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

  • Crusader Kings III Available Now!

    The realm rejoices as Paradox Interactive announces the launch of Crusader Kings III, the latest entry in the publisher’s grand strategy role-playing game franchise. Advisors may now jockey for positions of influence and adversaries should save their schemes for another day, because on this day Crusader Kings III can be purchased on Steam, the Paradox Store, and other major online retailers.


    Real Strategy Requires Cunning
Introduction
  • Derahan

    Ever doubtful
    27 Badges
    Oct 30, 2009
    2.696
    42
    • Europa Universalis IV
    • 500k Club
    • 200k Club
    • Victoria 2
    • Crusader Kings II
    • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
    • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
    • Europa Universalis III Complete
    • Europa Universalis III
    • Hearts of Iron III
    • Rome Gold
    • March of the Eagles
    • Mount & Blade: Warband
    • Rise of Prussia
    • Pride of Nations
    • East India Company
    • Sword of the Stars
    ElEPTB9.png


    Aspirations of Grandeur; The Vainglory of an Empire

    Author's Note:
    Welcome! This is my new project i've concocted as of late being absent for several years from the AARland. I am very hopeful for this project, most of all that it will bring interest to whom ever will read this. This wont be my first foray into writing an AAR but the previous ones several years ago left much to be desired. I do hope that over the years I've learned a thing or two. I've played this gem of a game that is Victoria II ever since it war first released, I even owned the hard copy (maybe i still do, not really sure), and though that everything from the game to the mods have matured over the games 10 year life span.

    Now for a little disclaimer. Since I am playing in the Divergence of Darkness modification, which is a alternative history mod with a point of divergence around 1450-1500, the history of the countries and the world is not as detailed as if it were our real history (which is to be expected). I will take liberites in the history up to 1836 for the things I do not find any lore about so that I can spice things up. If anyone finds I have diverged from the Lore please inform so in which case I can correct it. If you are interested about the mod and the history then check out their mod thread over in the mod section as well as their history thread and their fandom wiki (links to all those are in their mod thread here on the forums). No specific style have been considered for this AAR, I will simply write in ways I feel will convey the history the best, so maybe expect a little bit of everything.

    without much further ado,
    D.

     
    Last edited:
    Prologue I: Sic Semper Tyrannis
  • Derahan

    Ever doubtful
    27 Badges
    Oct 30, 2009
    2.696
    42
    • Europa Universalis IV
    • 500k Club
    • 200k Club
    • Victoria 2
    • Crusader Kings II
    • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
    • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
    • Europa Universalis III Complete
    • Europa Universalis III
    • Hearts of Iron III
    • Rome Gold
    • March of the Eagles
    • Mount & Blade: Warband
    • Rise of Prussia
    • Pride of Nations
    • East India Company
    • Sword of the Stars
    Prologue I
    Sic Semper Tyrannis

    vJEsasU.jpg

    Death of Wenceslas V "the Lion of the North"
    Berlin, 12 September 1821.

    It was a bright sunny day with skies blue as diamonds stretching as far as the behold could see without a cloud in sight. Wenceslas sighed heavily, it was just a little over a year ago that he had defeated the Scandinavians at Magdeburg and yet he still couldn't forget that day of blood. With the current military exercises around Berlin he had rode off and visited the battlefield where he had saved the remains of his empire; He had paid his respects for his fallen soldiers, just as he did every day but especially on the field of their graves, and said a prayer to the lord to safeguard their holy souls who had stood against the faithless heretics of the north.

    “Your majesty?” A voice rang out from behind.

    Wenceslas looked to his side at the man riding next to him. “What?”

    “Is everything alright? You looked awfully troubled by something.”

    “Simply reminiscing about days long gone Karel.”

    Karel looked at his monarch and simply nodded quietly. The clattering of hooves increased as they entered the city of Berlin and the formation of riders tightened to fit into the small streets. Wenceslas felt a anger creep up as he looked at the city. Berlin had taken massive amounts of damage from many and prolonged sieges carried out by the Scandinavians during the Great German War. Large parts of the city had been rebuilt or restored but there still remained significant scars from the decades long war. His anger was guided against the enemies of his people and the german nation - the hated Scandinavians and Burgundians who constantly meddled in German affairs; The anger stretched to Austrians and Bavarians who had the audacity to demand the title of kings for themselves while the war raged at its fiercest. Because of this betrayal he had not been able to finish the war in a more favorable position than he had. Even now the effects were felt as the budget of the kingdom had to focus on rebuilding his army, devastated by long decades of conflict, instead of rebuilding his kingdom.

    “You know Karel… Even after all those brave soldiers sacrificed their lives for the empire, it still led to nothing. You were there that day and saw all those dead bodies upon which we hoisted our victorious banner.”

    “It was indeed a bloody day but we saved what we could of the realm with their sacrifices.”

    “All in vain.” Wenceslas looked at the people cramming the side of the streets, bowing before they went on with their day. “I don’t even know how many of my people might harbour enmity towards us. Even if the revolution was crushed and the war that followed barely won… Ideas don’t die by the point of the sword.”

    “You should not ponder too much my lord. After all the peace we have is just a temporary setback. When we are ready we will strike again and the people will surely rise to the occasion!”

    “I hope you are correct on that Karel.”

    Ever since the German revolution started in Frankfurt in 1790 there had been seeds of doubt in Wenceslas mind about the unity of the empire. The lower classes had risen up against their feudal lords, killing many by the guillotine, and ran rampant across the empire. Only through a unified effort of Bohemia and Burgundy, the unholy alliance, could the revolution be defeated by might of arms after around 5 years. His efforts after the war to bring unity to his empire only led to the intervention of Burgundy and Scandinavia in the Great German War. All this tragedy had convinced Wenceslas that only by might of arms could he unify the empire as it once had been over 1000 years ago when it was first created.

    “We should only have one goal in our mind going forwards, the unification of the empire. Everything we do, all our actions must be for this one goal. These exercises today are just the beginning.”

    “By your will my king we will succeed!” Karel shouted as he closed his fist over his chest with the rest of the royal guard doing the same.

    “By the will of god.” Wenceslas replied.

    Suddenly commotion stirred, a rider appeared at the rear of the column waving a letter in the air. “Your majesty! I bring news from Marshall Czernin.”

    “Let him through!” Wenceslas shouted and the guard opened a path for the messenger to deliver the dispatch.

    In the same moment as the messenger handed over the dispatch, a man stepped out from the crowd, pulled a pistol from beneath his coat, and aimed at Wenceslas. Karel, who noticed the man at the last second, grabbed the king and pulled him as hard as he could away from the man.

    “Get down you majesty!” Karel shouted.

    The shot rang out and the entire street fell silent. Everyone stared at the man for a few seconds before several soldiers descended upon the man who had pulled the trigger. Karel fell from his horse along with Wenceslas but managed to land beneath him.

    “What happened?” Wenceslas wondered loudly as he stood up with Karels help. Then he noticed a red patch on Karel white uniform. “Karel! you have been shot!”

    Karel touched his shoulder and rubbed the blood. “No, it appears it is not my blood.”

    Wenceslas grabbed his chest at Karels words and fell forward into his friend. “It appears it was I who was shot…” He managed to breath out.
    “Your majesty!” Karel shouted as he tried to support Wenceslas. “Someone get a doctor!”

    The Soldiers gathered around the two men looking horrified each man feeling the guilt of not being able to defend their monarch. The perpetrator tried in futility to get away but with several soldiers around to hold him down to the ground it would in the end amount to nothing.

    “It is too late Karel…” Wenceslas whispered as he placed his hand on Karels shoulders. “I shall leave Sigismund and the empire in your hands.” His hand fell to the ground lifeless after the words were uttered.

    “MY KING!” Karel shouted. The king became heavier and Karel could feel the heat leaving the body. “Damn it all to hell!”

    Karel laid down the king, stood up, and promptly marched over to the perpetrator. The soldiers holding him had beaten him heavily to the point he was bleeding from his mouth, nose and ears. They held him up so that Karel could see him face to face. Karel grabbed his pistol and pointed it straight to the face of the perpetrator.

    “Sic semper tyrannis.” the perpetrator uttered glaring at Karel.

    Karel pulled the trigger and the second shot rang and another man died on that street that day…


    Prague, 20 September 1821.

    Sigismund couldn’t help but awe at the spectacle that played out before his eyes. Even though he was at his fathers funeral it was still a father that had never really been there as the empire had been at war for almost Sigismunds five year short life. Every important person in the empire still under the emperor's control had journeyed there to pay their respects. There was gold and candles all over the church shining a golden light along the light coming from the colored windows of the cathedral. In the middle stood the great golden coffin beneath a huge cross with the lord Jesus upon it.

    “Focus your majesty.” Karel whispered to the young boy. “All eyes will be upon you now.”

    “There are so many people Karel. Did father know all these people?”

    “Not all of them. He had certainly met all of them but knowing each and everyone of them is something no person would be capable of.”

    Suddenly a man appeared next to the two. “Good day your majesty, and good day duke Schwarzenberg.”

    “Good day archbishop.” Karel replied happily. “I was starting to wonder where you were.”

    “Who are you?” Sigismund asked the man.
    “There should be no rushing a ceremony like this duke.” The man told Karel before turning his attention to Sigismund. “Your majesty, I am Archbishop Pavel Janos, pleased to meet you like this. Last time I met you was when you were baptised.”

    “Oh… I see. Then you are the one who will send off father?”

    “Yes your majesty. I will present him onto the lord.”

    Pavel walked up to the altar and began the funeral of the late king Wenceslas V. Countless nobles and holy men paid their respects to the man who had fought for the empire most of his life but had ultimately been unjustly robbed of his deserved achievements. Now he could do nothing more and the empire laid in the hands of his son and his counselors. Never again would the Lion of the North roar. He was later buried in a grave in the cathedral alongside his ancestors and upon his tomb was inscribed:

    Wenceslas V

    Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire and the German Nation, King of Bohemia, Duke of Moravia, Brandenburg and Saxony, Count of Prague.


    The Lion of the North
     
    Last edited:
    Prologue II: The Liberal Revolution
  • Derahan

    Ever doubtful
    27 Badges
    Oct 30, 2009
    2.696
    42
    • Europa Universalis IV
    • 500k Club
    • 200k Club
    • Victoria 2
    • Crusader Kings II
    • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
    • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
    • Europa Universalis III Complete
    • Europa Universalis III
    • Hearts of Iron III
    • Rome Gold
    • March of the Eagles
    • Mount & Blade: Warband
    • Rise of Prussia
    • Pride of Nations
    • East India Company
    • Sword of the Stars
    Prologue II
    The Liberal Revolution

    ttGM96y.jpg

    The citizens of Frankfurt build barricades to defend their city from Imperial forces.

    “The great tragedy of our time”
    General Gotthard von Botha, 1790
    General of the imperial punitive force defeated at Frankfurt

    It was for all intents and purposes inevitable. Society had remained stagnant for far too long while at the same time changing at an unprecedented rapid pace never seen before. The age of enlightenment brought the great dichotomy in the empire to its breaking point. Following the religious war and subsequent freedom of worship, the empire was divided in faith between protestantism and catholicism. The former flourished in the north and west whilst the latter reign in the south and the east. The catholic Jagiellon emperors on the Bohemian throne stood for a catholic absolute monarchy steeped in tradition while the protestant parts of the empire embraced the enlightenment and rejected the religious-absolutist doctrine of the empire. Especially the enforcement of religious uniformity in the Bohemian heartlands was a nightmare for the protestants in the empire showing a possible future should the Jagiellon emperors reign supreme over the entire empire.

    Following the reign of Ludwig VII, 1780-1790, many reforms following the principles of the enlightenment were enacted, much due to the fact that the kings of Bohemia were absolute monarchs. The foremost reform was the abolishment of serfdom which set the peasants free from their feudal overlords. Not surprisingly when Ludwig passed away all reforms were reverted, save for serfdom as it was seen to not be worth the effort. However, these reversals of enlightenment policy only resulted in sowing seeds of fear in the protestant parts of the empire as it was widely known that the new emperor Wenceslas V saw it as his goal to unite the empire. Fear spread that the ideals and values that reigned outside the catholic heartlands of the empire would be lost.

    In the year 1790 there stood an empire divided. Protestantism against catholicism, liberalism against absolutism, science against religion, reason against faith. It is perhaps just human nature then, that those who are haunted by fear, would do what they could to change their future into something they themselves could shape. This division sparked a conflict in the city of Frankfurt which escalated into a full conflict between the two sides. As the guns fell silent in the streets, a Protestant, liberal majority had taken power. This triggered similar events in nearby towns and cities. Now as this conflict spread it was sure to trigger a response by the empire.

    The response from the empire came in an army marching forth to quell the upheaval. Hastily assembling a fighting force to defend themselves, the people of Frankfurt with allies from the surrounding area, managed to defeat the imperial army sent to quell them. Outside of Frankfurt the first battle of the revolution would see an overwhelming victory for the liberals. This event fanned the flames and soon the entirety of central Germany were embroiled in a conflict between liberal sympathisers and the supporters of the empire.

    As the conflagration spread, yet another divide appeared in the region, that between the aristocracy and the people. As Frankfurt was a free city in the empire, it ruled itself, having a governing body made up of more or less wealthy citizens.To contrast this the aristocracy, was influenced by the enlightenment, was more in line with enlightened absolutism as they did not want to give up their power to the commoners. So when the ideals of liberty spread across Germany, many nobles sided with the empire actively trying to subdue and reverse the spread of what they considered dangerous ideals. This meant that as the conflict entered ever more regions it would evolve from along the lines of protestants against catholics to more of liberalism against absolutism.

    As for the empire this conflagration was both a blessing and a curse. It was never good for the empire to be at war with itself as it had been many times before but on the other hand, Emperor Wenceslas realised that it was an excellent opportunity to bring the empire into the fold. The more chaos the rebels brought with them into the regions which were resistant to the rule from Prague would inevitably be under his direct rule once he liberated said region.
    From 1791 onward the Empire sought a policy of regional integration in the regions that they liberated, instituting governors appointed by and answerable only to emperor Wenceslas himself. With the governors also came the counter-reformation, even if there existed freedom of worship in the empire, under the pretense of hunting down revolutionaries the Bohemian inquisition would seek to root our enemies of faith as well as reversing the gains of protestantism.


    J3mD7pl.jpg

    Radicals in Braunschweig decapitating local noble with the guillotine

    With protestant nobles siding with the catholics, the catholics in the provinces started to side with protestants and gradually the religious side of the conflict petered out. In 1792, as the violence escalated and rebel armies invaded new regions, in Frankfurt a German republic was proclaimed and called for all sons of liberty to take to arms, rid the land of enemies, and to defend the revolution. The resulting radicalisation of the conflict led to the revolutionaries starting to send all members of the aristocracy that they could get their hands on to the gallows, or rather, the guillotine to be executed for crimes against the revolution. Even women and children were executed in the, later named, great decapitation.

    Europe was shocked when news of this trickled out from regions controlled by the republic. Most shockingly was that Burgundy, the long archnemesis of Bohemia, announced its support for the empire and the catholic league. The Burgundian monarch feared the same events would unfold in his own domain if the radicals were not stopped. Not long after the great decapitation Burgundian soldiers and coins started entering the regions of the empire bearing down upon the radical republic.

    Now assailed from both the west and the east, the rebel armies began to falter in face of ever increasing imperial/burgundian pressure. As the situation began to worsen the radicals began calling for the people to purify the lands from counter-revolutionary elements and massive mobs of people began attacking anyone and anything they saw as a representative of the empire. Regular people who didn’t wholeheartedly support the revolution were dragged out to the guillotines, tried in makeshift tribunals and then executed. With every city the empire reconquered hundreds of citizens were executed by radicals, even within their own armies there were witch hunts looking for anti-revolutionary behaviour and anyone found guilty were shot on the spot.

    By early 1795 all but the region of Hessen remained in the hands of the republic. With their power crumbling total anarchy reigned in the region with uncontrolled mobs looting everything they came upon, brigands pillaging the countryside and armies marching back and forth taking whatever they desired. With all the might of the empire now aimed at one small region it took but a few months before all fell apart. When the last banner was torn down and removed, the last revolutionary leader shot and all cities had opened the gates to the empire the revolution was finally over. However one can kill men but one cannot kill ideas it is said, but the empire at least tried rooting out every last leading element of the revolution from anywhere they might be hiding. The Bohemian inquisition appeared where people least expected them.
     
    Last edited:
    Prologue III: The Great German War
  • Derahan

    Ever doubtful
    27 Badges
    Oct 30, 2009
    2.696
    42
    • Europa Universalis IV
    • 500k Club
    • 200k Club
    • Victoria 2
    • Crusader Kings II
    • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
    • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
    • Europa Universalis III Complete
    • Europa Universalis III
    • Hearts of Iron III
    • Rome Gold
    • March of the Eagles
    • Mount & Blade: Warband
    • Rise of Prussia
    • Pride of Nations
    • East India Company
    • Sword of the Stars
    Prologue III
    The Great German War



    The last Cry of the revolution
    Former revolutionaries are executed by the imperial army

    The five years of bloodshed and ideological confrontation that was the Liberal Revolution of the early 1790s would only herald an even bigger conflagration that would consume even more men from ever more nations and add more to the suffering of the common folk that had but one wish, that of peace. The year that followed the victory over the revolution would see an effort so monumental that it was inconceivable just as it was utterly horrifying for those that it affected. It was all by the will of one man, the Emperor Wenceslas VIII, and by his sheer force of will he would unite the divided empire and while at it, break it and mold it in the shape he desired.

    The tip, reaching throughout the empire, of imperial policy was the inquisition. In its nature anti-revolutionary and herald of the counter-reformation, it would tirelessly and viciously seek out elements of the failed revolution as well as suppressing any open profession of any non-catholic worship. Enabled by the chaos of the revolution more and more people suffered at their hands and the executions increased in number which rivaled that of the radical republic. The new governorate of the regions enforced harsh martial law by using the imperial garrisons that was left for them to command, terrorising the citizens they increased taxes to the point of taking almost everything just to fill their own coffers and enforced worse labour taxes almost making the conquered into serfs in the process.

    Pressured by religious, social, political and economic persecution, those in the aristocracy that still clung to the anti-catholic faith sent their lamentations to the kings of Burgundy and Scandinavia in hopes that their torment could be ended and their power restored to pre-1790 conditions. Horrified at the treatment of their religious brethren and with a fearful realisation of what a complete hegemon a unified empire would become, the allied kingdoms of Burgundy and Scandinavia formed a united front to counter the empire's ascendency. Thus in 1796 a coordinated invasion of Imperial lands, Scandinavia into Brandenburg and Burgundy into the Rhineland, would mark the beginning of The Great German War and the impact it would have on an entire generation of men.


    i94LaMn.jpg

    The Battle of Magdeburg 1820
    The final decisive battle of The Great German War

    As the protestant powers marched into the empire, the catholic league began to muster its forces and the empire gathered its armies. Prioritizing the Scandinavians because of the proximity to the Bohemian heartland, the emperor himself led his armies north and struck the Scandinavians forcing them back. Ever acting on the opportunity, the empire launched its own invasion of Scandinavian holding in northern Germany. Because Scandinavia's heartland was not connected by land to the empire, seizing their holdings on the continent would really hinder Scandinavia's future war effort. As the empire advanced through Pomerania and Holstein supported by polish troops, the war looked bleak for the protestant alliance.

    Fearing reprisals and persecution after a failed war, the protestant lords of the north mobilised the resources available to them, gathered their armies, and went to war no longer just leaning on the shoulder of the north. Together with Scandinavian troops, a long grueling campaign to stop the empire in Holstein and retake Pomerania began. The northern alliance would soon gain the upperhand as the Poles had to recall their troops to defend against a Muscovite invasion of their eastern territories. The Catholic league became seriously pressured and began to give ground as they were now effectively fighting a three-front war.

    Faced with several setbacks, a second invasion of Brandenburg and a Burgundian incursion into Bavaria, the catholic league had to take drastic action in order to regain the initiative. Across imperial controlled regions, a massive conscription of men was ordered. Every ten households would be responsible for 2 soldiers going to the army and every village 1 cavalier. In catholic heartlands men answered the call to arms with religious fervor while in former rebellious regions, certain persuasions, had to be carried out by the inquisition.

    With the massive mobilization of the population the empire’s army swelled to rival that of their foes combined forces. Scandinavia was pushed out of Brandenburg a second time and Burgundy forced to retreat from Bavaria. Here after the war would go back and forth with one side pushing forward only to be forced back by the other. Almost the entire empire became a battlefield, save for the fringes, for two decades bringing untold death, destruction and misery to the people and the land.



    Negotiations at Frankfurt 1820
    Where The Great German War ended and brought order and peace to Europe.

    Even though locked in bitter conflict for decades, absurdity managed to take hold of history, when the Hungarians and many other people declared their independence from the Ottoman Empire the empire was quick to send forces into Hungary to help reforge the long gone state. The absurd; Burgundy did the same. While fighting one another in Germany, Burgundians, Czech and Germans fought side by side with the Hungarians against the Turks for several years. In the end Hungary managed to gain its independence, but not before the empire had stolen the very crown of Hungary that was the symbol of the Hungarian Monarchy and the emperor now claimed the title as King of Hungary but never enforced it. The ancient house of Hunyadi, now kings of Hungary again, did not dare anger the empire with demanding or asking for it to be given back to them.

    Impoverished and war-weary after decades of war took a toll on both sides. Burgundy and Scandinavia lost several colonies, most notably the seven republics and Vinland in Arcadia as well as having a stagnated economy. The empire however by 1820 faced impending economical, social and political collapse as more and more people had been conscripted. The economy suffered from a severe shortage of working males, all households in the realm were lacking a relative or several relatives, the inquisitions repression grew more and more resentment in the territories under the empire’s control and the population as well as the lords of the empire were losing their faith with the monarchy as the war endlessly dragged on.

    All this led to the penultimate event of the war; the lords of Austria and Bavaria negotiated a separate peace with Burgundy and Scandinavia in exchange for being recognised as kingdoms by said powers. With two of its allies out of the war and the third fighting for its life against Muscovite aggression, it seemed only a miracle could save the empire. The emperor, Wenceslas VIII, now called “the Lion of the North” for his brilliant tactical skill as an army commander, launched a final offensive to secure for himself a better position at the now inevitable conclusion of the war. With the Bohemian forces clashing with the Scandinavians at Magdeburg, the emperor managed to secure the most brilliant victory in the war as well as liberating Brandenburg.

    When the final gunshot rang out across the battlefield, diplomats would meet to negotiate a settlement between the powers of Bohemia, Scandinavia and the Empire. After half a year they came to an agreement that could be accepted by all parts. Burgundy would gather the western princes of the empire hegemony while Scandinavia retained its holding in northern Germany leaving the Empire to consist of only the eastern parts. The regions which the emperor tried to integrate were to return to the status from before the revolution and the Bohemian inquisition was to be abolished. Burgundy and Scandinavia were forced to recognise the sovereignty of their breakaway colonies. Bohemia had to recognise the kingdoms of Bavaria and Austria. Burgundy and Scandinavia would join Bohemia in efforts to push on Muscovite aggression in Poland which led to their troops being forced to abandon all their gains and return to pre-war borders. Finally the Reichstag would be axed and only perform a ceremonial role, the electorate of the empire dissolved and the Bohemian kings would only be Emperors of the German Nation in name.

    Peace was signed 1820 in the city of Frankfurt after 24 years of exhausting conlict. Before the ink was dry however, there were few people who thought this peace would last. The only question left was, for how long?
     
    Last edited:
    Prologue IV: Peace is but the Absence of War
  • Derahan

    Ever doubtful
    27 Badges
    Oct 30, 2009
    2.696
    42
    • Europa Universalis IV
    • 500k Club
    • 200k Club
    • Victoria 2
    • Crusader Kings II
    • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
    • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
    • Europa Universalis III Complete
    • Europa Universalis III
    • Hearts of Iron III
    • Rome Gold
    • March of the Eagles
    • Mount & Blade: Warband
    • Rise of Prussia
    • Pride of Nations
    • East India Company
    • Sword of the Stars
    Prologue IV
    Peace is but the Absence of War

    The shot that felled the emperor in 1821 marked the end of an era. Wenceslas VIII had come to personally define the period that would be named The Thirty Years’ War, as it was his policies that brought down the revolution and became the spark for yet another religious war on German soil. Consequently the people of the empire would face radical changes to the political, social, economical and religious landscape within which they lived their lives. What would follow after this conflict was not so much of a peace but more that of a truce; the peace of Frankfurt (1820) seemed to have finalized the division of the empire, but had merely set the stage for the 19th century’s great dramas.

    It was not before the death of the emperor that Bohemia started to fully recover from the war. Being of a militaristic nature, the emperor had continued to spend almost all the budget on a standing military, as well as forcing the lesser nations in the remaining empire to do the same; It was hinted that he planned another war in the not too distant future. With his passing and the reign passed on to the regent and the council ruling alone for 10 years until 1830 when Sigismund V came of age.

    The first act of the regency was to axe the military, keeping the few elite regiments and the most apt officers, enabling men to return and work the fields returning some semblance of the period before the war. No longer would the lords and princes in the empire need to keep their armies, a move much popular, legitimizing the new regency’s reign. Having freed up the empire's budget the regency could now reconstruct the empire and alleviate the ailments caused by the war.



    The different spheres created by the dismemberment of the empire.

    Inspired by the late king's one and only lifetime wish, all the actions of the regency would take was in preparation of a final unification of the empire. During the first 100 days of the regency a never ending stream of reforms poured which would change the essence of the entire nation. The society would transform from an agricultural, religious, complex and inefficient nation to one of industry, rationalism, efficiency and unitary. This was the prime opportunity to do so as apathy was the thought of the day and the war had imparted a religious scepticism into the populace, in no small part thanks to the repressive actions of the inquisition.

    Eyeing the world's dominant power, The Dual Monarchy of England and France, the regency started to import knowledge and experts to start up the first factories and railroads in Bohemia and their spherelings. As the industrial revolution had originated in the Dual Monarchy, it had immensely increased its power and prestige from an unmatched economical growth. The plan was for the empire to do the same and expand its economical means to wage their future campaigns. The idea was also to improve the life of the people with the thought that it would ease future liberal aspirations if the lifestyle of plenty would be sacrificed in the process.

    The most surprising reform of them all was a separation of church and state; No longer would the empire fund and use the powers of the catholic church and the inquisition, the latter being banned outright in the empire. This caused uproar in other catholic nations outside the empire, except the D-M who had undergone a similar transition. Never mind the international condemnation, the entire law code of the empire would be rewritten and constructed along policies of enlightenment, rationalism and logic, as well as enforcing the code in all of Bohemia. Along the code came a standardization of measurements, weights and lengths as these would differ all across Bohemia.

    The complex bureaucracy that had evolved in the nation during the past 400 years was defenestrated (a tradition in Prague) and a new model of government order took shape. Newly formed departments of Economy, Law, War, Foreign affairs and Internal affairs would streamline the bureaucracy centralizing the responsibilities of the state to a few organisations. Their modus operandi was to enforce the orders of the monarchy and provide expert advice to the government. Based entirely on merits this system would prove effective, and so much so that it would be adopted around the world as the standard for structuring each nation's bureaucracy.

    The heavy handedness of the regency would cause stirrings in society as all the new policies took effect. But as people gradually improved their life situation and the nation began to prosper almost everyone fell in line behind the government. The world was stunned at the incredible recovery of the empire as its opponents lagged behind, focusing instead on colonial ventures to make up for their losses during the great war instead of strengthening their heartlands.



    Sigismund after his coronation in 1830 with the laurel wreath around his head to symbolise connection with the Roman emperors of old.

    When Sigismund V was officially crowned in 1830 upon his 15th birthday would mark a change in governmental policy; The empire's newfound wealth would now start to be focused on the army, as well as remodeling it all at the same time. Strict meritocracy was enforced and the army was organised through the corps-system where every corps would function as a small army with infantry, cavalry and artillery, an experimental system used during the last campaign of The Great German War and ultimately led to the victory at Magdeburg. By the end of the 1830s the army would compose of around 120.000 soldiers the emperor's remodeled army.

    As two decades of peace entered its final years tensions rose on the continent. In the west, dissolution of colonial empires and a rise in nationalism threatened several nations' very existence. In the south, unified by nationalism new states would rise to claim their place in the world. In the east a behemoth was awakening to the weakening of its traditional rivals hungrily eyeing it’s surroundings. In the middle, a young new emperor fueled by ambitions of greatness planned to upend the old order and reforge the continent.


    -----------------------------------------
    Authors note: This is the end of the prologues.
     
    Last edited:
    • 1Like
    Reactions:
    Chapter I: The Elbian Crisis
  • Derahan

    Ever doubtful
    27 Badges
    Oct 30, 2009
    2.696
    42
    • Europa Universalis IV
    • 500k Club
    • 200k Club
    • Victoria 2
    • Crusader Kings II
    • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
    • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
    • Europa Universalis III Complete
    • Europa Universalis III
    • Hearts of Iron III
    • Rome Gold
    • March of the Eagles
    • Mount & Blade: Warband
    • Rise of Prussia
    • Pride of Nations
    • East India Company
    • Sword of the Stars
    Chapter I
    The Elbian Crisis

    Ever since Scandinavia first acquired lands in Germany, they had been ruled as provinces outside of normal governance. The monarch appointed a governor-general acting as the royal long-arm, controlling everything in the province; Enforcing laws, collecting taxes, raising and organizing armies to name a few. It was a system set up to keep the monarch of Scandinavia from being subservient to the emperor of the HRE. Now that the empire was effectively dissolved, this organisation of Scandinavia's holdings in Germany became obsolete.

    Immediately after The Great German War this situation was not realised. The provinces were ravaged by war and would take some time to be rebuilt and having a deep economic crisis kept the focus from the provinces. In the summer of 1838 after colonial ventures and a resurging economy, the question of the German provinces were bickered about in the north. It was announced that they would legally be integrated under the normal Scandinavian government going forth. This caused massive criticism from the German lords of said provinces who opposed it relentlessly.

    As the summer went on and the crisis worsened with the German lords publicly opposing the decision actively; Not paying taxes and throwing out Scandinavian officials from their lands. In late August of 1838 a Scandinavian army landed in Lübeck with the mission to quell the unruly lords. Meanwhile these events had not passed unnoticed in Prague. With preparations two decades in the making, the young emperor ordered his armies to converge in Brandenburg, ready to march at a moment's notice. When news arrived that the Scandinavian army had besieged Hamburg for refusing them access, Sigismund ordered his army into Pomerania and beyond.



    The downfall of Scandinavian presence in Germany

    On September 4th, with a proclamation of liberation, four Bohemian armies crossed the border into Pomerania. The Scandinavian army outside Hamburg quickly broke the siege and rushed east to try and stem the tide, however it was too little too late. Outside Schwerin they entered combat against the Bohemian 2nd army but failed to achieve anything and were forced to pull back. A week later outside of Neustrelitz, the Bohemian 1st and 3rd army brought battle upon the Scandinavians and routed them from the field. The latter now having lost more than half their strength retreated north and over to the Danish island, protected by the Scandinavian navy.

    As Scandinavia's military presence vanished, Bohemian armies marched on unopposed, only partially hindered by garrisons in cities still loyal to Scandinavia, taking cities along the way. The last decades of preparations were now visible as Scandinavia's response to Bohemian aggression failed to materialize. After several months only Pomerania had been liberated as Bohemia prepared for a counterattack. None ever came so by late spring 1839 the armies marched on taking over Holstein in the same manner as Pomerania and then into Jylland. Outside of Esbjerg on the western coast of Jylland, a mobilized army of local volunteers and militia made a stand against the Bohemian armies but were utterly crushed being outnumbered 3:1 and lacking any artillery whatsoever.



    Mid-1839 all of Scandinavia's German provinces are controlled by Bohemia

    As Bohemian soldiers marched through the streets and in the fields, old fears awoke in much of the nobility in Holstein and Pomerania. Having been subject to The Great German War and the repressive occupation by Wenceslas, they did not act in favor of the Bohemian armies who came to aid them. Instead, emissaries from the leading families of each region converged in Berlin to meet with the young Sigimund and his advisors, with the mission to figure out the goals of this new actor on the European stage. Hopefully their fears would be alleviated through this audience.

    For the empire, the only goal to realise was that of incorporation of the northern lords into the fold of the German nation once again. Hopefully in the process also restore the prestige of the monarchy after failing to keep it together after The Great German War. As it would turn out, for now, the goals of both sides did not contradict each other and as the meeting went on a deal could be made after not too long negotiations. Upon peace with the Scandinavians, the two duchies of Holstein and Pomerania would be created as members of the German nation again and nominally subservient to the emperor. The autonomy of the duchies would be great however and the monarch in Prague would have no say in the affairs of the duchies, save for foreign policy matters where each noble had to consult Prague before doing anything.

    With the agreement printed and stamped, the emissaries returned home to their various lords bringing the news of a secured future where they would, at least for the foreseeable future, continue on living and operating their estates as they were before this whole affair. With the full support of the local nobles proclaimed the Bohemian demand on Scandinavia were thus; To concede authority over Holstein and Pomerania to Bohemia and recognise the newly created duchies of Pomerania and Holstein as well as relinquish any and all claims on those regions. A final thorn in the side, Scandinavia would withdraw completely from the duchy of Oldenburg leaving it completely reliant on Bohemia. With no prospect to end the war favorably, Scandinavia acquiesced to the demands and ended the Scandinavian dream of turning the Baltic sea into their own Mare Nostrum.



    The two new duchies of Holstein and Pomerania in the HRE

    The Elbian crisis changed German politics forever. No longer would religious boundaries matter as the new duchies, almost completely protestant, did not suffer beneath Bohemian boots as had been the case decades earlier. Bohemia had shown a new side to the world and the estranged princes of the dismember empire; That it was not the same single-minded, repressive entity of Wenceslas. Overnight the views on the entire idea of an empire changed from what it had been for several hundred years. Yet again foundations to the european order were uprooted in a most surprising manner.
     
    Last edited:
    • 1Like
    Reactions:
    Chapter II: Die Wacht am Rhein
  • Derahan

    Ever doubtful
    27 Badges
    Oct 30, 2009
    2.696
    42
    • Europa Universalis IV
    • 500k Club
    • 200k Club
    • Victoria 2
    • Crusader Kings II
    • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
    • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
    • Europa Universalis III Complete
    • Europa Universalis III
    • Hearts of Iron III
    • Rome Gold
    • March of the Eagles
    • Mount & Blade: Warband
    • Rise of Prussia
    • Pride of Nations
    • East India Company
    • Sword of the Stars
    Chapter II
    Die Wacht am Rhein

    The cry resounds like thunder's peal,
    Like crashing waves and clang of steel:
    The Rhine, the Rhine, our German Rhine,

    Who will defend our stream, divine?
    First stanza of the poem “Die Wacht am Rhein” written by Max Schneckenburger

    The Elbian Crisis would be a powder keg that sparked a renewed German nationalistic movement which this time staunchly rejected liberalism, and instead, rallied around the idea of an Empire to dominate Europe and beyond. Even though the empire was inherently German, it had been ruled and led by the royal dynasty of Bohemia who many in the movement considered to be quasi-German. This inherent contradiction would define this movement for the next decade: The German people needed the might of the empire to create a German empire but said empire was not wholly German. For now this did not matter as the goal of unifying the German people took precedence above everything and it seemed to the movement that the empire championed the same course.

    As the Bohemian armies marched through Prague in triumph, German firebrands started agitating, and promoting, the idea of liberating the Rhineland from the Empire’s judas and arch-nemesis: The kingdom of Burgundy who had for several centuries cause upheaval and disunity inside the empire. The western bank of the Rhine had felt the Burgundian boot for long, long years and, quite not as potent as in imperial Germany, had grown their own nationalistic movement. However as they had not suffered under the failed republic in 1790s, this nationalistic movement centered around the very same, old, liberal ideals of a free Germany where her people could chart a course for their own future by their own decision.



    As Europe entered the 1840s, liberal movements sprung up around the continent where people cried out for freedom and the right to decide their own fate.

    However as Burgundy, abhorred by any and all nationalistic movements within their borders as it threatened the very existance of their kingdom, cracked down harshly on any such movement. Many nationalists from the Rheinland fled across the river to escape persecution. With them they brought their different ideology which began to spread its wings inside of imperial controlled Germany. The idea of liberalism was reintroduced into Germany where it had been almost non-existent, no small thanks to the, very, thorough work by the imperial inquisition. This “Rhenish nationalism” as it would be dubbed would take hold along the Rhine and the Danube, and consequently it was here the strongest opposition to imperial unification would be mustered.

    In Prague, the increase in nationalism in the wake of its successful campaign in Pomerania and Holstein, caused a divide amongst those who wanted to use this movement for the empire and those who saw it as a dangerous element which would eventually rip the nation from beneath their boots. Bohemia having been a crossroad between the east and west for centuries had much of its nobility germanised by the 1840s and some even considered themselves wholly of the German nation despite their Czech roots. It nonetheless understood that it was seen as a counter to the German nation having fought The Great German War, not for the Germans but, despite the Germans, trying to fulfill the will of its monarch who happened to also be the emperor of the German nation.

    An unknown philosopher of the time would make the dry remark around this time that: “The greatest export of Germany has for the last half-century been the idea of life, liberty and the rights of man.” Every event in Germany would have repercussions outside of its borders, as liberalism had spread after the chaos of the liberal revolution of the 1790s, to make one example. The momentous events that would resound through the world were yet to happen, but as seen in Germany in 1840-41, the idea of Liberty had survived.

    In Early 1841, with the rise of liberal nationalists in the German states under Burgundian control, the queen of Burgundy would order troops into the smaller states to continue the hunt after those that had fled the Rheinland. With loud protest from the western princes, that they had now finally traded one tyrant for another, the beginnings of a war in the Rheinland were felt by many. Though few would see the truly ironic with the coming events that unfolded before their eyes.

    As Burgundian troops crossed the bridges over the Rhine, the german states had to choose to acquiesce to Burgundy and did in practice relinquish control over their lands to Burgundy who garrisoned the cities and took control of the armies. One could say that Burgundy in one fell swoop almost integrated the german princes into its kingdom under the pretense of hunting down rebels who had fled Burgundy.

    At the notice of these actions, the drums of war were sounded in Prague once again. The order to mobilise the troops were sent with the fastest couriers as the emperor proclaimed the empire at war with Judas and that it was finally time for the empire to be free from foreign yoke. Two decades after The Great German War had ended, another decade of war loomed over Germany once again, the irony this time that the roles were reversed: Burgundy trying to impose its will on smaller German states through force of arms and Bohemia marching to their aid to prevent such tyranny. History repeats itself though not quiet in the same ways.



    The tragedy that would be Germans fighting Germans in a war to free Germans from Burgundian control
     
    Last edited:
    • 1Like
    Reactions:
    Chapter III: Caesar, Pompey and Brutus
  • Derahan

    Ever doubtful
    27 Badges
    Oct 30, 2009
    2.696
    42
    • Europa Universalis IV
    • 500k Club
    • 200k Club
    • Victoria 2
    • Crusader Kings II
    • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
    • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
    • Europa Universalis III Complete
    • Europa Universalis III
    • Hearts of Iron III
    • Rome Gold
    • March of the Eagles
    • Mount & Blade: Warband
    • Rise of Prussia
    • Pride of Nations
    • East India Company
    • Sword of the Stars
    Chapter III
    Caesar, Pompey and Brutus

    In 1841, when Bohemian armies marched west, the call to arms was sounded throughout the empire’s allies. All German states loyal to the empire answered the call, except for one: Austria. The Habsburgs did not respond to the call and did not mobilise their armies for the war. Even after inquiries and diplomatic overtures, the Habsburgs remained firm and even replied that they, from now on, would not be subservient to the empire going forward. Had it not been for the docile actions of Austria after this some of the imperial army would have had to be rerouted to guard Bohemia’s heartland. But as Austria kept out of the conflict, Bohemia could concentrate all forces west. The objectives of the war was thus: Free the western princes from the Burgundian yoke and liberate the Rheinland from Burgundy itself.

    The empire’s plan for the war would be two pronged; The Bohemian army with the princes of the empire would strike through the northern controlled territories of Burgundy later crossing the Rhine into Burgundy proper. All while Bavaria would strike south into Baden, Württemberg and Switzerland. The hope was that Burgundy would concentrate to counter the main imperial thrust through Westphalia and leave the southern theater to each side's local forces. However as it turns out, no plan survives first contact with the enemy.

    As the Imperial armies quickly swept into Westphalia, liberating several cities and routing the local Burgundian forces; The Burgundian forces mobilised quickly and rushed to meet the forces of the empire in Westphalia. However it was too little too late, the burgundian forces that managed to assemble to face the Bohemians were defeated in a fast series of battle, notably, in Luneburg and Minden, while also failing to tie down the rest of the Bohemian forces. Within 4 months, most of Westphalia was liberated, with the last Burgundian holdouts under siege. Within the Imperial army the war was viewed as already won.



    The battles of Luneburg and Minden were, while not decisive, clear Imperial victories.

    The Burgundians, forced to concede against the empire, started a counterattack in the southern German states, in late 1841, with the focus to knock Bavaria out of the war. From there the gates of Prague would be wide open as all Bohemian forces were in Westphalia. When the Bavarian forces were blown away by the Burgundian advance, Imperial forces were forced to re-route south to descend upon their northern flank. This action forced the Burgundian advance to a halt and the subsequent campaign in Baden, Württemberg and Switzerland would see the complete destruction of Burgundian and allied forces as well as the region liberated by August 1842.

    This would mark the end for the Burgundian army in the war. It was now a scattered force of some regiments across the country and could not mount any effective countermeasure against the Imperial army. At the turn of the year 1842/43 all of the German princes east of the Rhine had been liberated and the Bohemian armies crossed the river to liberate the Rhineland from Burgundian hands. Burgundy had assembled a small army to try and halt the crossings but failed and the campaign became a long siege affair before the Burgundians surrendered in July 1843 with the Imperials about to march into Burgundy’s heartland.



    Germany after the liberation of the west.

    Burgundy was forced to withdraw completely from Germany, leaving their continental ambitions in the gutter. For the first time in several centuries the empire had defeated it’s archenemy. It’s victory had been complete without any serious setbacks. The new duchy of the Rheinland had been created from all German lands liberated west of the Rhine, forming a new bulwark westards. However all was not well, when the war first broke out the Habsburgs in Vienna had dissented and refused to fight against the Burgundians. Ever since they were recognised as kingdoms they had been a thorn in the side of Bohemia, disobedient and rebellious. Now with its hands free, it was time to deal with the last obstacle in the path of the empire.

    First, Imperial envoys and diplomats were sent to the Habsburgs in Vienna to try and mediate between the Emperor and the king. When this did not work out, the emperor asked the king of Bavaria to mediate between Bohemia and Austria. Even though he tried his hardest, the Habsburgs were too stubborn to give in and fall back into the fold of the empire. As such the emperor was forced to send his ultimatum to the king in Vienna, either bend the knee or prepare your armies for what may come. The Habsburgs chose the latter.

    At the end of 1843, Bohemian armies had reorganised after the Burgundian campaign and thus marched south from Bohemia into the “kingdom” of Austria. The Habsburgs tried in vain to give battle outside the gates of Vienna, but as they soon learned the hard way: The new Bohemian army, almost 2 decades in the making, were an overpowering foe and the Austrians were completely defeated. Their soldiers either dying or surrendering, not one escaped the loss. After this defeat the Habsburg monarch fled southwards into the Italian alps, leaving his country ripe for the taking.



    Austria as the Austrian monarch accepted the emperor's terms as well as in the process of losing Slovenia to Illyria.

    It would take the Imperial armies about half a year to fully take control of Austria and drag the Austrian monarch out of his mountain hideout. Having realised the futility in his actions he surrendered and accepted the Bohemian terms; Austria would never raise an army again unless on the behalf of the empire and their monarch would swear eternal subservience and loyalty to the emperor of the German nation. With this treaty signed, and a parallel treaty with Illyria, who had taken the chance and invaded Slovenia, to forfeit Slovenia to Illyria, the empire was finally at last as a whole free from foreing yoke.
     
    Last edited:
    Chapter IV: Lords of the Empire, Unite!
  • Derahan

    Ever doubtful
    27 Badges
    Oct 30, 2009
    2.696
    42
    • Europa Universalis IV
    • 500k Club
    • 200k Club
    • Victoria 2
    • Crusader Kings II
    • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
    • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
    • Europa Universalis III Complete
    • Europa Universalis III
    • Hearts of Iron III
    • Rome Gold
    • March of the Eagles
    • Mount & Blade: Warband
    • Rise of Prussia
    • Pride of Nations
    • East India Company
    • Sword of the Stars
    Chapter IV
    Lords of the Empire, Unite!


    Even before the ink was put on the paper of the treaty of Trier and the end of the war against Burgundy, there had been frantic activity on how to use the victory in Prague when it became an obvious fact that the war would be won by the empire. The dream of the late emperor, and possible many previous emperors as well, could finally be realised if so wished. The empire was united under the Jagiellon dynasty in Prague with no foreign influence left inside the empire and the kingdom of Burgundy officially kicked out of it. Long, long nights would be spent by the privy council and the emperor to hammer out what to do next. It did not take long before the matter had settled on that the empire needed less division so as to prevent the past half a century of chaos. The obvious solution to this problem would be to simply incorporate the empire into the kingdom of Bohemia’s government apparatus and organization, but there were fears that such action would spark another liberal revolution inside the empire.

    Many options would be petitioned, argued and dismissed before a finalized plan could be forged that didn’t raise concerns that it would lead to armed uprisings and revolution. The plan called for a 3 stage unification plan that would hopefully prevent their worst fears and realise their highest ambitions. The empire would unify, first as a federation with wide spanning autonomy with each lord/king ruling their land as a province of the empire, secondly a slow process of degrading the autonomy focusing ever more control over the land to the imperial government, and at last a full abolition of the federation and complete control ceded to the imperial government. This was so as to lessen the impact on the life of the average citizen in the empire and not alienate them towards a perceived dominant and distant ruling czech elite in Prague.

    Thus the new constitution of the empire was drafted then finalized. In a large ceremony in Prague on the 20th July 1844 the new constitution of the empire was presented before the lords of the kingdom of Bohemia and the emperor proclaimed the empire united for the first time in centuries; Now the empire would charter its own course and be the helmsman of its destiny. After the new order of the realm had been resoundingly applauded and hailed by the czech lords it was sent by messengers to all the lords of the empire for them to respond to and one copy to the Reichstag to symbolically be accepted by the lords of the empire.



    The Prague Proclamation

    When the imperial messengers appeared before the lords of the empire they heralded a new era, one not seen in central Europe for 1000 years since the days of Charlemagne or Otto the great. As they opened the message some would cheer and some would sour but most would silently contemplate what this would mean for them and the empire as a whole as the emperor now had forced upon them a choice, not entierly unexpected, from which there was no option other option than a simple Yay or Ney. As with all matters pertaining to humans and making a choice; There will always be a divide for each and every lord of the empire is but human and wants whats best for them. Therefore when the replies started arriving in Prague the awnsers differed alot between the lords. Although the Reichstag symbolicaly accepted the proclamation, there were a lot of lords who did not awnser with a resounding yes.

    There were clear divides among the lords of the empire amongst those who awnsered the emperors call for unity and those who opposed it. Most of the lords who had never fallen from the influence of Bohemia accepted the Prague proclamation joined by a few others in central, northwestern and southwestern regions of the Empire. As the weeks went on clusters of resistance formed on the fringes of the empire: Along the Danube led by Austira, along the Rhine led by the newly liberated Rhineland (not surprisingly averse to anything trying to take away their powers again) and along the Elbe and the coast of the Baltic sea led by Pommerania. As the status of the realm became clear to the emperor and his advisors they decided that force of arms, which they had used for the previous years, may not be the best choice to reel the lords in and so they decided to open negotiation with the doubters on the borders.

    Even though the empire had attempted to still the fears of the lords, they had partially failed to do so. What followed the Prague proclamation was a formation of three leagues: League of Berlin, The Rhineland and the Danubian League. These formations was a blend of opponents to a centralized empire, interestgroups looking to change the federalistion to suit themselves and lords afraid of being ostracized in favor of the czech nobility and that the new empire would be inherently czech in its new form. This complicated the state of affairs for the negotiatiors sent out by the emperor as the they had to try to cater to the several interests that had blossomed. This however was not an easy task and as such the negotiation dragged on for several month even into years.



    The three leagues that formed after the Prague proclamation

    They tried to convice them of the merits that a new empire would mean for them and their lands. However as the lords remained unconvinced the emperor grew unpatient and would issue an edict: The lords and princes of the empire had been granted their freedom from foreign power by the emperor and were his vassals and as a way of showing their gratitutde they should oblige to what their liege demanded. This did have the opposite effect of what he wanted and the leagues now shutdown the negotiations stating they would not budge to the emperor and his abuse of imperial power. Faced with this response to his edict the emperor was filled with rage and without hesitation ordered the mobilisation of the Imperial armies beginning The League War on 15th March 1846.

    And so the fourth war on German soil in eight years started. Bloodshed once again filled the streets and meadows of Germany echoing back to the times of The Great German War as Germans once against fought against Germans. At this point emperor Sigismund V would be seen as a liberator by some and a cruel tyrant by others as his armies marched to subdue to princes of the empire at the point of the barrel of their muskets. This was more or less a civil war that tore through Germany and as such fears of the brutality of war that had been seen during the Libral Revolution came back to the people of the realm.
     
    Last edited:
    Chapter V: The League War
  • Derahan

    Ever doubtful
    27 Badges
    Oct 30, 2009
    2.696
    42
    • Europa Universalis IV
    • 500k Club
    • 200k Club
    • Victoria 2
    • Crusader Kings II
    • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
    • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
    • Europa Universalis III Complete
    • Europa Universalis III
    • Hearts of Iron III
    • Rome Gold
    • March of the Eagles
    • Mount & Blade: Warband
    • Rise of Prussia
    • Pride of Nations
    • East India Company
    • Sword of the Stars
    Chapter V
    The League War

    The war started on 15th March 1846 which in hindsight seems almost prophetic. Almost two thousand years ago on the ides of March (15th) Julius Caesar was murdered and ushered in the Roman civil war that would transform the Roman republic into an empire. Now the lord’s refusal to comply with the empire triggered the start of the Imperial civil war which would usher in a new age for Germany. The problem for the empire this time around was that they were not merely fighting one opponent but three at the same time. Waging a three front war was not something even the large military force of the kingdom of Bohemia could do and thus it was decided that for now only rely on local forces to resist the other two leagues and focus the Bohemian forces towards the Danubian league. The Danubians under the leadership of the kingdom of Austria threatened the kingdom's heartlands, which bordered directly the heartlands of Austria so this was the most sensible choice.

    Less than two years ago Bohemian soldiers marched down the streets of Vienna and now once again they were headed southwards to quell the most rebellious of the German princes. The beginning of the war with Danubia would follow much the same actions as the previous war with Austria; Danubian forces retreated from both Upper and Lower Austria surrendering Vienna and several other cities in the region in an attempt to buy time to mobilize more of their armies if they were to have any chance in repelling the imperials. However the Austrians were forced to give up most of their kingdom as they retreated west into the Alps. Thus the first battle of the war stood outside the city of Innsbruck where 19.000 Danubians engaged the 13.000 strong Vanguard of the Bohemian armies. The Danubian army tried to charge the entrenched positions of the Bohemians but were ultimately repelled with horrendous casualties forcing a retreat and giving the day to the Bohemians.



    First battle of The League War, decisive Bohemian victory although outnumbered.

    The Danubians regrouped in the Tyrol mountains to the west, linking up with other armies that had mobilised before the Bohemians had descended upon their provinces, while the imperial armies laid siege to the duchy of Austria. Then the Danubians advanced northwards to Salzburg with the plan to bypass the imperial armies and then separate them from their bases of supply in Bohemia by retaking Upper and Lower Austria. But They were betrayed; Defectors from the Danubian army told the Imperials of the plan and so the first Bohemian army were ordered towards Salzburg from Styria where they were in the process of taking the last fortified cities. Knowing nothing of the Bohemian advance the Austrians were taken completely by surprise and in the following chaotic battle outside Salzburg were annihilated as an army leaving the Austrian and Tyrolean parts of the Danubian league completely at the mercy of Imperial forces.

    The last Austrian fortresses fell in June and Bohemian armies were redirected towards the Rhineland and the last remnants of the Danubian league in Baden-Württemberg. The remnants of the noble houses that were left in Imperial custody now were all rounded up in their castles and put under strict supervision by Bohemian soldiers while the treasonous Habsburg were all forcibly relocated to a prison-castle in Prague from where they could not escape judgement. The emperor planned to after the war reconstruct the provinces that were now in open rebellion so as they would not be able to do so in the future and this would most likely include the removal of local aristocracy.
    When the Bohemian armies marched west the Rheinlanders had already crossed the Rhine and captured several fortresses and provinces that had remained loyal to the empire on the eastern side of the bank. Their plan was to halt the Bohemians on the eastern bank whilst preparing their armies for countermeasures on the western bank and when the Bohemian armies crossed the river they would be struck by the fury of the Rhineland before they could organise an effective resistance and thus be annihilated. The Bohemian plan was on a different plane however as they had to act fast so as not to drag the conflict on and risk foreign interference in the war, most notably from a vengeful Burgundy, and thus opted for a more decisive approach: Strike with a combined force of several armies in the center of the Rhenish fortifications and cross the river before the Rhenish could muster an effective countermeasure and take control of their heartland halting their capabilities to wage war in the future.

    Fortune favors the bold it is said and such was true for the Bohemian armies this time as they advanced from the Danubian banks towards the Rhineland. The Bohemian generals, ever eager to outperform one another, forced their armies to march at full speed to be the first to get the glory and spoils of war. Thus fortune struck; Outside Aschaffenburg (near Frankfurt) Two Bohemian armies converged on an unsuspecting Rhenish army, enveloping it from the northeast and south, and gave battle forcing the Rhenish to retreat having suffered more than a third their number in casualties. Retreating west only a few kilometers they stumbled upon a third Bohemian army near Darmstadt and in the short chaotic battle that followed suffered another defeat, though not taking huge casualties, but managed to withdraw north through Frankfurt with the Bohemian hot on their heels. The Rhenish army fell to shambles during the withdrawal and ceased to be an effective fighting force after they crossed into the Rhineland as thousands deserted, not wanting to fight for a lost cause.



    The battles outside Frankfurt that decided the fate of the Rhineland in The League War.

    Following this disintegration of Rhenish resistance in the field, all that was left for the Bohemians to do was siege down the remaining fortresses of the Rhenish. With no hope of relief all of the bastions on the eastern side of the Rhine fell rather quickly with promises that the men would be allowed home upon swearing no to bear arms against the empire ever again. As the Bohemians crossed into the Rhineland proper a small short campaign against small localized resistance followed but as it was disorganised nothing bigger than brigade was ever encountered and the last of the forts and cities fell during the Autumn of 1847. When the surrender came, all nobles of the Rhineland had to offer up two family members to be sent to Prague as hostages as a deterrent against future rebellion. This lenient approach was taken as these nobles had never before rebelled against the empire and had the Burugndian oppression still fresh in mind.

    Thus the Bohemian boot turned towards the League of Berlin in the north. This league was the least formidable foe that had formed against the emperor as it was spread out along the northern coastlines of Germany, including the duchy of Prussia, and faced severe adversity in tyring the gather its forces efficiently. The war in the north degraded to a series of local skirmishes and sieges before the League gave in and surrendered to the emperor as keeping up the resistance was futile and only prolonged the inevitable. On 8th February 1848 the leader of the League officially surrendered to a Bohemian general in the town hall in Lübeck, ending the League war.



    An empire united after years of bloodshed.

    As the conflict came to an end the matter on how to deal with the defeated came about. the nobles of the north were brought back to status quo before the war merely losing some of their personal lands to the crown, as they had surrendered the emperor chose to apply leniency. It was understandable that the Rhinelanders had revolted with the Burgundian yoke fresh in mind, however instability in this region was a potential threat to national security as it compromised the border against Burgundy, and thus it was decided to revoke all the lands, except for the resident estate, held by those that had revolted but allowed to keep their titles. This turned the Rhinelander nobility away from agriculture and forced them to seek new ventures in finance or industry to rebuild their revenue.

    As for the Danubians things were a little different. There were two categories of the damned: The nobles of Baden-Württemberg, who were largely treated just the same as the Rhinelanders, and those nobles who resided in the former Kingdom of Austria. The old Austrian nobility were stripped of all land, all titles and driven from their home as they were seen as largely hostile to Bohemia. The ruling family of Habsburg however was a different story. They were also stripped of titles, land and home but also they were all exiled from the empire under the penalty of death should anyone of them return. The ruler of Austria, who had sworn an oath of loyalty to the emperor and then broken it within the span of two years, were brought to Prague and, in the Wenceslas square upon a raised platform, summarily executed on the spot by judgement from the emperor who were present.
     
    Last edited:
    • 1Like
    Reactions:
    Chapter VI: Phantoms at the Opera
  • Derahan

    Ever doubtful
    27 Badges
    Oct 30, 2009
    2.696
    42
    • Europa Universalis IV
    • 500k Club
    • 200k Club
    • Victoria 2
    • Crusader Kings II
    • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
    • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
    • Europa Universalis III Complete
    • Europa Universalis III
    • Hearts of Iron III
    • Rome Gold
    • March of the Eagles
    • Mount & Blade: Warband
    • Rise of Prussia
    • Pride of Nations
    • East India Company
    • Sword of the Stars
    Chapter VI
    Phantoms at the Opera

    As the guns fell silent once again across Germany a new reality set in. The purging of the nobles in the Rhineland and along the Danube, the confiscation of titles and land and the forced integration into imperial bureaucracy would soon once again fan the flames of discontent and revolt inside the empire. The League War concluded on 8th February 1848 and the king of Austria executed the following day, the ruling circle of the empire had hoped their troubles would be over.

    Their hopes were dashed only a week later. On a street in Mainz a local protest was taking place against the newly arrived imperial governor of the city. The governor began implementing imperial policy upon his arrival in a very inconsiderate manner which angered the locals just enough to take to the streets. Being the ruthless character that he was, the governor ordered the local garrison to open fire against the protestors, naming them a Burgundian fifth column and enemies of the empire. This triggered an eruption of an armed revolt in Mainz which spread across the Rhineland with demands to recede the new policies.

    When the news arrived in Prague that the entirety of the Rhineland had risen in revolt against the empire and it had spread to some parts of Westphalia, to Baden-Württemberg and to some parts of Switzerland. This was a revolt large enough to threaten the integrity of the western provinces of the empire and thus the entire imperial army was mobilised once again to swiftly crush the revolt before it would gain momentum. The Rhenish revolt would last only from March to September 1848 as it disintegrated before the veteran soldiers of the imperial army. It failed to achieve anything of significance as all imperial garrisons under siege weathered the storm. Intense scrutiny would be implemented after this on all imperial officials so as this event would not repeat itself again due to one official's bad character.



    The Rhenish revolt at its furthest extent just as the Imperial counterattack began.

    The Rhineland did not stand alone however. During the late spring in 1848 other revolts broke out across the empire in support of the Rhenish revolteurs. Revolts largely inspired by and copied the agenda of the Rhenish revolt erupted in Pomerania, East Prussia and Bavaria . This was a grave miscalculation by the revolters as the imperial army was already pushing back the Rhenish. Smaller armies were detached from the fighting in the west and sent east to quell the revolts. As armies entered the regions of Bavaria and Pommerania they were joined by local forces raised by the king of Bavaria and Duke of Pomerania respectively. The story wasn't much different in these regions either as the local revolts amounted to nothing more than disorganised mobs in face of the imperial soldiers on the field of battle.

    However, as this was the early 19th century, information traveled at the speed of a horse or at most the speed of a railroad. Misinformation and rumors thus spread across the empire from the very rebels defeated at its hands. Rumors of savage cruelty ran from the lips of the defeated and caused fear and anger in the minds of those it reached. The flames of disbelief against the empire fanned up and the peoples angsts projected towards the emperor as the army, the perceived source of their unjust fear, was seen as his extended arm. Thus in the area roughly constituting lower Thuringia and regions in Bavaria bordering Thuringia yet another rebellion broke out centered around the city of Wurzburg.

    Old cries from a bygone era echoed through the streets of this region; Demands of liberty and an end to the repressive monarchy of the empire arose as liberal ideas once again sprung up inside the empire. This struck horror in the highest circles of Imperial governance and the detachments sent towards Bavaria and Pommerania were ordered towards Thuringia to put out the liberals before the ideas spread any further. With Imperial armies marching across the empire back and forth no one had complete control over the military situation and chaos descended upon the Imperial bureaucracy as it was overwhelmed with reports of rebellions and pleas for military intervention from the central government.


    .

    The other three revolts that rocked the empire and almost overwhelmed it.

    As summer turned to autumn the situation stabilized for the empire as the Rhenish revolt was crushed and the armies in the west were sent east to help quell the three ongoing rebellions in the empire. With the entirety of the imperial army descending the revolts were gradually stamped out. The first to fall were the liberals in Thuringia as they were deemed the ones posing the highest threat overall to the empire's cohesion. So from autumn 1848 to spring 1849 all active revolts against the empire were crushed and the leaders shot in order to prevent, at least for the moment, more revolts from organising. Much though was given to establishing some organisation similar to that of the old inquisition which could actively hunt down and stop these revolts from happening from the start, but it was ultimately decided against it as it had been one of the causes of the conflagration at the turn of the century which was something none would want to happen again.

    For several months, all effort of the Imperial army had been focused on quelling the rebellions that had broken out inside the empire. Having to wage campaign after campaign started to wear down the imperial army and, at the conclusion of the rebellions, had lost a third of the size it had been before The League War. Just as it seemed the Empire would be able to endure a time of peace, disaster struck once again. On 5th April 1849 messengers arrived in Prague bearing news that Burgundian soldiers had crossed the border and invaded the Rhineland. There were no greater opportunity for the Burgundians to strike than now; The imperial army was at its weakest it had been since the end of The Great German War and the main force on the continent and the nominal ally of the empire, the Dual Monarchy, was in a process of rapid disintegration suffering several liberal and nationalistic revolutions simultaneously[1].

    The imperial army was ordered west to stem the tide of the Burgundian invasion with the goal to at the least keep it on the other side of the Rhine river. When it became apparent that the Burgundian army was bigger than the imperial in size, the emperor sent a messenger to Budapest to ask the Hungarians to honour their alliance and aid the empire in this dark hour. Without hesitation the Hungarians answered the call and sent most of their army to the Rhine, leaving only parts of it in Hungary to keep order in their own realm. With the addition of allies the imperial army grew to almost 300.000 men in size and outnumbered the invading Burgundians by almost 100.000 men.



    The Burgundian invasion before the counter attack by Imperial and Hungarian forces.

    Early summer reorganized allied forces started their advance into the Rhineland with the plan to force the Burgundians into battle and thus using numerical superiority achieving victory. The Burgundians were ready however and as soon as the first divisions of allied forces crossed the Rhine they were attacked. This first battle outside the city of Cologne resulted in a decisive Burgundian victory as the allies couldn’t concentrate forces quickly enough on the western bank to repulse the Burgundians. Forced to retreat across the Rhine under fire, the allies suffered thrice the amount of casualties as the invaders and for the moment a huge drop in morale. This defeat forced a rethinking of the allies strategy and the decision was taken to not force the Rhine for now and instead cross into Friesland and Gelderland to try and circumvent the Burgundians in the north, and if possible strike the capital to draw forces away from the Rhineland.

    Taken completely by surprise the Burgundians scrambled to contain the allied incursion in the north, and in the process leaving the Rhineland vulnerable. Seizing the opportunity imperial armies forced the crossings of the Rhine on several points and successfully beat back the invaders city by city. Barely managing to halt the allied forces in Gelderland and unable to stem the tide of the imperial advance across the Rhineland, the Burgundians opted to instead sue for peace with the empire. Status quo was rejected by the empire and as they continued the push into Wallonia and the Burgundian heartland, the kingdom acquiesced to imperial demands to cede territories as payments for wreaking havoc on imperial soil. After emissaries brokered a peace the empire was given control over several Burgundian islands in the Caribbean leaving the empire with an, albeit small, colonial empire, the first in German history.



    The new colonial possession of the empire

    And thus with the peace between the Empire and the Burgundians ended a decade of war. As the peace was signed in late December 1849 the empire looked forward to a new decade, one which held grand promises now that the empire was secure from both internal and external enemies. The Burgundian invasion had been a rallying point for the German people who saw it as renewed Burgundian imperialism inside the empire and thus, even if just for a short period, the people were united in heart and mind. With the peace bringing promise of a place in the sun and a chair at the table of the great powers across the globe hope was growing that the many wars that had more or less plagued the empire for half a century was a thing of the past. The empire looked with anticipation forward towards a new era, and very likely, an era dominated by them.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    [1] - This event will be addressed in the next chapter but to say the least, the D-M is disintegrating.
     
    Last edited:
    Chapter VII: Noticeable European Events
  • Derahan

    Ever doubtful
    27 Badges
    Oct 30, 2009
    2.696
    42
    • Europa Universalis IV
    • 500k Club
    • 200k Club
    • Victoria 2
    • Crusader Kings II
    • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
    • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
    • Europa Universalis III Complete
    • Europa Universalis III
    • Hearts of Iron III
    • Rome Gold
    • March of the Eagles
    • Mount & Blade: Warband
    • Rise of Prussia
    • Pride of Nations
    • East India Company
    • Sword of the Stars
    Chapter VII
    Noticeable European Events

    If the unification of the Holy Roman Empire was the penultimate event to occur during the 1840s, then the collapse of the Dual Monarchy certainly was the crowning of the decade perhaps even the half-century. The Angevins in western Europe rode out the storm of conflagration that occured in Germany; Complacent enough to simply watch as their closest rivals and foremost allied tore each other apart during several wars spanning decades; They enjoyed an epoch of unparalleled growth that saw huge shift in society from the old feudal social system to a new industrial society fueled by a new economic elite and built upon the backs of long repressed cultural groups. With this shift the Angevins adopted a new policy, later dubbed, Angevinisation which strove to promote the Franco-English cultural mix that had formed the core and powerbase of the monarchy for centuries and repress, which is an understatement, older regional cultural identities. It was their grave mistake that they had not paid enough attention to the events in Germany.

    It all began in May 1842 when the Dauphin of the Dual Monarchy was on a visit in Liverpool. This caused a massive shock to the establishment, such an act was virtually unheard of and in their eyes completely insane. It nevertheless instilled in the repressed groups that the Angevins could be bested. As the Angevin power was weakened both internally and especially externally, one of the long rivals of the Dual-Monarchy exploited this vulnerability. In 1844 Aragon decided to start supporting nationalists in England, no doubt in order to weaken the Monarchy by forcing them to focus on internal problems. Although this was resolved rather expediently with threats from the Angevins of military force, it fanned the flames of discontent.

    None knows exactly how it started, but in 1847 large liberal-nationalist revolutions broke out in France, England, Occitania and Ireland as the people had tired of the Angevins repression. Mirroring the liberal revolution in Germany 50 years earlier, the different peoples rejected the authoritarian fist of the old order. While the Angevins tried in vain to crush the revolutionaries, liberal revolutionaries rose from amongst their own powerbase; Instilled with the ideas of liberty they hoped that they could entice the various peoples into a common republic that would stand above all. But that was but dreams and even before 1848 came to an end the Angevins had fallen and the republics of France, England, Ireland and Occitania had been established, turning the power balance of Europe upside down concurrently with the unification of the Holy Roman Empire.

    These events even spread outside of the Dual Monarchy. With the English and Irish fighting for their freedom the Scottish people, still ruled by the Scandinavia monarchy, revolted. Scandinavia having suffered at the hands of the Bohemians during the Elbian crisis and neither had they recovered from The Great German War and the loss of their colonies thereafter, couldn’t muster an effective response to the rebellion and were forced to watch as Scotland seceded from their realm. The only relief for Scandinavia was that they could size some of the old colonies of the Dual Monarchy, along with Burgundy and Spain.


    The four nations that rose from the ashes of the Dual Monarchy along an independent Scotland.

    In western Europe a nation splintered into several while in the east several nations combined, rather reluctantly, into one. The rulers of Muscovy had long been foiled in their attempts to unify the Russian people under one ruler by Scandinavia, Bohemia/Poland and the Ottomans who wished to keep the various Russian and Tartar states of the region divided and in conflict so as not to threaten their backs when they turned focus to the inevitable and never ending series of wars in central, western and southern Europe. Now that the focus of the European powers were focused elsewhere, for Bohemia and Scandinavia in German and for the Ottomans to bring an end to their 30 years civil war, the Muscovites decided to act and started a southward expansion into tartar lands. Having almost subjugated the Astrakhan Khanate, in 1843 Novgorod and backed by Scandinavia attacked.

    This was not a calculated move however, as the Scandinavias were still suffering from defeat in Germany and Novgorod soon suffered an economic crash as much of their economy was propped up by Scandinavia, whom now with depleted resources could not prop up this bulwark state. “The War of Desperation” as it was dubbed by the Muscovites as their armies pressed the northern powers back, stopping just short of Finland. In the following peace Scandinavia had to relinquish all influence in Novgorod and Pskov subjecting them to Muscovite rule and in return Muscovy proposed an anti-polish alliance by which the Scandinavias could gain some territory to compensate for their territorial losses in northern Germany. The deal was accepted.

    A year later, in 1845, the Muscovite tsar would be proclaimed as the tsar of all the Russians and the Russian Empire was created. The last year harsh and violent integration of Pskov and Novgorod had halted all internal opposition still left in the areas and now the tsar was free to seek foreign adventures. Following the deal signed with the Scandinavians the Russians prepared to face the Polish Commonwealth. It was delayed however as Scandinavia experienced the loss of Scotland during the late 1840s and thus it was not until 1849 that the two powers launched a joint invasion of Poland, who could not be defended by its ally Bohemia as it was embroiled in a struggle with Burgundy. Forced to wage a war on a large front the Polish valiantly tried to defend their lands but ultimately they crumbled before the great powers. The war lasted not many months and in december 1849 the peace of Vilnius was signed wherein Poland seceded the province of Luhansk to Russia and Courland to Scandinavia as well as accepting Scandinavian interference in Lithuania and Russian influence in Belorussia and Ukraine.


    The state of eastern Europe after Russian expansion.

    Not much could be said for the rest of Europe. Nothing had changed on the Iberian peninsula as the stalemate between Spain and Aragon continued as it had for the last centuries. In Italy the Etruscan republic had expanded northwards and incorporated some smaller Italian states after the failed council of Firenze where a diplomatic unification of Italy had been attempted but ultimately failed after threats of an Aragonese invasion. Thus Italy would for the foreseeable future be divided yet but through the action of the Etruscans and the intervention of the Aragonese, a nationalistic though and movement would grow and it would become every stronger as the years passed by.

    The Ottomans would by the end of 1840s come out of their decades long civil war with an absolute authoritarian sultan sitting on the throne and the various rebellions crushed and Wallachia annexed into the empire after its opportune invasion of Dobruja in the early 1840s. By late 1849 they would launch an invasion of Albania to reclaim the province just as they had with Macedonia a few years later. They were now poised to reclaim territory and also expand, of particular importance to them were the Greek lands to the south though ruled by Venice had in recent years fought a independence war but lost weakening the Doges which opened a path for renewed Ottoman expansion.



    The state of the Continent in 1850, a much different place than just 10 years earlier.
     
    Addendum I: The Evolution of Bohemian-Hungarian Relations During the 1840s
  • Derahan

    Ever doubtful
    27 Badges
    Oct 30, 2009
    2.696
    42
    • Europa Universalis IV
    • 500k Club
    • 200k Club
    • Victoria 2
    • Crusader Kings II
    • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
    • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
    • Europa Universalis III Complete
    • Europa Universalis III
    • Hearts of Iron III
    • Rome Gold
    • March of the Eagles
    • Mount & Blade: Warband
    • Rise of Prussia
    • Pride of Nations
    • East India Company
    • Sword of the Stars
    Addendum I
    The Evolution of Bohemian-Hungarian Relations During the 1840s

    Diplomatic relations between Bohemia and Hungary started during the Hungarian war for independence in the 1810s when it sent troops to fight alongside the Hungarians against the Turks. As the country was liberated more and more a large success was foreseen but this was not to be. As Hungary was liberated the Bohemians, on the order of emperor Wenceslas VIII, stole the Holy Crown of Saint Stephan and claimed the title King of Hungary for themselves. This was a grievous taunt towards the house of Hunyadi which sat on the throne of Hungary but was powerless to do anything even though the Bohemians were embroiled in The Great German War. This newly liberated nation had to bear the shame and anger whilst rebuilding what they could.

    This state of relation would last for some time, initially mostly propagated by hostile attitudes of the Hungarians and in the late 1830s it had more or less become the status quo. However as the new emperor and king of Bohemia made a name for himself and it was proven that he was a very different kind of ruler than that of his father, hope was sparked in Budapest. In 1842 a delegation of Hungarian nobles set off for Prague to negotiate with the young emperor for the return of the Holy Crown of Saint Stephan. The Hungarians were prepared for a hard time and dreaded that they possibly would not return with the crown. But when they asked for the return of the crown, the young emperor simply returned it to them right on the spot (probably foreseeing this development in advance). Flabbergasted the delegation was quick to accept an offer from the emperor of an alliance between the kingdoms all the while expressing his deepest regrets for his fathers actions. Thus by a whim the alliance between Hungary and Bohemia would be formed and later ratified by the king of Hungary.


    The return of the crown to the Hungarians.

    The other powers of Europe did not expect much from this alliance as it was seen as just as a farce made by the Bohemians to enthrall the people of the empire into a belief of Bohemian benevolence. The emperor did not either expect much out of this alliance believing the Hungarians to still be bitter about the whole affair and thus did not activate it during his war against the Burgundians in 1841-43 or the following War of the Leagues. However when the Burgundians attacked once again in 1849 several tens of thousands of Hungarians soldiers showed up unannounced proclaiming that the king of Hungary intends to honour the alliance and give proof of his sincere belief of a new age for relations between the two realms.

    Thus, with the aid of the Hungarians the empire was able to match and even outnumber the Burgundian army in the new war enabling it to crush the final opposition to the unification of the empire. To repay this the emperor sent Bohemian military advisors, economists and intellectuals along with huge funds to Hungary with the mission to modernise the country as a token of imperial gratitude. This was how the special relations between the two nations would start and in the future when the empire would undoubtedly face hardships they, at the least, could always count on the Hungarians to stand by them (and vice versa).

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Authors note: Forgot to put this is the last chapter so it became its own thing.
     
    • 1Like
    Reactions:
    Chapter VIII: The Dawn of a New Empire: New Mindsets and Cultural Conflicts. New
  • Derahan

    Ever doubtful
    27 Badges
    Oct 30, 2009
    2.696
    42
    • Europa Universalis IV
    • 500k Club
    • 200k Club
    • Victoria 2
    • Crusader Kings II
    • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
    • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
    • Europa Universalis III Complete
    • Europa Universalis III
    • Hearts of Iron III
    • Rome Gold
    • March of the Eagles
    • Mount & Blade: Warband
    • Rise of Prussia
    • Pride of Nations
    • East India Company
    • Sword of the Stars


    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.
     
    Chapter IX: The Early Imperial Colonial Empire I: Privatized Gung Ho Ventures New
  • Derahan

    Ever doubtful
    27 Badges
    Oct 30, 2009
    2.696
    42
    • Europa Universalis IV
    • 500k Club
    • 200k Club
    • Victoria 2
    • Crusader Kings II
    • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
    • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
    • Europa Universalis III Complete
    • Europa Universalis III
    • Hearts of Iron III
    • Rome Gold
    • March of the Eagles
    • Mount & Blade: Warband
    • Rise of Prussia
    • Pride of Nations
    • East India Company
    • Sword of the Stars
    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.
     
    • 1Like
    Reactions: