• 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

unmerged(78039)

Captain
Jun 10, 2007
304
0




Chapter I
The Second Italian Wars

Epilogue​

[…] But when talking about Ferdinand, and the amount of imprudence had had to acquire to delve into such hazardous territory, you also have to note the amount of luck he was blessed with to leave the situation with very little impunity; here’s a man who is very unpopular not amongst only his subjects, but because of his various physical and mental disabilities, largely throughout the international community as well. Despite all of this however, he is able to garner a huge piece of territory that some of the wealthiest empires, empires as big and efficent as the former Spanish and French Empires, with powerful leaders such as Ferdinand and Isabella, have attempted to dictate with severe consequences. So, how does a king so incompetent, so unintelligent and so rash and charismatic get one of the most sought after and wealthiest regions in all of post-Napolenic Europe? In very blunt terms, plain old luck. Frankly, the year 1838 was not a great year for Austria; it’s economy, military, and people were totally shattered by the shock and destruction of the Napoleonic Wars. So, many people weren’t really expecting them to go out and start expanding; but, let’s fact the fact, if they WERE to go out and expand, who could stop them? France’s monarchy was on the brink of collapse; its monarchy was threatened once again by an Emperor in the form of Louis Napoleon III. England, on the contrary, was just on its rise to its eventual position as the largest empire in known history; however it’s focus was on industrialization and the resources beyond continental Europe, not the resistant, unexploitable populace of Europe, and therefore it’s attention was elsewhere. This circumstances taking place left Austria in the helm of European politics and hegemony, and unfortunately for the rest of Europe and luckily for Austria itself, the rest of Europe could just watch, in fear of being next, as Austria slowly gobbled up regions that were virtually unattainable in the past.

But it would be optimistic to say that in the years after Ferdinand, Austria wouldn’t be punished for the infamy it had attached to its Habsburg dynasty; what few nations that seemed to be indifferent to the Empire would know grow to be against it. Nations such as Sardinia, the Ottomans, and even the Prussians , who once were in very good relations with the Habsburg, would, in fear of also being attached to this label of warmongering, start to inch away from the grasping influence of the Austrians, and forming coalitions would start a new era of resistance against this rising power to the East. Many historians would disagree with me, but it’s the start of these Italian Wars, that begun this series of overambitious wars that would put Austria in this hegemonic and disliked position; and I think that’s why, Ferdinand should go down as one of the most influential men in all of Austrian history. […]

- Ralph Knapp, speaking in an interview for “The Rise and Fall of the Austrian Empire” (1994)
 

unmerged(78039)

Captain
Jun 10, 2007
304
0
Afterword: And so ends the Second Italian Wars.. for now. The Death of Ferdinand I will lead to much more economic/industrial based updates. So, what do you guys think? Should I lean more of a History-Book, Narrative, or a jumble of both? My intention with these updates were to show you a combination of both three, to see which ones you guys like. Personally, I like more of a History-Book writing, much more engaging and fun to write.
 

unmerged(78039)

Captain
Jun 10, 2007
304
0
@Enewald: Haha I hope not, but I'm starting to think so.

@Legosim: Wow, I'm flattered man! Thanks! That really gave me motivation. :)


Update in a few hours; this one will be purely narrative and will be quite a long read, so be prepared! :)
 

unmerged(78039)

Captain
Jun 10, 2007
304
0




Chapter II
The Era of Modernization

Prologue​


Archduke Louis stepped out of the Emperor’s palace, eyes instinctively squinted to combat the change in light from the palace to the courtyard. Today was particularly refreshing for Archduke; not for its cloudless skies or its breathtaking landscapes of rolling hills and untouched plains, but for the change of scenery he was hit with when exiting the palace. Needless to say, he felt revitalized, replenished with energy only remembered from his youth, to exit out an ambiance as dull and dreadful as the palace to a day as beautiful as this. He let in a rejuvenating breath of fresh, clean air, a smile forming on his wrinkled lips. Today was a good day for a stroll. Leading with his cane, he began to walk.


These past several years have been tiring for statesmen such as himself. Ferdinand’s abrupt thrusts into Italy and the ambiguity of his intentions have created stressful and sleepless nights for the advisors of his administration, attempting to formulate lies and excuses for the emperor’s past mistakes to foreign diplomats and politicians just as concerned as he; fib as they could, however, they could not cover up the tracks that Ferdinand has left on the reputation of Austria. Austria has become a feared, and incredibly disliked, player on the world stage; as Jesus had said to his disciplines quite wisely, it is more likely for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a greedy man to come across friends. “For a greedy man to come across friends.” These words bounced around in the walls of his head, a nuisance he could not expel. Pondering his thoughts, he knew Austria couldn’t recover from this fear. Austria’s decisions during this administration has made the Continent a hoax; it might seem that all of Europe is in Austria’s hands, but when the time comes all of Europe will in fact most definitely be at Austria’s throat.

These diplomatic blunders, like a plague, have infected the internal tensions between the Empire’s diverse populace. Croats against Serbs, Slovenes against Croats, All against the Empire, the Balkan dominions have developed into a hotbed for backstabbing and betraying; neighbor against neighbor, friend against friend. “These current fluctuating tensions,” Louis considered to himself “show that perhaps Austria will not fall or be partitioned by some foreign entity, but perhaps by the clutches of domestic pressures instead.” This thought alone made him shiver, forced his bones to tingle; a Empire that has been able to endure years of strife and bask in ages of glory falling because of the acts of subhuman as low as the Slavs forced him to reconsider his actions in the past. These are testing times for the Empire, but what the officials must comprehend is that desperate times can conceivably call for desperate measures. Only through the forces of time and the divine will see whether or not that is truly the case.

However, despite all of the dilemmas he has instigated, one cannot help but feel pity for a man as pathetic and helpless as the Emperor. The corporal and mental impurities he had been inflicted with since birth had been difficult enough, which have gotten far worse in these few weeks, but now he must rest uneasy knowing that his legacy would be an unpopular one; a war that had left tens of thousands of Austrians dead, away from their families, in a far away land, with no clear cause or purpose for their deaths. But worse, his dream, his wish of being able to march into Rome among the masterpieces and artifacts left by some of the greatest men that had ever lived , was never fulfilled; and now resting on his deathbed as sick and helpless as ever, he is assured that he will never be able to carry out his desire. One’s heart suffers great pity for a man as old and sickly as Ferdinand, who rests at day and weeps at night; one feels great pity indeed…


Louis gazed down at his hands, pale, cold, lifeless; then to his cane, a symbol of his maturity; coming to the upsetting realization that in fact he has become increasingly older as well, he knew his legacy would be the same as the emperor. The Archduke then stops himself, realizing that he has now arrived to a fork in the road. His eyes widened. He has left Austria on a path with two roads; a crossroad that would determine the rise and fall of an Empire; decisions that would alter the course of history. “These decisions are not to be made by me,” he guaranteed to himself. These decisions will require the minds of people who are far more intelligent, more rational than he; a new breed of Austrian thinking. A new breed of leadership. Only then will Austria be able to escape its destruction. Only then…

Far off the horizon, Louis had begun to make out a speck, an irregularity in the clear sky, growing larger as it ran towards the Archduke’s direction. Thinning his eyes to get a better look, Louis could start to notice boy, short but muscular, athletic in stature; a body fit for a messenger boy. The boy reached the Archduke, resting himself on his knees, panting heavily and mumbling intelligibly. Louis tapped him lightly, but assertively, with his cane; “What is it, boy?” The boy was finally able to catch his breath, and slowly he was able to grab hold of his words. “Y-Your Ma-Majesty..” He paused. “The Em-Emperor.. The Emperor is dead!”

Louis dropped his cane.

The Emperor is dead.
 
Last edited:

unmerged(78039)

Captain
Jun 10, 2007
304
0
Afterword: Sorry for no screenshots, this AAR will become much more screenshot oriented in the next update, with the invasion of Bali and such. Any comments on the pure narrative? I know it's a bit lengthly and wordy, how do you guys like it? Thanks for reading!
 

unmerged(78039)

Captain
Jun 10, 2007
304
0
Anyone still reading this :rofl:? I'm working on an update but if no ones interested, I'll wait to post. Sorry for attention-whoring, just making sure.
 

Enewald

Enewald Enewald Enewald
58 Badges
Oct 17, 2007
23.941
1.814
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Impire
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Iron Cross
  • Leviathan: Warships
  • The Kings Crusade
  • Magicka
  • Majesty 2 Collection
  • March of the Eagles
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Rome Gold
  • Semper Fi
  • Sengoku
  • Victoria 2
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Warlock: Master of the Arcane
  • 500k Club
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Arsenal of Democracy
  • Hearts of Iron II: Armageddon
  • Cities in Motion
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Darkest Hour
  • Deus Vult
  • Dungeonland
  • East India Company Collection
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • For The Glory
  • For the Motherland
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
King is dead?
Erzherzog?
Kaiser?
Austria has never had a King.
 

unmerged(78039)

Captain
Jun 10, 2007
304
0
@Enewald: Haha silly me, usually used to writing about kings, so I switched between king and emperor in that update. However, Ferdinand could be referred to as both King and Emperor; Although he was Emperor of Austria, he was King of Hungary, Bohemia, other dominions. Thanks for the catch.


Update either tommorow or the next day, if anyone still cares.
 
Last edited:

unmerged(59077)

Tzar of all the Soviets
Jul 17, 2006
5.575
7
Interesting start, unusual style, go Osterreich!
 

Tommy4ever

Papa Bear
16 Badges
Sep 13, 2008
4.787
598
  • Arsenal of Democracy
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Diplomacy
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Rome Gold
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Victoria 2
  • 500k Club
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
I found this through your inkwell (yours is on the same page as mine) and was attracted by that awesome graphic. How did you make it?

I also read your Iran AAR and no offense but this is ALOT better. I really like this AAR's style, one of the best around the entire of AARland IMO. I'll be watching ;)
 

unmerged(78039)

Captain
Jun 10, 2007
304
0
@All: Sorry guys, Midterms week just wrecked any thinking capability in my mind, and that probably explains the lack of updates. Except an update in the next week or so.
 

volksmarschall

NE PLVS VLTRA
31 Badges
Nov 29, 2008
5.808
259
littales.com
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • March of the Eagles
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Colonel
  • Victoria 2
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Stellaris
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Darkest Hour
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
@All: Sorry guys, Midterms week just wrecked any thinking capability in my mind, and that probably explains the lack of updates. Except an update in the next week or so.
The next week or so, that's a long period to wait... :p (Well, I guess I can wait that long for this AAR!) ;)
 

unmerged(78039)

Captain
Jun 10, 2007
304
0




Chapter II
The Era of Modernization

Power Struggles Within the Empire​


The following is an excerpt from “Downfall: Austria in 19th and 20th Centuries” by Thomas Leninson​


“Historians usually refer to the time following Ferdinand’s death in 1840 as the “Time of Troubles”, not because of the death of Ferdinand itself, but the events following it. Ferdinand’s death, albeit expected, left the house of the Habsburgs to be lacking of an heir; quickly, in-house disputes began to manifest themselves as the royalty divided into two de-facto factions, the Traditionalists and the Reformists.

The Traditionalists were headed by the heir presumptive of the monarchy, Franz Karl. Franz Karl, in juxtaposition to his son, Franz Joseph, was able to garner the support of the conservatives in the party by promising to uphold the autocracy and absolutism that the monarchy has practiced for generations; this included repealing most, if not all, of the political rights that the many minorities of Austria had been able to acquire from the German-dominated empire many years before.

Franz Karl pictured above, leader of Tradionalists​

Despite being very conventional in this social aspect, Franz Karl highly advocated the modernization of Austrian infrastructure and urban workplaces. Partially because of the success of the British Empire in industrializing their transportation system, Franz Karl annulled much of the restrictions the few number of the capitalist elite had on investing in railroads and the promotion of transportation infrastructure; hoping to lower tariffs, and increase subsidies, Karl would hope to provide incentive for these new entrepreneurs to delve into such a booming industry. Therefore, although a plethora of primary sources may refer to Karl as a “traditionalist”, Karl brought a new fresh breath of air to a social class that would gain a lot of influence and attention in the coming years; although a conservative socially, he was most definitely a maverick economically.

On the other side of the spectrum was the Reformists, an assembly of royals who cited the troubles of the past decade under Ferdinand, and as a result were very pessimistic about the concept of absolutism. In contrast to his father, the Reformist faction was led by Franz Joseph, an archduke that was strictly opposed to the continued practice of a single accepted German culture and most importantly, absolutism.

The members of this movement did not see the change of the empire as choice, rather a necessity in order to ensure peace and stability from the ethnically diverse of the Austrian Dominions. Because of it’s rather unaccepted ideas at the time, opposition was quick to accuse the movement of “radical” tendencies, and spitted out propaganda in order to distort the image of the movement among the royalty. Nonetheless, the movement was able to gain the trust and attention of many of minority sympathizers and closet liberals in the Habsburg line; in some cases, even the minorities themselves chose to support Joseph and the Reformists.

Despite agreeing with his father economically, Joseph intended to polarize himself from the social policies of his kin; rather than continue to support the same form of government that has troubled Austria in the past, Joseph hoped to take a more pragmatic role to a largely unstable population. In his promises, Franz Joseph promised a degree of self-autonomy for the minorities of the empire; despite what his critics say, Franz Joseph never backed a federalist Austrian state and wisely noted, either to save his political hide or not feel the backlash of the hardline German-supporters, that these minorities would continue to be inferior to the Germans in terms of political office; however, they were allowed to operate in political positions in their respective regions, and thus was able to increase the support of minorities on the fence about Austrian authority. Although still a conservative at heart, Franz Joseph was the antithesis and counterexample of the emperors of Austria’s past; he brought a, albeit slight, change within the system, and therefore would gain enough influence to combat his own fathers.

Franz Joseph I, although young, was chosen to lead the Reformists​


Thus, Austria was stuck between a rock and a hard place; on one side of the crossroads, Austria could continue the policy that had befallen them in the past, but had given them hegemonic dominance over Eastern Europe. However, the other promised a drift to a new form of government that could spell peace and stability within the empire, however would give minorities more power and would increase the consciousness of the already divided empire. Although these factions were purely royal at first, intervention by the lower classes of Austria, and the internal turmoil occurring during this time, would polarize these two political scenes even further, to the point where Austria could face the thing it feared the most; Civil War…"
 
Last edited:

unmerged(78039)

Captain
Jun 10, 2007
304
0
Afterword: So I lied, decided I was in a writing mood so I wrote an update. I admit that it's a bit half-assed, considering my mind is still boggled from midterms, but more is to come. Civil War between two family members? Perhaps. Austria has some dark times ahead of them...
 

unmerged(59077)

Tzar of all the Soviets
Jul 17, 2006
5.575
7
Ah, Austria.

The Imperial Eagle is always of two heads looking both ways. That's what its problem is.
 

unmerged(78039)

Captain
Jun 10, 2007
304
0
Tommy4ever: Thank you very much man. Graphic was made by just putting 4 pictures together, and then putting the Habsburg Eagle along with fire under it. Took a while but wasn't that hard. Especially like the picture in the lower left, Princip being taken away after the assassination.


RGB: Hahaha very good point actually, it seems Austria is always divided.


Enewald: Well, not necessarily. In the general term of being liberal, which means a person who desires a change from status quo, then I would agree. But I would say that the Reformists stray far away from the idea of Liberalism arising at this time, or the desire for individual freedom. Think about it, Franz Joseph in this timeline doesn't want to give freedom to the PEOPLE, he just wants to give more control to the minority aristocracy, such as the Magyars. Now, of course, the aristocrats aren't going to support liberalism any more than he does; liberalism would make them lose power, and considering what happened to France, it's not a very appealing idea at the time, especially for the aristocrats, so the aristocrats will probably be just as hard to liberalism as Franz is. And in a very Burke-esque way, Franz is not doing this as a moral obligation; he says this a necessity in order to stop more radical revolutions stirring up in the dominions at this time. In order to stop radical change, like in France, he wishes to make small changes to the political system and structure. So I wouldn't call him a liberal in this context, just a changing traditionalist.

Update in 3 days or so, promise one at least during the weekend. :)