1636: The Saxon Uprising — Snippet 63

1636: The Saxon Uprising — Snippet 63

“And then what?” asked one of the councilmen. “Before you know it they’d be back with reinforcements from Frankfurt and we’d have an all-out war on our hands. Remember the mess after the Dreeson Incident?”

“And at what cost?” asked the other councilmen who’d been dubious. “Two or three days of fighting inside the city will leave a third of it in ruins. It’s not worth it. It’s not even close to being worth it.”

The militia commander went back to working his jaw. It was a mannerism he had when he was angry but had no satisfactory way to act upon it.

“We won the election!” he exclaimed.

The mayor shook his head. “Not the way it turned out. I figured — so did you — that the duke of Saxe-Weimar would be the prime minister. Instead, he’s in prison and we’ve got Oxenstierna in the saddle.”

There was a gloomy silence for a few seconds. Then one of the councilmen said: “I didn’t like Stearns, not one bit. But let’s be honest — whatever else, he kept the Swedes off our neck. Now here they are, back in charge again.”

Augsburg, one of the USE’s seven independent imperial cities

The commander of Augsburg’s militia had a very different viewpoint than his counterpart in Darmstadt. Nor was he a cousin of Jeremias Jacob Stenglin, the head of the city council, and they certainly weren’t friends.

Augsburg didn’t have a mayor, as such. Stenglin played a somewhat similar role as head of the council, but his actual title was that of Stadtpfleger — “city caretaker.”

“Fine, then,” the militia commander snarled at Stenglin. “I’ll resign and you can try to stand off the Bavarians when they come.”

“If they come,” muttered one of the councilmen at the meeting.

The militia commander shifted his glare to the muttering fellow. “We’re talking about Duke Maximilian, Herr Langenmantel, not your betrothed. He’ll come, if he takes the Oberpfalz.”

That was a low blow. The councilman’s intended had failed to carry through on her vows. She’d left the city altogether, in fact, eloping with their young parson. It had been quite the scandal.

While the councilman was spluttering indignantly, the head of the militia went back to glaring at the rest of the council. “I told you and I will tell you again. We’re right on the border and Maximilian is running wild again. We can’t hold the city against him without the co-operation of the CoC and its armed contingents and the support of the SoTF — which is controlled by the Fourth of July Party. Not against the Bavarian army.”

Stenglin ran fingers across his scalp. Looking for the hair that was no longer there, perhaps. “I don’t like those shitheads!”

The militia commander shrugged. “Who does? But the one thing about them is that they’ll fight. They aren’t good for much else, but they are good for that.”

A tavern in Melsungen, in the province of Hesse-Kassel

“Here’s to the health of our landgravine!” shouted one of the revelers, holding up his stein of beer. “Long may she reign!”

The tavern was full, as it often was on a winter’s eve. Not a single stein failed to come up to join the toast.

Other provinces might suffer — would suffer, for a certainty, some of them — but not Hesse-Kassel. Not so long as Amalie Elisabeth of Hanau-Münzenberg sat in the provincial palace. The landgrave’s blessed widow would keep the storm away.

A fishing boat in the Pomeranian Bay

“I wish now I’d voted for the bastard, instead of that useless Wettin.” One of the two fishermen in the boat heaved at the net.

His partner frowned. “Stearns? He’s too radical.”

“Yes, I know. That’s why I voted for the other fellow. And look what happened! When Stearns was running things, he drove all the foreign armies out of Germany. For the first time in years, we had peace. Didn’t we?”

His companion made a face, but after a couple of seconds grunted his agreement.

“Right. Then we put in the duke and the first thing he does is get himself arrested and here we are, with the Swedes back on top.”

He paused at their labor and stared out over the sea, gloomily. “I’ll tell you this, for sure. The damn Swedes wouldn’t have arrested the Prince. They wouldn’t have dared.”

His partner grunted agreement again. Immediately.

Mecklenburg

The noblemen’s expedition never got to Schwerin. It got no farther than the southern shore of Lake Müritz. By then, CoC contingents from all over the province had gathered to meet the invaders.

They had no trouble finding them. As they had done during Operation Kristallnacht, the supposedly neutral USE Air Force had maintained reconnaissance patrols out of Wismar and provided the CoC contingents with regular reports on the location of their enemy.

Colonel Jesse Wood denied doing so, every time someone asked. But he’d kept a straight face while doing that, during Kristallnacht. Now he didn’t bother to hide the grin.

The battle that followed lasted less than three hours. Once again, the Mecklenburger nobility found itself outclassed when it had to face a large force of CoC fighters coming out of the bigger cities like Schwerin and Rostock. Many of those men were not from the militias. They were former soldiers in the USE’s army; some of them, veterans of the great battle at Ahrensbök.

***

But except for Mecklenburg — and Dresden, of course — the Germanies remained remarkably calm. There were scuffles aplenty; harsh words exchanged beyond counting; the same for threats. But rarely was any blood shed by anything more deadly than a fist or a cudgel.

Berlin

The chancellor’s frustration mounted and mounted. His puzzlement, as well.

What was keeping the anarchists from anarchy?

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39 Responses to 1636: The Saxon Uprising — Snippet 63

  1. Bret Hooper says:

    “What was keeping the anarchists from anarchy?” Well, now, let’s see: there’s Amalie, and Gretchen, and Gunther, and John, and Rebecca, and Spartacus, and Tata, and . . .
    But of course Ox knows that Amalie and Gretchen and Rebecca and Tata are mere women, and John is strictly neutral (just ask him), and of course Gunther and Spartacus are trying hard to create anarchy, but must be stupidly spinning their wheels, and . . .
    So of course the opposition will fall to pieces any minute, any day now; surely it can’t be much longer . . .

  2. dave o says:

    I’ve said it before. The urban patriciates don’t like the FOC, and they like the COC less, but like disorder least of all. Especially disorder sponsored by foriegners. Interesting to note the beginnings of german national sentiment. Earlier, Flint made much of the fact that “foreigners” started at the next village, not the next national boundary. Not any more. It’s also nice to see Oxensterna’s Bavarian maneuver start to fail.

  3. ET1swaw says:

    Voices from the peanut gallery; if Axel could just hear them! Looks like arresting WW was an even bigger mistake than having Baner attack Dresden. If his deals with Mad Max come out, even Pomerania (not the hard-cores with him in Berlin, but the homefront) might be lost to him. The west (from Westphalia to Tyrol) and west-central (Hesse-Kassel, Brunswick, and Main) are staying neutral. East-central (SoTF and Magdeburg) was never his and now you can add Mecklenburg and Oberpfalz. Pretty soon, the way he is going, he will be reduced to Brandenburg alone (if Baner doesn’t take/retake Saxony). Pomeranian MPs are already in legal dispute about adel in the USE House of Commons, and Axel has appointed one to replace the deposed and arrested WW.
    All he needs now is for G2A to recover and remove von Thurn’s Swedes from his control; leaving him nothing but forces already proven (in Krystallnacht and now in Mecklenburg) inferior to those of the CoC, much less the USE Army or Marine Corps. Baner would be reduced to ‘rogue’ status and fair game for anyone to take down.

  4. Jim says:

    in the boat one calls the land germany, not the germanies, suggests that a nationalist idea is starting, which will be very dengerous for the ox, as the foriegnor starting the war on THEIR land

  5. Peter says:

    This is fascinating. A civil war that is largely without actual war. But with a great deal of cunning!

  6. ET1swaw says:

    So not all Imperial Cities are CoC/FoJP: Magdeburg, Luebeck, Hamburg, and now Frankfort are for sure, but Augsburg looks to have been CL; Ulm and Strassburg have not yet declared in canon; and Bonn and Cologne are grid 1635 additions (not yet canon).
    Mecklenburg (with the exception of G2A as their Duke) looks to stay CoC. And with the probable additions of Oberpfalz, Saxony, and Wurttemberg to the SoTF / CoC ICs / Magdeburg core, FoJP and their coalition (CoC, Ram, etc.) may become the majority. Interestingly, next to Tyrol, SoTF and Magdeburg province have the most RCs in the USE.
    OTL Pomerania, Brandenburg, and Prussia (all but the Polish Corridor; currently split between G2A (Swedish Prussia and Lauenberg-Butowland), A. of Warmia (fief of PLC belonging to a younger brother of PLC king), and Ducal Prussia (fief of PLC belonging to Elector of Brandenburg)) eventually went to Brandenburg-Prussia.
    IIRC a major Swedish forces training base is in Pomerania, but they and the neideradel there sat out Krystallnacht. Unlike the Mecklenburgers, then or now, lawyering over combat was the Pomeranian (CoC and adel) approach. Then again Wismar, the site of Gretchen’s brother’s martyrdom and a major USE Air Force base, is in Mecklenburg.

  7. Willem Meijer says:

    @4 (Jim) Seeing Germany as a seperate entity is much older. Around 1500 Teutschland was already a reality in the mind of some people. There is a recent book on the subject, spanning the period 1500-1650.

    http://www.wbg-wissenverbindet.de/WBGShop/php/Proxy.php?purl=/wbg/products/show,13455.html

  8. Hong Xianfu says:

    Why there’s no mentioned about political manouver by Claudia de Medici in Tyrol? It’s like she just in the far far away country and nothing happened in Tyrol, it’s frustating because I think she’s one of smartest political minds in Europe right now. Heck, I think her manouver to join USE is very very shrewd and very very unimaginable for a lot of monarchs in Europe (especially Austria). If in the chaos in 1634 she can act decisively and manouver shrewdly like that I just can’t imagine she just became bystander and wait the until everything calmed. Any suggestion?

  9. johan says:

    Seems Axel is not the only one to play at realpolitik from his ivory tower. And that’s probably the last we’ll hear from the Adel of Mecklenburg.
    As the national sentiments grow it will be interesting to see how GIIA keeps his empire together. Kristina and Ulrik is popular and if there is a final split between the USE and Sweden/Kalmar she would most probably become the new empress. Perhaps the new heir to Sweden could be her cousin, OTL Karl X Gustav of Pfalz-Zweibrücken?

  10. summertime says:

    Scuffles, harsh words, and threats, oh my! Sounds like Saturday night at the pub!

  11. dave o says:

    #9 Johan: Interesting speculation, but perhaps premature. Kristina is 9 years old, so about a decade before she is able to rule. Right now, I think G2A is the principal person holding even the German part of his Empire together. You seem to be looking back at the example of Charles. After his retirement, the Hapsburgs split into a Spanish and Imperial dynasties. Some factors against the split, G2A’s empire may be as large, but it’s a lot more compact. The components are more nearly linguistically related. The Danes won’t want to lose the position that Ulrick’s marriage will give him. There are probably a lot more against, and just as many favoring a split.

    Until we know whether or not G2A recovers enough to rule, and whether he re-marries and has further children, I’m going to wait on this idea.

  12. johan says:

    @11 dave o: Hadn’t thought about GIIA remarrying. He’s barely forty and recently widowed. Though I would like to see what Karl Gustav is doing. He’s 14 right now and in our world he died prematurely from pneumonia at age 37. By all accounts he was a very capable commander and administrator.
    It really is amusing to read how Axel have so spectacularly misread moods in the nation.

  13. ET1swaw says:

    @8 Hong Xianfu: Claudia de Medici, Grand Duke Bernhard Wettin of Burgundy, Essen, KLC, Swiss Confederacy, and western USE provinces (including Tyrol)are more the arena of forthcoming ‘Wars on the Rhine’
    @9 johan: Princess Katherine, G2A’s older half-sister (mother of Karl X Gustav and related to all but 2 kings of Sweden since), removed herself and her offspring from the inheritance by marrying a non-Lutheran (calvinist John Casimir Count Palatine of Pfalz-Zweibrücken). OTL when Kristina named Karl X Gustav as her heir prior to her abdication, she had to prove him an outstanding member of the Swedish Evangelical State Church.
    The ultimate heir of the Kalmar Union is by original design Kristina and Ulrik’s child. Kristina is, by current Swedish law, the only legal claimant to the Swedish throne. Negating that opens those crowns to major dispute (Christian IV and his heirs for the Kalmar Union; Sigismund’s sons (PLC Vasa)and descendants of Gustav I for the Swedish throne).
    The Swedish Dominions (Estonia, Livonia (portion of southern modern Estonia and central Latvia (along the Daugava river to Livani then north to Lake Lubans and Lake Peipus), Ingria (from the Narva river to the Lava (Naziya) river and north to the Sestra river), Swedish Prussia (Truce of Altmark lands), and Karelia (not including Vyborg Karelia (part of Sweden Proper) or Karelian peninsula south of Sestra river)) were not really integrated into Sweden Proper; subordinate to G2A and his government but with little voice. They are almost a 4th crown for G2A and Kristina.
    The USE -IS- the most powerful (even more so than a fully dominated Denmark-Norway (never gonna happen!!!!)) of the 3 (4) crowns. The HRE crown (as moribund as it is with the new political landscape (Wallenstein, KLC, Essen and other independents, and the USE)), with Ferdinand II dead, is also up for grabs between G2A and Ferdinand III. IMO he would be an idiot to seek it, but he did restart his war with the PLC.
    @11 dave o: I agree.
    @12 johan: In OTL 1635, Axel and his family held 3 of the 5 high offices (only Admiral and Constable (Army admin) excepted), and Governor-Generalships of all Dominions (excepting Estonia) along with G-G of Finland (until 1637). Yet his groupthink misconceptions have him losing more and more of the Germanys. His grip on the heir is almost nonexistant by now, he has arrested and deposed a sitting head of government for an allied state, conspired with Mad Max to attack an allied state, ordered Swedish troops to reduce a city within that same allied state, and is basically holding his sovereign hostage. What’s he going to do for an encore, give Swedish Prussia and the USE gains back to the PLC. Or maybe mess around on the Rhine or with Christian.

  14. Jeff Ehlers says:

    Oxenstierna is misunderstanding (at least) two important things.

    First, packing Mike Stearns off somewhere is not going to remove him as a political factor. Not even close. He was the first prime minister of the USE, and is commonly considered, even by some of those who dislike him, to be the Prince of Germany (as opposed to a prince of the Germanies, of which there are many). People are going to look at what’s happening now, compared to what happened while his party was in control, and start putting two and two together (and unlike Oxenstierna, not get 5).

    Second, the CoCs and the FoJ party are hardly anarchists. It’s like the remarks Richelieu made following the close of the Baltic War, if I remember my timeline correctly, where he remarked that Stearns wasn’t a Hun and would play by the rules (admittedly, his own set of rules, but he’d treat the defeated fairly). Stearns (and by extension the CoCs and the FoJP), are not just ripping down the existing social order because they can, they’re doing so in order to keep the dilapidated and rotting parts from collapsing and causing the stuff that’s still sound to be destroyed in the process. Much like a builder might demolish an old building to preserve a sound one next door.

  15. johan says:

    @13 ET1swaw: I get the feeling that should GIIA recover, the Oxenstierna family would do well to keep their heads down. While I don’t think that the king is someone who would punish anyone simply because of blood, they would not want to be accused of having divided loyalties. Regardless, I think that their power will diminish one way or the other.
    While Axel’s attempts to curb the Germanies will certainly make him a persona non grata there, I don’t see that it will necessarily make him guilty of treason as such. Selling out the Oberpfalz to an enemy you are currently at war with will however make him guilty of it. Complete with the resulting death penalty.
    Regarding the HRE title; IIRC Ferdinand III officialy abandoned the crown, opting instead to make Austria an imperial title. The few remnants of the old Empire holds no loyalty to him and neither does he have any way to enforce such a loyalty. For all intents and purposes the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation is dead and gone. It’s old titles are meaningless to anyone who is not living in denial (e.g Mad Max). And GIIA have no claim whatsoever to the crown, seeing as his chunk of Germany is no longer a part of the HRE. Those Germans can not vote him the crown because they are no longer electors. The remaining pieces are his enemies and would not vote for him. For anyone trying to restore the Empire to it’s old self now would make about as much sense as it would have done in OTL 1810.

  16. Greg Eatroff says:

    @ 13: I’d say the PLC restarted the war with GA2 when they grabbed all that former HRE territory east of the Oder-Neisse line and sent troops west of the line to fight on behalf of the Hohenzollerns. This isn’t to say it was a smart move to try to grab so much Polish territory, but I find it somewhat exasperating that people are pretending the Poles are the aggrieved innocents here instead of a set of people every bit as expansionist as Gustav. 1635 isn’t 1939.

  17. ET1swaw says:

    @15 johan: I agree on HRE title. Most Electors are now at best minor lordlings in the USE especially if Mad Max is disallowed from Palatinate vote and Wallenstein from Bohemian.
    IMO (opinion not stated fact) I still think a charge of treason for Axel is debatable. He is an official and noble under the Swedish crown, not that of the Emperor of USE; and Mad Max is an enemy of the USE, not Sweden or the Kalmar Union. Splitting a -very- thin hair, but it might suffice.
    As for the Oxenstierna family keeping their head down: canon has said nothing yet of who replaced Magnus Brahe in 1633 or what replaced Axel’s OTL 1634 Instrument of Government; the Governor-Generalships are also in doubt; as well as the status of G2A’s brother-in-law.

  18. ET1swaw says:

    @16 Greg Eatroff: I agree thst neither side are aggrieved innocents! And both have the further excuse that the Truce of Altmark fully expired September of 1635 without a treaty. Even OTL the PLC was anxious to regain Swedish Prussia and end Swedish tolls on 4 biggest PLC ports(Danzig, Konigsberg, Windau, and Libau) (which they did in the Treaty of Stuhmsdorf); and to recover Swedish Livonia (which they never did; it was taken from Sweden by Russia).

  19. johan says:

    @17 ET1swaw: It would almost be worth the trouble just to see Axel trying to argue that case in a court of Germans and ( a probably furious) Gustav Adolf. :D

  20. cka2nd says:

    @8 Hong Xianfu: I can’t remember reading of the Hapsburg response to Tyrol’s affiliation with the USE, but I have to imagine that Ferdinand III would consider that an entirely different kettle of fish from giving up the crown of the Holy Roman Empire. Knowing OTL history, he could see that the former remained a part of Austria to the year 2000 and likely beyond, while the writing was already on the wall for the HRE. I wouldn’t be surprised if he did not take the “loss” of Tyrol lying down.

  21. Ed says:

    @15 Actually the Old HRE titles are not meaningless, they are simply independent. Nuremberg is still an HRE Imperial City, and electors and dukes (or whatever) are electors and dukes and so on. There’s no emperor they can call for help on any longer, of course, but the titles and rule over their own territories are intact as long as they can maintain them.

    This is (incidentally) the exact legal status of places such as Liechtenstein in our time.

    Mind you, a desire for self preservation will probably push any independents into the USE fairly rapidly, but we are talking legal theory here, not common sense :-)

  22. Peter says:

    If Germany 1) stabilizes as the USE, 2) annexes Bavaria, and 3) avoids debilitating wars with France, etc, then IMHO it’s hard to see very many of the small bits (Essen, Nuremburg, Passau, etc) not getting absorbed sooner or later. Probably willingly, too, especially if offered a few carrots. United Germany is such an economic powerhouse, it will command the European trade nexus with little effort. If the political reforms stick, there will be a business environment that will look like paradise to most of the mobile and clever entrepreneurs of Europe, accellerating that domination. In thirty years, nobody on the continent will be able to beat Germany in a straight-up slugging match.

    Than what happens?

    Do we get a German-financed and managed American invasion in the 1660’s, pouring German settlers into a partly-depopulated continent in a coordinated wave of settlement that builds a world empire?

    Or maybe a world democracy / republic / league of some sort?

    (Just speculating….. how’s that snerk collar, Drak?) :-)

  23. Alan says:

    Actually in 1632 the electors were the Archbishop of Mainz. the Archbishop of Trier, the Archbishop of Cologne, the King of Bohemia, the Margrave of Brandenburg, the Count Palatine of the Rhine, and the Duke of Saxony. The Palatinate vote was transferred to Bavaria after the defeat of the Winter King and in NTL was transferred back to the senior Palatinate line by Ferdinand II immediately before his death. I don’t think we know for sure the status of the three archbishops who may well be in exile.

    The crown of Bohemia is contested but clearly King Albrecht (‘King Wallenstein’ is about as literate as talking about Elizabeth II as Queen Windsor IV) has the best claim. Brandenburg and Saxony are in what we could best call abeyance. Bohemia was the traditional Habsburg vote although the crown was elective until the Thirty Years War. We can assume the archbishops or any feasible successors would vote for Ferdinand. All he needs is one more elector… And the elector-palatine is somewhere in the kingdom of the Low Countries.

    All you need to elect a Holy Roman Emperor is 4 votes. You do not need a full meeting of the Reichstag. You do not need the electors to attend in person.

    Perhaps in about 2030 when we are all furiously reading snippets of 1658: The Habsburg Marriage the Vasa/Habsburg dispute can finally be resolved by Austria’s traditional method)

  24. Alan says:

    Or perhaps Ferdinand III can achieve his ambitions at Constantinople and get a much distinguished imperial title)

  25. dave o says:

    #22 Peter: I think the Netherlands and Sweden/ league of Kalmar have the leading track, at least in Northern Europe on competing in N. America. The Netherlanders are already there, in the Hudson Valley and the Swedes are/will be there in the Delaware valley. Further, both are more maritime oriented than Germany. It would make sense, especially for the Netherlanders to compete with France, their traditional enemy, especially now that Richelieu is facing his own civil war. Don’t forget all the iron, coal, and oil in uptime PA. Not to mention a lot of rich farm land.

    I picture the future of the USE as a sated power, holding a lot of west-central Europe and with no particular territorial ambitions. Particularly if the union with the L of Kalmar holds.

    #24 Alan: I agree. And if he can take Constantinople and become Emperor of Romans, it might go a long way to reconciling the Orthodox in the Balkans. I think there are one or two members of former Byzantine imperial families still around. They would be a good marriage target. Felix Austria etc. But it will require a lot of tact and a lot of cooperation from Papacy to make this work.

  26. Bret Hooper says:

    @25 Dave O: “But it will require a lot of tact and a lot of cooperation from Papacy to make this work.” Which pope? The one in Rome or the one in (wherever Maffeo Barbarini is [Urban VII {or is he now Rural I?])?

  27. Peter says:

    @26 – Gee, Bret, Pope Rural I – has a nifty ring to it, y’know?

  28. dave o says:

    #26 Bret: I said from the Papacy. Not any specific Pope. Of course Borja won’t provide it. But the issue is the hostility between Orthodox and Catholics, and it won’t be resolved during one papacy. A quarrel dating back to the Great Schism and still not resolved up-time will take a while to heal downtime .

  29. Bret Hooper says:

    @28 Dave O: You are quite right, and I didn’t mean to dispute it. But I did wonder whether you meant (for the ‘present’ NTL) the imposter in Rome or Maffeo in (wherever: I keep hoping he will find his way to Grantville)

    And almost never can I resist playing with words.
    @27 Peter: I’m glad you enjoyed it.

  30. G Bayrit says:

    (#15 – Johan) Knowing how rashly G2A reacts to opposition, if he survives and returns to full function, I doubt if Oxensternia would survive for long! On top of that I think he’d rescind his former actions of encouraging the power of any of the nobles in Sweden and would probably come down extremely hard on any German nobles who supported Oxensternia in any way.

    If G2A survives and can make himself understood, I think the ‘war’ will be extremely short, but quite costly for almost any noble family. This is/was essentially a rebellion by the nobility and G2A did NOT like rebellions against his rule.

  31. johan says:

    @22 Peter: IIRC Eric has said the USE will not become an empire because he does not like empires. My opinion is that depends on what he means by empire. Conquering large swathes of non-German land in Europe? Seems most unlikely, even though they already control an exclave in Gelderland, KLC to ensure that they can close off the Zuider Zee in case of a war with the Netherlands. Which kinda mirrors old British policy in Europe where they controlled Gibraltar, Malta and Heligoland. If by empire he means conquering places like India? Again, unlikely. However, relatively sparsely populated places like North America? If they want resources for their industries they have no choice but to cultivate settler colonies.

    Remember, this is the era of Mercantilism and the creation of an empire is very much a consequence of that. Apart from the Kalmar Union and maybe the KLC there aren’t any nations likely to share their resources. I think there was something in a GG about an attempt to create a “Free Trade League” between the USE, KLC and Kalmar. Unless France and Spain makes a couple of fundamental changes in their policies (in the case of Spain that’s seem almost impossible) they are unlikely to join such a league. It wasn’t really until the New Imperialism that Empire making became an ideology in itself. Before that it was very much a byproduct of Mercantilism.

    @25 dave o: For the moment the USE navy is a brown water one, but they have a stated goal to end piracy in Europe. And IIRC they hope to establish themselves in the Caribbean and the East India markets. That will require a large blue water navy so I think they’ll overtake the other powers fairly quick. And remember, the Dutch Fleet was almost completely destroyed in the battle of Dunkirk so they have to rebuild aswell. This also ties into what I wrote above about empires. If they want to partake in the trade with the East and safeguard their trade routes it is only natural to establish ports along it. Say, in OTL Cape Town? And when people read about diamonds there, there’ll be an influx of settlers to exploit it.

  32. Pul Ess says:

    #25 dave: Do we know if the New Sweden settlement will even happen NTL? OTL the New Sweden Company wasn’t formed until 1637.

  33. dave o says:

    #32 Pul Ess: I don’t know, but it’s always seemed probable to me. If for no other reason, the PA,DE,NJ,MD area quickly became an important wheat growing and exporting area. This would provide an alternate source to Polish grain, and Poland is unlikely to become a friendly power any time soon. An alternate source would be of great value to the Scandinavian Kingdoms/League of Kalmar. But there is also coal and iron in large quantities in Eastern PA, with good river transportation to move them. And America’s first oil field in Western PA.

    #31 Johan: The Netherlands is already deeply involved in both East and West Indies trade and the N. Atlantic fisheries.They have a lot of the world’s sailors and a lot of the world’s shipyards, and a strong seafaring tradition. Since they’re now part of a bigger, richer country I think they’ll be making a strong push to rebuild their navy as soon as possible. The USE has a slight edge in shipbuilding, mostly consisting of Simpson’s hands-on experience, but I can’t even begin to guess how long that will last. And since I don’t have a crystal ball handy, I have nothing but speculation about the course of 18th century trade wars. I doubt this series will go on long enough to resolve them. Re diamonds in S Africa: I don’t think the USE would look kindly on the kind of labor conditions needed to mine them with their current mining technology. Mile deep mines?

  34. johan says:

    @33 dave o: I keep forgetting about the hazards of down-time mining in general. But aren’t there deposits closer to the surface? Or is that way up in Zimbabwe?
    Oh, and all I really do here is speculate about events that are far enough in the future that we’ll most surely never see them resolved. :) Unless Eric one day washes his hands of the series and says, “enough of this” and writes an epilogue. Though I doubt that would mean anyting in practice. Just look at the Star Wars Expanded Universe.

  35. gpe says:

    #24 et al . You must be Kidding!!!I would like to think that Ferdinand III has done his homework on uptime history. Trying to become an Emperor of the Greeks (the official byzantine imperial title) will be suicidal. If he had problems in Germany dealing only with Catholics and Protestants, imagine what will happen in a area with 3 main religions (Greek Orthodox, Catholic and Muslim), at least 4 ethnic groups (Slavs, Greeks, Turks,Jews)and half a dozen main languages.It is called The Balkans for a reason.

    A more sensible way is to try to emulate the old Austro-Hungurian Empire (minus Venice,Bosnia, Bohemia and plus probably Transylvania, Slovenia and Croatia)thus making a truly Eastern European Catholic state. Of course losing Tyrol will make the new empire to lean towards Hungary. This is not necessarily a bad thing. The main problem of the OTL Austro-Hungurian Empire was the fact that it was politically unstable, because it tried to balance Germans vs Hungurians vs Slavs vs Italians etc. A new empire with a main dominant group (Hungarians) and two lesser ones (Austrians and Slavs – Slovenes & Croats) could be be manageable.

    The main problem for Ferdinand will be to repel the eminent Ottoman attack and try to create buffer states in the Balkans, between his empire and the Ottomans. Divide and conquer (and marry perhaps)will be his best chance for survival. And of course not to even consider to try something serious in the area north of Vienna. Wallenstein and his Anaconda project is a blessing in discuise since it will create a) a buffer area in the northern frontier of his empire and b)bring into conflict Bohemia and PLC thus eliminating the two states a viable threat to Austria. His best card is to stay absolutely neutral to this conflict.

  36. Alan says:

    @35 The official title was Autokrator toi Romaioi/Basileus toi Romaioi which both meant Emperor of the Romans. A number of letters from the West addressed to the ‘Emperor of the Greeks’ were returned unread. The Balkans were not, in fact, notable for instability and intractable ethnic conflict until quite recently when the Ottoman empire shattered into ethnic fragments, often based on dubious ethnographic connections to states that existed before the Ottoman conquest. A classic case is Kosovo where the Yugoslav and then Serbian governments claimed an Albanian majority area on the alleged historic grounds that the last Serbian state was defeated there by the Turks. The region was characterised by repeated revolts against Ottoman rule with Austrian, Russian and then Western assistance as the Ottomans went into decline. While I don’t see Constantinople as a serious project for Ferdinand, it would really only be accelerating OTL history in the same way as the USE.

  37. gpe says:

    @36 Yes, you are right about the title. My mistake. I used the words Greeks and Romaioi with the meaning that they were used c.1800 by some notable Greek scholars of that time (Greeks = Graikoi).The Byzantines never used the title “Emperor of the Greeks”.
    I will disagree with you that the instability of the Balkan region is a recent phenomenon. Not taken into account any rebellions that had other motives (taxation, dynastic ambitions etc), the Byzantines fought a major conflict with the Bulgarians c.700-1000. There was an independent Bulgarian state first from 681-1018, then from 1185-1396 (The Asen dynasty etc). Then there were the Serbs. After 1204 we have the Crusaders of the 4th Crusade who establish the Frankish statelets on the Greek mainland and the Aegean. They introduce another factor to an already unstable region. And then the Turks(Ottomans).At that time the whole southeastern part of the Balkans (Albania, FYROM, Bulgaria and Greece)was a battleground. It could be argued that the Ottoman conquest put a temporary hold to all that tensions. We could write a whole diatribe on the subject.
    On the other hand my comment about Ferdinand wasn’t so much about Constantinople, as for Bosnia. Don’t forget that Bosnia was a part of the OTL Austro-Hungarian Empire (a recent addition nevertheless c.1850-1870 if I am correct). Bosnia + Austria = 1st World War. And I will partly agree with you that it will accelarating OTL but not in the same way as USE.Another big subject to discuss and a possible new thread for stories on the 1632verse.

  38. Alan says:

    And yet in the same period, 700-1453 AD, if you counted up wars in Western Europe versus wars in Southeastern Europe I suspect Moors v Christians, Vikings v Christians, Carolingians v Moors, Christians and pagans, Normans v Arabs, Lombards v Byzantines etc etc etc you may well conclude that Western Europe is a zone of inherent chaos that will never see stability or development. In any case, the ethnic content of Southeastern Europe’s wars postdates the Ottoman empire because in many cases the current ethnicities also postdate that breakup.

  39. m says:

    Alan: it’s useless to argue about Wallenstein’s regnal name here.
    It’s already settled in 1632verse canon. There is a piece in the canon, authored by Iver Cooper (as I recall), which explicitly informs that Wallenstein’s regnal name is: king Venceslas the fifth Adalbertus.
    In other words (my interpretation), Adalbertus Venceslas Eusebius of Vallenstejna decided to utilize that “Wenceslaus” of his original baptismal names as his main regnal, it being the historically most favored endonymic ruler name of the Czech population, there having been a martyred saint Duke of that name and afterwards already four kings of that name. Wallenstein decided to be the fifth crowned head of the Czech nation to bear that traditionally appealing. His personal first name Adalbert got demoted to an afterthought in the regnal name. (his majesty, Venceslas V Adalbertus, king of the Czechs)

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