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Thread: Strange Shores: An Aragonese AAR

  1. #41

    Enric II, King of Aragon & Sicily


    5) Enric II (1500-1510)

    Enric, the only son of Sanç III was 15 years in 1500. Named after his late uncle King Enric I the youth declined to change his name upon ascending the throne, despite the worries of some that it was a poor omen!

    Enric II was a quiet, thoughtful youth who if he lacked the flair and cunning of his father and uncle was in some ways their better. Certainly his administrative talents were superior. Ultimately however he was faced with a more challenging situation in many ways: with de Montcada and Martorell dead only Hernando de Velasco served as a voice of past experience and then he was little interested in secular matters.

    So the Crown of Aragon passed into uncharted waters…

    The 3rd War of Savoyard Aggression

    In February 1501 Savoy, once again taking advantage of Genoese weakness went to war against her neighbour and once again Aragon marched to her aid. Marched faster indeed: the Aragonese army entered Liguria first (and routed the much smaller Genoese forces). Genoa itself came under siege, eventually falling to Aragonese arms on 30 July. Two days later the Doge reluctantly signed the surrender terms to Enric's representatives and the second largest seaport in Italy passed into Aragonese hands.

    Notably (unlike his father Sanç III) Enric did not personally lead his armies during this or subsequent wars, leaving this job to General Enric Gil de Biedma.

    The 2nd Savoyard-Lorrainian War

    Aragon was not at peace for very long. The following year on 21 August 1502 Aragon returned to the aid of her ally - this time against Lorraine. General de Biedma swiftly reduced Nice then advanced into Lorraine proper, taking Savoie on the way. Lorraine hurriedly accepted a peace offer and on 5 June 1603 Nice became a province of the Crown of Aragon.


    Some of the cultural shifts of expansion.


    Politics: abroad and at home

    A brief political problem arose in 1503 over Modena's status in the [Holy Roman] Empire when several of the cities nobles advocating leaving the Empire altogether (in a de jure sense Modena was still in the Empire, in a de facto sense of course it was a province of the Aragonese Crown). Enric's II delicate handling of the situation impressed many at home and abroad.

    With the capture of Nice and Liguria (and Parma and Modena before them) Lombards had become the second largest ethno-cultural group in the Crown of Aragon: Genoa became the largest city (in fact Valencia, the largest 'Aragonese' proper - i.e. Iberian - city in the Crown of Aragon was only 4th largest overall). Previously only represented by poor and rustic Sardina sophisticated and wealthy Parmense and Genoese merchants, artists, politicians, nobles and clergy began to win a new share of power and influence in Barcelona. The losers in all this were the Sicilians who saw their own stake in Aragonese society fall accordingly.

    Something of a new wave of advisors crept in over the decade replacing the Old Guard, even if their skills often lay in different areas.

    A family trait

    Enric II was always somewhat frail and his condition took a turn for the worse in 1510. A bad winter chill took hold of him and, gently asking his grief struck courtiers to forgive his poor manners at leaving so soon he passed away in his bed on 18 December 1510. He was 25 years old.


    Aragon in 1510

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  2. #42
    stnylan: Tell me about it! And even kept poor Enric II out of wars as well...

    J. Passepartout: Heh... perhaps I should consider a different type of Goverment.

    MaoistMonkey: Thanks.

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  3. #43
    GunslingAAR coz1's Avatar
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    Savoy has been a very "helpful" ally it seems. Too bad about Sicilian culture. I've not lost one in my game, though I have lost cores when not taking them in time. I wonder if you'd be able to regain that culture if you conquer a bit more territory down that way.
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  4. #44
    Watch out for those Sicilians, now that they've lost power you don't know what they'll do.

  5. #45
    Master of the Universe Patrick O'Harte's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RossN
    Patrick O'Harte: My ally?
    Yes! You can't deny Napoli the advantages of beign part of the Kingdom of Aragon!
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  6. #46
    Non sufficit orbis Lord E's Avatar
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    Those Sicilians might cause some trouble, but apart form that it seems your development are very good, your empire is growing and although this king didn’t last very long he did very well. Let us hope the next king will continue this good work
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  7. #47
    Compulsive CommentatAAR stnylan's Avatar
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    And again...

    But a rather more successful reign than his immediate predecessors.
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  8. #48
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    Excellent AAR, RossN. Very good writing style. I just got done reading the whole thing. Very nicely done! Let us hope Enric's successor will last longer than the previous monarchs.
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  9. #49


    Ferran II, King of Aragon & Sicily


    6) Ferran II (1510-1517)

    Ferran was the younger brother of the first Enric and of Sanç III and thus uncle to Enric II. When the Boy King died without any issue the crown passed to the 39 year old Ferran, who became thus the third of three brothers to take the throne.

    Ferran II was decidedly different from most of his family. Those his diplomatic and administrative qualities were fair to average at best he had an instinctively martial mind and aggressive temperament leading the King of Castile to nickname him El Oso ("the Bear"). He enjoyed war, women, hunting, feasting and drinking - not necessarily in that order.

    New Ideas and Old Problems

    Strangely it was under this most un-intellectual of kings that the idea of the New World began to develop amongst the Aragonese. Knowledge of the New World discoveries of Castile and Portugal had been filtering back to Aragon for some years now but had generally been dismissed as impractical in Barcelona: too far, too expensive, too much of a distraction from Aragon's Mediterranean commitments. By 1511 with even some of the German states (including Austria) engaged in colonisation it began to be felt something important was at stake and the court began debating it's potential once again.

    Eventually, on 24 May 1516 a small Aragonese colony of a hundred souls was founded on Bermuda. Though little noticed at home (where focus was firmly on the Tuscan-Savoyard War) this and an unsuccessful attempt at Cape Verde the following year represented the first steps of Aragon into a wider world.

    The Tuscan-Savoyard War

    To most Aragonese however the reign of Ferran II would be remembered for something decidedly different: the longest and most destructive war Aragon had seen since the Reconquista.

    The root of the problem lay in the quarrel between Aragonese ally Savoy and local Italian Great Power Tuscany. At the beginning of January 1513 Ferran II agreed to come to the aid of his ally. Fortuitously Aragon had a large and battle hardened army 9,000 strong in Modena under General Enric Gil de Biedma. After defeating an initial Tuscan attack de Biedma marched into Mantua.

    Evidently the Tuscans realised they could not fight on two fronts and after Milan, a generation earlier the capital of the strongest power in Italy but now the pawn of others, fell to Savoy the Tuscans signed a separate peace behind Aragon's back. Lombardy was a heavy price to pay but it was too far flung to be defended and if Parma and Modena could be conquered it would all be worth it.

    Furious at Savoyard double dealing the Bear fought on. And on. In general the aragonese had the upper hand but the Tuscans always seemed to recover to take and go on a counter offensive, time and again forcing de Biedma back to deal with threats to Modena. Even the fall of Firenze itself on 22 October 1515 failed to break Tuscany - it was retaken a few months later and ended up changing hands again and again before the end of the war.

    In the end Aragonese muscle (discretely backed up by mercenaries) told and Tuscany was brought to the peace table on 31 May 1518. After over five years of war there was little sense that it was to be a merciful peace and it was not; the former foremost power in Italy lost Pisa, Siena, Mantua and Ferrara to Aragon.


    The changing nature of Aragon, 1518


    The Italian Situation

    Even before the end of the war Italians had become more involved in Aragon; Parma and Modena were legally recognised as core provinces of the Crown of Aragon in 1516.

    The glut of Italian provinces at the end of the Tuscan-Savoyard War changed the situation dramatically: for the first time the Catalans were not a majority in their own kingdom. Lombard Italians now made up the plurality of the population and their influence grew stronger as a result in many fields.

    The curse strikes again

    His personal standing enormously raised in the aftermath of the Tuscan-Savoyard War it was wondered how a man of war would deal with peace. In truth Aragon never found out: within five months of peace Ferran II was dead.

    The King was on a hunting trip on 28 October 1518 when his horse threw a shoe. Ferran, sent tumbling from his saddle struck rocky ground head first, fracturing his neck.

    Thus passed the Bear of Aragon.



    Aragon, 1518

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  10. #50
    coz1: Perhaps... though Sicily is (usually) my ally and sharing a marriage with them. The BB would pretty severe too - no cores.

    J. Passepartout: Well quite!

    Patrick O'Harte: Heh, I suppose not...

    Lord E: Yep.

    stnylan: I guess so - though only the unfortunate Enric I has been truly unsuccessful I feel.

    crusaderknight: Alas no...but glad you are enjoying it.
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  11. #51
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    And now the age old question gets asked - how to rule both Italian and Iberian Kingdoms? Better keep building those ships.

    Nice work with the colony, by the way.
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  12. #52
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    Well that is some prime territory just won. A real firm grip on Italy than should be expandable.
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  13. #53
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  14. #54
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    A pity Ferran II couldn't have lasted longer. He could have made an excellent king. Will the curse never be broken?
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  15. #55
    Why, why do they die so quickly? And he was such a good king, with a good nickname!

  16. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by J. Passepartout
    Why, why do they die so quickly? And he was such a good king, with a good nickname!
    You know the old saying, the good ones die always too soon...
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  17. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kurt_Steiner
    You know the old saying, the good ones die always too soon...
    Or as Iron Maiden put it: "Only the good die young!"
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  18. #58
    Indeed.

    Incidentally, el oso muerto is also a cool nickname.

  19. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by crusaderknight
    Or as Iron Maiden put it: "Only the good die young!"
    Well, I'm too good to be true and I'm still alive.


    By the way, let's not focuse too much on the old Mediterranean sea... remember... there is a treasury waiting for those who dare to cross the wide sea....
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  20. #60
    so sad Ferran II dies, hopefully the next in line matches or surpasses him...with a longer life span. Tis true, the good ones do die too soon.
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