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InvisibleBison

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This, however, is a fringe view and most often touted by extremists and restorationists in particular outside of Italy.
Restorationists, you say? Hmm, I wonder what that means. The future, it seems, may prove quite exciting.

If we can be shown to be strong and unified with a worthy cause to fight for, the international community will be much calmer with regard to our stability in the future.
Yes, I'm sure belligerent posturing and laying claim to foreign territory is going to calm down the international community.
 

eoncommander

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Zambrano, who seems on track to be elevated, greatly worries me. While he does appear to be (moderately) humble, his affiliation with Nicholas taints him in my eyes. And what is needed is a complete repudiation of Nicholas' policies and a reconciliation with the nation, not a focus on the reconstruction of the Church.

I will say, I am quite surprised that there is not a faction that supports the continuation of Nicholas' policies. I would have expected that there would be a significant group of hardliners, perhaps concentrated among those he elevated to the College (like Zambrano!). Perhaps not the worst sign for the future.
 
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RustyHunter

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Zambrano is an interesting character that we don't know much of. I think Trinca's moment has passed unfortunately; he would alienate all the traditionalists, and I can't imagine the people Nicholas just slaughtered will readily forgive the Papacy, regardless of who is chosen. Perhaps he can be a good influence on Zambrano and actually heal the country/church.
 

El Pip

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extremists and restorationists
As @InvisibleBison says, restorationists is a promising phrase. Promising from my perspective, ominous from a Papal States perspective because it implies something has been lost that needs to be restored.
elected their own local antipopes
I do love an antipope and this development is very, very long overdue.
After a life in hell for the last years, we have sent Nicholas there to answer for his crimes at last.
Sounds an awful lot like Cadrinal Trinca confessing to murdering the pope. "we have sent" not God or the Holy Spirit, we. Which I read as him and his fellow cardinals pushing things along.
But I will also have to be sovereign of Italy, a task incompatible with goodwill towards man.
That attitude is probably one of the Church's biggest problems. I mean he's entirely correct, if they did show goodwill towards man then they retreat back to being a spiritual organisation, then they wouldn't have to keep murderously oppressing people who really don't want to live under a hellish and miserable theocracy. That he still thinks this is a good idea, unlike Trinca, shows how deluded he is.
 
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Excellent update.
 
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DensleyBlair

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Well, I certainly missed a lot since confidently declaring myself caught up at the end of last year. What a hellish rollercoaster the Nicoline papacy proved to be. My hopes for the future can only be more optimistic, but that is only in the absence of a clear alternative…

Excellent stuff, @slothinator.


Sounds an awful lot like Cadrinal Trinca confessing to murdering the pope. "we have sent" not God or the Holy Spirit, we. Which I read as him and his fellow cardinals pushing things along.
As it was foretold, in the Gospel according to Mark:

 
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slothinator

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Restorationists, you say? Hmm, I wonder what that means. The future, it seems, may prove quite exciting.


Yes, I'm sure belligerent posturing and laying claim to foreign territory is going to calm down the international community.
Yes, there will eventually be something to restore but you'll find the full extent of it in a few chapters (the last one, incidentally).

Zambrano, who seems on track to be elevated, greatly worries me. While he does appear to be (moderately) humble, his affiliation with Nicholas taints him in my eyes. And what is needed is a complete repudiation of Nicholas' policies and a reconciliation with the nation, not a focus on the reconstruction of the Church.

I will say, I am quite surprised that there is not a faction that supports the continuation of Nicholas' policies. I would have expected that there would be a significant group of hardliners, perhaps concentrated among those he elevated to the College (like Zambrano!). Perhaps not the worst sign for the future.
Your view of Zambrano is exactly what scares Trinca but he'll do his best to direct the new pope in a suitable direction.

It's not that there isn't a faction but it doesn't contain any papabili. Nicholas isn't exactly the person who would raise up others and raise them for succession. His "party" right now is mostly made up of small fish.

Zambrano is an interesting character that we don't know much of. I think Trinca's moment has passed unfortunately; he would alienate all the traditionalists, and I can't imagine the people Nicholas just slaughtered will readily forgive the Papacy, regardless of who is chosen. Perhaps he can be a good influence on Zambrano and actually heal the country/church.
That's certainly what Trinca hopes! What everyone is waiting for is to understand how much Zambrano will go his own way vs listen to advice.

As @InvisibleBison says, restorationists is a promising phrase. Promising from my perspective, ominous from a Papal States perspective because it implies something has been lost that needs to be restored.

I do love an antipope and this development is very, very long overdue.

Sounds an awful lot like Cadrinal Trinca confessing to murdering the pope. "we have sent" not God or the Holy Spirit, we. Which I read as him and his fellow cardinals pushing things along.

That attitude is probably one of the Church's biggest problems. I mean he's entirely correct, if they did show goodwill towards man then they retreat back to being a spiritual organisation, then they wouldn't have to keep murderously oppressing people who really don't want to live under a hellish and miserable theocracy. That he still thinks this is a good idea, unlike Trinca, shows how deluded he is.
Yes, at last some antipopes! And not even as irrelevant as the ones around now in OTL. Their influence will be curbed but a sizable fraction (single digits percentage) of Catholics will break off.

Exactly, the papacy's dual role is an absolute mess and the cause of all these problems but at least the Curia is starting to realize it.

Well, I certainly missed a lot since confidently declaring myself caught up at the end of last year. What a hellish rollercoaster the Nicoline papacy proved to be. My hopes for the future can only be more optimistic, but that is only in the absence of a clear alternative…

Excellent stuff, @slothinator.



As it was foretold, in the Gospel according to Mark:

Great to have you back! We can only hope that things will improve but is our hope justified?
 
John XXIII

slothinator

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Annuntio vobis gaudium magnum: habemus Papam! Eminentissimum ac Reverendissimum Dominum Lucam Sanctae Romanae Ecclesiae Cardinalem Zambrano, qui sibi nomen imposuit Johannem Vicesimum Tertium
 
Chapter LIX: Blessed are the Peacemakers

slothinator

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From the personal diaries of Cardinal Giovanni Trinca

Sunday 25th of July 1915

Italy is still a mess despite another pope on the throne of Saint Peter. Cities are devastated, their population is displaced and everyone is exhausted by the crime of civil war. Fortunately for us, Nicholas was stopped before he could implement his retaliatory measures and we still have those valuable citizens. But we must be careful not to fall into complacency and believe that atrocity has bought us peace. There are still reports of almost two million socialists and communists ready to spring another uprising, sponsored and supported by sedevacantists and revolutionaries abroad.
I don't know if I trust John yet, but it is a good sign that he has respected our accords and allowed me to take charge of the pacification of Italy, hard as it will be. The bare minimum we need to provide the people of Italy now is a pope that will stand by his word and do what is best for his people, not a misguided idea of what he desires. Fixing the council of Sant'Angelo will be a mess, I hope things are done without malice or horror this time.
But I need not concern myself with those details now. I was given this post so soon after the election to ensure that the divisions in our country are healed and we don't find ourselves in a new struggle that would destroy us all. The first order of business is to organize the reconstruction of our country and the restoration of some semblance of normality. The war has left many cities and industrial sites devastated, the lifeblood of both our nation and our workforce. I will have to appoint trusted men to the position and shower them with as many funds I can get my hands on. Reconstruction will not be easy for anyone and I don't want factory owners to compensate with a reduction in salary, if that is at all necessary then the state must pay the missing amount.
Next comes the issue of reform, any reform that will get us out of this mess is necessary. If it is something that we can achieve, it has to be done as soon as possible. I will have to set up a way for our citizens to express their desires and air their grievances in a way that can be heard by the government when it is needed. The main call for reform now seems to be that of education, I have set up a bill for papal review that would ensure free university access to anyone so inclined and an extension of compulsory schooling to the age of fourteen. With Nicholas' state of emergency still in effect, we at least have the authority to pass this through without debate in the Senate.
There is so much work to do but we must succeed for everyone's sake. May God help us atone for our sins and aim for something higher.

hgkNUjHl.jpg

Saturday 17th of March 1917
The news is fresh off the press that the Corsicans have voted for annexation in the end, I paid special attention that this should be a free and fair referendum and I am convinced that everything has gone according to plan. I would dread the birth of another Peloponnese of the island but, as they are the ones that first called to us, we can be sure that they will not be antagonistic to whoever we send to aid the transition. We could consider young cardinal Capriotti, he did an admirable job in Tunisia, so much so that it is already filled with Italians, a promise for its integration with the country in the near future. All of this fresh blood is a welcome addition to our tormented country as it recovers from self-inflicted wounds, we are getting back up, but slowly.
More good news is that my plan for the implementation of unemployment subsidies is almost complete and can be made into law by the end of next week. From then on, each adult male with at least one former employment will receive 80 grani a week in support of his search for his next place of work, this will encourage both internal migration to the places depopulated in recent years while allowing for greater flexibility of individual choice. This was one of the changes that echoed with most conviction from my polls managed and I can see how beneficial it will be; we should have listened to our people long ago...
But, with this law passed and a fragile peace established, we can finally put an end to Nicholas' state of emergency and return full rights to our people. A streamlined process for the approval of laws was an effective and useful tool for the time being but we must abandon convenience for the sake of stability and a more systematic method of turning popular will into law.
The reforms and recent wars have reduced discontent among our people and we have no more reports of a large-scale uprising in preparation. That is not to say that everything has been settled, far from it, but I have begun to be optimistic that our country will not fall but is on its way to a better future. It is surprising that we won a war so soon after we tore ourselves apart at home but this success is an indicator that we are stronger than others believe us. I will continue my work day by day and I will pray to God that I may see the bright future ahead of us with my own eyes.

dt0KVxtl.jpg

Monday 5th of May 1919
We are one step closer to peace today with the end of our war against Austria-Hungary. Our men fought with courage in defense of their homeland and we have been rewarded with the last Italian lands that were under foreign control. The only point that is left now is to end this second Great War, although there doesn't seem much risk that it spread to our nation, we might be able to limit ourselves to naval support and little more.
Back in Italy, I have been hard at work with John to implement a number of reforms, some of which expand on older laws and some much greater in size. The most straightforward ones were the increase of unemployment subsidies to one and a half dramme a week, something that has risen in priority, especially with the recent wars. The large return of men from the front also prompted calls for an expansion of our public healthcare system which we have now made free of charge for pensioners and wounded veterans.
These changes have been well received but it is clear that there is still more to be done. A few recent communist protests in the Peloponnese have reminded us that old wounds have yet to heal; despite a legal guarantee of the right to protests, there was a real risk that this could come to violence. The current plan is to create an advisory lower house to provide citizens with a way to express their displeasure and propose laws themselves. We have begun to inform the population of the coming change and there is real hope that this will be what finally heals the wounds of recent civil strife. I need to discuss the extent of this new house's powers with John but I believe that it should be made into a fully functional branch of government and allow for laymen to act as ministers for the state.
I know that these are radical ideas and many will be against them but I believe that we owe these changes to the thousands if not millions of people that suffered due to the mismanagement of Nicholas and his predecessors. With God's will and our perseverance, I believe that we will succeed.

I07R8ZEl.png

Author's note:

Cardinal Trinca retired from politics in 1928, his last act in office was the conclave that elected John XXIV. One of the few non-nobles to attain some rank in the Curia before the Johannine reforms, he remained a constant presence in the political life of Italy, pushing for political and social reform with ever more conviction as the years went by. He was appointed cardinal in 1889 under Innocent XV and represented those tendencies of social improvement that were so often suppressed in the early unification days. As a young cardinal (only forty-one at the time) he was entrusted with managing the state's economy. This role exposed him to the worst excesses of capitalism that had grown up without prior regulation. With these realizations, he went on to introduce policy after policy at the very highest level. Trinca was considered a prime papabile in the 1915 and 1922 conclaves but fell short each time, first in fear of inflaming revolutionary sentiments and next because he was left without a niche in the New Church.
Despite the lack of this crowning achievement, Trinca is fondly remembered in the modern-day as a man ahead of his time who did his best to curb the destructive tendencies of the age that gave rise to Pope Nicholas.
 
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Wow...Italy is a mess.
 
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DensleyBlair

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It is of course entirely telling that Trinca's 'radical idea' of an advisory lower house is, in the end, one that has been implemented without controversy in numerous countries for well over a century by this point. If he represented the most pliant liberal in the Curia, the Papal government is not going to be in for a good time of it. Either we see a harder and harder descent (if there's anything left to descend to at this point) into outright fascism, or else those 2 million revolutionaries will have their day.…
 
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El Pip

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It is of course entirely telling that Trinca's 'radical idea' of an advisory lower house is, in the end, one that has been implemented without controversy in numerous countries for well over a century by this point. If he represented the most pliant liberal in the Curia, the Papal government is not going to be in for a good time of it. Either we see a harder and harder descent (if there's anything left to descend to at this point) into outright fascism, or else those 2 million revolutionaries will have their day.…
To adapt Diderot. "Italy will never be free until the last Pope is strangled with the entrails of the last revolutionary."

That said, if Trinca is fondly remembered then maybe the revolutionary fervour is over-stated. Perhaps just taking the edge off and a few modest reforms were all that was required, though it does seem a bit unlikely. The hint on the "New Church" may perhaps be relevant here, many possibilities about why it is new and deserving of the Capital Letters.
 

DensleyBlair

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To adapt Diderot. "Italy will never be free until the last Pope is strangled with the entrails of the last revolutionary."

That said, if Trinca is fondly remembered then maybe the revolutionary fervour is over-stated. Perhaps just taking the edge off and a few modest reforms were all that was required, though it does seem a bit unlikely. The hint on the "New Church" may perhaps be relevant here, many possibilities about why it is new and deserving of the Capital Letters.
From a Vicky point of view, I am absolutely certain that a few reforms probably would calm down the revolutionaries. So I suppose in that sense Italy's history from here on in may not be so grim after all. But then 'endorsed by the Vicky 2 game engine' is hardly the most desirable guarantor of plausibility, as we know…
 

TheButterflyComposer

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From a Vicky point of view, I am absolutely certain that a few reforms probably would calm down the revolutionaries. So I suppose in that sense Italy's history from here on in may not be so grim after all. But then 'endorsed by the Vicky 2 game engine' is hardly the most desirable guarantor of plausibility, as we know…

Certainly not. It thinks English liberalism is the answer to everything that a battleship cannot solve.
 

DensleyBlair

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TheButterflyComposer

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slothinator

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Wow...Italy is a mess.
I think that is a fair assessment in any timeline but this one especially
It is of course entirely telling that Trinca's 'radical idea' of an advisory lower house is, in the end, one that has been implemented without controversy in numerous countries for well over a century by this point. If he represented the most pliant liberal in the Curia, the Papal government is not going to be in for a good time of it. Either we see a harder and harder descent (if there's anything left to descend to at this point) into outright fascism, or else those 2 million revolutionaries will have their day.…
It is certainly radical for the Curia but they have been softened (if that's the word for it) by the absolutely massive loss in moral authority under Nicholas. There has to be a solution to this mess
To adapt Diderot. "Italy will never be free until the last Pope is strangled with the entrails of the last revolutionary."

That said, if Trinca is fondly remembered then maybe the revolutionary fervour is over-stated. Perhaps just taking the edge off and a few modest reforms were all that was required, though it does seem a bit unlikely. The hint on the "New Church" may perhaps be relevant here, many possibilities about why it is new and deserving of the Capital Letters.
The revolutionary fervor is being softened with progressive reforms. It's certainly not going away but compromise is becoming something viable. However, John will still have to give up more to reach a true balance
From a Vicky point of view, I am absolutely certain that a few reforms probably would calm down the revolutionaries. So I suppose in that sense Italy's history from here on in may not be so grim after all. But then 'endorsed by the Vicky 2 game engine' is hardly the most desirable guarantor of plausibility, as we know…
Yes, for the ending I took a rather looser inspiration from the game events since it didn't really feel like a satisfying outcome. But I feel that what I came up with was plausible enough within the warped reality of this world
 
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Chapter LX: A War On All Fronts New

slothinator

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From the personal diaries of Cardinal Ugolino Longo

Wednesday 1st of March 1916
Of all the cowardly things they could have done, it is typical of the French to try and attack us just after our recent chaos and bring their horrid gas with them. But, so far, we've shown them that their imperial pretensions have no hold over the Italian people. Our rapid advance past the Alps has been met with a fierce counterattack but we've managed to break the back of two French armies one hundred thousand strong in Grenoble and Avignon.
We owe these victories in large part to the clever men who managed to finally develop a method to deal with the French gas and obliterate its effect. It's likely that we would have won in Nicholas' time and avoided much hardship if we had these tools sooner but there is not much use in mourning a past that never happened. What we need to do now is ensure the global adoption of gas defense methods and push hard against our enemy.
Our allies were also invaluable in these recent months. The Dutch are fighting like lions in the North and almost entirely overwhelmed Belgium and are deep in planning for an attack on Paris with our high command. In the meantime, the Spanish have pressed past the Pyrenees and are soon to join our frontline to fully take out the South of France.
Victory only seems like a matter of time; God willing, this will be over by Christmas.

Monday 4th of September 1916
Today marks the end of the latest French invasion and the first significant expansion of our country in almost thirty years. Back then I would have had my reservations against such destabilizing action but, if there's anything that our relationship with France has shown in recent years, it's that a change in equilibrium was essential to stop the constant cycle of conflict that holds us in its palm. As for the choice of territories, the independence of Corsica with the option of a unification referendum was an especially good choice since the island has had strong independentist feelings and a simple annexation may have caused us more problems.
On the other hand, I'm not confident in the reasoning behind the annexation of Tunisia. I am well aware of its strategic importance, especially in tandem with Sicily but the occupation of a foreign land without a native Italian population is a bit gauche, what with the Peloponnese still an open issue. But John is convinced that his "civilizing mission" in North Africa will provide a long-term partnership to control access to the Mediterranean.

7hei4d0l.png

The current plan is to build up a mixed Italian-Tunisian ruling class over the next thirty years where they will be able to govern their own affairs; when that time is up, a committee will be gathered to prepare for their independence.
I personally question the effectiveness of such an idea, it seems like an unpleasant half-measure. If they should be free, then why not now? If they should be a colony then why not make it so? I can only assume that it's thought up in part as a potential solution to the Peloponnese problem but causing one problem to solve another seems like a poor strategy. But the pope is firmly set upon this path so I suppose we'll see how things will end.
In the meantime, the Netherlands has taken charge of mopping up the remaining French holdouts with the rest of our allies. Spain has taken over the southern front while the Dutch are well on their way to Paris, there is little French resistance left anywhere, all that remains is to ask for reparations. The original plan was for a full peace under our aegis, but it seems that the Dutch have a vendetta out against Belgium and hope to split that country into its French and Dutch components; in the end, any proposal that weakens France is one that I favor.

Tuesday 5th of November 1918
We were granted a precious few years of peace but now we're on the warpath once more. Austria-Hungary miscalculated in their invasion of Yugoslav Vojvodina, they expected that Italy would not support their allies but will find themselves sorely mistaken. We've sent a declaration of war in defense of Yugoslavia's territorial integrity and called upon Romania and the Ottomans to aid us in this conflict. Every sign points to a rapid victory against a discordant enemy and, if everything goes well, we should have enough international support to end this threat once and for all.
It's no secret that pope John has held onto Nicholas' Greater Italy ambition and, with Corsica's recent entry into Italy, we are closer than ever to the achievement of this goal. The current plan of operation is to occupy our claimed lands with minimal damage to the area while ensuring a strong offensive line towards Vienna. South Tyrol will be protected well enough by its natural geography while I trust that Istria will be defended by its proximity to the Yugoslav forces. In the meantime, the abolition of Nicholas' state of emergency will be a great boon to morale back home as the remaining vestiges of unhappy memory will be cast away with an eye toward a future that will have Italy, at last, reach its natural borders externally while it reforms inwards.
Aside from this, I've received reports about the Patagonian crisis currently ongoing. Our representative in Tokyo has informed me that the Japanese remain firmly in support of Chile's position. At the same time, the Russians show no sign of backing down in their designs for Patagonian independence. At the moment, we're the only other major power to have taken a side (although our support for Russia was a foregone conclusion) but the British and Americans have begun to show their true colors. The British government sees its interests in the pacific threatened by the growing might of Japan and wishes to secure a malleable puppet in the region while the United States firmly supports the Monroe Doctrine which apparently does not mention Japan. If Britain does eventually join our side, I suppose that the risk of escalation will be averted, if we combine their control of the sea with Russia's control of the land, there will be little reason to provoke a conflict.

UHOJlfpl.png

Monday 3rd of February 1919
I must note that we have entered another war. It seems that the negotiations in Tokyo have come to naught and we find ourselves in a second Great War although I doubt that we'll feel its effects here in Italy. I expect that it will mostly be fought by our British, Russian, and Dutch allies on continents where we have no presence. I have received news of army movements in Canada against the Americans, in the Dutch Pacific facing the Japanese, while Russia has been locked in a struggle with some minor Chinese warlord under Japanese direction. All things considered, a conflict of dubious interest that I would much rather have kept out of.
In the meantime, our march into Austria is going well and is blessedly uneventful. The Italian lands were captured painlessly with great support from the population and the rest has been captured through slow methodical advances and skirmishes of no consequence. Such a calm situation has allowed me to draw up a peace treaty that hands Trentino and Istria to Italy while putting emphasis on our guarantee of Yugoslavia's territorial integrity.
The final piece of the puzzle is a final confrontation to force Kaiser Karl to the negotiating table. It seems that the Austrians are massing up in Marburg with over one hundred thousand conscripts and only a minor core of professional soldiers, a victory there would be achievable without too many casualties and leave the door open for Vienna and peace at last. I have high hopes that this will succeed and finally end this conflict.
When that shall be done, we will be able to assess our contribution to the Great War, perhaps our fleet could be useful in the fight with Japan but I don't see us sending soldiers anytime soon. I pray that, with each of our enemies dealt with, we will finally be able to have at least a decade of peace.

WfuU37Yl.png

Friday 27th of February 1920
The news fresh from Moscow is that Japan has surrendered and at last the so-called Great War is over. The peace conference has concluded that only limited punitive measures will be taken against Japan and its American allies. A reduction of fifty percent in land forces and seventy-five percent in the fleet with an obligation to remain under a third of their previous materiel production.
It's fortunate for us that we didn't really need to involve ourselves too much in this conflict, especially given the lack of reward for any Russian allies. We only needed to send our fleet east in August and we managed to defeat the Japanese in battle after battle, establishing a blockade of their home islands. I'm not sure if this was their whole force but, for the sake of their capabilities, I must hope that they were softened up before our coming.
But, with this latest nuisance dealt with, there are no enemies left for us to face. Britain, Russia, and the Netherlands remain firmly aligned behind our interests now that we're at peace; Japan and the United States have been neutered and were never a real threat in the first place; and, in Europe, France and Austria are humbled in a way that has finally made Italy whole. It's high time that we managed to enjoy the fruits of our labor. With everything so stable I should look to my own future, perhaps some time away will do me good.


Author's note:
Cardinal Longo retired from politics in 1922 and died of natural causes in 1924. He was one of the last representatives of the traditional cardinal class with a noble upbringing and a bishopric, namely Arezzo, under his belt. His cardinalship came in 1896 towards the tail end of Innocent XV's papacy and represented one of the less controversial elements of that consistory. His career was focused on diplomatic matters where he had a hand in the perpetual Alpine conflicts and the strengthening of ties with Russia up to the Second Great War. His behavior during the reign of Pope Nicholas VI is obscure and it is conjectured that he may have closed an eye to many happenings during the civil war in an attempt to maintain some sort of neutrality. This tendency is also likely one of the reasons why Longo was never considered a prime papabile but more of a useful tool in the hands of more ambitious men.
 
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DensleyBlair

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A typical batch of late-Vicky great wars, the latter one typical in its total lack of relevance to… well, just about anything Italian. Which is no bad thing, when you have so much rebuilding to do anyway. By now the ways and ideas of the Papacy are well established, so fresh controversies like Tunisia seem hardly worth highlighting. The international community certainly seem to feel this way – no doubt because the international community does not, as yet, include Tunisia…

Good to see this back with another update. A relatively calm one, but no doubt one final fireworks display is just around the corner.
 
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TheButterflyComposer

The Dark Lord Kelebek
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Mar 4, 2016
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Italy has entered a new period of growth. Italia is once again united entirely, which is an impressive achievement. Taking north Africa from France may or may not prove worthwhile depending on how well you handle it (it'll keep the british firmly on your side at least). And great news that the Japanese and Americans have been neutered. Now with your allies powerful but distant (no competing claims either) a status quo or peace period would be great...
 
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