Aspirations of Grandeur; The Vainglory of an Empire - A Bohemian DoD AAR

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Chapter VIII: The Dawn of a New Empire: New Mindsets and Cultural Conflicts.

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Chapter VIII

The Dawn of a New Empire: New Mindsets and Cultural Conflicts.

With the defeat of the Burgundians in 1849, the Empire would finally see some respite from the constant warfare that had plagued the nation the past decade. As the guns fell silent along the Rhine a new and arduous task would begin for the government: How would they now forge together the different peoples of the empire? While Bohemia and the Bohemians undoubtedly had made this nation possible, the Germans of the Empire were still very much its citizens and just as important to the government. Nearly ¾ of the people were Germans (often defined along dialectical lines of the Elbian, Rhenish and Danubian kind) and neglecting them in favor of the (now minority) Bohemians would just fan the flames for future discontent.

Thus it became a main focus of the imperial government to promote as much unity between the German and the Czech people as possible, where a focal point would be to appeal to its German citizens that this was truly an empire for and of the Germans and not only Bohemian in nature. So to make words into action the emperor decided to move the imperial capital from Prague to Frankfurt in a symbolic gesture to the old Reichstag and to show the Germans of the empire the new government were serious in having the Germans becoming an integral part of the empire. A complete overhaul of all imperial governance, laws and institutions were started with the aim to create a common imperial identity instead of the old German-Czech split.



The move of the capital to Frankfurt.

However good their intentions were, their actions seemed to speak another language to some of the people, especially the Czechs who increasingly began to view the new reforms of the government as actions disenfranchising the proud people of the imperial heartland. When the emperor's attention were shifted towards the Germans in an attempt to reconcile and reintegrate them, the Czechs who had brought him the empire, and some even boldly claimed, the world, were at first bewildered but when the new capital was proclaimed as Frankfurt this shifted into outright anger. They saw their privilege and, most importantly, their sacrifices for the Jagiellon dynasty being squandered and forgotten. It did not take long for firebrands to spread across Bohemia trying to agitate the people into rejecting the emperor and some even dared to speak the word ‘traitor’.

These were at first only some radicals that proposed these ideas but as the years passed, more and more people would join the cause and demonstrations across Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia would become a common thing for the imperial authorities to deal with. Even their attempts to salvage the situation by promising to let the Czechs keep their old right, laws and institutions, as well as direct large funds from the treasury to finance all sorts of economic development in the region to appease the angered people. It would later be proven that their efforts were in vain as the anti-imperial societies in Bohemia became ever bigger and made ever bolder demands.



They brought the emperor his empire but ultimately felt betrayed by his actions. Traitor was the word of the day.

For all the conflict this new course chartered, other positive developments occurred throughout the empire. Having defeated its archenemies in the past decade and the collapse of the great power of the Dual Monarchy now left the Empire standing as the apex predator of the world. The euphoria of a united empire would over time develop, alongside imperial expansion across the world, into a belief of imperial exceptionalism as the power of the empire continued to grow in the following decades. Philosophers would eventually float the idea of an imperial “manifest destiny” to expand across the world, bringing peace and civilization to all corners and people of the world and eventually for the empire to dominate the world just as the Roman empire did all those centuries ago. Abroad these opinions came across as arrogance bordering on hubris because the belief that one nation could control the world to such an extent when even the late Dual Monarchy could not.

Inside the Empire there would grow an ideological divide between those that propagated for the Empire's destiny across the globe, the ‘globalists’, and those that would rather see the empire use its overwhelming might to dominate its neighbourhood in Europe, the ‘continentalists’. Both camps could unite on one point though; If the empire strove to dominate the continent as well as the globe it’s resources would eventually stretch too thin and it was almost a certainty that it would generate too many enemies for the empire to handle alone. But in the early 1850s these principles were only just emerging and the people were still mesmerized by the unparalleled glory of the empire as it started to stretch its wings across the world.
 
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Chapter IX: The Early Imperial Colonial Empire I: Privatized Gung Ho Ventures

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Chapter IX
The Early Imperial Colonial Empire I: Privatized Gung Ho Ventures

Being in the center of Europe, Bohemia had for its entire existence been a land power forever locked away from the shores of the seas. With the unification of the Empire this was a situation that had changed. Although the coastline of the new realm could not really compete with the old powers of Scandinavia, Burgundy and Spain, it was still a coastline. Thus the empire would undertake a project never before handled by any Imperial much less Bohemian: The construction of a navy and one that could safeguard the interests of the fatherland across the globe. Coupled with the new ideological growth of Imperial exceptionalism, aspirations were growing to expand their newly formed colonial empire (as some caribbean islands were requisitioned from Burgundy following their defeat in their second invasion).

However, as the empire was undergoing rapid transition and reformation in all fields of governmental activity, there were no real incentive for the empire to allocate a part of its armed forces, which were undergoing reorganisation and were thus very few in number, it was decided to postpone direct imperial colonial expeditions. Instead the empire turned to the private sector in order to expand across the seas. Several large companies supported the idea; The companies would recruit, train, outfit and pay for the men and vessels needed for the expedition while the Empire would send men to lead the expedition. In return for their support the companies would get unhindered access to the new colonies that would be established as well as several economical and legal benefits in Germany.

In February 1852 the expedition set off for foreign shores with 20.000 men and 40 state of the art modern steamboats. The venture had no clear goal other than that it would head for the far east and hopefully fulfill their mission along the way. What was supposed to be the first display of Imperial splendor and newly found power turned into a travelling circus. The expedition was hit by a storm outside the Canaries and lost 8 ships along some 4.000 men, suffered 2 mutinies which ended in gunfire and had 3 more ships run aground after straying too close to the shoreline at night. But after all the misfortunes that had befallen the expedition, lady fortuna would smile at them once again.

When they arrived in the bay of Guinea they decided to stop by the Genoan colony along the Nigerian coastline to resupply the remaining ships for the voyage around the Cape. This is where fortune struck; It just so happened that the colonists had been out of touch with Genoa back in Italy for several years as revolts and rebellions had switched the power structure of the city several times´and were in desperate need of assistance against some aggressive local rulers hellbent on kicking the Italians back into the sea. Sizing the opportunity the expedition accepted to help in return for the colony to become an Imperial possession. With the Italian pressed between a rock and a hard place, they were forced to accept the offer of the expedition and as it turned out, the native rulers were no match against modern Imperial technology.


The first stepping stone for the new Imperial colonial empire.

So having successfully obtained a colony for the Empire there were some in the expedition who wanted to call it a day and a job well done. But this small piece of land was not enough and the leaders of the expedition decided to press on ahead towards the far east. After resupplying, and leaving a garrison and some ships behind, the venture set sail again southbound. By now the expedition numbered some 25 ships and 10.000 men but the morale was high and the enthusiasm great. For a while it looked like everything was going well, but no one expected the Scandinavian privateers! Outside Scandinavian controlled Angola the expedition fought a minor naval battle and forced the enemies to scurry away back to shore, it came at the cost of another ship. Desperately needing to repair their ships the expedition limped on towards the Burgundian Cape Colony.

To no surprise the expedition were refused docking in the Burgundian colony and they were forced to scuttle one more ship to make emergency repairs hoping no more ships were needed to be sacrificed before they made it to the small state of Leeuwin. The Boers had created some states in southern Africa, of which most notable are Leeuwin and Transkaap, and were hostile to the Burgundians which in turn made them friends of the Empire. After docking in Leeuwin for some time, repairing ships and resupplying the expedition set off for Transkaap. They arrived in Natalia in late November 1852 and decided to stay there for the winter.


The state of southern Africa at the end of 1852.

Spending the winter in Transkaap, the expedition established a friendly relationship between the Empire and the Boers and in return for the stay and supplies the Boers were treated with the newest technology the Empire could offer and thought the ways of reproducing it. After a surprisingly successful diplomatic maneuver the expedition set sail once again. After exchanging information about the state of affairs in Europe and Africa-Asia a new goal was chosen for the expedition: Madagascar. The Boers had told them there was a civil war ongoing on the island and as such it was ripe for the taking.

With renewed vigour the expedition set off in april of 1853 and landed on the western shores of Madagascar a week after. After taking control of a coastal city they settled in and pondered what to do next. Soon they received an offer from a son of the former king who offered them concessions in return for aiding him taking the throne. It did not take long for this alliance to bear fruit and before the end of summer Madagascar was pacified. In the deal made with the indiginous ruler of the island, the control of the coastal cities were transferred to the Empire and the island would become an Imperial protectorate. In the coming years Imperial economic interests would expand Imperial control over the island until the Empire was the de facto controller of the entire island.


The island of Madagascar under Imperial control.

With the creation of an Imperial colony the expedition called it a day and, after leaving most of the men and ships as a garrison to guard Imperial interests, the leaders set sail for Germany again. Three ships sailed for Germany but only one would return due to various disasters and incidents that occured on the way back. This venture would be the basis for many stories, poems, books, plays and even later movies because of its many ups and downs that occured; Historians would later dub this expedition as “The most haphazard journey ever undertaken.” The expedition members that returned would be hailed as heroes and remembered as the men who expanded the Imperial gaze over the horizon but one thing was certain: The Empire would never again dabble in such uncertainties as this venture.
 
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Derahan

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Good updates. I suspect this is merely the beginning of a much larger colonial direction.
First Europe, now the world…

Is nothing ever enough for Bohemia?

Desire just lead to more desire I suppose. But yes, with the power the empire packs there is a large thirst for colonial expansion since they were left out of the Americas due to various difficulties of being landlocked and balkanised.
 

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There is a tendency for Empires to grow.
"To protect this bit, we need to take that bit."
"Then how do we protect that bit?"
"We'll have to take that one and that one, of course."
"Then how..."
"Oh, shut up."
 
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There is a tendency for Empires to grow.
"To protect this bit, we need to take that bit."
"Then how do we protect that bit?"
"We'll have to take that one and that one, of course."
"Then how..."
"Oh, shut up."

Along with the oldest most tested way for the spread of Imperialism: Just stick a flag in it.
 
Chapter X: The Early Imperial Colonial Empire II: Burgeoning Imperialism

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Chapter X
The Early Imperial Colonial Empire II: Burgeoning Imperialism

As 1854 came to a close and little more than a year had passed since the first colonial expedition had returned to Germany, the Empire initiated a review of the entire expedition and it’s colonial bureaucracy. All sorts of deficiencies were found and almost all could be attributed to the Empire’s inexperience in colonial management. The one single glaring problem for the Empire was the time it took to get to its colonies as well as further east to India and China. For centuries this has been the main problem facing the colonial empires of western Europe. Even with the invention of the steamboats, travel times were still too long for the Empire to feel comfortable expanding its presence in the far east. Burdened by ongoing economic and military reforms as well as consolidating a new colonial bureaucracy, the Empire would turn, once again, to the public and turn the problem into a national contest with cash prizes and economic benefits for the person or company who would solve the problem for them.

By mid 1855 the contest came to an end. The final two proposals both suggested the construction of canals across narrow strips of land, one in Egypt and the other in Panama. These solutions were only now becoming available as technology progressed at an ever increasing rate. It was a tough choice however: Although Egypt was closer and it would mean a shorter route to the far east, it was far easier for foreign adversaries to occupy the area or actively cut off the sea routes to and from the canal. In Panama it would mean a longer journey and much more capital invested but the Empire lacked adversaries in the western continents and could through its colonies in the Caribbean secure Imperial sea routes in the area somewhat.

In the end the Empire would opt for the Egypt proposal. In the end the cheaper option won because the Empire was first and foremost a land power and thus having to project a credible amount of power halfway across the world was deemed impractical. Immediately the Empire started to send envoys to the Sultan of Egypt, who had (un)fortunately been in clashes with the Ottoman empire in recent years and thus Imperial weapons and gold were extremely effective in gaining the Sultans favor. In 1861 the construction of the canal would begin and with immense financial backing from the Empire it would, at an incredible pace, be completed in late 1862 taking just one and a half years to construct.

As soon as the Suez Canal was completed problems arose; No agreement had been made over who would own and operate the canal. The sultan started to demand that the canal be under his supervision as it was built on his land using his people as labourers. This did not sit well with the Empire as their relationship with the sultan were rather new and, as this disagreement showed, volatile. Thus the Empire sent a fleet and a garrison to Egypt to secure the canal and firmly show the sultan who was in charge. The sultan was forced to accept the situation begrudgingly. Over the following years Imperial investments and gifts would ease the tension and ensure a favorable relationship between the Empire and the sultan.


The situation in the eastern Meditteranean sea at the completion of the Suez Canal.

This enormous leap forward would rekindle European imperialism in Asia which had laid dormant for some decades and only recently, slowly, got going again with the European powers absorption of the late Dual Monarchys former colonies. The first to act on this opportunity would not be the Empire, but rather Burgundy. In the east China had long been in a state of civil war between various factions, most notably the Taiping empire in the south and the Qing empire in the north, and had failed to keep up with the technological advancements of the western world. Across the water, the Empire of Japan had modernised and expanded across the seas to both America and mainland Asia. With fighting amongst the Chinese factions ramping up recently the Japanese had seized the opportunity to grab vital ports along the eastern coast of China. This would grant Japan direct access to the huge Chinese economy as well as the ability to monopolise the export of Chinese luxuries which the world coveted so much.

The Burgundians, desperate to gain any means with with they could stand up to the Empire, decided to follow Japan and as soon as the Suez were completed they sent an expedition eastwards to China to wage war against the Taiping empire, which were embroiled in a huge conflict with the Qing empire in the north. As Taiping failed to materialize enough effective resistance against the Burgundians who swiftly occupied the cities and the entirety of the Pearl river delta, effectively cutting almost all of Taipings limited connections to the outside world as well as their limited supply route of modern arms used in their never ending conflicts.

This forced the Taipings to the negotiating table so they could keep the inflow of modern weapons for their fights against the Qing. Burgundy acquired an area on the east side of the mouth of the Pearl river estuary called Hong Kong as well as favorable economical and judicial concessions in the remaining Taiping ports on the Pearl river. In the future this, alongside similar Japanese actions and gains on the eastern shore against the Qing empire and the Tunging kingdom (in control of almost the entire eastern coast of China), would be seen as the start of the unequal treaties between the great powers and various Chinese factions. Foreign imperialism was now a part of Chinese internal politics and would be so for the foreseeable future.

The Empire was not late to act on this and in late 1864 as the Burgundians were about to finish their treaty, the Empire appeared and seized the island of Heinan from Taiping. In an attempt to force the Taipings into a treaty the Empire blockaded all significant ports along the southern coast of China. The Taipings decided it was not worth fighting another western power and so they entered into a treaty with the Empire, just as with Burgundy, wherein the Empire would gain control over a port on the southern coast north of Heinan, Kwangchowan, as well as the same rights as the Burgundians in the ports along the Pearl river.

These actions would lead to the Taipings being forced into a peace with the Qing empire in the north and lose the opportunity to gain the area around Beijing which would be annexed by the kingdom of Tungning during the spring of 1866. While Tungning had lost several important harbours to the Japanese they were still in possession of yet more to fill the gap unlike the Taipings were. So it seemed that the European actions against the Taipings empire had shifted the balance of power in China for now at least.


East Asia in the year 1866.

Concurrently with the Chinese expedition, the Empire had sent off another force with the aim to secure the sea route between the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea. For the past centuries European powers had expanded into south east Asia to control the spice trade, which in previous centuries generated a lot of revenue for the different kingdoms. Thus European presence and dominion in south east Asia was nothing new and when the Empire appeared they were just another foreign power asserting control over the local population as had been done so many times before.

So when the Imperial force appeared outside China, another Imperial force entered the city of Malacca on the Malay peninsula. Refused entry to the port of the city, on the premise of their numerous warships, the Imperial forces opened fire and bombarded the city for half an hour. Imperial marines would concurrently take control over the port facilities after a short skirmish and what followed was an hour long battle inside the city between the Imperial soldiers and the royal guard of the Sultan of Malacca. In the end the city fell to Imperial forces and the sultan seized. Feeling rather besmirched, the Imperial commander forces the sultan, at gunpoint no less, to surrender his territory to the Empire as payment for their bad attitude. It would take a few months and many skirmishes with local lords all over the peninsula before the Empire could definitely proclaim their control over the former Malacca sultanate.

Although the commander had efficiently, and rather violently, given the Empire a base from which it could secure its sea routes to China, it did not sit all that well with the government back home. Taking land from big empires or subtly incorporating native kingdoms into the Empire was one thing but to use such violence was not condoned. The commander would be replaced within half a year and be transferred to command a reservist battalion in Germany. His actions would later be named “the Malacca murders” and forever be a black spot on Imperial history.


South East Asia in 1866.

Following the formation of the Empire and its “success” in kickstarting a colonial empire, several private interest groups appeared inside of the Empire advocating for further colonial expansion believing it to be the Empire’s destiny and god granted right to civilise the world. One of the most prominent societies would at the beginning of 1860 garner enough support to start the work on a private colonial venture completely outside the control of the government. As the Suez canal was finished this expedition set off for the distant land of Zhourao, a land to the south of the east indies and rather mysterious only ever explored and sparsely settled by Chinese colonists. But after arriving on the northern coasts of Zhourao without finding any signs of humans they pressed on eastwards and as they turned south they were struck by the worst storm ever imaginable and soon lost sight of the land.

the storm lasted many days and when it finally subsided the expedition came across another land they did not recognise as Zhourao. After landing and meeting the natives they learned they had ended up in a land called Aotearoa, almost by divine intervention some of the natives had had contact with Chinese merchants from Zhourao and as such could somewhat communicate with the expedition. After tricking the natives to sign a friendship agreement, which in german read as they surrendered the sovereignty of the land to the Empire, and in Chinese read as a simple statement of friendship, the expedition would set sail again, after leaving behind a garrison to explore the land, towards Zhourao to the west.

After arriving in Zhourao and finding the few Chinese settlements there, the expedition swiftly took control over them without much resistance. The Chinese colonists had only established small colonies for trading with the natives and as such their settlements were not larger than villages. This posed no substantial opposition to the Imperials and with the threat of violence Zhourao was gradually incorporated into the Empire. The expedition would settle in Zhourao and Aotearoa while inviting new settlers and the economic interests from the conglomerates back in the Empire. Gradually in the future the colonies would prosper and especially in Zhourao were in early 1866 the Imperials would find gold, larger amounts of Imperial settlers would find their way to these distant colonies. As they were Imperial subjects they would officially be governed by the Empire but actually they were independent in all but the name.


Zhourao and Aotearoa in 1866.
 
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Interesting to see the colonial landscape in this world. Very different, obviously, yet the problem of the Germans having serious FOMO remains.

So when the Imperial force appeared outside China, another Imperial force entered the city of Malacca on the Malay peninsula. Refused entry to the port of the city, on the premise of their numerous warships, the Imperial forces opened fire and bombarded the city for half an hour. Imperial marines would concurrently take control over the port facilities after a short skirmish and what followed was an hour long battle inside the city between the Imperial soldiers and the royal guard of the Sultan of Malacca. In the end the city fell to Imperial forces and the sultan seized. Feeling rather besmirched, the Imperial commander forces the sultan, at gunpoint no less, to surrender his territory to the Empire as payment for their bad attitude. It would take a few months and many skirmishes with local lords all over the peninsula before the Empire could definitely proclaim their control over the former Malacca sultanate.
Brutally colonising Malacca because someone hurt an army officer's feelings is… Well, it's certainly direct.

Taking land from big empires or subtly incorporating native kingdoms into the Empire was one thing but to use such violence was not condoned.
One wonders how else the Empire plans to take over any colonies.

After tricking the natives to sign a friendship agreement, which in german read as they surrendered the sovereignty of the land to the Empire, and in Chinese read as a simple statement of friendship, the expedition would set sail again, after leaving behind a garrison to explore the land, towards Zhourao to the west.
Ah, like this. Never mind the fact that this means absolutely nothing, it just seems like rather elaborate set dressing when you still have to enforce any nominal control by violent means. The Empire trying to have their cake and eat it.

As they were Imperial subjects they would officially be governed by the Empire but actually they were independent in all but the name.
I'm sure the natives would say exactly the same thing. :)
 

Derahan

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Interesting to see the colonial landscape in this world. Very different, obviously, yet the problem of the Germans having serious FOMO remains.


Brutally colonising Malacca because someone hurt an army officer's feelings is… Well, it's certainly direct.


One wonders how else the Empire plans to take over any colonies.


Ah, like this. Never mind the fact that this means absolutely nothing, it just seems like rather elaborate set dressing when you still have to enforce any nominal control by violent means. The Empire trying to have their cake and eat it.


I'm sure the natives would say exactly the same thing. :)

My intent here were to portrait the colonial expansion of the Empire as rather haphazard with a mindset of "late to the party" and as such this initial expansion ended up all over the place, but most importantly it was not coordinated. I am also trying to build different scenarios that might end in the colonies evolving differently for instance Malacca with its violent takeover will have another typ of resentment against the colonisers in contrast to Madagascar would esentially would be colonised using economical means rather than at gunpoint.

Also to clarify, when i wrote "to use such violence was not condoned." it was in reference to the treatment of the Sultan. Using more covert measures like the ones in Madagascar is certainly more effective for the Empire to use in creating colonies as its experience with conquered regions, especially from The Great German War, point to that violence breeds more resentment and resistance than other, more indirect means of establishing power,

To summarise: I hope to create a more diverse colonial world for the future years by establishing different ways the Empire ended up using to create its colonial empire.
 
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Chapter XI: One Empire Above All: The Economic and Military Foundations of Imperial Hegemony

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Chapter XI
One Empire Above All: The Economic and Military Foundations of Imperial Hegemony

After the decade of unification, the Empire stood ascendant. Its two main rivals had been beaten, one of which twice, and all internal opposition had, at least for the time being, been suppressed. However, it now stood with vast swathes of lands which still felt the effects of The Great German War from decades ago. Many smaller states had felt the need to focus on arming themselves instead of rebuilding during the 17 year peace between 1821 and 1838. Fortunately to arm themselves the German states had been forced to build the infrastructure to produce their arms themselves. The larger nations of Burgundy, Scandinavia and Bohemia had needed all their own armaments in preparation for the (then) future inevitable conflict.

The Empire thus faced two pressing issues that needed to be dealt with; First and foremost the devastated lands and economies of the territories outside Bohemia would need to be rebuilt and incorporated into the system of the Imperial heartland. Secondly the various armies of the Empire, including that of Bohemia, needed to be reorganised and rebuilt as they had been decimated by a decade of constant warfare. As the unified Empire was proclaimed in Frankfurt the bulk of Bohemian armies were demobilised as it consisted mainly of conscripts, which had gradually over the decade replaced professional volunteers, and as such the Imperial army afterwards numbered only around 24.000 men. Even though conscription still existed at this time, the Imperial bureaucracy was stretched to the breaking point trying to cope with the new territories and as such could not effectively at the time maintain the agency responsible for conscription leading to conscription existing in only the name.


The extent of Imperial armed forces in November 1850.

There were however two huge advantages that the Empire could rely on: The Dual-Monarchy had collapsed along with their industrial capabilities, now split between four countries and ravaged by revolutions, and the fact that the Imperial heartland of Bohemia had never been invaded and thus it had become, with the fall of the D-M, one of, if not the most, heavily industrialised regions in the world. The Imperial government thus set out to transform the realm with the new innovations that it had missed in the past years.

The first Imperial priority was to build up its armed forces and for the first time ever, construct a navy capable of defending Imperial shores and beyond. Weary of threats from all directions, the majority of the Imperial treasury would be invested into armaments industries across the Empire to supply the Imperial armed forces and the few allies it still possessed. All the armaments factories in the realm that were outside governmental ownership were bought and a massive amount of new factories were constructed as well as retrofitting and expanding existing complexes. It would be this overwhelming focus on the armaments industries that would drag the Empire and its economy into prosperity.

All focus were not on only armaments industries; The Imperial government created several investment funds that would be directed to civilian privately owned businesses and industries. The fall of the D-M left a large gap in the global economy and had strapped many economies of common goods formerly produced in the D-M, and the Empire would not be late to exploit this as many other nations would try and do to fill in the hole left and earn a lot of profits all the while creating dependencies on their own industries in foreign nations and though that political leverage.

During this time the population of the Empire would increase at an unprecedented amount, even if taking into account the colonial expansion of the Empire. The total population increased from 47.32M (11.83M adult males) in the 1850 census to 69.09M (17.27 adult males) in the 1866 census. For the colonies it was more of a guesstimation of how populated they were but they were estimated to account for 5M (ca 1.8M adult males) of the total Imperial population in 1866. At the same time the number of craftsmen (measured from the adult male population) in the Empire increased from 9.9% to 13.2% or in actual numbers from 1.171.170 to 2.279.640. In the span of 15 years Imperial factor workers would more than double in number.


The growth of the Imperial population.


The growth of the Imperial industrial workforce.

The doubling of Imperial factory workers was a telling conclusion of the immense Imperial industrial expansion that would occur during the same 15 years. It was not hyperbolic to call it an actual industrial revolution that took place and it would propel the Empire into a leading position in the world economically. The armaments industry (and industries directly supplying them) were run by and paid for by the government and were expanded to the point of being the source of at least ¾ of the industrial expansion during this period. Enormous governmental subsidies flooded into the armaments industry to keep it expanding, running and most importantly, keep it cheap enough so that no other nation could keep a significant arms industry of their own.

The end result of these policies were a complete, total domination of the global armaments industries by the Empire. It was no understatement to say that it had become the new workshop of the world by 1866. During the day it was said that the first line of Imperial defence were not the warships or the soldiers but the factories. So much of the world's armaments were produced in the Empire that would any enemy go to war with them they would be unable to supply their forces effectively or even completely unable to.


The industrial expansion of the Empire 1850-1866. The results speak for themselves.

Along with the literal industrial revolution in the Empire the armed forces were also undergoing a massive reorganisation. The foremost changes to the old forces during the unification decades were thus: The construction of a large navy to secure Imperial shores and overseas possessions and the shift from the conscription army of the late unification years to a complete volunteer army. The navy constructed during this period became the most modern out of all navies in the world; Completely made out of steam powered and steel plated ships, it was far more potent than the navies of the old powers where the old wooden ships of the line were the main force. It would claim to be the largest navy in the world, however this fact was still contested in 1866. No one denied though that the Imperial navy was the most inexperienced.

It was however the armies of the Empire that underwent the largest change. The entire army (and navy) was shifted to be based on volunteers. First and foremost men could volunteer for anywhere between 5,10,15 or 20 years of service. After their service the men would be eligible for government pension and the quantity would be determined from years of service and awards received during service. Men from all walks of life could also apply to study at any Imperial war college to become officers in the army, a profession which many held for the rest of their lives and which provided the most sure way of lifting one's family through the classes in society.
Men could also volunteer for a reserve force where they would be eligible for mobilisation in case of war and 2 months of training during peace team for which they would receive annual pay. Men not fit for professional soldiers usually took up service in the reserves.

The army would expand beyond the wildest dreams of the most belligerent of officers in the Empire. In no small part thanks to the shifting cultural identities and beliefs of the time there were no shortage of volunteers, as well as a more efficient agricultural sector left many second and third sons of farmers without a job. The romanticization and promises of adventure in the far flung colonies of the expanding colonial empire also served as a very important recruitment argument as Imperial regiments would rotate between service in Germany and the colonies.

From the 24.000 men still standing after the unification war the army would swell over the next 15 years to a total of 828.000 men with 570.000 serving as professionals in the standing army and another 258.000 serving in the reserve force. It was fortunate for the Empire that it supported such a large army and navy, for as the world entered the year of 1866 conflict loomed on the horizon and the Empire was almost surrounded by enemies eager to descend upon it and devour its gain of the last decade.


The Imperial armed forces as of May 1866, the largest (and most feared) in the world.
 
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Idhrendur

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That's quite the buildup. And it seems anyone fighting a war against the Empire will have the disadvantage of not having access to the needed goods.
 

HIMDogson

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Could we get a look at the world as a whole sometime soon, particularly Arcadia and Asia?
 

Derahan

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That's quite the buildup. And it seems anyone fighting a war against the Empire will have the disadvantage of not having access to the needed goods.

That is part of the plan, however, the subsidies are fightingly high for this course of action and it is lucky the Empire has such a high population otherwise this would have economically ruined it litterally in the game.

Could we get a look at the world as a whole sometime soon, particularly Arcadia and Asia?

Of course! I'll rotate around the order of the chapters and present a look at the bigger world than just Europe or the Empires colonies!
 

DensleyBlair

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It's hard to get a sense of whether there is anyone left who could challenge the Empire, not being too familiar with the relative power of all of the mod's big players, but in the middle fo the 19th century at least it's hard not to concede that you've got the world on a plate.

The only question is: How long will it last?