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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Phi

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@hermi: Would SchwereKavallerie as all one word be acceptable? I know Germans combine words like that with other things (Kleindeutsche Lösung, Großdeutschland, Reichsdeputationshauptschluss, Others)
"SchwereKavallerie" makes no sense and the equivalent of "Kleindeutschland" would be "Schwerkavallerie", but that's as well no German word (though I can't tell you why). "Schwere Kavallerie" is correct.
 

Vishaing

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An Empire Once Again Holy and Roman.

@ Derahan: Only Hungary and Serbia's economy collapsed, Austria is actually going through its golden age during this period.
@ asd21593: Trust me, it gets worse...
@ gabor: Thanks! Yep, Bohemia, Hungary's Ally, asked me to help them in an imperial crusade, and my declaration of war prompted the OE to peace out with Hungary for a few provinces, That's what the 'Occupied Hungary' map represents, the territory labeled as directly annexed was what they Peaced Out for, and the occupied territory was territory I would have given the OE had I lost the Crusade. And the situation you describe is essentially why I decided to remove the lucky tag, because with the exception of Louis XIV, I don't think France had a single 'lucky' ruler. That and seeing one too many 'Godly' Regency Councils in the OE.
@ Phi: Okay, Kaiserliche Schwere Kavallerie (K.S.K.) it is. Thanks for your help!
@ mw1776: As You wish!
@ All: I'm going to keep the status of the next update in my Signature to help people follow along. I will try to keep it updated as the Situation Changes.
Also, Here's a Hint I play too much EU3, Zaporozhye now appears in my Open Office Dictionary! :D

Also Again, does anyone else find it funny that this, the Fourth Post of this AAR, is the first that actually deals with the Country I'm Playing? Hell, if I wanted to Pick some Nits, almost half of this AAR will be over before I actually get to the Nation I end the Game as! :D

~~*~~

The World of 1600
Chapter 10: The Holy Roman Empire till 1579
The Great Crusade and the Habsburg Golden Age


The Holy Roman Empire at 1522, at the End of the Great Crusade.
The Very Pale Green represents states too small to be realistically Tracked on this Scale.

The End of the Great Crusade ushered Europe into the Age of the Habsburgs. With their Eastern Border secure, and unprecedented control of the Holy Roman Empire, the Habsburg Empire, as it was now known, was easily able to exert its influence anywhere in Europe, going so far as to challenge and defeat the Kingdom of France virtually singlehandedly, while only committing half of its forces to the War.

The Parade through the Imperial City of Wien was a grand sight, as the entire Kaiserliche Schwere Kavallerie Regiment, now reinforced to its full complement of 8000 strong, strode confidently through the gates of the Imperial Citadel, with Friedrich VI riding triumphantly at its head, silver armor polished and shining in the clear blue sky, with a massive golden drape flowing behind him for nearly a dozen feet.

The entire Crusade had cost the empire less than 10000 troops in combat, and hardly another 10000 in sieges and attrition, as many of the Non-Muslim Forces of the Ottoman Empire had readily surrendered when news of the Second Battle of Prijedore and the Sultan's Capture reached them. However, the true beauty of the Imperial Crusade was far more subtle, particularly within Poland and Hungary.

It has been stated that the Empire's Eastern Border was now secured, however the method of that securing was quite deeper than simply defeating the Ottoman Empire, as the entire Eastern Border had been secured. Not only had the Turks been pushed from the immediate vicinity of the Empire, but so too had the Kingdom of Hungary, who had for so long been a rival of the Habsburg Crown, ever since the break of the two Crowns in 1469. Never again would the Kingdom of Hungary serve as an antagonist to the Habsburg Empire. Indeed, so great was the measure taken to ensure that the Kings of the Balkans would never be able to threaten the Great Dynasty, that even long after the removal of the Habsburg Dynasty from Austria, Hungary was still but a leper state on the border of the Empire, dependent on other larger powers to preserve.

However in addition to this, the brilliance of Friedrich VI also preserved the North Eastern Border of the Empire. Poland had, as was mentioned, provided a great deal of finances to support the Crusade. This financing, in combination with a large revolt in the Zaporozhye, distracted and weakened the Kingdom of Poland-Lithuania. However, this was not the True Beauty of the crusade. The True Beauty of the arrangement was giving the Vassals in the Balkans to Poland and Hungary. Poland was given Moldavia, and Hungary was given Bosnia, Serbia, and Wallachia, as said. Thus two nations who were barely able to maintain the stability of their own nation, were given yet more to attempt to command, and fell yet further due to it.

In the end, Hungary would never recover, and it would take Poland almost half of a century to bring itself stability, only for this new strength and stability to be shattered by the Nascent German Confederation.

However in The Empire, there was only Triumph, and Joy. Indeed, Triumph would be the best word to describe this age, and it appears Friedrich himself was quite taken with the word, going so far as to construct three Triumphal Arches in the style of ancient Rome throughout his Empire over the next decade.

The First began construction in 1523, shortly after the end of the crusade, in Wien. The Second would be constructed in Brabant to commemorate the Habsburg Victory in the Second Burgundian War, which will be discussed in the chapter concerning the Burgundian Inheritance, and the third was planned to be constructed in Milan as gratitude to the Italian Princes who supported both the crusade and the Second Burgundian War, however construction on this arch stopped in 1538. This third arch would not be finished until the reign of Empress Annaliese I in 1612, when it was re-dedicated to the Italian People for accepting the Habsburg Exiles.

In the Empire at large, Friedrich took his opportunity from the Great Crusade and his amazing victory to issue the Imperial Bull of 1523, in the process effectively declare himself Hereditary Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, drafting a new constitution that would both replace and extend the Golden Bull of 1356, and invalidate many of its most important stipulations.

The Electoral College remained, however it did so as a largely symbolic institution. The Successor to the Title of Emperor was now effectively declared by the Head of the House of Habsburg, who was given the title of First Elector of the Holy Roman Empire, who would carry 5 votes in the Electoral College, thus ensuring that it would take a virtually unanimous vote to oust the Habsburgs from Power. It thus became standard precedence that the Current Ruler of Austria was free to name himself as Holy Roman Emperor.

To this day, it remains unknown why Friedrich allowed a state where a Unanimous Vote could oust a Habsburg Emperor, given that, at the time, with all of the small states of the Empire having given much of their manpower to the Imperial Army, directly under the control of Friedrich VI, and the amazing popularity he enjoyed amongst the people, he could easily have fully declared the Empire Hereditary.

It was by this move that Austria claimed absolute dominance in the Empire, however in a surprising twist, and because Friedrich surely realized that the principle lords of the Empire would never give up their lands without a fight, the local authority of most of the states of the Empire was never touched upon. Where it was, the effect was less the annexation of these states and more the strengthening of their ties with Austria. The Only states to be officially annexed by the Imperial Bull of 1523 were a few small states who were already directly vassal states of Austria, namely Hesse, Wurtemburg, Munster, Mainz, and a host of very small states in Northern Germany, principally in the area around Munster-Brunswick. The Archbishop of Mainz retained his Electoral Vote, living on a very small semi-autonomous estate near the city of Frankfurt.

The Bull also reorganized a great deal of the Imperial Legislative System. Whereas before, all Imperial States reported directly to the Emperor unless otherwise stated, as in the case of Silesia, which reported to the King of Bohemia, who then reported to the Emperor, under the new administrative system, the Territory of the Empire not directly controlled by the Emperor was placed into a series of 'Reichskreise' (Imperial Circles) divided according to the specific German Subculture of the area, with a large Italian Circle controlling most of Northern Italy and a larger Imperial Circle comprising the Habsburg Lands and the lands of states directly under their oversight.

All Imperial Circles were given a capital and Lord Protector who would report to the Emperor and bear the Emperor's Seal and Authority for him, including the right to raise up an Imperial Army and declare an Imperial Admonition on a member state of the Empire who violated the sanctity and stability of their circle. In addition to this, all Imperial Circles were given their own Kreistag which would function in concert with the Larger Reichstag, and which was allowed to make any provisions, treaties, and laws as it saw fit, so long as they did not contradict the laws or provisions of the Reichstag or an Imperial Decree. Lastly, the Conveners of an Imperial Circle were added to the First Bench of the Reichstag, in the common situation that a state was both an Elector and the Convener of an Imperial Circle, they would thus carry double Weight at the Reichstag, while the Emperor would gain two full votes of their own, and any who bore the title 'First Elector' would be given an extra vote. With their status as Emperor, Convener, and First Elector, the Habsburg Emperor of Austria was thus given Five Votes in the First Bench, of a total 22 Votes.


The Imperial Circles, Listed Below, With their Names, the Colors they appear in, and the Name of its Lord Protector:
Imperial, White, The Habsburg Emperor
Wurttemberg, Purple, The Lord Protector and Duke of Switzerland
Bohemian, Brown, The Elector and King of Bohemia
Bavarian, Gray, The Duke of Bavaria
Upper Saxon, Red, The Elector and Margrave of Brandenburg
Lower Saxon, Yellow, The Prince of Mecklenburg
Franconian, Blue, The Archbishop of Wurzburg
Electoral Rhenish, Teal, The Elector of the Rheinland Palatinate
Upper Rhenish, Orange, The Duke of Lorraine
Lower Rhenish, Peach, The Archbishop of Cologne
Italian, Green, the Duke of Modena

The Bull also fixed the Imperial Capital at Nuremberg in Perpetuity, a law that holds true to this day, even after the constitution of The Empire has been completely rewritten. Nuremberg also saw the establishment of the Administration of the Imperial Army, where generals from all states in the empire would meet and act as the Emperor's Fist should he be distracted with more pressing business. Sadly, the Imperial Army would not see any real usage until the institution of a Reichsverweser after the Revolution, as with the beginning of the Wars of Religion in the Empire, the loyalty of the Imperial Army became Suspect, and it was forcibly dismantled before it could even march out to war.

While the first part of the Imperial Constitution of 1523 dealt largely with the political structure of the Empire, and sought to establish a far reaching, dynamic, and comprehensive bureaucracy to administrate Imperial Lands and carry out the Emperor's Will, the second part of the bull was devoted to determining just what that Will would be.

The Second Part of the Imperial Bull concerned itself primarily with what rights Leaders of the Imperial Circles would gain, and what laws would be included in the Imperial Gesetzbuch. Most of the provisions included in the Bull at this point dealt with the definition of Legal Claim to a territory, and reaffirmed the process by which such would be decided in the Reichskammergericht. Further stability was added to the empire by the official confirmation of various powers given to local nobility and temporal princes.

There were also a number of small specific laws which will not be discussed here for space.

One of its little discussed and lesser known provisions was to strip much of the power from many of the smaller states. This was caused in large part by the establishment of the Imperial Circles, which gave, along with the power call up an Imperial Army to defend minor states and raise taxes from those small states to provide for it, also included a little known 'Autonomy Clause' which stipulated that any small state deemed unable to defend itself at short notice, would be directly subject to the Lord Protector of the Imperial Circle it was contained within. This Provision was little discussed in the Reichstag, and appears to have been included without many princes realizing it existed. It should be noted that a comprehensive definition of what being able to defend oneself would entail was not provided, and this would lay the framework for a great centralization of the Empire that would be carried out from 1532-34.

The Imperial Bull of 1523 was a brilliant success. It was passed unanimously after a long speech by Emperor Friedrich VI, and entered Imperial Law faster than any other such Proclamation. The Accounts of this Imperial Diet record that Emperor Friedrich was almost universally loved at this point, with the entire affair becoming little more than one massive ceremony devoted to glorifying his accomplishments. It seems that most of the nobles were consumed by the moment and Friedrich's Personal Charisma, as later, after the Diet had been adjourned and the Bull Proclaimed, many would openly write of how they could not believe the acted, or even believed, as they did. At the time however, there was little more than Joy and Glory to be presented and reveled in. However not all was joy at this time.

The Bull itself did not declare who would occupy the position of Lord Protector of an Individual Circuit, stating only that the position must be occupied by a Male Monarch or Archbishop, who must request the position and have it granted to them by the Emperor Himself. Any State was able to have its position as Lord Protector revoked at the whim of the Emperor, and the Emperor could deny any request for the Title of Lord Protector for any reason, although Imperial Authority would likely decline from such a thing.

When the various Princes began approaching the Emperor for the title, most were only accepted to the status if they were the largest state in their circle. There was one exception to this, that would lead to war.

The Savoyard War

The Duke of Modena, Cesare I, had been in attendance for the Sitting of the Reichstag and the voting upon it. He had been a guest at the Habsburg Palace for a long while, with his home lands ruled by proxy and by his brother. Despite this, he made frequent return trips to Italy, and spent a great deal of time in Austrian Milan. His Patronage of the Arts and Architecture had led him to construct a massive Imperial Summer Home at Parma that would eventually house the fleeing Habsburgs during the Revolution, and his many gifts of fine art and brilliant artists to the Vienna Academy of the Arts ensured that he and Friedrich VI, himself a great fan of the arts, who had gone so far as to push Austria itself towards such patronage, were good friends. Thus, when Duke Cesare I requested the title of Lord Protector of Italia, Friedrich was all too eager to grant his friend this prestigious gift.

This would inevitably anger the Duke Carlo I of Savoy. Savoy was, at this point, a vastly larger entity than Modena, with at least three times as much territory, a greater army and navy, and a stronger Economy. By all Rights Savoy would have been better qualified to defend Italia in Friedrich's Absence. They thus disputed the claim of Cesare I to the title of Lord Protector, claiming that Friedrich had personally snubbed them out of fear of the might of the Duchy of Savoy, and that this act had been a calculated move to undermine the Authority of the Duchy in Northern Italy. When their cries fell on deaf ears, Carlo I decided the only recourse was to invade Modena and prove them unable to defend even themselves, let alone Italia.

By All accounts Carlo I was not a particularly bright man. Although capable at Military Organization, Strategy, and even somewhat skilled at Battlefield Tactics, he was not a pleasant person to be around, lacked charm and grace, and attempted to push his reforms through without negotiation or respect for the workings of government. When the Invasion began, he presented to his generals an incredibly ambitious design, which would, at its culmination, result in Savoy invading and annexing Modena, Tuscany, and Siena, taking the Austrian Territory in Italy, as well as taking the Lombard territory from Venice, and crowning Carlo I with the Iron Crown of Lombardy and thus becoming King of Italy.

The Strength of his Duchy was dependent largely on the efforts of his predecessors, some of which had been exceedingly talented. It had been Carlo Emanuele I, Carlo's Grandfather, who had reformed the Savoyard Military and Bureaucracy, and expanded its diplomatic clout until it was able to, in a single war, not only invade Genoa, but force the Genoese Government to flee and cede de-facto control of both the city, and its valuable trade to the Duchy of Savoy. The Genoese Merchants then fled to Venezia, where their former rival was all too happy to absorb the Republic's former Island Territories.

When 12 Thousand Savoyard Troops crossed the border into Modena, they found themselves surrounded on all sides by a massive alliance of Italian States. The Diplomatically Brilliant Cesare I had gathered to him an alliance consisting of Venezia, Tuscany, Aragon, Austria, and even the Swiss Confederation, now under the nominal leadership of the Habsburg Prince Johann, while Savoy was alone and isolated, all of Austria's Perennial Rivals being occupied with their own engagements. Friedrich, although the official leader of this massive alliance, gave control of all Austrian Forces committed to this war and control of all negotiations to Cesare I, telling him 'Show your Worthiness to Bear My Seal'. Cesare would accomplish all of this and more.

Had this war been simply between Modena and Savoy, it is likely the latter would have emerged victorious. Savoy's army numbered 16 Thousand in total against Modena's Four Thousand, however with Modena's Allies backing them, the forces at their disposal could easily have reached over One Hundred Thousand Strong, although only perhaps one quarter of that were actually committed to the War at Hand.

The Initial Savoyard army made significant headway before being stopped by a Combined Tuscan-Modenese army numbering 21 Thousand Strong, while the Austrian Habsburgische Armee pushed westward from Milan into Piedmont, and the armies of the Swiss Confederation marched south into the small counties between Switzerland and Piedmont. These Counties easily surrendered to Switzerland, while the Savoyard army in the South was pushed back into Genoa. There it was surrounded by Allied Forces and quickly destroyed, with the Savoyard Duke Carlo I being killed in battle. As Carlo had no children, the duchy fell to his cousin, the infant son of Jacob, Friedrich's Third Son, thus gaining yet another state for the Growing Habsburg Dynasty. Once all was done, the war lasted less than Eight Months.

The Treaty of Genoa was a brilliant Diplomatic Coup for Cesare I, as he brokered an immense amount of good will by not taking control of any territories himself. The Only Territories to change hands were in Northern Piedmont, where the Swiss Confederation seized two small Counties and incorporated them into the Current Framework of Cantons. The Local Lords of these Counties were more than willing to join the Decentralized Swiss Confederation and escape the increasingly heavy handed Duchy of Savoy, and so these territories remained under Swiss Control. The only gain given to Modena was to force the Duchy of Savoy to rescind all claim to the title of Lord Protector In Perpetuity. Likewise, on the Provocation of Venezia, Savoy was forced to declare the Genoese Republic to be officially disbanded. Savoy had maintained the Republic as a token autonomous force, ruling in reality only one square block of the city, such that Savoy could, should they desire and find the means to, lay claim to Genoa's Naval Empire in the Mediterranean, now incorporated into the Empire of Venice. Thus the war ended, quickly and quietly, with Cesare I having clearly shown himself to be a power in Northern Italy, despite the lack of military Strength Available to him directly.

The Danish War

The Second cause for hostility came in 1525, with the expansion of the estates of the Empire and the further consolidation of the territory in Imperial Circles. In Late October, the Archbishop of Cologne demanded that the King of Denmark allow Imperial Agents into the county of Oldenburg. This Territory was, but the definition of an Imperial Circuit, within the Lower Rhenish Circuit, and Cologne demanded that the Crown of Denmark-Norway enforce laws written by the Emperor and the Archbishop in this small strip of land. The King of Denmark naturally refused, and thus began The Danish War.

The Danish war was over even faster than the Savoyard War, lasting only Five Months before Sweden Intervened by declaring war on Denmark, and giving Friedrich the Leverage he needed to Force the Danish King to cede the County of Oldenburg to the Imperial Demesne. There had been no major battles, and only a brief campaign in the Lower Marches of Sleiswig before Oldenburg had been occupied.

Surprisingly, this short, minor war would have far reaching consequences, as Friedrich's abandonment of Sweden to Denmark would, despite the Swedish-Danish war ending in White Peace, so embitter The Swedish King to Friedrich VI, himself openly acknowledged as the Master of the Papacy, that the Swedish King would, within three years, declare himself Master of the Church in his Realm, thus further exacerbating the already flowering Reformation.


The Empire at 1529, after the Danish War, the Savoyard War, and the Second Burgundian War
The Swiss Confederacy was rewarded with a large territory East of the Original Cantons in honor of the Valuable Service of Swiss Mercenaries in the Second Burgundian War and the Savoyard War.


The Centralization of the Empire

As Mentioned above, the Imperial Bull of 1523 gave the ability to local powers to consolidate their Holdings. In 1529, after the amazing victory over France, Friedrich, enjoying even greater popularity in his reign, gave permission for various Large Estates to Absorb their Smaller Neighbors.

Only those Small States that could not recruit a Regiment of at least 2000 Soldiers were to be disbanded, and thus the primary location of these territorial changes were in the Western and Southern Empire. In the Northern Empire, especially near Brandenburg, the cities were rich enough, especially with the support of the Hanseatic League, to raise the troops they needed to continue to be considered Independent. In the rest of the empire, a Feeding Frenzy Ensued.

Some States, such as the Duchy of Bavaria or the Rheinland Palatinate, almost doubled in Size, while other states, such as the County of Baden, were merely able to finally make their lands Contiguous.

In Italy, very little changed hands, with the small states between Austrian Milan and Savoy remaining independent so as not to extend the front lines should the two powers go to war again.

Friedrich Himself did not seize any large pieces of territory, preferring to let the smaller states of the Empire consolidate his Empire for him.

This would lead to many things, and ultimately changed the entire face of the Empire. Where once there were over 300 small states in the empire, now less than 50 remained. Entirely new States were created purely to attempt to throw off attempts at absorbing them. In the North, a League of Small Counties declared themselves to be the Federated Duchy of Hannover, staying united just long enough to convince Friedrich to end this period. In the far North, the Hanseatic League became more Centralized and United than it had ever been. Both of these Leagues would remain semi-active in the coming years, with the League of Hannover federating almost to nonexistence but persisting with a unified military capable of defending itself, and the Hanseatic League returning to trading matters now that the potential crisis was averted.

This was a deceptive move on Friedrich's Part. The Estates were still very independent, even those small states that could not raise troops to defend themselves had preserved a great deal of autonomy, and very small estates still existed as nominally independent. There were still a host of Imperial Cities that remained free to pursue their own Political Policy, and two of the Large States formed were openly defiant of Friedrich VI. In many ways, although the Empire was stronger than ever, it was even further divided. Likewise, although the Nobles celebrated their newfound authority and territorial holdings, the First Peasant's War had just begun in Central Germany, and the Reformation was building itself into a powerful Movement. With England and Sweden openly challenging the Church's Authority, and Friedrich lacking any sort of motivation to fight this, considering it little more than an 'Affair for Squabbling Monks', the next age would rend this phantom order into bits, and lay bear the chaos just barely restrained.

Perhaps, this is a mark of further Brilliance on Friedrich's Part. Only he could have navigated these waters, and had a lesser Emperor been at the rudder, the Empire Could have been undone. Friedrich had halted the slow decline that had beset the Empire for Centuries. Had he been lesser, the Institution likely would have beaten itself to Irrelevance, and finally Death.


The Empire after the Imperial 'Consolidation' of 1534. The Pale Green represents the Federated Duchy of Hannover, while Territory shown in Lubeck's Deep Red were the territories that declared themselves officially joined as part of the Hanseatic League.

The Habsburg Dynasty in 1534, the height of its power.

The Habsburg Dynasty at this age experienced the height of its Power. The Romance of Friedrich VI and Maria de Burgundy has since become Legendary, not only for their infamous Rivalry for Power and Influence that somehow managed to not destroy their marriage, or even their love, but also due to the veritable horde of Children they had. Their Last child, Eugenia, was their 15th to Survive to Adulthood, and their 23 in total. The Last of the Five Girls whom survived, she and her 10 Brothers would bring the Habsburg Dynasty control of almost half of Europe, through one form or another.

Friedrich's First Child, also named Friedrich, was an average person granted control of the Duchy of Tirol to test his ability. Although lacking in overt Talent, he possessed a dogged determination and a sense of honest simplicity and bluntness that endeared him to his father. He lacked the grace necessary to succeed at military matters, however was fully aware of this, and thus left his army in the hands of capable generals selected by his own overview, and the recommendation of his peers.

He was, as the eldest, in line for the Imperial Throne, and Friedrich seemed content with him.

The Second Child and Son, Karl, was first given the title of Lord Protector and Duke of the Swiss Confederation, until he married into the house of Hohenzollern, and eventually gained control of the Electorate of Brandenburg through his son Maximilian, ruling as regent until turning the Margraviate over to his son fully. When he Left Switzerland for Brandenburg, the Confederation passed to his younger Brother Johann.

The Third Son of Friedrich, Jacob, would, as has been said, become Regent over Savoy until his Infant Son Berthold would inherit it.

Friedrich's First Daughter and Fourth Child, Amalia Von Habsburg-Valois, would be married to the King of Portugal, gaining The Habsburg Dynasty an influence in the New World and India, as well as a powerful Navy to aid it in the Wars of Revolution. To this day, Portugal is a confirmed enemy of the German Republic.

Willhelm was the Fifth Child and Fourth Son, and his son would gain the title Duke of Lorraine.

The Sixth Child would be Stillborn, as would the Seventh, leading to fears of Infertility in Maria.

However those fears would be quashed by the birth of Dedrick, Eighth Child and Fifth Son in 1509 Dedrick would become Count of Ansbach after the previous Count died without Heir.

The Ninth Child would also be Stillborn, reviving Fears, until the birth of Casper in 1511, Sixth Son and Tenth Child. Sadly, although his Son would become the Count Palatine and Elector of the Rheinland Palatinate, this son would be born after Casper's Unfortunate Death in 1534.

Casper's brother Kass would be born in 1511, Eleventh Child and eventual father of the Duke of Bavaria; Johann.

Kass would be followed by his Brother Ansaldo, Twelfth Child and Eighth Son. Ansaldo would go into the Priesthood as befitting of his name, where he would serve as an official in the Papal States after serving as the Archbishop of Salzburg. Little is known of Ansaldo, and he was given the nickname 'Rune' Meaning Secret, even by his own family and friends.

Ansaldo would be followed by his brother Johann, who would be granted the title of Lord Protector of the Swiss Confederation at the age of 17 in 1523, a title that had recently been vacated by his older brother Karl.

Johann is followed by his Second Sister Augusta, born in 1516. She would marry into the House of Wittelsbach but remain landless herself, until her Daughter Maria would marry the Landgrave of Hesse and play a crucial role in the Reformation.

The Fifteenth Child would be another girl, and would be named Maria Theresia after her Mother. She would give birth to a son named Friedrich, later Friedrich VIII and the last of the so called 'Three Friedrichs'. She would largely reign as Queen Regent over her largely invalid Son.

Maria Theresia would be followed by her brother Siegfried in 1521. Siegfried would remain childless and would never marry, leading to rumors of his sexuality, however after the death of Maria Theresia in 1554 he would become Regent over the Empire, and such rumors would be quickly dropped.

Siegfried would be followed by his Sister Alexandra in 1522, who would marry the King of England and rule as Queen Regent. She would prove to be a lively person, with a power personality and, although she would lack in grace, would assist her husband greatly in the Reforms of his Country after the English Wars of Religion. She would Remain Catholic in a Protestant Country, however would publicly support Tolerance and accept the Protestant Rites as her own, giving her an interesting take on Religion that she would latter write often of. She is still, to this day, regarded as one of England's Better Queens, although she is generally overshadowed by her Daughter Elizabeth.

The Last Child to live through Birth would be named Eugenia. She would eventually go against the judgments of society and marry a young Officer in the Imperial Army, who would then be promoted to a small landless noble. Friedrich apparently approved of their marriage, as he would entertain no thoughts of breaking them up, however this is likely due to a sense of nostalgia on his part, as the young couple were said to resemble the Emperor and Empress.

The Remaining pregnancies of Maria would all end in Stillborn children who were vastly underdeveloped. The cause of this remains unknown as the earlier Stillborns were described as normal, dead from no apparent cause, while the latter stillborns would seem to have only been half developed. These Stillbirths would not pose too great of a health risk to the Empress, and she would remain active well into her later years.

Outside of the Couple's Children, Various Brothers and Sisters of the Couple would also rise to prominence. Friedrich, For Instance, would have Two Brothers. His First Brother, Rudolf, would become the Disastrous King-Regent of Hungary, while Friedrich's Youngest and Slightly More skilled Brother Karl would become Elector and King of Bohemia. Friedrich's Only Sister Cacilie would marry the Heir to the Throne of Aragon, bringing yet more influence to the Habsburg Dynasty. Maria's Elder Sister Jeanette would be Married to a Noble of the Kingdom of France, becoming Duchess of Burgundy after the Second Burgundian War. Maria's Younger Sister Clara would marry Duke Cesare I of Modena, further strengthening the ties of the two Countries.

More Distant Cousins of Friedrich would also hold the titles of Duke of Silesia, Duke and Elector of Saxony, Duke of Pommerannia, Count of Urbino, and Count of Baden.

It was once said that "Although Jerusalem is the center of the World, the World Revolves around Wien."


The States who had Members of the Habsburg Dynasty Either as their Monarch, the Regent and Parent of their Monarch, or as the Wife of the Monarch.

This period is thus known as the Habsburg Golden Age, and saw the Dynasty claim control of almost half of the crowns of Europe through some means or another. Where they had no Dynastic Claim, they instead pursued Alliances, where those were not possible, they crippled whoever might stand against them. In the summer of 1537, God must surely have seemed to be Austrian, however it was, sadly, not to last, and the Habsburg Golden age is now known to have a concrete, resolute, end.

Although their power would remain for long after the events that would occur, the life of the Habsburg Dynasty fled it in the early morning of a tragic day in the early months of 1538.

On March 27th, in the Year of our Lord 1538; Maria de Burgundy, Empress of Rome, Duchess of Imperial Burgundy, Brabant, Limburg, Lothier and Luxembourg, Margravine of Namur, Countess of Artois, Vallenciennes, Flanders, Hainault, Holland, and Zeeland, and Countess Palatine of Burgundy, at the age of 54, died from injuries sustained in a fall from Horseback.
 
Last edited:

Vishaing

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@asd21593: They hurt your Eyes with Beauty, Right?!? Right? <Nudge> Eh?
@mw1776: I do a lot to 'prod' the AI to make the game interesting. I have like 500 saves right now, each at 1 year intervals or less, because every now and then I close the game, write a context specific event, and fire it to make things interesting and to 'correct' what I see as stupid AI Moves or Implausible Events (Like England owning the 13 colonies... In 1546).

@mw1776 & gabor: Actually, despite me greatly embellishing a lot of stuff, most of the things posted in this AAR actually have a basis in the game. For instance, the map of the Habsburg Dynasty is actually a map showing less than half of the nations I had Royal Marriages (Gotta Undo that Inbreeding *Nods*) with, and I did somehow manage to destroy the entire Ottoman Army in the Balkans in a single Battle (though their Sultan teleported back to Konstantinople).

Savoy, somehow, and I swear this wasn't me, got a core on Liguria in 1486, I have no idea how they got it. They then attacked Genoa, and my response was a hearty "Eh? Have fun you crazy Kids!"* because I figured Savoy would occupy Liguria for a bit, weaken them substantially, and then White Peace out since they couldn't get to Genoa's Islands. NOT SO!

Savoy Occupied Liguria just as planned, weakenned them substantially just as planned...
and then sat on Liguria for the 14 years required for 'A Long Wait' to trigger and give the province to them!

I was amazed, possibly even Flabergasted. At this point, I figured "Holy Shiiiiii.... Nicely Done! HIGH FIVE!"

Austria and Savoy
<--BFF-<<​
(Seriously, after this we got an Alliance going that later collapsed when Savoy bailed on me when France Invaded.)

Genoa then relocated their capital to Azow and, for some strange reason known not to me, proceeded to NOT get the crap kicked out of them repeatedly by everyone. Seeing that Genoa no longer had Genoa, I decided to inherit them into Venice. I felt this was plausible; without their homeland, Genoa wouldn't have been able to maintain control over their Empire, and Venice (and others) would have swooped in quickly and dismantled it.

As for Aragon and Castile, this actually pissed me off. Not because Spain Didn't Form, but because it did. Spain Formed around 1600 or so, despite Aragon and Castile Hating each other and having fought wars with each other, and Aragon had KICKED CASTILE'S ASS. That pissed me right off, and I chalk it up to some event in MMP, though I don't know which one because I didn't even notice it happen. I have since found a way to explain it so this will be detailed in the AAR in "The Golden Empire of Spain". Furthermore, I don't mind any more because this Monstrous Spain has treated France Like Germany did in WWI+II; so devestating the 'Kingdom' that it is now quickly on its way to becoming our Replacement HRE now that the HRE is.... Weird.

*I also had a Royal Marriage with Savoy. Genoa, being friends with Venice, my most Hated Enemy at this time, was not exactly someone I wanted to help, even if it hurt my relations with the Electors.
 

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I see.

While I love MMP, I find my games are very predictable after a certain point. Apart from the big ones, Austria-Hungary, Poland-Lithuania, Thuringia-Saxony, Denmark-Norway, and Burgundy there are rarely in personal unions inheritance events in my games.


I've also never been able to do much beyond establish the Imperial Circuits within the HRE despite trying repeatedly with multiple countries across different games.

I might have to learn more about creating my own events at some point.

Superb AAR by the way. I'm eagerly awaiting the next one.
 

Darkrenown

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Great AAR, possibly the best I've ever read. Can't wait for more!
 

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The sheer amount of text is a bit scary, but the quality of it makes up for it :p
As long as you keep it this interesting, I'm sure you'll keep a crowd.
 

Vishaing

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Please Refrain from any Talkin', During the Duration of the Program.

@Delex; Thanks!
@mw1776; I would suggest, whn you first start with making your own events, to use 'is_triggered_only' instead of MTTH and just fire them directly from the console. Then just start experimenting. The commands I use most are; inherit, release, release_vassal, secede_province, and is_core.
@Darkrenown; Thanks! I know this AAR has really boosted my confidence in my writing abilities. Your Praise helps a lot.
@Derahan; Oh I will. Just wait until we get into the Reformation, that's when stuff starts to really get complicated.
@Tweetybird; I Hope I can keep this up, I've already had one big update schedule lapse, and a little Scare is Good every now and then. ;)

Speaking of Update Schedule Lapses;
@All; I appologize for the wait, and the lack of progress updates in my Signature. To Make up for it however, Tonight is a

DOUBLE FEATURE WITH EPIC MAPS!!!!!

~~*~~

The World of 1600
Chapter 7: The Kingdom of France
The Kingdom of France at 1500


France and Burgundy in 1453

By the Year of Our Lord 1500, The Kingdom of France had been through a horrible torrent of instability for a great deal of time. At the fall of Constantinople the Kingdom was still in the final stages of the Disastrous Hundred Years War, and although England would be quickly pushed from Southern France, the imprint of English Soldiers on French soil, not even three Decades Old, still stung in the eyes of the French Nobility.

Although Charles VII 'The Victorious' was able to drive the English from all French lands save the Port City of Calais and the Channel Islands, he desired more, and with the upswell of good authority from his victories, he would quickly seek to centralize the French State, a process that would be furthered by his son Louis XI.

Louis XI had a strained relationship with his Father. The Former resented not having territory of his own to govern, while the Latter remained completely opposed to the very idea of ceding power to a local noble, even when that local noble was his son. With no Direct Power to exert in his ploys, Louis XI turned instead to Subterfuge. In the shadows of the Intrigue Ridden city of Paris, he plotted and planned, concocting such plots that they would eventually give him the epithet 'The Spider'.

The Last years of Charles VII's reign were largely uneventful, with a small rebellion by John V of Armagnac that he ultimately failed to put down. It is believed that this is largely due to the schemes of his Son Louis XI, as the latter had been in contact with the Castillian and Aragonese Crowns, both of which backed John V against France. Thus Louis XI discredited his father, maneuvering himself into the spotlight of France and securing the friendship and allegiance of many of the nobles of the Kingdom.

Thus, Charles VII died in 1461 of starvation due to a swollen throat, having not seen his Son Louis in several Years. Louis Ascended to the French Throne quietly and quickly, confirmed by the nobles who he had already been in contact with, and granted the crown outside Reims without any notable problems.

Louis XI would continue his father's policies of centralization, in most cases. Armagnac was effctively given to the Kingdom of Castille-Leon for their support against Aragon and Austria, although war never came. In the North, Louis instead moved against the Duchy of Brittany, taking control of the tip of the Peninsula and gaining a valuable seaport on the Atlantic. In a more bold move however, this short war, although little territory changed hands, showed the world that France was rising once more. England had been unable to intervene in the conflict, themselves suffering under the Wars of the Roses, while Louis XI effectively forced Brittany into the Kingdom of France in all but name. Thus Louis Proved himself master of France and a significant power in Western Europe, all the while further centralizing the Kingdom and attempting to fight the growing influence of the Duchy of Burgundy, who was quickly becoming France's Greatest, and only, Threat.

The Duch of Burgundy was at this point the only client Duchy of the Kingdom of France still retaining some semblance of autonomy, with all other Duchies having been brought under the tight control of the King himself.


France and Burgundy as Louis XI turned his attention to the Duchy of Burgundy.
This map shows the Duchy of Lorraine, a Vassal State of Burgundy.

The Interractions between France and Burgundy would define the late 15th Century in Western Europe.

In the Late 15th Century, the Duchy of Burgundy had swelled upwards from being a mere duchy, no more or less important than any other duchy in France, into one of the largest powers in Western Europe, all within the lifespan of a relatively few number of monarchs. Through a brilliant combination of Strategic Marriages and judicial use of the Sword, as well as a wonderful eye for opportunity, the Dukes of Burgundy not only secured effective independence from both France and The Holy Roman Empire, but actually managed to challenge both and emerge victorious.

By the Fall of Constantinople, the Duchy was already quite powerful. After playing both England and France against each other in the Hundred Years War, the Duchy was subservient to the King of France only in name. With King Louis XI 'The Spider' concentrating on the smaller Duchies of his vastly weakenned kingdom, Charles 'The Bold' was able to expand his power in the Low Countriess Considerably. By the time of his death in 1487, Charles had united his lands with the addition of the Duchy of Lorraine, while also extending his power into Italy by forcing the Duke of Savoy to bow to his reign.

Charles I's son, Charles II, born early in the summer of 1459, would extend his Father's Plans. A Brilliant Strategist and Diplomat in his own right, he quickly secured considerable support from the Emperor Ferdinand I of Austria, with diplomatic relations being secured with the marriage of Charles II's young sister Maria to Ferdinand's young Son Freidrich. To further assist Burgundy, Ferdinand sent several of the Empire's Best Generals and provided thousands of German Soldiers to the Duchy in exchange for Charles' Promise to act as the Emperor's Representative on the Western Border, preserving Order and Maintaining the security of the smaller states so close to France.

In Early 1487, mere months after securing the allegiance of the Feudal Lords underneath him, Louis XI's son François 'The Kind' was found dead in his personal Study. The Kingdom of France was nearly thrown into Chaos. François's son Louis XII was only 5 years old at the time, with his 21 year old father having barely achieved dominance over the local dukes. After decades under the Strict Control of the Politically Brilliant Louis XI, the dukes were eager to exert their influence once more.

Although the Previous Regent, Anne of France, elder Sister of François, still lived, her popularity had fallen in recent years, and the Duchy of Bourbon had lost much of its power to the increasingly centralized state. Having been loyal to her father, she herself had pushed for this centralization, ensuring that she now had no base upon which to stake her claim and protect her infant Nephew. François's mother fled the country, returning to her native Savoy, where she would remain, insignificant in the affairs of the Kingdom. And so, with little other option, the Duchess of Bourbon called to the only person she thought could aid her.

In 1488, one year after the corronation of the young King Louis XII, Charles II 'The Smiling' marched his armies into Northern France, assuming direct control of most of the northern half of the country. The Duchy of Champagne officially became a Vassal of Burgundy, itself granted its long sought after Independence from France, with large swathes of territory in the Champagne Corridor annexed, ensuring that, even should the Emperor request the Liberation of the Duchy of Lorraine, the Duchy of Burgundy would remain a contiquous realm. The Duchies of Orleans, Normandy, and the Ile~de~France itself were occupeid by the 'Regent' Charles II, who became more of King in his own right.


The Burgundian Regency, showing the extend of Burgundian Occupation of Northern and Eastern France, as well as the Non-French Burgundian Vassals of Savoy, Genoa, Alsace, and Utrecht, in addition to Lorraine, already Noted.

While Charles II reoriented the French Beaurocracy to Dijon, the Duchess Anne began the next phase of her bid for power, pushing the young King Louis XII through a strict tutoring Regimen. The Young king took to his studies with a Thirst for Learning uncommon even amongst the best of students, and by the age of 11 was already well known as a Brilliant Tactician with a cunning mind. For now however, the Kingdom was little more than a plaything of the Duke of Burgundy.

Nobles in the South were allowed to claim greater autonomy from the Kingdom, and were in many cases outright given autonomy by the Duke himself, it being quite clear to all involved that the King would one day succeed the throne and remove the Kingdom from the Sphere of Influence of the Duke. Charles II thus sought not to grow his own power directly, but to weaken his Western Neighbor, a policy firmly supported by the Emperor Ferdinand.

With his new power at his disposal, Duke Charles II was able to throw around more weight than any other single Person in Europe at the time, his only potential rivals being either the Emperor, a good friend of his, or the Ottoman Sultan, who was himself far away. Charles II moved quickly, realizing he had a definite time limit on his power, and that moving directly against the King Louis XII, no matter how young he might be, would be a death sentance for Burgundy, as the French Nobles would be adamantly against another Hundred Years War. Indeed, letters from the Duke to the Kings Bodyguards seem genuinely concerned or the young King's Health, as Charles likely realized that any harm brought to the Child would instantly be blamed upon him, and he would instantly be Framed for such a crime, whether or not he had any involvement in it.

His First victim was England, as Charles invaded and quietly annexed the Port City of Calais. There was not even a true war for this city, England was powerless to stop Charles, itself still consumed with the Wars of the Roses, which would only grow worse with this humiliation.

Next, Charles began picking away at the Western border of the Empire. With Ferdinand's support, the Emperor Likely realizing war with such a power would be suicide, Charles furthered the vassalization of Lorraine, adding Alsace to his orbit along with the Duchy of Savoy and, effectively, the Genoese Republic. Although not officially granted the crown, in the waning years of the Duchy, it became fashionable to refer to the duchy not as Burgundy, but as Lotharingia. Indeed, Charles II's sister Maria would later be referred to as 'The Last Queen of Lotharingia'.

This Golden age was, of course, short lived.

When he came of age in 1498, the King Louis XII moved quickly. After a Decade of Ravaging by the Duke of Burgundy, the French Nobles of the North were more than willing to back the young king, and although he was forced to cede large amounts of power to the local dukes surrounding Paris, going so far as to more than double the size of the Duchy of Berry, he inheritted a relatively united, albeit confederated and decentralized, Kingdom. Duke Charles, realizing a war with France would be disastrous, quietly released control of the French State, claiming to have done his duty, and promptly returned to his Duchy. Content in the horrible mess he had left the young King.

The Duke retained control over the Duchy of Champagne, which would remain a thorn in the French Side for ages to come. Likewise, the Duchy of Provence, with its territories in the Maine-Anjou Region of central France remained under the control of the Duke of Burgundy, who also continued to exert great influence in many of the other small Duchies such as Orleanais and Bourbon.

Delaying war with the Duke of Burgundy, Louis XII instead moved further south, to revoke many of the priveleges of the Southern Dukes. His war with the Duke of Guyenne was relatively quick, the latter having let his military relax in the peace and stability of the Duke of Burgundy's Reign, having been finally freed from the almost continuous warfare of the preceeding century. After the Duke of Guyenne had bowed to him fully once more, being incorporated directly into the Crown Territories, the Duke of Tolouse offered a compromise situation, and promised obediance and subserviance, in addition to assistance in the coming campaign against Burgundy, in exchange for slight autonomy. Although the Duchy of Toulouse officially was reincorporated into the Crown Territories of the Kingdom of France, the Duke there retained a great deal of effective autonomy.

The situation with Provence reached the breaking point however. Louis demanded the territories of Maine-Anjou, in exchange he would relinquish his claims to the Territory of Imperial Provence. Charles Responded that the Duchy of Prevence was no a part of the Duchy of Burgundy, all of it, even the Maine-Anjou territory.


The State of France in 1500, shortly before the Franco-Burgundian War, and showing the centralizing efforts of Louis XII, despite the Persistent, extremely Federated Nature of the Kingdom. As said, the Duchies of Champagne and Provence remained in Burgundian Hands.

Louis XII would not accept this, and in 1503, he declared war upon the Duchy of Burgundy, having Secured the support of Switzerland and the Rehinland Palatinate against the Duchy, who they were growing increasingly wary of, with Switzerland also desiring to reclaim some of the small territories Burgundy had taken from them, while Likewise securing Venice's Aid in preventing the Austrian Emperor Leopold VIII from moving against him. The Early war proceeded well for the Duchy of Burgundy, Charles II having been preparing for this war for almost two Decades. Initial French Incursions into the Low Countries were halted and turned back, while The King moved his main army into Champagne in an attempt to cut the Duke, still residing in Dijon, off from his forces in the North.

The Duke himself sent his armies North to meet Louis XII, himself now marching into the Duchy of Lorraine to fully divide his opponent. Light Skirmishes and Battles were waged across the Champagne-Lorraine Corridor while the Duke prepared a massive force at Dijon, until a final Decisive Battle could be fought in the Duchy of Lorraine.

The King met the Duke at the Battle of Nancy, with Burgundian Forces outnumbering the French Armies almost two to one, and although the battle itself ended in a French Route, the Duke himself had been killed in combat, fallen from his horse outside the city gates. On the other side of the Empire, a similar fate had befallen Leopold in a battle in the center of Friuli. The Burgundian Armies fell into Disarray in the South, although the North remained united under the new Duchess Maria who had been residing in Antwerpen and who had endeared herself to the Local Dukes when she took command of the victorious defense of that city.

Louis XII was able to easily subjugate the remaining cities in the Southern Duchy of Burgundy, even taking control of the Franche-Comte area, itself technically a province of the Empire. The Duchy of Champagne had already been annexed, while the Duchy of Lorraine and Bishopric of Alsace had declared Neutrality in the conflict and Independence from Burgundy. The Bishopric of Liege had sworn allegiance to the King of France, bringing the War in the North into a Two Front engagement.

Thus, in the summer of 1503, the Archduchy of Austria fell to the young Emperor Friedrich VI, while the Duchy of Burgundy fell to his wife, The Duchess Maria de Burgundy.


The State of the War at the Confirmation of Freidrich VI and Maria de Burgundy, showing the Occupation of Burgundy at the time and the Annexation of Champagne.

~~*~~
INTERMISSION
Let's all go to the lobby;
Let's all go to the lobby;
Let's all go to the lobby
To get ourselves a treat.

Delicious things to eat;
The popcorn can't be beat.
The sparkling drinks are just dandy;
The chocolate bars and nut candy.
So let's all go to the lobby
To get ourselves a treat.
Let's all go to the lobby
To get ourselves a treat.
 

Vishaing

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Moving on...

@Tweetybird; Thanks!
@Qorten; Thanks! And I should hope so, if at all possible I would like to actually make maps for a living, that's why I'm going into Concept Art.

Welcome Back to the Show!

~~*~~

The World of 1600
Chapter 10: The Holy Roman Empire till 1579
The Burgundian Inheritance​

The Burgundian Inheritance remains one of the most pivotal moments in European History, not only due to the great power it gave to Austria, and thus, the Empire, but also due to how vastly it weakenned the Kingdom of France, and also that it signaled the death of what had been, up until this point, one of the dominant powers in Central Europe.


The Duchy as it had been at its height, in 1503, with its Vassals of Provence, Savoy, Lorraine, Champagne, Alsace, Utrecht, and effectively Genoa.

In 1503, at the death of Charles II, the Duchy of Burgundy was a massive state. Having had effective control over France for a Decade, the Duke had granted himself perpetual autonomy, absorbing the Duchy of Champagne into Burundy, while also securing the Vassalage of the Duchies of Savoy and Provence, as well as the County of Utrecht and the Bishopric of Alsace. Although it did not specifically pay tribute to the Duchy, the Republic of Genoa was effectively dependent on Burgundy for its continued Independence, as a dislike of Genoa was virtually the only thing the Duchy of Savoy, Archduchy of Austria, and Republic of Venice could agree upon, and all three states had presented numerous partition proposals.

When the Young couple Ascended to the Thrones of their two States, they found themselves at the helms of two vastly different nations, divided both culturally and geographically, fighting wars against powerful opponents. In the West, France had been occupying much of the Duchy, with Louis XII declaring the Duchy disolved with no Male Heir, and thus once more a part of the Kingdom of France, while in the East, Austria faced their perennial rival in the Republic of Venice, ostensibly over the Austrian Possession of the Duchy of Milan, though in truth just a pretext to war at the behest of Louis XII.

Louis must assuredly have felt confident in himself, and was content to slowly take control of the Duchy of Burgundy, moving North into the Low Countries after pacifying the Southern Duchy. By 1504, he had conquered up to the City of Brussels, taking almost all of the Duchy of Flanders, with only the Port City of Calais and the Vlaanderen region remaining in Burgundian Control, having recreated the Archbishopric of Liege and begun a campaign to secure Luxembourg, and from there make an invasion further north into Brabant and Holland.

In the south, he had occupeid all of the Duchy of Burgundy, taking the city of Dijon while the Duchess herself led the defense of Antwerpen, what would become her new Capital City. With Switzerland granting him access on the grounds of their continued neutrality in the entire affair, they having bowed out of official participation along with the Rheinland Palatinate once the Emperor himself had become involved, Louis XII was thus preparing another army at Franche-Comte for an invasion in Force of the Duchy of Milan, long a goal of the French Kings. However, fate turned against him late in the year, when the Republic of Venice bowed out of the war.

In the East, Freidrich VI, after several small initial defeats, had rallied the defeated Austrians, pushing into Friuli with a ferocity indicative of the remainder of his long reign, eventually forcing the Venetians to secede the territory of Friuli and make peace when Friedrich began assembling an invasion force to strike at the city of Venezia itself. With the entire weight of the Imperial Army behind him, Friedrich marched across the Swiss Confederacy, guaranteeing them large priveleges in exchange for access, and invaded the Occupied Duchy of Burgundy. Louis XII marched south with the Armee Royal, and met Freidrich at Dijon.

Few Accounts of the Battle Remain, however it is known that Freidrich proved more capable than his opponent, forcing Louis XII to retreat. The causalties on both sides had been similar, although the Archduke had a larger army to begin with, and the city of Dijon surrendered to Friedrich, allowing an envoy with the Emperor to enter the city in early September. Two weeks later, with Louis Preparing a new army in the County of Nevers, Peace was signed with territory to be seceded as it was currently controlled. All territory currently controlled by the Duchess Maria would be added to the Empire, forming what would become known as 'Imperial Burgundy'. Lorraine regained its independence, while Champagne was reannexed by France. The Burgundian Territories in Lorraine were given to local nobles and made autonomous small states of the Empire, while Savoy gained independence once more and Provence returned to the French Sphere of Influence. Liege and Gelders were also made independent, with Alsace being transferred to the Austrian Sphere officially but being ultimately just another Imperial Bishopric.


The Duchy at the Peace of 1505

What was not known at this time, was that Louis XII had been gravely injured in the battle of Dijon. Although he would survive a further 8 years, his 12 year old son was once again too young to become king. Unfortunately, Louis XII had no siblings capable of managing the French Beaurocracy, and the Regency was truly a council of Nobles. The French Noble's Wars had begun. France would not recover for almost half of a Century, and some would claim it still has not recovered.

Louis XII is thusly regarded as the first victim of Friedrich VI 'The Kingslayer'. By the end of his reign, Freidrich would be able to claim to have killed Six Kings, and Six different Kingdoms, having led in some way to the demise of Two Kings of France, the King of Hungary, the King of Bohemia, and Two Sultans of the Ottoman Empire, while likewise greatly crippling the Kingdoms of France, Hungary, Bohemia, Poland, the Ottoman Empire, and even their Ally the Kingdom of Aragon.

Despite Friedrich's Apparently Ruthless personality and penchent for war, he Honorred the treaty he had signed with Louis XII, which called for 15 years of peace between the two states. Why he did this remains unknown, although conflicting sources claim Friedrich honestly desired to remain honorable, while other sources claim he simply enjoyed watching the Kingdom of France defeat itself for him. What remains clear, is that by the time the treaty had passed, Friedrich was in no position to attack France, being currently embroiled in The Great Crusade.

By the year 1529 however, with the Austrian State fresh from the brilliant victories they had gained over both the Kingdom of Denmark-Norway and the Duchy of Savoy, having secured the Northern and Southern Borders of the Empire, when remembering that Venice was now, although by no means friendly, at least accepting of the Emperor's Representatives, the Emperor led a force of 24 Thousand Soldiers across the Duchies of Switzerland and Burgundy and into France, while Generals under the direct command of the Duchess Maria pressed into Northern France in what would become known as the Second Burgundian War.

The War, if it could be called that, lasted less than five weeks from start to finish. Austrian Soldiers in Southern France met no resistance, with Local Lords pledging Allegiance to Friedrich for a guarantee of their stability and autonomy. In the north, the Duchy of Flanders readily capitulated and rejoined the Duchy of Burgundy, while Nevers returned to the Duchess as well, to be later delegated to the Duchess' younger Sister.

The King of France marched south to Dijon to meet the Emperor Friedrich in battle. This move proved once more foolhardy, with Friedrich Himself Killing the King outside the city in a massive Cavalry Charge. The Body of King Charles VIII was returned to Paris with a signed letter from the Emperor dictating Terms and ending with a Phrase that has become infamous amongst diplomats;
"I await your Response at Orleanais."

The treaty was quickly signed, even before the next king was decided upon, King Charles VIII having died without Heir. Eventually, a Noble from the House of Toulouse was chosen, pushing France into the age of 'The Southern Kings', and ensuring that the French Noble's Wars would last for several decades to come.

Under the treaty, the Duchy of Burgundy would officially become a part of the Holy Roman Empire, being given the Duchy of Burgundy itself and an enlarged Duchy of Nevers, which would officially outside the Empire and a part of France. The territory known as Franceh-Comte would be given to Austria as an Imperial Territory, officially to provide a base of operations for the Emperor to Protect the Western Frontier and his new Imperial Territories. The Duchy of Flanders was enlarged and Ceded to what was now known as 'Imperial Burgundy' and would be ruled first by the Duchess Maria, ruling in her own name and right until her death. This territory would be a part of the House of Habsburg-Valois henceforth, whether Emperor or Not, and was set to be inheritted by the Child Friedrich VII upon the death of his Mother. The King of France would relinquish all claims to the territory of Imperial Burgundy. The Archbishopric of Liege would be annexed once more into Imperial Burgundy. The Kingdom of France would also relinquish all claims to the Duchy of Provence and release the duchy from Vassalage, Provence having been claimed as a Vassal of France in the First Burgundian War.


The States of Burgundy following the Peace of 1529, showing 'Imperial Burgundy' in its characteristic Deep Red, and the Duchy of Burgundy Proper in its characteristic Burgundy.

With this treaty, the Empire was once more whole, and saw the height of the Habsburg Golden Age.
 
Last edited:

Qorten

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You made a bit of a mistake of where you put Brugge. If Burgundy still has control of most of Vlaanderen as in your map, Brugge is there too (a little north of Dunkirk). It was maybe Lille/Rijssel you where referring to (though that would be more west of where you put Brugge) or Namur (which would be in the right position)
 

Vishaing

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Huh, so I did. I got Brugge mixed up with Brussels it looks like. I knew it was a bad idea to start putting Cities on the maps. ;)
Well, that will be easily fixed. So thanks for reporting the Bug.

@asd21593; Merry Christmas to All, and to All, a Good Night.
 

Tweetybird

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I will... read that later, but the pictures are again pretty :p
But, really, pace yourself, you'll spoil us, and then we'll expect a pair of updates every day!