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Thread: Yet this will go onward the same: the Yamato Destiny

  1. #181
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    nice meshing of the political, economic and military. So build a factory to expand the navy, but it also handily mops up potentially dangerous unemployed near the capital, and a war to enforce private debts using state power. Your Japan has more than a few echoes of the UK in our time line?
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    Personally, I never build more than a handful of Commerce Raiders; I like to wait for Ironclads before initiating a naval buildup. At first glance, the war with Cleves looks like it will be a walkover of the Japanese. I doubt it will earn any more than a few sentences in the Japanese tabloids, let alone stem the Liberal tide.
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    Quote Originally Posted by loki100 View Post
    nice meshing of the political, economic and military. So build a factory to expand the navy, but it also handily mops up potentially dangerous unemployed near the capital, and a war to enforce private debts using state power. Your Japan has more than a few echoes of the UK in our time line?
    That's half deliberate and half inevitable given my greater familiarity with British history and Japan's ahistorical position as a global power in the AAR. On the bonds situation I was thinking about the Ottoman bankruptcy when I wrote the update, so it's certainly looked at through an Anglo-French lens.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tanzhang (譚張) View Post
    Personally, I never build more than a handful of Commerce Raiders; I like to wait for Ironclads before initiating a naval buildup. At first glance, the war with Cleves looks like it will be a walkover of the Japanese. I doubt it will earn any more than a few sentences in the Japanese tabloids, let alone stem the Liberal tide.
    I wouldn't normally build a serious navy at all until crusiers, just transports and some escorts. This is more in order to preserve Japan's naval dominance and to use units I generally overlook.

    Cleves will indeed be a brief war, but it's not the only thing on the horizon.
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    1851: Hearts and minds

    How ever, sincere hon. Gentlemen might be, they could not deceive themselves that they would he called upon, as a party, to form a Government, and to carry out this measure. If they were sincere in their wishes for reform, then the best thing they could do would be to support the man who was best able to effect that reform.

    State opening and Emperor's speech

    The opening of the 1851 Diet marked five years of Loyalist rule. Originally benefiting from a reaction against the Court's handling of the Second Austrian War, the Loyalists had used their grip on power to good effect in 1850, turning all the means at their disposal to the winning of the election. While this had paid handsome dividends in the short term, it was proving a somewhat more troublesome legacy.

    Since the upheavals of the eighteenth century, the Japanese polity had been founded on compromise and consensus. De jure representation was limited to the uppermost echelons of society, but these men were themselves at the apex of local patronage networks and were the conduit through which the opinions of more middling citizens could make themselves heard.

    The election of 1850 had threatened to sweep this gentlemanly system away. The Loyalists had used their control of the administration to block candidates they believed hostile to their interests, polarising local elites and effectively disenfranchising those who found themselves on the wrong side of the argument. That the vast majority of such men were instinctively closer to the Patriotic Union only exacerbated the situation.

    While no-one would think to interrupt Sakuramachi's speech, the rest of the Diet's first sitting was marked by noisy protests, from deputies and the public gallery alike. Prime Minister Kuroda's speech was interrupted to such an extent that it ran to a second day, during which spectators were excluded from the chamber.

    The Finance Minister's speech was another occasion for complaint. At the beginning of the Court's last year in power the consumption tax had yielded £1.5 million per annum. The Loyalists had both raised the rate and tightened the collection regime to the point where it now brought in £3.8 million.



    Despite the tax burden more than doubling, tariffs remained high, and the Finance Minister indicated that they would continue to do so in 1851 to pay for the anticipated war with Cleves. Opposition deputies hit back with allegations that the Government was squandering the monies it was voted. They pointed out that the level of military spending had risen from £0.5 million in 1844 to a staggering £2.5 million. And this, Duke Teramachi remarked, was but the cost of the peacetime services: the price of war would be unbearable.


    Domestic affairs

    The news for the Loyalists was not everywhere so bleak. Throughout their administration, and even before it, there had been frequent attempts to address the worryingly high levels of unemployment amongst the labouring poor. By 1851 these had begun to bear fruit.



    Although absolute unemployment figures remained high in some states, in none were more than a quarter of the workforce out of a job, and even here efforts continued to provide for them.

    Part of the Government's success was down to the education reforms, which came to completion in November only to be replaced by an even more ambitious programme.



    This caused a deal of division in the Cabinet. The War Minister argued that Japan was neglecting her armed forces, which were a better guarantee against civil unrest than social programmes. However, both the Prime Minister and the Finance Minister maintained that their policies were working and should be allowed to run their course for the good of the Empire. Faced by the determination of his colleagues, the War Minister relented, although he did extract the concession that strengthening the military would be the next priority.

    Economically too there was good news. In July, news came from the Great Eastlands that gold had been struck.



    Although the find in no way compared to the riches of Caozhou, or even Kobe, it was a welcome relief for already strained finances.

    What good news there was for the Government was eclipsed by events in the Diet. Liberal deputies attempted to pass a bill widening the franchise to include middle class voters. Their arguments found favour with a number of conservatives, who saw in the plan a way of reviving the Patriotic Union's fortunes. The liberals also found support amongst a middle class whose avenues of expression were increasingly being closed off.

    The Loyalists fiercely resisted the bill in the Diet and sought to crack down on its advocacy elsewhere. Fortunately for the Cabinet, leading Patriotic Union deputies were reluctant to commit themselves to so radical a reform, but nevertheless the bill fell by only the narrowest of margins.


    European wars

    The First European Corps were still in transit for Cleves when news reached General Enomoto of a conflict brewing in Italy. Since the last war between Milan and Modena had concluded in 1843, the latter state had seen its fortunes fall further still. Attempts to carve out an African empire to offset losses in Europe had bankrupted the state and though the economy had begun to recover it was still fragile.

    This was a situation that King Ascanio of Milan could not fail to exploit. Indeed, it was a wonder that he had allowed the truce to lapse for as long as he did, but Japan's close involvement in domestic politics had exercised a restraining influence. Now, with the senior Japanese commander absent, Ascanio seized his chance, declaring himself King of Naples.



    That a close Japanese ally had embarked upon an aggressive war was not in itself noteworthy - Sindh had done the same the previous year - but in this instance Milan could only field an army half the size of Modena's. Ascanio was counting on two factors: that Modena's forces were mostly concentrated in North Africa; and that Japan would come to his aid.

    On the first point there was no doubting he had gambled correctly. At the outbreak of war no Modenan field armies were present in northern Italy, leaving Modena itself open to attack. Japan's response was less certain - the Loyalists had made much of their opponents’ failed efforts to rein in Milan and risked leaving themselves open to the same charges. However, Kuroda calculated that by supporting Milan he could drive a wedge between Patriotic Union deputies, forcing them to divide along Isolationist and Court Party lines.

    One problem remained: Castile was a Modenan ally and Japan had no interest in fighting a country that was a strategic ally against Russia. Fortunately, Castile felt the same way about the Empire and declined to involve itself in the conflict.

    In the north, the attack on Cleves proceeded as planned. Japan's declaration of war provoked a flurry of enraged patriotism in the duchy. Over 20,000 men rallied to the colours under Leonhard Ludendorff, a Clevian nobleman of no previous military experience. Ludendorff worked his men tirelessly to fortify the Rhine crossings against Japanese assault and the resulting earthworks and strongpoints were reckoned to be the finest defensive line in Europe.



    For all its citizens’ hard work, luck was not on Cleves side. Against Ludendorff's volunteers General Enomoto commanded 12,000 battle-hardened infantry and three brigades of the artillery that had made Japan's fortunes in many a war. Not one of Cleves allies stood by the duchy.

    Aware that a direct assault on the Rhine bridges would play into Clevian hands, Enomoto had pontoons prefabricated at his temporary encampment in Gelre and towed up the river with a flotilla of steamboats under cover of night. Lacking artillery of their own the Clevian forces could do little to prevent their passage, nor could they predict where the bridges would be assembled. This allowed Enomoto to cross the Rhine against comparatively light resistance.



    With the Rhine already breached, Ludendorff made his stand on the outskirts of Düsseldorf itself. The Clevian infantry fought fiercely, threatening to overwhelm the shorter Japanese lines by weight of numbers. Once again the Japanese artillery proved decisive, driving back the Clevian centre and isolating the wings. Enomoto finished the job with a cavalry attack on the Clevian right which threw the defenders back, albeit at the cost of heavy Japanese casualties. His right and centre having collapsed, Ludendorff ordered his remaining troops to fall back, condemning the Clevian capital to siege.

    The outcome of the war was now a dismal inevitability. Japanese siege artillery worked hard to reduce the fortresses defending the approach to the city, but it would not be until July that the defenders surrendered.



    With the fall of the capital, Clevian resistance evaporated. Japan had won its small war, but events elsewhere in Europe meant that General Enomoto's work was not over for the year.

    In Italy, Modena and Parma fell to the allies with little effort. The only fighting in the north was at sea, when the Modenan fleet fleeing the fall of La Spezia stumbled upon Japanese transports ferrying troops south.



    Fortunately for the Empire, the First European Fleet was on hand to rescue the situation. Its heavy warships proved more than a match for the lighter Modenan navy, although several transports were damaged in the initial attack.

    It was in North Africa where Japan was most threatened. By September the Modenese had amassed 24,000 men outside the Imperial enclave of Ifni, where the Army of Morocco was outnumbered and demoralised.



    Fortunately for the garrison, General Enomoto's forces had concluded their business with Cleves and were ordered to their relief. General Enomoto threw himself into the attack against Silvio Pallvicino - a fine commander, but a leader of men far from home and battle-worn.



    The resulting battle of Agadir was a slaughter, but worse was to come for both sides as Enomoto single-mindedly pursued the retreating Modenans through the desert. Far more men would be lost to the elements than to enemy action over the course of the campaign.

    Modena's desperation was made clear with its attack on the Great Eastlands in late 1851. What General Cesare Thaon di Revel expected to achieve with his reckless attack is unclear, but in any event he and his entire command were wiped out in a single battle.



    At the close of the year the allies had made great gains against Modena, which now seemed unable to defend itself. However, the war was proving more costly than Japan's budget could long bear.


    Foreign affairs

    Even as the third Modenan war continued, more unwelcome news arrived from Europe. In November Austria and Bavaria concluded a treaty of alliance that signalled a worrying concentration of political and military power in Vienna.



    A future Milanese-Austrian war would see Japan facing Bavarian troops in addition to those of its old foe.

    On a more positive note, Scotland concluded its war with Morocco by annexing Algiers. Any action that strengthened Scotland against British revanchism was to be welcomed by Japan, although the economic and strategic value of the new possessions was slight.



    In June, Sindh completed the conquest of Lahore from Kashmir, further consolidating its grip on Northern India.




    End of year

    The year had proved a costly one for the Loyalists. The triumph of the victory against Cleves had been swallowed up in the larger conflict with Modena, and although this too had progressed well it was still ongoing at the beginning of 1852. Although the war looked likely to end shortly, the pressure it was putting on the Empire's finances nearly confirmed the dark warnings of Duke Teramachi.



    The calls for reform that had marred the year's Diet looked set to continue into 1852, and the liberals' position was only strengthening.
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  5. #185
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    the two European wars worked out well, not least in remaining limited in their scope.

    Domestically its looking really tricky, with unemployment still so high. Are you pushiing the Social Thought techs as much for the colonial emigration as the gains in education?
    Remember, whatever the question, the answer on 18 September is Yes ...

  6. #186
    Field Marshal Malurous's Avatar
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    Interesting as always. I believe you took all of your West African holdings in that one war with Morocco, but do you have any idea how they came to be shaped like that (i.e. the disconnected Ifni)?
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  7. #187
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    As ever a very good update. The ever increasing tensions at home make for worrying reading, although at least some headway is being made in tackling unemployment. It doesn't help that taxes need be kept high so as to fund the constant warring on behalf of allies such as Milan, who always seem to constantly demand aid at inopportune times! Victory against Cleves is welcome though.

    That Austria has allied with Bavaria could well prove problematic. Although this does seem to be following the trend of everything seemingly shaping up rather nicely for future conflict.
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  9. #189
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    Quote Originally Posted by loki100 View Post
    the two European wars worked out well, not least in remaining limited in their scope.

    Domestically its looking really tricky, with unemployment still so high. Are you pushiing the Social Thought techs as much for the colonial emigration as the gains in education?
    The Modenan war was quite a shock actually, but fortunately they had most of their army in Africa - a fact which I ignored until I checked on the Morocco garrison and realised there was a large enemy stack opposite them.

    I'm pretty much exclusively concentrating on the Social Thought techs for the educational efficiency gain. I don't really need the colonisation, but my literacy is extremely poor and I risk getting left behind by the other GPs. I probably won't push it past Biologism though as Darwinism is all I need.

    Tech-wise I'm a little concerned about the military and from a roleplaying perspective the Government is likely to focus on other branches for a little while. The fact I still haven't got railroads is an embarrassment too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Malurous View Post
    Interesting as always. I believe you took all of your West African holdings in that one war with Morocco, but do you have any idea how they came to be shaped like that (i.e. the disconnected Ifni)?
    I think that's just how it works in Victoria II. Wiki tells me that Ifni formed a part of Spanish Western Sahara, while the surrounding territory was French-held.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Mo...otectorate.svg

    Quote Originally Posted by Saithis View Post
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    Quote Originally Posted by morningSIDEr View Post
    As ever a very good update. The ever increasing tensions at home make for worrying reading, although at least some headway is being made in tackling unemployment. It doesn't help that taxes need be kept high so as to fund the constant warring on behalf of allies such as Milan, who always seem to constantly demand aid at inopportune times! Victory against Cleves is welcome though.

    That Austria has allied with Bavaria could well prove problematic. Although this does seem to be following the trend of everything seemingly shaping up rather nicely for future conflict.
    Unemployment is actually falling because Japan's producing more machine parts, which in turn means we can actually upgrade factories. I'd have thought that by now someone would have created machine part factories, but the Empire's still the biggest producer by a hefty margin. On Milan, I'd really like to help them form Italy, but I'm not sure that's possible as they'd have to fight off both Austria and France to get their cores. Even a human player might find that tricky.

    It didn't make this coming update, but Cleves actually managed to go bankrupt again!
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    1852: The Loyalists at bay

    It was not enough to take away the oligarchical rule of the landed interest, and to substitute in its place the manufacturing interest of this country; because there are thousands and millions in this country who have neither land nor that species of power which is derived from the possession of wealth; but who have intelligence, who have morality, and, with the two combined, have opinions which deserve to be represented in this House. Now, what do we want in this House? We want a body of men to represent, first the intelligence, and next the good feeling of this country. How are we to get these two things? Will any one say that the intelligence of the country is represented by the persons who possess land?

    State opening and Emperor's speech

    The Diet which assembled for the start of the 1852 session was the most liberal yet, and thus the least in sympathy with the Cabinet and its policies. The frustrations of 1851 had given way to a new mood of optimism; a handful of senior Patriotic Union deputies had voiced their support for electoral reform, and although the majority of their colleagues remained opposed, it seemed that a workable majority could be assembled



    Sakuramachi's address to the opening of the Diet was a careful piece of statesmanship that trod a line between celebrating the stability and strength of the present regime and warning against what could happen should these be thrown away precipitously.

    Despite the Emperor's antipathy, the liberals were unabashed. In their eyes Sakuramachi had involved himself too closely with the Loyalists and was less the dispassionate father-figure of legend and more a partisan of the Kuroda administration.

    The Budget served to compound feelings that the present regime was mishandling the Empire. The Finance Minister was forced to announce that the costs of the war with Modena had proved much greater than anticipated and, far from lowering the tariff as liberal deputies demanded, the state could not break even at the current rate.



    While reserves remained sufficient for the short term, the Finance Minister announced that taxes might have to rise in future. Opposition deputies condemned the budget as another example of the Loyalists' fiscal irresponsibility.

    Shortly after the Diet session began, an amended version of the Franchise Reform Bill that had failed to pass the previous year was introduced. This time, instead of simply widening the franchise it established a significantly reduced property qualification for a new tier of voters, which would be held equivalent to half a vote from an existing elector. The liberals themselves were not completely happy with the compromise, but it was enough to win round several wavering Patriotic Union deputies.

    Although the Loyalists resorted to a variety of procedural tactics to stall the Bill’s progress, they lacked sufficient support in the Diet to prevent the legislation from passing in a more or less unchanged form. Worse still, the Bill made provision for an immediate dissolution of the Imperial Council and fresh elections under the new franchise.

    Once passed, the Bill required the Emperor's blessing to become law, yet Sakuramachi was clearly to be hostile to it. In private meetings with the Emperor, Prime Minister Kuroda was invited to discuss what options remained. Kuroda replied that Sakuramachi could reject the Bill and ignore the Diet, or he could accept it with good grace. Accepting the reforms would almost certainly spell defeat for the Loyalists, the Prime Minister admitted, but he added that no good could come of their rejection.

    "The Loyalists", Kuroda remarked, "have endeavoured to serve your majesty, and will continue to do so, but there comes a time when we must accept defeat. Let the lower orders have their franchise. I am certain that they will prove better subjects than the hotheads in the Diet".


    The Reform Act election

    The Emperor's assent to the new franchise meant fresh elections to the Imperial Council. The short time there had been to prepare for the campaign meant that the Loyalists' tactics of excluding opponents from the ballot was harder to repeat. Furthermore, opposition candidates were better prepared to challenge such attempts, with the result that the election was a deal fairer than that of 1850.

    On the mainland, many states saw their electorates expand massively. In Pyongyang, the campaign centred on the Empire's refusal to recognise Korean culture. The liberals argued that Koreans, Chinese and others should enjoy the same rights as the Japanese.



    This argument made little headway in the face of determined opposition from both the Loyalists and the Patriotic Union. The fact that non-Japanese subjects were ineligible to vote meant that the liberals’ arguments were unable to make much headway.

    Where the economy was concerned the liberals enjoyed a clear advantage over their rivals. The Loyalists' insistence on its cumbersome licensing regime for new factories and their adherence to the Court Party's tariff policy had won them few friends among the Empire's middle classes.



    In states where economic matters featured heavily in the campaign, liberal candidates out-performed their rivals by handsome margins.

    Where religious matters were concerned, the liberals again did much better than the Loyalists and were occasionally able to hold their own against the Patriotic Union.



    The fact remained that many of the liberals' gains were in states with only minor representation on the Imperial Council. The Home Islands themselves were where the campaign would be won or lost, and here it was the Loyalists' military record that mattered the most.

    The war with Modena had been brought to a successful conclusion in February. General Enomoto had destroyed the last significant Modenan force at the Battle of Taza in January and at first this news looked set to bolster support for the Loyalists.



    However, it soon became clear that the victory had come at a heavy cost. General Enomoto's command had lost over two-thirds its fighting strength during the course of the Morocco campaign, a fact that opponents attributed to the Loyalists' insistence on aggressive pursuit of the enemy.

    The high cost of the war in blood and treasure was used to attack the Loyalists and their handling of the conflict. In Osaka, many new voters voiced their displeasure at the cost of the war by backing the liberals or the openly anti-military Patriotic Union.



    Where military spending alone was the issue, the liberals prevailed, arguing that Japan needed a strong, well-supplied army, but not one that was committed to wars mindlessly: the Empire must preserve its own interests, but pick its battles. Here, the Patriotic Union were on shakier ground, with some hewing to the Court's interventionism and others remaining staunchly isolationist.

    The tensions that had given rise to the franchise reform movement had begun to subside once the Bill had passed, but even now there were still radicals who believed that the changes had not gone far enough. In May, one such troublemaker, Takayoshi Uryu, led an angry mob to the Nagano armoury and proclaimed the formation of the Republic of Japan. Styling himself the commander of the Republican Guard, he whipped up the crowd with talk of marching on Edo and forcing the Emperor to accede to his demands for a new and fairer society.



    In the capital, the revolt was seized on by the War Minister as the pretext the Loyalists needed. A state of emergency could be declared and the elections suspended indefinitely, he argued. Prime Minister Kuroda was quick to overrule such talk. The elections would be allowed to run their course.

    General Kodama was despatched to Nagano to deal with the rebellion, which fizzled out before his soldiers could reach the city. Uryu himself had fled as soon as he had heard of Kodama's approach, and without leadership his 'Republican Guards' had slipped back to their homes.

    The elections proved a stunning success for the Patriotic Union, standing in stark contrast to its performance just two years before.



    The Loyalists saw their share of the vote collapse by over 50%, while even the liberals performed badly compared to their 1850 result. The new Imperial Council was to have 35 Patriotic Union affiliated members, 11 Loyalists and only four liberals.

    Kaoru Oyama, a prominent figure in the isolationist movement, was chosen to serve as Prime Minister, while Inoue Iwao, the former Court Finance Minister, would take resume his old position in the new Cabinet.


    Domestic affairs

    Iwao’s first move was to issue an emergency Budget cutting the consumption tax on the rich and middle classes by ten per cent. Critics attacked this as a blatant bribe to the new electorate, but Iwao was adamant that the taxes had to come down and promised further reductions in his first full Budget in January.

    The first test of the new government came shortly after Oyama was sworn in as Prime Minister. After accusations of army brutality led to protests in Mukden, the Cabinet decided to make an example of the officer in question. Oyama was determined to draw a line under the behaviour of his predecessors, whom he believed had been too beholden to the Army.



    The court martial became a cause célèbre with the Government finding itself largely isolated from popular opinion in the Home Islands. Even within the Cabinet, many were uneasy with the line Oyama was taking, feeling it left them open to charges of being soft on separatist sentiment.

    Eager for any development that might divert public attention from the court martial, the Government intervened to block attempts by the chief magistrate of Kuizhou to forbid publication of the state's newspaper, following an article detailing his links with the madam of a notorious local brothel.



    The Interior Ministry had the law on its side when it ruled that the judge had no power to curtail distribution of an official publication. The fact that the chief magistrate was a Loyalist appointee whose hardline application of anti-separatist policies had made few friends in Kuizhou added additional spice to the case.

    Despite the upheavals of the year, the Empire's settlement policy in the Great Eastlands continued steadily on. By the end of 1852 efforts to "fill in" the vast interior between the colonies on the coast and the eastern borders were in full swing.



    New colonists were directed inland from the settlements on the northern coasts, while the discovery of coal and iron deposits in the deserts of the south prompted miners and prospectors to establish claims throughout that harsh land.

    The year also saw gradual but marked improvements to the health boards the Loyalists had established in 1848. The introduction of simple mass-produced devices, such as stethoscopes and thermometers, enabled doctors to better diagnose conditions.



    The result was a gradual decline in mortality rates, although in an Empire of nearly 100 million people even such small shifts could mean huge changes.


    Foreign affairs

    For the Italian peninsula, 1852 was the year when Milanese ascendancy began to assert itself in earnest. The acquisition of Campania and Calabria – and of the rich city of Naples in particular – shifted the balance of power towards King Ascanio.



    Although a strong Milan was seen as a vital bulwark against Austria, the Foreign Ministry were becoming concerned about Ascanio's intentions. Speaking grandiloquently about a united Italy was one thing, but to achieve this goal would mean not only war with Austria, but a clash with France, which even now retained possession of the city of Milan. Japan would gain little from such a war.

    The year also saw fresh Ottoman successes, although in this case the outcome was very much a foregone conclusion.



    In the hope of using the Ottomans to check Russian expansionism in the region, the Porte was granted financial assistance for the course of the war. Although the money was hardly necessary, it did go some way towards improving relations.

    Elsewhere, both Russian and the British Empire began aggressive wars, while Aragon and Khorasan took advantage of weakened neighbours to acquire more territory.



    In the case of the Cornish war, Finance Minister Iwao was able to bring his colleagues round to the idea of providing financial assistance. Fully mobilised, Cornwall's army was some eight brigades, which it was hoped might prove sufficient to frustrate British ambitions, or at least give them a bloody nose.


    End of year

    The close of the year saw fresh gains for the liberals in the Diet elections, although the rate of change was slower than it had recently been. Despite the steady fall in the number of conservative deputies, the Patriotic Union could still count on a majority to support it, but for how long?



    As 1853 dawned, Oyama was determined to ensure that Japan was able to enjoy the fruits of her labours in peace.
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  11. #191
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    It's terribly fun, watching Japanese colonies claim a third of America while the Army's stomping merrily through Europe. I'm a sucker for Japan, my favourite nation in any of these games, though!

    Glad to hear you're following, too. I'll do my best to stay interesting.
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  12. #192
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    I keep on forgetting this is a continuation game and then read something like Great Britain wailing on Cornwall.

    Oh and kudos for making the background colour to your screenshots the same as the forum colour

    You're filling in the gaps nicely in N America but it looks like militancy for one reason and another is on the rise too
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  13. #193
    General morningSIDEr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dewirix View Post
    On Milan, I'd really like to help them form Italy, but I'm not sure that's possible as they'd have to fight off both Austria and France to get their cores. Even a human player might find that tricky.
    Very true. I cannot help but worry that they will begin a war against both nations and ask for your assistance nonetheless!

    Good stuff as ever. The Patriotic Union's strong victory in the election should make some interesting events in the near future and indeed it already has, as seen with how the matter of an insulted officer was treated. The continued strong showing in colonising North America is promising, Japan seems to be increasing her strength slowly but steadily. I had to smile at the Jacobin rebellion, very lacklustre! I was rather expecting tens of thosuands to take up arms!
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  14. #194
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    I've just started reading this. Looks good so far, it's quite enjoyable! I like your style.

  15. #195
    Field Marshal Malurous's Avatar
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    Interesting developments politically. There's a good number of nations that could take advantage of a more isolationist Japan... We'll see how it goes.
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  16. #196
    Historically plausible Dewirix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saithis View Post
    It's terribly fun, watching Japanese colonies claim a third of America while the Army's stomping merrily through Europe. I'm a sucker for Japan, my favourite nation in any of these games, though!

    Glad to hear you're following, too. I'll do my best to stay interesting.
    I'm concerned that I've probably grabbed too much of the continental US for the good of a dramatic game, but it's done now. I'll probably end up doing the same with Australia (aka New China). Because of that, I think I'll leave Africa well alone.

    In Europe, I'd like the opportunity to smack down Austria, but I have a suspicion that I'd lose against them right now (or at least fail to win). That said, I think I could easily take all their colonies, which fits in with the UK-like strategy I'm pursuing.

    Quote Originally Posted by loki100 View Post
    I keep on forgetting this is a continuation game and then read something like Great Britain wailing on Cornwall.

    Oh and kudos for making the background colour to your screenshots the same as the forum colour

    You're filling in the gaps nicely in N America but it looks like militancy for one reason and another is on the rise too
    The screenshots don't actually have a background colour, it's a trick I learned from Chris Taylor's excellent Porta Atlanticum. Basically you can set some areas of a .png file as transparencies, meaning that they'll just appear as whatever the background colour of the site is.

    Militancy is actually decreasing right now, but the Loyalists drove it up very high, leading to mass emigration (as in, Japan's lost nearly 10 million POPs, or around 40 million people).

    Quote Originally Posted by morningSIDEr View Post
    Very true. I cannot help but worry that they will begin a war against both nations and ask for your assistance nonetheless!

    Good stuff as ever. The Patriotic Union's strong victory in the election should make some interesting events in the near future and indeed it already has, as seen with how the matter of an insulted officer was treated. The continued strong showing in colonising North America is promising, Japan seems to be increasing her strength slowly but steadily. I had to smile at the Jacobin rebellion, very lacklustre! I was rather expecting tens of thosuands to take up arms!
    Ideally I'd back Milan to the hilt against Austria, but I'm good friends with France and it would be a tough choice whatever I decided (which in turn would probably hinge on the government of the day).

    The revolt was both disappointing and a little confusing. I mean, they were already getting reforms, so why revolt now. It would have made much more sense after the last election. That said, if the reactionaries ever rise then it'll be a different story, there's about 14 million of them organising right now.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cybvep View Post
    I've just started reading this. Looks good so far, it's quite enjoyable! I like your style.
    Glad you like, and hope you continue to follow!

    Quote Originally Posted by Malurous View Post
    Interesting developments politically. There's a good number of nations that could take advantage of a more isolationist Japan... We'll see how it goes.
    Indeed we will. Strangely enough, the game is about to oblige with a blitz of aggressive AI moves. It's almost as if they know what Oyama's thinking.
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  17. #197
    Historically plausible Dewirix's Avatar
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    1853: Splendid isolation

    I don't think it unreasonable, therefore, that, on going into Committee of Supply, when we are about to vote large sums to sustain the armaments of the country, I should make some inquiries of Her Majesty's Government on a subject of such absorbing interest, and offer a few remarks to the House with respect to it before they go into Committee. All must feel that on such a topic it is of the highest importance that no false opinion should take possession of the public mind; because in a free country opinion is one of the securities of peace, as it is also sometimes one of the causes of war; and it is by discussion, which is the life and soul of a society like ours, that we arrive at the truth on subjects which often, to the danger and peril of the community, become perplexed and obscure.

    State opening and Emperor's speech

    The Patriotic Union's election victory meant that Emperor Sakuramachi once again found himself with a government out of step with his own sympathies. For the most part, the differences were those of style rather than substance. Like the Loyalists, the new Cabinet were staunch defenders of traditional religious practices and held that non-Japanese should be denied the right to vote or to hold high office in either civil or military service.



    Although the Patriotic Union saw the tariff as an integral part of economic policy, the government took a more relaxed attitude towards industrial development. Partly as a result of falling levels of unemployment, the moratorium on the private creation of new factories was allowed to lapse, although the state would still intervene to protect key industries should the need arise.

    It was in military and foreign policy that the biggest changes were to be seen. Owing to its origins as an alliance of the Court and isolationist members of the Diet, the Patriotic Union was sceptical of involving Japan in wars that did not directly affect the Empire or its allies. This view was not universal - Court men took a wider view of what constituted a vital interest - but it was shared by Prime Minister Oyama.

    The 1853 Budget was the Patriotic Union's first opportunity to make good on its pre-election promises to cut back on the high level of taxes the Loyalists had imposed. Finance Minister Iwao announced that the consumption tax on all orders would be reduced to 35%.



    Such a cut meant that the state would lose money, but Iwao and his advisers believed that a lower tax rate would help to stimulate growth and thus boost tariff receipts. With reserves of almost £2 million, the Finance Minister had sufficient room to manoeuvre should this prove not to be the case.


    Domestic affairs

    At first it seemed as if the Patriotic Union's policy of easing restrictions on non-Japanese subjects would bear fruit. In March, the governor of Palu reported that local agitation against the government had begun to fall as a result of the last year's reforms.



    This was welcome news to the Cabinet, who made sure that the governor's reports were reprinted in the state newspapers. Towards the end of the year, this complacency would be abruptly shaken.

    In early November, reports reached the Interior Ministry that radical liberals were planning a coup against the government. Following the ignominious end of the Nagano revolt, it was generally reckoned that extremists had little to no chance of putting up a fight against an administration that enjoyed public support and the (grudging) blessing of the Emperor.

    However, this did not reckon with Soroku Saigo's ability to inspire men with his talk of building a more just society in which everyone would be counted equal. Saigo had seen service as a volunteer in the army of Kashmir, where he had distinguished himself in the short but brutal war with Sindh. With a core of fellow veterans beside him, "General" Saigo was able to raise a force rivalling that of the Home Guard and planned to isolate Kyoto before starving the capital into submission.



    General Kodama's response was to march to Kobe, where Saigo was busy attempting to seize the port. In a confused battle on 9th December, the revolutionaries were forced to retreat, but were able to do so in good order. The news that a battle had been fought so near the capital shocked Japanese society: the country had not known such disorder since the dark days of the 1770s. Worse still, Kodama's forces were plagued by desertion, partly due to sympathy for the rebellion, but mostly because his soldiers were more accustomed to ceremonial duty than combat.

    Despite this, Kodama pressed on into Okayama, where a series of forced marches allowed him to trap the rebels against the Ashida River. In the battle that followed, Saigo was killed while leading an attempt to break through Imperial lines. With their general dead the remaining rebels surrendered or tried to flee, some flinging themselves into the river to escape.

    Thus ended the Kobe rising. Sympathisers elsewhere in the Home Islands and China did not dare to face Imperial forces, but Saigo’s deeds became the stuff of legend amongst radicals. The Patriotic Union was heavily criticised for not having prevented the revolt, but Prime Minister Oyama held firm to his belief that it had been largely a result of the Loyalists’ heavy handed tactics.

    Better news was to be had in May, when a newly-established settlement in the Great Eastlands found gold in the neighbouring mountains.



    This was the second such find in as many years and the extra income would help the government to balance its books.

    The fall of the Loyalists brought about a noticeable freeing of academic discourse, which quickly bore fruit. Japanese intellectuals began to catch up on European philosophical developments, while practical advances were made in medicine and steam propulsion.



    The latter development allowed the navy to place orders for steam transport ships which would considerably cut sailing times to Europe and the Great Eastlands. Although the Prime Minister was wary of permitting fresh military spending, he relented in the face of arguments that the mobility the new ships would provide would allow Japan to maintain a smaller standing army.

    The newfound spirit of academic freedom also prompted the launch of a botanical expedition to Castilian West Africa.



    Although the expedition was ostensibly a private affair, the Japanese government made it known that they would frown upon any attempt to hamper the explorers' work. For all his isolationist tendencies, Prime Minister Oyama was a keen amateur botanist and took a personal interest in the expedition.


    Foreign affairs

    Despite - or perhaps because of - Japan's retreat from foreign entanglement, 1853 was a busy year for the Foreign Ministry. Even bolstered by Japanese subsidies, Cornwall could only hold out until March before succumbing to Britain, which almost immediately launched a fresh war against Scotland.

    Austria's declaration of war against the Teutonic Order meant that two of Japan's European rivals were now engage in conflict. In July, a colonial dispute led France and Aragon into full-scale war, while Gelre was emboldened to attack Friesland.



    The historic ties between Gelre and the Empire were strengthened when Japan agreed to provide a subsidy for the duration of what proved to be a brief war. The Foreign Ministry was also able to secure similar funding for Scotland's conflict with Britain.



    It was hoped that Scotland would be able to mount a more effective defence than Cornwall had been capable of, especially given the former's status as one of the leading powers. Finance Minister Iwao urged that Japan should intervene on behalf of the Scots, claiming that continued British aggression was a threat that needed to be confronted. The Prime Minister would not hear of this, insisting that a policy of diplomatic containment should be pursued.

    Diplomatic containment was also the order of the day where Austria was concerned. The Teutonic Order became another recipient of Japanese funds.



    It was hoped that Austria's lack of a direct connection from its heartlands and the Order’s territory would enable the latter to prevail. Providing a subsidy was seen as the best way of ensuring that the Order remained willing to fight on to victory.

    In March, Japan arranged for Castilian diplomats to be expelled from Manchukuo amid fears that they were planning to wrest the state from Japan's influence.



    Fortunately, the Foreign Ministry was able to placate Castilian sensibilities and relations between the two states remained good. A mutual fear of Russian aggression overruled any lingering sense of hostility from the episode.

    Earlier in the year, the Ottomans sought to capitalise on Morocco's inability to resist European incursions by conquering Tripoli.



    Since the Ottomans were seen as a vital part of the policy to contain Russia, the Foreign Ministry arranged a subsidy for the duration of the war.

    Having successfully concluded its war against Kashmir, Khorasan looked an unlikely target for aggression. Nevertheless, in March it found itself at war with Ming, which sought to win fresh territories to the west. As Khorasan was another of the Russian buffer states, and Ming a recent enemy, the Foreign Ministry arranged to fund the Khorasani war effort.



    The situation further deteriorated in July, when Tibet sensed an opportunity and joined the conflict. This would have been little more than an annoyance to the Empire, but for the fact that the Tibetans brought in Lan Xang as an ally. Thus the Foreign Ministry found itself in the uncomfortable position of financing a war against a member of the Yamato dynasty. The resulting scandal caused the fall of the Foreign Minister - an ally of the Prime Minister - who was replaced with one of Iwao's supporters.

    In November the entry of Manchukuo into the war completed the collapse of the Foreign Ministry's Khorasani policy. Not only was a Yamato fighting the country, but so was the Empire's most important regional ally.

    Better news was to be had in December, when Magdeburg signed an alliance and co-operation treaty with Japan.



    The new Foreign Minister agreed to a secret protocol committing Japan to assist the German state in any war it should find itself, regardless of whether Magdeburg was the defender or aggressor. Prime Minister Oyama was not made aware of the protocol.


    End of year

    Thus ended the first full year of the Patriotic Union's term of office. The Kobe rising had proved a great shock, but despite this support for liberal policies continued to grow.



    Prime Minister Oyama hoped that the benefits of peace would soon become apparent to the citizens and subjects of the Empire, but there were those within his Cabinet who considered this view dangerously naive.
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  18. #198
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    you're being very generous with your subsidies (though one does wonder if its such a good idea to send money to Scotland ... it could potentially be spent on things other than weapons)

    & the basic domestic tension between the desire for reform and the desire to control progress bubbles along rather nicely
    Remember, whatever the question, the answer on 18 September is Yes ...

  19. #199
    Field Marshal Malurous's Avatar
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    Cutting taxes and sending money all around the world - the Patriotic Union might have to wish for some more gold findings!
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  20. #200
    General morningSIDEr's Avatar
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    Good stuff, I like the marked change the Patriotic Union is already making whilst in government.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dewirix View Post
    The new Foreign Minister agreed to a secret protocol committing Japan to assist the German state in any war it should find itself, regardless of whether Magdeburg was the defender or aggressor. Prime Minister Oyama was not made aware of the protocol.
    Potentially very worrying considering some of Magdeburg's neighbours. Well, worrying for you but sure to prove a great read for everyone else!

    The continued use of subsidies to manipulate wars is a good strategy, Japan certainly has the economy to fund such a practice. I am rather surprised by just how filled with war 1853 has proved though, clearly the other nations know of Japan's reluctance to intervene! That Japan suffered another rebellion is cause for concern, although thankfully this was another lacklustre effort in the Jacobite mould. I simply hope the reactionaries are suitably cowed considering what has happened with the previous rebellions considering their numbers.
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