• 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

alxeu

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C'est la vie.
 

Lenin Cat

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When are you calling this tommy?
 

Tommy4ever

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When are you calling this tommy?
As densely said tomorrow at 10am uk time. I always post when the election closes on the update that lists out the party programmes. It will usually be Monday at 10am though.

We've now had 42 votes - a very impressive increase in the vote :).
 

Tommy4ever

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Aaand Polls are now closed.

Another fruitful election campaign comes to a close.

Here are the final results:

FKP: 15
NLP: 13
DFP: 11
KP: 3

Turnout: 42

With a highly impressive 40% increase in voter turnout I'm very optimistic about the future of this AAR :).

Election update in which all the immediate political permutations of this result will be looked at to follow shortly.
 

Tommy4ever

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The Election of 1863

In the aftermath of the War of the Peoples and the creation of the North German Federation, 1863 saw the new nation go to the polls for the first time. Up for grabs was the opportunity to form the constitution of the new North German nation and leave a lasting imprint on Germany forever. With both the pre-war liberal and conservative blocks having split over the course of the War of the Peoples 1863 witnessed a far more competitive and intriguing political field than 1861 had.


The election marked a great triumph for the centrist, German nationalist, parties as the two splinters from the pre-war parties mustered a full 2/3s of the assembly. Whilst Bismarck’s FKP came to totally dominate the right – the traditionalist Prussians of the Conservative Party falling into relative insignificance as the Reichstag’s smallest party – the NLP was forced to contend with a still vibrant and now radicalising DFP challenge on the left. Overall, the two liberal parties won a larger share of the vote than their conservative counterparts – however the wider political cleavage between the DFP and NLP ensured that the National Liberals looked towards the Free Conservatives rather than their co-ideologues for an alliance.


Minister-President von Forckenbeck of the NLP had hoped to achieve what Bismarck had on the right and established his party as the dominant liberal political force. Instead the DFP remained a very significant opponent, forcing him to either embrace a more radical programme – or turn to the FKP. Whilst theoretically the NLP should have entered coalition negotiations in a position of power – they could after all form an alliance with the DFP whilst the Free Conservatives had no option but to align with them – yet it practise the FKP were in the far strong position. With the Conservative Party having been mauled at the polls, Bismarck ensured the unofficial support of his fellow conservatives created a powerful pro-Bismarckian block within the Reichstag holding more than 40% of the chamber, on top of this the right had the backing of the King, the military and the machinery of state. On top of this the FKP were offering the National Liberals a once in a lifetime opportunity to forge a constitution far more liberal than anything they could have dreamed of implementing across Northern Germany just a few years before.


A little over two weeks after the election coalition talks between the Free Conservatives and National Liberals met a close as Otto von Bismarck became the first Chancellor of the North German Federation. Von Forckenbeck retained his position within the Prussian government, the role of Minister-President now reconstituted as Prime Minister of Prussia; however Bismarck was also granted the Foreign Ministry of the NGF and Prussia.

With the Foreign Ministry following entirely under Bismarck’s personal control the NLP ceded any influence over the foreign affairs of the Federation. Both parties also agreed to back any and all military reforms proposed by the High Command. In economic affairs the NLP won significant concessions – Bismarck agreed to continue the policy of free trade and refuse to levy any tariffs on imports, state intervention in industry was also to remain minimal and isolated to regions with overly high rates of unemployment. However the reforms to the school system proposed by the FKP were to be pursued.

In the constitution of the NGF the National Liberals won some deep reforms – for the first time in German history a governmental guarantee of press freedom was to be issued. On top of this the political supremacy of the Reichstag was ensured – the King would from now on be bound to only appoint a government with the confidence of the chamber. The new upper house, the Bundesrat, was to be allowed a maximum of 55% of its members to be drawn from Prussia – this would ensure a Prussian majority but not dominance as many Liberals had feared. New national military, administrative, economic and cultural institutions were to be created to replace the independent bodies of the various states of the Federation – forging a unified nation (in many fields, especially the military, in practise this merely involved the renaming of Prussian bodies and their imposition on the smaller states of the Federation).


The North German Federation had been born. Under the joint leadership of a German Nationalist government the NGF looked to assert itself as one of continental Europe’s greatest powers and the hegemonic state over all Germany.
 

LordTempest

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The Reichstangle needs eyes... :p
Clearly it has them, but is keeping them shut so as to avoid having to look at the near-naked men present on its right and left. :p
 

Duke of Awesome

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Things could not be better with this coalition.
 

Terraferma

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Not bad, not bad at all. Expecting some really good things in the play through with this coalition. One can hope anyways XD
 

alxeu

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Bismarck is in control.. this is good... very good... Now time for the French to give back Elsass Lothringen
 

Duke of Awesome

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Bismarck is in control.. this is good... very good... Now time for the French to give back Elsass Lothringen
To war! For the Fatherland!
 

Tommy4ever

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1863-1869
Blood and Iron​


In the months after the War of the Peoples, the formation of the North German Federation and the election of its first Reichstag the new state became fully formed under a newly restricted partially constitutional monarchy as the North German political system began to resemble Britain more than Tsarist Russia and Imperial Austria, perhaps even more than Napoleon III’s France. Beyond this the press was suddenly granted unrestricted freedom from state interference by law and the schooling system across Prussia and North Germany received a radical overhaul in efforts to improve it.


Left to Right: Bismarck, Roon and Molkte

The early years of the Bismarck administration also saw the rise to power of the electorally defeat Conservative faction as the government granted unrestricted support to the Army in its modernisation and expansion. Albrecht von Roon (Minister of War since 1859) and Helmuth von Molkte were both supporters of the reactionary Conservative Party – indeed, von Molkte was the leader of the Reichstag faction – but none the less worked very closely with the Chancellor in their project of military modernisation and expansion. A series of reforms were introduced to improve the army’s fighting capacities, it was expanded by some 36,000 men whilst pay for the soldiery was also notably increased.


The military reforms were gravely needed for during the middle 1860s North Germany’s diplomatic situation began to rapidly deteriorate. Licking his wounds after defeat in the War of the Peoples in 1862-63 Emperor Napoleon III moved to politically isolate the NGF, hoping to destroy the Prussian dominated state and reassert France as the greatest economic and military power of the continent – a position the NGF had taken from her. France’s masterstroke came early in 1864 as a defensive alliance was signed between France and Russia – the Emperor felt assured that such a treaty would make any Prussian dreams of actively attacking France disappear, but he was still eager to gather more support to his anti-Prussian block. The prestige gained by Prussia for its victory over the French and unification of the North Germans in 1863 had an immense impact on the lords and people of the South German states. As Bismarck attempted to diplomatically bolster North German appeal in the South, as well as supporting Northern industrialists’ investments in the Southern States, the Austrians grew increasingly concerned – inevitably drawing closer to France.


North Germany’s diplomatic position would be saved, not by any clever or daring decisions made in Berlin but by the ambition of the Tsar of Russia. In the summer of 1865 the Second Crimean War broke out as Russia invaded the Ottoman Empire with the aid of their Rumanian allies less than a decade after the conclusion of the First Crimean War – once again this invasion saw Britain rise to the aid of the ailing Empire – locking the Russians into a long and bloody conflict. For North Germany that outbreak of war had numerous effects – all of them positive for her position. Firstly the aggression of the Russians frightened the timid Austrian foreign ministry away from an alliance with the French and Russians – the fear that Russia might dominate the Balkans caused anger, that in the event of War with North Germany the Russians might be unable to support Austria’s Eastern flank made the Austrians back away from any alliance. Instead Austria sought to reverse its foreign policy and seek a peaceful arrangement with the Prussians and their Federation. Although it had been a defensive alliance, some in Russia had hoped to lure France into their war – the refusal of the French to go to war with Britain helped cool Franco-Russian relations whilst Britain’s view of North Germany as the only continental Great Power with the will and the means to oppose the Russians and French allowed for Anglo-German relations to grow ever warmer. Finally Bismarck took the opportunity of the world’s distraction over events in the East to revive North Germany’s alliance with the Italians.

It was quite remarkable just how far and how fast France’s diplomatic position declined in the years after 1865. Having then been on the brink of completing a cordon involving three Great Powers around North Germany, the French now faced the same alliance that had defeated in earlier in the decade – with the enhanced power of North Germany and its supporters in Southern Germany only compensate by a Russian Empire locked in an exhausting conflict with Britain and the Ottomans. Only when peace was signed in May 1868 did French hopes begin to improve – despite the total annihilation of the Ottoman power, the bankruptcy of the Empire and Russian occupations of most of the Balkans, as well as much of Anatolia and the Middle East the Russians only saw minor territorial changes in favour of their Rumanian allies as the British remained undefeatable. With Russia recovering from war Molkte concluded that given just one year the Russians would have recovered to such a degree that North Germany would have absolutely no hope of victory in a war with the Franco-Russian Alliance. In essence, if the Germans did not act now then they never could.


On June 22nd 1868 the North German Federation declared war on France, thus beginning the German War. In the following days France’s Swiss and Russian allies would rise to war whilst Berlin would see Italy and the South German states support it. Even more so than the War of the Peoples earlier in the decades, this conflict had the potential to totally reshape the European balance of power – transforming the North German Federation from Europe’s top dog into a hegemonic German Empire.


Once again the most important front of the war was to be along the Franco-German border as the Prussians employed similar tactics as they had in the War of the Peoples, only this time they were better equipped and organised. The Germans moved to besiege and capture the French cities along the Rhine whilst the main body of their army moved out to meet the French Army on the field and destroy it – the tactic was highly successful with the French losing two, even three men for every German lost. Elsewhere, the Italians (inspired by the successes of the Prussian in comparison to their own army in the previous war) had greatly improved their military over the course of the 1860s and were able to not only hold back the French in Piedmont but push into the mountainous lands of the Swiss – defeating their armies and occupying several cities. With France performing very poorly in the West all eyes turned to the East where the ability of the Russians to wage another major war barely a month after the conclusion of their last made them an unknown quantity.


In the East the Russians had been initially successful – defeating Prussian efforts to threaten the Congress of Poland before overrunning much of East Prussia and dispatching troops to Posen and Silesia. With the German forces set aside to fight in the East badly beaten there were major fears that the steady stream of Russian reinforcements arriving from the battlefields of the Ottoman Empire might allow the Russian Steamroller to crush everything between itself and Berlin. Yet October proved to be a major turning point in the conflict. In the West the surrender of the Swiss all but ensured the defeat of the French whilst in the East large numbers of reservists had been called up to force back the Russians. In two great victories at Danzig in October and Koenigsberg in November Russian designs over the great cities of the Prussian East were decisively thwarted. By the end of the year the Russians were largely in retreat from the Eastern lands of the NGF, regrouping in Poland and Lithuania for a renewed assault.


Whilst the Tsar had time to withdraw and prepare his forces for a renewed offensive the French Emperor did not. With his army being forced into retreat across the Alps from Piedmont and all attempts to reclaim Alsace ending in costly disaster Napoleon III found himself unable to achieve military victory and facing a growing and militant opposition at home. The Imperial government had always been unpopular in France’s cities; defeat in 1863 and the abjectly poor performance of the military in 1868 tipped the scales of popular opinion even further against the Emperor. In December 1868 Paris erupted in social revolt – the Emperor and all elements of his regime were effectively cast out of the capital – the Paris Commune being proclaimed.


With the capital in revolt the French government needed to end the war, and end it immediately if it was to have any hope of quashing the Parisians and warding off the growth of Republicanism. The Emperor therefore offered the Germans a deal they simply could not refuse – the surrender of Alsace-Lorraine and peace treaty, all that was demanded was the release of all German and Italian held prisoners of war. With France unwilling to fight on the Russians grudgingly accepted the peace proposed by their allies, bringing the German War to a close.


With the prestige of Prussia and the North Germans approaching incredible levels Chancellor Bismarck offered the South German states a favourable position in exchange for unification. On January 9th, two days after the end of the war, King Wilhelm of Prussia was proclaimed Kaiser Wilhelm I of the Germany – the first Emperor of the new Germany. A superpower of 42,000,000 citizens had been born.


Germany had not just been transformed politically in the past decade – but economically as well. The formation of the NGF was followed by an industrial boom on an incredible scale as the make-up of the country began to radically transform. With an industrial growth rate in in 1864 alone of 17.9% growth settled to a still impressive level in the following years – varying from 9.9% to 13.6% before declining during the war to 4.1%. By the proclamation of the Empire Northern Germany was comparable only to Britain and the North-East of the United States in the density of its industry. The population of industrial workers had grown from around 350,000 at the formation of the NGF to 660,000 at the formation of the Empire just six years later (just 105,000 of those workers living in Southern Germany, around half in Munich). Even with the dilution caused by the unification with the less industrial South industrial workers made up 6.3% of the population. On top of this the population of capitalist industrialists had also rapidly grown from around 4,500 in 1863 (barely 2,000 in 1861) to in excess of 16,000. The finances of the state had also grown far more stable in light of the country’s economic successes – the debts of the War of the Peoples had been paid off by 1865 whilst the state was able to run a healthy surplus even without the use of tariffs and with increased spending on the military and in education.


Germany was booming – having established itself as Europe’s greatest military power it now looked to compete with the British and Americans as the world’s greatest economic centre. German ambition and potential knew no bounds; this was a nation with the undoubted will and potential to dominate not just Europe but the entire world.
 

Tommy4ever

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alxeu

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Three Hurrahs indeed! There is, however, one more Germanic nation not part of Germany: Austria. Are you going to do anything about it?