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Duke of Awesome

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Yeah, and they completely ruined the AAR, in my opinion. I'll admit that the fascist presence wasn't much better (coughimabitguiltycough) but the communist revolution was a bit far fetched.
 

Terraferma

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The French one? I remember that. But it wasn't them winning if I remember correctly, it was people who started to act like sour grapes. I liked the idea of two visions of France, Metropolitan France and the one in Africa. That was pretty interesting story wise, a dynamic or mechanic could of been made there but you could tell things would get convoluted and complicated, playing as two different areas at once holding different votes and trying not to get confused. Good times good times.
 

Duke of Awesome

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Eh, I thought it got a bit cliché at that point, since Kaiserreich has already done that exact scenario.
 

Thoctar

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The French one? I remember that. But it wasn't them winning if I remember correctly, it was people who started to act like sour grapes. I liked the idea of two visions of France, Metropolitan France and the one in Africa. That was pretty interesting story wise, a dynamic or mechanic could of been made there but you could tell things would get convoluted and complicated, playing as two different areas at once holding different votes and trying not to get confused. Good times good times.
That sounds interesting, link please?
 

Tommy4ever

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1883-1887
Dawn is Breaking​

As the supporters of the Centre Party celebrated their spectacular electoral victory, and their subsequent smooth formation of a new government (the fears of the Kaiser’s intervention proving unfounded) Germany prepared itself for an uncertain future. The years of Windthorst’s second administration would be dominated by international crisis externally and political troubles internally, whilst German society continued to evolve rapidly in the face of economic change and the German government tirelessly fought for the unification with Austria that had come to obsess them.


Still shining in the glow of victory Chancellor Windthorst aimed to take immediately engage in a trial of strength within his own party and in the Reichstag – looking to pass through a swathe of reform legislation within a matter of months, including the removal of the Anti-Socialist Laws. Passing through not insignificant social legislation which for the first time in Germany introduced a maximum working day (an admittedly loose 14 hours being the legal limit) whilst also improving further on the safety legislation enhanced over the past decade. But these reforms were anything but controversial when compared to Windthorst’s calls for the abolition of the Anti-Socialist Laws, it being well documented that a not insignificant minority of the Centre Party cadre were quite happy to see the Laws remain in place. Offering certain concessions to the supporters of the Laws the government proposed an outright ban on ‘political’ trade unions (ruling out the future possibility of Socialist controlled unions) and instead called for a single apolitical trade union (the German Confederation of Trade Unions) inevitably dominated by sympathisers with the Centre and their vision of labour. However all restrictions of press freedom, freedom of assembly, the freedom to organise and officially mandated police harassment (unofficial harassment inevitably continuing) were repealed to be whilst thousands of political prisoners would be released. Demanding party unity and discipline the leadership secured victory, but only with the aid of Socialist members in the Reichstag and the abstention of a handful of Liberals who made up for the abstention of around 1/5 of the Centre’s Reichstag members from the vote. Windthorst saw it as a momentous victory for German democracy, his most prominent political adversary – former Chancellor Otto von Bismarck – famously commented on the day Windthorst’s new legislation was passed ‘’today the Chancellor has created an enemy that shall destroy the German nation’’.


For many the years after 1883 proved the doomsayers correct. The Centre Party’s long standing argument that repression only perpetuated the Socialist myth, making them a beacon for all repressed groups proved to be unfounded – instead, under much improved operating conditions the SPD expanded rapidly in membership and influence. With the party defining the dark period from unification through to 1883 as its ‘heroic period’ during which the party survived in spite of all odds era of the Anti-Socialist Laws had given it a potent foundation myth. As publications spread the SPD’s ideas far wider than had been possible before and thousands of militants returned to their communities the Socialist focussed their attentions on staking a claim for leadership in the labour movement. Although the new trade unions were explicitly apolitical and the Socialists found it difficult to get into leadership positions they were able to win support and respect by making themselves the most enthusiastic and uncompromising figures within the labour movement – being at the forefront of every major industrial dispute and successfully winning concessions on several occasions. For better or for worse the SPD was rapidly reviving its claim to leadership over the working class for the first time in a decade.


Internationally, the German government was bitterly tested throughout the Centre Party’s time in power, but never more so than in the first years. In Hungary a civil war broke out from 1883-1884 between pro-French republican forces and the German aligned royal government. Although the monarchists were victorious, Germany’s unrelenting support for the suppression of the rebellion (and a subsequent Croat rebellion in late 1884) undermined his claimed moral superiority in European affairs. In East Africa the government was doubly humiliated by what were supposed to be two of her closest friends. To the North, the British backed an Egyptian invasion of Ethiopia (a country regarded by the Germans as a colony in waiting). Worst still, in Somalia the Germans began to lag behind the Italians in establishing control – when Italy declared Somalia to be an Italian colony in 1884 the German government was unwilling to go to war over the African province. The events in Somalia did not lead to war; they did however finally break the Italo-German alliance that had survived for two decades and numerous wars.

Finally, in China an international catastrophe was brewing. The last two decades had been a troubled time for China. The Russians had come to dominate Manchuria, Mongolia and Sinkiang whilst annexing a large part of Eastern China. Later the French arrived and seized both Yunnan province and another large section of Chinese territory just south of the Yangtze. With its ports having been forcibly opened in the previous Opium Wars, the world’s most populous country was effectively enslaved to foreign European interests. In 1883 a great rebellion began just South of Russian ruled Nanjing with the explicit aim of unifying the Chinese and casting out foreign influence. Germany would leave China to the myriad powers with an interest in the country, who in turn offered only limited assistance to the Qing government, certainly not enough to prevent the victory of the ‘Heavenly Kingdom’ in 1886.


In 1885 the German Empire’s fate was to be significantly altered by the death of its first Kaiser. Wilhelm I, 87 years old at the time of his death, had always been an arch-traditionalist even if he rarely intervened in the affairs of German government – especially in his later years. The Kaiser had been indefatigably opposed to the Centre’s desires for unification with Austria, fearing that the annexation of these new lands would end Prussian dominance in Germany – creating an alternate centre of power as well as leaving Germany with two Kaisers. The new German Emperor and King of Prussia, Friedrich III, was very different from his father in politics. Aside from his liberal and democratic leanings, the new Kaiser was open to Pan-Germanism, so long as it was carried out on Germany’s (and therefore Prussia’s) terms.


The ascension of the new Kaiser, who brought with him a major improvement in the relationship between Germany and Britain, coincided with a series of diplomatic crisis from which Germany’s position improved noticeably. In 1885 the Galician Crisis erupted in the territory still under Austrian control – the most enthusiastic backers of a rebellion in the territory were Germany’s erstwhile allies the Italians who hoped to use it as a pretext for invasion. With the Russians unwilling to unduly damage their relationship with Berlin, or give up on the possibilities of expanding their power into Galicia a diplomatic solution was sought. The two Kingdoms of West Galicia (government by Poles) and East Galicia (by Ukrainians) were to be separated from Austria and left under Russian influence. The Italians were denied their war, the Russians were delighted and the Austrians felt that Germany had protected them. The following year tensions flashed in the Ottoman Empire yet again with the Russians and Germans lining up against the Turks who were backed by Italy, Spain and a reluctant Britain. A diplomatic congress in Berlin saw the Germans sooth tensions and avoid a major war. However, yet again in early 1887 the Italians attempted to engineer a conflict – this time claiming the oppression of Italian communities in South Tyrol and the Pola Peninsula. The past years had left Europe’s powers fearful of conflict and no one was willing to support the Italians against Germany, meaning war was again avoided.


Just as European diplomats struggled between the competing desires for war and peace, in Austria a political crisis was about to bring the very existence of the country into question. In April 1887 the Centre Party of Austria and Bohemia, aligned with pro-unification Liberals secured a large electoral victory over the pro-Habsburg parties that hoped to remain independent. With the Centre led coalition promising to petition Germany for unification upon victory the Austrian Emperor, the Francis Joseph – who had ruled since 1848, refused to appoint a Centre led government. Angered by this the Centre organised massive protests in Vienna – including a march on the Hofburg Imperial Palace. In May the commander of the Austrian forces in Bohemia launched a coup in Prague in favour of the elected government, threatening to march of Vienna and forcibly bring down the Habsburgs. With tensions simmering throughout the country and Civil War brewing, Francis Joseph fled across the border to Bavaria. There he met with the sympathetic Prince Regent, who petitioned the government and Emperor to hear Francis Joseph’s pleas.


The situation remained tense throughout the Summer as Windthorst and the Centre government in Berlin attempted to negotiate a settlement between the Pan-Germanists in Austria and the Habsburgs, along with their supporters, that would allow for the peaceful annexation of Austria without the threat of civil war. The agreement was finally reached on September 22nd, 1887 – the date German unification was officially completed. The Austrian lands were to be granted a significant degree of autonomy – similarly to the South German states, but to a slightly greater extent. Francis Joseph was forced to renounce his claims to the Kingdoms of Hungary, Croatia and Galicia-Lodomeria (already officially relinquished in 1885), and most importantly of all the title of Emperor of Austria. Instead the Habsburg monarch was rechristened as King of Austria and Bohemia.


Austria brought into Germany 15,500,000 new citizens - a substantial number of whom were non-Germans. With the country’s metropolitan population rising to 72,500,000 the Germans remained the dominant group, although the non-German portion of the population was pushing 20%. In the Centre’s proposals for the newly unified Empire they called for a certain number of seats to be set aside for the main minority communities. Whilst 511 of the newly expanded 601 seats of the Reichstag (85% of the chamber) were to be elected by the German majority 50 seats were set aside for the Czechs, 22 for the Poles, 9 for the Alsatian French, 5 for the Italians of Pola and the Tyrol and one each for the Danes, Slovenes, Croats and Lithuanians. The division was especially harsh on the Slavic communities – with the exception of the Czechs whose support was desperately needed for any unification with the Austrian lands but seemed to be reasonable, even if it remained contested by the Centre’s political enemies.


Economically the territory Germany had just united with brought with it some serious issues. Firstly, the average industrial output per head in the newly conquered territories was around 60% that in pre-unification Germany. Austria also suffered from extremes in uneven development as the Western fringe – Bohemia, the North Tyrol and especially the highly advanced corridor between Vienna and the Bavarian border – was on a par with Germany. However, Moravia and a Southern fringe in which the Germans were in a minority (substantial in South Tyrol, less so in Slovenia and Pola and insignificant in Dalmatia) had scarcely been effected by the industrial Revolution – although the rise of industry had pauperised those previously involved in smaller scale cottage industry thus further widening the gap between these territories and the rest of the country. The poverty of the South of Austria had led to man calling for the detachment, at least of Dalmatia and parts of South-East Pola from the Empire. The literacy rate of Austria was also substantially lower than that of Germany – once again the impoverished South brought down the average with the German and Czech communities comparable, if still slightly behind the literacy levels of the German Empire. Austria also suffered from a crippling level of unemployment, particularily problematic in the Vienna region where many industries had started to fail in the later years of Habsburg rule – the need for either state or substantial private investment was obvious.


Outwith Austria, the German economy had fared fell under the Windthorst government. Growth rates were up slightly from the days of the Bismarck administration whilst the government was able to both cut taxes and see far fewer fiscal problems than the previous government – the government applauding its own free trade policies for assisting industries in avoiding the need for state subsidisation. However, very few new modern industries were constructed during this period with the emphasis remaining on textiles, steel, cement and other more basic industrial processes. Internationally Germany continued to fare well – her growth rate was slightly higher than Britain’s year on year, around one and a half times America’s and twice that of France. In the other smaller industrial economies the Russian, Italian and Japanese economies began 1883 all around the same level and saw very contrasting fortunes. Russian industry tanked – the chaos in China disrupting her export industry and seeing a fall in production of around ¼ over the short period, Japan boomed – doubling industrial output and bringing itself on par with France. Italy on the other hand saw almost identical (although slightly higher) growth rates to Germany as output increased by around 1/3, Italy fast catching up with France in industrial production. Spain remained remarkable among the Great Powers was maintaining such a weak industrial economy; however development did proceed during the 1880s as Spain began to compete with Russia for the weakest industry among the Great Powers.
 

Makkovar

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I gotta say, except for the rise of the socialist party, I like nearly all that had happened during this term. The unified German Empire now looks damn scary on the map. With the newly gained diplomatic position, I'm hoping the next government can refresh the German-Italian relations and strengthen the alliance. I would especially hate to see a colonial conflict end in war between us and our Italian friends.
On a separate note, hey, there is a Polish state. I'd like to see some of the Russian lands incorporated into it to make a proper nation-state. Hopefully Russia will keep on crumbling, and a crisis occurs in the region.
 

Duke of Awesome

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Quite the debacle in Galicia. Now there's an independent Polish state that could start agitating the minorities. We also own Dalmatia, which is a liability. I suggest selling Dalmatia to the Italians in exchange for Somalia and a revocation of claims on Pola and Trento, or, if they refuse, sell it to Hungary in exchange for an alliance and greater economic influence.
 

LordTempest

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Quite the debacle in Galicia. Now there's an independent Polish state that could start agitating the minorities. We also own Dalmatia, which is a liability. I suggest selling Dalmatia to the Italians in exchange for Somalia and a revocation of claims on Pola and Trento, or, if they refuse, sell it to Hungary in exchange for an alliance and greater economic influence.
Is that even possible in Vicky II?
 

LordTempest

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No, but neither is the merging and splitting of political parties :p
It can be modelled though, quite easily and without messing with the game too much. And besides, for all we know Tommy had all of this political manouvering planned out from the start!
 

Duke of Awesome

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It can be modelled though, quite easily and without messing with the game too much. And besides, for all we know Tommy had all of this political manouvering planned out from the start!
Changing province owners isn't that hard, even I can do it :laugh: and I doubt Tommy could have predicted all of this, especially given the weird ass first election the French had, with a nearly absolute majority of fascist monarchists.
 

Khalep

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A good term, all in all.
I have mixed feelings about terminating our alliance with the Italians, for it leaves us somewhat isolated, but Germany has never been greater and the economy seems to have recovered.

The socialist movement is somewhat worrying, but it will depend on the nature of their party program (radical/moderate) whether or not we have truly made a miscalculation.
In itself, the repealing the anti-socialist laws, was an act of tolerance and justice, which I will not regret.
 

unmerged(211960)

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Annexing Austria with a vast minority populace will prove quite troubling in the future, also bordering Italy and Hungary who I assume will be all too willing to annex their own fair share of the newly pan-german empire. the Empire also has land in the Balkan, I truly hope the Empire cease their control over this land to the nations claiming them, lest we face another worthless war over land and people we neither need or care for. But I have to admit, the Centre sure did good.

Sure am looking forward to the next update. :D
 

LordTempest

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Bring on the next elections!
 

Terraferma

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That is a mighty big Germany. If I was playing as France or Russia, I'd have chills.

@Thoctar: Already linked ya!
 

Tommy4ever

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Eh, I thought it got a bit cliché at that point, since Kaiserreich has already done that exact scenario.
Well, you may be interested to know that the Trot Revolution after WWII in that AAR was actually a mistake. If you remember De Gaulle and his supporters actually won that election and I was playing as the Gaullists vs the Trots. However I made the rebels too strong and lost, so decided to roll with it :p. Thought it was an interesting situation though, and only fair considering I overthrew the Communists after their electoral victory in the 1920s.

That sounds interesting, link please?
http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum...ve-la-R%E9publique!-An-Interactive-French-AAR

Nostalgia for the French AAR :p, it was actually rereading that which made me decide to try my hand at another interactive AAR. :)

Also, @ Enewald: Letzeburgers?