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Thread: Strange Shores: An Aragonese AAR

  1. #121
    StoreytellAAR Storey's Avatar
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    You must be making a ton of money to be able to afford to convert all those provinces in South America. Hopefully the personal union won't last too long and you can continue expanding your empire.

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  2. #122
    GunslingAAR coz1's Avatar
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    The lessor partner? After as much as you've done? Bah! I say, start a war and place your King front and center. That ought to take care of it. Oh wait...you can't star a war now, can you? Damn PU's! They stink.
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  3. #123


    Octavius I, Emperor, King of Great Britain, Ireland, Aragon, Portugal and Sicily


    12) Octavius I (1631-1647)

    With the extinction of the Formentera Dynasty, the Plantagenet’s now held Aragon, albeit through London. Octavius was not merely King of Great Britain and Aragon, but also Ireland, Portugal and Sicily. Above even this he was Holy Roman Emperor, and it was the Imperial title by which he was generally known outside his British inheritance. Octavius I reigned over lands stretching from the North Atlantic to Cape Horn and from Peru to Australia.

    Reigned, but not ruled. In his sixteen years on the thrones the Emperor did not once set foot in Aragon (a unique occurrence for a King of Aragon), nor for that matter in Portugal. Concerned with his British and Imperial matters Octavius mostly left Aragon in the hands of his Viceroy, his brother Charles, who set up court in Barcelona. The Aragonese government as such remained in place. The fears of some Aragonese that their Empire would be broken up proved unfounded, and the Crown of Aragon would pass on intact after the Emperor.

    So long as the Aragonese paid their taxes and kept a close eye on the godless Protestant heretics of France the Emperor was happy.


    The War of Tverian Succession (not pictured: Tver)


    The War of Tverian Succession

    A strange war at the beginning of Octavius's reign: strange because of its participants and strange that it was over so swiftly. The small principality of Tver - a dwarf beside the giant Russian Republic - dissolved into chaos on the death of its monarch. Austria had her choice of prince and Lithuania objected. Aragon, an ally of Lithuania joined the war on 28 November 1631. Here the war took a slightly surreal turn: the Crown of Aragon was at war with Austria but Great Britain was neutral and as Emperor Octavius was also the liege of the Archduke of Austria...

    The actual fighting (as far as Aragon was concerned) took place in Northern Italy. The Austrians had a local numerical superiority, sufficient to keep the Aragonese on their side of border but the Aragonese won most of the (very bloody) battles. This went on until 17 August 1632 when Lithuania signed a white peace with Austria bringing this supremely pointless war to an end.

    History has, quite rightly, forgotten whichever prince did end up ruling Tver.


    Religion in India, 1647


    India

    Though some activity took place in South America (considerable growth of the Catalan settlements and the final conversion of Chiquitos) the main focus of the period was on India.

    The East India Company had a stake in India, but it was hardly the only one. To the conquerors of the Incas - military, clerical and administrative the Subcontinent was not merely a place to make money. In Barcelona Lluís de Ripperdá (since 1629 Bishop of Barcelona) still held considerable influence and missionaries duly set forth to spread the word to the Indies.

    Following the patterns of an earlier age the Aragonese missionaries sought to win over the local Indian rulers in the Aragonese provinces. In this they were immeasurably helped by a custom borrowed from Octavius native land and first tried in Ireland: surrender and regrant. The local ruling classes were encouraged to convert to Catholicism and swear loyalty to the King of Aragon, after which they would be confirmed in their lands with Aragonese titles. Thus by the end of Octavius's reign there were no fewer than five Aragonese-Indian principalities in India - Jaffna, Tiruchchirapalli, Konkan, Dadra and Indravati.

    Naturally there was some controversy in this; especially from sceptical conservatives as to the orthodoxy of Indian Catholicism. Prince Bhadrak of Dadra was typical: a devout Catholic and loyal servant of the Crown of Aragon, he saw little conflict with observing many traditional Hindu customs, as newly arrived missionaries discovered when he served them a vegetarian meal. Certainly some missionaries had adapted or adopted many Hindu or Buddhist beliefs to help ease the acceptance of the faith - devas for instance were often cast as angels. To be fair genuine theological interest and debate was often a factor as well: certain bishops expressed fears that the Church in India sometimes verged on Origenism, but that can be seen as an exaggerated view.

    Missionary progress, at least as measured in the proportion of locals who declared themselves Catholic was proving successful - by the end of Octavius's reign only Parlakimidi of the Indian provinces remained recalcitrant. The spread of Aragonese (Catalan) customs and culture had been far less successful - indeed Aragonese officials in India seemed more likely to fall into local modes of dress and speech than inspire the local inhabitants to change theirs.

    Viceroys

    By now the Aragonese Empire had swelled beyond the ability of the administration to cope. Aragon was still a feudal monarchy; the East India Company not withstanding the British system of middle class governors did not apply. Instead, from 1641, the overseas empire was organised into the Viceroyalty of Peru (covering the old Inca territories, the Catalan settlements in South America and Cuba), the Viceroyalty of Brazil (the Portuguese settlements in South America) and the Viceroyalty of South Africa (South Africa). The East Indies, the Indian provinces and Australia remained under the control of the East India Company for the time being.

    Empire's End

    At Octavius death on 17 October 1647 the personal union came to an amicable end. Octavius's elder son Alfred inherited Great Britain and the Imperial dignity, while second son Edward took Aragon. However in order to better appeal to his subjects the new King took the name Ferran V...
    Last edited by RossN; 08-03-2007 at 03:17.
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  4. #124
    stnylan: Indeed, thanks for the heads up.

    J. Passepartout: 16 years!

    Terraferma: Well... quite.

    Burke: Thank you.

    XhePablo: Heh, now that's an idea...

    Kurt_Steiner: Yep, see Terraferma's reply!

    crusaderknight: Bravo!

    Lord E: Oh, I've seen worse.

    Storey: Yep!

    coz1: Damn straight!
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  5. #125
    Non sufficit orbis Lord E's Avatar
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    That was a strange war I think, but good to see you didn’t lose any provinces. Seems you are doing well in India, now you might soon start to conquer them also… Good to see the personal union end, I don’t think such an empire as Aragon’s empire should be a junior partner in a personal union. Let us hope they new king will do well.
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  6. #126
    Wow, that was interesting, glad to see the Indian provinces are being converted. This Indian Catholicism sounds quite interesting.
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  7. #127
    Crazy Reactionary crusaderknight's Avatar
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    Well, it's good to see the end of Octavius, though things weren't really too bad under him. Let us hope that Edward--I mean "Ferran V" will be the first of a line of long-lived kings (unlike the Formenteras, who rarely lasted long on the throne).
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  8. #128
    Compulsive CommentatAAR stnylan's Avatar
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    Seems quite a useful interlude all in all, and now ready to take charge of your own destiny once again...
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  9. #129
    Pantomacatalasecesionanis ta

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    Quote Originally Posted by RossN
    Kurt_Steiner: Yep, see Terraferma's reply!
    I saw it... Englishmen, Otomans... er... perhaps Martians, please?

    Well, So the UK and Aragon have different kings... well, not so bad, methinks...
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  10. #130


    Ferran V, Emperor, King of Aragon, Portugal and Sicily


    13) Ferran V (1647-1662)

    Edward Plantagenet had formerly been the Duke of Mercia, but upon coming to the throne as Ferran V he had surrendered his English titles; indeed this English nobleman would end up wielding more power over his new kingdom and adopted homeland than any previous king.

    Thirty-something, slightly imperious good looks and with a hint of an English accent his otherwise fluent Catalan did not quite disguise, Ferran was not an obviously strong figure and many Aragonese nobles considered that they would easily be able to tame the foreigner. Such views soon proved unwise; beneath his foppish exterior the new King possessed a keen intellect, iron will and a ruthless sense of purpose.

    Leviathan

    The theory of Absolute Monarchy had been known in Aragon before Ferran, if not practiced. Aragon was a traditional feudal state where the king was essentially first amongst aristocratic equals; Great Britain on the other had was, like most of Europe, an adminstrative monarchy ruled by bureaucracy. Neither alternative appealed much to Ferran.

    Ferran at once enshrined the Divine Right of Kings into Aragonese law, abolishing much of the old feudal powers of the barons. Arrogantly some of the old barons ignored the King... and promptly found themselves crushed by the immense weight of the Army and the Church. Ferran would brook no dissent and the chastened nobles, feeling discretion the better part of valour bowed to the King.

    Yet for all his ruthlessness Ferran was not cruel or sadistic. Those nobles who served him faithfully and well, whatever their initial opposition, found fine posts as Viceroys or ministers. So long as it was recognised that the King ruled by the grace of God (and not that of the barons of Aragon) it was possible to rise high in Ferran's Empire.

    Indeed Ferran himself was the Emperor; in 1654 Ferran was elected Dei gratia Romanorum imperator semper augustus as his father had been before him. Unlike Octavius however, Ferran controlled the College of Cardinals. Entering Rome in great splendour he was crowned by the Pope himself - the first such coronation since Frederick III two hundred and two years previously. Ferran had the coronation take place on October 17 - the anniversary of his succession to the Aragonese throne.



    India, 1662


    Return to India

    The great interest of the King-Emperor was not in Europe however, but in India.

    The great threat to Aragonese holdings in India was still Vijayanagara, which controlled (either outright or as vassals) most of the Subcontinent. The East India Company had found its ardour for conquest wane in recent years; but Ferran had much grander designs: a Christian India, wholly part of the Aragonese Empire. Vijayanagara stood in the way of that worthy goal.

    Aragon fought two wars against Vijayanagara during the 1650's; the first between 1650 and 1652, the second between 1657 and 1658. Bastar, Telingana, Goa, Raichur Doab and Nagpur passed into Ferran's Empire - effecitively doubling the size of his Indian possessions. Furthermore Ceylon bowed to the inevatible and after diplomatic pressure formally accepted annexation. Yet this success only served to underline the vast scale of India: how many more wars would it take to win dominance?

    The other conquest had something to show for it: Telingana and Parlakimidi converted and progress was being made in the other provinces. True Konkan revolted in 1660 and had to be bloodily put down, but that was down to heavy taxation rather than religion or culture.

    Domestic Issues

    Ferran, probably the most personally involved ruler in Aragonese history was concerned about the runaway inflation of the Empire (in 1660 it stood at 24%). To attempt to manage this he ordered the construction of tax assessors in the major cities.

    He also founded a new university in Valencia - deliberately intended as a conservative alternative to the more independently minded Italian institutions.


    Ferran V's sudden death


    Death

    The strongest and most cunning monarch of Aragon died young; on 5 March 1662. He was forty-four years old.

    Offically he died of tuberculosis; on the other hand rumour almost at once began circulating that he had been poisoned by his Genoese mistress Arabellla de Fornari after refusing to make their illegitimate son a baron. Certainly de Fornari was imprisoned shortly after, and beheaded when Sanç IV became king. On the other hand evidence was essentially non-existant and de Fornari continued to proclaim her innocence right up to her execution. Other suspects (in the murder theory), equally lacking in evidence include the Austrian ambassador, various Aragonese and Portugese nobles and even the Empress, Sofija of Lithuania (who was about four days journey away when Ferran died).

    Regardless of the natural or otherwise causes of his death the sudden passing of Ferran V was a disaster for the Crown of Aragon. Instead of the strong hand of the Emperor, Aragon was now left with a squabbling Regency Council, keeping watch till Prince Sanç reached maturity.
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  11. #131
    Lord E: Pretty good... though not long enough.

    XhePablo: Thank you. Yes I'm pretty interested by it myself - I wonder how a strongly Hindu and (to a lesser extent) Buddhist influenced Church will develop over the years.

    crusaderknight: Alas!

    stnylan: Hurrah.

    Kurt_Steiner: No, the union had to end sometime.
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  12. #132
    Pantomacatalasecesionanis ta

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    India is goign to be eaten bit by bit, so don't hurry.

    What a pity that Ferran died so early. Damnation...
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  13. #133
    Hmmm... I suppose as long as they are not ruling from London, English rulers are AOK.

  14. #134
    Crazy Reactionary crusaderknight's Avatar
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    Well, he may not have lasted too long, but at least he did a lot of good during his reign. I guess now it's up to Sanç IV to be the long-lived king. God save the King!
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  15. #135
    Compulsive CommentatAAR stnylan's Avatar
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    So, a Regency to suffer through. Even the London King sounded better than this. I mean, at least when the King was in London he wasn't buggering things up.
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  16. #136
    Non sufficit orbis Lord E's Avatar
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    The Empire is expanding in India, very nice. Seems like the king-emperor did very well, now let us only hope that this regency will not last very long…
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  17. #137
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  18. #138
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    From one calamity to the next, it seems. Still, Ferran had some good years in between. That was an odd war over Tyer. And taking place mostly in Italy? Very strange.

    So I take it now that you are an absolute monarchy? May I ask if you had to change govts a few times to get there? In my game, I have reached the govt. lvl to pick it, but it is still greyed out. I was thinking I had to be something other than adm. monarchy to choose it.
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  19. #139


    Sanç IV, Emperor, King of Aragon, Portugal and Sicily


    14) Regency Council (1662-1663) and Sanç IV (1663-1684)

    Prince Sanç had been a child of fourteen when his father died, leaving Aragon in the hands of a Regency Council for the next eleven months. The Regency, though relatively undistinguished, might have lasted longer but Ferran V cast a long shadow: nobles who in previous years might have thought to control the Young King thought better of it. Even the great Lluís de Ripperdá, still the Bishop of Barcelona and one of the most influential men at court was more interested in matters theological than political.

    Sanç IV was, alas, not the man his father had been. Weak, indolent and petty, he could not have provided greater contrast with his giant father. Indeed some ways he resembled his ancestor John of England. Yet the Aragon he inherited would, if anything grow even more powerful during his reign - albeit mostly on the fertile soil Ferran V had left.

    To be fair Sanç did introduce the Millitary Drill during his reign, further moving towards a professional standing army, which might be his most certain legacy. A great tax revolt in Cyrenacia (1668) had shown the danger of undertrained troops.

    Imperial & Clerical Politics

    After Ferran V had died the Imperial crown had passed elsewhere, the young Sanç not being old enough to be considered in the vote. It was a terrible personal humilation to Sanç: his father and grandfather had been Emperor (eligible due to their Italian fiefdoms) and the Plantagenets had come to accept it as their due.

    In fact Sanç would have to wait sixteen years (to 1678) before finally becoming Emperor - an intolerable situation to a Plantagenet. When the day finally came Sanç ordered (not asked) the Pope to Barcelona to crown him and unfortunate pontiff had little choice but to accept.

    Perhaps fortunatly Lluís de Ripperdá was not around to witness this sorry affair; the great theologian had died of old age on 1 June 1677, after five decades of service to the Church. His legacy would endure, especially in the continuing spread of the faith in India: in 1723 he was beatified, in 1809 canonised and future generations would know him as the patron saint of the subcontinent.


    India, 1683


    India: A new approach?

    Naturally India was once again a cauldron of war during Sanç's reign. The Sepoy War (so named because the great bulk of Aragonese forces were Indian soldiers) fought between 1672 and 1675 resulted in gains in territory from Vijayanagara's vassals: Calicut (from Travanacore) and Bangalore (from Mysore). Yet though Vijayanagara itself was badly defeated Aragon declined to seize land from it's great enemy.

    Instead Vijayanagara (and Tranvancore and Mysore) was made to swear vassaldom to the Crown of Aragon. The East India Company was tired of war and hoped to gain more by following the example of Ceylon. If the great bulk of India could be brought in bloodlessly in a few decades while they paid tribute in the mean time - surely this was to the good? Sanç, flattered by the pledges of the Indian kings agreed.

    In fact this method did lead to war within three years. The King of Vijayanagara requested the aid of his liege against Gujarat, which ended up losing Kathiawar and likewise having to swear loyalty to Aragon.

    Spiritually, the Church continued its success. Goa, Raichur Doab, Nagpur and Bastar all converted. De Ripperdá's followers had spread deep roots.

    Death

    Despite his youth Sanç IV did not live very long; he was assassinated on 16 January 1684.

    Unlike his father little mystery surrounds Sanç's death. In 1683 he had imprisoned the Duke of Beja for (alleged) corruption during his time as Viceroy of Brazil. The unfortunate Duke died in his cell, from a combination of malnutrition and unsanitary conditions. His son Manuel shot the King with a pistol as he was riding a coach through the Barcelona streets. The assassain was swiftly killed by guards but Sanç was mortally wounded and soon passed.

    With his death both the Crown of Aragon and the Holy Roman Empire passed to his younger brother, who took the throne as Joan IV.


    The new King
    Crusader Kings II AAR: The Queen of Cities: A Byzantine AAR (ongoing), A very different England: A Godwin AAR (on hiatus)
    Victoria AAR's: The Harp and Crown: An Irish AAR (ongoing)| Canada (complete)
    EU III AAR: Aragon (complete)
    Crusader Kings AAR: Antioch (complete) | Desmond (complete)
    EU II AAR: Tuscany (complete)
    Awarded by Specialist290

  20. #140
    Kurt_Steiner: I know! What is it with my kings and early deaths?

    J. Passepartout: Heh, Angevians no less!

    crusaderknight: Well... there have been shorter reigns...

    stnylan: True! At least it didn't last long.

    Lord E: Nope, not long.

    Patrick O'Harte: Actually I forgot about that!

    coz1: I went straight from Feudal to Absolute Monarchy (even though everyone else has Administrative Monarchies - wimps ). I had strongly considered going for Noble Republic earlier on though (because my kings die so quickly I'm surprised the Royal family isn't extinct!)

    That would have meant going from Feudal to Despotic Monarchy, to Noble Republic.
    Crusader Kings II AAR: The Queen of Cities: A Byzantine AAR (ongoing), A very different England: A Godwin AAR (on hiatus)
    Victoria AAR's: The Harp and Crown: An Irish AAR (ongoing)| Canada (complete)
    EU III AAR: Aragon (complete)
    Crusader Kings AAR: Antioch (complete) | Desmond (complete)
    EU II AAR: Tuscany (complete)
    Awarded by Specialist290

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