout Southern Italy. Troops are also raised in the North, and under the command of the Venetian General Benito Cornero, invade Savoy.
Edward, king of Scotland and England, runs into trouble. To finance the war, he demands that the Scottish parliament increase taxes on Tobacco and other goods from Nova Scotia. Edward, disliked as much for his Spanish (Roman Catholic) wife he married after Mary’s death as for his heavy taxes, dissolves the Scottish parliament. The Scottish covenant, a pact which swears to defend Presbytarianism in Scotland, is declared. To finance his war in Europe and to suppress the Scots, Edward forces parliament to pass laws against the Presbytarians and Puritans in England and Scotland. When Parliament refuses to hand over the right to tax shipping, he dissolves the English parliament.
Edward raises an army to deal with a rebellion in Ireland; but he uses it instead against the Scots. Parliament passes the Grand Remonstrance, which lists the intolerable acts of King Edward this far. Both sides take advantage of the lull to gain control of fortresses and arsenals, but the Parliamentary forces enjoy more popular support.
The Colonies, of course, are furious. They want Christian land, if any at all; the Christian Empire are the ones arming the Cherokee; and they’re Catholics, to boot.
Venetian militias in the colony of Nueva Italia march northwest, towards Colombia. The disastrous march ends in failure, with many of the men dying from the heat. A Christian Armada captures San Marco, on the isle of Puerto Rico. But Venetian warships grab the last Christian Imperial possessions in the Indian Ocean, including Ceylon.
Maneuvering (which becomes a feature of the 20 years war, as armies avoid fighting) continues in Poland. An invasion if launched into Bohemia, which is stoutly protestant, from Hungary. An invasion if launched from France, which is defeated outside of Frankfurt.
Just as it appears that the Christian Empire is unstoppable, the revolt of the Moriscos (Little Moors) occurrs. The Moriscos, Muslims who remained in Spain after the end of the reconquista, were oppressed heavily by Spain, including a ban on the export of the famous Granadine silk, as well as taxes. But when spies were caught by Phillip’s inquisitors who confirmed plans for a revolt in the Spanish territory, Phillip began banning traditional Islamic customs.
The revolt begins in Grenada, and Venetian warships ferry troops and supplies. It spreads throughout Southern Iberia, and Seville and the fortresses of Gibraltar are taken. Venetian troops are dispatched to aid the rebellion as well. This marks the beginning of the Spanish Front for the 20 years war.
The Granadines declare the Republic of Granada, modeling itself on the Swiss cantons. Venetian warships gain access to the Atlantic.
1574- King Edward, with the support of the Catholic and much of the house of lords, raises an army near Nottingham.
The army is smashed by an army consisting of Dutch, Scottish, and English subjects. Parliament agrees, in return for Dutch and Scottish support, to confirm the Anglican church to Calvinist beliefs.
The Holy Inquisition reaches new heights, and tens of thousands of jews flee France, Spain, and Portugal. Many of them flee to the Moriscos, who welcome them (and their coffers; Jews were the still among the most powerful bankers in Europe). Yusf Ibn-Razur, the general for the Moriscos, is said to told a Venetian officer that “Phillip is a fool. He weakens his realm and enriches our own.” A Moriscan army besieges Toledo, before Phillip withdraws an army from Naples to face it. The transport is harried by Venetians the entire voyage.
New gold, however, begins pouring into imperial revenues. The silver mines of Peru begin booming, and Danish, English, and Venetian privateers attack Spanish treasure fleets.
Mainz falls to the forces of the Christian Empire.
Finally, in the colonies, an Imperial army raised from the free cities takes Iqique, on the southern border of the Spanish Duchy of Peru.
1575- Facing defeats by the Parliamentary forces of England, Edward makes a political move designed to secure support at home, amongst the Catholics of Ireland and the Northwest, and from the Phillip, Edward becomes a Catholic in January.
Troops from France land in Western England, and march on London, which is in Parliamentary hands. The civil war has become divided, by this point, between two groups. The nobles and Catholics (along with most of the house of lords) support the king, while the Parliamentary forces are the majority of the House of Commons and the populace. Among the noted military officers is Wililam Shakespeare, who leads a charge of cavalry for the Parliamentary forces at the battle of Lancaster.
John Hawkins, leader of the parliamentary faction, makes a proposal to Emperor Phillip. He will withdraw the English army from Hesse if Albert will recognize English control over all the counties of the Low Countries. Albert, desperate to break out into the Atlantic, agrees.
Meanwhile, the Christian Empire launches a counteroffensive into Moriscan territory. A punitive expedition is launched into North Africa, taking Tangiers. Corboda is also retaken; but the Sierran Nevadan mountains are a harsh, desolate land. Thousands of Spaniards die accordingly.
Vienna is besieged by Hungarians, but they only stay for a day. A Venetian army marches into Austria, greeted with cheers by the populace. The Venetian general, in a church along the route, swears that Vienna will not be another Taranto, and in May, defeats the Poles.
Memel is captured by forces of King Ferdinand of Scandinavia, to the relief of the Protestant populace.
Byzantium enters a civil war of its own. Emperor Alexus, dining in his chambers, is greeted by a contigent of soldiers. Demanding to know why they have entered, they inform that they will kill him. To his protests, the leader of the soldiers, in reality the General of the Constantinople garrison (formerly the leader of the invasion of Persia) responds: “You have emptied the treasury of your empire. You have stolen the wealth from your subjects, and traded with the infidel. Worst, though, you have ignored the duties of Christ’s vicar upon the Earth.”
Alexus is deposed, but war breaks out. The nobles establish their own candidate, Severus Cantacuzene. The army’s candidate, Mehmed Chuluk, is half turk, literally. But he is of the Orthodox faith, and this marks the beginning of the Byzantine civil war.
1576- Representatives from the Low Countries, England, and Scotland meet in London. Faced with the prospect of a Spanish puppet as king, they agree to join together. In the words of the English general William Shakespeare, “We must all hang together, or we shall all hang separately”.
The representatives from the Scottish parliament, the Estates of the Low Countries, and the English House of Commons create the reordering of English possessions, forming, based on the Venetian model, the Commonwealth of Britannia and the Low Countries. It is commonly referred to as the commonwealth, and represents a loose federation of the realms involved. Representatives from the colonies are involved as well, and the delegates agree to divide England, Scotland, Ireland, English America, and the Low countries into 24 districts, organized into 4 counties (America, Scotland, England, and the Low Countries). The first acts of the Commonwealth’s Senate is convicting King Edward of England of treason, and declaring war on the Christian Empire. Its first Lord Protector of the Constitution is Sir Walter Raleigh, a devouted Calvinist.
The Poles are pushed out of Austria, and Marseilles is captured by the Venetians. A Dutch army captures Calais for the Commonwealth, raising the banner of the Commonwealth over its first conquest of the war. The commonwealth navy, meanwhile, gives the Protestants naval superiority in the Atlantic, and militia forces take Charlotte in the New World.
Prague is taken by Polish forces, but an army of Germans captures Breslau. Unless the Poles can recapture the city, it will give the Germans access to heartland of the Triple Kingdom.
1577- The war enters its fifth year, and it appears that there is no end in sight. Things begin, however, to shift onto Christian land.
French nobles are inflamed by edicts demanding that they pay yet more taxes for the war. Hugenots, who have, ironically enough, spread across France bveause of persecution, become even more widespread. Although revolt is discussed, none of the Hugenot nobles agree to it, preferring to remain loyal to the Emperor.
The English privateer, Sir Francis Drake, sets out on a mission with 15 warships to raid the coast of Mexico.
King Charles withdraws to Ireland in April, but by July he has landed in Scotland. At the battle of Paisley, he flees once again to Ireland.
The Low Countries are invaded by Christian forces, but are repulsed by William of Orange, the British general. William launches a counter invasion into Artois.
Venetian armies move into Savoy, but not past it; instead, troops are sent to aid the Moriscos. The Moriscos engage in a bloody guerilla war across Southern Iberia, and form, on the first day of Ramadan, the confederation of Al-Andalus. Made up of the cities of the former kingdom of Grenada and other Muslim cities in Iberia, the fierce warfare causes Phillip to lament, at one point, that “It will take a million men to conquer the Moors.”
The colonial wars continue, but at a slower pace than those of Europe. Charlotte is captured and recaptured, and the German cities cross the Andes, in small groups.
1579- The Commonwealth of Britannia invades Ireland. Taking Belfast quickly, they march south. Finally, they trap Charles in Dublin. The city holds on for most of the year, but Charles is shipped back to London for trial in November.
Abbas I, Shash of Persia, invades the Mughal Empire. Although they fight well, at the end of the war, the Persians have reached the Indus.
After a long, series of sieges, the Imperial and Italian troops begin to push the Poles out of Bohemia.
1580- Charles is tried for High Treason against the United Commonwealth of Britannia. He is executed, after a moving speech on the divine right of kings.
Francis Drake incites insurrection in Western Mexico, claims California for Britannia as New Albion, and generally has a merry old time before sailing West. Returning home through the Canal (where the Venetians take half the gold he captured) he still makes a 2500% profit.
To meet the demand, the Arsenal (weapons manufactory in Venice) begins using a new method of making steel, which involves “coke” coal, imported from Austria.
Mehmed Chuluk (renamed Justinian, in order to make himself appear more Byzantine) becomes the New Emperor of Byzantium. Justinian would like nothing more than to smash Venice apart, but if anything, the emperor is weaker from the civil war than Venice. Justianian does, however, implement reforms to curtail the massive estates in Anatolia.
The Cossacks revolt; and hard. The atamans of the Ukraine rally for support from the Cossacks of Russia, and the Polish heavy cavalry faces an enemy who can outmaneuver it.
The Imperial armies liberate Bohemia, and prepare to cross into Poland, but the Hungarians retake Budapest.
A Christian army “liberates” Marseilles, thus marking the westward limit of the Venetian armies in the war.
1581- The first treasure fleets reach Lisbon, giving the depleted Christian treasury a reprieve. Christian armies go on the offensive, driving the Moriscan armies from Southern Portugal, and invade Switzerland.
The Swiss block mountain passes, trap the troops, and succeed in bogging down the Christian army. Finally, the army withdraws.
The Cossack revolt continues to grow. The Czar hopes of Russia hopes to gain control of the Cossacks, and encourages the Cossacks who reside in Russia to assist in the attacks on Poland.
Kandahar falls to Persia.
1582- St. Valentine’s Day Massacre in France. Hugenots in Paris are killed by inquisitors. When it’s discovered that one of the Hugenots was the leader of the only victorious French army in the war, the revolt spreads. The French Revolution begins.
The Estates-General meet in Paris in March. The 3rd estate (Catholic bishops) do not show up. Resistance to Phillip largely takes the forms of petitions, but as Christian Troops continue atrocities (including the musketeers, where the roughest Spanish troops are stationed in Hugenot houses), the Estates have no choice. Henri of Navarre, a devouted Hugenot, is proclaimed the King of France.
Henri rides to Paris, where he accepts the coronation. Phillip, sick, dies. His son, Carlos I, becomes the new Christian Emperor, and begins a policy of no quarter to the French Hugenots. In France, The South becomes a Catholic stronghold, while the north the domain of the Hugenots.
The news of the revolution is greeted with joy in Britannia, Germany, and Venice. All offer aid to the new king, for “his heroic efforts to free France of the Papery”.
End of the First Phase of the 20 years war.
“We shall bridle those Horses of St. Mark that stand before your Senate”- Emperor Justinian to the Doge of Venice, 1585.
1583- King Henri issues the edict of Vichy, which promises religious toleration for all French, Hugenot and Catholic. An Imperial army, led by Alfonso of Aragon, is defeated at Tours. Henri’s army marches south, but is defeated.
The Venetians finally take Caratagena, while the German troops march up Peru to the south. Only Mexico and the Carribean isles remain in Imperial possession.
The Poles are defeated soundly, and the German armies begin besieging cities in Hungary. Venice provides naval support along the coast of Dalmatia (and promptly takes most of the cities thre).
1584 -Emperor Justinian, seeing the victorious armies of the Protestant nations, joins the war in May His navy attacks the isle of Negroponte, quickly occupying it.
In Venice, the reaction is one of indignation and protest. Venice would like dearly to smash the Byzantines, but lacks the resources after 11 years of war to go to war.
Ivan IV of Russia kills his only respectable son. The leader of the oprichniki (who were not wiped out in this tl, but have slowly gained dominance in Russia because they were able to succeed in the war against Poland), Nicholai Staritsky, claims the throne. The Cossacks protest, and when Nicholai sends the oprichniki against them, he discovers that the entire Russian far east is ruled by the Cossacks. This marks the beginning of the Russian Time of Troubles
1585- Justinian, after his officials capture spies who warn of Venetian plans to make the Levant rise up, begins issuing edicts which force them to convert, and ban many traditional features of life.
The Byzantine fleet heads toward Cyprus. In then most embarrassing incident of the war with Venice (and one that drives home just how far behind in naval technology the empire’s fallen) Byzantine galleys are held off by a single Venetian galleon, which carries as many cannon as FORTY Byzantine galleys. (This isn’t a joke; this is exactly what happened to the Ottoman navy OTL).
Venice captures the Sinai peninsula, and actually sails up to the walls of Constantinople. But a force that tries to liberate Negroponte fails, and the Greek citizens stand behind their new emperor.
The Moriscos reach the walls of Badajoz before being forced to withdraw. The Confederation of Al-Andalus is running low on funds, even with Venetian help.
Henri IV moves on the offensive in France. He captures Bordeax, and defeats another Imperial army.
1586- Budapest falls. Henri IV sends a French armada (largely made up of the French part of the Imperial fleet, and merchant ships) to the Carribean. Predominantly French Trinidad and Tobago raise the banner of France, kicking out the French garrison (the army offshore helped, of course).
The armada then sets sail for Veracruz, which is taken in the name of France. Native rebellions begin to flare up, and the predominantly French (and Hugenot, despite the Empire’s inefficient ban on their travel) coastal cities are quickly taken. Veracruz is the first to raise the banner of the new Kingdom of France.
1587- The Sigmund II dies, and the nobility gain effective control of the country. A regime of elected kings was instituted with the power of election vested in the Sejm, then a bicameral body consisting of the lesser and greater nobility. One important aspect of this system was to be the liberum veto, which made it possible for any member of the Sejm to prevent the passage of legislation. The constitution also sanctioned the formation of military confederations of nobles.
Their first proposal is to make peace with the Germans, who have reached the Byzantine border. Emperor Justinian is quick to aid the oppressed Orthodox Christians of Ruthenia and Transylvania, and invades, at their urging.
1588- The Holy Land rises in revolt, as the Emperor’s policy of stopping Moslims from praying takes effect. Aided by Venetians and Persians, the revolt will take 3 years to put down.
Byzantine troops are withdrawn from Poland in April. Emperor Justinian apologizes to the Sejm for the misunderstanding. As German troops are rumoured to be massing for an attack on Warsaw, the Sejm doesn’t have much choice.
French troops gain control of Mexico.
The Britannic armada sets sail for Spain, but the Catholic wind changes its destination. Instead of landing in Estramudara, the fleet lands near Lisbon, and besieges the city.
1589- Venice and Justinian come to an agreement. Venice may keep the Sinai, but the Emperor shall have all Venetian possessions in the Aegean. Veice also gains the right to trade in the Empire with only 2% tariffs.
With the new world gold lost, the Christian Empire has no choice but to consider surrendering. Emperor Phillip refuses to do so, and dies in July. His son, Ferdinand, becomes Emperor. Ferdinand begins seneding out feelers for peace.
Warsaw is besieged by the Germans, but Polish cavalry charges the flanks of the German army, smashing it to ribbons. The army is beaten back over the next year.
King Harold of Scandinavia, with his nation relatively untouched by the war, concludes a peace treaty with the Poles, gaining much of their Baltic coast. He promptly invades Russia, claiming a border dispute.
1590- Henri has proven true to his word. French Catholics are treated well by the Hugenot forces, and in the Imperial south, a popular folk song about the King’s return spreads. “When the King will Come Again,” becomes the unofficial national anthem of France.
Britannic forces are forced to withdraw from Lisbon, and march south towards Al-Andalus. Parliament begins debating a withdrawal from the war, and the Irish rise up in revolt (again).
In September, Avignon falls to the French. The Pope flees (again). Venice offers to le him return to Rome, but Pope Eugene rejects it.
1591- Pskov falls, giving Scandinavia all Baltic coastline aside from Germany’s.
Justinian personally leads the army against the Moslems of the Levant, and wipes them aside. He liberates Jersualem in march, and holds a sermon of thanksgiving in the Holy Sepulcher. After the ceremony, he begins expelling the Moslems (especially the Lebanonese merchants) from his territory. Many flee to Persia, but the Venetians take many to Al-Andalus.
The Shah of Persia and the Moghul Emperor agree to peace, with the border at the Indus River.
Henri’s troops stand on the Mediterranean, but cannot take Bordeaux.
Phillip dies from a “cold” (many blame poison; with good reason) and his son, Ferdinand, takes over. Ferdinand begins sending out feelers for peace. Everyone agrees. The Poles, desperate to not be caught in a war against everyone on their own, also agree to peace. The nations send delegates to Milano to discuss the treaties.
1592- Treaty of Milano is concluded. The terms of the treaty are as follows:
1)Venice shall gain the kingdoms Naples and Sardinia., as well as Sri Lanka and Zanzibar.
2)Peru shall be ceded to Germany. In return, Germany shall pay the Venetians a fee of not less than 400,000 ducats to recompensate them for military assistance given to the HREGN during the twenty years war.
3)The HREGN acknowledges the Britannic Commonwealth’s control over the Low Countries, and the Commonwealth acknowledges the HREGN’s claims to Trinidad and Tobago.
4)The Kingdom of France is acknowledged as a separate nation from the Christian Empire, under King Henri IV of Navarre. Its southwest border is the city of Bordeaux, and follows a relatively minor river from Bordeaux to Albi. French control over Mexico is acknowledged.
5)The Confederation of Al-Andalus is recognized as a sovereign nation. Its four chief cities are Seville, Corboda, Granada, and Cartagena. Venice gains the right to lease Gibraltar for 200 years.
6)The Christian Empire acknowledges the loss of Charlotte to the Commonwealth.
The final aspect of the treaty leads to much friction between the Venetians and the HREGN. The Emperor claims the kingdom of Hungary for the Empire, but renounces all claims to other Polish territory. The Poles accept, but Venice and the Britannic Commonwealth (to say nothing of Byzantium) refuses. In the end, The Emperor agrees to cede Dalmatia and Tyrol to Venice, and the Britannic Commonwealth agree that The Kingdom of Poland shall be “separate but equal” from the Holy Roman Empire.
7)The Pope may return to the Vatican, but acknowledges that he has no temporal rule over Rome or the Marches. Venice is a bit relieved, since it’s the only nation which hasn’t persecuted Catholics over the past 50 years.
With the war at last over, Europe begins to come to its senses after 50 years of near constant religious strife, and enters the Second Renaissance.
Essentially, at the end of the 20 years war, there was a massive swap amongst the victors. Venice (Who will become the Republic (or maybe federation, giving their style of government) of Italy soon, I imagine) gained the rest of the italiajn penninsula, piemonte, tyrol, dalmatia, and a base on the rock of gibraltar. They also dominate the spice islands and india, although the british are making headway there.
The Commonwealth gained vast swaths of useless territory in the new world, along with the rest of the low countries.
Germany, as the “allied” power that was damaged the most, gained hungary to compensate. It was relatively undamaged by the war, as most of the fighting consisted of sieges along the danube; it gives the HREGN a border to expand into Byzantium, and stops them from becoming too strong.
France is a medium sized player, and has been devestated by the war pretty thoroughly. The analogy to Germany is true and false; Germany didn't have a centralized government. Or the massive mexican gold mines, which help. That said, they were also hit by the 20 years war.
England was damaged too; the civil war involved foreign armies, this time around.
Italy came out the best (assuming you don't include naples as italy). It was relatively untouched, and tas sending armies to fight on other nation's territories.
Germany's the major power in this time line that everyone's terrified of, now. They're only weakness is the disunity amongst the nobles, and essentially a battle over the future of the HREGN; the progressive nobles, in the south, who are protocapitalists and deal with the venetians, the northerners, who are protocapitalists and dislike the venetians for competing for shipping, and the rest of hte nation, which is ruled by petty nobles who don't like the venetians as much as their forefathers did. “We did all the work in the war…” and so on and so forth.
The French are poor now; but they value education and thriftiness. Such qualities, I am told, oft reverse that illness” Mocenigo, Venetian ambassador in Paris, to the Senate.
1593- The gold rush in Nueva Italia begins. Gold, discovered in OTL Itaimas (Brazil) causes thousands to sail there, seeking their fortunes. Although only a few find it, many stay on and populate the south of Nueva Italia. The gold is, of course, welcome.
The strange drink called tea is imported from China by the Britannic Cathay Trading Company. The drink catches on in the France and the Commonweath, but the Venetians stick to their coffee. The first teahouse opens in London in 1594.
The new French solidifies its rule over Mexico. Its first move is to break up the old economienda system, as Henri states that “the lords of Mexico care only for themselves; but the middling sort have a vested interest in the well-being of the nation.” The Estates approve, and pass the edicts which break the economiendas up.
1594- The Confederation of Al-Andalus launches a very small military expedition into northern Morocco. Surprisingly, it succeeds in taking Fez and Tangiers, an impressive feat for the cash-strapped nation. The Confederation also passes the “Law for the People of the Book”, urging tolerance for Protestants, Jews, and, to a greater or lesser degree, Catholics. The new nation signs several trading agreements with the Commonwealth and France, and silk production takes off.
With the end of the production of weapons of war, the massive iron mines of Austria and Tyrol lead to the development of the first iron bridges. To ease the transportation of iron from Tyrol and the Steiermark (and to a lesser degree Switzerland), canals are constructed.
1595- Venetian soldiers arrive in India. The Venetian Indian Company rapidly gains territory in India.
Ibn-Rassur of Al-Andalus publishes “The History of Dar-Islam”. In it, he condemns the leaders of the Islamic peoples for becoming backward, and says that the only hope of the people of the faith is to be as the Nasrani are. He also harkens back to the convinencia, when Moors, Jews, and Christians weren’t killing each other in Iberia on a daily basis. Ibn-Rassur is chosen to be a representative for the city of Malaga to the Confederation.
William Shakespeare writes Othello, the tale of love divided by religion. Othello, a Moor, is forbidden to marry Juliet, a Christian Spaniard. Taking place in the 1100’s, the two eventually commit suicide.
Benito Carmaignola explores the Amazon river, and discovers its source, high in the Andes.
1596- The Inquisition in the Levant continues. Those of the faith who haven’t fled to Al-Andalus implore the Shah of Persia to rescue them from oppression.
1597- Al-Andalus begins specializing in the protection of clocks, as the Moors already have a long tradition of mechanical knowledge. Scorned by the berbers for being as much Christian as Muslim, the Andalusis rebuild from the war rapidly, and the Confederation begins tolerating Christians.
Brandy is distilled in Smyrna for the first time. The drink is named ypeirnos: literally, super wine. 1598- Josef of Brandenburg becomes the new Holy Roman Emperor, and king of Hungary. Josef creates a permanent capital for the Holy Roman Empire by moving the court to Worms.
The Britannic parliament passes the enclosure acts, which force many people to move to the cities or the English colonies.
1599- Ladislas III comes to the throne of Poland. Ladislas begins reorganizing the nation, and attempts to break the sejm, and return power to the King.
Also that year, Albert of Mecklenburg dies. However, his son, Adolf, enters the Imperial election. Electorates are divided, but massive bribes (the Peruvian gold is an imperial fief). Has an effect. The northern Electorates rally to his cause. Albert begins to wonder to what purpose he can turn the gold.
1600- An Austrian merchant, watching his coffeepot boil, begins to get an idea. The coal mines are beginning to reach the water level, after all.
Henri IV dies, and is succeeded by son, Charles. Many speculate that the rash of royal deaths has been an omen from God, as those were the kings who instigated the twenty years war. Charles is responsible for encouraging the settlement (often by force) of lands in the Duchy of Nueva Aragon (Mexico).
The Italian, Amadee Pascal, publishes his famous article, “Kings and Countries: The History of Europe.” Pascal cites the HREGN as a land which will either become the European superpower, or fragment. “The nobles chafe under Imperial rule, and gold buys his guns. I fear for the peace in Europe.”
1601- Muslims raise a last, daring revolt against the Byzantines. It is, not surprisingly, crushed. They flee into Persia, and Byzantine troops follow. The Shah warns the Byzantine General that “Your cannon are formidable; but what match are they for the steel of my immortals? Retreat, lest you wake the wrath of the Caliph of Dar-Islam.”
Adolf, Emperor of the German Nation, King of Bohemia, Duke of Mecklenburg, to the King of France:
‘We demand of you Provence, which you shall give us willingly or perforce; and do not awake our horrible sword, for we shall wage most cruel war against you everywhere; neither put your trust in your treasure, which shall dry up like a desert, nor your people, who are weak from war….”
1602- Emperor Justinian ponders, in Constantinople, just how to prepare for the war against Persia. A thought strikes him. If the Persians are the leaders of Dar-Islam, and he is the leader of the Orthodox Church, can he declare a Crusade?
The problem is that Crusades in the past, have meant for Byzantium rampaging Frankish and Italian armies. It is not until Easter Sunday that the Partriarch of Constantinople goes along with the others and agrees to the Crusade.
The Crusade servers as a rallying point for most of the Orthodox world. Armenians, Syrians, Bulgarians, and even a few Russians enlist in the holy armies. The new Russian Emperor, however, wants nothing to do with the war. His country just finished the Time of Troubles.
In November, a Byzantine expedition sets marches into the Hejas, and captures Mecca in November. The Byzantine general burns the city to the ground. He sends Kaaba back to Byzantium.
This is commonly regarded as a very big mistake. Mecca has the equivalent effect for Muslims of burning Rome to the ground, executing the pope, and sending his limbs to the four corners of Christendom. The Persian shah musters an army, and an Andalusian squadron attacks the Arsenal at Athens.
Venice doesn’t declare war, but unofficially aids the Muslims. Venetian raiders discover the route the kaaba will take, and land a detachment which takes the Kaaba, and gives it to the Andalusis. The Andalusis return it to Mecca, and rebuild the city, beginning in 1604.
1603- Alexi, Tzar of Russia, begins expelling the Scandinavians from the Baltic regions.
To remove water from the coal mines in England, Francis Bacon develops the first primitive steam engine. . His machine consisted of a closed vessel filled with water into which steam under pressure was introduced. This forced the water upwards and out of the mine shaft. Then a cold water sprinkler was used to condense the steam. This created a vacuum which sucked more water out of the mine shaft through a bottom valve.
A Crusading army under the Byzantine general Ypsilantis invades OTL Iraq. The Byzantines besiege Baghdad.
1604- Australia is discovered by the Venetian explorer Enrico Constazo.
The siege of Baghdad is lifted by the Persian immortals. The light Persian cavalry ruthlessly harass the crusading army’s supply lines as they cross the desert once more.
Adolf, Emperor of Germany, disputes French claims to Provence when the Duke of Provence dies. Adolf claims that as the Duke was a relative of Frederick of Brandenburg (cousins) Provence should fall to Frederick. Charles maintains that Provence is a part of French territory, and under fief to the king. When they were no male heirs to carry on the family, the land reverts to the kingdom.
Adolf decides that he might as well get some use out of his massive army, and therefore declares that he shall take Provence by force of arms.
The Venetians are worried by this, needless to say. Technically, the entire northern half of Italy was once Imperial. The Senate and People of the Republic of Venice declare that they shall defend their faithful ally France against the French.
The British declare that they also defend the claims of France, as the entire Low Countries were once Imperial. The English Prime Minister, Thomas Blair, warns Adolf that: “If you withdraw now, your name shall be spoken of with kindness, and men will judge you wise. If you go forward, the Commonwealth shall frown upon your action, as your empire is bound to the same laws of nations that apply to others. “
Surprisingly, Emperor Ferdinand backs the HREGN. According to rumors, he hopes to use the war as pretext to retake western France.
1605- Adolf declares war upon the Kingdom of France. Venice declares war upon the Kingdom of Germany. The Commonwealth declares war upon Germany. The Christian Empire declares war upon everyone but the commonwealth, and the confederation of Al-Andalus is very quiet.
The Swiss Cantons, who are, for all intents and purposes, a Venetian commercial satellite, refuse to go to war. The Archduke of Austria is ordered by Adolf to invade and subdue the Swiss rebels.
The Reichsregiment votes in favor of the war, but urges Adolf to make peace with the rest of Europe.
Archduke Konisberg is defeated by the Swiss at the battle of Vaduz. Swiss militia, trained on the Venetian model, use flintlocks and mobile field artillery against the Imperial forces.
The Venetians take Udine, and with it, the last Imperial territory along the Adriatic coast.
1604- Australia is discovered by the Venetian explorer Enrico Constazo.
The siege of Baghdad is lifted by the Persian immortals. The light Persian cavalry ruthlessly harass the crusading army’s supply lines as they cross the desert once more.
Adolf, Emperor of Germany, disputes French claims to Provence when the Duke of Provence dies. Adolf claims that as the Duke was a relative of Frederick of Brandenburg (cousins) Provence should fall to Frederick. Charles maintains that Provence is a part of French territory, and under fief to the king. When they were no male heirs to carry on the family, the land reverts to the kingdom.
Adolf decides that he might as well get some use out of his massive army, and therefore declares that he shall take Provence by force of arms.
The Venetians are worried by this, needless to say. Technically, the entire northern half of Italy was once Imperial. Adolf’s policy sets a bad precedent. The Venetians hint that they’ll join the HREGN, however, in exchange for the port of Marseilles and Udine. Adolf, believing the German nation does not need the help of Italians, rebuffs them. In an astonishingly rude gesture, he comments on the fact that while the Kingdom of Italy is, of course, sovereign, Savoy and Piemonte were once Imperial Duchies. The Reichsregiment issues an apology for that comment, but the war continues to widen the expanding rift between the two nations.
The British parliament makes some noises about how they wish for peace and goodwill in Europe, and how the Imperial claims are not valid. Surprisingly, they don’t go any further, preferring to wait and see what happens.
Another Byzantine invasion force sets off.
1605- Adolf declares war upon the Kingdom of France. Ferdinand makes some encouraging noises, but the Christian Empire is literally bankrupt.
An Imperial army is crushed by the superior organization of the French forces. Like the Republic and the Commonwealth, France has moved of late towards a professional army, as opposed to one based on nobility and mercenaries.
At the battle of Toul, the Imperial army is defeated by a slightly smaller French army. The French army, made up of many burghers and minor nobility, chases the Imperial army into Lorraine.
A southern army marches out of the Swiss Cantons, and does noticeably better. The Swiss, however, withdraw from the war when Adolf states, rather bluntly, that he will create additional cantons for Switzerland from Provencal land. The Canton delegate to the Diet of Worms states that the Swiss Cantons, under the treaty of Passowitz, are only liable to join wars that defend the Empire, and may join wars of conquest of their own free will. The case goes before the Imperialis Judicium, which rules that the Swiss are indeed right. Adolf is temptd to disband the judicium, but cooler heads in the Reichsregiment prevail.
1606- Off of the coast of Birtanny, the German fleet is defeated by the French Atlantic Squadron. The Germans will spend much of the war trying to get through the Channel, and their colonies in South America are becoming increasingly neglected, aside for the gold.
A French army attacks Strassburg, in Alasce, but is pushed back.
The Byzantines take Baghdad, but then run out of ammunition for cannon. Their supply lines, almost nonexistant across the desert, are broken. The Byzantine army is annihilated, although Baghdad is ruined and will take a generation to recover from the Crusade.
The Shah of Persia launches a counter invasion, towards the Levant.
1607- With many of the German lords distracted, Stanowitz, King of Poland-Lithuania, invades. The Polish army marches on Danzig.
The Diet agrees, reluctantly, to raising more troops. The Hungarians also get involved, although they carry out the war half-heartedly.
The new army in Poland, led by Augustus of Pommerania, defeats the Poles. The Hungarians also cross an army into Poland. The Hungarian army then spends the next four months on the other side of the border (literally). Adolf sends the Archduke of Austria to speed the army up.
Troops from Bavaria, through Switzerland, enter Provence. They take Tolouse from the French.
1608- The Bavarian troops are defeated by a force from Tours. Tolouse is retaken.
The Poles raise another army, which defeats the Pomeranians. (Thrilling stuff, war in this era is).
The French fleet captures a treasure convoy enroute to Lubeck from Peru. Adolf, incensed, orders that the principalities pay, for the first time in the history of the Empire, pay taxes.
Many of the princes pay, but several, including the Prince of Bayern, refuse to, pointing out that they’re already leading troops against the French. Adolf cannot, legally, do anything about them. But few are surprised when the Prince is ordered to lead a charge against French artillery.
1609- Persian troops besiege, and take, Antioch. With it taken, the Levant is cut off from the rest of Byzantium.
The Byzantine Emperor Pathanios personally leads a last army against the Persians. In desperation, Charles begins selling public offices, a practice known as venality. The offices are rapidly bought up, and since they confer noble status upon those who possess them, brings many of the wealthy merchants into the nobility.
The Hungarian army, led by the Archduke of Austria, is cut to pieces by Polish cavalry.
1610- The Diet refuses to raise taxes to finance the war. This causes the Italian philosopher Antiono Grimani to comment: “Democracy will never work. The Germans have proven that no democracy will ever tax itself.”
Adolf begins to have trouble raising armies to fight the French. Toulouse is taken once again, but the French are on the advance.
Another fleet is defeated in the channel. Astute observers note that some of the French warships have crews which speak English.
Andalusis begin melting chocolate into a drink, which becomes very popular in all of Spain and North Africa.
1611- The latest French army (raised almost exclusively from the funds that the French received from selling offices and titles of nobility) defeats the Imperial army.
Adolf bumps his head in his carriage. Although he appears fine, three hours later, he falls unconscious. The best doctors in the Empire can do nothing, and the Emperor is dead within a week.
The Diet convenes in the Reichstag in Worms. The electors vote narrowly for Karl of Brandenburg to be the new king. Karl is informed by the Reichsregiment that he can either tax the nobles, or he can sue for peace. Karl wants to continue the war (he could claim Provence) but the principalities have made it categorically clear that they will not pay more taxes. The peasants are being squeezed as hard as is possible. Karl raises several loans from the German banks.
Karl asks the Venetians if they will join the war, but the Senate has been thoroughly incensed by Adolf’s high handed attitude, and refuses.
Pathanios finally retakes Antioch. The eleven years of war have been for naught, as all that Byzantium gains is a few miles of desert.
A Russian military expedition reaches the Pacific. The Tzar begins sending prisoners and peasants to colonize the land.
1612- Djon is attacked in the last Imperial invasion. Short of funds, the Imperial army is forced to withdraw back into Lorraine. To put it bluntly: this is a war of attrition, but of gold, not men. France will win because it’s developed deeper pockets. Charles would later comment that he was merely reviving an old tradition of the previous French monarchs, but many scholars accuse Charles of copying a Venetian tradition, dating back to the 1340’s.
Lorraine is overrun, and Charles invades Alasce.
Venice finally gets involved. The Senate sends a message telling Charles to respect the territory of the Empire, for the sake of peace among Christians.
Charles replies that he might be considered to make peace, in exchange for Franche-Comte.
1613- A truce is declared. Negotiations are established in England, and the Treaty of York establishes French control over Franche-Comte, and that Provence is a territory of France.
The nations of the World, circa 1611.
The Republic of Italy: (Also known as repubblica serenissima; The Most serene republic).
Territories: Venice rules Brazil to Venezuela, in South America. Colonial settlement consists of many plantations in the North, but the south, with the discovery of gold (and rapidly flowing rivers) is more focused on commerce. Beretta is the chief city of the North; Nueva Verona is the largest city in southern Nuova Italia.
In the Mediterranean, Italy rules all of the Italian peninsula, Sicily, Sardinia, Corsica, along with the County of Savoy/Piemonte. Tyrol, a predominantly Italian county that the Venetians “swapped” for with the Empire, is the northernmost border. In practical terms, however, Switzerland and the Archduchy of Austria are closer to the republic than to the Emperor in Worms.
Cyprus, Corfu, and Crete continue to be used as naval bases against the Byzantines, and Egypt is essentially a massive plantation.
In the Indian Ocean, the Venetians rule Borneo, Ternate, Tindore, Ceylon ,Malacca, Java, and a bit of Southwest India. They’ve explored Australia, but see no practical purpose to claiming it.
Government: The name of the Republic changed during the Twenty years war. Owning much of Italy obviously enhanced the Venetian feeling of italiano, and in time the Republic gave more and more power to the loyal cities. Those which weren’t had their leaders replaced by pro Venetian leaders, and became loyal (Florence, for example).
The Italian government works roughly based upon the following: The Constitution is a model of religious tolerance. Bishops, both Catholic and their Italian Protestant Counterparts, are elected by the Senate. Freedom of Worship is extended even to Jews, and the Muslims even have a mosque in Venice itself.
The base of the Italian republic is the Great council, consisting of the merchants and nobles of Italy. As its ranks had swollen to 15,000 (This is NOT a typo) by 1560, a new solution was needed. The Pregadi, better known as the Senate, was raised to 200 members, with representation based on the population and tax base of each city of the Republic. Separate but equal from the Senate is the Council of Ten, which in reality has seventeen (The Doge and his six councilors attend all the sessions of the council). The Council of Ten was established in 1310 to “preserve the liberty and peace of the subjects of the republic and to protect them from the abuses of personal power”. The council of Ten is elected by the Senate for six months at a time, and its three heads (Capi) rotate monthly and are confined to the city of Venice for their time in office.
Above the Council of Ten and Senate are the collegio, which is basically a cabinet. The Collegio consists of the Ministers of War, Marine, and Finance. There are Six Savii Grandi (literally: Big Heads). They can be compared to the executive arm of the government, and through them all state business is channeled and most legislation initiated. The chairman of the collegio (who rotates weekly) is the Prime Minister of the Republic.
Above this chaos is the Doge, who is theoretically the head of Venice. In practice, he is always guarded by the Signoria, whose support and approval the Doge needs to act. In fact, without a Doge, the Signoria can act so long as they have a majority in favor of an idea, and the Doge is essentially a figurehead. The Doge, unlike the rest of the government, holds office for life
If this system of government sounds confusing, it is, and that’s really the point. The Venetians are terrified of the idea of one man holding sway over the government, and have designed their entire constitution to prevent that. For those who are interested, membership in the Senate only requires that the owner can give the Republic ten thousand ducats in one lump sum. The candidate is then eligible for election by their native city.
Venetian government in cities is very loose. The Senate appoints a rector, who controls taxation and raising military levies, and a catch-it-all phrase which covers “maintaining law and order”. Aside from that, however, most cities in the Republic have a civil governor, known as a Rector, who controls that. In every city, he is sworn to respect the civil constitution, and in several cities, the rector is subject to a council which can censure him if any of the traditional rights are infringed.
Venetian taxation is an annual 5% of the land’s value, and, needless to say, the Venetians hire very good surveyors. An unexpected side affect of this is that the landowners become agricultural businessman, doing everything they can to enhance their land’s value.
Crete, Cyprus, and Egypt do not have councils. Nuova Italia, however, is divided into provinces, who have a rector and a Council. Edibility for the local councils is more relaxed than in Italy, and rectors are subject to local constitutions.
Capital: Venice. It’s staying here. The common view is that if those Genoans and Neapolitans don’t like it, they can bloody well sod off. Venice is a burgeoning city, and the entire lagoon’s shoreline is now the center of shipbuilding and docks. Due to deforestation, lumber must be imported from Austria, Hungary, and Switzerland for shipbuilding.
Major cities: Milano, Florentine, Genoa, Venice, and Messina are the principal cities of the Republic. Milano is the largest, and after Venice, the most prosperous.
Resources: Aside from cloth, The Republic is poor n resources. What Venice does have is, with the Canal, a position as the entrepot of the world. Italy’s chief agriculture product is wine, and it’s chief mineral is sulfur in Sicily.
Abroad, things are different. Nuova Italia ships tobacco, cotton, sugar (the latter two come from Cyprus, Crete, and Egypt as well). The canal lets spices and silks come to Italy, which are then sold abroad.
Alliances: Italy has traditionally strong ties with the HREGN, but the last emperor severely weakened them. They have strong culture ties with Britannia, but as both nations are aggressive naval powers, their foreign policies align in Europe and clash abroad. The Britons are increasingly heading around the Cape, and as the winds are pretty bad near the Canal, are making headway in the East.
Military Strength: A decent sized professional army (It is the fourth largest in Europe), fortifications along the Alps and in the Udine, and perhaps the largest navy.
Commonwealth of Britannia:
Territory: The British Isles and Low Countries. Its colonies cover the East and Gulf Coasts of north America, as well as a claim to California. Wehetheror not the French will pay attention to a conquistador’s claims remains to be seen.
In order to try to dislodge the Venetians, the English have begun sailing around the Cape, which has developed rapidly. The Phillipines have a small Dutch colony as well, and the Japanese trade with the Dutch and English.
Government: The Commonwealth consists of a Parliament (House of Commons and Lords) in London for the entire Commonwealth. Based on the Venetian Senate, Parliament has control of taxation, war, and diplomacy.
Below the Parliament are the regional assemblies. In Scotland and England, there are Parliaments. The Netherlands has the Estates-Generals, which contains more of the city bourgeoisie than Parliament does. (Few instead of almost none).
The head of the Commonwealth is the Lord Protector, who is sworn to defend the Protestant Faith(s), and the Constitution. Unlike in The Republic, The Lord-Protector is emphatically not a figurehead, and is the effective executive branch. He is appointed every five years by the vote of the regional assemblies.
The Commonwealth is less aristocratic than in OTL, because of Venetian influences. More than one noble has invested in the China trade, for instance.
Major cities: Antwerp, London, and Edinburgh are the capitals of their regions. Amsterdam is smaller than in OTL, because the ports at Antwerp are still busy.
Resources: All the good stuff that gave the British Isles a head start in OTL is still thee. Coal, ore, and lumber in England and Scotland.
The colonies produce tobacco, naval supplies (New England Lumber is very useful to the English, and lets them maintain a naval edge over the Venetians; but a slight one). And furs. Cotton has bee n introduced, but the Churka won’t work on the cotton the English grow.
Alliances: England is constantly switching sides as suits its interests. In the Twenty Years war, it supported the Protestants (and established itself). In the Franco-German war, it supported the French. England’s policy revolves around making sure no nation dominates the continent.
Military: The Commonwealth maintains a larger army than in OTL, to defend the Low Countries. The navy is correspondingly smaller.
The Confederation of Al-andalus
Government: Al-Andalus is based on the Swiss Cantons and the Republic. There is only the Council, in Malaga. It controls all foreign affairs, basic taxation, and military powers, in theory. In practice, the Andalusis dislike listening to their central government, but the representatives are chosen by all adult “People of the Book”. The Andalusis encompass Jews, Castilians, and Moors. Some view their tolerance as proof that religion cannot divide mankind, especially the philosophers of the Renaissance. Cynics expect the confederation to collapse into civil war as soon as it faces a real crisis.
Capital : Grenada. The Alhambra, damaged in the Twenty Years war, was rebuilt as a hall for the council.
Major Cities: Seville, Corboda, Grenada, and Tangiers are the chief cities.
Resources; Southern Iberia has some metals, which are sold to the Italians. Silk is also produced in great quantity by the Granadines, and the merchant marine is small but efficient. Much of the prosperity of Al-Andalus is a result of its location, at the Straits of Gibraltar.
Military: Almost all Al-Andalusis own a musket. Fortifications along the sierra Nevada protect the region, but for the most part, if they ever get in a war with the Empire and Italy doesn’t help them, it is acknowledged they will be beaten.
Alliances: The Republic has strong ties to the Confederation, and maintains a naval base at Gibraltar. England has requested permission to base a fleet in Tangiers, but so far (the Italians have told them no, basically) the Confederation has refused.
The Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation
Government: The head of the HREGN is the emperor. The office of Emperor is chosen by an election of the Diet, upon the Death of the previous emperor. Occasionally the next Emperor is chosen while the current one is still living (as happened with Adolf) but that is actually quite rare.
The emperor, has, theoretically, the supreme powe in the executive, legislative, and judicial branches. In practice, he cannot rule against the reichssregiment, who (fortunately) often go along with the Emperor. The Emperor controls the leasing of mints, the right to ennoble and confer titles, and to pardon criminals. He also represents the Empire abroad.
The Reichstag is the legislative body of the empire. It is divided into three councils, the Councils of the Electors, Princes, and Imperial Cities.
The council of Electors have six members. The margrave of Brandenburg, the King of Bohemia, the Count Palatine of the Rhine, the margrave of Saxony, the Duke of Bavaria, and the Archduke of Austria
The rights of electors include: To elect (obviously) the emperor, to hold a high office, to have rank and precedence, to propose legislation, and be consulted on all legislation by the emperor, to give their assent on certain matters without consultation of the rest of the Reichstag, and to enjoy within their territories regal powers. This meant that they collected taxes as they saw fit, and raised their own levies.
The Council of princes is composed of princes, counts, lords, and prelates of the states of the Empire (Reichsstände). To be a state of the empire, it was necessary to own a principality or lordship under the emperor’s immediate rule, and to share in the financial and military burdens of the Empire. What exactly the financial and military burdens of the empire are lead to arguments between the Empero and Reichstag.
The third council was of the Imperial cities. Their position in the Reichstag is not always clear, but they are rarely allowed to vote on decisive matters. They have no say on the admission of new states, wars abroad, and the investiture of imperial fiefs.
Geography: The Empire rulres Germany, Boehmia, the Archduchy of Austria, the Swiss, Alasce, Lorraine, and through perpetual fief, the Emperor rules the Kingdom of Hungary. The Empire has extensive holdings in South America, running from Patagonia (OTL Argentina) northwest into Peru and Chile. The gold from Peru is given to the individual electors to do with as they please, although the new Emperor would like to take control of the gold on his own.
Capital: The Reichstag has been moved permanently to Worms.
Major Cities: Berlin, Lubeck, Vienna, and Prague are the largest cities in the Empire. Lubeck has a thriving trade with the new world, and exports grain to Italy and to England.
Resources: Iron, Coal, wood, grain, and cloth production in the North. In essence: everything that made Germany a powerhouse in OTL. Unfortunately, the disunited nobles aren’t using it properly. The most prosperous realm, the Archduchy of Austria, is led by Amadee (formerly Amadeus) II, who openly mocks the provincial northern Germans. Amadee has developed extensive ties with the Italians, as well.
Military: Despite having the largest potential army in Europe (and hence the world) The Germans are still relying on feudal levies and mercenary armies. There is a reasonably large navy, but it has been declining of late, or more accurately, fallen behind the Scandinavian fleet in the Baltic.
Amadee, Archduke of Austria, is again the exception. He has developed a small, highly professional army on the Italian model. He has also encouraged the development of canals to bring Austrian raw materials to Italy, and has been reawarded for his efforts with the richest Elector state.
Alliances: Traditionally, they have been allies of Italy. As Italians begin expanding onto the plains of Patagonia, however, and look hesitantly on the massive neighbor to the north, the relations have become poorer. Although the two nations are still on friendly terms, Adolf’s warmongering and insults to the Senate have weakened his reputation. The Christian Empire, which wants to regain its French land, has become an ally of late.
The Kingdom of France
Government: The King is subject to the Estates-General. The Grande Ordinnance, issued by the nobles who crowned Henri, gave the Estates control over finances, basing itself (ironically, considering events in England at the time) on the English Parliament.
The Estates are divided into two Estates, the First and Second. The First Estate pays little in taxes, and consists of the nobility. The Second Estate, the burghers, merchants, and peasants, pays the lion’s share of revenues. However, as control of finances falls to the Estates, this gives the bourgeoisie a much stronger say in the government than the nobles.
Major Cities: Not too different form OTL The south is slightly poorer than it was, for suffering the wars between the French and Spanish and French and Germans, but these were about the same as those of the Wars of Religion.
Resources: Mexican gold is pouring into the country, giving the Estates absurd amounts of money. The money has been used to build a strong army and navy to face the Germans, and France is expected to retake southwest France from the Christian Empire soon.
Military: It’s army is, bar none, the strongest in Europe, especially after the Provencal war. Unfortunately, it is hemmed in by its neighbors; the British, Italians, and Christian Empire have developd large fortifications along their borders. Only the Rhine offers an easy avenue for continental expansion.
Alliances: Surprisingly enough, the French have strong ties with the Byzantine Empire; a sacrilegious alliance of the “Lily and the purple”. Both desire to knock the Italians and Germans down a peg. At the same time, France has common interests with the Italians against the British in the New world, and with the British and Poles against the Germans.
The Byzantine Empire
Government: How shall I put this…. The Byzantine Empire is a theocratic empire. The Byzantine armies go into battle to the cry of “There is no God but the Lord and Christ is his son.” The constant wars to retake Anatolia have turned your average Byzantine into a fairly dogmatic Orthodox Christian, and skeptical of outward ideas. The Byzantine Emperor is viewed as Christ’s vicar upon the Earth by his subjects, although this hasn’t stopped the not-so-occasional civil war.
There is also a massive bureaucrat organize the Empire, staffed by Greeks, largely. There is a substantial Turkish population in the military, however.
Capital: The City. Constantinople. Hagia Sophia looks oddly out of place, rebuilt by Leonardo Da Vinci. The city is surrounded by massive walls, although they are fairly primitive.
Major Cities: Antioch, Athens, Constantinople, and Smyrna are the major cities. Jerusalem is important as well, but for spiritual rather than economic value.
Military: The navy is large, but rather backward; galleys, rather than sailing ships, are the norm. The Army, on the other hand, is the practical largest in Europe. It has fallen behind in terms of concepts such as supply and logistics, but is still a formidable fighting force. If it wasn’t often bleeding itself to death in a civil war, Byzantium might be the strongest military nation in Europe.
Allies: France, to an extent. Russia, to a larger one. The Byzantines want to take the Canal, Cyprus, and Crete, and will ally with anyone who will let them do that. The Crusade has taught them that Persia is not worth the effort.
1614- The Poles finally make peace with the Germans and Hungarians, gaining a small strip of land from Hungary.
The Population of Italy reaches 15 million. France has a population of 11 million, the Commonwealth 10 million, and the HREGN and Hungary have a population of 21 million.
Pathanios begins the Reform of the Roses (named after the popular English flower). Pathanios begins modernizing the navy, hiring English admirals. The reforms anger the Priests, of course.
Italian composer Otto Orseolo begins composing. His first hit, “Siempro Libera”, is released in Venice in 1615.
1615- The French finally cement their grip on Mexico. Gold production continues apace, but the French Mexicans diversify into other cash crops, notably indigo.
Marco Barbango, an Italian capitalist, modifies Spinning Jessicas to produce cloth thread.
1616- The Senate of Italy passes the Enclosure acts, which end common grazing. Southern Italians, unable to pay to put fences around their property, have no choice but to move to Nuevo Italia or the cities.
1617- A revolt in Portugal as they try to elave the Christian Empire. It is ruthlessly suppressed by Emperor Juan.
Dirck van Babure, a philosopher in the Low Counries, publishes the Wealth of Nation. He predicts that the 17th and 18th centuries will bed dominated by those who seek colonies abroad. But he also predicts that colonies will be more valuable if treated, as the Venetians treat them, like their home country.
1618- Amadee, Archduke of Austria, dies. His son returns from the university of Padua and becomes the new Archduke. He brings with him potatoes, which increase crop yields in the Archuchy.
The English establish the city of Nova Edinburgh on the banks of the Mississippi. Despite the poor climate, it rapidly grows.
1619- Early in February, three people are thrown from the windows of the castle guarding Sibiu. Landing in a garbage dump, the three escape with their lives, and return to Worms.
Ordinarily, three people tossed from a castle wouldn’t be considered that unusual (this is Hungary, after all) but the three were regents of Karl in Hungary.
The men were tossed out as a culmination of disputes between the nobility of Hungary (especially the Orthodox nobility in Carpathia and the rest of the Eastern lands) and the Emperor. The largely Catholic/Orthodox nobility felt that Karl’s new policy of milking Hungary to pay for Germany’s army is a violation of his duty’s as king. When they petition his regents for an end, the regents refuse. The nobility of Hungary raise an army for support, and call upon Phanarios for assistance.
“I despise the Elector of Brandenburg. He lacks the strength and vitality that is evident in Amadee, and other Southern Germans”- Vasco Polo, a Venetian grain merchant in the Baltic, 1619.
1620- Emperor Phanarios remains hesitant. The Crusade was a long, drawn out war, with little benefit. He wants to ensure that his son gets the throne without a civil war, and rebuild the navy to beat the Italians.
On the other hand, the offer to be King of Hungary is pretty tempting. Phanarios accepts, and marches with several themes into the kingdom. Emperor Karl declares the assembly to be forfeit, and orders the Electors and Princes to raise their levies. As in the last war, the efforts are halfhearted at best.
Karl warns the Repbulic that the “Greed of Phanarios knows no bounds; he sees himself as a Justinian, and would as readily conquer you as Hungary.” The Senate agrees to support Karl
1621- Phanarios sits in Budapest, and promises to lower taxation. He also promises to respect the rights of the nobility. He then surrounds Budapest with his troops, and demands that the nobles swear oaths of fealty to him, and swear that their land is theirs by his will alone.
Hungarians begin to regret requesting that the Vicar of Christ become their king.
Venetian warships defeat the Byzantines off of Corinth. Venetian frigates come up with a new tactic, “Crossing the T”. They Cross the T several times, smashing the Byzantine fleet. The Italian army, under Vitalie Falier, marches on Baja in southern Hungary. They succeed in taking the city, scattering the nobility to the four winds, but a massive Byzantine army forces them to leave the city and withdraw to Trieste.
1622- The Commonwealth ponders supporting the Byzantines. The British are getting more and more aggressive in the Indian Ocean, and some men in Parliament (including Oliver Cromwell, a prosperous conservative landowner from Yorkshire) talk of taking the canal. Resolutions for war fail to pass Parliament.
An Imperial Army under Marquis Hozelleran of Brandenburg clashes with the Byzantine army outside of Bratislava. It is also defeated. The Byzantine navy may be pathetic, but centuries of war in Anatolia and the Balkans have made the Byzantine armies among the best in the world. (It helps that the army offers the most social mobility of all Byzantine society, letting any young ambitious man earn his way to the top through it). German armies, in contrast, are disorganized rabble, led by nobles who don’t really support the war. It’s not as if they own land in Hungary, after all.
Karl pleads with the nobles to pay taxes, instead of raising armies. They refuse, and proceed to lead thousands of untrained peasants into Hungary.
1623- Phanarios enters Budapest. Another army under the Marquis marches towards the city. Before the battle begins, the Marquis roars, “Let the cannon advance!”
From the start of the battle the day goes badly for the Germans. Charges are broken by enemy musketry. The Marquis flees the battle, leaving the Byzantine army to discover in his baggage train, among other things, a large supply of tea and vodka. The latter catches on rapidly amongst the Byzantines.
Amadee, in disgust, rushes to salvage the situation. He dispatches an army under Otto Konisberg. Konisberg pushes the Byzantines out of Rezi, a small town in western Hungary, and marches on Budapest. He has a stunning victory at Marcali, capturing a supposed piece of the Black Rood, which was supposedly rediscovered in Jerusalem. (As you can see, the Orthodox Church relies on a lot of suppositions).
Amadee begins hinting that, as a loyal subject of his Emperor, and more importantly as the only loyal subject who’s won, he deserves compensation in land.
Konisberg’s army is financed by the Italians, who subsidize Austria’s war effort.
The Italian fleet under Falier sack Athens. Much of the Acropolis is carried off by the Italians, who use it to beautify Venice.
News of Austrian and Italian victories is enough to convince the Commonwealth not to join the war. (A strong peace party was already in control, as war with Venice would jeopardize the profitable Cathay trade).
1624- Nitra is taken by Konisberg, but then retaken by the Byzantines. The Emperor raises an army that is reported to be forty thousand strong.
French settlement along the Texan coast begins. Cotton proves to be an ideal crop in the region, along with sugar cane.
1625- The Italians send a force of about 15,000 to join Konisberg. and raise taxes, especially those on Coffee and sugar.
In June, the Italian , German, and Byzantine armies clash at the battle of Gyor. After a day of battle, the Byzantine army is routed. Konisberg prepares to pursue, but a message reaches them. Karl has died. Legally, there is no way to contest the throne, and the Diet doesn’t want peace. It is time to choose a new emperor.
1626- The Diet convenes in Worms. Amadee declares himself as a possibility for an emperor. (Note; he’s not a Hapsburg. If anyone’s interested, I’ll explain who Amadee’s royal line is.)
Amadee promises to create a national army, restore the Empire to its once proud glory, and makes the promise “Today Germany is a laughingstock. Tomorrow the world shall know why the Romans could never best our ancestors.”
The Marquis Eberhard of Brandenburg is his chief rival. Eberhard believes that things are fine as they are, and that any problems are because the Germans are fighting foreign wars. As such, there is no need for taxes. He also points out that Amdee’s promises are all well and good, but even Peruvian silver won’t help him pay for what he wants.
Like many previous elections, the election comes down to who has deeper pockets. The English and Italians bribe for Amadee, while the French and Danes (most Scandinavians are considered Danish) bribe for Eberhard. Neither of them want a strong Germany on their doorstep.
Amadee wins the election, and is coronated on Christmas day.
Also this year, the Persians cement their control over most of Arabia, giving them great symbolic status.
1627- Amadee changes his name to Amadeus, in an attempt to sound less Italian. He begins appointed barristers and judges across the land. Amadeus ends up in massive fights with the Diet, over the course of the year. Over the next several years, Amadee tries dozens of methods to tax the nobles.
He simply tries to levy taxes. The nobles refuse (historically, this was the case. They could refuse to pay taxes, if they voted against it).
Amadee, frustrated, begins allying with the cities. According to Imperial law, cities may vote on matters which concern them or the directly surrounding lands.
Amadee also ends persecution of the remaining Catholics and the Jews in Germany. Both know that they are dependent on Imperial goodwill, and are very eager to please their Emperor.
Both events anger the electorates, who have the power to print money, collect taxes, develop their resources, judicial independence, and were basically autonomous. The electorates
The Marquis of Brandenburg suggests to the Danish King Gustavus that he might be willing to change his allegiance, if his sovereign should break his vows.
BTW, for an overview of the Reichstag, by 1627 it consisted of · 6 lay Electors · 33 ecclesiastical votes (owned by 23 bishops) · 39 secular votes owned by altfürstenliche families, · 9 votes of secularized territories, · 13 neufürstenliche families · 4 votes shared by the Reichsgrafen
1628- Amadee’s policies are watched with interest throughout Europe. Stalwart conservative Oliver Cromwell of England criticizes the nobles for disobeying their lawful sovereign. King Louis of France says that the nobles and Emperor are in, more or less, a legal contract. If the Emperor breaks it, then he has broken Imperial law. Amadee is able to bring the cities under his control, at least. The free cities become the basis of Imperial power, and Amadee spends much of his reign increasing their power at the expense of the nobles.
Vienna, the German seat of the thriving German-Italian trade, becomes the center for a new German school of thought. The Physiocrats urge economic reform. They believe that Germany’s future lies in colonies, manufacture, and trade. “Germany’s land is poor. She will never grow rich off of land, or wine,” writes Wilemn Groetz. “But she has metals that the Italians need and the French want.” Amadee also begins packing the Imperial courts with those who are loyal to him. If worst comes to worse, they will remain loyal.
1629- Amadee comes upon an ingenious solution. If he cannot tax land, he will tax something else the nobles need. Amadee sets out to ruin the nobles. He passes taxes on French wine (hurting the French and the nobles who drink it; the burghers prefer Italian), taxes on wills which pass land between father and son, taxes on roads, and taxes on salt. The last two hurt the peasantry, to a degree; but the nobles are faced with a very tough problem. The taxes are based so that nobles, and their retainers, pay a far greater amount than would anyone else. The Reichstag will not allow these taxes to be put into place, of course.
Amadee doesn’t realize this at first, but his total disrespect for the nobles who have elected him leads to the meeting of the Electors. In secret, Herwig of Bohemia, Frederick of Brandenburg, and the margrave Conrad of Saxony meet in Berlin to discuss what to do about their empeor. Amadee expands the Austrian army across the German nation. Many of the of the sons of burghers enlist, and become officers. Nobles get few, if any positions, but keep their feudal levies.
The gold rush in Nuova Italia peters out, but the effects have been profound. The South of the land relies on trade, mining, and exports grain, becoming, along with Patagonia, the breadbasket for southern Europe. The north remains primarily agricultural, with a plantation-based economy. The Italian doctor Guillame notices that dairy workers in Naples do not get smallpox, but instead cow pox. When he travels to Palermo, he notices the same thing. Duke Kluck of Bavaria dies from smallpox. He, unlike the Neapolitan dairy workers, never had cow pox. But I digress. Kluck was only 24. Amadee, by virtue of being a cousin of poor Kluck, becomes the Duke of Bavaria.
Amadee, at 44, feels rather confident with Bavaria and Austria in his possession. Bavaria, one of the most prosperous territories in Germany, becomes another Austria. However, the nobles are disgruntled. In the past, the emperor has always divided new land, and land he has inherited (such as in the taking of Church estates after the Reformation: most of that land went to the nobles, although the Emperor couldn’t resist making himself king of Bohemia as well; but that was a family, not Imperial, title).
1630- The Gunpowder Plot is discovered in Germany. Led by the Margraves of Saxony and Brandenburg, it is a plan to blow up the Emperor’s palace and restore power to the electors, as hopefully one of them would be elected king. Things go smoothly, at first. Using connections amongst the palace, the Margrave of Saxony is able to rent a room underneath the royal chambers. “Servants” are able to carry forty barrels of gunpowder into the basement, disguising them as wine. The conspirators set the gunpowder to go off on the fifth of March.
Unfortunately for the conspirators (but fortunately for the Emperor) the gunpowder is discovered on the fourth of March, by a servant sent to fetch wine. Considering how the gunpowder was to be set off the next day, the nobles felt very confident in the Emperor’s death. They had no idea that the Emperor would suddenly demand wine from Greece, and hence that the barrels would be discovered. On the sixth, the King of Bohemia expresses lament in public for the Emperor’s death, which he says he received by courier. (A courier would have taken more than one day to reach him). The Emperor is furious, and this leads to a famous German nursery rhyme:
“Remember, remember the fifth of March. Gunpowder, Treason and Plot. I see no reason why Gunpowder Treason Should ever be forgot.”
The Emperor and his family are hastily escorted to an estate in the countryside while the gunpowder is removed. The servant who let the gunpowder into the palace confesses, after torturing. The trail points to the Margrave of Saxony; and by implication, the other electors.
1631- The Emperor swears that he will always remember the treason of the Electors. He demands that the Reichstag cast out all electors, and give him the right to tax nobles. Surprisingly, there’s a bit of wavering, for the same old reasons. First of all, what the Emperor wants is pretty drastic; there’s no proof that the Elector of the Palatinate was involved. (He knew of the plot, but wasn’t actively involved).
Moreover, the Emperor won’t name the new electors; and if those electors are removed, then that leaves the Emperor with the ability to pack the Electorates. (As the Archduke of Austria and Duke of Bohemia, he already owns two seats. It’s a safe bet that he’ll become King of Bohemia as well).
The Imperial Cities vote to pay more in taxes, and show their solidarity with the Emperor. This isn’t just a political move; many of the burghers feel an affinity with the Emperor, who has extensive business interests, and has sent his sons to the finest colleges in Germany and Italy. His grudge against the nobles helps him to win over the peasantry without realizing it; his attempts to end serfdom help rather more.
The Emperor raises taxes in his lands as well, and an army invades the Kingdom of Bohemia. The King’s army is annihilated at Pisek, as an Austrian cavalry attack captures his cannons. The King fled the battle in the first hour.
In the north, however, things are a different story. The Imperial cities remain largely loyal to the Empire; particularly Lubeck, site of the Imperial fleet. But Conrad and Frederick convince, by “Pen and powder”, many of the northern princes to join them.
1632- Prague is overrun by the Emperor’s forces. The King of Bohemia is killed in a battle outside the city. Coincedentally, one of his officers receives several choice estates in the recovered kingdom.
An interesting problem arises in the North. Oldenburg is, as it turns out, an Imperial fief ruled by Christian V of Scandinavia. When news reaches Conrad and Ferdinand of Herwig’s accident, they send envoys to meet with Christian regarding the possibility of becoming Danish vassals. Christian, intrigued, sends a letter to King Francois of France. Would he like to become overlord of all the territory to the Rhine?
The Italian espionage service is active as usual. The day the letter reaches Henri, he receives a letter from the Senate warning him not to intervene in a “purely Imperial affair”.
The Commonwealth also wants peace, worried about French or Danish hegemony.
1633- King Michal Korybut, of Poland-Lithuania, takes a different view. There is land that was once rightfully Polish under the German heel, and he would like Danzig back (it’s Poland’s only real port; or was). Michal manages to convince the Sejm to declare war on the Emperor, and moves into the Empire. His motive isn’t so much acquiring vassals as kicking the Empire while its down.
The Emperor finds himself unable to deal with the Reichsregiment and Diet. He creates the Reichshofrath. It has two functions: 1. as Council of State, to which certain matters of state had to be referred (the Emperor was free, however, to surround himself with other advisors in ad-hoc councils, such as a war council or a secret council); 2. as a high court whose jurisdiction overlapped with that of the Court.
Surprisingly, it was not a requirement to be of noble status. It is essentially the Emperor’s cabinet, in place of the Noble Reichsregiment. The nobles dislike it, but since most of them are now traitors (especially the northerners) there’s not much they can do.
Christian personally leads an army into Germany. Lubeck falls, and other Imperial cities, including Hamburg, follow suit. He is quickly frustrated by the lack of money his army receives from the German nobles.
The Italians begin subsidizing Imperial armies. For once, the money comes with few strings attached; there’s a deep, longstanding hatred towards the Poles, and the Italians hope to capitalize on trade in Germany after the war.
1634- Breslau, in Silesia, is besieged by the Poles. King Michal offers them generous terms for surrender, and rewards to the burghers of the city, but Amadeus’s garrison holds firm. The complete lack of substantial siege artillery on the part of the Poles helps.
An Imperial army sent ahead to scout the terrain is defeated by a Danish army outside of Frankfurt. Ominously, some of the officers speak French.
The British look on the war in the Empire hesitantly. The Danes have a large commercial fleet. Italian privateers have been harrying it, but maybe it’s time for the English to join the fray? Some letters of marquee are issued in the Carribean.
The famous Danish pirate Red beard attacks British Jamaica. Amadeus dispatches an army thirty thousand strong into Saxony. Conrad leads his army into battle, and manages to pull off a strategic draw when Danish reinforcements arrive.
1635- Breslau is relieved, and the Poles are chased back across the border.
Tensions between the British and Danes reach a boiling point, with Blair’s ear. Blair, a Scottish merchantment, is stopped by Danish warships in the Carribean. Accused of being a pirate, he denies the charges. The Danes cut off his ear as a warning. He delivers the ear to Parliament, and in a stirring speech, demands of the Lord Protector vengeance.
War follows. Almost immediately, the British fleet begins harassing Danish ships in the Baltic.
The elector of the Palatinate, and the count of Lorraine swear fealty to King Francois. Several other lesser nobles follow suit, realizing which way the wind is blowing. The British are terrified of this; because it gives the French a border with two sides of the Low Countries.
The Commonwealth declares war on France. Italy, having warned the French not to interfere, has no choice but to do so as well.
The French army rears its head. The finances of France are better than they were in OTL, and the army is well equipped. Mexican gold and other resources pours into the coffers of France, and subsidizes the Danes. Italy, on the other hand, rules the Mediterranean, and with the British, has the upper hand in the naval war.
1636- The French navy attacks Italian Puerto Rico. Domenico Orseolo, the Italian governor of the island, surrenders the city after walls are destroyed when a shell hits a gunpowder magazine.
The Christian Empire is drawn in. They are defeated at the battle of Bordeaux, and chased across the Pyrenees. The French fleet in the Mediterranean does not fare so well, however. Off of Sardinia, the Italian fleet, under Leonardo Machiavelli (descended from the former Doge of Egypt) outguns the French, and smashes the fleet.
The English fortress of Calais, held for three hundred years, falls to the French army under the command of the famous general Richelieu
The French colonials launch an expeditionary force to attack Charlesburg, the British city Marching several hundred miles across the country, it lsoses half its men by the time it reaches
The French defeat an Imperial army in the Palatinate. They swiftly march east, and menace Bavaria. The Elector of the Palatinate, however, withdraws hiw forces when an army from the Low Countries menaces it. The French army, on its own, presses ahead. It is defeated outside at Blenhem, in July. The Italian city of Mnaco is captured by the French, but outside of Torin, Pietro Sforza traps the French army by cutting off its rear. The defeat marks the end of French attempts to invade Italy.
1637- Amadeus forces the French out of the war as his army invades Poland. Ravaging the countryside, they reduce Krarkow and force the Poles to withdraw from the war. The army from Poland is sent north.
The British are defeated in the Channel by a French fleet. This causes shockwaves in Parliament, and the French follow up with the first invasion of England for almost 600 years. Richelieu is defeated outside of Cornwall, although some commentators feel that they are lucky the French didn’t invade Ireland instead.
The French attack British Jamaica, but the fortifications repulse them.
Amadeus defeats the Conrad outside of Erfurt. To pay for the war, he confiscates the land of the revolting nobles, along with their interests.
The Italian senator, Renio Zen, comes up with a proposal. The Ministary of War, Sea, and Peace (the actual name for the Venetian ministries of war, btw) charge for military commissions already. Why not charge for the right to vote as well?
The French navy is defeated in the Channel. This time, the English have recalled sips from the Baltic, and the German fleet (such as remains) assists as well. The threat saves England from invasion.
The port of Antwerp is devastated by the French, who capture the city in July. This marks the beginning of Amsterdam as the dominant port for the Low Countries. Amsterdam, “the Venice of the North”, also is threatened. Regiments arriving from Scotland reinforce General Marlborough’s army.
1638- Zen’s proposal passes. For the low price of 300 ducats every five years, anyone who can pay it, and is a citizen of the Republic, has the right to vote for their local Senator. You’d be surprised how many people couldn’t pay the taxes but could find 300 ducats when social advancement is offered.
The Italians invade Provence, but are defeated outside of Marseilles. Ten thousand men die in the invasion.
Christian, seeing 90 thousand men invading Brandenburg, and wishing to keep Holstein, offers peace with the Emperor. The Emperor, upon receiving the letter, is reported to have smiled and said, “Now things shall be ordered as we please.”
Berlin falls in July. Many of the German notables flee to France, whose general Richelieu takes Stuggart. King Francis of France, however, realizes which way the wind is blowing. He agrees to a peace conference, to peacefully resolve the differences.
1639- The Treaty of Amsterdam. France gains Puerto Rico from Italy, as well as bits of Savoy. They also gain Lausanne, one of the French cantons. From the HREGN France gains Lorraine, and they receive Calais from the commonwealth. They receives the last French territory of the Christian Empire, and France once again reaches the Pyrenees.
Amadeus begins the reforms of the Empire of Germany. His first move is to move the capital from Worms to the much more pleasant city of Augsburg.
1640- Although it appears that France won what the Germans call the Imperial War, the true winner is Germany. Amadeus would, over the next 13 years, institute numerous reforms. First and foremost, he was able to bring the electors to heel. From this point on, they would share their power with the cities, who would begin to gain more and more power. In addition, the electors had to approve of the Emperor’s candidate for the throne, not vote among candidates.
Francisco Caravello, the new Doge of Italy, invites Amadeus to Venice, to sign several trade agreements, including ones regarding the development of the mines in Bohemia and Austria. The Emperor is greeted with, in December, a marvelous festival, including the gift of a necklace made from Nuova Italian diamonds for his wife. The Russians begin desiring a port on the Black Sea. This leads the Czar Nikolai with only one option, a war against Byzantium.
1641- A British expedition under Nelson Churchill follows up on Drake’s voyages in California. They land in the San Francisco bay, and establish trading posts there. Of course, being half a world away from Britain and the Low countries, there isn’t that any serious colonization. Or much at all, actually.
Nikolai, on pretext of harassment of merchants by the Byzantine city of Kerch, invades the Byzantine Crimea. This marks the beginning of the Crimean Wars.
The Russians attack Azov, located at the mouth of the Don River on the Sea of Azov..
Emperor Michael of Byzantium, more at home in his Turkish harem than on the battlefield, wearily raises troops. To coincide, the Hungarians are revolting. Using the whip and the carrot, the Emperor subdues the rebellion. This results in greater taxes, of course.
1642- Odessa is taken by the Russians. Well, technically it is called Khadzei-Bei, the name given to it by the Golden Horde, but the Russians referred to it as Odessa. The Emperor of Byzantium has the patriarch of Constantinople excommunicate Nikolai. Nikolai ignores it, as the patriarch has ever had the power that the Pope had. The Patriarch of Kiev vouches for his piety.
The Byzantines land troops in Kerch, and head north. The army is defeated on the bluffs near Azov by the massive Russian army.
The Tatars are overwhelmed, and have no choice but to flee north. In the Cacausus, the Russians drive the Greeks from Georgia. The invasion is repulsed outside of Aradahan by an Armenian contingent of troops, who have observed that the Russians keep their subjects on a much shorter leash than do the Byzantines.
Michael listens to suggestions from his ministers about damming the sea of Azov, so the Black remains, in the words of one minister, “as pure and immaculate as the Virgin”.
1643- In Mexico City, the Dubayet trials take place. Dubayet was charged with slander by printing information in hi newspaper about the governor’s corruption. The case establishes freedom of the press in Mexico.
A few missionaries establish themselves in the “Great Desert”, the Frenh name for Arizona. They view the land as inhospitable and barren, as surely all land north of it is.
The Greek governor of the Crimea, is captured. The Khan of the Tatars flee, but hi sons are promised independence under Russian protection, and swear an oath of allegiance to the Tsar.
King Christian offers his services to mediate the dispute between the two nations. Italy encourages the Russians, hoping to weaken the Byzantines.
1644- Emperor Michael cedes Crimea to the Tsar.
The Mughal Empire in India is invaded by Shah Ismael of Persia. The Italians help, in exchange for trading rights.
1645- The shipyards of Lubeck are expanded, and the Emperor hires several Italian shipbuilders. With easy access to lumber, the navy is rapidly rebuilt (much of it was destroyed during the Imperial War, when the cities were captured by the rebels and Christian).
1646- The economy of Germany begins to grow, as Amadeus introduces concepts such as standard weights, canal building, and Imperial control of tolls. A voyage on the Rhine, in 1620, required paying 38 tolls to go between Basel and Rotterdam. Now it only requires four.
1646- The economy of Germany begins to grow, as Amadeus introduces concepts such as standard weights, canal building, and Imperial control of tolls. A voyage on the Rhine, in 1620, required paying 38 tolls to go between Basel and Rotterdam. Now it only requires four.
1647- Byzantium is undergoing major turmoil. The lost of Crimea, long an integral part of the realm, has devastated the court. The Tsar Nikolai speaks of the unification for the Orthodox world, and goes so far as to commission coins bearing his sigil and the phrase “the new Caesar.”
Louis Joseph de Montcalm, in France, publishes the History of the Roman Empire. It causes candals throughout Europe because it views the Byzantines as not a Roman, nor a Greek Empire, but a Turkish one. Moncalm truly causes chaos when he explains that the strength of Byzantium lay in its subject peoples, not the Greeks.
Michael, obviously, bans the book, which spreads throughout Anatolia, Armenia, and the Balkans.
A slave revolt occurs near Nuova Italia. It is ruthlessly suppressed by colonial militia. At the same time, several Italian ministers, notably Roberto Priuli, condemn slavery from their pulpits. They cite the history of condemnations of the slave trade, going back to the 8th century, when the Doge outlawed it.
1648- The French Estates-General pass a tax on soap, on the grounds that is a frivolous aristocratic luxury.
Amadeus dies, content in the knowledge that his kingdom will pass onto his son, Wolfgang. Wolfgang is the first Emperor in 30 years to be his father’s predecessor.
Plague breaks out in Italy. The doctor Antonio Vivaldi, in Florence, records that cutting off the buboes (lumps) leads to an increase in survivor rate. This knowledge is widely disseminated throughout Europe.
1649- Emperor Wolfgang was impatient with his father’s reforms. He agreed that the Empire must become a strong state, with a civil service based on merit and loyalty rather than birth, but wanted to speed the process up.
The Diet in Ausburg issues the Patent of Tolerance. The Patent guarantees extensive, although not complete, religious freedom.
French missionaries establish themselves in Nevada. Egyptian cotton is stolen and imported to Texas.
1650- The English establish themselves in Bengal. This leads to a proxy war with the Italians, who are terrified by the thought of the British breaking into their rule of Southern India.
Coffee is planted in Brazil, to meet the insatiable demand of Italian, Andalusi, and German coffee houses.
Emperor Wolfgang of the Empire abolishes serfdom and feudal dues within the Empire. He also enables tenants to buy their lands from the nobles at moderate prices, let peasants move where they please, and marry who they want.
1651- Juan, Emperor of the Christian Empire, dies. Years of inbreeding have taken their toll on the Spanish Habsburgs, and there are no direct successors.
An already touch situation is complicated by the fact that the burghers of several cities, Murcia and Faro among them, offer themselves to the Confederation. Years of mismanagement, corruption, and high taxes have made the average Spaniard say “better a Sultan than a King.”
1652- The crisis in Spain expands. The cortes, the system of nobles unseen for several hundred years, assembles in Madrid. They discuss who is to be the new king.
Meanwhile, seperatist tendencies are emerging. The Basques, as always, chafe under the heel of the Christian Empire. The Catalan nobility are also hesitantly urging separation.
As usual, the nobility begin bickering over the candidate. But there is another option, one that is put forward by, of all candidates, the Vizier of the Confederation. He issues the following proclamation, on behalf of the Senate.
The Vizier, Diego Lopez, is a Catholic from Seville. He plays on the desire to make Spain strong again, which exists on both sides of the border. He issues the following speech, in February, from the capital in Corboda.
“I ask a simple question. What is an Andalusi? What is a Confederate?
Not race nor religion. Not the lineage of his family nor the city of his birth. Not his trade nor his profession. An Andalusiis one who loves justice and believes in the dignity of man. An Andalusi is one who will fight for his freedom and that of his neighbor. An Andalusi is one who will sacrifice property, ease and security in order that he and his children may retain the rights of free men.
I hear the mutterings in the Senate. But how was the Confederation founded? People of the Book rose up together, against the false Emperor. We threw them out, with the help of our Italian comrades, and built our nation.
Are we now to reject other Andalusis, who seek freedom? Shall we cast them away? Much of the world is under the sway of the princes, lords, sultans, and emirs. Unless those who seek freedom join together, they will yet triumph.
To arms, then, all of you! all of you! And the oppressors and the mighty shall disappear like dust. You, too, women, cast away all the cowards from your embraces; they will give you only cowards for children, and you who are the daughters of the land of beauty must bear children who are noble and brave. Let timid doctrinaires depart from among us to carry their servility and their miserable fears elsewhere. This nation is its own master. It wishes to be the brother of other peoples, but to look on the insolent with a proud glance, not to grovel before them imploring its own freedom. It will no longer follow in the trail of men whose hearts are foul.”
The Republic of Italy expresses support in the event of hostilities, and the Emperor Wolfgang cautiously agrees.
King Louis of France, however, takes a different view. If the Empire falls, there is a possibility of a major power emerging in the Iberian peninsula. And there are certainly enough Republics in the world.
1653- The Cortes chooses Duke Pedro of Leon as their Emperor. This helps to decrease the separatist movements in those regions. The Catalans, however, declare their independence, and form a republic. Much like the British Commonwealth at the beginning, it is an oligarchy, and power rests in the hands of the nobles. But through its efforts to appease the burghers, it declares its existence.
Steam engines are introduced, from England, into coal mines in Bavaria and Austria.
The Venetians, Empire, and the British begins subsidizing the armies of Catalonia and the Confederation. France begins pouring money into the Christian Empire, and the Holy Inquisition roots out a plot to launch a rebellion in Portugal.
The first battle takes place outside of Murcia, where the forces of the Confederation defeat the Imperial forces. The citizens of Lisbon, Bajadoz, and Valencia rise up on the same day.
1654- Emperor Pedro appeals to King Henri and Wolfgang for support. Wolfgang turns a deaf ear, busy implementing his reforms. Woflgang’s reply suggests that “If you had not turned your people into playthings for princes, you would not be losing to the Moors you once conquered.”
Taking advantage of the confusion, Tzar Nikolai invades the Scandinavian Baltics. This marks the beginning of the Northern War.
Henri commits himself to supporting the Emperor, in exchange for commercial concessions and control of the Kingdom of Navarre.
Franco-Christian forces defeat the Confederate army outside of Toledo, but the army under Juan Al-Mutabin captures eleven thousand soldiers near Valencia, relieving the city.
The entry of France into the Spanish Civil war triggers the system of alliances. Wolfgang, the Commonwealth, and Italy declare war early in June, for the “unprovoked aggression against the confederation.”
Pope Julius, surprisingly, comes out of the Vatican and condemns the Christian Inquisition. He explains that the Inquisition was to convert heretics, and not a political tool.
A few hundred Italian troops who were in the Vatican Square then leave.
1655- The Italians and the Empire prepare to face the French on the border. Wolfgang desires to try out his new professional army, and sends fifty thousand troops towards Paris. At the battle of Troy, the men defeat the French. Forces are rapidly recalled from the French colonies and the Spanish Empire.
The British decide to focus on defending the Netherlands, and attack the French at sea. Off the Bay of Biscay, the British fleet wipes out the French armada, to the cry of “No More Cornwalls.” Cornwall was the site of the French invasion of Britain.
British forces of the Amsterdam East India Company conquer Bengal. The conquest comes as a shock to the rajas of India, who viewed the strange foreigners with their pale skin as very effeminate and weak.
Outside of Kingsville, in Texas, the British expeditionary force is repulsed. New Albion continues to muddle along quietly.
1656- Quicksilver is discovered in New Albion.
Barcelona is besieged, but the withdrawal of French forces gives the Confederation and Republic breathing space.
King Louis receives a plea from delegates from the Mexican colonies. They propose to unite in a system to defend Mexico by raising an army and common taxation. Louis agrees, and the Jalepo Act of Union enters effect.
Christian of Denmark dies. He is replaced with his sister, Ulrika Eleanora.
The tsar sees his chance to take the Baltics, and gain a warm water port. Nikolai of Russia, claiming to have received poor treatment from the citizens of Estonia, a Scandinavian land, declares war for this insult. This marks the beginning of the Northern War.
Italian warships take control of the Baleares. For the duration of the war, of course.
1657- The Scandinavians acquit themselves rather well in the campaign. They are quite able to handle themselves in the cold, especially the Finn cavalry.
Nikolai dispatches an army of forty thousand, which besieges Estonia. The Danes lead a fighting retreat, and pull back into Finland.
Toledo falls to the Confederation. Only the Northern parts of the country remain loyal to the Emperor. Vizier Lopez enters into Seville as part of a triumphal parade, crying a quote from the Qu’ran.
“Henceforth there shall be no Caesars and God hates most the man who is called an emperor or king of kings.”
Some dislike its source, but most like its contents.
A squadron of French ships leaves La Cruz to deal with the pirates operating from Camelot, in New Albion.
1658- Anno Della Vittoria (The Year of Victories). Italian warships, operating from the Baleares, blockade the French coastline. The Italian Doge, Francesco Venier, urges the Senate to crush France once and for all, dismembering its maritime empire.
The French isles in the Carribean fall to the British, while the Germans take the isthmus of Panama. Although it appears worthless, several Venetians wonder about the possibilities.
The army of the Mexican Union proceeds to drive the Germans out, although being outnumbered. The French have fewer men, and are equipped to the climate. Thus, they do not lose as many men as the Germans to malaria.
British soldiers retake Calais, and assist in a Portuguese uprising.
The Catalonians advance inward, and meet up with the Confederation. But the people of Leon and Castille remain behind their king, as does Porto in Portugal.
After an eight month long siege, Paris falls to German forces.
Meanwhile, the day after Paris surrenders, the French attack Camelot, and capture it. Soldiers from the French fleet will discover cinnabar in the region, making it rather more lucrative to the British.
The Danes keep Estonia supplied by sea .The Russian army will lose forty thousand men over the next year, but Tsar Nikolai continues the siege.
1659- Pedro agrees to treat for peace. A series of separate peace agreements, collectively known as the Treaty of Lisbon, end the war. The terms are:
1) France cedes its Caribbean islands to Britain, as well as Calais. 2) The Republic of Catalonia is recognized as independent. It runs along the coast from Valencia, inland to Zargaroza, and then northeast, settling its border along the Basque Kingdom. 3) Italy gains the Baleares Isles, and control of the island of Bourbon from the French. The Republic of Catalonia is also acknowledged as an unofficial Italian protectorate. 4) The Confederation of Al-Andalus is massively enlarged. Its borders now run from Valencia to Madrid to the border with the Kingdom of Portugal. This makes it potentially the most powerful kingdom in Al-Andalus. 5) The Kingdom of Portugal shall have, after much debate, a king selected from among the Polish nobility. Its border is set at the city of Coimbra. 6) The Christian Empire ceases to exist. Pedro must acknowledge that he is the King of Leon-Castille.
7) The largest winner, of course, is the HREGN. Wolfgang is cautioned by the Italian ambassador to be harsh yet just, and takes Lorraine from the French, returning it to its rightful rulers. He also takes Burgundy, as it was once, he argues, an Imperial fief.
The Northern war continues. Scandinavian troops flee in disarray into Finland, again, after Nikolai’s troops crush them. The Queen of Scandinavia is hoping for a palace coup to remove Nikolai.
Wolfgang finally announces his cornerstone of his dream for the Empire. He issues the Constitution of the Empire. Among the developments in the constitution is the change to the “Empire of Germany”.
1660 – The new decade begins with Europe changed. France no longer appears invincible; The Empire of Germany has unified, and the Christian empire has undergone a process future historians will call “Imperialization”. Iberia is once again divided as it was in the 12th century.
Porcelain enters production in Malaga, and spreads to the Low Countries, Ausburg, and the city of Athene.
Poland joins the war, in hopes of regaining its Baltic territories. But the Polish army is no match for the Scandinavians, who take Warsaw in 1661.
1661- The steam engines in the mines of Bavaria and Austria spread throughout much of Southern Germany. With a centuries long tradition of precide engineering and mining, the steam engine is rapidly developed.
The German Empire is undergoing a commercial revolution. With the elimination of many of the previously existing tariffs and tolls, trade becomes much easier. In fact, 1661 marks the first year that an iron bridge is built; in Bavaria.
British and Italian forces clash in India for the first time. The Italian Indian Company, angry at the British takeover of Bengal, bribe the Raj of Orissa to attack Bengal. He does so, but fails, tanks to the efforts of William Rolfe. The Amderstam Indian Company retaliates, and takes over the Raj. This marks the beginning of a long cold war between the Italians and British in India.
1662- The Poles withdraw from the war, but while the Swede Frederick Axel leads an army into the Polish hinterland, and takes Krakow, part of Livonia falls to Nikolai’s army.
Axel, after capturing Poland, marches into the Ukraine. Nikolai greets the report of his invasion of the Ukraine with contempt.
1663- The Estates-General, in France, decide to tax the Mexicans in order to pay off their massive war debts. When the Mexicans protest this as a violation of their rights as Frenchmen, King Henri accuses them of being a mongrel race, “part Papist and part Negro.”
An Italian naval expedition puts an end to the piracy in North Africa once and for all, taking Tripoli. For long the Italians had paid tribute, being preoccupied with the war. But when the leader of the Berbers, Ismail, demanded tribute to not attack the canal, he had gone too far. This inspires the saying, in Italy, “A million ducats for war and not a copper for tribute.”
A German natural philosopher, Heinrich Jager, sails with an expedition of Wolfgang’s through the South Seas. He notices that sailors who eat sauerkraut are less likely to get scurvy. The German food is enthusiastically eaten by the Italian sailors, who introduce it to the Italian culture at large. In turn, the Neapolitan delicacy of flatbread with cheese and tomato sauce is introduced into Ausburg.
The revolt of the Cossacks. Frederick’s army had not been marching into the Ukraine for an attack on Kiev, as Nikolai believed. Frederick was inciting a Cossack revolt. It succeeds, as many of them remember the tales form the suppression of the last revolt. Nikolai, furious, marches his army South.
The Sugar Act is passed by the Estates, and Henri. The Mexican merchants are forbidden to trade gold for the sugar, spices, and other foreign products.
1664- The discovery of mercury in New Albion by the Mexicans, ironically enough, leads to its settlement. Irish and convicts are sent to work in the mines, and the British also establish plantations for grapes. Fur trading also spreads, and trappers spread along the coast.
Wolfgang , Emperor of Germany, dies. He leaves his emperor to his son, Joseph.
Joseph was not meant to be king. His older brother, Willhelm, had been killed in a hunting accident, and Joseph had little inclination to rule. He is much more content to watch Italian plays, and gamble. This leaves the running of the Empire to his ministers, and the (reformed) Reichstag.
1665- The Cossacks choose a Cossack called Pugachev as their king. Pugachev’s rebellion spreads like wildfire through Siberia, as he promises to end serfdom, an appointment of local elected officials, and a weakening of the massive army. With Frederic’s army to form the backbone, the Cossacks become a formidable fighting forc.e
The Italian Senate, also experiencing protests form its colonies, comes to a characteristically Venetian solution. They are Italians. Therefore, the laws of Italy regarding representation apply to them. Thus, based on how much they pay, they should be entitled to representation. In effect, they compromoise: the Nuova Italians are able to trade freely within the Italian Empire, but must pay taxes and help defend it. Represenattives from Beretta and Nuova Verona arrive by 1667.
1666-150 Italian soldiers are killed in “the Black hole of Dehli”. The Italians annex the city in retaliation, but most know that the British inspired the events there.
From his capital in Saratov, Pugachev sends armies to attack the Russian capital of Moscow. Nikolai sends his forces to face them.
The Persian conquest of the Moghul Empire is complete.
1667- Outside of Tula, the Czar’s army is captured. Nikolai flees manages to escape into Poland, but Moscow is captured by Pugachev.
Mario Guarnacci, of Milan, launches the first hot air balloon. Some peasants, seeing it, call for their local ministers, believing it to be a demon.
Peasants in Russia begin burning mansions and feudal records. Pugachev captures the Partriarch of Moscow, who says that he is Christ’s Vicar on Earth. Thus, the revolution takes an ugly turn. Not only are they revolutionaries, they’re also revolutionaries on a mission from God.
Nikolai asks the Polish sejum to intervene, and Russian nobility also beg the Byzantine Emperor Manuel for support.
1668- The Mexicans begin boycotting French good. Terrified by the revolution occurring in Russia, and the rumors of killings there, Henri refuses to give in. He also demands that the Estates-General pass the Colonial Act, which violates the right of the Mexican assemblies to, well, assemble.
Frederick refuses to assist Pugachev in “liberating the peasants of Poland from their oppressors.” His army is attacked in the night by the Russians, who slaughter it to the last man. Frederick was, according to pugachev’s men, plotting a coup against him.
Emperor Joseph is roused from his gambling tables long enough to issue a declaration condemning Pugachev.
1669- A ship carrying coffee in Veracruz is burned by a rioting crowd of Mexicans, who were inspired by one of their assemblymen to protest oppression by the Estates.
In Mexico City, the Colonial Act Congress sends a petition of redress to the king, stating the belief in each man’s right to “life, liberty, and property”.
Pugachev, instead of instituting a democracy, institutes the Committee of Motherland Defense. The Committee, in essence, forms a secret police, which will devastate the ranks of Russian nobility who remain in the country. Many flee to Constantinople.
1670- Emperor Manuel, and the Sejum (well, the King, but in reality Ladislas has no real power) of Poland agree to restore Nikolai to his position. Both are experiencing unrest among those in their realms who believe in the Russian ideals of liberty and an end to the aristocracy.
Henri, now 64, orders the closure of Veracruz. He also orders the disbandment of the Mexican Union.
The Mexican Union, obviously, refuses, and orders the training of the colonial militias as part of the Union’s small army.
The Italians discover Australia, and begin sending convicts, Cypriots, and Egyptians there.
1671- Pugachev personally leads an army into Poland. Suffice it to say, the Russian Cossacks and the armies from the vast steppes pour into Poland. The Cossacks in the region revolt, proclaiming Pugachev as Christ’s Vicar. Pugachev wisely tolerates the Catholics of the lands he overruns, but persecutes the few remaining Protestants.
Emperor Joseph’s advisors convince him that a conquest of Poland by a man claiming to be on a mission from God is not something he should allow, and Joseph begins sending messages to Queen Ulreka and the Doge of Italy, Veranio.
Pugachev’s army rampages through Poland, sweeping through the steppes. Dozens of mansions of the Polish nobility are burned, and their owners slain.
Vilnus falls to Pugachev’s men.
In Mexico, meanwhile, French troops begin to station themselves in the residences of the local plantation owners. Protests are met with deaf ears, and tensions reach a boiling point.
1672- The Poles make a last stand outside of Krakow. Despite heroic effortw on the part of the nobility, Pugachev’s 3 to 1 numerical superiority simply does them in. King Ladislas flees to the Empire of Germany.
French soldiers are attacked by an angry mob in Veracruz. In response, one soldiers opens fire. He is then shot by several members of the crowd, as are the rest of his soldiers.
I response, Duke Turgot, leader of the French army in Veracruz, dispatches men into the countryside to hunt down the local assemblymen, and have them tried for treason. They are also ordered to begin collecting the arms of the local militias.
The last move terrifies the French and Spaniards in Mexico. If they did not have weapons, there would be no one to suppress the uprising. When the militia of the town of Quebec refuses to “lay down [their] arms, and disperse…” the French regulars fire on them.
This, of course, leads to open insurrection. The French regulars are shot at their entire way back to Veracruz, and the Mexican militia uses a hit and run strategy, sapping the strength of the French. Eventually the militia is called up from the entire province, and besieges the French inside the city.
The Mexican Union assembly, in Mexico City, sends another petition of redress to Henri. Henris’s response is to raise another army.
1673- Manuel dispatches a fleet to the Black Sea, with Nikolai onboard. Nikolai’s army is to reclaim his title as Emperor.
The fleet, needless to say, is destroyed. A century of mismanagement have made the Byzantine fleet rather pathetic; the Russians, in contrast, have a fleet developed with the assistance of Venetian advisors. The advisors fled after the beginning of Pugachev’s coup, but their lessons remain.
Pugachev, in Krakow, capital of Poland-Lithuania, begins carving up the kindom. He incorporates Lithuania into the Russian Republic, abolishes serfdom, and puts his brother, Josef, on the throne.
Pugachev then leads an army south, into the Balkans.
After four months of bombardment, the city of Veracruz is deserted by the French regulars, who put to sea aboard warships from the French navy.
With news of the victory, the assembly in Mexico City declares independence as the United Provinces of Mexico.
1674- Almost immediately, the Mexican assembly enters crisis. In addition to paying for the war, there is social instability. Delegates are sent to the Empire, the Confederation, and the Commonwealth to negotiate commercial treaties.
Henri tries to blockade the coast, but quite simply, there is no navy to do so. With the loss of the Caribbean after the Spanish Civil War, the merchant marine, and hence fleet, have declined greatly.
Bucharest falls to Pugachev’s army. A massive fleet from Odessa lands an army near Constantinople itself. Pugachev, according to rumor, has come to proclaim himself Emperor.
Ulreka’s army falls back in the Baltic. Pugachev’s army has grown greatly by the enlistment of Polish and Lithuanian peasants to his banner. She appeals to the Emperor for aid.
Emperor Joseph’s advisors convince him to assist Ulreka, to preserve the balance of power. A German army marches out of Danzig and into the Baltics.
1675- The French navy attacks Tampico. Henri cunningly also issues an edict that all who serve in the French army shall become full citizens upon “suppression of the minor revolt.”
Fierce fighting along the Mexican coastline. Duke Richeliu’s army marches inland, towards Mexico City.
Pugachev’s army defeats the German army near Danzig, and the Russian army marches north, into Estonia.
The Byzantines are trapped in “another Cannae”. Pugachev pulls off a double envelopment of the army, and thousands surrender. He enters Constantinople on Easter, and is proclaimed emperor.
1676- Pugachev is declared by the Patriarch of Constantinople as Emperor of “the world”, and is renamed Justinian, after the greatest Byzantine emperor, who reunified Italy and Spain, along with North Africa, to the Empire. Needless to say, most of the world disagrees on both counts.
So does much of the Empire. The Hungarians, under several local magnates, rise in revolt, with the support of the local garrison. The Armenians also rise up in revolt; especially as the policy of religious toleration only extends to Catholics; not to the Armenian heresies. Pugachev begins ordering all the liturgy to be in Greek; an edict that has not been in force for several hundred years.
A Russian army in the north defeats the Scandinavians in Estonia. The Baltic, aside from Finland, is ruled by the Russians in the East. But the Scandinavian navy keeps them from trying anything else.
1677- The war in Mexico continues. The Mexicans become furious when the French government supports a slave and native revolt in the Yucatan. It will not be suppressed for several years, but pushes most of he neutrals into the rebel cause. The idea of slavery being a god given right takes hold in the Creoles and townsmen of Mexico.
In London, representatives from the British commonwealth debate what to do about their own colonies. There have been some mutterings of independence, and the population of the British holdings in North America has reached six million. What should be done with them?
The answer is eventually proposed. The colonies shall become a new autonomous region of the Commonwealth, as Scotland the Low Countries are. From the Great Lakes, along the Mississippi to the border of OTL Virginia with the Carolinas lay the Northern Dominion, named the Confederated Provinces. The lands south of it are called Cromwell, after the English farmer who opened the settlement of the inland of the Carolina’s in the 1630’s. The west coast is referred to as the Dominon of Draka, after Sir Francis Drake, the sailor who discovered it.
A Russian army overruns the Kingdom of Georgia, and enters Armenia from the north. The Byzantine governor of Armenia, Varton, refuses to make obeisance to Pugachev’s men. The Russians burn the Armenian quarter. This marks the beginning of the Armenian Campaign.
The Venetians launch an attack on Constantinople. They almost take the city, landing troops near Thessalonica, but Pugachev leads an army and defeats them. He boasts that “Unlike the Byzantines, We can prevent a false crusade.”
1678- From Tampico, the French send a force into Texas. Texas is lost for the duration of the war; but many of the army die from an outbreak of cholera. C’est la Vie.
Gold is discovered in the Dominion of Draka. Settlers pour in from the Commonwealth, Italy, Germany, and most of Europe. There are even a few hardy souls from Egypt, and the first mosque in the New World is opened in Camelot in 1680.
The Russian army in Armenia begins to suffer, as small bands of Armenians begin to attack the Emperor’s patrols in the region. The Russians scoff at the threat from the brigands.
Said brigands capture a Russian army which is to conquer Van.
Pugachev’s army invades the Empire. Bohemia is overrun, although Praugue puts up fierce resistance, and falls after a four months siege.
1679- The British Commonwealth hedges its bets. The destruction of Danish hegemony in the Baltic would be beneficial to British trade, and they would certainly shed no tears for the destruction of the Italian commercial empire. But at the same time, the Russian army is proving disastrous to the balance of power in Europe, which has been the cornerstone of British policy since the Tudors.
The Italian Senate raises more taxes for the war, including one on spices. Unfortunately, around this time, an enterprising British natural philosopher discovers that the plants which produce the fabled spices can be transplanted, threatening the Italian spice monopoly. To revive morale at home, they dispatch Marco Pariani to assist the Armenian rebels. He leads thirteen thousand men from Antioch (taking the levant for Italy) to Saniurfa. The Persians also agree to assist in the war.
Pugachev is defeated near Dresden. His massive army could not stand before the Italian grenadiers. Which, of course, leads to the popular song, “The Sicilian Grenadiers”.
What happens when a 300 year tradition of R&D, German tinkering, the steam engine, and Russian hordes collide?
1680- The Armenian “bandits” defeat a Russian army twenty thousand strong by Lake Van, with the help of Marco Pariani.
An Armenian who is residing in Constantinople, offers Pugachev a machine to defeat the Venetian navy. He calls it “a Mechanical Serpent. A Machine which flatters me with much hope of being Able to Annihilate their Navy.”
The machine, named the Nautilus, sinks in the Golden Horn. A second machine sinks as well, and the project is scrapped. The Armenian flees to Italy in a hurry.
A Russian/Byzantine fleet sorties against Alexandria. They land near the city, but their leader, Severus, is forced to surrender after the Italian navy cuts off their lines of supply.
Russian soldiers, fleeing from the battle near Alexandria, discover the Rosetta stone. They break it up, and take parts of it home as trophies.
The Mexicans drive the French out of Tampico. French troops retreat into the Yucatan, but soon are struck by malaria. Their general, Louis Laugier, leads the surrender.
1681- Pugachev unites Russia and Byzantium under the mantle “The Holy Empire.” A few Germans at the coronation cough politely, but Pugachev is unaware of history.
The Armenians take Baku. Pugachev, distracted by his invasin of Germany, is unavailable to crush them.
1682 -Pugachev retreats from Budapest, but calls for another fifty thousand troops.
The Italians Senate was badly shaken by the attack on Alexandria. Not so much in terms of material as moral damage. The Minister of War recommends solidifying the Alliance among Italy and the other nations that are “friendly and sympathetic to our causes.”
The Armenian partisans began rallying local Greek support, and take Elazig. The Italian help from Pariani is greatly beneficial, of course, and newspapers in Italy, Germany, and most of Europe carry reports of his campaign.
1683- The war in the Baltic takes a turn for the worse as Riga falls, after a pitched battle. Eleven thousand Scandinavian troops surrender. The massacre of Riva occurs, as the Protestants within the city are slaughtered, after Marshal Petroi’s orders.
Rudolf Schmidt, a Bavarian tinkerer, begins working on air pressure, and conducts several experiments with it.
King Louis’s realm is broke. The Mexican colonies have won their revolution, after four years. Simultaneously, the Italians and British Commonwealth recognize the new nation. With the loss of the army in the Yucatan, Louis treats for peace.
1684- Trebizond is taken by the Armenians. Their leader, Rafi, proclaims himself King of the Armenians. The distinction between Armenia and Armenians (who are spread throughout much of the Holy Empire) is duly noted.
1685- Treaty of London confirms the independence of the Confederation of Mexico.
The Mexicans, before they receive the final news of the peace treaty, issue the Bill of Privileges, which states what a free man may do. He may own slaves, land, and in return, must perform military service. Voting rights are restricted to those who make more than a thousand francs, or own more than three slaves.
Hungary becomes a battleground in the war of maneuver between the Russians and the Germans. The British in the North help hold the Russians in the Baltics, but King Rafi’s attack on Ankara proves too much. He loses elven thousand men in the attack, and more die in the retreat.
The Confederation of Milano is signed. The German Empire, The Republic of Italy, The Republic of Catalonia, and the Confederation of Al-Andalus sign a treaty of mutual protection and free trade. Its purpose is to remove the “disease which is the Cossack King”. Being protestants, muslims, and a few catholics, they have no love for the Butcher of Riga.
1686- The Italians approach the Emperor of China about attacking Siberia. It doesn’t fly, of course, but serves as an indicator of how worried the Italians are getting.
Rudolf Schmidt, a Bavarian, travels to Venice with an idea regarding chemistry, and specifically, a combustible fuel made from Italian oil. He has a proposal for the use of the steam engine. Impressed, the Italians put him to work at the Arsenal.
More seesaw battles in Poland. The Germans liberate Danzig, with the help of a brigade of Scottish Highlanders.
Giuseppe Piazzi. Discovers Ceres.
The Holy Empire invades Armenian held lands, but in the heartland of Anatolia, the troops often die of thirst and starvation, as well as ambush.
The Englishman William Newton develops the theory of atoms, stating that matter is made up of very small parts.
1687- Gold is discovered in the dominion of the Draka.
To meet the demand for textiles, the Italian corporation “Pariano & Wittensbach” develops a loom that is controlled by using perforated cardboard.
Russian troops push the Germans out of Hungary, and advance into Bohemia once again. Pugachev says he will saddle his horse in Ausburg within a year.
1688- The Holy navy attacks Cyprus, devastating the island. They cannot take Famagusta, but do horrendous damage. The sugar plantations are ruined.
The first steamboat enters use in the Meditteranean, to transport ore from Iberia to Italy.
The Germans and Italians prove to be made of sterner stuff than Pugachev thought, and win a tactical victory near Zagreb. But Pugachev encircles the Italian army, which surrenders. The gateway to Vienna is open.
1689- The miracle of Vienna. Italian troops receive shipments of weapons from the Arsenal. Pneumatic cannons mow down the Russian lines, as the armaments pour out volleys at the astounding round of thirty shots a minute. Pugachev is wounded leading a cavalry charge.
The gold rush to The Dominion of the Draka. Thousands of small farmers from Italy, Iberia, and the Commonwealth as well as Germans, pour int the Dominion. Slaves escape from Mexico as well. When Mexico demands them back, the Dominion refuses to do so, stating that they are not slaves by English law. And theyr’e useful for farming the crops that are needed to feed the miners.
1690- Bavarian tinkerers expand upon the pneumatic cannon. The Arsenal (Think Skunkworks in this era) develops a cannon based upon steam power, making it much more powerful.
A Russian army near Budapest is mowed down again by the steam cannons. Pariani receives a shipment, and jokes that “Perhaps Pugachev’s horse has been shot out from under him.”
From encyclopedia Italia:
Rudolf Schmidt- Born 1650. Died 1699.
Rudolf Schmidt is viewed by many as the first German tinkerer; but in reality, he was but the beginning of the culmination of a centuries old trend. Born in a small towni n Bavaria, he moved to Austria, where he became involved in steam technology, and became an engineer in the mines near the city.
Rudolf’s engineering and charisma led to his rapid development, and he soon developed an improved version of the Guerick Pneumatic gun. But when the Cossack war broke out, Rudolf’s weapon was received by the Imperial army with cool interests, and Rudolf traveled to Venice.
The pneumatic cannon proved unwieldy, but the automatic steam cannon performed much better, and helped break the Holy invasion of Germany.
Rudolf’s pneumatic gun uses a gravity magazine to fire 15 to 20 bullets from a .50 caliber rifle. In addition, the rifle is silent, and no powder is produced. The cannon uses a spring piston, and thanks to RUdofls’ tinkering, can be mass produced easily. The Arsenal pays him enough money to buy a minor estate in Bavaria, and he sets to work improving it. The Armenian guerillas fell in love with it, as they could fire without giving away their position. 500 men could now fire 100,000 rounds in an hour; 5 times the rate of the Russian muskets.
Needless to say, Pugachev called it a weapon of the devil and issued strict orders that all who used it against the Holy Empire be shot.
Rudolf’s inventions changed the course of the war, increasing partisan activity, and devastated the Holy Empire’s human waves attacks.
Rudolf also began working with rediscovering Greek fire, and in 1693 began tinkering with the possibility of pressuring purified naptha (oil) discovered in North Africa.
Alright, map of the world is ready. Don't expect it to be completely accurate; it's hard to display detail on a map vcovering the world. I've also turned the league into one color, since the Iberians follow the Italian line and the Empire of Germany and the Republic have such close relations.
1691- Pugachev withdraws his army back towards Constantinople. His men are terrified by the steam cannons, which have been nicknamed “silent thunder” by his men for their ability to strike down without sound.
A slave revolt breaks out in Mexico, which is ruthlessly suppressed. Senators in Nuova Italia stand in their provincial assemblies and ask how long it is before that bloodbath spread to their land.
A Russian force invades Finland. Outside of Helenski, British and Scandinavian forces encircle the Russian army.
The League’s first act, which is eventually approved by all its members, is the formation of a unified navy, composing the fleets of the Empire, Italy, and the minor ones of the Iberians.
Heinrich of Wurtemburg builds a typewriter for a countessa. It weighs approximately three quarters of a ton.
1692- Emperor Joseph dies in bed with several of his mistresses. His son, Amadeus II, becomes emperor. Amadeus’s first act is to enlarge the national army, and he begins releasing men from debtor’s prisons to fight for him.
Rudolf Schmidt, in Venice, begins mass producing the pneumatic rifle. Thanks to the Italian tradition of mass production (a heritage going back to the 15th century) there are ten thousand of the rifles in the Italian army by May of 1693. Designs are sent to the other members of the League of Milano, so that they may make copies as well.
At Mukachevo, a new one hundred thousand man army is defeated by the Italians. The “Silent thunder” lets five thousand Italian soldiers outshoot twenty thousand Cossack cavalrymen, breaking the left of Pugachev’s flank. The retreat back into Greece continues. Sokhumi is “liberated” by the forces of King Rafi. Rafi promises to welcome the Georgians as loyal subjects, and end the oppressive taxes that have come with the “freedoms” of Pugachev’s empire.
1693- The Empire strikes back. Russia and Lithuania’s vast manpower comes to the forefront as tens of thousands of troops form three new armies. The northern army pushes the British and Scandinavians out of their toehold in the Baltic region.
The Germans begin producing guns in weapons manufactories which are centralized I massive establishments. To ease the demand on labor, Amadeus decrees that henceforth, they shall divide the task up so simply that even a peasant can do it.
The League is becoming exhausted. Fourteen years of war, with little or no gain, is tiring them. Diplomats are sent to Pugachev, discussing the possibility of peace.
The City rises in revolt over the price of grain. Pugachev’s response to the news, from his palace on the Golden Horn, is the famous line “Let them eat sand.” He uses the army to suppress the City, after a three day riot. This, and other uprisings in the Byzantine empire, prevent him from personally leading a campaign. But another army invades the League’s possessions in the Balkans.
1694- The Armenians begin receiving the rifles. Russian troops in the region begin to fear leaving their forts.
The forty thousand strong Russian army is bled to death as it advances through the region. In the end, the Russians withdraw. But the Armenian attack on Crimea fails utterly.
Italian fire is introduced. Launched by pneumatic cannon, this formula consists of oil treated and sealed in pressurized containers. When released over the Holy fleet, the result is disastrous. One ship of the Holy Empire escapes, and the battle scene is referred to by Leonardo Friuli as “Un mare di anima e di zolfo “- A sea of blood and sulfur.
Pugachev is so horrified by the reports from that one ship that he agrees to make peace. The Italians don’t bother to tell Pugachev that the chemical was incredibly difficult to make, and that exhausted their stock of Italian fire for the foreseeable future.
1695- The Empire, The Republic, and Catalonia and Al-Andalus make a separate peace with Pugachev. The Empire gains some of Western Poland and Hungary, with Venice gaining the Levant. Pugachev also recognizes the Kingdom of Armenia, which spans from Sochi to Trebizond along the Black Sea, to Derbent and Salyan along the Caspian. The British and the Kingdom of Scandinavia withdraw, ceding much of the Baltics to the Russian Empire. The two nations become closer, fearful of the new Russian menace.
“Throughout it's history, la serenissima has had the ability to rise from the ashes, like a pheonix, astonishing friend and foe alike.”- The History of Venice, by John Norwich.
This part's a little slow, but since everone's kind of taking a breather from the last 15 years of war and chaos…
1696- The beginning of the age of diplomacy known as the “Concert of Europe.” The Republic of Italy, along with its ally the Empire and its protectorates in Iberia, face off against the juggernaught of Orthodox Christianity which is te Holy Empire of Pugachev. Immediately King Rafi of Armenia enters the League.
The League of Milano, to increase the flow of communicatins, develop a league wide postal system
Italy and Britain, both bankrupt fro the war, begin exporting opium from their Indian territories to China.
1697- Italian textile workers protest the increasein the use of machinery. They believe (rightly so) that it will decrease the demand for their skilled labor.
The UPM adopts the flag consisting of an eagle surrounded by 7 stars, representing the provinces of Mexico.
1698- The Republic of Italy extends the vote to landowners in north Africa and Egypt, partly to reward them for their support in the Cossack War and partly to decrease unrest.
The play “The 4th Crusade” is composed in Turin by Leonardo Capua. It pains the Venetian who sacked Constantinople as avenging an terrifying insult against the city, and ends with the prophecy from the blind Doge of Venice that “You will fall to the Turk, the Russian, and the Armenian.” The end, with the characters returning to Venice with the treasure of the City, helps it to receive critical acclaim.
1699- A steamship crosses between Lubeck and Phillipsburg.
More than one thousand ships transport lumber from Brazil to Italy, which is now nearly deforested.
Pugachev dies, and is succeeded by his brother, Josef.
1700- Josef begins preparations to conquer Central Asia.
Shah Ismael of Persia receives a diplomatic envoy from Josef. Josef demands access to the Persian ports, trading rights, provisions for his military, and a host of other agreements which would effectively make Persia a vassal of the Empire.
1701- Steam pored shipping expands throughout Germany and Italy.
An Italian ship is wrecked off the coast of Japan. The crew is slaughtered, and considered lost in a storm.
ThomasHigginson, an Irishman, is sentences to death for plotting treason against the Commonwealth. He was planning on leading an insurrection against the British, and when on trial, answered the charge that he was inspirin disaster by saying: “Nearly all our disasters come from a few fools having the 'courage of their convictions.“
1702- A border skirmish between Armenia and Persia results in the complete route of the Persian army at the battle of Ganjas.
1703- The Erie Canal opens, linking the Great Lakes with the Atlantic. The city of Nieu Amsterdam begins expanding in rapidly.
1704- A steam train opens in Bavaria for personal and public use
Opium smuggling begins to become rampant in China. Almost half of he country’s bureaucrats use it.
1705- Abolition becomes a political topic in The Republic. Emperor Amadeus speaks in favor of it, and the two nations agree to end the slave trade by 1710.
The Poles revolt against their Orthodox oppressors, but are crushed.
1706- The Catholic Emancipation act is passed in the Commonwealth, ending discrimination against them.
Persia invades Afghanistan, with “Russian” assistance. The Italians, in turn, assist the Afghans.
The United Provinces of Mexico:
All of Central America, save for the isthmus (which is Italian), Texas, southern California, and southern Arizona and New Mexico are under the rule of the UPM. It’s government is based upon the Estates-General of France, but there are only two groups. There is the First Estate, the plantation owners, and the Second, the bourgeoisie, or residents of cities. The lower classes, largely slaves, native Americans, and many of the poorer mestizos and mulattoes, are the third estate. The third estate has no representation, and, in fact, has been put in a system of effective slavery, as the UPM practices serfdom.
According to the Mexican Constitution, to be considered a citizen, you must have either several hundred ducats in property value, and you must be a Huguenot. The government’s power effectively resides, then, in the upper class Spanish descendents and the French immigrants.
Slave revolts are fairly common, and that has led to the develop of large state militias to control the slaves. In the aftermath of the revolution, fifteen thousand slaves and natives were killed.
Mexico produces a great deal of cotton, sugar, and has extensive mines of silver. Other cash crops, including small amounts of tobacco are grown, but inland cultivation requires extensive irrigation.
Mexico has uneasy relations with its neighbors. The British commonwealth, while not being opposed to slavery in and of itself (although that htrend has been increasing) has protested the slave insurrections, which result in the escaped slaves fleeing to New Albion or the British territories in Louisiana. Furthermore, border clashes in New Albion are common.
The UPM has its capital in Mexico city, renamed Victory City (Ville de victoire ).
The British Commonwealth
The British Commonewalth is one of the strongest nations in the world. It has a claim of North America from coast to coast, although settlement is largely confined to the coasts. Gold from New Albion has helped to encourage the development of British factories, and has boosted the population on the west coast considerably. Fine wines and brandy are also produced there, and grain ships are beginning to sail from the west coast to Italy.
The Commonwealth has also developed colonies in South Africa, largely as a stopover on the way to India.
The British control northeast India, largely because when they took the region over, the Italians were busy elsewhere. They have not been dislodged since, and the Italians show no desire to do so. Textiles produced in the region help fuel the India trade, as does opium cultivation.
Taiwan is an important stop on the trade route to China, where the British and Italians both sell opium. Opium is used by approximately 50% of the Chinese officials, including the emperor (so it is rumored). Opium sales account for 1/7 of British revenues.
Britain itself has the strengths it had in OTL. Lumber from the new world is traded extensively, especially with Italy.
The government has increased suffrage to the middle classes over the past 40 years, and the Catholic Emancipation has helped to reduce tensions in Ireland.
The Commonwealth flag consists of an orange, white, and blue stripe. The reasons for these colors are unclear, but common legend suggests I helped solve the difficulty of who controlled what town in the British Civil war, when royalist forces rose a flag with the cross of St. George, St. Andrew, and the flag of Burgundy.
English is not the official language, but most of the country, including the low countries, speak it.
The Kingdom of France
France has seen better days. Its Mediterranean coast was taken by Italy, its Mexican colonies have been lost, and only the core of the realm remains. To make matters worse, the country has suffered form bad harvests for the past several years.
The new King Louis promises a return to France’s place in the center of Europe, and is called “the Sun King”. Louis has made overtures to Josef regarding an alliance.
Technically this should be several different sections, but for the sake of briefness I decided against it.
The Kingdom of Castille-Leon is ruled by Filipo, a Hapsburg. The county has suffered horribly economically, with huge fees going to churches and absentee nobles, who are exempt from tax. Phillip views Iberia as the rightful territory of the Christian Empire, which he hopes to resurrect. He too has courted Josef’s alliance, but unlike Louis, is aware he is surrounded by hostile neighbors.
The Confederation of Al-Andalus is doing surprisingly well. The country has been helped by Italian investment, and the mines help provide Italy with the ores she needs. They are strong proponents of the League, and the common language is Spanish.
The Republic of Barcelona leads Spain in developing industry, having the third highest concentration of steam engines in Europe (after England, and Italy). Coal mines are being developed.
‘Esto Perpetua”- The Italian national motto.
The good news: Italy’s commercial empire is larger than ever, the new world is peaceful and prosperous, they haven’t lost to the Cossacks (haven’t won either, of course) and have developed weapons which dominate war. The Republic’s sciences and engineering are flowering, especially in the north and in Sicily. Southern Italy is relatively poor, but unlike in OTL where it had 5 centuries of Bourbon and Spanish mismanagement, it is doing relatively well. Religion has never been a problem for Italy, so the potential dividing line along the north and south over Protestantism and Catholicism never really emerged. Southern Italy, in fact, has provided a great recruiting ground for the army and for colonizing. Think a better off Ireland, and you’re fairly close in what southern Italy is.
Italian Brazil (Nuova Italia) is doing rather well, with the chief city of Berretta a thriving port. Coffee remains the greatest Italian drink, and thanks to improvements in transportation and productivity, is drunk by most of the nation.
Egypt has become relatively peaceful. If not enthusiastic about their Italian masters, most Egyptians see them as far better than any alternative. The regio has become more prosperous than any time since the 12th century, and has even become a recruiting ground.
In North Africa, the Berbers are raiding Italian holding, but Italian soldiers are crushing them when they meet. Some soldiers have noticed some black liquid, which has been identified as petroleum, in the region.
The Levant has settled down under Italian occupation. The prophecy that “better a heretic than a Greek” has come true. The Italians, not particularly caring how their subjects worship so long as they pay taxes, have ended the Byzantine persecution of the Muslims.
Crete and Cyprus, after several centuries of light ethnic cleansing (shipping the populace elsewhere) have become largely Italian in culture.
India has become very prosperous, especially in regards to the opium trade. Several ships have been wrecked off of Japan, and the harsh treatment of survivors has enraged many Italians.
The Dutch East Indies are no longer as valuable as they once were, due to the spread of spice cultivation to elsewhere. Australia, in contrast, is attracting settlers, who each want their own ranch.
For the most part, Germans, Andalusis, Barcelonians, and even a few Armenians are welcome in Italian colonies. The Greeks are emphatically not, suffering from centuries of discrimination (witness the play the 4th crusade).
The bad news: Italy’s lack of resources is going to hurt it, especially in regards to coal. Importation can make up for some of this, but the country has to find a new source of fuel for its factories to remain competitive. The lack of lumber is also slightly hurting, but most Italians are confident about their future.
If only the Italians could find a source of fuel that they possess in abundance, they’d be set.
The Italian flag is the Lion of St. Mark.
The Empire of Germany
The Holy Roman Empire became the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation, and then became the Empire of Germany. Amadeus II, Emperor of Germany, rules over the largest realm in Europe west of the Holy Empire. With the Empire centralize, Germany has become a powerhouse, blunting the Russian bear. Joseph has encouraged the development of industry in his empire, and is fascinated by the steam train he saw when in Bavaria.
Germany’s Reichstag has varying amounts of power. It is largely based upon the support of the middle class burghers, which the Emperors view as their base for power (stemming from their support of the cities, centuries ago). Nobles are left with little to do but increase their political capital to increase their influence amongst them.
German South America is doing pretty well, with grain helping to feed Europe, after the devastation of the Polish grain fields. Amadeus is a strong support of abolitionism, as he views the aristocrats in German South America and the Caribbean capable of following in Mexico’s footsteps.
The Holy Empire
When Pugachev conquered Constantinople, he united all the Orthodox faiths under one ruler. Ruling with an iron fist, he reformed laws throughout his realm, ironically breaking the backs of the nobles. The Greeks enthusiastically welcomed him.
His brother, Josef, continues ruling after him. Ruling such a massive empire requires a harsh rule, and the capital is in Constantinople. Joesf has begun persecuting the Catholics, who his brother welcomed into the realm.
The Empire is economically backward. The strength of the Empire rests on its massive army. The Empire is currently attempting to gain access to the Indian Ocean by subverting Persia and conquering Central Asia. This results in the “Great Game” between them and the Italians.
Josef is having problems, though, with nationalist revolts from the Poles, and the “brigands”, as he calls them, in Armenia.
The Kingdom of Armenia
When the Holy Empire invaded Armenia to subdue the heretics, it got more than it bargained for. With the arrival of an Italian expeditionary force, the Armenians appointed their own king, Rafi, and drove back the Russians.
Today, the kingdom is a member of the League of Milano, and has grown by leaps and bounds since the end of the Byzantine restrictions on trade. A series of fortifications line its borders, and most Armenians own their own pneumatic rifles.
Armenia also rules Georgians, a few Assyrians, and Turks. The turks in Eastern Anatolia preferred Rafi to the Holy Empire, because of the heretical ideas (largely concerning Muhammed being a prophet and Jesus being the son of God) the Russians did not like.
The League of Milano
This isn’t technically a nation, but it is more than an alliance. In the depths of the Cossack War, Italy, the Iberian republics, and the Empire of Germany formed a defense pact. The pact, known as the League of Milano, merged their navies and established a common market amongst the nations. Today the League focuses on containing Russian aggression across the world.
The Commonwealth and the Kingdom of Scandinavia have a similar, but more unofficial, arrangement. Both nations do not trust the League’s members.
In the mean time, here's the Scramble for China (and Japan).
1707- The Afghan tribes put up a fierce resistance to the Persians, killing them at night, poisoning water holes, and generally having a grand old time against the Persians.
Shah Ismael asks Emperor Josef for support.
1708- Cholera breaks out in Europe. An Andalusi phsyciain, working with medical texts from the 900’s, comes up with a solution. He develops a ystem of wells with limestone throughout The Confederation.
Holden Caulfield, Presbyterian minister, leads a slave revolt in Cromwell (OTL Carolina, and the name for the entire British south). His insurrection is crushed by the colonial militia.
Caulfield’s revolt leads to the end of the idea of abolition in Cromwell, but he becomes a martyr in the north, and in London.
Emperor Amadeus looks at the news from Cromwell with disdain. Drawing allusions to the Egyptians, he says that the world must end slavery. Representatives from Britain and Italy cautiously agree.
1709- The First Opium War breaks out. An Italian ship in Shanghai carrying opium was burned by order of the Emperor, leading to a combined Italian and British response.
Opium has become a real problem for the Chinese. When the new empeor assumed the throne, he declared that to “restore the harmony of th spheres”, he would ban the trade. Chinese officials are arrested or begin arresting the opium smugglers, which leads to the destruction of the “Fortuna”, who, fickle as always, is burned.
Oil is first used to power an engine, by a steamship engineer in Palmero.
Josef issues a decree ordering his subjects to fast and pray once a week. He establishes “Orthodoxy and autocracy” as the basis for his empire.
The day the order is issued, Russian forces succeed in wiping out a band of “brigands” in Afghanistan ten thousand strong.
1710- Italian ships bombard, and occupy, Shanghai. The Chinese army is mowed down by the pneumatic rifles of the Italians.
The British follow up with the occupation of Gangzhou.
Italian journalists begin playing up the atrocities committed by the “Nipponese” against Italian sailors from the opium trade.
1711- More Italian and British troops arrive. The Opium War leads to the “Scramble for China”. The Italians occupy Jinman, Andalusi soldiers make an appearance, and occupy Fuzhou. Ningbo and the surrounding region is occupied by the Germans.
Josef makes a few noises but can’t really do anything, as he cannot ship an army to Siberia (yet).
1712- The Chinese Emperor surrenders. Effectively, the coast belongs to the foreign devils, with the League’s members in the north, and the British in the south.
Another Italian ship is shipwrecked off of Japan. The flotilla visits Japan, demanding retribution. The Japanese refuse; the Italians open fire.
The beginning of the conquest of Japan by Italy commences.
Italian troops, fresh from the opium war, land near OTL Tokyo, and proceed to conquer the plain of Honshu; the chief rice growing area of Japan.
The Italians take Edo in August and appoint a new Shogun. Forsome odd reason, the Japanese daimyos refuse to obey him.
1713- Russians officially have conquered Afghanistan, but proceed to pacify it for the next twenty year.
The European powers, flush from the conquest of China, convene in the splendid city of Milan to discuss slaver. The four points plan is hammered out.
1) Slavery is immoral, based upon biblical evidence. 2) While slavery is immoral, as property owners, the slave owners have the right to compensation. Slavery shall be abolished over a 20 year period; all slaves born after 1715 are free, after working for their master until the age of 20. 3) Slaves may use their day of rest, Sunday, to hire themselves out to others for payment. The slaves may then buy their freedom, if they save enough, proportionally; a slave can buy 2 days of freedom, work those 2 dys to buy 3 days of freedom, etc. 4) Slave owners shall be compensated at a fair and reasonable price.
Many herald this as the dawning of the age of “enlightenment.”
Italian fire is used in Japan, over the city of Osaka.
The British, demanding compensation in return for allowing the Italian conquest of Japan, receive the Phillipines and Madagascar. 1714- Steam engines begin leading to the rapid industrialization of Armenia, which produces metals in abundance.
Italian forces complete their blockade of the Japanese islands, and have taken most of the cities.
Emperor Amadeus passes regulation regarding child labor, which is followed by Italy.
Some daimyos, mostly the ones on the “outside”, such as Kagoshima, ally with the Portuguese.
1715- The Four points regarding slavery is passed by the Italian Senate.
The Daimyos begin sending their children to Italy for schooling. They don’t know what the Italian troops with their “Kamikazes”, the name given to the pneumatic rifle by the Japanese, have, but they want it.
Effective resistance in Japan ends. The ronin, merchants, and peasants tend to support the Italians, who rule through local rulers.
Telegraphs are invented in Amsterdam.
1716- The passing of the emancipation act in the Italian Senate leads to a variety of protests from the North in Nuova Italia. Slave owners there feel that they are being denied of their property, not trusting the government to give them a fair price. They also feel that the slaves are not equal; one owner sends a letter to the Doge, asking him if he would marry a freed slave.
The Doge does not respond, but does rule in favor of the bill when the act is challenged in court. Many goods are boycotted from Italy and the south, hurting industry.
Meanwhile, in the Commonwealth, things arne’t much better. The bill has become one of the key issues in the elections for the new Prime Minister. George Franklin, in a speech before the House of Commons, says,
“As I would not be a slave, I shall not be a master. The Cromwellians pride themselves on being a godly, pious folk; but do they know nothing of the Israelites?”
Gold is discovered in Australia. The Gold Rush begins, and Japanese also participate in it.
Japan is finally subdued, more or less, by Italy. To the surprise of the Italians, the Japanese will not remain passive serfs like the Indians; almost immediately they begin developing western ways.
Cromwell’s leading ministers begin to threaten to secede, coming up with a “list of grievances against the Commonwealth” twenty pages long. The Nuova Italians follow suit, as do the Caribbean islands.
President Charles of the UPM meets with the governor-general of Cromwell, regarding the possibility of a union between areas where slavery is accepted. Charles realizes that the UPM is caged in, and to expand, must take advantage of this opportunity.
The Peripheral Pact. France, Castille, the Holy Empire, and Persia ally against the League, and “other realms who threaten our sovereignty’.
1717- Josef, uncharacteristically, says the rights of the nobles regarding their serfs are unalianeable. The Holy Emperor then proceeds to order the construction of new ships for his fleets.
The Empire of Germany receives a proposal for the maxim gun. The Maxim gun, consisting of many barrels that fire repeatedly. It enters testing in Ausburg.
Prime Minister Franklin is elected. The new transaltnatic cable relays the jessage to Cromwell.
The delegates from Cromwell meet in Louisville (OTL New Orleans). Italian delegates do the same in Beretta.
In a meeting regarding abolition in Genoa, female abolitionists are prevented from speaking.
Christmas cards are first produced in Barcelona.
1718- The Last Revolt of the Samurai. Samurai from across Japan mass on the Honshu plain, where they are promptly slaughtered in a battle against the Italians. End of Japanese resistance.
The colony of Newton, on the Mississippi river, leaves the commonwealth. It is followed shortly by most of Cromwell, which joins the UPM. Northern Nuova Italia follows suit.
This leads to pandemonium in Europe. After a brief crash of the Venetian stock exchange, the Doge promises to crush the insurrection, with the help of fellow league members.
Emperor Josef declares war upon Armenia, citing border violations. At the meeting of the League of Milano, the nations declare war on the Holy Empire, and Mexico.
The Commonwealth and Scandinavia sign the Treat of the North Atlantic. They reaffirm their pledges of mutual alliance.
Maxim guns enter mass production in Bavaria.
1719- There is a stand off near Fort Churchill, in the bay of Charleston. A Cromwellian night attack takes the fort after several days bombardment. The British soldiers insides refuse to surrender the fort, and most die. This leads to the song “Remember Churchill” in the singing halls of London and Amsterdam. It goes something like this:
“We trusted you as brothers, Unitl you drew the sword, With impious hands at Churchill You cut the silver cord. So now you hear the bugles, We come the sons of Mars, To rally round the brave old flag That bears liberty’s bars.
We do not want your cotton, We do not want your slaves, But rather than divide the land, We'll fill your Southern graves.”
Alright, I've figured out who the new nation which shall challenge the League for global hegemony will be, based upon the trends I've seen.
1720- The Maxim gun is attached to horses in the German army, and travels along with infantry units into Poland. Combined with the pneumatic rifles (which are still rare in the Holy Empire, because they simply lack the craftsmanship to build them), the invasion into Imperial Poland is blunted near Krakow.
The Russian and League navies clash in the Baltic. As the League is joined tye Scandinavians and the English, the war ends in a decisive Allied victory.
The Republic and the Commonwealth agree to jointly prosecute the war against the United Provinces of Mexico. They agree to a joint naval blockade of the rebels and Mexico.
The League navy smashes the attempt by the Russian fleet to invade the Adriatic, but the guns of Constantinople render the city impossible to take. Funds for the development of ironclads is increased.
Thousands of men are raised in the League and in the Commonwealth. The Scandinavians fight in the north, and Finnish cavalry make “the Charge of the Light Brigade”, destroying Holy Imperial troops outside of Estonia.
Raleigh (OTL Virginia) is a staging point for the first invasion of Cromwell by British troops. With great numbers of abolitionists from the north, the British troops crush the rebels outside of Cromwell (The city. Cromwell is a city, a colony, and a group of colonies. OTL Raleigh).
The Italians take Beretta, on the mouth of the Amazon. .
1721- The Armenians hold firm in Georgia, and using trenches (the first time in the history of warfare) kill the Russian army with an impressive 3:1 ratio.
To end the threat from the Russian troops in the Eastern end of the Adriatic, the Italian high command focuses on invading Albania. The city of Tirana falls after a three day naval bombardment, and the flag of the Most Serene Republic floats above both sides of the Adriatic.
Rafi makes a bid against Josef (who is now in his late 40’s). In a move encouraged by the Italians, Rafi challenges Josef’s right to the throne of the Byzantine Empire. Rafi raises the banner of revolt, and Central Anatolia rises in revolt.
The German troops advance to Danzig, but forty thousand are cut off by a Russia counter thrust. Some are evacuated by sea, but the majority, thirty two thousand, surrender. Emperor Amadeus institutes the draft.
The League navy retakes Panama from the Mexicans, dividing their links of communication in two. The British take Louisberg, and begin cutting off the UPM from the rebel provinces of the Commonwealth.
1722- The LSS (League Steam Ship) San Marco is first used. The San Marco is revolutionary, as it is the first ironclad warship in the history of the world. (aside form those turtle ships in Korea, which don’t really count). The San Marco is used against Constantinople, where, combined with Italian fire launched from pneumatic catapaults, it devastates the city’s defenses. When the fleet sorties out to face the San Marco,
“The shells bounced off of the walls of [the italian] ship. Nothing we could do damage it at all; like one of the ancient Titans, it was unstoppable, and I surrendered.”- Phillipus Kontos, Admiral in the Holy Navy.
The Philiki Etairia (Society of Friends), a Greek Resistance movement to Imperial rule, spread up in revolt throughout Hellas (which covers western Anatolia, much of the southern coast, as well as OTL Greece). The Italian army lands by sea to help support the war, and with the occupation of Constantinople, the Empire’s capital is moved back to Russia for the duration of the war. While many of the members favored a reborn Byzantine Empire, the majority wanted a state for only Greeks, extending across Anatolia and into the Balkans. Thus, The Philiki Etairia was largely a Greek resistance movement.
(Note to readers: Nationalism, due to the largely federalized governments of most of the world, won’t be as large a role here was they were in OTL. The centralized governments will have something to worry about the most).
Smyrna is taken by the San Marco and a Greek revolt. The banner of the Republic flies alongside the new banner of the Republic of Hellas.
The Armenians destroy another Russian army, and advance on Tuapse.
The naval blockade of the UPM and the rebel colonies is completed.
Rebel armies are crushed in Nuova Italia, and Beretta is taken. The League Members agree that the ban on slavery now applies to all nations, not just the signers of the Treaty on Slavery of the 1710’s.
1723- The Italians and British establish coastal enclaves along the Mexican coast. While against it, they can’t really do anything about it. Slaves flock to the enclaves from the surrounding regions, and are summarily drilled and trained.
Tampico is taken by the British.
With the support of the Turks, and the lack of Imperial troops in the region, the Armenian armies have reached as far as Corum. The Russians prepare, in Odessa, a fleet to attack the city, but the Italians bombard it and destroy most of the warships in dock.
The Cromwellian general Richard Drake is shot during battle. The key general of the Cromwellian movement, his death, during the Mississippi campaign, triggers the beginning of the end.
Danzig is retaken by the German army, which has now increased in size to five hundred thousand men. Scandinavian troops begin liberating the Baltic region.
Podgorica, along the Adriatic, is taken by the Italians. This marks the end of the Imperial navy having any docks outside of Crimea. To celebrate the advances, Spinella, a composer in Turin, writes the following poem. Some selected quotes:
White founts falling in the courts of the sun, And the Lion of San Marco is smiling as they run; There is laughter like the fountains in that face of all men feared, It stirs the forst darkness, the darkness of his beard, It curls the blood-red Russian, through Them he rips, For the inmost sea of all the earth is shaken with his ships. They have dared the white republics up the capes of Italy, But were wrecked in the Adriatic round the Lion of the Sea, And Josef has cast his arms abroad for agony and loss, And called upon the Imperium for swords about the Cross, The cold Doge of Italy is looking in the glass; The shadow of the Savoy is yawning at the Mass; From evening isles fantastical rings faint the Catalan gun, And the Lord upon the Golden Horn is laughing in the sun”
The Russians manage to halt the Germans near Danzig, but they cannot retake the city. The Germans take Warsaw, with a southern army.
Villeivictorie is put under martial law, as the federal district goes through a slave revolt. The Dominion of Draka launches an invasion by sea o0n the Pacific side, and marches towards the capital. They are repulsed, but The Italian general, Alfonso, and the leade of the Commonwealth agree to meet; next year, in Villeivictorie.
”Strong near Warsaw, formidable near Kiev; invincible near Tobolst.” Amadeus II’s opinion of the Russian army.
The Russians can raise hundreds of thousands to defend their lands in the East, but Josef’s rule in the west has been crushed, for the most part. Over the next year, secessionist groups will break out in the Balkans, and the Germans will march in to restore order.
The Greeks advance along the Southern coastline, and their proposal to join the League is considered, and, despite temporary cold feet from the Italian delegate, is accepted.
Slave revolts wrack the UPM, as Italian and British troops march in to restore order. The fanatical Mexican plantation owners fight on, to the disgust of the British and Italian rebels, who surrender en masse.
Cromwell is placed under military occupation.
The Great War wraps up, with Armenia gaining the greatest share of the spoils.
1725- Villeivictorie is taken by forces of the Dominion of Draka, which, with British support, proclaims all slaves freed. The UPM is to be established as a free state, where (and nowhere else, mind) racial equality is to be enforced. Ministers and teachers from Europe and the north flock to Mexico, to help teach the freed slaves and natives about the wonders of civilization. (end sarcasm).
The Armenian army conquers Odessa, and sweeps around the Black Sea.
Josef dies. His son, Nikolai, becomes the new Tsar. His empire is broke, leaving him with little choice but to make peace. The terms of the treaty of Paris (the only neutral power):
1) Most of Poland goes to the Empire of Germany. 2) He acknowledges the independence of the Republic of Hellas. 3) The Armenians gain Eastern Anatolia, Odessa, and the Caucasus. 4) The Baltic is divided between the Scandinavians and the Empire of Germany. 5) Albania goes to Italy, along with the Adriatic coast. 6) The island of Alaska is renounced by the Holy Empire. 7) The Holy Empire acknowledges the right of other countries and religions to exist. 8) The Serbians are to receive independence. To ease tensions with the Armenians, they are not accepted into the League of Milano. 9) Central and Eastern Romanian are to go to the Armenians.
The Shah of Iran does not have much choice, now. He makes a treaty ceding Mesopotamia to the Armenians, and Western India to the Italians.
Could things have turned out differently? Professor Garbaldi, of Padua University, argued in 1861 that the 15th century represented the culmination of two diverging trends in European history. On the one hand there were the monarchs; the kingdoms of Spain, Portugal, and Aragon, battle hardened from the centuries of reconquista; the Byzantine Empire, and its possible successor, the Ottomans, or Turks; the kings of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, in their Kalmar Union.
On the other side there were the republics. Often consisting of an aristocracy of merchants, these republics and leagues were able to form, in the 15th century, cohesive political unity. Venice led the way, smashing the Ototmans, assuring commercial hegemony in the Mediterranean, and unifying Italy. But Milan under Venetian rule was not Milan under the rule of the French; The Senate’s policy of encouraging commercial prosperity, and leaving local affairs to the city governments, assured it a loyalty unmatched. Life in Venetian Milan must have been very different indeed from Alfonso’s Naples.
The Leagues and kings were an interesting contrast. While Venice would fight wars for commercial hegemony, her mainland empire was not the result of a deliberate policy of expansion; Venice belonged to the sea. The Venetians would fight for commercial hegemony, as the 4th crusade evidentially displays; but it is hard to see them butchering the people of the city as the Frankish lords did. The Hanseatic League was rather similar; their wars were with the Danes over trading rights, not with the Emperor over the right to rule a Duchy. The differing political viewpoints culminated in the twenty years war, where the Christian Empire, launched a holy war against the Protestants. The Venetians, whose worldly, humanist tolerance must have seemed quaint, were able to smash the Christian Empire apart, liberating France.
Over the course of the 17th century, Italy’s league, and the British commonwealth, led the way in industrializing. The Savoyard dynasty of the Empire of Germany proved to find a middle road between the Emipre and the League, turning the Empire of Germany into a constitutional monarchy which embraced the Swiss and Czechs. Together, Germany, the Iberian Republics, and Italy crushed the last vestige of the monarchy, France.
The Russian and Byzantine Empires, ironically sharing so much in common, were slain by the same source. The demand for freedom and equality manifested itself in a Cossack named Pugachev, who overthrew both realms to establish the Holy Empire. Here again we saw the demand for liberty, as first the Armenians, and then the Turks, Georgians, and finally, Greeks and Russians demanded freedom. The League of Milano was formed, to defend Europe against the Russian threat, but in time becoming a federal government, after the Second Great War against France and the Holy Empire, in 1770.
After the Second Great War, in which armored motor vehicles proved their use, and Italian dirigibles rained fire on the Russian cities, the world finally entered “the post-modern age”. The League of Milano transformed into he League of nations. Wars were averted through the use of economics; when the Armenian technocrats tried to invade the Persian empire, the league cut off rubber and metal supplies, destroying the Armenian economy in one swoop.
Finally, in 1865, the dream of Galileo was achieved; man went into orbit. A lunar landing occurred in 1894, and for decades, space travel stagnated By this point though, the world had reached the large population of 3.5 billion (and creeping up to this day to 4, which has caused numerous debates in the League of Nations over population control).
Finally, in 1907, the Tunguska Impact occurred. A rogue comet devastated thousands of kilometers of Siberia, and the world logged on to watch the disaster, especially to Russian economic interests. The internet nearly crashed in the aftermath, as people from Nuova Italia to Edo logged on to watch the aftermath. This, in turn, led to the development of the nuclear power plant into a space engine and explosive. Cheap means of accessing space were developed, culminating in the space elevator over Cairo on August 5, 1945.
One wonders what the Doges of Venice would have thought of where the banner of San Marco flies now.
Could history have turned out differently? It’s certainly possible. Had the Christian empire won the battle of Alexandria, the nascent republic of Italy may well have been destroyed; the dream of “The Most Serene Republic” would have been destroyed; the Spanish would probably have raped the Bride of the Sea, pillaging it before burning it. Or perhaps Pugachev had achieved his dream, or the Armenian technocrats built their world run by calculations. If you want to get into the realm of the absurd, perhaps the Muslims of Egypt and Syria would have become fanatical suicide warriors, similar to the Chinese in the early 20th century, as Spinella suggests.
Spinella’s suggestions on that matter are interesting, but ultimately irrelevant. Overall, however, his theories on the “Wealth of Cities and Peoples” was on the mark. The League will always triumph over the Empire, because the League, by its sheer chaos, encourages economic development. As a comparison to the history of Earth, for instance, look at the interstellar empire with its capital in Tau Ceti. Apparently they have been in an evolutionary stasis for millennia, with a religion centered around the worship of their empire. So far, the League has not yet decided whether or not to contact that, but if it does occur, it should ultimately be interesting. The decision must be made soon, because apparently oblivious to the interstellar communications we have developed, our probes have detected a massive armada being built around the inhabited planet. Perhaps they are planning on a visit?
Class dismissed, and please remember, there is an exam on Monday regarding the industrial revolution in Al-Andalus. “
Excerpt from Professor Nuttall’s lecture on Spinella’s theories of Leagues Vs. Empires, January 2, 2001, the University of Nova Venezia, L4.