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Thread: Sins of the Fathers (Papal States 1836-'78)

  1. #41
    Usury? Hmmm...

  2. #42
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  3. #43
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    I have just read through. A very good tale you have going here.
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  4. #44
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    Excellent narrative of the battle. Very much in style and precisely the kind of literature I normally enjoy reading. Good work!

    Regarding the Pope's financial troubles, perhaps it's time to industrialize? Rome could be the weapons factory of Europe
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  5. #45
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    Just read whole thing - it`s great. Superb history-book/analytical style, with some serious knowledge behind it. Together with tidy graphics it gives really pleasant read. And good work so far, I can imagine that recent war was really though.

    Looking forward to next updates. Papal States during turbulent XIXth century makes really interesting setting. Am I guessing correctly that you want to get support of nationalists to make 'Risorgimento' with leading role of the Pope?

  6. #46
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    Update? I'm terribly interested in how Papal expansion will effect the future Italian unification. Great work

  7. #47
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    Lecture Six: Viva Pio Nono (1851-'59)


    "God has given us the Papacy; now let us enjoy it" Leo X


    With the liberal rebellions in the northern legations having seemingly run their course, it was the absorbing task of economic reconstruction and loan repayment that would preoccupy the Vatican throughout the early 1850s. In this the Holy See was greatly aided by the general European economic boom of these years and the forceful integration of the minor duchies, which remained technically semi-autonomous cities, into the Papal States. The stringent anti-technology stance of Gregory XVI was firmly forgotten as the Church began to advocate the use of mechanical production techniques to significantly increase production. This top-down initiative was a considerable success and the modernisation of farming in the, newly enlarged, Papal States led to an upsurge in exports that helped stabilise the economic front; albeit not before the national debt had increased to four and a half million lire by August 1851. Such was the priority placed upon this economic recovery that the Papacy was, almost incredulously, peripheral to the most pressing international issue of the day - the controversy over the maintenance of the holy sites of Jerusalem. This localised conflict, over the competing claims of Catholic and Orthodox monks to the Holy Sepulchre, saw Great Britain, France, Austria and Prussia align to end Russian aspirations in the Balkans. While having no interest in the Levant, the Holy See did not hesitate to approve of French championing of the Catholic cause in Constantinople. This effectively legitimised Napoleon III's adventure seeking and was gratefully acknowledged in Paris*

    There were plenty of Cardinals who wholeheartedly approved of the continued absence of foreign adventures. The absorbing task of strengthening the civil administrative structures of the legations, coupled with economic constraints, made any participation in Crimea completely infeasible. As it was, the full moral support that the Vatican proffered to Napoleon III was of far more value to the latter than any token military gesture. In the meantime Pius' equally enthusiastic support for the mechanisation of agriculture had stabilised the economy and by 1853 the Church began to pay off its London bankers. The annexed duchies also began to contribute to the Vatican finances around the same time. Taken together these factors - the programme of agricultural reform, the factories and resources of the duchies, and the discovery of clean coal processing techniques - led to a surprisingly prosperous decade for the Papal States. Following 1856 there was a veritable economic boom underway that permitted both economic advances (the laying of the first rails and the expansion of industrial wine production in Umbria) and further development of the military. Crucially however this expansion of the industrial base was limited as a substantial percentage of Rome's income was siphoned out of the country by a Papacy reluctant to remain indebted to foreigner bankers.

    All in all however, by 1859 the Papacy was in a position of impressive strength. Internal dissent had been successfully stifled, Mazzini was dead, the economy was performing strongly and Central Italy lay under Papal rule. Perhaps more importantly, the Pope himself was relatively popular with Italians… liberals and republicans excluded. Pius' energetic persecution of the war with Tuscany et al had cemented his nationalist credentials and it became fashionable amongst certain conservative classes to subscribe to neo-guelfist sentiment. Hopes were high that an Italian confederation could soon be achieved when the Austrians were finally driven from peninsula. For the time being however the Pope's enemies were Italian.


    Camillo Benso, Conte di Cavour: Prime Minister of Sardinia-Piedmont


    To the north the Piedmontese establishment was nothing short of hostile. The re-emergence of the Papal States as an Italian power had scuppered the hopes of Prime Minister Cavour to forge a meaningful alliance with Napoleon III. The French Emperor was more interested in placating the Catholic establishment in his own nation than settling the Italian Question. At the same time the popularity of the Pope (and his military strength!) prevented Cavour from taking unilateral action while simultaneously undermining the claim of King Victor Emmanuel to the throne of Italy. Despite this, Sardinia-Piedmont remained, by some great measure, the most industrialised of the Italian states. While the Papacy had focused on agrarian reform, Piedmont had emerged as an industrial centre on the scale of the great British cities. Meanwhile the autocratic regime of Ferdinand II of Two Sicilies (notably referred to by Gladstone as "the negation of God created into a system") was coming under pressure from liberals and, increasingly, conservatives who favoured the leadership of Rome to continued rule by a foreign dynasty. There was still no formal rapprochement between these two states but both understood, for very different reasons, the threat that a nationalist Papal States posed to their security.

    Perhaps the more dangerous long-term threat was that of the remnants of Young Italy. The death of Mazzini and the assumption of the nationalist mantle by the Papacy had come as cruel blows to an organisation that had achieved little during its insurrection in the northern legations. The triumph of the Papal forces was bitterly resented by these republicans and they embarked on a period of soul-searching just as the Vatican began the process of integrating its new territories and rebuilding its economy. Some former rebels renounced republicanism and began to align themselves with Sardinia-Piedmont, viewing an Italy governed by constitutional monarchy as preferable to Papal absolutism, while the thoughts of others turned down more radical paths. Carlo Pisacane was amongst the latter and his Guerra Combattuta in Italia Negli Anni 1845-1850 (Wars Fought in Italy in the Years 1845-1850) laid the blame for the failure of Young Italy on the liberal classes who had refused to commit to revolution. The logical conclusion was that only action from the lower classes could succeed in creating a democratic republic. Piscane's theories came to little in his lifetime** but this was the first explicit theoretical connection between Italian republicanism and class politics. The divergence of the republican movement marked an end to Mazzini's optimistic, almost joyful, brand of nationalism and its replacement with more pragmatic ideologies.


    Life in Rome's slums, and particularly its Jewish Ghetto, remained one of grinding poverty


    The combination of an economic upsurge and the regrouping/introspection of the republicans produced what was finally a decade of peace and prosperity within the Papal States. Tuscan influence led to the important civil reforms that were carried out in the fields of education and civil governance, the most obvious being a surprisingly successful anti-corruption drive, and, perhaps for the first time, a centralised government in the Papal States actually worked. This relative success in administration should by no means be offered as an excuse of the absolutism of the Vatican regime. The existence of Europe's sole remaining Jewish Ghetto in Rome and the barbarity of the Edgardo Mortara affair clearly illustrates that the Church was unwilling to cast off its medieval character***. Power within the country remained firmly in the hands of the clergy and all petitions for a constitution were firmly rebuffed. Nor were the harsh measures of control adopted under Gregory forgotten - the Vatican's network of informers and secret police only increased throughout the decade. These were rarely needed to maintain control however. The recent failure of the Young Italy rising, the Pope's new found nationalist sentiment, and the relatively strong performance of the economy, all conspired to placate liberal opposition.

    The 1850s were a period of internal consolidation for the Papal States but the realm of foreign affairs did see some notable advances. On a purely spiritual level the re-establishment of the Catholic hierarchy in England and the global Church's acceptance of the dogma of Immaculate Conception were notable personal triumphs for the Pope. With regards the more mundane issues of diplomacy, the understanding between Pius IX and Napoleon III had survived the end of the Crimean War and the Vatican strongly vied with Sardinia-Piedmont for the French Emperor's favour. As the Austrians nervously increased their presence in Lombardy and Venezia, Napoleon's interest in Italy continued with the French Catholic hierarchy lobbying strongly for support of Rome. By the early 1860s it appeared that Pius had pulled off a diplomatic coup by securing the favour of France over his rivals in Turin and Napoli. The consequences of this diplomatic success would swiftly end the decade of tranquillity.

    -----


    * The manoeuvrings, and ultimate failure, of the European diplomatic institutions during the Crimean War, and its build-up, is the focus of "Wetzel, D., (1985), Crimean War: A Diplomatic History, New York"

    ** Trying to follow through on these ideas ended in disaster for Pisacane. In June 1857 he sailed to the Neapolitan prison island of Ponza and "liberated" a few hundred prisoners, the vast majority of whom were common criminals. This makeshift army of "revolutionaries" then sailed to the mainland where they were almost immediately butchered by the Neapolitan Royal Guard at Sapri. Pisacane himself survived the initial battle/rout but was killed in the town of Sanza a few days later. See, "Bilotti, P.M., (1907), La Spedizione di Sapri, Salerno"

    *** Few incidents betray the barbaric nature of the Papal States as clearly as the abduction of the six-year old Edgardo Mortara by the Church. The pretext offered was that the Jewish child had been, mistakenly and secretly, baptised by a serving girl. At the time it was forbidden for a Jewish family to raise a Christian child. The entire distasteful affair, including Mortara's re-education as a good Catholic, is well documented by "Kertzer, D.I., (1998), The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara, Random House"
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  8. #48
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    I meant to note this in the last update, but you can treat every financial figure as being multiplied by a thousand. So a debt of 3,000 in Vicky becomes three million here. Again, thanks to everyone for the comments and feedback.

    coz1: I wasn't intending to explicitly mention the conflict between spiritual and temporal, at least not so soon, but, as you note, this will be constant underlying thread in the story. Historically the Vatican vacillated between the two, until the decision was made for it, but war with the duchies has pretty much committed our Papacy to being a temporal body/government.

    J. Passepartout: You know how the 19th C Church feels about usury. (Actually, does it still condemn it?) Eliminating the debt was my #1 priority after the war whereas I usually would have tolerated it and chosen to pour my income into an industrialisation programme.

    RGB: Well this isn't the 20th C so some banking scandals can be hushed up

    stnylan: Glad to you with us. Feedback from such a distinguished commentatAAR is always prized

    Varyar: Thanks, battle scenes aren't something that I'm used to, especially not in a general history such as this, but I'm glad you liked it. As for the "weapons factory of Europe", that's currently Sardinia-Piedmont. The only industrialisation I undertook in this decade of peace was expanding a wine factory

    thrashing mad: Another new reader. Excellent ( ). The basic premise of this AAR is a Vatican led Risorgimento - ie the Rise and Fall of Papal Italy. The peninsula, and the Papacy, have always been amongst my favourite Vicky scenarios and the more I delve into the actual history (though I reiterate that I'm no expert) the more fascinating I find it.

    As for the graphics, it was actually your efforts in the White Eagle saga, although admittedly I keep meaning and failing to catch up with the EUIII campaign, that showed me just how much images can enhance an AAR.

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    I know that some authors are able to churn out amazing updates a couple of times a week but that's just something that I'm not good at. This AAR is going to be fairly short anyway (we must be approaching the half way line) so I'll keep it cool with one or two entries a week.
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  9. #49
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    Excellent timing!

    Really good, getting a flavour of the strange government overlooking the Papal States. I'm sensing we are entering end game soon,what with north and south now worried by the Pope's activities

  10. #50
    Is my understanding correct that the AI picks an Italian State, either the Papacy, Sardinia, or Sicily, and has France support one of them via event? I was never clear on how this worked, or how to stack the odds safely in my favour.

    Internally the Papacy looks safe but I worry what may happen in the neighbouring Italian states. Sardinia-Peidmont or the Two Sicilies may, at the behest of the liberals and radicals or after being taken over by the same, start making trouble.

  11. #51

  12. #52
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    I saw this coming early on - get France on the Papal side and Sardinia-Piedmont and Austria both should watch out. Especially after this decade of consolidation and building of strength and prosperity. Dark days are ahead.
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  13. #53
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    Or maybe we are in a worst-case scenario...

    Quote Originally Posted by ComradeOm
    The logical conclusion was that only action from the lower classes could succeed in creating a democratic republic. Piscane's theories came to little in his lifetime but this was the first explicit theoretical connection between Italian republicanism and class politics.
    Those two sentences leave open the very real possibility of a democratic republic being founded in Italy at some point, and from the looks of it, the Papacy may be too absolutist to revert to democracy within the span of a generation.

    On the other hand, the Papal States are strong, and have proven they were more than willing to exercise their strength. It could prove a bane on the Papacy in the end; they might resist the initial onslaught by the Two Sicilies or Sardinia-Piedmont, but the first means having to wage war on two fronts, and the second war on a front manned by both France and Sardinia-Piedmont. Staying on the defence may well allow the Pope to win the first rounds, but the Papacy's economy does not look like it can bear the brunt of a prolonged war. The French-Prussian war could bring respite to the Papal States, but once it is past, the French and whichever ally is theirs enjoys the full advantage of a much stronger economy to pay for their armies, and could win either by sheer attrition, or maybe even by... bankruptcy. A prolonged war could very well ruin the Papal States and make them collapse without a real need for military success.


    But then, I'm wandering in the realm of possibles here; the actual story has yet to be told, and it looks like it'll be a most interesting one.
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    Definitely tricky, and you have to make sure France stays on your side.
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  15. #55
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    I could have swore I've posted in this AAR already...

    Excelent stuff so far.
    Am I correct in that you don't have any control over who France picks in the unification event?
    I don't think the event factors relations in it does it?

    If that's the case, then the situation could get ugly for the Pope, as the AI hardly never chooses the Papal States (at least in single player games).

    Next update should be interesting...
    Last edited by Quirinus308; 17-10-2007 at 20:45.
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  16. #56
    Things seem to be coming to a head as regards the Italian question. Perhaps the Pope's best bet would be to force the issue asap- sounds like French support for a Guelph rather than Savoy Italy can't get much stronger, and it seems unlikely that any Italian faction could beat the Austrians without N3's help...
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    Ah, finally the Italian Question shall be solved. Interesting to see how you will deal with that one.

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  18. #58
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    Sounds like there is a dam about to burst somewhere in Italian politics...
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  19. #59
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    Lecture Seven: Our Poor Peninsula (1859-'63)

    "Il grido di dolore" Victor Emmanuel


    The sharp global depression of 1859 did not greatly affect the agrarian economy of the Papal States but it did make clear that the boom times were over. As with the rest of the 19th C, and indeed even today, moribund economic prospects inevitably spark increased interest in politics. Throughout Europe there was, to the disappointment of the revolutionaries, no repeat of 1845 but the liberal classes generally returned to applying themselves to the matter of political reform. The answer of the Vatican to this development was somewhat paradoxical - the Pope's army almost doubled in size as the economic depression forced the Holy See to increase defence spending in an attempt to distract liberal minds from their lack of power. By 1861 the Papal army comprised over 60,000 soldiers, largely Swiss or Irish mercenaries, and for the first time the Austrian border was permanently garrisoned. It is not surprising that the other Italian powers regarded this development with intense suspicion and Papal diplomatic efforts on the peninsula made no significant progress. Little had come of proposals for an Italian Confederation but more success was had in securing the favour of Napoleon III. The role played by the Archbishop of Paris, Cardinal Morlot, was central in cementing an understanding between Paris and Rome.

    The decision of Pius IX to go to war in order to complete the unification of Italy is commonly accepted to have been reached some time in late 1860. By then it was apparent to all that neither Sardinia-Piedmont nor Two Sicilies were prepared to surrender their sovereignty in forming an Italian Confederation. At the same time the Piedmontese industrial programme had accelerated sharply under Prime Minister Cavour. By 1861 Sardinia-Piedmont already possessed the beginnings of an integrated rail network while the city of Turin alone was home to twice the numbers of urban workers as the rest of the peninsula combined. These developments could not but concern the more farseeing, or paranoid, members of the Vatican hierarchy*. As always however the fate of the peninsula ultimately lay in Paris. In May 1861 both the Archbishop of Paris and Pius' Secretary of State, Cardinal Gizzi, met with Napoleon III at the spa at Plombières. In his typical fashion the Emperor had not informed his foreign minister as to either the meeting or the agreement reached there**. This accord effectively committed the Second Empire and the Papacy to a war against Austria and the other Italian states. In exchange France would be permitted to seize and annex the transalpine provinces of Savoy and Nice. There was one significant clause however - wider European concerns dictated that France could not be perceived as an aggressor. Only a defensive conflict could allow Napoleon to invoke France's traditional role as guardian of the Papacy.


    Pius IX inspects the newly formed Esercito Italiano


    Whether or not General Cappuchino was informed of this French disinclination is still not clear. Certainly the war plan that he assembled in the early months of 1861 relied on the expected French aid in checking an Austrian response. In this the general was operating on the assumption, subsequently proven correct, that any war on the Italian peninsula would quickly involve all the major regional powers; crucially including the Austrian Empire. In other regards however Cappuchino's plan was audacious in the extreme. Recognising that the Papal States lacked the manpower or resources to maintain fronts in both the north and south, the hero of the previous war advocated splitting the army into three distinct army groups in order to simultaneously push into Piedmont, Naples and to hold the Austrian border. It was a daring plan that relied on speed to defeat the opposing armies before they could mobilise and co-ordinate their superior resources. Despite this the French armies were still considered key to combating the Austrians and pressurising the Piedmontese into peace. Even with French intervention the manpower requirements demanded by the ambitious plan were extremely high and fully preoccupied the Papal administration throughout the summer months. By mid August the Pontifical army stood at the impressive figure of just over 90,000 men.

    Contemporary accounts note that the late summer of 1861 was one of extreme tension as the Papacy attempted to provoke its foes into initiating the conflict. The only tangible results from this diplomatic campaign was forcing Turin and Napoli into closer co-operation and increasing the Austrian presence in Venezia. Finally the upper levels of the hierarchy met on August 21 and it was decided, without consulting Cappuchino, to press ahead regardless of French reluctance. The financial burden of maintaining such a large army simply could not be sustained for much longer. The following day the mobilisation of the Pontifical Volunteers was quietly undertaken as the final provocation to the Italian states. In Turin Cavour's advice was heeded and Victor Emmanuel refused to be drawn into a war. The Vatican finally lost patience on October 25 1861 and publicly issued notice of its intention to unify the peninsula regardless of the "corrupt and secular" princes. Now the initiative was firmly with the Papacy as it sought to convert its supposed moral leadership into something more tangible.


    Major offensives in the North of Italy 1861 - '63 (Black: Papal Advance; Red: Austrian Advance). The Esercito Italiano comprised 30k soldiers while 60k reservists held the Austrian border. To the south Cappuchino commanded 30k men for the march on Napoli


    Ignoring the protests of Britain, rendered irrelevant by French diplomatic support, the Papal armies swiftly began to cross into both Piedmont and Naples. The Austrian declaration of war had been expected but only served to increase the need for a rapid victory over the Italian states. In the north the newly formed Esercito Italiano, under the command of General Sabbatini, was tasked with driving to Turin before Piedmont's industrial strength could be translated into arms. General Cappuchino would simultaneously march south from Rome to "liberate" Napoli from Bourbon rule. It was the latter that first encountered difficulties. While Sabbatini had little trouble in breaking through the weakly held Piedmontese lines at Alessandria (he did not wait to secure his victory but immediately moved on towards Turin), the Royal Guard of Napoli provided Cappuchino with a stiffer challenge. The battle between the two most experienced formations on the peninsula was costly but the Esercito Pontificio emerged victorious by mid-November. Amongst the heavy casualties of the battle was Cappuchino himself. Embarrassingly however Francis II of Sicily and his armies chose to flee north towards an unprotected Rome. For the first time since the Napoleonic Wars the Pope himself was forced to abandon his city and move north. Despite this humiliation the Esercito Pontificio remained in Napoli and focused on both securing the city and reinforcing its depleted ranks.

    To the north events were proceeding more favourably for the Papacy. Austrians attempts to seize Parma were successfully checked and Sabbatini, ignoring conventional military wisdom, had made stunning progress against the Piedmontese. By refusing to halt and secure his rear areas the general managed to reach Turin by late-December. After scattering the local garrison he set about securing the city and its officials. The greatest catch was the Prime Minister Cavour who had failed to escape the city with the royal party. After beating back a counter-offensive, the Esercito Italiano was undisputed master of the city by early January, much to the consternation of Victor Emmanuel. In the south Esercito Pontificio had also secured the city of Napoli before immediately decamping and moved north towards Rome. On February 21 1863 Francis II and his army were decisively defeated outside the city and forced to surrender. The battle effectively broke the last source of resistance amongst the Italian rulers and cleared the way for the Pope to return to Rome triumphant.


    Members of the Papal garrison overlooking Turin


    On February 28 the victory of the Papacy was sealed within the walls of the Vatican. Both Cavour and Francis II formally agreed to renounce their powers in favour of the Holy See. It was merely a matter of ratifying reality - both Sardinia-Piedmont and Two Sicilies lay open before the Papal armies and only the Austrians could provide a coherent military challenge. In front of a rejoicing crowd in St Pater's Plazza it was announced that henceforth all of Italy would be ruled directly by the Church. Italian unification was finally a reality… albeit in a very different form to that proposed by Mazzini. The first task facing this new state would be the daunting war with the Austrian Empire and survival against its impressive armies.

    -----

    * The role of fear and paranoia in accelerating the rush towards war is a recurring theme in this period. The refusal to lose the gun/Dreadnought/industrialisation race is examined in "Bowle, J., (1954), Politics and Opinion in the Nineteenth Century, London". Also useful for students, if somewhat removed from the module focus, is the recent "Inkster, I., (2001), Japanese Industrialisation: Historical and Cultural Perspectives, New York" in which the reactions of the Papal States and Meiji Japan to industrialisation are aptly contrasted.

    ** Perhaps unjustly, Napoleon III has often been portrayed by history as something of a buffoon or similar clownish figure. His unorthodox manner of government certainly contributed to this impression. There are many biographies of the French Emperor but "de Saint-Amand, A.L., (1900), Napoleon III at the Height of his Power, New York" specifically sets out to refute this impression
    Freedom in capitalist society always remains about the same as it was in the ancient Greek republics: freedom for the slave-owners
    VI Lenin

  20. #60
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    Okay, there's a few things to go through here. First of all, I want to ask whether anyone can see a green line running along the bottom of the bottom of the title (first) image? I think I've fixed it but I'm not sure if its just my browser. While I'm on it, this is the first title image not to use the standard Vicky sepia tone effect. I'm not happy with the impact that this has on the quality of the pictures (it would have made this particular one unusable) and I'll probably go back and redo past ones at some point.

    As a related question, is the width of these images okay for everyone to see without scrolling? Personally I don't like it when a large image distorts the screen but I'm using a widescreen(-ish) monitor so I can't tell if they are.

    Onto the real stuff, there are no doubt questions about Italian Question event that started this war. Its important to note that I made a few changes to the event and manually fired it. The latter was because the event should have fired in 1860 and, after waiting a year or two, I got bored waiting. Somewhere along the line the event triggers went askew, I suspect that it was on the French side, and nothing happened. Unfortunate but there you go.

    I also did a bit of editing to the event in order to increase the challenge. These changes involved removing:
    1) The reliability penalty to other Italian states
    2) The additional divisions that the event grants the player
    3) The automatic alliance with France

    So basically the event becomes an expensive way to DoW both S-P and TS while giving Austrian the option to join in. I also changed the text slightly to reflect the game. For some reason however I've developed an aversion to placing event pictures within the text proper



    Of course I can see, from rereading the above piece, that I completely failed to convey how tough this war was. That is a disappointment that I'm tempted to fix. Unfortunately the length of the piece is already over what I'd consider the optimum (similarly the reasoning for war is also truncated) so I'll leave it for now. I'll just say that the Austrians almost took Parma, my army in the south was gutted in victory, and a delay of a month or two would have seen the numbers of defenders in Turin triple as more divisions came on the line.

    I knew there was something else - don't forget to vote in the AARland Choice AwAARds. I won't go so low as to actually canvass for votes (alas, there is no category for "Best Vicky Papal States Historical AAR Written by an Irishman") but its always good to see a high turnout.

    -----


    Now on to the important stuff...

    Dr. Gonzo: One of the problems that I find with AARs is the need to keep people's attention and thus have events ticking over nicely. That means that I can't spend as much time as I'd like on the actual civil reforms or mechanisms of government in the Papal States. Or rather, I could go into this more but that would mean devoting less time to the social/economic side of things.

    J. Passepartout: Honestly I'm not entirely sure of the odds of the event firing for a particular nation. I don't think anyone is. Its something of a moot point however given that, as I said above, it failed to fire at all in my game. I suspect that some French election/political event took a wrong turn somewhere and so the French trigger remained unsatisfied.

    As for Sardinia-Piedmont and the Two Sicilies, ideally I would have devoted an entire update to the road to war and the various political manoeuvrings of the states. However, I was reluctant to devote an entire update to a single uneventful year, I'd get flashbacks to my previous AAR, and I think that was the right decision.

    CCA: Now that's an insightful comment. A lot will hinge on the reaction to the new "Papish overlords"

    coz1: Well "dark days depends entirely on your own outlook/position. You can be sure that plunging the peninsula into a risky war would have been positively welcomed by certain elements in this Church. Of course they were probably expecting French aid...

    Lordban: Good to have you with us! Obviously I can't give away too much in replying to your speculation (although I've been signposting the direction of this AAR since the first post) but I can say that there are different forms of strengths. For example, in the above war S-P's industrial capacity dwarfed that of the Papal States, yet they had only a division or two to defend themselves with. By the same token the Papacy appeared strong in numerical terms yet this rested on a very flimsy economic base. That relationship between the various factors that comprise a nation's "strength" wasn't really understood at the time.

    You've somewhat pre-empted me by a few weeks but this is a theme that will be discussed in later updates.

    RGB: Gameplay-wise France is always eager to make friends with Italy, no matter who wins the war, but foregoing French armies was a pain. Meh, I suppose I can't complain.

    Quirinus308: Thanks for reading. Unfortunately the event didn't fire at all but c'est la vie

    DerKaiser: That's pretty much the reasoning that I tried to convey above. Relatively speaking the Papal States was only getting weaker when compared to the other Italian states (S-P especially). I doubt success would have been possible if the war had been postponed for another decade.

    Varyar: Well there it is above. A solution... until the Austrians have their say. Congrats on the posts BTW... just another thousand needed

    stnylan: To be honest that pretty much sums up this entire AAR. Pressures build and then explode with, hopefully, dramatic results.
    Freedom in capitalist society always remains about the same as it was in the ancient Greek republics: freedom for the slave-owners
    VI Lenin

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