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Thread: Two Sicilies, AA Realm between past and future

  1. #1
    Ammiratus ammiratorum Hastu Neon's Avatar
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    Two Sicilies, AA Realm between past and future

    Dear readers,

    after a long pause I am pleased to welcome you to the second chapter of:

    The Apulian Persons Project
    Alias "Trilogia Apuliae"

    This project was intended to develop 3 AARs playing respectively EU2, Victoria and CK with countries stretching around Apulia - my homeland. You might want to read back the first section of the project simply clicking the link on my sig. That was a 1492-1820 chronicle of the fictional Duchy (then Kingdom) of Apulia. Now I'm going to play Kingdom of Two Sicilies during a VIP 0.45 (normal/normal) Grand Campaign. Hope you'll enjoy... and let's move on! (Please, be only patient with my slow-progressing playing and writing style, I hope to posts at least 1-2 updates per week, depending on RL events).

    Yours, HN

    - - - - -

    Project status

    AAR progressed to: December 1920


    Two Sicilies, 1836


    Italy, 1852


    Italy and colonies, 1870


    Italy and colonies, 1887 (satellites: blue, colonial buildings: red squares)


    Italy and colonies, 1897 (satellites: blue, colonial buildings: red squares)


    Italy and colonies, 1908 (satellites: blue, colonial buildings: red squares)


    Italy and colonies, 1920 (satellites: blue, colonial buildings: red squares)

    - - - - -

    Statesmen

    Forms of Government and Heads of State

    1836 ******************************************* 1920

    Kingdom of Two Sicilies: Ferdinand II (1830-48)
    Republic of Two Sicilies: Vacant (1848-52)
    Federal Republic of Italy: Septemvirate/provisional (1852), Giuseppe Mazzini (1853-62), Carlo Poerio (1862-67 [Dies]), Gabrio Casati (1867-1871), Aurelio Saffi (1872-1881), Agostino Depretis (1881-86 [Killed]), Luigi Pianciani (1886-95 [first President moving from Naples to Rome]), Giuseppe Saracco (1895-1905), Ernesto Nathan (1905-14), Giovanni Giolitti (1914-20).

    Ruling parties and Prime Ministers

    1836 ******************************************* 1920

    Ristorazionista (Reactionary): Vacant (1830-39), Giuseppe Pisanelli (1839-47)
    Reformisti (Liberal): Nicola Maresca (1847-48), Carlo Troya (1848-52)
    Sinistra Costituzionale (Liberal/progressive): Carlo Troya (1853-57)
    Destra Consorterista (Liberal/moderate): Camillo Benso (1857-61 [Dies]), Marco Minghetti (1861-62)
    Sinistra Costituzionale (Liberal/progressive): Urbano Rattazzi (1862-63), Agostino Depretis (1863-67), Urbano Rattazzi (1867-71), Agostino Depretis (1872-78), Benedetto Cairoli (1878), Benedetto Cairoli-Bis (1879-81), Francesco Crispi (1881-85), Giuseppe Zanardelli (1885-86).
    Partito Radicale (Liberal/radical): Felice Cavallotti (1886-95).
    Sinistra Costituzionale (Liberal/progressive): Giovanni Giolitti (1895-96), Giuseppe Zanardelli (1896-1900).
    Partito Radicale (Liberal/radical): Ernesto Nathan (1900-1905), Francesco Saverio Nitti (1905-1920).

    - - - - -

    Short (links not exhaustive of all the posts, I mean) chronology of events


    1836: Crown heir Francis is born in Naples to King Ferdinand II.

    1838: Composer Gaetano Donizetti leaves the San Carlo Opera House with a "cash hole".

    Early 1840s: Public works and development measures sustains a broad industrial take-off. First railways inaugurated in 1846.

    1846: Luigi Settembrini publishes a pamphlet against Ferdinand II's cabinet reactionary attitudes (August). Suppressed revolts in Reggio and Messina (September).

    1847: Palermo revolts on 22th June; urged by public demonstrations, Ferdinand II grants a Constitution and appoints a new Liberal government; war against Austria declared on 29th June. It will last almost 5 years ...

    1848: Constitutional crisis and proclamation of the Republic (March), Ferdinand is taken into custody. The Austrians bloodly halt at Postoja the Neapolitan fast advance in enemy territory (May).

    1851-52: After the retreat from Austrian territories and the ensuing glorious defence of Bergamo (October 1851), peace negotiations finally result in the Armistice of Trento (27th February 1852). War is over, Italian victory! On 21st June 1852, the Plebiscite sanctions the birth of the Federal Republic of Italy. The first Parliament assembles in Naples on 30th December 1852.

    1853-55: The "Useless War" provoked by Austria ends without territorial gains (Treaty of Zurich).

    1856: In September Camillo Benso (Finance Minister) launches a massive program for infrastructure development. By 1860, an Italian can travel by train from Turin to Palermo.

    1857: The "connubio" Benso-Crispi allows the Destra Consorterista to overcome Carlo Troya's Left as ruling party. Benso inaugurates his four-years-long brilliant cabinet. In foreign policy, alliance deals with Greece (July 1857) and France (Pact of Plombières, December 1859) are closed.

    1861: Camillo Benso dies of stress-related illness after an intense period of infrastructural and industrial development. Marco Minghetti inaugurates his single-year cabinet.

    1862: The leftist Sinistra Costituzionale wins 1862 elections but its leading figures Rattazzi and Depretis form unstable cabinets.

    1866: Easy conquest of Tunisia (January-May). In April the Third Independence War (Italy, France and Prussia against Austria, Bavaria and other German minors - initially) begins with sound Italian victories before that a stalemate occurs in Autumn.

    1867: After the sound advance in Dalmatia and the glorious naval victory at Lissa, Depretis receives a strong endorsement by electors.

    1870: Smashed during the 1869 summer offensive, the Austro-Hungarians finally accept the conditions fixed in the Armistice of Praha (cessation of South Tyrol, Istria and Zadar).

    1876-79: Intense demographic growth and unemployment provoke farmers riots in Central-Southern Italy and political instability; a massive emigration from rural areas into cities and towards the Americas begins in these years, but also public spending increases to sustain growth and employment.

    1880: Contrasts with France in North Africa put an end to the old Paris-Naples friendship and cause an Anglo-Italian alignment.

    1882-85: Golden age of Italian colonialism with settlements in the Horn of Africa and Sahara region. The Egyptian campaign (June 1882-January 1883) ends with the establishment of an Italian protectorate over the Khedive's lands. The acquisitions of eastern Arabia and Massaua follow in 1884-85.

    1886: Cavallotti's Partito Radicale wins elections and forms a government with progressive liberals. In August President Depretis is assassinated by anarchic Cirillo in Viterbo.

    1887: Rome is annexed and becomes the capital of the Republic of Italy.

    1888: Zanardelli's act on non-profit organisations liberalises every kind of workers' trade unions.

    1889: The Treaty of Wichale establishes an Italian protectorate over Menelik II's Abyssinian Empire. Big naval developments under Minister Benedetto Brin.

    Early 1890s: Cavallotti's second term promotes a full extension of political rights and a national programme for public works and industrial growth under the brilliant tenure of Finance Minister Giovanni Giolitti.

    1895: Giolitti's first liberal/radical cabinet has immediately to face a conflict with Abyssinia.

    1896: The Massaua black funds scandal provokes the fall of Giolitti and early elections. PM Zanardelli signs with Menelik II the Treaty of Addis Ababa, which brings significant territorial additions for Italy.

    1897-98: Conquest of Northern Arabian peninsula from Ha'il and new alliance pact with France. Italy joins Russia, Serbia and Greece in the victorious Balkan War against Austria-Hungary.

    1899: With Russian and Serbian consent, Italy annexes Georgia and Montenegro. Further territorial additions come from the brief conflict with Greece and Crete.

    1900: Ernesto Nathan's radicals come back into power in a period of social reconciliation and cultural and economic development.

    Early 1900s: Italy subjugates Abyssinia and Ha'il. Colonial expansion reaches also Hoggar (1901) and Somaliland (1906).

    1905: PM Nitti launches an important military reinforcement program. Italian military expenditions in Atjeh (1908) and Brunei (1909).

    1909: Italy enters the battleship era, participating in the naval race. Nitti's domestic policies focus on modernisation and socioeconomic reforms.

    1911: Russia declares war upon Italy for Georgia on 24th June. The ensuing half year records some initial Italian successes, mostly naval.

    1912-14: Greece joins the Russian side but is easily conquered and made an Italian satellite when General Armani enters Athens (19th January 1913). In the meantime, operations against Russia drag out without significant improvements for months, spent in costly trench warfare.

    1915: After the Agreement of Bellinzona, which resolves a Franco-German crisis, France intervenes in favour of Italy against Russia (August). The Treaty of Stockholm (November) sanctions the return to status quo.

    1916: A final settlement with France gives the city of Tunis to Italy.

    1918-19: Great War (Ottoman Empire, Prussia and Italy vs. Russia, Austria-Hungary and Serbia) brings devastation to Europe, and Russia in particular; no territorial gains for Italy.

    1920: In a more and more complex domestic and international scenario, Mussolini's Fasci di Combattimento gather consensus among reactionaries willing to obstacle, also anti-democratically, the progressive policies of Nitti's Partito Radicale.
    Last edited by Hastu Neon; 26-03-2008 at 09:56.
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  2. #2
    Ammiratus ammiratorum Hastu Neon's Avatar
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    Prologue: a long time ago there was a kingdom …


    … or, rather, there was "The" Kingdom?

    At the dawn of a new millennium, when men coming from the North unified the lands enclosed by three seas, from Naples to the extreme limits of the Italic peninsula, the rest of Europe was a hodgepodge of fiefs, duchies and bishoprics. With no authorities capable to stop the atomisation of feudal ages, it seemed quite obvious to contemporaries to identify a compact political body – able to reunite those provinces previously disputed by Carthaginians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Lombards, and Arabs – merely as The Kingdom ...

    From that Christian stronghold in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, brave knights departed for the very first Crusade, the liberation of Sicily from Arab domination, and for the following campaigns in the Holy Land ...

    Then came Frederick II Hohenstaufen, with his court of Latin, Greek, Hebrew and Arab artists and scientists, a promising composition of fertile country estates, thriving towns of artisans and mercantile seaside cities ...

    Only the man seated on the Holy See could challenge him, fostering the coming to the peninsula of foreign dynasties as the Angevines and the Aragoneses to initially fight him and consequently each other for the control over the realm ...

    When the French and the Spaniards appeared on the stage to collect the legacy of those two Houses, a land exhausted by centuries of conflicts surrendered to the latter, until in 1504 Ferdinand the Catholic merged the crown of the Kingdom with the Spanish one. Thus the country became merely one, not even among the most remarkable, of the provinces of Charles V’s Empire ...

    Since then, two centuries of oppressive and draining viceroyalty impoverished even more overtaxed masses of farmers and promoted the adoption of the parasitical lifestyle of the Spanish court. Thus, whereas Europe was flourishing in all fields, from manufacturing to arts and science, Southern Italy witnessed the slow economic and cultural decadence of the country formerly known simply as The Kingdom ...


    Hall's map of Southern Italy, 1839
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  3. #3
    Electronically Handcrafted Quintilian's Avatar

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    Nice introduction. Though I haven’t read your previous work (I’ll look back upon it soon), I’m interested in seeing where this goes. Your prologue is pleasantly foreboding…
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    Perpetually Confused likk9922's Avatar
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    Well done, I second Quintilian's comment. I really want to see what's going to happen.
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  5. #5
    Ammiratus ammiratorum Hastu Neon's Avatar
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    Prologue (cont'd): the Bourbon dynasty and the revolutionary interlude



    Flag of the Kingdom of Two Sicilies


    When the Spanish domination ended in the early stage of the Enlightenment among the turmoil of the Succession Wars, the Bourbon house managed to secure the crowns of the newly independent kingdoms of Naples and Sicily (officially merged only in 1816) as a corollary of the diplomatic schemes of the Great Powers.

    Charles - founder of the new dynasty - and his son Ferdinand I ruled until the outbreak of the French Revolution, not without some acumen, like many other contemporary enlightened despots. The kingdom witnessed some reforms, a general improvement of army and navy and a basic development of industry. After sticking for a while to an alliance with France and Spain, both led by Bourbon lineages, the marriage between Ferdinand and the resolute Maria Carolina, one of Empress Maria Theresa’s daughters, caused a swift alignment to Austrian - and to some extent British - sphere of influence. Obviously, such occurrence secured to the country the involvement in the Napoleonic Wars.

    French armies brought new ideals to fight for, whereas Neapolitan soldiers were merely fighting for status quo. The seeds of revolution blossomed in 1799. Those seeds grew into shiny but ephemeral flowers of liberty all through the towns of the country until the declaration of the first Neapolitan Republic. Unfortunately, it did not survive the attacks of reactionary forces supported by Admiral Nelson’s fleet. Again, Napoleon reoccupied the kingdom in 1806, but at that time the mainland was reduced to a puppet state in the hands of Napoleon’s brother-in-law Murat, whereas Sicily remained under Ferdinand I as a sort of British protectorate.

    When Napoleon’s adventure ended up at St. Helena, restoration got the prominence again and all the constitutional prerogatives sanctioned during the revolutionary interlude were abolished, giving back the kingdom to underdevelopment, foreign dependence and apathy of the masses. Yet few liberal minds were reorganising themselves in the darkness, sharing with their brothers in other areas of Italy the never extinguished vision of a unified, independent and democratic Italy. A coup prepared by few “Carbonari” soldiers achieved a written constitution in 1820, but the subsequent Austrian military intervention in favour of autocracy denied the people of the Two Sicilies their right to a modern state. Repression of civil liberties went together with the spreading of corruption and banditism in the countryside.

    Ferdinand I finally died in 1825 after 66 years of reign, and his two descendants Francis I and Ferdinand II found themselves atop of a contradictory nation. As contradictory has been their policy until now, year 1836, a patchy set of economic reforms and fiscal laxism, repression of political rights and paternalism, PAST AND FUTURE…

    - - - - -


    Quintilian, likk9922: thanks for your support. now that preludes are over, let's move on playing some years. Maybe I will post some pictures with situation and resources of the country at start.
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  6. #6
    Electronically Handcrafted Quintilian's Avatar

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    The term "enlightened despots" is the most contradictory statement I've read in awhile. Never the less, the nation's history seems to be (as you said) full of paradox and irony. I wonder if that trend will continue into the 1800s... I'm looking forward to the story!
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  7. #7
    Ammiratus ammiratorum Hastu Neon's Avatar
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    I suppose that's how some Austrian, Russian, Prussian, Italian rulers who opened up to some social and economic reforms without renouncing to the political absolutism were called at that time.

    Someone like Frederick the Great of Prussia, I mean...
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  8. #8
    Electronically Handcrafted Quintilian's Avatar

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    Ah! That makes perfect sense; I've just never thought of applying a term such as "enlightened despot" term to a monarch before... I imagine all of history's harsh rulers fancied themselves benevolent and enlightened in some manner.
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  9. #9
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    State of the country at start



    European scenario in 1836 (as if you never saw it! )

    According to the most recent census estimate, over 7.5 million people live in the rugged and hilly mainland – some plains are situated in the most fertile provinces of Apulia, facing the Adriatic Sea – and in Sicily. Their predominant sources of income are fishing and extensive farming, which mainly supply fruit, grain and wool. Despite the lack of natural resources, being the only relevant mining industry the extraction of sulphur carried out in Sicily, the country has known a recent basic industrialisation that allows some self-sufficiency from abroad. A winery is operating in Sicily, whereas two factories, located in the region of Naples, producing glass and ammunitions provide a fair basis for intermediate goods and military supplies.

    Yet the reverse of the medal holds some uncomfortable features: differently from the northern regions of Italy, almost 9 out of 10 people survive with their poor and hard jobs in the mines and the immense and inefficient estates of landowners. Small numbers of emergent classes of craftsmen and clerks live in the main towns but still represent a negligible minority in the country. Literacy is very low, only 35% of total population, and cultural and technological research progresses slowly. In a traditional monarchy where Catholic paradigm, popular conformism and aristocratic conservationism are so rooted, liberalism is still a risky state of mind shared by less then 5% of subjects, particularly among craftsmen and clerks.

    King Ferdinand II rules with an absolute authority and the Parliament has only a consultive function: without any social and political reforms, just public meetings are allowed among the subjects. Members of the reactionary faction and some overprotective Great Powers back the protectionist and pro-military policy of the King. Italian diplomacy is immobilised by the actions decided in Paris, London and Wien: in such scenario the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies shares defensive alliances with Papal States and the small Duchy of Lucca and, even more important, Austria, France and Spain.



    Apart from the personal guard led in Naples by the harsh General Filangieri, the King can rely on an army of two infantry divisions with artillery brigades attached (one of which, consisting of Swiss Guards, is an Austrian “gift” for the conservation of order in the kingdom) and a cavalry division, totalling an armed force of circa 28.000 men. A good quality navy counterbalances a not so relevant army: in Naples dockyard station five frigates, three clipper transports and one of the very first steamboats cruising in the Mediterranean, the commerce raider Ferdinando II with its corvettes attachment.





    In conclusion, the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies is a small-middle independent nation, starting with zero prestige, 31 industry points (which grant a good 19th position) and 7 military points (corresponding to the 18th level on the scale of warfare supremacy). Overall, it ranks 20th.

    - - - - -


    Objectives and house rules: I will try to role-play, avoiding unhistorical occurrences as sudden top-down democratisation in the ‘40s (unless forced by the liberal revolutions) or historically unjustified colonial rush, whereas trying to catch up in education rates and disregard crime-fighting (which wasn’t actually on the top of the King's political agenda).

    Oops, I forgot: the Italian unification will be treated pragmatically. If perceived as beneficial by the ruling class, it will be supported; otherwise, opposed as it was actually in real life. But if Italy needs to be, I would prefer to build it democratically defeating Austria during the 1848 Liberal Revolution with a league of Italian States rather than be annexed by Sardinia-Piedmont in 1860! This AAR would like also to be a sort of tribute to a country that has always been considered backward vs. Northern Italy but that I'm discovering was, on the verge of unification, ahead of other Italian States in many field, from heavy industry to arts and science. Sometimes in the body of the AAR I will insert reference to real facts that happened during the GC time span to give you some flavour of what actually was the actual situation.
    Last edited by Hastu Neon; 08-09-2007 at 21:26.
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    Perpetually Confused likk9922's Avatar
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    Alright, cool. Nice to see this starting up.

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    Carlist Spain, I believe.
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  12. #12
    Electronically Handcrafted Quintilian's Avatar

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    An interesting set-up... I admire your house rules; I don't believe I could keep myself to such goals.
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    Quote Originally Posted by likk9922
    Alright, cool. Nice to see this starting up.

    What's the maroon country in Spain?
    carlist spain


    btw, what mod are you using for the colors?
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    You've got me interested and subscribed!

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    Naples, 19th February 1837


    A young King Ferdinand II


    The last 12 months have been extremely intense for the King and his Ministers can clearly see the effect on his fatigued face. Only in January 1836 the beloved Queen Maria Cristina, his first wife, had born the heir to the throne Francis, but presumably a puerperal fever killed her fifteen days after the birth. After a proper mourning period, the King reached Trent to marry Archduchess Maria Teresa of Habsburg on 9th January 1837 (attention, please: real history! from here on, I will mark with [RH] facts really happening in those years. Also, characters described here are not fictional).

    A marriage which can clearly appease the two Ministers of the State seated around in the hall and waiting for the words of Ferdinand, the most reactionary members of the ruling class governing over the fate of the nation since 1831: Nicola Santangelo, the corrupt but somewhat dynamic Minister Secretary of the Interiors and Francesco Saverio Del Carretto, the cruel Minister Secretary of General Police (including the detested secret informers). For sure that wedding strengthens even more the relationship with Austria, the "policeman of Italy" able to crush the rebellions which spawned in the previous decades, like the one crushed in Naples in 1821: thousand of Swiss Guards stationing today in the fort of Messina are a vivid recall of the authority coming from Wien.

    Now the King is back from his honeymoon with Maria Teresa and would like to be updated on the internal situation. But Santangelo and Del Carretto are not alone at the board. Ferdinand II has also invited General Carlo Filangieri. The man, now in his fifties, is a sort of national glory of the national army. He fought during the Napoleonic Wars, served under Massena and subsequently Murat and was one of the leaders of the Constitutional uprising in 1820-21. After the harsh repression followed to the Austrian intervention, the was called back in charge by Ferdinand II to implement a reform of the Army according to the doctrine of Jomini, the French general who fought with him at Austerlitz. Actually, he got some positive results in catching up with other European countries, because – even if not employed in any warfronts – the confidence and morale of the military system is now far better than before. Loyal to the Bourbons but friendly with the Liberal movement, Carlo Filangieri represents the most dangerous political opponent of the Reactionary people given the friendship with the King, but he is for now an isolated figure at the Court.

    After the customary homages, the Minister of the Interiors opens the meeting reporting on the economic situation of the Kingdom. The documents distributed are self-explanatory:



    The country needs investments, because its economy does not compete with the most advanced European peers. Yet, fiscal revenues are not so negligible, with an average rate higher of 48%, proportionally charged to household income. Taxes represent roughly 78% of State revenues, whereas the balance comes from tariffs moderately charged on foreign trade.
    Over 40% of the national spending goes to defence (including the maintenance of the royal armies and fleets) for the satisfaction of General Filangieri and the King himself, who believes – rightfully – that a strong military force is the only way to preserve the independence from foreign powers.

    The second expense item is education – another 40% on average. Again, King Ferdinand II has been always clear with his Ministers on this subject: every child must be able to read, write and compute. The State has spent considerable amounts of money to build school and in those places where they were still not available pays priests to teach. University system has been upgraded as well: in the four royal universities (the glorious University of Naples founded by Emperor Frederick II in 1224, plus Catania, Messina and Palermo) thousands of students – 50% of the whole peninsular countries [RH] – are being educated to become one day the intellectual force of the nation. "Just to give an example" – Nicola Santangelo continues – "the first experiments on a practical steam engine, directed by the high school of Naples in cooperation with the royal manufacture of Pietrarsa, have been extremely successful. I would bet that if we meet in 12 months from now, from that collaboration will come out the first steam engine completely designed, built and manoeuvred by Italians!" [RH].

    The final expense item is import: poor of raw materials, the country needs iron and coal to operate its manufactories of ammunitions and glass. These imports represent roughly 15% of the spending, leaving a negligible profit that year after year goes in the Royal coffers.

    After the economic situation, it's time to speak about the military: Del Carretto and Filangieri agree on the necessity to extend to the fleet some of the reforms already applied to the Army. "Naval hero thesis" is the doctrine that applies, if we can say so, the Jominian principles to seafaring. And they also convene with the King that the search for the right Admiral able to modernise the Royal Navy should start as soon as possible. Land forces are instead relatively quiet in their fortresses and barracks, but two interesting plans come out for them by this meeting: first of all, everyone concurs that Two Sicilies cannot be defended only by 28.000 men of the professional army. Some kind of conscription, even if unpopular, might be required if bad things occurs. That's way King and Ministers decide to start ("without hurrying, from the coming summer" – says cosily the King) to amass canned food and small arms to develop a mobilisation pool of four potential divisions. On this matter, progress will be slow and only in August 1838 there will be enough resources to get the desired divisions pool. The second decision regards the fight of corruption. Here the situation is complex: the State has not money to spend on this item, and basically what has been agreed is to spread out the army out of the barracks in the areas interested by corruption: if not able to clear it, at least will keep the most nervous subjects calmed down!


    A map showing the deployment of army and the 4 national reserve divisions

    None of the attendees has anything to report on the diplomatic side, which has been particularly quiet in the recent past. Just few money has been spent in gifts some months before to try to get an alliance with the Bey of Tunis – supported by both France and United Kingdom against the Ottoman Empire – and attract him in the Two Sicilies' sphere of influence. But the effort has resulted in nothing and by November 1837 situation will recover to normality with a white peace signed between the contenders.

    The Ministers leave the meeting with the impression that the following months will be of prosaically ordinary administration. And they probably are not in fault…

    - - - - -


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    Quote Originally Posted by rhynoclemmis
    show them who's backward!
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    It is really great to see that you have started this second part of your project. I hope to be able to follow it as faithfully as I did the first.

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    Any plans to use that army?
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    Those imports may be expensive, but hopefully they will help you establish a thriving industry. That's what you will need later on, I think.
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