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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Marschalk

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THE ALBA CHRONICLES (XI) - ((Private - co-IC with Sneakyflaps))

The Liria palace, in the middle of the capital and home to the Dukes of Alba and their families. The palace was modern, built but 50 years ago in the neoclassical style, the great columns covering the front of the palace, the statues of marble on the roof and ontop of the windows. The Infantado palace did nothing but pale in comparison as Manuel stepped out of the carriage. A servant stepped forward, clothed in fine dress and greeted him “I am here to see your master, Don Esteban, I wish you give him this.” He said as he handed the servant a letter.

The lackey looked at Manuel, smiling in a polite yet icy way. It was a tall and imposing man who wore his livery with a dignity of a prince. Then he studied the coat-of-arms and the seal on the envelope - and his facial expression became a bit more friendly. “I will tell His Excellency.” - the servant said, leaving for one of the many living rooms. The Duke of Alba was sitting there beside a glowing chimney. He was lazily flipping through an old edition of Boccacios Decameron and sipping malvasia from a crystal glass. He caught a cold during this visit to Russia and was now warming his feet, dressed in morocco slippers, near the fire. After reviewing the message, the Minister for Foreign Affairs abruptly ordered “I want to see this caballiero. When the young man entered the room, Don Esteban Fitz-James Stuart smiled affably. “Nice to see you in my house, Don Manuel. How was your trip and how is the health of your noble father?”

“I am happy to be here and thank you for the hospitality, your excellency.” He said rather stiffly, as if rehearsed and not accustomed. “I fear my noble father has gotten increasingly ill over the last few months and has not long for this world. He is busy settling the last of his affairs, as he himself states it.” Manuel spoke with a hint of sadness as he mentioned it but kept his smile as he looked at the head of his house. “I must congratulate you on your position as Minister of Foreign Affairs, I have been told you have worked tirelessly to advance the standing and prestige of his Majesty.”

The Duke of Alba removed a tiger skin covering one of the chairs - and pointed at it, suggesting that Manuel should sit down. “Please be my guest” His bright emotionless eyes were now looking at the newly minted Marquess with curiosity. Then he put the glass aside and pushed a cambric handkerchief into the foliant, using it as a bookmark.”We can only hope that God would heal and strengthen your father” After a moment of silence Don Esteban spoke up again “I thank you - but to serve his King is only a duty of a nobleman. And I must say that when we were young cavaliers like yourself, the Duke of Infantado was an example of everything a true nobleman should be to us. His loyalty and zeal, the honesty of his principles. Even if he was not born a Grandee of Spain, he would have become a great man.” His Excellency looked at the flames dancing in the chimney and then continued “Each man chooses whom to become, young sir. So what do you want from this life?”

Manuel sat down in the chair, trying to relax slightly and unnerve himself. “It's funny, my father always said the opposite, that it is the men around you that decide your destiny, that it is those men that make you renowned and beloved.” Manuel sat for a moment, thinking. “I want peace, pleasure, happiness.” He chuckled slightly. “Sounds a bit boring, I want advancement, science, technology, I want to see Spain prosper, I want wealth and power and to do what is right. I want to see Spain walk out of the dark ditch it finds itself in, to see the wealth I saw in Britain.”

The Duke of Alba laughed, demonstrating his teeth. They were white, well-polished - and sharp. This man was certainly not herbivorous. Leaning towards the marquess, he narrowed his lids and said “Let me tell me one story. When I was a cornet in the Regiemento del Rey, there was a caterer, a Jew called Samuel. And he did as Jews do - tried to sell shit for gold. Among other things, he provided the officers with wines. One of his favourite methods was taking bottles from more expensive drinks and pouring there… more modest beverages. In this way he was sometimes able to sell ordinary Spanish Crianza for Bourgogne. But tell me, would he be able to make the same deals if he poured beer into Bourgogne bottles?” Don Esteban chuckled again and rang a silver bell. The lackey appeared as if out of shadows. “Your patrons are the bottle, but you.. you are the wine. Would you like some, by the way? Then Pedro would bring you a glass” Then his face became serious, as he thought over what the young man has said about his dreams and goals. The Minister crossed his arms on the chest “Prosperity, peace, pleasure - it is funny how often people try to achieve them through pain, war and grief. And…Great Britain? You are not, per chance, a supporter of constitutionalism?” The Duke said it in a casual voice, but something like a glint for a moment appeared in his eyes.

“I would like a glass.” He said with a smile. “I am not a supporter of constitutionalism per se, I support the British people in their choice to be led as such, just as they must accept the choice of the Spanish people to be led by His Majesty. No one wishes for pain, war and grief, but if people are given no other way to express themselves, armed conflict will follow, just as night follows day. I do support the people being heard, in a fair manner as one would hear a man of stature, their concerns must be addressed, they must know that they are not ignored and their plights taken seriously.”

“The majority of people are like children and a child cannot question a parent, dear Don Manuel. And, of course, a caring father should take all measures and guarantee that his infant is fed, is clean and gets proper education. However, an unruly child often wants something that is not good for him, is it not? It may want to eat the sweets all day long until its teeth begin to ache. It may want to smoke a pipe while its lungs are too weak for such an experience. And when the child screams and insists on that - then… then the parent should demand obedience, through both word and rod. And God would punish both a parent who is too cruel and who is too lenient for failing to exercise its duties…” - as the Duke of Alba spoke, the servant brought another glass for Manuel and filled it with red wine. He also put a plate full of different kinds of cheese on a table near the two men. Don Esteban yawned and took a gulp from his own glass. “If we return to less philosophical matters, what kind of path do you see preferable for yourself? A sword, a cassock, a quill of a diplomat, a seal of a magistrate? What sort of education did you receive?”

“All but the cassock, I fear I would soil the robes too quickly.” He said with a chuckle as he drank a bit of the wine. “I was sent to England when I was 12, I was educated there, the sciences, philosophy, mathematics, biology, estate management and so on. I greatly learned about the new innovations to agriculture in England, it was most fascinating. Then about two years ago, I travelled to Germany where I was accepted at the Allgemeine Kriegsschule as an officer in training. But I have never held a commission or position within an actual army. Perhaps a bit of everything, depending on what is needed by His Majesty.”

Don Esteban for a few seconds studied the odd figures and shapes created by the fire in the chimney. As it was devouring the logs, it sometimes formed into odd-looking curves - some like dragons, some like elephants and some like crown. The Duke of Alba shook his head “Impressive, you have learned much. Well, a sword seems to be a first choice for a young man, but.... I should be frank - only one of certain qualities does have what is necessary to walk the road of Mars. A fine soldier lacks sentiments.” Don Esteban grinned and emptied his glass, before once again pouring some wine into it. Then put a bit of Parmesan into his mouth, chewing slowly. “ I know that. I was not a bad soldier… Anyhow, imagine a situation. You, say, command a company. A crowd of rioters is standing near the royal palace. They are disturbing peace, maybe throwing stones at the police, demanding something - perhaps a republic, perhaps bread, perhaps a constitution. And the King - your King! - orders you to lead your company. And disperse the rebellious crowd. And if they would not disperse, if they would try to hold their ground - mow them down by gunshots, if you are infantry, or use the sabres, if you are cavalry. Some of them may be women, some young men like yourself. Some are foolish, some have been deceived. Well, would you then fulfill the order? Would you be able to put your military duty and your oath to the King before anything else? It is something each soldier should ask himself before putting on the epaulets.” The Duke of Alba was now speaking in a quiet, rather monotonous voice. His gaze was unblinking. And then he smiled again “And regarding civilian duties - I must say that my Ministry is currently in need of able and educated noblemen who could represent our Realm aboard, be its face, as to say. Especially in the countries which are not that friendly towards us.”

“It’s an interesting predicament, your excellency.” He said as he pondered. “If his Majesty, and his government needs me to represent him abroad, then I would be honoured.” He said with a nod. “As for your military issue, if they demand food, we must make sure that we have some we can offer, or guarantee to calm the crowd. Now how I would follow on his order depends largely if His Majesty’s life is in danger, if the king is safe, I would set up a defensive line, and wait for the crowd to calm down and disperse in the early hours of the morning. My duty is to defend his Majesty, even against poor judgement, to defend Spain, the Crown and its prestige. A spark started the French Revolution, the Gordon Riots in Britain shamed the Crown, and the king for the actions committed that night, tarnished internationally, it need not take more to start a revolution in Spain.” He said calmly, looking at his cousin.

The Duke of Alba sighed. Despite the controversial topics, he clearly enjoyed talking with the intelligent young man. Which was unusual for such a reserved person. He stood up and walked across the room, considering something. While he did that, he was speaking - though the subject of his musings was clearly different “Sadly enough, the army often has to interfere when the statesmen make mistakes. And then bear the responsibility for such mistakes, for any revolutionary seeks out these who shot first - but not these who caused the situation in which the shots HAD to be fired. Sometimes the conflict could be prevented by handing out bread, sometimes by arresting the ringleaders - and yet it is not done. And then the Army has to intervene. However, it is our duty to serve the King and Fatherland at all costs, even if we risk this our life. It is one ideal I truly believe in, Don Manuel.” Now standing near the table, above which the portrait of His Majesty was hanging, the Minister of Foreign Affairs returned to more earthly matters “Anyhow, as I said, dear cousin, I have a number of vacancies in my department. I know your father would like you to stay at Court for a certain period - but there would always be time for that. And now you have the chance to make a mark immediately, proving yourself worthy in the eyes of the Government and His Catholic Majesty…”

Don Esteban turned about and looked at the portrait, on which the Sovereign was depicted in the general officer uniform. “As you probably have heard, our relationships with France are not the best. We however want peace - and must bring this message to the government in Paris. We believe that it would be of use that our envoys at the court of Citizen King would ensure him and his cabinet that we are firm supporters of a balance within the European Concert and that his kingdom should not see us as enemies. As a sign of our good will, we would seek to talk with the Frenchmen about the deliniation of our borders in North Africa. While seeing Morocco as our area of influence, we would support the French interests in Algeria. We would seek to reach agreement on mutual policing of the borders of our future holdings in these regions and act as partners rather than foes there…” The Duke rested after this long monologue for a minute or so, then cleared his breath and said “Would you be interested in joining our embassy in Paris as First Secretary, assisting our ambassador in conduction of these negotiations?”

Manuel nodded. “I would be honoured, I can tomorrow evening. May I ask who the ambassador I will be serving shall be? And if this mission involves the rumoured love match of the Prince of Asturias and the King of France’s daughter?” Manuel asked curiously, before smirking. “My father still has friends at court, and the court never gets tired of gossip.”

The Duke of Alba, clearly amused, answered the question “And here comes the difficult part, where the diplomatic skill is needed. His Catholic Majesty for certain reasons does not want this matrimony to happen. So we better not touch this… delicate matter. But if the necessity arises and the King gives us his permission - we need to make it clear to the French that it…. would not happen. In the most courteous and disappointed way we can. Sadly enough, our Monarch already has obligations, et cetera, et cetera. Before you leave I would send to you any additional instructions I receive from the King on the matter.” Suddenly remembering about an important report he would need to make to His Majesty tomorrow, the Minister took a quill and wrote a few phrases on a bit of paper lying on the table, as a reminder for himself “Anyhow, you can enjoy the hospitality of my palace until you leave - and when you return with success. If you want anything, feel free to order the servants - and I would dispatch a personal orderly to assist you. And tomorrow, cousin, I would introduce you to a number of important people, connected with the Court, so that you are known”



From the DUKE of ALBA to the DUKE of VALENCIA (Private - Keinwyn)

Most esteemed Don Ajejo,

Indeed, I am happy to report that mission to St. Petersburg was clearly quite successful. Hopefully through both vigorous and careful diplomatic measures we would be able to make
the suggested Royal matrimonies useful both for the Crown and state. I would currently tirelessly work on directing the efforts of the embassies in Wienna, Paris and London so that the directives of the government are achieved.

I would , of course, join the committee mentioned by Your Excellency and hope that my advise would be of worth. As to the dinner, it would be of greatest pleasure to me. I invite you to join me tomorrow in the Liria Palace, so that we could discuss the pending matters, as the Frenchmen say, between pear and cheese

I most respectfully remain,
Brigadier General Don Esteban Alonso Fitz-James Stuart y Silva,
Duke of Alba,
HСMs Secretary for Foreign Affairs

From the DUKE of ALBA to the PRINCE of BELMONTE (Private - ML8991)

Dear Don Alejandro,


I hope that you are well. Donna Helene wishes to see you very much and apologizes for the fact that could not write lately. I do, however, must be just and note that your good sister is not to blame - we have not been in Madrid later, but visited St. Petersburg on an important mission, and the post is not the best there. Helene did not enjoy the cold, but she was very popular at the Imperial Court, the Emperor himself invited her to a waltz. Now, as I write it, she is looking through all the admirable furs we have bought in the Tsardom. Some of them are a present for you, so it is an additional stimulation for us to meet. We have also received a small pet bear as a present from the brother to the Russian Tsar, Grand Duke Michael Pavlovitch. It now lives in the Liria Palace.

I congratulate you on your successes in London. Englishmen are stubborn people and it is not so easy to break the ice with them. Your good service would be reported to the King - and, in fact, you could report it yourself, since I would ask you to come to Madrid as soon as you can and receive personal instructions from His Majesty. Our Sovereign would like you to conduct certain important negotiations with Queen Victoria, regarding future marital ties between the two dynasties. I would rather not disclose the details in writing.

You may also be interested to hear that a cousin of mine, Don Manuel, Marqués de Algecilla, has joined the diplomatic service, being appointed as the first secretary of the embassy in Paris. We hope you would get acquainted - and hope to see you soon.

Yours sincerely,
ALBA

 
Last edited:

Keinwyn

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The office of the First Secretary promulgates a decree on behalf of His Majesty pertaining to the restoration of lands confiscated by the illegal government of María Cristina.

At Our Royal Palace at Madrid, January 1, 1841.

Carlos V, King of Spain, etc

In view of the measures adopted by the liberal clique that illegally ensconced itself in Madrid for a period of years, by which properties owned by the holy mother church, municipalities, military orders, hospitals, hospices and charity homes were confiscated and sold without compensation, in a manner most arbitrary;

Considering that, by these acts the illegal government has caused great hurt, not only to these institutions and their agents, but also to the common Spaniard who depended upon them for their own maintenance, and that, if through unpardonable weakness which would be regarded by posterity as an indelible stain, such tyranny should be admitted and become consecrated by custom and left inviolate, as the illegal government has already taken advantage of the trust of our subjects to establish the infamous principle that the lands and property of these institutions are alienable which threatens the harmony of this, our realm;

We have decreed and do decree as follows:

Article 1. All land and property confiscated by decrees issued after the death of His Catholic Majesty Ferdinand VII, and prior to our rightful coronation, barring those that were proclaimed as a result of known criminality, are to be rescinded and confiscated property returned by the state to the prior owner or his heirs.

Article 2. Should such property have already been sold by the arbitrary measures of the illegal government, their purchaser shall be held as party to the initial confiscation, and shall be considered to have financed a war against Ourself, and as such, shall not receive compensation for property returned to it’s rightful owner.
It is, however, recognised that some may have been duped by the false authorities in this matter, and as such appeals for compensation may be directed towards our Secretariat of the Treasury, who shall be responsible for the remedy of all these injuries and inconveniences in accordance with justice and honour.

Article 3. These measures, which are only a just and proportionate response against the tyrannical and anti-clerical practices adopted by the illegal government, which sought to overturn society and establish a heretical Jacobin state, shall be enacted forthwith and we charge all our secretaries, councils, magistrates, mayors, constables and district judges with the execution of the present decree, which shall be printed in the Real Boletín.

(Signed) [Space for the royal signature]

I, Alejo María Sastre y Díaz de Santa Ava, secretary of the king our lord, have caused this to be written at his command.
 

Sneakyflaps

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The Infantado Household (III)

”I am not fond of this match.” The duchess said as she walked back and forth, looking up and down at Manuel. “You wish to marry my eldest daughter, and yet you are near baseborn, a normal commoner.” Behind her was a large painting, overlooking the hall in the manor, a man clad in black clothes stood strong, an eyepatch covering a wound from battle, the late duke. “Had any other man been your father, you would be begging in street before long.” The duchess sighed. “But alas you are legitimized, a member of house Alba and heir to your father, be glad I accepted that you could meet my daughter, she could have her pick of men.”

Manuel smiled as he looked at the older woman. “I am forever grateful Madame, to meet your daughter would be the highest honour I could imagine.” If for nothing else, he had to try, no matter how unpleasant the woman was.

“You even look English.” She said shaking her head, looking at him sternly. “Is there any truth to the rumour that.. how to put it, that your devotion to god and his church has left plenty to be desired?”

Manuel simply shrugged slightly. “My devotion to God is as great as ever, but I suppose that my church attendance has been less than ideal.”

She began pacing once more. “You may meet my daughter, and if she accepts you may in time marry her, but if such a marriage is to take place then I must meet your father. A contract must be made, I will have no scandal surrounding my daughter due to your.. lower birth and as such brutish behavior.”

“As you desire, I have no wish to offend you or your house. Whatever you deem to be necessary for the sake of your daughter’s honour and reputation will be respected.” Manuel said as he began going to the side looking over the room, as the old duchess left the room. The house was old, just like the family that lived here, paintings of noblemen from ages past hung on the wall, Manuel being able to trace them back to the first duke, he stood looking upon the man as the old Duchess came back into the room. “Follow me.” She spoke out as Manuel turned around. He nodded as he began to follow her.

They eventually stood outside of a room, as the doors were opened by the servants, Manuel saw a young girl, María only 16 years old. He went forward and kissed her hand. “Doña María, it is an honour to meet you.” He said with a smile, her blushing slightly as she looked at him, he had a short stiff laugh. “I have heard much about you, it’s been praise all around.”

Her lips curled into a smile. “I have heard nearly nothing of you, Don Manuel.”

He chuckled. “Then hopefully you will stay in my company long enough to find out.”


The following day at court

The duchess finally approached, having looked at Manuel for a bit of time, her mind still trying to decide. “I will agree to meet your father, and reach a concord, then you may marry my daughter upon your return from France.”

Manuel bowed and smiled. “You have made me the most happy, I already look forward to my return and to meet your daughter again.” As the old Duchess began to leave Manuel spoke up once more. “May I write to her in the meantime.” The old duchess simply turned around and nodded.
 

Dadarian

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Letter sent to Lord Etxeto ((Private - @Dadarian ))

Your Excelency,

The nation finds itself in need of astute minds; His Majesty has tasked me with forming a committee to deliberate the rights and freedoms afforded to various regions. It would be pleasing to hear from your Lordship on this matter.


Alejo Ma. Sastre


From the Office of the Subsecretario para Asuntos Económicos
Dear Primera Secretaria,

I shall accept the honour of becoming a member of this committee.

Gracias,

Conte B. T. X. Hortun y Llorente Etxeto, Subsecretario para Asuntos Económicos
 

Ignominius

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((Private - Keinwyn))

Señor Santa Ava,

It would be my pleasure to make progress made by my ministry known to the King and to your Excellency. Perhaps we could meet sometime soon to discuss these matters. As for your committee, I would be most pleased to lend my expertise on Basque affairs to his Majesty.

Yours faithfully,
Joaquín António Bakar Veláz Gorrimendi.
((Sorry about the lack of IC everyone, I will be fairly busy through the end of the week.))
 

naxhi24

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Police Raid Innocent Bakery
"Evidence" Leads to Police Deployment.

Today, police raided a bakery they thought contained a printing press for Voz Libre. The result was not as intended. The examination of the pamphlet that brought police to this Bakery in Madrid was messed up in making assumptions about the location of the press. Not to mention that the police thought the paper was being printed in Madrid due to the city being Voz Libre's distribution center. The result was police raiding an innocent bakery in hopes of catching Republicans who are detrimental to the crown.

((Government, believing Voz Libre was in Madrid, failed to catch the writers of Voz Libre))
 
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((This takes place after the two-year update))

Futility

The darkness of his cell was all-encompassing, so much so that whether or not his eyes were closed made no difference. His back against the rough brick-and-mortar wall, Tomas hunched over his bowl of gruel and shoveled it rapidly between his cracked, broken lips, savoring the horrid taste he had long grown accustomed to.

A scrabbling sound in the blackness – one all too familiar. Snarling, Tomas lashed out in the direction of the noise and felt a dull thud and heard a high-pitched squeal as the sharpened end of his spoon skewered something soft and fleshy. Dropping his nearly-empty bowl, Tomas quickly gripped the rat with both hands and bit savagely into its neck. Hot blood poured forth, dripping down his chin and staining the front of his naked chest. The rat ceased its struggling instantly, its spinal cord severed and life abruptly ended; Tomas gorged himself on the raw meat and matted fur, elated at his fresh kill.

He had long ago lost any concept of how long he had been here. It might have been a year, or an eternity – there was truly no telling anymore. He had, for a time, attempted to keep track by making deep scratches along the wall that he could feel with his hands, marking the days by the meals he received through the slot under the door in lieu of sunlight.

He had stopped at the seventy-day mark. There was no real benefit in knowing. In fact, it almost made it worse.

After all, Tomas was never leaving this cell. He was no longer under any illusion that some form of punishment was awaiting him in the near future. This was his punishment, to spend the rest of his natural life trapped in this black, silent hell, slowly going insane.

He could feel it happening already. Like a fog creeping in at the edges of his consciousness, his mind was growing less sharp, less clear. Often he could differentiate from being asleep or awake – his dreams merged with hallucinations, reality blurring with delusion. Tomas could feel his sanity slipping away little by little, slowly, like how a lake gradually shrinks during a drought before drying up entirely.

This was not to say that concept of going insane frightened him terribly. The opposite it was the case – after all, it would provide him some relief to the utter boredom that pervaded his entire waking existence. He tried to stave off the boredom by telling himself stories, dictating pamphlets to himself, and singing songs he had learned during the war. He kept himself in the best shape that he could on a diet of gruel and rat, relishing in the satisfaction that physical exertion brought him. And he slept a great deal, of course. But besides that, what else was there to do in this godforsaken place?

Speaking of which, his cell was eight feet by eight feet of cold, clammy brick, with a ceiling that brushed the top of his head when he stood. A great iron door marked the only entrance, built into the wall so securely that no light escaped it. A wooden bucket sat in the corner for defecation, and once a day a small grate at the bottom of the door was opened and a wooden bowl shoved through by a guard along with a glass of water. Or, at least he assumed it was a guard – it could have been a dragon for all he knew. Tomas had never spoken a word to the man, nor seen his face, nor heard his footsteps. Just the grate opening and closing. He had screamed at him, shouted at the top of his lungs, but never received a response.

Tomas smiled wryly. He remembered the early days of his incarceration, when he had still believed that he would be released to face trial, or perhaps execution – he remembered his conviction not to show weakness to his captors, as well as the short speech he had been prepared to spout before they took his head from his shoulders.

“What a fool I was.” Tomas said aloud. He never bothered to think internally anymore, simply speaking what was on his mind. It was often comforting just to hear a voice, even if it was his own.

Absentmindedly, Tomas wondered what his fellow compatriots were doing right now, as he had maybe half a thousand times before. They had been arrested with him – were they facing a similar situation? He sincerely hoped that they had been summarily executed. Anything was better than being subjected to this eternal confinement. Tomas fingered his wooden spoon thoughtfully. Over time he had sharpened one end to a passably sharp point in order to kill the rats that so often terrorized him, but it had a dual function.

He could use it to commit suicide.

It was not sharp enough to cut his wrists, but if he stabbed himself in the jugular with enough force he might be able to kill himself. It was something he had often contemplated, as he did now. But he could never bring himself to do it. He supposed that somehow, some part of himself still believed he would one day be free of this place, despite all evidence to the contrary.

Sighing, Tomas set the spoon down on the floor beside him and closed his eyes, urging himself to lapse into another peaceful hallucination. It was not forthcoming. He felt like crying, sobbing, at the wrongness of it all, but he had long since lost the will to do so.

After all, what was the point?
 
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Sneakyflaps

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Addressed to Don Aldo J. Trumpo, Lord de Lazcano

It gladdens my heart that you have heard such praise of my daughter, and that you consider her a worthy bride for a man in such an important position as yourself. I have no doubt that a man of your standing will be able to provide for my daughter and as such I agree to the marriage.

I see you are indeed a man of high energy, perhaps it reflects on all aspects of your life, your written style included. But what do I know, perhaps one day your style will become the common, that you will be the Spanish Shakespeare.

Don Pedro de Alcántara Álvarez de Toledo, 13th Duke of the Infantado, 9th Duke of Pastrana, 9th Duke of Estremera, 10th Duke of Francavilla, 9th marqués of Távara, marqués de Santillana, marqués del Cenete, marqués de Almenara, marqués de Cea, marqués de Campoo, marqués de Argüeso, conde de Saldaña, conde del Real de Manzanares y conde del Cid.
 

Keinwyn

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Pere watched with growing anxiety as his master’s temple throbbed. Whilst much of the Duke of Valencia’s irritation had been assuaged by the establishment of a military style routine amongst his staff--even the civilian staff had become accustomed to the Duke’s brusque manner and demands, or most of them had; those that hadn’t had swiftly found new employment - or not as the case may be--there were some tasks handed to him by his sovereign which did not come naturally to him. This committee was precisely the type of activity the Duke detested. The need for consensus ruled out military style directives.

It was in this state of irritation that Pere had the misfortune of presenting a certain letter to His Excellency.


“We did not defeat centralising liberals of his ilk in the field only to hand them the reigns of state anyway.” The Duke snapped after glancing at the missive.


Private letter to HSH Don Alejandro de Soneta di Belmonte

Excelentísimo Señor,

I pray your efforts at the court of Her Britannic Majesty meet with favour and success.
Unfortunately your request to serve on the committee pertaining to the rights and privileges of the regions is not one I can grant.

Yours,

Teniente General A. M. Sastre,
Duque de Valencia,
HCM’s First Secretary of State.


Deciding not to bother the Duke with another letter that would likely cause him irritation, Pere decided to deal with the matter himself.


Letter to Manuel Gutiérrez de la Concha e Irigoyen

Señor,

Your protestation has been under active consideration by our office for some time. It is the opinion of this office that proclamations of loyalty made only after the threat of reprisals is dubious at best. Nevertheless, should you publicly denounce the pretender Isabel and pledge your loyalty to His Catholic Majesty, the Duke would be pleased to advocate your case to our just and merciful sovereign.

Juan Fernandez ((For that is Pere's real name))
Secretary to the First Secretary
 
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ML8991

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((Private-Sneaky))
To Don Pedro de Toledo,

Word has come to me from afar that you have been seeking husbands for you fair daughters. I would be delighted if you could allow me the privilege of meeting with them, in the hopes that we could be wed. I wish your Excellency well, and I hope that we can become better aquatinted with time, perhaps you could join me in the north, in my manor in the Northern province of Pirineo and I hope that I can share with you a fine drop from our private vineyards.

May you be ever blessed,
HSH Alejandro de Soneta di Belmonte.
 

Sneakyflaps

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”Your Majesty, Louis Philippe, King of France, while I fully understand the sadness that the more desirable marriage to the Infante Carlos is unavailable, then the matter simply is as such that His Majesty King Carlos has made prior commitments before God and Holy Church that he simply cannot transgress against, or he would be deemed an unfit servant in the eyes of God, Church and his people, for a monarch who breaks his word as easy as a change in the wind, is not a monarch worthy of his Crown.

Instead we propose the marriage of Infante Fernando, third son of His Majesty, King Carlos. While he is a third son, then he is not without standing or influence within the Spanish Court, already now at a younger tender age, such as myself, he is a very well respected man, a man of culture and art, of the finer tastes in life and of an intellect nearly unrivaled among the princes of Europe. He will one day be a great statesman of Spain, a man of influence and mediate who would surely help mediate the relationship between Spain and France, allies of old which should not be forgotten despite more a turbulent recent time in our glorious histories.

Even if we are to ignore Infante Fernando’s position within court and his growing reputation, then from a purely political standpoint, it is a match of sense and promise, to once again bring good health to our people. If we ignore all of this, then think of the safety of our realms, we wish for no odds with France, we wish only peace and prosperity, this marriage, as well as recognition of King Carlos’s rule and government would go a long way to improve the relations between our states. It cannot be denied that the King feels offended that you supported Isabella, but His Majesty has a kind and open heart, and is more than willing to move past such petty squabbles.

Infante Carlos is to be married to Princess Olga of Russia, Infante Juan to the daughter of the Duke of Modena. This marriage can secure that France does not become an isolated state in Europe among the Holy Alliance and Spain, without friends or allies to rely upon, we offer a hand to you, your Majesty, and we deeply hope that you accept it. For the sake of peace and stability in Europe, to ensure the balance of power as well as ensuring the treaty of Vienna is not broken by Tyrants. For be assured your Majesty, should France reject this offer, then Your Majesty leaves us with no other options than to seek closer relations with the Holy League, to ensure the safety and stability of Spain, His Majesty’s Crown as well as making sure that the pretender, Princess Isabella will never be able to mount any resistance against the rightful rule of King Carlos.”

-Speech by Don Manuel, Marqués de Algecilla and Conde de Villada nearing the end of negotiations with the French King and his ministers, after realization that the efforts so far had been fruitless.
 

naxhi24

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Absolutism Spreads: 1841-1843

Portugal, a nation of a few million people, located on the western coast of Iberia. They have colonies in Africa, India, China, and Indonesia. They, like many of the old European empires, were dying from internal problems and would be shaped by the events happening across the globe. Portugal would be transformed from one type of country into another as the absolutist tide rolled over Iberia. As conditions in Portugal slowly began to crumble, outside forces would assert themselves into Portuguese affairs.


(A Map of Portugal)

Maria II’s liberal government has been in power at this point for almost ten years. After deposing her uncle, Miguel I, she introduced liberal laws and a constitution for the nation of Portugal. Portugal was slowly becoming a democratic society. However, just because there were more freedoms in Portugal doesn't mean the nation as a whole was better off. The economy was stagnated in the years after the Liberal Wars. Money was flowing in slowly, and productivity was not really as high was what was considered optimal. Trade was low with the fall of the Cristinos in Spain. All of this was coupled with increased spending by the Portuguese government to rebuild the nation after the war. Portugal borrowed heavily from lenders throughout Europe. Sadly, Portugal’s income was too low to pay these creditors back. In January of 1841. Portugal declared bankruptcy, and the economy spiraled down out of the government’s control. Within a few days, Portugal had entered a recession. Unemployment was high, and output was low. Many nations in the world, especially those who lent money to Portugal, fell out of favor with the Portuguese government. One such nation was Great Britain. Many British bankers lost large amounts of investments in the Portuguese declaring bankruptcy. Because of this, many bankers pressured the British government to leave their alliance with the Portuguese. The British government obliged, and nullified the treaty with Portugal. The Portuguese were shocked. The British and Portuguese had been allies for centuries. Now that was thrown away. Militancy among the population grew, and many began to view Maria II as a failure. A new monarch would be needed to lead the nation out of this crisis. Some in Portugal had an idea who that monarch would be…


(Portugal in the 1840s)

Miguel I was the previous monarch. He was ousted by his brother Pedro, who gave the throne to Maria II. Miguel was an absolutist, and had sheltered Carlists during the waning days of Ferdinand VII’s regime. When Maria II took power, Miguel fled to England. He never thought that he would be allowed back on the throne. Some in Portugal wanted Miguel back. “Miguelists” as they were called, were Portugal’s version of Carlists. The Miguelists knew that with a loss of allies, an economic collapse imminent, and little funds needed to supply the army, Portugal would be open to revolution. However Miguelists knew that the people were not supportive of a reactionary revolution. They needed outside support, and they knew exactly who to turn to. Carlos V was Miguel’s brother in-law. They were both absolutists, and they both wanted a return from tradition. In many ways, the Miguelists and Carlists found common ground. Miguel I had offered support to Carlos before he was overthrown. Carlos now had to return the favor. If Portugal became a friendly absolute monarchy, Iberia could be united in ideology and belief, and radical liberalism would be chased out of Iberia. A friendly Portugal would prevent a two-front war should Spain have to fight the liberal powers of Europe like France and Great Britain. Carlos V decided to take this initiative. In Spring of 1841, Carlos V invited Miguel and the head Miguelists to Madrid. What was discussed there was a plan to put Miguel back on the throne.


(An Elder Miguel)

Great Britain and France were preoccupied in different parts of the world. Britain had been engaged in a war with China over an incident in a British warehouse. France was aiding Egypt in a war against the Ottoman Empire in what is now known as the “Oriental Crisis” that would eventually draw in the great powers of Europe. With the timing perfect for an attack, Carlos V declared that Maria II was the illegitimate Queen of Portugal, and that Miguel I was the true King and leader of the Portuguese people. Maria II was unconcerned with this. Spain was still recovering from their civil war. She thought they would be in no position to fight a war with another power at the risk of drawing in the other liberal powers like France and Great Britain. She had her army stationed in Lisbon instead of moving them to the border. Of course, that all changed a few weeks later. In Summer of 1841, Spanish forces numbering about 77,000 men stormed across the border of Portugal, along with Miguelists sympathizers. The attack was sudden and caught the Portuguese off guard. In Lisbon, the General Staff was scrambling to organize the troops against the Spanish threat. Prime Minister Joaquim António de Aguiar ordered a general mobilization of the population against the Spanish forces. Isandro Durante and Tomas Zumalacárregui, the leaders of the assault, pressed quickly into Portuguese territory. In August, they had seized Braga and Coimbra. In October, they had beaten back a small mobilized force of 5,000 men and seized the city of Porto. By December of 1841, the Spanish army had encircled Lisbon. Lisbon though was protected by an army of 36,000 Portuguese soldiers. 62,000 Spanish soldiers besieged the city. Portugal was still not concerned. Afterall, they had the port of Lisbon open, and Spain’s navy was in no shape to fight the enemy. That was all about to change.


(Spanish soldiers overlooking Lisbon)

Carlos V, before the war with Portugal, was busy arranging marriages for his sons, Prince Juan and Prince Carlos. He originally planned to marry his eldest son, Prince Carlos, off to a member of the Romanov family. When word spread across Europe that the heir to the throne of Spain was looking for a wife, a slew of marriage proposals followed. Austria offered the hand of a Habsburg-Este member, France offered the hand of King Louis-Philippe’s youngest daughter, and it was even reported that Britain and Prussia were looking into sending candidates for the Spanish. In response to all these requests, Carlos V had to make a decision. He still went forward with marrying off his eldest son, Prince Carlos, to a Romanov, and in early 1842, Prince Carlos Bourbon married Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaevna Romanov, the daughter of Tsar Nicholas I. Russia and Spain found themselves in great relations following this. Prince Juan would marry Archduchess Maria Beatrix of Austria-Este a month later, solidifying a strategic alliance between the house of Bourbon, and the house of Habsburg. The marriage alliance with Austria would prove to be the greatest asset the Spanish had. While Spain invaded Portugal, Austria would move its fleet and an expeditionary force against the Portuguese. The Portuguese fleet was ill-equipped and underfunded to handle the Austrian navy, and Lisbon was soon surrounded on land and at sea. Spain was now viewed as another member of the Holy League. Lisbon would suffer under the siege. Without much pay to begin with, and with food supplies being cut off, the Portuguese morale began to drop. Eventually, General Tomas Zumalacárregui ordered a direct assault on the city of Lisbon. 62,000 Spanish forces, backed by 13,000 Austrians, assaulted the walls of Lisbon. The attack lasted a week. The Portuguese suffered almost 10,000 casualties, with the remaining 26,000 surrendering. Spain had suffered less than 2,500 casualties. This resounding victory would cause Portugal to surrender. Miguel I would accept the surrender offer, and Maria II gave up her crown to him. Miguel was once again King, and the Spanish had forced upon the Portuguese people an absolutist regime once more. Miguel though only managed to do this based on Carlos V’s support. In return for defeating the liberals, Miguel I agreed to support and aide the Spanish in all of their endeavors, and he agreed to consult Carlos V on foreign decisions as well as allied actions. Portugal was now basically subordinate to the Spanish.


(Assault on Lisbon)

Carlos V had won a great victory in this war in the eyes of the Spanish people, and the people began to develop a sense of patriotic pride in Spain, something not felt in the country for almost forty years. Many in the government coined the victory in Portugal as the start of another Spanish golden age. Perhaps they are right, but the future is still uncertain. Liberals across Europe objected to the fall of Maria II's government, and the installation of another absolutist in Iberia. Will Miguel be subordinate? Will the French and British attempt to free their once ally? How will the Portuguese and Spanish alliance shape the Concert of Europe?

------------------------------
Player Actions Needed: I will give you two days to IC and propose stuff before doing another play-through.
 
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Riccardo93

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For exemplary conduct during the War of the Portuguese Restoration, Tomás de Zumalacárregui e Imaz, Duque de la Victoria, is promoted to Captain-General of Spain, inducted into the Order of Calatrava, and is further made a Commander with Star of the Royal and Military Order of Saint Hermenegild. Lastly, he is inducted into the Royal and Military Order of Saint Ferdinand for his excellent economy of force and men during both the latest war and his previous duties.

Isandro Durante, Duque de Zaragoza, is promoted to Lieutenant General and shall inducted into the Order of Montesa. He is lastly inducted into the Royal and Military Order of Saint Ferdinand for his series of reforms to the army, which saved countless lives and allowed for a swift and judicious prosecution of the war.

Emilio Agustín Huerta, Duque de Soria, shall also be promoted Lieutenant General and shall be awarded a Cross of the Royal and Military Order of Saint Hermenegild.

For his role as head of the War Secretariat, and his meritorious service, Alejo María Sastre y Díaz de Santa Ava, Duque de Valencia, shall be promoted to General of the Army, awarded the Cross of the Royal and Military Order of Saint Hermenegild, and inducted into the Order of Santiago.

The Duque of Alba, for his tireless work, shall be made a Commander of the Order of Isabella the Catholic.
 

LoggingOut

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Jun 7, 2015
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I want to say to our Secretary of War, Duque de Valencia, congratulations for our victory in Portugal but spanish people don't want another french crown after Bonaparte. What should we do if Britain and France declare war on us? We need to find another allies in addition to Portugal. If we want to rebuild the Empire we need to destroy others.

Moises Hernando Porras y Maroto
 

naxhi24

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”Your Majesty, Louis Philippe, King of France, while I fully understand the sadness that the more desirable marriage to the Infante Carlos is unavailable, then the matter simply is as such that His Majesty King Carlos has made prior commitments before God and Holy Church that he simply cannot transgress against, or he would be deemed an unfit servant in the eyes of God, Church and his people, for a monarch who breaks his word as easy as a change in the wind, is not a monarch worthy of his Crown.

Instead we propose the marriage of Infante Fernando, third son of His Majesty, King Carlos. While he is a third son, then he is not without standing or influence within the Spanish Court, already now at a younger tender age, such as myself, he is a very well respected man, a man of culture and art, of the finer tastes in life and of an intellect nearly unrivaled among the princes of Europe. He will one day be a great statesman of Spain, a man of influence and mediate who would surely help mediate the relationship between Spain and France, allies of old which should not be forgotten despite more a turbulent recent time in our glorious histories.

Even if we are to ignore Infante Fernando’s position within court and his growing reputation, then from a purely political standpoint, it is a match of sense and promise, to once again bring good health to our people. If we ignore all of this, then think of the safety of our realms, we wish for no odds with France, we wish only peace and prosperity, this marriage, as well as recognition of King Carlos’s rule and government would go a long way to improve the relations between our states. It cannot be denied that the King feels offended that you supported Isabella, but His Majesty has a kind and open heart, and is more than willing to move past such petty squabbles.

Infante Carlos is to be married to Princess Olga of Russia, Infante Juan to the daughter of the Duke of Modena. This marriage can secure that France does not become an isolated state in Europe among the Holy Alliance and Spain, without friends or allies to rely upon, we offer a hand to you, your Majesty, and we deeply hope that you accept it. For the sake of peace and stability in Europe, to ensure the balance of power as well as ensuring the treaty of Vienna is not broken by Tyrants. For be assured your Majesty, should France reject this offer, then Your Majesty leaves us with no other options than to seek closer relations with the Holy League, to ensure the safety and stability of Spain, His Majesty’s Crown as well as making sure that the pretender, Princess Isabella will never be able to mount any resistance against the rightful rule of King Carlos.”

-Speech by Don Manuel, Marqués de Algecilla and Conde de Villada nearing the end of negotiations with the French King and his ministers, after realization that the efforts so far had been fruitless.

Honorable Marquis, your words do have meaning to them. I do not wish to see France surrounded by enemies. Now with the fall of Portugal, I fear the day when the French and British people fight a bloody war on two-fronts against the Holy League. I fear for the Concert that the events that have transpired will cause destruction to the French state, a state that was forged by the will of the people. I do not want conflict between the Bourbon lands, but at the same time, I am not a Bourbon. How can I support a nation that would see the throne of the people forced from their hands into another Charles X? Alas, I cannot see any good for allying myself with the same family who seeks to claim the throne of the people for his their own.

However, the other choice is simply unacceptable. France being surrounded by the Holy League would doom us in the event of war. I fear for the sake of the people that the liberal beliefs that established this government will die in the current situation. As such, I accept your proposal. Tell your King, Charles V of Spain, that I will wed my daughter to his youngest son. My only request is that Spain upholds the Treaty of Utrecht and agrees to never claim the French lands for a Bourbon.

-Louis-Philippe I, King of France.
 

naxhi24

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Riot in Barcelona Prison
Troops Deployed to Quell Cristino and Republican Prisoners

Today, a known Cristino and Republican holding prison in Barcelona suffered a large riot among the prisoners. The riot started with a scuffle between prisoners and guards in one of the holding cells before escalating into an all out riot. Prisoners overwhelmed the guards and seized the armory. The guards fought the prisoners to a halt, but the prisoners managed to secure much of the prison. As a result, the Mayor of Barcelona deployed the local militia, in coordination with Royal troops, to reinforce the guards. The reinforcements drove the prisoners back, and by the end of the two day battle, the prisoners were subdued and forced back into their cells. The prison suffered architectural damage, and caused many casualties on both sides. When prisoners were being accounted for, some prisoners were missing. One prisoner was Tomas Martell, the infamous Republican writer. Most experts agree that Martell is now out of the country...


((Republicans rolled VERY well and busted Oxford out of prison. He is now to be assumed in exile in an unknown country))
 
Last edited:

Keinwyn

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When questioned by a staff officer on the subject of diplomacy, the Duke of Valencia reassures him that Spain's ties to the Holy Alliance of Austria and Russia have been cemented by the marriages of Infantes Juan and Carlos into their respective royal families, and that this, in addition to their existing friendly disposition, should ensure their assistance against any French or British aggression. He further notes, with some satisfaction, that Britain and France are currently at war with each other.
 

Plutonium95

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Infante Juan (I)


((A sketch of Smith's propellor system included in Juan's letter))

Infante Juan stood aboard the deck of Guerriera, a beautiful trim fourty-eight-gun frigate under the command of Archduke Friedrich of Austria. It was a rare thing, to see an Austrian Fleet outside of the Mediterranean, but here one was, off the coast of Lisbon while Spanish ships rotted at anchor just a few days to the north at La Coruña. It made the normally joyful man’s blood boil to see this fate for the Armada that had once struck fear into the hearts of all of Spain’s enemies. And what made it worse was that the arrival of the Austrians was in no small part due to Juan’s own marriage to Archduchess Maria Beatrix.

General Tomas Zumalacárregui, a man of low birth yet considerable talent, which was all that mattered to Juan, had ordered a direct assault on the city. For Juan that meant that the ship he was currently observing from was being rocked by the mindless fury of the ships guns as they shelled fortifications outside the city. And of course, the Archduke paced the deck, shouting orders and making adjustments when necessary.

As much as Juan may have hated that they needed the Austrian Navy, he could not fault the Archduke for coming. Unlike Juan’s new wife who in the short time he had known her had seemed rather uninteresting, Friedrich was a fascinating man who shared Juan’s keen interest in their relative nation’s fleets and the maritime in general. While sea power had never been a priority of Austrian foreign policy and the navy had little public support, the Archduke, who was almost exactly one year Juan’s senior, had managed to draw significant public attention and funds to the fleet, allowing their fleet to operate in the Atlantic for what may have been the first time ever. By comparison, Spain was once defined by her navy, yet Juan had done little since taking command of the Gloria, and less still to actively support the Armada at court.

With this on his mind he retired to the captain’s quarters and began drafting a letter to his father, hoping that it would gain some attention in his court as well.

To his Majesty, Rey Carlos V de España etc.

Father, it pleases me to inform you that Miguel will soon be restored to the Portuguese throne. The armies of Spain, have, by all accounts, fought with the utmost professionalism and valor during the campaign. My only regret is that the same cannot be said for her fleets. I am writing you this letter from aboard the Guerriera, an Austrian frigate under the command of an Archduke, operating within the Atlantic. Such a thing sounds almost unbelievable. And yet Spain, a nation built around its navy, has her ships sitting in harbor. I am well aware that the nation faces certain economic realities and that resources must be allocated to areas of the most severe need, but I fear that the needs of the Navy have been ignored. We cannot hope to have Austrian ships fighting our battles for us forever, certainly not in the distant Americas or the Philippines. We must be able to take pride in our Navy once again, as we did when it brought us the wealth of the New World.

I know that you are beset by pleas begging your support for this, or that, on a daily basis, but I implore you to look at the work of Francis Pettit Smith, an Englishman who has designed a steamship driven by screw propeller. I have included a rough sketch of this rather ingenious design for your reference. If we were to begin to adopt this technology not only would it make for a more capable and reliable naval fighting force, but it would also allow for quicker and cheaper trade with our colonies. Naturally, the decision whether or not to pursue this is yours and yours alone, but I hope that you will consider it.

Regards,
Infante Juan de Borbón y Braganza, the Count of Montizón
 

naxhi24

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The Rise of Social Endeavors in Espana

With the war in Portugal taking all of the attention for the year, many people overlook the internal endeavors done by the Spanish people during this time period both outside and inside the government. This little excerpt shall take notice of three major reform attempts by the people to improve the lives of the Spanish people. They are Desamortisation, Trumpo's Tax Reform, and the Temperance League. All three of these reforms met with either limited, full, or no success.

Desamortisation was an idea proposed by one Pascual Madoz. A liberal in all rights, Madoz had wrote about an idea for turning all communal and public lands over to the state to manage in order to create a centralized system. The problem with this was that farmers would be angry over the lack of public land to use, and it would upset the clergy. This plan never took root, as Carlos V's court easily shot down this proposal in favor of the church over anything else. While his plans were thrown away, Madoz's believe of a centralized use of land was pretty popular among the secular population of Spain, and many liberals took up the idea of centralizing feudal land to be put to better use by the government. Perhaps if this belief grew, it could be implemented into law.

Don Aldo Trumpo was an eccentric man. Many people liked him due to the entertainment he brought in his speeches, all the nonsense he said. Some actually hooked on to Trumpo's attitude about making Spain great again. One thing he was though was a businessman. Trumpo is the Secretary of State for the Treasury, a position given to him by the King. Trumpo set out changing the tax system of Spain to generate more revenue. The old feudal tax system utilized by Spain was growing outdated. Trumpo reformed this system, mainly by making sure it generated more revenue from the people being taxed. It was a step up from the old feudal system, but it still had a long way to go before it could break out of its feudal hold. Trumpo helped kick-start this transition from feudal taxation to a more modern form of taxation.

The last major movement of this era was the Temperance League. Temperance is the avocation of the banning of alcohol from the market, and banning its consumption, production, and distribution. These guys wanted to have Spain dry. Many in Spain though protested this. Wine was a popular industry in Spain at the time, and banning alcohol would ban wine, causing wide-spread discontent among the population. One many though saw the movement as a chance to improve Spain. First Secretary Santa Ava joined this new league, and asked Carlos V to adopt its policies as well. Carlos V, believing that this movement could help strengthen the resolve of the people and keep them from committing sin, agreed to implement many temperance policies into his decrees. While he did not decree outright prohibition, he set the stage for the temperance league to thrive.

Many of these endeavors had the intent of making society better, more organized, and more productive. With many of these social betterments being placed into actual law, perhaps social reforms are not far off either?
 

ML8991

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A meeting of Royalty
The slow carriage rumbled ever quick through the busy streets of London, weaving this way and that between the people and other carriages. Inside Alejandro was quietly nervous, to meet a royal face to face was always a challenge for a diplomat, especially one who had such power as Queen Alexandrina Victoria of Great Britain and Ireland. Alejandro came to when the carriage came to a prolonged stop. A quick peep through the glass window, showed he had arrived at Buckingham Palace. Previously Alejandro had thought his own Palazzos were large, but they paled in comparison to the bulk and presence of the centre of the British Empire.

Quickly, a footman came to his door, opening it sharply, and Alejandro was hit once again by the biting wind. How can a place in Summer be so cold, he bitterly mused to himself as he was lead inside. The palace was, if at all possible, more impressive inside, with lavish fabrics and fine paintings adorning the walls. Alejandro was lead through the maze of rooms, before being lead into what he assumed was the White Drawing Room. He was invited to take a seat, to which Alejandro was most grateful for. The footman was quick to set off, leaving Alejandro to enjoy the lavish surroundings, each fabric so choice and the most impeccable of touches. But soon the doors were opened again, and the Queen lead the way, her small stature hiding the strong will that was apparent in the confident way she held her head. Alejandro bowed graciously, as she approached him.

"Good day to you, Your Majesty" coolly said Alejandro, although he was most nervous around this powerful woman. She cordially repeated curtsies, and so the dance of diplomacy began. Alejandro, presenting a fine box. Victoria eagerly took the box, and slowly opened it's lid, and she was most pleased by the fine gift inside. A thin sliver of silver was fashioned into a necklace, with a fine drop of Mexican Opal fashioned at the base. Thus began discussion. "Ma'am, as I am sure you are aware, I have been sent to your fair realm by his most Catholic Majesty Carlos V of Spain", "Indeed I do, but for what have you come?" interrogated the Queen. "I have come on behalf of my most bountiful sovereign to appeal to thee that we may arrange a match, in the future, between a child of yours and that of my King Carlos"

"Why should I, the man has seized power most inappropriately" snapped Victoria

"Your Majesty, you misunderstand, he asserted merely his true birth right. Might I remind you that our Bountiful Sovereign resisted the tyrant Napoleon's demand he relinquish any claim to his birth right. He seeks to progress Spain and her territories further into the modern age. You see, ma'am, that you and my King's aims are not too dissimilar. Allow us to unify and combat the threat posed by the oppressive liberals that are the French, and lead our nations to greatness together through this match, do not forget, that Spain has great access to the Gold Coast and the Spices of the Phillipines"

"I will consider it" stated Victoria- and so Alejandro was sent on his way, hopeful that his mission was a success.