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Thread: Honor of Lancaster: A Magna Mundi England AAR

  1. #141
    Dei Gratia author dharper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aussieboy
    There goes the England I wished for - a strong bulwark of the Faith in a region of heresy.
    Sorry, aussieboy! As I said earlier, I myself wasn't sure which direction to take when the Reformation hit, and I wavered back and forth - which was a mistake in retrospect. I should have chosen one and stood firmly against the other; by trying to shoulder both, I only invited heresy in. Admittedly, it did make it easier to fight wars on the continent! You'd be happy to know that in Magna Mundi Gold, the events are a little different and it's easier for England to stay Catholic if she wishes. In fact, it still happens occasionally in test games.

    Next game I'll stay Catholic (as I do in most of my games).

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurt Steiner
    Oh damn... Well, better short than nothing.
    It's for the best anyways - it's very trying to play in regular EU3 when NA is available; it runs as slow as molasses on my computer. But I also felt that having a deadline for my goals would force me to act - I can sometimes play too passively.

    Quote Originally Posted by coz1
    More wars of religion. This could get even bloodier. Ooof!
    There's a reason the next chapter only covers six years...

    Quote Originally Posted by merrick
    It's alive!! Good to see this AAR active again, and a good take on the Reformation. How much of the crusading was event-driven and how much was just AI opportunism?
    Sorry to have been away so long! The crusading was largely AI opportunism, but was helped along by events. Castille declared war because they got a free CB and a nasty relations hit when England was excommunicated - I'm lucky France didn't, too (but they were busy). Aragon probably considered my -3 stability and revolters when it decided to attack, and those came from my attempt to convert England by force.
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  2. #142
    Colonel BBBD316's Avatar
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    So is France nearly unstoppable proportions and where is their focus at the moment?

  3. #143
    Dei Gratia author dharper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BBBD316
    So is France nearly unstoppable proportions and where is their focus at the moment?
    Not totally unstoppable, but still the powerhouse of Europe. Aside from unifying France, they have spent a great deal of time and energy populating New France and waging wars in the Holy Roman Empire - only to give most of their winnings back. That would be fantastic news if it didn't mean that they kept getting lots of goodwill in the empire for giving provinces back to their rightful owners...
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  4. #144
    Crusader for Fun and Profit Murmurandus's Avatar
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    Very nice update once again!
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  5. #145
    Field Marshal Vann the Red's Avatar
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    Interesting update and I'm quite sorry to hear that the AAR will be ending soon.

    Vann

  6. #146
    Dei Gratia author dharper's Avatar
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    X. Wars of Religion


    The 16th century was dominated by the Protestant Reformation and the ensuing wars of religion. Although Germany was to suffer from wars in this period, Britain's own War of Religion was by far the single largest war. By accident, Britain found itself not only the champion of Dempier's cause, but also a house divided against itself. This encouraged Catholics both within and beyond the Kingdoms to take up arms against the bloody policies of George III, and in 1560 the realm erupted in war and civil war both. It was a terrible blow to the Kingdoms, and to the policies of the king, a fanatical Protestant now remembered mainly as 'Bloody George'.


    The English Wars of Religion lasted a mere four years but were one of the bloodiest wars of the century.

    Lord Brock's War


    Scotland had remained staunchly Catholic throughout the royal persecution, and it was there that resistance solidified against the crown. The Catholic forces were blessed with several good leaders: The Duke of Northumberland and Lord Brock both led their own armies against the king in Scotland, with Brock assuming command of the Catholic side. However, there were several other leaders of note: peasants named Gilbert and Anson led a so-called Pilgrimage of Grace towards London.

    After the defection of Northumberland king George ordered his estates confiscated and refused to allow any titled nobles to lead his armies. Instead, the Protestants had arrayed several generals - the aging Sir Henry Abernale (famed of New England) and younger ones such as Christopher Burgoyne, who made his name in the war.


    The civil war divided the Kingdoms into camps


    The war began with stunning Catholic victories as they swept aside resistance and took over key towns and forts in the largely Catholic kingdom of Scotland, leaving the Royals trapped in the Orkneys by Aragonese navies. This success convinced Major Clive to lead his men to the Catholic camp, rising up in Northumberland where the royals were attempting to assume control; the Catholic ranks were swelled again by Lord Cumberland, who raised thousands of Catholic troops. The king was furious about these betrayals but could do little until spring.

    The royal navy had no such restrictions, and it fought a hard-won battle in the Moray Firth which freed the Orkney troops to return to the mainland. It would be the only good news that winter.


    Initial Catholic successes in England


    Unable to wage war against Aragon and the Catholics at the same time, the king ordered an emergency levee of men and taxes from the countryside. This unpopular measure brought in a few thousand green troops but also convinced many that the state church was as bankrupt morally as the treasury was financially. In response to the decree, Lord Saunders of Tudor led a rebellion in Cornwall where the new troops were training. Not all the money went to the army, however; George made offers of tribute (over 100 million ducats!) to Aragon that were refused - with good cause - by the Spanish.

    As spring came, the expected royal advance failed to materialize. Except in Moribhan, which declared for the king and for Dempiers, the Protestant forces were in retreat. Lord Brock took advantage of the situation to push south and lay siege to London for the first time since the War of the Roses. In desperation, George III relaxed his decrees against Catholics, allowed lords to once again serve as generals, and begged for help from the Protestant nations of Germany where he had been raised. This suited the interests of Austria, long seen as the Protestant champion on the continent, but it ruined Britain's reputation. In the end, little enough help arrived - mostly on the continent. The Catholics of Flanders had risen up in sympathetic rebellion, only to be put down by Austrian troops.


    Although he had little choice in the matter, George's 'Cry for Help' hurt the morale of the royalists


    British Catholics were not without their own allies. The Aragonese alliance continued to fight in the seas, sinking British shipping and enforcing a blockade on the island nation, leaving George unable to receive aid or support from the continent while the British Catholics had free rein to strike. Spanish spies and Catholic demagogues whipped the peasants into a frenzy in several provinces. Lord Fairfax led a royal army against Catholic Scotland, meeting up with Sir Christopher's Orkney forces with some success in the north - but Sir Abernarle's army in the south was caught between two Catholic armies, unable to stop either as the late fall turned into winter, with royal support crumbling.

    Day of Decision


    The war was going badly for the royals; most of their forces were trapped on the Continent, and the new trainees were often outmatched by Catholic armies in the south, while Scotland proved stubborn indeed as the royals laid siege to its mountainous forts. Even British Protestants had become suspect to George, who was sinking into paranoia and hate. As royal power ebbed, the Duke of Moribhan took advantage of the situation to demand that taxes be lowered. The king had little choice but to agree, though he could scarcely afford it.

    It was then, in the spring of 1562, that history was made. There are a few times in history where events could easily have gone another way and changed the outcome completely. One such was March 12, 1562, when the Imperial Court met in Paris. For the past generation France had looked not towards Brittany and the massed British forces there, but to the less dangerous east - the Holy Roman Empire. By intervening in the politics of the empire, France had gained the allegiance of several German states and the goodwill of many others. By mid-century the French king had been elected to the imperial purple, and now commanded the support of German Catholics everywhere. The French convinced the Hapsburgs of Austria to withdraw their support for Britain, then seized on the matter of Valciennes.

    Once a part of Burgundy, Valciennes was an imperial province, one that Britain had seized with no intention of returning. However, that was when Britain led the empire; things were very different in 1562. The French demanded that Britain recognize the suzerainty of the Catholic emperor or be banned from the empire.

    To the surprise of everyone involved, George humbly swore fealty to him - not as king of France, but as emperor of the Germans. France considered intervening in the war, taking advantage of the internecine struggle to reclaim Brittany and Flanders, but in a moment of weakness postponed the invasion. The British obeisance was enough for now - especially with so many British troops still on the continent and a war going on in the empire. The king believed that the Catholic side would win, and if they faltered, he could return to the 'English Question' once more - but events would prove him wrong. By the time France had settled matters in the east, the opportunity had passed. And so the course of history was forever changed.

    The Third Rose


    This decision gave the royals much-needed breathing space. Although they could not ferry the troops home to help - both the risk of future French aggression and the continued Spanish blockade prevented it - they effectively isolated the Catholic side from foreign support. That spring the royals launched a full offensive in the south. Abernarle's Sweep reclaimed three provinces in the south from the Catholics before pushing north into Lincoln and Oxfordshire. Meanwhile, in Scotland, the Catholics were running out of supplies and several key forts fell to royal forces at long last. All throughout the summer of 1562, and then the fall, the Catholics were pushed back again and again. When winter fell that year, it was with expectations of total victory the coming spring. Even the invasion of New England by the Powhatan did little to dampen the spirits at court; Sir Ernest Augustus Hood was promoted to lead the Colonial forces and soon routed the Powhatan and their allies. The war was brought to a swift conclusion before the month was out, and with few British losses. A peaceful All Hallow's Eve was celebrated in London amidst prayers for peace in the new year. Public support for the king was on the rise; the foreign blockade that hurt the crown so much also stemmed the haemmorhage of support towards the Catholic camp, as people began to suffer the effects of the blockade and turned against their invaders as Britons had since time immemorial.


    Victory seemed inevitable in the summer of 1562


    It was then, in November, that disaster struck. Throughout the War of Religion, the kingdom of Brittany and British Flanders had been strongholds of royal power. Although divided theologically, the two were also home to the front line against the French, and hence the bulk of the army. With some exceptions, the Catholics there were reluctant to rise up against the frustrated, largely foreign troops of the Royal Army. It would take someone great to unite them against the crown...and they got him in the form of George of Tudor. The House of Tudor had been unjustly excluded from the throne in the Lancastrian Conspiracy, and believed it would one day return to their family.

    Raising the banner of their clan, they rose up in the lands that George III had himself granted them on the continent, and with them tens of thousands joined the cause of the Third Rose in the previously quiet lands of northern France. The Pretender spoke to both Catholics and Protestants, promising an end to the violence and to the intolerance of the Lancasters, and soon his ranks swelled with peasants and minor nobility. In a panic now, George III made concessions to the Catholics as well, but too little, too late.


    Perhaps it was a mistake to dispossess the House of Tudor?


    In Artois, royal forces fled after losing more than a fifth of their armies in one of the bloodiest battles of the civil war; over ten thousand died from both sides. In Finistere, to the west, a similar debacle was prevented by the 11th-hour arrival of reinforcements, but after prolonged fighting throughout the winter the royals were forced to give up the province. More than 14,000 lost their lives in Brittany that winter.


    The Battle of Artois, 1562


    The Battle of Finistere, 1562


    Despite the horrific losses, the Royals came out on top the following spring. The pride of the British army, they had discipline and training that the rebels could not match, and their sheer numbers doomed the Tudor coup from the beginning. George of Tudor himself made a last stand in Moribhan, where a royal victory in August ended the threat and resulted in his public execution several weeks later. This public defeat broke the spirits of the rebels in England and several weeks later Catholic rebels lost key battles in the Western Isles and Ayrshire; in December that year the Catholics began to break and several armies disintegrated as soldiers threw down armor and fled for home. Catholic support remained high in Scotland and the rebels rose up again there that winter, but as Parliament reopened with promises of real negotiation, the realm began to take a breath and hope for a peaceful Christmas.

    The Armada


    It was not to be. Realizing that the Protestants had somehow pulled victory out of the fire, Catholic Aragon and its alliance stepped up their attacks, amassing a massive armada to invade the kingdom. Between them and London only a few thousand exhausted British regulars remained - and the last of the British navy which had been forced to sit out most of the war by the superior enemy forces. In desperation the royal navy launched once more to prevent the invasion, and on July 1st-2nd the Battle of Moray Firth was fought. The battle began in the evening as the sun was setting, with the British forces using the setting sun to cover their attack on an Aragonese fleet. As the night came on, the battle continued as the British commander pressed the only advantages he had and attacked the nearby Portuguese. By morning, the Iberian armada had been scattered, with 10 Aragonese and 6 Portuguese ships sunk to only 5 British ships of the line lost. It was a stunning victory - yet a costly one. Britain could scarcely afford any more 'victories' like Moray Firth.


    The battle of Moray Firth was actually two separate battles fought nearly simultaneously


    Unlike Britain, the war had been bloodless - even enriching - for the Aragonese until then, and it was not long before a second armada of 16 warships approached England, and the bedraggled royal navy once again sailed into battle. Meeting at midday on a clear day, the two sides met in the channel. This time, no British commander could wring even a pyrrhic victory from the waves; England's pride was sunk and its navy in tatters. There was nothing standing in the way of an invasion now except a few thousand exhausted royal troops, and thousands of Catholics were ready to cheer the Iberians on should they come to restore the church of England to the true church of Rome.


    British naval power was destroyed by the Armada


    The king desperately sought peace and last-minute negotiations began to stave off an actual invasion. Negotiations lasted for months, but finally the treaty of Barcelona was signed in 1564. Aragon was paid in full for its losses in the Moray Firth, both in gold and with several British colonies in the New World. From the height of its power, Britain had been humbled.

    George was forced to recall Parliament to gain the funds, but according to the treaty used the formula of 1531 to summon the estates (in which the Catholics held the upper hand by a single vote). This "Counter-Reformation Parliament", which lasted for more than two years, passed law after law protecting Catholics and returning their property despite the repeated vetoes of the king. This did much to calm the revolutionary tone of the Kingdoms, but did little to enhance support of the king himself. Meanwhile, both camps had had time to renew their energies; the royal armies were nearly back to full strength and new ships had been launched, while the Catholics were walking openly around with swords.

    By 1566 the king had been so vile and venemous towards Parliament that there was open talk of a constitution being forced through - or the king beheaded, should the radicals gain power. When the king heard of this traitorous talk, he burst into Parliament and gave a venemous speech that nearly caused Parliament to riot - and which caused the aged monarch to suffer a heart attack. As he lay dying on the floor of Parliament, George III uttered his final words: What I did, I did in God's name; let none judge me but Him.

    The death of the king drained much of the tension from the country, and helped stabilize it from where it lay perched on the brink of renewed war. It was hardly the legacy that George had wanted to leave his country, but it was in some ways a fitting end to Bloody George.

    His passing was mourned by few.

    The United Kingdoms at a Glance in 1566


    Treasury: 115 million ducats
    Estimated GDP: 1304.4 million ducats
    Standing Army: 49,000 Maurician infantry and 15,000 knights
    Reserves: 5,000
    Royal Navy: 13 caravels and 5 flytes
    Prestige: 1st highest (94.5)
    Reputation: Honorable (0/23)
    Last edited by dharper; 23-10-2007 at 06:45.
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  7. #147
    Compulsive CommentatAAR stnylan's Avatar
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    That was certainly bloody enough. That was a truly nasty set of events and occurences. Will his heir do any better?
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  8. #148
    The Ferret isca's Avatar
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    Wonderful, wonderful stuff. The king dying on the floor of Parliament! That's a great image. I imagine it as Sir Ian Richardson. He'd do it well.

    My mother calls my Lancastrian grandfather 'Bloody George' and they never even met!

    You don't suppose I'm royalty?

    It's amazing how, when you play in Europe, the game is SO correctly dominated by Reformation and Empire. It's a real tribute to you and Lama.
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  9. #149
    Field Marshal Vann the Red's Avatar
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    Smashing! You make me both interested in and afraid of MM at the same time.

    Vann

  10. #150
    The Father of AARland Lord Durham's Avatar
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    Great stuff. The account of the civil war was a gripping read.
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  11. #151
    Dei Gratia author dharper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stnylan
    That was certainly bloody enough. That was a truly nasty set of events and occurences. Will his heir do any better?
    Wait and see!

    ...Luckily, you shouldn't have to wait long. Things are going to get quite busy for me very soon, so I want to tie up loose ends now, which means finishing the AAR at a hectic pace.

    Quote Originally Posted by isca
    You don't suppose I'm royalty?
    You could very well be! All hail Isca, King of the ferrets!
    Quote Originally Posted by isca
    It's amazing how, when you play in Europe, the game is SO correctly dominated by Reformation and Empire. It's a real tribute to you and Lama.
    Thank you; this is an old game, though, and both areas have been refined a lot since then - so I didn't quite get the full experience you're used to. Some of it I had to interpret, like the French preoccupation in Germany. The issue of Valciennes did come up, but it was a vanilla event: I had the choice of either leaving the empire or getting a relations bonus with France, and given how badly I wanted to avoid a third front, it was an easy decision to make, and that relations boost may well have saved my bacon!

    Quote Originally Posted by Vann the Red
    Smashing! You make me both interested in and afraid of MM at the same time.
    It's not quite as bad as all this if you know what you're doing...for example, realizing that negative stability will kill you. But I highly recommend it to people who like events and interaction in their game more than a simple wargame.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Durham
    Great stuff. The account of the civil war was a gripping read.
    Thank you! Here I was thinking it wasn't my best work. Only two chapters left to go...I'll see if I can't get one done this afternoon.
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  12. #152
    GunslingAAR coz1's Avatar
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    Well, I doubt the old boy could have hung on too much longer anyway so a fitting end to George III. I said bloody...I still had little clue just how bloody. Nicely done, yet again.
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  13. #153
    Lt. General merrick's Avatar
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    That was a civil war, all right. None of your minor revolts that get put down by the numbers.
    If that "In-Laws" is a standard Magna Mundi event I'm not so sure I want try MM. 78,000 rebels?!
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  14. #154
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    Who's next in line to inherit this fiasco?
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  15. #155
    Dei Gratia author dharper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coz1
    Well, I doubt the old boy could have hung on too much longer anyway so a fitting end to George III. I said bloody...I still had little clue just how bloody. Nicely done, yet again.
    Thank you; it's always interesting to try and fit each monarch and their stats into the histories, but some are easier than others!
    Quote Originally Posted by merrick
    That was a civil war, all right. None of your minor revolts that get put down by the numbers.
    If that "In-Laws" is a standard Magna Mundi event I'm not so sure I want try MM. 78,000 rebels?!
    Civil wars in Magna Mundi are tough, but they're not that common. I've been very unlucky in this game - yet I've still come out on top. Think of it as a challenge!
    Quote Originally Posted by Fulcrumvale
    Who's next in line to inherit this fiasco?
    The king's son...also named George. Was he the British Elvis or something? I've had four in a row!
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  16. #156
    Dei Gratia author dharper's Avatar
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    XI. Frontier and Empire

    The Parliament of 1566


    The Counter-Reformation Parliament had briefly opposed allowing the House of Lancaster to succeed to the throne, but the death of George III in 1566 removed the greatest threat and the movement subsided somewhat. The danger was still very real, however: the Catholics knew that their power hung by a thread; the Parliament could not continue indefinitely, and although they had proven their power in the civil war, Catholics were a minority in Britain by 1566. Once Parliament was adjourned they would lose their influence and invite reprisals against them, and it is for this reason that the Parliament never actually banned the Church of England or attempted to return the nation to communion with Rome. However, the future of the nation was still in doubt: could the new king be trusted not to repeat the pogroms of his father? The matter was only made worse by the fact that Bloody George had left two sons, George and Frederick. Any plans of supporting the two against each other was scotched when Frederick announced he had no plans to seek the throne, leaving only George.

    The eldest son of George III was a middle-aged man, a firm Protestant but also a believer in the law of the land. He realized immediately the threat that the Counter-Reformation Parliament posed to Britain and as soon as he heard of the death of his father, hurried to give a speech to Parliament to prove his good intentions. The speech was so powerful that it overcame the reservations on both sides and after only a brief debate Parliament voted nearly unanimously to recognize George IV as the High King of the United Kingdoms - and then to adjourn immediately thereafter. The Parliamentary crisis was over, and Britain toasted their new monarch.


    George IV was in many ways the monarch that the shaken Britain needed


    Typical for the charismatic leader, George seized upon the idea of the New World as a way to unite the divided kingdoms behind him and encouraged his subjects to Quest for the New World.

    Given all the calumnities that shook Britain in the 16th century, it is easy to forget that in that same time she had grown into one of the most powerful nations in Europe, on a par with France, Muscovy or Portugal, certainly more powerful than the smaller German and Italian powers of Hamburg, Bohemia, Austria, Genoa and Venice. Only Castille and its American possessions eclipsed Britain; the great wealth of Mexico and the Andes made them into the superpower of Europe and the Catholic champion. To the east, the Ottoman Empire was undoubtedly stronger than the Kingdoms as well, but had different spheres of interest. Other than these great powers, there were few states in Europe that could boast half the power of Great Britain or France.

    Terra Incognita


    The Carolingian wars of British unification had turned England into Great Britain, nearly doubling the size of the kingdom and removing all of its natural enemies save the French. The collapse of Burgundy, which no one could have predicted at the beginning of the Reformation, removed that rival from the continent and gave the French another natural frontier to expand into, allowing the British to explore the Atlantic ocean and colonize the coast of North America. Indeed, had it not been for the religious turmoil that gripped the Kingdoms for twenty years, Britain might have realized its ambitions that much sooner. Instead, the wars drained the Kingdoms of much of a generation of young men and sent the realm into chaos. It is no surprise, then, that many subjects chose to leave Great Britain in this era to seek a new life in the colonies, and soon New England would gain an important role in the history of the British Isles.

    In the 1560s a new crown colony was founded, the trading posts of Procter's Bay in modern-day Canada. Isaac Procter set out to chart not only the Gulf of Mexico, but also the frozen north, in hopes of discovering a Northwest Passage to India. His second expedition to the north brought back promising results, but Procter's third voyage was lost at sea. More than a century would pass before explorers would discover his flagship frozen solid amidst the ice. The area that he discovered would eventually turn a handsome profit for the Northwest Company, but in the meantime it proved to be a drain on the crown's resources - nearly impossible to patrol, savaged by native and French raiders and constantly needing aid.


    Procter's Bay


    On land exploration was more successful and at the same time more upsetting. Octavius Gloucester received a commission from the crown to travel to the lands beyond the Appalachian mountains and sign treaties with the natives there. Over four expeditions Gloucester brought back maps and trade goods from dozens of tribes and helped reveal how vast the New World truly was. Although these revelations were stunning, however, they were also disappointing: Aztec gold had made Castille the superpower of Europe, and England had hoped to find gold of their own. Instead, they brought back mainly furs - quite valuable in their own way, but not nearly as encouraging. The expeditions were alarming in other ways; as Gloucester explored in the north, he soon ran into Indians who had had contact with Europeans before - and who were able to speak a rudimentary, crude creole French to the British. Soon it became apparent that the French had built a major trading post in Mahican, just a few dozen miles north of Nova Scotia! If that were not bad enough, some Indian tribes were outright hostile to the British, and in 1570 a skirmish began a war with the Muskogee, Shawnee and Creek.

    At first the natives outnumbered the few British troops in the colonies, attacking British forts throughout the Eastern Woodlands. Although they were fierce, however, they found it difficult to travel far enough to threaten actual British colonies, although several trading posts and wilderness forts changed hands repeatedly over the next three years. Slowly but surely European weaponry and supply won against the undisciplined warriors as Sir Ernest Augustus Hood's strategy of 'divide and conquer' forced one tribe after another to negotiate with the British. In 1571 the Creek surrendered; late that year the Muskogee did as well, and by 1573 the Shawnee finally gave up their arms.

    Realizing that the threat to the colonies would continue as long as the natives remained, the British forced humiliating treaties upon the Indians. By the time the dust was settled, Great Britain had doubled the size of its North American possessions. The news was celebrated in Britain with more than the usual patriotism: many had begun to see the New World as a haven, not just a colony.


    British possessions in North America were greatly expanded by the war

    The Catholic Question


    George IV had vowed to allow Catholics to practice their faith, and he kept his word. Catholics were given the same rights as Protestants, allowed back in government and the army, and even given some limited state support, although church property was not restored as many had hoped. Nevertheless, the two faiths found it hard to live together. Tensions between the rival denominations continued to simmer below the surface, and although there was no legal persecution there could be other problems for papists in Britain. Trapped between Rome and London, Catholic priests found it impossible to please both and many went underground. The state continued to provide financial support for its state church, but did not do so for the Catholics. Gradually, Catholics discovered that they were no longer welcome among British Protestants - even in Brittany or Flanders, where newly arrived English 'carpetbaggers' expected to find English laws, English customs and the Protestant faith in addition to an opportunity to serve in government. There was never a single event that caused Catholics to feel unwelcome, but over the course of years some decided to seek a better life overseas. This was especially the case in Scotland, where Catholic Scots migrated en masse to Nova Scotia, but there were further emigrations to the colonies from Brittany and England. Some of these settlements retained their Catholic roots throughout the ages, while others were absorbed into the burgeonining colonies - for they were not the only refugees hoping for a new life there.


    Emigration to the colonies was often religious in nature after 1564


    This wave of religious emigration sparked an era called the Great Awakening in the colonies, a time of spiritual thinking and religious revival there. Some colonists believed the New World to have been the actual site of the Garden of Eden, with the natives a kind of savage innocents who could be saved and converted. Preachers such as George William Amherst began, with state support, to convert the Indian tribes who had surrendered to Britain and were taking up European customs. Such practices were common in North America, but none there enjoyed the success of Castille in South America; the natives were never integrated into colonial life and remained resistant to British culture. Eventually, plague and forced migration left most of New England to the settlers. Others sought to convert the Catholics, especially new immigrants. The Great Awakening was felt almost exclusively in the colonies, where it contributed to a yearning for freedom that would play a greater role in the American Revolution. In the meantime, it also helped unite Catholics and Protestants in the colonies; it was ironic that one of the strongest supporters of the crown was in Catholic Santee.


    By 1575 the crown was beginning to appreciate the value of the New World

    The French and Indian War


    The presence of the French so close to New England was a source of great friction between the two colonies. The British felt that the French were turning the Indians of the region against them - especially the powerful Huron confederacy, which had defeated its rivals the Iroquois with their help. For their part the French saw the British trading posts in Procter's Bay as an infringement on their lands, disrupting their own fur trade and cutting off their natural expansion route. Although New France continued to grow, it would inevitably come into conflict with New England - or simply fade into insignificance as it was surrounded by English colonies. The French response to the northern trading posts was to build their own in the south, in Mahican.

    It was this relatively insignificant part of modern-day Maine (the state gets its name from these early traders who came from northwestern France) which was to cause war between the two. The British claimed the region as theirs; the French claimed it was only fair - and tensions continued to mount. Things only got worse when King George sent troops into Nova Scotia, worried that the nearby French Catholics would somehow cause the Scottish Catholics of Manhattan to revolt against him. The effect was to result in a border conflict in which both sides claimed the same territory.

    For a while it seemed that war was inevitable, but the French blinked first. As emperor, the king of France had continued to meddle in the affairs of the empire and after his death the electors chose a new, German emperor to rule them. The irked French launched an entirely new series of wars on the Continent, refusing to give up their influence there, and these wars were draining them dry. Despite this welcome news, the British were far from confident about victory should the two come to blows. The 35,000 troops that had been stationed along the border with France since the days of Charles II had always been matched by an equal number of Frenchmen - even in the midst of their worst struggles in Germany. King George preferred the pen to the sword and decided that peace was the better option. To be on the safe side, however, he appointed an illusive shadow as his spymaster and sent spies to ensure the French war effort was crippled. Combined with imperial sanctions, the French were having a tough time of things, and the British were confident they could expand in North America unopposed.

    It was then that the Duke of Brittany, a descendant of the same Francois who yielded his crown to Charles II, swore the eternal loyalty of his people if only the king would take the fight to their ancient enemies. Realizing the chance to finally unify the kingdoms in Europe, George agreed to the bargain and declared war on France in July of 1579.

    From Brittany and Flanders, four armies coordinated an attack on northern France, striking east into Maine and Normandy and west to Paris. This bold move allowed the French the chance to invade Brittany and Flanders, but the king believed it held the best chance for success. If Paris could be taken "in one bold, swift stroke" (as he is famously quoted as saying), then the war could be won. If, however, the French could hold onto it - as they had in the previous wars with them - then the war would be lost before it had begun. At the same time, the colonial militia launched a lightning invasion of New France with hopes of overwhelming the few French forces stationed there. George believed that should the war in Europe fail, seizing New France would give the British enough room to negotiate peace.

    Although he filled his troops with pride, George himself was by no means confident of success. The British had the advantage of reinforcements, since the French were exhausted from their wars and no longer had the resources of the empire at their beck and call. But at the same time, the constant wars had given the French a crop of seasoned generals which the British could not match. The British could call upon their Dutch vassals for aid; the French could call on their German vassals against them. The British navy was supreme in the Americas; the French navy was stronger in Europe.

    In New France, all went according to plan. The French defenders fought bravely but were outnumbered and surrendered, leaving the far-flung colonies undefended. The British general in charge took the gamble of splitting his forces to cover the whole colony - but the British had severely underestimated the breadth of New France, and they were unable to occupy the whole region. By the summer of 1580 the outcome was certain: New France would fall. Only the stubbornness of its habitants and the small size of the British occupying forces allowed them to continue fighting. Two key victories at sea reduced the French navy to a minor role outside Europe and isolated the only professional troops the French had in their island fortresses.


    French forces in New France were unprepared for war and the colonies were pacified quickly


    In Europe the war was far less one-sided. The French troops stationed along the border were well-trained, disciplined troops who reacted quickly to the invasion. The French claimed first blood as they invaded Brittany, while the British claimed it for winning the battle of Armor and forcing the French to quit the province. The first battles on French soil took place in Normandie and Paris in September 1579. The battles were hard-fought by both sides, but eventually the invaders proved superior and the French lines broke. These early victories were followed by defeat as Bernard de Vergennes led a French counter-offensive into Maine. The British general, Lord Buckingham, was forced to quit the siege after inflicting heavy casualties on the French. Throughout the winter the armies on both sides continued to wheel and circle each other as the British laid siege to Paris and the French continued to try and relieve it.

    The channel once again became the focus of the war at sea, but there the British had badly underestimated the French forces. Admiral Gloucester was forced to pull back to harbor after inflicting losses on the French when his counterpart assembled a fleet of 29 ships of the line. George had counted on a defeat at sea, however; the British retained 15,000 troops in the home isles and threw their resources into the fighting on the Continent instead, hiring any and all mercenaries from Europe to join the cause. It was then that the true British strength became apparent: the French could not afford to outbid the British for their services. Although it ruined the crown and caused rampant inflation at home, the British were able to prevent a defeat in Brittany in late 1579.

    When Caux fell to besiegers in January it was a tremendous boost to British morale. The following month British forces won two key victories: in Picardie, helping to secure British Flanders, and in Armor, where nearly a thousand French troops surrendered, ending the threat to Brittany. This allowed the British to launch a second offensive in the spring of 1580. Although it had limited success, it prevented the French from counterattacking and that June fantastic news arrived in London: Paris had been taken.


    When Paris was taken in 1580 it was the first time British soldiers set foot there since the days of Henry VI


    The loss of their capital left the French forces in disarray and the French economy in even worse shape than before. Within months the British had taken Normandie and attacked south as far as Angers. French forces continued to harass the British in the north, such as in Artois where an 11th-hour victory was won by the British when in November 1580 Warwick's army relieved the siege of the town. But belying the aggressiveness of the French was a desperate exhaustion: the British were reaching the end of their reserves, but the French had long since reached theirs. The British were hiring mercenaries, but the French were nearly bankrupt. Gradually the British pushed south, and the French gradually fell back. As 1581 began, rebellions broke out in central France as the crown called up able-bodied men for the wars.


    Beginning in 1581 the British were able to advance rapidly southwards


    Hoping to wrest victory from defeat in the New World, the French commander in New France launched a desperate plan to ferry over the troops stationed in the islands. Against all odds (and the British navy) the plan succeeded, and for several months the French army fought bravely against smaller British forces. The British were forced to relieve the occupation of much of New France to push back the French and then defeat them entirely, but it made little difference to the outcome: New France would fall without aid from France - and France itself was falling. In the channel, the British fleet suffered a terrible loss against the French, who began blockading the whole island chain. Worse, the French convinced several native tribes to join the war and the British occupation forces in New France were forced to return to fight a new foe: the Powhatan, Creek and especially the powerful Huron. Outnumbered and terrified of a total defeat, the British governor struck a demeaning treaty with the natives, giving up hundreds of miles of territory in the west - but allowing the British to continue to concentrate on the real prize: France.

    It was in the middle of the war when George IV died peacefully in his sleep. Although he was old enough to have been a father several times over, George had never married nor sired any bastards of note. Some historians have speculated that the king was gay; others, that he had a phobia of women. Regardless of the circumstances, he left no heirs, and the throne passed to his younger brother Frederick, who very reluctantly assumed the throne in June 1581. Dashing hopes for peace, Frederick II once again claimed the throne of France, although he was unable to be crowned in Paris due to French control of the channel.


    The king's brother reluctantly took the throne in 1581


    By 1582 the outcome was certain. Britain continued to hire mercenaries to replace their losses and push south, and the French continued to fall back. The last major battle of the war took place in January 1582, when de Vigny surrendered his army to Lord Buckingham at Orleans, leaving the north entirely in British hands. Realizing the war was lost, the French began negotiations, and the following year the treaty of St. Malo was signed. The British had hoped for total victory, but it was apparent that continued war would exhaust both sides - and any victory that saw Frederick installed on the throne of France would cause a new crusade against the United Kingdoms. Castille did not suffer any rivals, and Britain had been growing too quickly. Instead, the peace of 1583 simply returned Normandy to the British crown for the first time since the reign of Henry VI - a stunning reversal for the mighty France.


    After 133 years Normandy returned to the British crown


    It was a peace that satisfied neither Britain nor France. Even as the peace was proclaimed throughout Europe, both powers began to prepare for war once more.

    The United Kingdoms at a Glance in 1583


    Treasury: 379 million ducats
    Estimated GDP: 1762.8 million ducats
    Standing Army: 47,000 Maurician infantry and 16,000 knights
    Reserves: None
    Royal Navy: 10 caravels and 5 flytes
    Prestige: 1st highest (99.7)
    Reputation: Very Bad (15.48/22)
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  17. #157
    Dei Gratia author dharper's Avatar
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    I was just re-reading my own post to check for mistakes when I found one that I can't easily fix - I failed to get a screenshot.

    All at once in 1578 or 79 I got four pop-ups telling me that the provinces of Brittany had become my cores. Knowing I could raise troops there - or demand them back later if I lost them - helped me decide to go to war.
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  18. #158
    Compulsive CommentatAAR stnylan's Avatar
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    Ahh, perhaps one day the two crowns can be reunited as they were always meant to be!
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  19. #159
    Colonel BBBD316's Avatar
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    Did you manage to steal any of New France?

  20. #160
    Pantomacatalasecesionanis ta

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    The revenge from the Hundred Years War is near...
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