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Thread: I Miss the Swiss - Switzerland AAR

  1. #1

    I Miss the Swiss - Switzerland AAR



    The History of Switzerland from 1836 to 1936

    Table of Contents (we're not going to be a fancy AAR, sorry):

    I. Introduction
    II. Chapter 1: Part 1: 1836-1837, Part II: 1837-1840
    III. In Progress...
    Last edited by Persigny; 12-05-2012 at 22:09.

  2. #2
    Right, so after a significant delay, here we go: a simple AAR with Switzerland. I've got a few years-worth of posts ready, but here's your standard introduction.
    So, let me start with a basic layout of Switzerland in 1836 for those of you uninitiated with the pleasure of running such a glorious nation. Everybody loves politics (right?) so I'll start with that.



    Switzerland starts off as a Democracy, and naturally, as a republic. As in most countries, things are pretty stable, with no revanchist sentiment, no consciousness to speak of. The usual assortment of three ideologies for three political parties, with the Conservative Katolisch Konservative party in power. The Liberals are the Freisinnige Fraktion, and hold 25% of the Upper House, and the Reactionaries from Konservative Fraktion hold another 10%. Naturally, as my upper house is voted in by aristocrats and capitalists (the upper classes), this does not reflect the mostly Conservative populace, but at least their choice is the ruling party. You can see Switzerland's current state of social benefits (non-existent) and its political nature (pretty okay).

    Now, let's look at some of the administrative things I have to keep track of:

    Switzerland only has two factories to begin with (which is good considering its two regions):



    There is a shortage of steel for the steel factory in West Switzerland, but no doubt that will be resolved.

    The country is divided, as mentioned, into two regions, which are markedly different. East Switzerland is more rural, with the population concentrated in Zurich, whereas West Switzerland has two large cities (Bern, the capital, and Geneva) and a more dense countryside:



    Additionally, the administration is more efficient in East Switzerland, no doubt due to the higher number of bureaucrats that live there - I shall have to deal with that eventually:



    Speaking of bureaucrats and their ilk, let's have a look at Switzerland's population.
    I have a sort of idea about how I want the country to go, so I'll start with the very relevant class of the aristocrats:



    They are mostly concentrated in East Switzerland, are mostly conservative (but have a higher reactionary tendency than other classes, except maybe officers and soldiers), and are Protestant/Catholic, with an almost equal split. An excellent model for Swiss society to develop under. Skip to the clergy:



    Almost all of them are liberals, much to my surprise (especially considering how many "fiery preacher" notifications I keep getting). Otherwise, they are unremarkable - though I think they are worth keeping an eye on, if only to develop a sense of narrative.

    Now, the middle-classes:



    These tend to be more liberal, and tend to be artisans - so I'd better keep them employed and occupied if I don't want the liberals rushing into office. A good portion of them are reactionaries, most of which emanate from the officer class and from the artisans as well. We'll have to see how that develops.

    The population as a whole:



    Switzerland is mostly farming, mostly conservative, and mostly protestant. Not much to elaborate on, but I think it's worth keeping these statistics in mind to check on changing demographics...

    My next post will contain the entirety of the first cycle of government that I played. My goal in this AAR will be to, essentially, create the Swiss monarchy. I intend to do so by encouraging the growth of the reactionaries and upper classes simultaneously, and hopefully with a muscled foreign policy I can become a world power. Of course, realistically, the goal is simply to become un-Swiss, as we understand the term today. To become unrecognizable as "Swiss", one way or the other. Hence "I Miss the Swiss".
    Last edited by Persigny; 08-05-2012 at 23:37.

  3. #3
    General morningSIDEr's Avatar
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    A good opening post and you have set yourself an interesting goal. Attempting to instate a monarchy whilst also aiming to become a GP should prove difficult. I am afraid that I am having some problem with your screenshots though, they are not showing for me at all. I'm just wondering if I am the only one with this problem, in which case the problem is undoubtedly at my end and you should ignore my havering.
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  4. #4

  5. #5
    Odd, I used one of those recommended image sites, and they show up for me.
    And calvinhobbesilk, thanks for catching that mistake.

  6. #6
    Well now they're not working for me either... Let me re-upload them elsewhere then, and fix that post.

  7. #7
    General morningSIDEr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Persigny View Post
    Well now they're not working for me either... Let me re-upload them elsewhere then, and fix that post.
    They are working perfectly for now, thanks for fixing the problem. The screenshots add considerably to an already good opening post.
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  8. #8
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    I agree with morningSIDEr. It's a good opening post, and you have set for yourself an interesting goal.
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  9. #9
    Thanks for the compliments guys - the game has certainly taken a turn to the "Oh my God, I can't believe that happened!", but I won't spoil anything. I'll try to get the next update up tonight, will try out a narrative style.

  10. #10
    Alright, here's the first update of actual gameplay - I'm trying out a narrative/diary style out this time, inspired by the Croatian AAR by Anjwalker, and if it works well, following posts will have the same style.
    This first post's content is mostly bureaucratic stuff, nothing really exciting happened, but just wait until the one after this!


    - - -

    1836


    Extracted from the Diary of Karl Friedrich Tscharner, President of the Tagsatzung
    January 1st, 1836


    Today was the first day of government since Bern acquired the presidency this year. I hope to do my people proud, but there is much work to be done. My ministers were all very inactive today on the first day working, and I think it was either due to the cold weather, or because they had spent all night last night celebrating the Bernese presidency at the Cross of Laeken tavern - perhaps I could have done better than make all my drinking buddies ministers.

    Nevertheless, we forged ahead! Due to the administrative inefficiency in the eastern cantons, we decided to take in some emigrant French aristocrats to manage the land, and encourage further investment from foreign nobility - the hope is that the distribution of land will allow for easier communication of bureaucratic measures. The alternative proposed to the board of ministers by the Tagsatzung was to set up an expensive, Zurich-based educational program to train clerks, but we haven't the money to spare.

    I've decided as well we should sent some gifts and the like to the French King, he might be miffed about us taking in some politically dissident nobles. I'll remind my secretary tomorrow, Clarence has the diplomatic touch.

    Of course, we balanced the budget too - the Finance Minister, Charles-Godefroy de Grosse-Table is from Geneva, and in typical Genevan fashion, would not shut up about his tariffs. I hope he's not going to be this difficult all year. We allocated a certain portion of the budget to a promising researcher, living in Zurich, from Britain. He's working on something he calls a "rail road", and I understand it will be an iron contraption of some kind that can replace horse-drawn carriages. It had something to do with water, so I imagine paddles will be involved at some point? Ah well, I never had a head for science.




    Extracted from the Diary of Karl Friedrich Tscharner, President of the Tagsatzung
    April 6th, 1836


    [...] and that damn Grosse-Table still won't leave me be with his damn tariffs.

    Karla, Georg and I went out for a walk this afternoon. I had hoped to catch the Chinoiserie exhibition at the park, and I was planning there to discuss with Georg his desired marriage with Antonetta G., that charming Italian girl with the father who works in agriculture. I never got around to doing that though.

    As we were walking down the street, Karla observed a crowd gathering by a newspaper kiosk. I had not seen that day's paper, so I sent Georg and Karla on ahead to the park, while I went to have a look. Karla does so detest crowds, so I thought I'd spare her the indignity of the rabble. As it turns out, it was not the paper, but a man putting up large posters. I managed to squeeze through the crowd and ask what was going on, but the man was incredibly vulgar and shrugged at me. I think, had he known my position, he would have been more respectful!



    I read the message, which was addressed to the members of the Tagsatzung! It was a plea by a family concerning the incarceration of one of their relatives. It seemed that the man in question had robbed a series of banks, and so was sentenced to a life in the prisons of Bern. The plea for mercy seemed genuine enough to me, and I inquired the members of the crowd as to their views on the subject - after all, the common man often has much to say with reason, despite his unmistakable scent! It seems the bank robber had run afoul of a criminal gang in the lower city, and was forced into his position by circumstance. There was attached to the poster a petition, and I recognized the names of prominent clergymen and men of the law. I left without of course divulging my position - but I took care to send a missive to Clarence that he work on reviewing the case, there may be some way to accommodate the family's grief and also serve justice...


    Extracted from the Personal Correspondence of Charles-Godefroy de Grosse-Table, Finance Minister
    June 25th, 1836


    And so, my dearest Maria, it is with pleasure that I have finally managed to convince the President to increase tariffs! You remember, I wrote to you of them last week. It is very important that we maintain a tight control over the products entering the country, I hear many substances might poison the moral fabric of our society! Tscharner seemed very agitated when he signed off on it. He broke a pen the first attempt, actually. I also thought I saw a nerve bulge on his forehead as he dug the pen into the paper (almost ripped right through it). I understand his son Georg is getting married to an Italian pig-farmer's daughter - it must be upsetting him greatly. I tell you though, if these tariffs go through, we won't have to worry about any Italian pigs coming over here to take our women! At 25%, they'd be damn rich pigs, I say!


    Extracted from the Diary of Karl Friedrich Tscharner, President of the Tagsatzung
    December 1st, 1836




    We caught wind from one of our French informants today that the French are planning to challenge the Dutch over the security of their colonial holdings in South America. A war of great magnitude is preparing itself, and as the Dutch are allied with Portugal and Prussia - I do not foresee a minor shedding of blood. I gave word to increase the funding we give our troops for their ammunition stores and uniforms - No doubt a Swiss declaration of neutrality will prevent them from somehow dragging us into their conflict, but we shall have to wait and see.

    Georg told me today Antonetta is pregnant, but the looming conflict is a terrible omen. I shall discuss it with Father Iago tomorrow after Mass.


    1837


    Transcript of a Speech by Josef Amrhein, President of the Tagsatzung and Leader of the Konservative Fraktion
    January 1st, 1837


    My friends, colleagues, and fellow compatriots! Let us begin our new year and inaugurate our new government by a celebration of our country's glorious progress over the last two decades since the fall of that tyrant Bonaparte! [cheers, applause] But let us neither dwell on our past victories, and forge onwards towards new ones! My government will, with your help, return to what is truly Swiss, what is truly ours, and wipe away the Act of Mediation once and for all. My fellow members of the Konservative Fraktion [applause from the right-wing of the floor, whistling from the left] will no doubt aid me in this task, but I ask also that my erstwhile opponents from the Freisinnige Fraktion join us in our holy duty!

    Nor do I forget the Katolisch Konservative who have and still shall steward this nation on behalf of its people. We are in coalition, and together, we can lead this country on the road to glory!




    Extracted from the Diary of Karl Friedrich Tscharner, Leader of the Katolisch Konservative Party
    January 1st, 1837


    Amrhein is fooling himself if he thinks the Konservative Fraktion will wield more power than the Katolisch Konservative party. We didn't accommodate him last year, we shan't this year. Naturally, we will seek out similar policies to him, since we are both trying to block the Liberals, but it is unlikely they will become the ruling party. Still the surge of their power might be a reflection of growing insecurity among the upper classes towards some reforms I carried out last year - we shall see how this government handles things. I'm pleased to note that Amrhein has taken Grosse-Table to be his Finance Minister. We'll see how he likes tariffs.


    Extracted from the Memoirs of Josef Amrhein, President of the Tagsatzung
    Chapter 9: President Me


    It was in early 1837, on the 21st of January (I kept an accurate diary during my time in government), that we began looking into the possibility of installing railroads to travel the low areas of Northern Switzerland. The technology was still being experimented with, but the essence of it was there. I did feel that something important would be connected to these metallic machines though, even in those early years. Of course, this was also the time when I had begun reading the great Catholic philosophes of the time, so no doubt there was more than a little to influence my thoughts! I remember reading Chateaubriand, De Maistre, even De Bonald. I spent copious amounts of time in the library at the Tagsatzung Hall, hoping one day to be able to apply my knowledge to better govern my people. I was, in essence, researching ideological thought, though I'd hate to admit it now.




    Extracted from the Memoirs of Josef Amrhein, President of the Tagsatzung
    Chapter 9: President Me


    I mentioned earlier in this chapter, before the episode with the killer pigeon crisis of early February, that I had been reading into ideologies. Now, while this connection may not seem entirely relevant to the killer pigeons, I assure you it is, as I shall elaborate on in my next chapter [Editor's Note: Chapter 10, Pigeons of Death, and How I Turned to Drinking]. Nevertheless, an important part of that connection was this leaflet that circulated throughout Bern at the time:



    Of course, at the time I had no idea it would lead to where it did - I don't think any of us, Liberals included, did. No doubt this was one of the many documents that influenced the course of events after the War of 1841... I had always blamed it personally on the reopening of that steel factory. Grosse-Table insisted. The man is so damn persistent. He also convinced me to sign on to fund the construction of the clothes factory in Geneva, not ten days afterwards. Unbelievable man, let me say that now! [Editors' Note: at this point Amrhein's writing becomes a bit sloppier - it seems he had hit the bottle while writing those last couple of lines, though it is only conjecture. Amrhein's alcoholism was not confirmed until the next year]


    Extracted from the Diary of Karl Friedrich Tscharner, Leader of the Katolisch Konservative Party
    March 20th, 1837


    I was accompanying Georg and Antonetta (it is now quite obvious she is with child, I have no doubt it will be healthy boy to carry on the Tscharner line!) on a stroll down to the park, when we came across a large gathering of youths outside a cafe. I was surprised by this, as it was only just past lunch time, and usually the students are in classes at the moment. I stopped one who was coming outside for a puff on his pipe, and asked what was going on.

    "We're having a meeting," he said "for the Bern Student Movement for Political Freedom."

    "What is that?" I asked, since I had never heard of the thing before.

    "We are campaigning and organizing for the introduction of greater reforms in the government. Amrhein is doing nothing to improve the conditions of the working classes!"

    While I agreed with the young man on the President's relative ineptness (thanks Heavens he picked more competent ministers), I could not really approve of his notions or their actions. I thanked the young man, and went on my way to the pond. I can't say I enjoyed that afternoon much, consumed as I was by these new developments. Despite the reactionary push in the last shuffling of the Tagsatzung, it seemed the streets were growing more liberal every day.

    - - -

    I had planned to go all the way until 1841 with this post, but the style draws it out quite extensively - If I continue with it shall have to make year-based posts, which would then take forever, but it is fun to do and creates good sense of character... Any suggestions? I'm also thinking of leaving out certain things.
    So I'll cut it here for now, but this update still had a whiles left to go, so no extremely exciting update until a bit later.

  11. #11
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    I'd so like to read "Chapter 10, Pigeons of Death, and How I Turned to Drinking"! :P

    As for content, if a writing style is fun for you and is done well, you can count on the readers to appreciate it. Although, in my subjective writing experience, I find it's often best to leave out non-essential events unless they are important for character development or for setting the tone for the story.
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  12. #12
    The second half of this Chapter will be in a sort of default descriptive style, like the introductory post, since really nothing important happened. I'll try to get a good narrative going again once the more exciting part starts - and boy does it.
    A note on this pictures this time: I had planned them for a more narrative presentation, so if they seem really "meh" this time around, it's because I'm hurrying things along.


    - - -

    On the 29th of March, the Papal States offered Switzerland an alliance:



    I'm not sure how much this alliance will help at this point, since the Papal States are several countries away and beholden to France in any case. Nevertheless, at this point I am without any diplomatic standing, so I accept the offer in order to start projecting some muscle here and there, or whatever.

    In April I increased my relations with France because France is no doubt going to end up as part of some great strategic alliance system, and I'd rather be on their side than against them. Liberal Agitation in Basel, nothing really new to report on. Liberal Agitation seems like one of those things you can just ignore most of the time because it always either dies down or is suppressed. It just happens so often that it becomes an irritation...

    On May 12th (that's today, woohoo), I continued to fund the construction of that clothes factory I mentioned earlier. Still wasn't built...

    Got a fiery sermon on June 1st. I get a lot of those two, but I can't imagine why, all the clergy are liberals, and Fiery Sermons are all reactionary events. Perhaps there is one, really dedicated reactionary priest who tours the country giving amazing speeches? I'd like to think so. Also, Liberal Agitation in Zurich. Light and shadow, I suppose.

    Prussia asked me for military access on the 27th of July - now this is important because of what will happen later on in the game (I keep building that up, I'm afraid it might be underwhelming when I reveal it, haha). Since Prussia is in the war with the Netherlands against France, I figured that letting Prussians march through the Alps right after I sucked up to France would be terrible form - also I was hoping to eventually grab some stuff from Prussia... No doubt my denial of passage, which may well have allowed them to invade southern France and turn the French-Dutch Colonial War in a different direction, would give them the motivation needed to do what they did later on.

    It was also at this time that my unemployment crisis hit. This was something that persisted for some time, since my factories never really seemed to get off the ground. Eastern Swiss craftsmen had no jobs. More on this later though, as I funded the clothes factory again (takes forever to get these damn things working).

    France was now fighting their war against the British as well, and beginning to lose.

    1838


    Another year, another upper house. That's one thing I don't understand, really - if the Upper House changes every year, why have elections? What exactly do they accomplish if the composition of the house changes yearly anyway? Also, is there a Lower House? Is that the Population's Ideologies thing? Not much happened, the Conservatives and Reactionaries just sat around, and the Liberals gained 3.34% of the votes.

    Baden offered Switzerland an Alliance in late February. I of course accepted, may as well have an ally up to the North.

    Ah, in May I had the first national census:



    Good to know indeed, though I forget what exactly the census does. Nevertheless, I now know how many people Switzerland has.

    I decided to tolerate the next Student's Association that popped up, which proved not to be too bad of a mistake, since it was immediately followed by Liberal Agitation dying out in Lucerne and another Fiery Sermon. Zurich also lost its status as hotbed of liberalism. A secret society was suppressed in Neuchatel, and in October, anther sermon by that intrepid reactionary evangelist. I shall have to make him a character when I get the narrative structure back on track.

    1839


    Liberals continue to make a small gain in the Upper House, gaining 0.92% of the vote this year. Keep in mind of course that the only authorized voters are the aristocrats and capitalists. Reactionaries hover at around 27% of the vote, and Conservatives make up the rest.

    No doubt a political change is going to occur soon enough, as evidenced by the continued unemployment crisis. Now ALL factories have shut down throughout the country, and thousands of artisans and craftsmen are without jobs...

    Also, research on Ideological Thought was completed, and I set sail to work on Organized Factories, which I desperately needed to boost productivity and give the economy a jump start.



    In addition, I also began work on the construction of a new factory in Western Switzerland to help out with the crisis.

    After a few months of new Secret Societies being opened and subsequently condemned, and repression of all sorts against Liberal Agitation, I managed to repay my loans to Spain, which apparently I had.

    1840


    New Upper House! Huzzah!



    It's been like that for a few years. A few reactionaries and conservatives defect to the Liberals, though the Reactionaries are still a large force, they've been bumped back to third place.

    Also, elections:





    A debate was held on our trade policy, you can read the specifics above... Everyone was already in favor of Free Trade, and all the political parties were pro-Free Trade, so naturally I did the sensible thing and picked the option that boosted support for Free Trade. It's not like anyone could have presented good arguments for anything else if everyone was on the Free Trade bandwagon.



    Debate on the role of religion! That's the stuff good elections are made out of. Since I'm trying to get the Reactionaries more power, I took the option of +10% Moralism. Got to get those religious voters! Interestingly enough, it was earlier that month that a Luddite mob broke out in the streets of Bern - possibly the debate was a reaction to that event?



    Debate on the military. I went with the most Pro-Military option, since I figure that if I'm trying to be less "Swiss" Swiss, then an armed Switzerland is the way to go. Also, all the parties were already Pro-Military, so going all the way to Jingoism would have been useless...



    Economics, my least favorite political topic. Having just re-opened the textile factory in East Switzerland though, it seems appropriately topical. I went with +5% more Laissez-Faire, didn't really feel the options presented me with much choice.

    I discovered in June Social Conscience, followed immediately by a debate on issues of trade again:





    I went with +15% Free Trade this time instead, to switch it up a bit.

    Finally, after a grueling but predictable campaign, the new government was elected on the 1st of July:



    I was really pleased with the results: a three-way split but a majority for the right-wingers! It had the potential to go in any direction, and if I was lucky, it would fly off to the reactionary side of things. Note, the Katolisch Konservative party are the Conservatives, the Konservative Fraktion are the Reactionaries, and the Freisinnige Fraktion are the Liberals. Switzerland is on its way to interesting places, for sure.

    So, at the end of the electoral cycle, let's see where Switzerland is at:

    I have a current crisis with unemployment, though the research into Organized Factories and the opening and re-opening of more facilities should easily solve that within a few years' time. I have more aristocrats in Eastern Switzerland than ever, adding a hefty proportion of Reactionaries to the voting bloc. I have more Liberals than ever as well, so I must watch out for that. Parliament being evenly split is an interesting development, I;m sure you will all agree, and you'll see in what direction that takes me in the future. I am currently #27 amongst nations, which is an okay position considering I haven't exactly done anything yet.

    - - -

    Tune in next time for my return to narrative form and for a more exciting episode of "I Miss the Swiss". There's about a year of mucking about with the crisis before the most exciting episode starts, so I'll try to skip that in a responsible fashion.

  13. #13
    An awesome AAR that I'm enjoying thoroughly. It'll be interesting to see what happens with the Swiss, locked between great three powers either directly or via spheres of influence. Also, I have to say you do a better job at the journal style than I do.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Anjwalker View Post
    An awesome AAR that I'm enjoying thoroughly. It'll be interesting to see what happens with the Swiss, locked between great three powers either directly or via spheres of influence. Also, I have to say you do a better job at the journal style than I do.
    You flatter me.
    Certainly at the point I am now it's taken an... interesting turn. I'm avoiding playing it further though until I get all the updates up. One more with an intermission and I should be ready to continue the game.

  15. #15
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    Excellent stuff thus far! I've never played as Switzerland, but I'm eager to see where you go with this. Keep up the good work!
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  16. #16
    Sorry for the lack of updates everyone - my internet has been out, and it is very slow as of now - I can't really upload any images, and any update would be useless without it.

    So, keep waiting, I'm afraid until at least the 12th.

  17. #17
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    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Bavaria
    Posts
    131
    If I can wait about 30 years in my Austria AAR until anything really has the chance to get going since I'm almost forced to focus on literacy to stay competitive, then I can wait a while for a neat AAR like this. Definitely digging the concept - kind of reminds me of my Switzerland game I had in EU3 where I ended up uniting the HRE and became a warmongering juggernaut.

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