IGC 1.8 Free Ireland, Free Bretange, United Prussia
"Russia Under Ivan III, the Builder" by Leonardo Di Medici as published in "The Historical Journal" vol 156 ish. 6 June, 2001
The history of Modern Russia could easily be said to have begun with the ascention of Ivan the Third, later called The Builder, on a cold day in January, 1492. It was a miserable day, dreary with a fine drizzle falling upon the gathered nobels with temepratures reaching 23 at noon, just warn enough to cause frozen rain.
To be honest, the weather of the day seemed to reflect the general attitude of the nobels that day. Ivan the Third was not looked upon with much hope of being a good leader. In his youth he had seemed to be more interested in the pleasures of hunting and women than either the military or state. Further more there where those who questioned his general intelgence.
Ivan, however, had other plans. It seems as if his ascention to the throne had caused a switch inside him to flip. As he read his decleration of ascention, the Czar was all buisness, a new hardness in him, a sense of purpose and self.
At this time Russia was still a small backwards Duchy existing in Central Europe. It was poor, gainign a mere 50 duckets a year from taxation, as well as possessing an alrge, but obsolete army. Ivan the Third was bound and etermiend to change this, and bring his kingdom into the modern age.
His first set of goals was to build a strong network of royal marriages and alliances to protect infant Russia, and allow it time to grow in strength. To accomplish this, Ivan began a campaign of hirign tax colelctors in all of his provinces, and funded the creation of a unified tax code. The first province to ganrer this tgreatment was the capital in Moscow in 1492, but soon Novograd, Tver and others followed in 1494. It was a project that would not be fully completed until the year 1500.
As if to help him, the Czar also was fortunate to reign in a time of realtive peace and prosperity. The harvests in this time where wonderful, exceeding all expectations in 1494. He was also able to trade valuable maps with Crimea in a diplomatic stroken early unheard of in the day, and opened in embassy in Persia.
But where the true genius of Ivan the Builder lay was not even in infastrucuter as one might expect, but in his dealings with other nations. He sent diplomats far and wide, garnering royal marriages with as many nations as possible, as he attempted to enlighten the West about his nation and people. He was know nto have married off several of his illegitimate childrne, as well as those of nobels, to France, Spain, Brandenburg, Denmark(which also joined him in alliance), Halvetia, Saxony and many others. It gave the czar a wide range of connections and networks to keep an eye on Europe at all times.
During this time, events where taking place in Europe that would have a strong impact on Russia in the future. A series of Italian wars drained the region, and left it open to Imperialism by the Austrian Duke who, but 1508 would controll the territoy of Rogmagna North West to Savoy leaving it the predominant power in Italy, and destroying the power of the Pope in Rome, who was left with onyl that province to rule. Elsewhere, a series of wars over Lorrain left France in dominal control, for the time being, although one could only guess how long it would last.
In the technology department, Ivan poured as much time and energy as he could, a noted scholar, he even worked with others to create new military inventions for his armies. Work was slow going, although by using his neighbors as a base, the Czar was able to cut down on the time between the advances. In 1492 Russia had not even known how to contsruct a simple fire arm, but by 1503 it fielded its first cannons, which had been cosnturcted on a design made by Vlad himself.
In fact it was 1503 when Vlad the Third began his grandest project yet. It would be one that the Czar would not, could not, see to its natural conclusion; the domination of the Baltic by Moscow and Russia.
NEXT: The 4 Years War, or "The War of Karelis"
OOC: Ok, I've deiced to start this game as an alternative to my Wallacian game which is going no where. You can only write SO much about failed wars again the Turks, who appear to be all Supermen, able to beat armies four times their size and possing pwoers far beyond those of normal man!
Hope you enjoy this one, the game is already going better, and should be quiet a lot of fun I suspect. I am trying to play Russia differantly than most, and hoping it works.