Welcome to my next AAR, The Rise of a Giant - A Lithuania AAR! As you can tell, I will be taking control of tiny little Lithuania, resting peacefully on the shores of the Baltic, and try to shape her to reclaim much of her lost lands, to form the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. I have only modded the save game of this file, and this is to create the independent states of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia, and remove the Russian Cores on that land. This AAR will be a little wordy, with fewer pictures than my previous ones. Hopefully I can still entertain some of you. Without further adieu, here is the start of the AAR:
Table of Contents
1830 - 1840: Rebirth of the Monarchy
1840 - 1850: The Trials and Tribulations of Statehood
1830 - 1840: Rebirth of the Monarchy
During the cold winter months of 1829, Tsar Nicholas I of Russia decreed that the Baltic Peoples, now starting to become a nuisance to his ideas of a greater Russia, decided in a fit of rage to simply release them as a single state, the United Baltic Duchy, with Grand Duke Michael Pavlovich as the King of this new Puppet Kingdom. In return for a semi-autonomous rule, they were to give Russia the same rights as though it was still a territory of the Russian Empire. King Pavlovich, however, treated the new country as though it was indeed still part of Russia, forming a government made up of all Russians, and exploiting the land to its true potential.
1. King Pavlovich of the United Baltic Duchy.
Tensions between the civilians and their Russian Government ran high. In Estland, a provisional government, calling the country the "Kingdom of Estonia", declared its full independence from the Duchy, citing differences between ideologies and beliefs. King Pavlovich simply let it happen, not content to fight a war for something as small as Estland, the real value was in keeping Lithuania and Courland. So much focus was put on Lithuania, that Courland and the other provinces in the North decided to declare their independence as well, being the "Duchy of Latvia", claiming to be free and independent from Russia and the United Duchy. Left with little choice, King Pavlovich, now in deep discontent with the Russian Monarchy and his brother, proclaimed that the United Baltic Duchy was hereby renamed to become the Duchy of Lithuania. Pavlovich, trying to keep his spot on the throne, declared himself to be the King of Lithuania, and taking the name King Mindaugus II, to try and assimilate himself into the Lithuanian culture. His coronation took place on January 1st, 1836, and he soon issued his first edicts to better the country.
The first was the formation of a new, all-Lithuanian Government, followed by a general calling to the religious in Lithuania, to help improve literacy and the general spread of Lithuanian culture, it was required that more Clergymen and Teachers be recruited to help spread the Lithuanian language and literature. King Mindaugus II was intent on making sure Lithuania was no longer an ancient backwater as it had been treated under the yoke of the Russian Empire. Instead, he issued yet another edict, calling for Lithuanians to travel to the United States of America and United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland to try and research information about the possibility of building a railroad in Lithuania. Should this not work, he would at least look towards having proper roads established, currently there was nothing but dirt paths linking most of the nation together.
2. Painting of an average road in Lithuania during the winter. Unpaved and difficult to travel on.
The first taste of international diplomacy that reached Lithuania was from the Kingdom of Estonia. With bad feelings of the United Duchy still hanging in the air, the news was good. The Estonian King had good intentions towards its neighbours, and wished to enter into a defensive alliance with Lithuania. After conferencing with his cabinet briefly, King Mindaugus II agreed to such a proposal and a formal treaty was signed on May 17th, 1837. Shortly after this news was announced, the Duchy of Latvia came forward to both the Kingdom of Estonia and the Duchy of Lithuania if they too could be included in a defensive treaty. A formal agreement was signed, and the three Baltic countries entered into a small alliance system, ready to help defend the other should any of them get attacked. Although this was brokered mostly by the Estonian King, King Mindaugus II took this as a opportunity to try and rally more support for him and his government, which ultimately worked. Continuing to work with the Lithuanians, he abolished the official usage of French as the main language of the Government, and abolished Russians as the official language of the country. He worked with his cabinet and agreed that Lithuanian should be the official language of both the Government and the Country, a revolutionary idea at the time, earning the King praise from the Lithuanians, but a deep hatred from the Russian Nobility left inside the country.
The King, somewhat of a Liberal Thinker, decided that the only way to move forward was through reforms of the Government and the country. As such, he felt that the current Government control of the newspaper and print industry was rather absurd, and instead enacted a decree, allowing any Lithuanian to run a newspaper or printing industry, so long as they passed somewhat liberal Government censors. Another reform he handed down was the abolishment of the Single-Party system, he now allowed political parties to form freely, but they would be heavily regulated by the Lithuanian Government, to ensure no radical elements grew out of it.
In early July of 1838, news came back from the United States, that blueprints for a small, rickey railway had been obtained from South Carolina. Construction of a small railway in Vilnius was ordered, the national treasury nearly depleted from doing so, but the King felt that this was the only way forward in the ideas of progress. He wished to also set aside funds for the construction of a railway all the way to the Sea, but he would be forced to take a loan in order to even extend the railway from where it ran right now. Still careful about the population, he enacted a general decree, raising the tariffs and taxes on the population by the smallest of margins, in an attempt to help raise more money to build a new railway. Revenue slowly increased, but it would be a while until he could get any sort of amount needed to fund his ambitious projects. The budget was holding steady, supplying the Duchy's Coffers with more and more gold.
In an effort to help run the country more effectively, King Mindaugus II announced the creation of the Grand Council of the Duchy of Lithuania. It was to be a legislative body, run by the landed aristocrats of Lithuania, now almost chiefly Lithuanians, and their primary mission was to run the country according to the King's will, and generally look at all the smaller things that are normally overlooked. The King issued a speech to the Grand Council, consisting of 350 members, and outlined his plan for the countries future. He envisioned a new Lithuania, one that could reach out further than the old Lithuania. He gave a nod towards Congress Poland, and all the rest of the oppressed Polish peoples, knowing that they had once been partners in a very powerful state that was ruined before it should have been. He did, however, leave a small provision in his speech, claiming that maybe, one day, Lithuania shall once again rule all over her ancestral lands.
3. Europe, in 1840.
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