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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Noco19

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From the Twin Offices of the Secretariat of the Treasury and Economic Affairs

"The nobility are our top people, great people who have shouldered a big burden to keep Spain afloat. No one can deny, I certainly won't; I'm one of the greatest nobles, and one of the greatest supporters of feudal rights. Ask anyone in Madrid, and they will tell you how well Trumpo has ran things.

And our clergymen, they deserve recognition too. We are a Godly Kingdom, the Pope loves us, God loves us, the Christians love us; everyone is really happy with how Spain is doing, especially the God-fearing people.

So here's what Trumpo is going to do. We need to simplify taxation, and that's what we are going to do. Taxing the Catholic clergymen? Gone, not anymore, done. Nobles? They're getting tax cuts. Done. As a man of aristocratic status, I can tell you that what we're doing we our money, it's going to be used a lot better privately. Look at me, I've got businesses - great businesses - and projects and all sorts of things that are going to make Spain great again. I am very successful with my money, and I'm confident that others are too, maybe not as much as me, but good."
 
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The Emerald of Elche: Part VIII
Fifty Shades of Esmeralda
((Private))

1845

The carriage pulled up to a townhouse in Alicante, one of the many estates owned by Esmeralda’s next client. Once the carriage stopped, the driver opened the door for her and helped her step outside. She was starting to get used to this better treatment, a perk of serving nobles. Pere was waiting for her at the gate, ready to escort her inside to meet the duke. Not a word was exchanged between the two. They both knew why she was here and Esmeralda understood that the man prefered to be as discreet as possible, as though not even speaking of it would make it as though it was not about to happen.

The two of them entered the townhouse and walked through several rooms. They encountered no one else, not that Esmeralda was surprised. This place seemed like some minor estate that the duke might only visit once every few years, thus making it the perfect place for such an affair. These nobles liked their secrecy. Esmeralda was not ashamed about what she did, but she understood the needs of her clients.

Eventually Esmeralda was brought before the duke himself. Pere left the two of them shortly after, leaving them alone together. Now things would get interesting.

Don Alejo stood up stiffly as his “guest” entered the room, a somewhat forced smile on his face. What in the world was he doing? He extended a hand to greet the lovely woman before him, began to retract it as though he thought better of it, and then evidently decided it would be proper after all and extended it anyway.

Esmeralda took his hand gently, not wanting to appear too forceful right away. She needed to gauge what this man wanted first. Some liked a woman that just did as they were told, while others prefered the type that took charge. Plastering a charming smile on her face and leaning forward enough to display her assets as she gave a slight curtsy, she said, “Esmeralda, at your service, my lord.”

Turning slightly red at the action, the duke stood more erect in an absurd attempt to banish immoral thoughts with self discipline. “I don’t want...” he trailed off. “I would like….” Instead he gestured at a strip of silk sitting on his desk, hoping she might understand its meaning.

Esmeralda sauntered over to the desk, running her hand along the silk before picking it up. She let it run through her fingers as she eyed the duke. He was clearly nervous about this whole affair. She had seen many nobles like this, too ashamed of their actions to be so forward, so she knew to be gentle. “You want me to use this on you?”

The duke inclined his head.

With a playful smirk, Esmeralda circled the duke until she stood in front of him. She pulled the silk taut, watching the man carefully to get an idea of what he wanted her to use it for. She was getting a sense for the man, that he wanted to be dominated, placed in a submissive role. The fact that he was acting so shy and nervous, letting her take the lead, told her so. Coming within an inch of the duke, she gently grasped him by the wrists and forced his hands behind his back. Without looking away from his face, she bound his hands together. She licked her lips as she tore a piece free from the long strip of silk, drawing it up his back and over his shoulders. She let it run along his neck until she pulled it up to his face. With both hands, she went to tie it around his head, covering his eyes. If he didn’t see what was being done, it could remove his doubts.

Esmeralda paced around the duke, making sure her footsteps were loud enough to hear. She didn’t want to spook the man too much now that he was blindfolded. When she was behind him, she pushed down gently on the back of his legs, making him drop to his knees. She ran a finger along the back of his neck, feeling the goosebumps form at her touch. From there, her hands wandered down, her delicate fingers running down his chest beneath his shirt. She moved slowly and sensually, massaging the skin. With the blindfold on, the sensation of touch would be that much stronger. Just when she seemed to be getting into a smooth rhythm of sorts, she pushed her hands out, ripping the duke’s shirt open. He flinched at the sudden movement and exposure, but did not stop her. He was at her mercy now, but she was here to please him.

After circling around the duke, Esmeralda lowered herself to her knees in front of him. She pulled his shirt down his arms, the silk bindings preventing it from being removed. That was no concern. His chest was now fully exposed and Esmeralda ran her fingers down it again. She moved closer, letting her breath play against the duke’s neck. She lingered there, teasing him, letting her face drift past his so closely but never touching. He needed to want it first. She could feel the tension in his muscles, the part of the duke telling him that this was immoral. She took her time, not wanting to force anything else until he was ready. This was a job, after all. The client’s satisfaction came first. Ideally, the client would also come first.

When she at last felt the duke relax, Esmeralda kissed the man’s neck, her lips gently brushing the skin. She did not near his lips though, for that was for more familiar lovers. Instead she worked herself lower. Her lips played across his chest, teasing him again. Her hand had not been idle either, finding their way to the man’s trousers. She felt that he was ready now, fully in the moment.

The next half hour was most likely one of the most passionate moments Don Alejo had ever experienced, or at least Esmeralda hoped so. It would be bad for business if she didn’t leave a lasting impression that made men never forget her. Judging by the duke’s expression he had enjoyed himself, although he was clearly trying to hold in his emotions. Knowing most nobles, he’d be conflicted over what they’d just done for some time. Esmeralda sometimes wondered if these nobles even knew how to have fun. Either way, she had pleased her latest client greatly and was paid handsomely for it. She left with a smile on her face and a large purse of gold in hand. She spent the carriage ride back to Elche counting her hard-earned profits, revelling in the riches that kept coming her way.

((Thanks to @Keinwyn for writing some of Don Alejo's parts. Nothing like collaborating on some good ol' smut. :p))
 

Marschalk

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A SPEECH by the DUKE of ALBA before the KING and the CABINET ((Revan + Cabinet members, Private))​

Your Catholic Majesty, my dear colleagues,

While the matter of the taxation of nobility which my young cousin, the Duke of Infantado, has so boisterously raised, is, of importance, I would dare to speak on certain issues, which, in my humble opinion, are of no less magnitude.

The Foreign Secretary smiles sardonically, before continuing.

The recent change of the regime in France and its war with Prussia make the current political situation in Europe most worrisome. The Concert of Europe may crumble and the international peace may be threatened long term, if the revanchist Bonapartist ideas become dominant within such a powerful country - which, unluckily enough, borders us. We must do our utmost not to become a mere pawn in this situation and prevent any happenings that might endanger our Realm and its interests - we should take measures. If I am to be more precise, we need to, by hook and by crook, prevent an alliance between a jingoistic and liberal France and the United Kingdom that would be aimed against Spain and Carlism. I currently see the two paths we could choose.

I. The current conflict between the Kingdom of Prussia and France could be used to try to end the current Parisian government and replace it with one sympathetic towards Spain, similar to the one existing in Lissabon. That is one of Charles X. At better times a military intervention coming from Austria and Spain, with the help of Prussia, could have led to a positive result.

But we all know that currently the situation is troublesome. The three Black Eagles that have been guarding order in Europe for so long are not in the best shape. The financial crisis in Russia, the problems in Hungary in Austria, the current unsuccessful war efforts of Prussia - all of this is quite disheartening.

At the same time, we know that there are possibilites of further Jacobin unrests in Spain itself, that we need to guard our interests at Portugal and the colonies, so sending our armies to a big war may be dangerous for the stability of the Throne. However, I would like our presiding minister, the Secretary of the War Office, the Captain General and the Minister for Interior to comment on this assumption in more detail.

However, if we are to choose this approach, I would advise the following path.

1. We are to confer in a most discreet manner with the monarchs and heads of government of Russia and Austria and discuss the possibilities to send a united expeditionary army to assist Prussia in their war against Bonaparte. It should be done in a very secret way, through a special envoy, perhaps, one of the members of the family of His Catholic Majesty.
2. if the war takes place, we need to try to finance all kinds of uprisings in France, Legitimist, Orleanist or of other nature, that could destabilize his rule.

However, as I said, this path is risky, if we take into account the revolutonary sentiment currently undermining Europe.

II. There is also another approach that does not correspond with my ideals, but is a pragmatic one - and I believe that, in my role of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, I should, first of all, think about the interests of my King. And, therefore, mention all existing opportunities.

The fall of Louis Philippe, to an extent, disturbs us, because his successor is a dark horse with dangerous associations and because we have reached a certain understanding with the so-called Citizen King few years ago, but, beyond that, it is not a very crucial concern. He was always our enemy at heart, one that did not attack us only because his hands were tied. A petty bourgeoise at heart, a creature and servant of the party of liberal businessmen, he could not see beyond their dogmas, did his best to destroy the role of the classes and institutions that were the foundation of the monarchy - and was devoured by the same dragon that he has been raising since it was but a small lizard. I knew his government would fall one today and now see that was right about about warning against building too close ties with his dynasty.

Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte is a completely different person. It is an adventurer without clear convictions and obligations, whose only aim is the restoration of the Bonaparte dynasty and his personal power. Moreover, in the current absurd and chaotic political situation in France, he is more of a conservative force. A President who has many times expressed his preference towards monarchical rule, a politician whose election manifesto proclaims his support for "religion, the family, property, the eternal basis of all social order.", a head of state whom the party of order within current National Assembly sees as the lesser of evils - perhaps, we could mold him into a figure that would suit us?

it is clear that after the war with Prussia ends, the Prince President would seek means to become a part of the European Concert and to acquire legitimization for his rule, so that his presidential chair is turned into an Imperial throne. For all his vanity, he understands he is not the great tactical genius like his father was and would fear the rise of a new coalition against his regime.

Spain could exploit the shaky position in which Bonaparte is. What if would happen if Spain made ta bold move and reached out a hand of friendship towards the man? He could be promised the recognition of his regime and even support for him taking the Imperial throne. Spain could solicitor his recognition by its friends in the European Concert as well. Our Sovereign could even offer him the hand of one his more distant relatives, namely, one of the daughters of the Duke of Cadiz, Infante Luisa. A marriage with the princess of such an illustrious House would not only legitimize the attempts of Bonaparte to become Napoleon, become a Sovereign instead of a mere executive- but would bring the blood of the old Kings of France into his family.

And for its support Spaincould ask for much - and would have more chances to receive it than from the Citizen King. Ranging from guarantees regarding the peaceful policies of the future empire (as well as common defense of certain conservative principles) under Napoleon and recognition of Portugal as our sphere of interests to agreeing with our rights to certain territories in Africa, such as Morocco, and military support from the Empire for our endeavors.

However, if HIs Catholic Majesty chooses this approach, we must be sure that we do not lose the support of our allies within the Concert (such as Austria) and that we, in beforehand, find out the intentions and program of the Prince President.

Of course, we could also wait, keeping neutrality, but one cannot hide his head in the sand forever - and we need to decide on our position more or less quickly, before the rule of Napoleon solidifies too much and he decides on his priorities. Then it could be too late either to make him a meaningful partner or bring him down.

I am awaiting for the orders of His Catholic Majesty regarding the matter - as well the opinions of my most worthy colleagues.
 
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naxhi24

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Taxes on the Nobility

Taxation of the nobles has always been an interesting topic for absolute regimes across Europe for hundreds of years. Most often then not, many nobles were exempt from taxes commoners were forced to pay. This was a way to make sure the nobles stayed wealthy and powerful among the lower class civilians of the realm. The commoners never really minded this, until they started paying more taxes to cover expenses while the nobles continued to enjoy large exemptions. In fact, one of the chief reasons for the French Revolution starting was due to the commoners being the only people being taxed. When Louis XVI proposed to tax the nobles, the nobles just walked out of the room and refused to cooperate, forcing Louis XVI to call the Estates General. The balance of keeping nobles happy and commoners secure has always led to debate among the elite.

In Spain, the situation was no different. When Carlos V came to power, he immediately raised the aristocratic taxes to 45% of their income. This was an absurd level to many aristocrats, but since Carlos won a war, Spain needed rebuilding, and other things, they agreed to keep the taxes as such, even as their wealth suffered greatly due to the taxes. This was the way it was for the 1840s, nobles being forced to pay a high tax to rebuild the Kingdom. Eventually, the tax was brought down to 30% of an aristocrat's income. However, with the Seville Revolt, serfdom was abolished. This put a huge strain on the noble's wealth as managing land and hiring farmers to work it became much more expensive. Along with the higher then optimal taxes, the nobility's wealth was not surprisingly at an all-time low. Voices began to speak out against the taxation of the nobles and straining their wealth. Nobles from all ideologies sent complaint after complaint begging the King to lower the tax rate. These were unknown and small-holding aristocrats though. Manuel de Alcántara Álvarez de Toledo's letter to the King complaining about the lack of respect being shown among the nobles due to the high taxation caused the nobles to unite for the lowering of the taxes. Many in Los Amarilos called for the reinstatement of serfdom should the taxes not be lowered. It seems that Carlos V's policy on taxing nobles highly is starting to show cracks. Should the cracks continue to spread, Carlos V may be faced with noble dissent.
 
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Firehound15

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LOS LÍMITANEROS
The Limitanei
Founded in 1848 following the excesses and failures of the Spanish Revolt, The Limitanei were organized as a highly secretive underground society among middle and lower class Spanish liberals (although much of the leadership came from educated higher classes.) The group was themed after the Roman limitanei, who were soldiers on the frontiers of the Roman Empire. In the same way, Los Límitaneros were organized to be the noble and bold fighters on the frontiers of Spanish society, fighting for liberty and justice, speaking out against ills, and vocalizing their support for reform.


La Mascarilla, Unknown, c.1850, oil on canvas.
Meetings of the organization were formal engagements in which members would don clay masks in the Roman fashion, pray, and listen to speeches given by prominent liberals and members of the society. A mocking reading of the state press was often considered a high point of the evening, often followed by conversations and arguments between members of the society over matters usually deemed unpalatable by government elites. Depending on the individuals involved, this could range from discussions of the price of food, complaints over the persistence of slavery, or simple gossip about public figures.
 
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Response to the Duke of Alba ((Revan + Cabinet members, Private))

Ending the current Parisian government is a very viable option as it is still disorganized. We do not yet know Louis-Napoleons plans for the future of France but he will be hungry for glory like his jingoistic uncle. That the Spanish army is ready is no lie, however the French are fighting with great valour against our German allies who were forced to go on the defensive. If they were to fight on two-fronts, they could be forced into the defensive themselves. There is also the chance that they will utterly destroy the glory of Spain and institute a puppet government in Spain. Attacking France is risky and should only be used as a defensive meassure to defend the order in Europe.

If Lous-Napoleon really makes a conservative imperial administration as his uncle did it; it could be a valuable ally and addition to the Holy League or a new European alliance consisting of conservative and absolutist regimes that will isolate the treacherous British. That the Prince-president would do this is a topic for fruther consideration.

- Capitán General Tomás de Zumalacárregui e Imatz, Duque de la Victoria y Conde de Bilbao
 

mrlifeless

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“The Philippines can be a horrible place at times- they are hot, full of mosquitos, humid and that’s without mentioning the malaria” Rodrigo thought. “But alas! It’s where I am stationed, and besides I have the command of my own army! One of less than 10 thousand men, but it’s something.”

“Need to plan the next survey trip, Mindanao this time I think, does heathen Moros can’t be trusted, well no native can, but the Muslim natives even less! And yet they are most of my army. “

Humph, “This is the jewel of the Empire and I get even no more than a garrison. If had more men and de Montizón more ships we could be expanding our influence and empire into Vietnam and Borneo, maybe take the East Indies from the Dutch? But that is for the general staff and the king to decide, it’s not my place to go dictating royal policy”
 

Keinwyn

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Response to the Duke of Alba ((Revan + Cabinet members, Private))

Don Alejo, now 58 and visibly aged by the stresses of government, grimaces at the options laid out by the Foreign Secretary.

As ever, his excellency provides a good deal of illumination into our foreign options, and I think him for his continued diligence in these matters.

The first option suggested - that of military intervention is indeed attractive, and I have no doubt our forces would fare well against the French. The new issue rifles tested during the Restoration of Miguel have now been rolled out to the army at large and we have seen a deal of improvement in efficiency as a result. Further, at the instigation of the Capitán General, we will be greatly expanding the amount of artillery support provided to our armies. These, in combination with the excellent reforms of the Duke of Zaragossa, leave the army in superb shape.

However, on the issue of numbers, matters look grim. The French appear to have advanced far in their war, and as such an intervention by us may well be too little, too late. If we then further consider the recent disturbances at home, having any significant portion of the army stage an invasion of France may only encourage dissent and unrest. Whilst a joint intervention alongside our Russian and Austrian friends would be viable, are they able to turn their attention away from their internal issues? Even if they are, such a broad coalition surely cannot fail to arouse the ire of the British, pushing the entire continent to war?

In short I have no doubt our soldiers would perform admirably against the French, however we simply cannot commit the necessary numbers.

As for the second option, I do not look favourably on legitimizing a Bonaparte; Europe and Spain have suffered too much at the hands of that "dynasty" for such to be agreeable, however I bow to your superior knowledge and ability in this sphere. Contain them as best you can.
 

naxhi24

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((If you want me to roll for something or want to do an action, please IC it first before asking me on IRC or in a PM to do anything about it. Thank you very much))
 

Keinwyn

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To His Excellency, Brigadier Don Rodrigo Fajardo de Mendoza, Baron of Polop ((@mrlifeless ))

Excelentisímo Señor,

It has come to the attention of the court that the savages on the island of Sulu have committed the gravest of sins and violated missionaries sent to bring them to the light of our Lord and saviour. Such a slight cannot be allowed to stand, and as such you are authorized to lead a punitive expedition to bring these savages to order.
In addition, I am glad to inform you that His Catholic Majesty has seen fit to appoint you as Governor General of the Philippines.

((Declare war on Sulu with event given CB once the Philippine fleet has returned))

Respectfully,

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


((Private - @Luftwafer @Lyonessian ))
Eminence/Excelentisímo Señor,

The recent agitation is most troubling and came somewhat out of nowhere, something that I find even more troubling. The Hermandad Real was formed to give forewarning against and forstal such events from occurring. I request a redoubling of efforts on this front that we are not taken by surprise again, and that these miscreants are brought to His Catholic Majesty’s justice.

Respectfully,

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

Keinwyn

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The Secretariat of the treasury, as ever, doing as best they can (rather well) without the presence of the Secretary himself try to implement his vague policy statements and present the resulting Budget to the office of the First Secretary for approval. It is then published for general inspection by the court in hopes of allaying some of the recent furore.

1848 Budget for the Kingdom of Spain:


Taxes:
Poor: 75%
Middle: 75%
Rich: 35%
Tariffs: 10%​
Note: Estimated effective tax at 60% of these values.

Expenses:
Stockpile:
Land: 100%
Naval: 100%​
Other government expenses:
Education: 60%
Administration: 50%
Military: 55%​

Contingencies:
I Naval Spending
a. If all navies are at full repair and there is no looming conflict requiring naval support, reduce naval maintenance to 40%​

II Armed Conflict
a. If the nation is engaged in armed conflict in which the navy is required to participate, raise naval funding to 100%, to be reverted to normal upon peace.
b. Should the Land Stockpile have been reduced by (III), raise to 100%​

III Deficit
a. If Spain is consistently in deficit by over -£100/day:
b. Reduce Education Spending by 5% (not to fall below 25% spending)
c. Reduce Administrative Spending by 5% (not to fall below 25% spending)
d. Reduce Military Spending by 5% (not to fall below 50% spending)
e. Loop back to (a)
f. If there is no major armed conflict, or any threat of rebellion, reduce Land Stockpile until balance is achieved (not to fall below 80% spending, and overridden by (II))
g. Should there be a consistent deficit of -£200 or more after these actions have been taken, the government should consider its options.​
 

Firehound15

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((Private - The Limitanei))
*A disguised San Martin stands up before a crowd of Limitaneros, prepared to give a speech. He swallows and breathes sharply behind his mask. He had written a great deal of inflammatory works, but he had not given a speech since his years at the University of Madrid*

"My fellow Limitaneros! My fellow Spaniards! My fellow free men! I urge you to listen! There once was a time, in the days of Our Lord, when there was but one man who cried out in the wilderness. He exclaimed, with devotion, to make clear the path for the Lord. He engaged in his God-given duty faithfully, with great bravery and zeal, and it was this bravery that found him martyred. At that time, he was all but alone, the lone voice, crying out that it was the time to repent and prepare for the arrival of The Lord. He, however, is a lone voice no longer. He, who was crying out for purification, has been joined today, by a new legion of fighters, ready to stand up for their God-given rights!"

*The assembled crowd cheers*

"For nine years, now, this government in Madrid has restrained, restricted, hanged, and trampled upon us and our liberties. His Majesty, Carlos V has fashioned himself to be a man of the people, yet he has now buckled under the pressure of the wealthiest landowners and lowered taxes upon the nobility, who continue to push, even as we speak, for the return of serfdom! Undoubtedly, his claims to "pursue and end to slavery" will be just as ineffective as his efforts to put the noblemen in their places!"

"Perhaps we would have a means to air grievances, if we were given the ability to have free and legitimate elections. Perhaps we would have an opportunity to air our grievances if we were given the ability to elect those who we wish to represent us! We would do well to make clear to His Majesty that our desire is plain - the right to vote! The right to assemble! The right to speak in public without fear of arrest! Make clear to Carlos that we will stop at nothing until our rights are returned to us! Go forth, my fellow Limitaneros, and let us spread the word of liberty to every voice in this Spanish Nation!"
 
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Keinwyn

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A somewhat rambling piece written by a Duke of Valencia experiencing a guilty conscience (Esmeralda and their "breathers" are still on his mind).

On Morals

As moral depravity and the so-called “spring” stalks the rest of Europe, Spain too has suffered at the whim of those who, devoid of any sense of justice, seek their own selfish self-aggrandizement by placing unreasonable, immoral demands before His Majesty. That these individuals so swiftly resort to violence is indicative of a lower moral conscience and an absence of God in their hearts.

His Majesty may have formally dismantled the institution of serfdom, but this is not license for all and sundry to question their place before God and king. Yet there are some discontented with their God-given lot who would see His natural order overturned.

I fear that, with the moral fiber of the nation thus degraded, it is only a matter of time before other, baser, vices that are wont to plague debauched minds begin to exert themselves in the national consciousness. Having before written on the virtues of temperance - for it is only with temperance that a man may conduct himself correctly and be of mind to reject temptation - it now seems prudent to encourage other virtues.

We have all heard the rumours of some peculiar sect that gathers in fields to worship the pagan gods of Rome in who knows what depraved manner. Certainly the Romans perpetually fell into sin and vice, notably fornication, and it seems certain these revivalists who meet in the fields of fair Spain engage in similar displays of public gratification. Surely this, if nothing else confirms the moral laxity of their cause? The rejection of all that is good and holy?

Let us not forget the values that made our country the greatest upon the earth. Good Catholic values. I urge my fellow Spaniards to stay vigilant and not allow themselves to succumb to the temptation that these debauched followers of “liberal” ideals pursue.
 

naxhi24

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"Normalcy": 1848-1851

After the Springtime of Nations rocked Spain, the Kingdom proceeded to pass reforms in order to appease those who would show anger towards the regime. The situation in Cuba though would get a lot worse as slavery debates rolled on. Worse yet, the start of the 1850s would see the demise of the Holy League as an alliance following events in Hungary, as well as the solidifying of Prussian hegemony in Northern Germany. The new decade would see new life and death as the royal family was struck a critical blow. Republicanism festered, and the reforms of Spanish neighbors would press heavily on the Carlist regime. Expansion would cause the borders of the nation to expand and grow.


(Spanish soldiers after suppressing Jacobin revolts)

The first thing the Spanish government did was pass a tax reform for the nobility. After a group of nobles led by Los Amarilos petitioned the King to lower the taxes, taxes were officially lowered by 30% (even though in reality, the effective tax was only lowered by 9%, but the nobles liked the cut nonetheless). Nobles were content with the tax system, and aristocratic wealth once again rose, much to the pleasure of the upper class, and much to the disdain of the middle class, who grew angry over the tax exemptions of the rich while the poor and middle class were still required to pay three quarters of their income (not calculated for effective tax). The poor though could care less, they were too busy celebrating their freedom and farming their own land to worry about taxes. Don Aldo Trumpo, the ecstatic Minister of Finance, claimed the tax cut was “the greatest tax cut ever created by God”. The King would once again have the backing of the nobility, though at a cost of separating himself farther from the people. Nevertheless, the people were still happy with the abolition of serfdom, and the distribution of land to former serf families helped guarantee the majority of them would not be destitute. In a way, it seemed that the King was balancing between the people and the nobles for support, sometimes alienating one to gather support from the other. It was a twisted game indeed, with the result possibly being revolt should one side be alienated too much. The common people were already organizing in a way. A new Jacobin group, the Limitanei, were organizing to combat the regime after the failure of the Seville revolt to gain any reforms for the people of Spain. By 1851, the Limitanei were reported to have 100,000 members organizing for it. Spies for the government had been unable to successfully infiltrate the group, due to its secrecy, leaving the government in the dark about who is leading the group and if anyone is involved with it in the Spanish court.


(Republicans protesting in Spain)
In Cuba, the island would be put under attack. A small rebel force from Venezuela would land in Cuba and proceed to fight the Spanish forces in Cuba to have Cuba become an independent nation. The rebel force gained no traction and would be defeated and imprisoned. The leader of this force was a man by the name of Narciso Lopez, a Venezuelan native. After a few weeks of interrogation, Narciso revealed that he was paid by the United States of America to not make Cuba a free state, but to make it a state of the United States. The US government denied any involvement in Narciso’s actions, but the scar between the US and Spain had already been made. The US and Spain had been at odds in the Americas for decades. America had backed many of the rebel colonial states and supported their bids for independence. Worse yet, the Monroe Doctrine, a policy enforced by both the US and Great Britain, enforced the independence of the colonies, preventing Spain from returning to reclaim their colonies. This event would only seek to drive Spain and the US farther apart.


(General Narciso Lopez)

The new French Republic, led by President Louis-Napoleon, would engage in a war in Prussia. Napoleon wanted to break the back of the Prussian hegemony in Northern Germany, and at first was successful. The lighting advances aided by rebels from the Springtime reached all the way into central Germany. One by one, the German allies peaced out of the war, leaving Prussia with fewer and fewer troops. However, the Prussian army is considered one of the most disciplined and effective fighting machines in Europe, and once they go their footing, they drove back the French inch by inch, and occupied the Kingdom of Sardinia. France would eventually end the war with a white peace, but the effect on the French was great. Many in the French government wanted Napoleon to step down after his first term was done. Carlist Spain would support Prussia’s defense, and condemn Napoleon’s illegitimate government. Spain would have acted to contain the French if the need arose, but it never did. Napoleon though soon proved to be more conservative than the people thought he was. He would eliminate universal suffrage, only making those of wealth allowed to vote, along with many other conservative reforms. While France was falling back on reforms made by the revolution, Portugal would push forward reforms. The Springtime hit Portugal as well, and in order to combat it, Miguel I gave up many of his rights as monarch and submitted to the will of a constitution. While he stilled retained a lot of power, the people had gained a good chunk of it. Would these liberal reforms pass over to Carlist Spain? Allies though were far and fetched in Spain. The Holy League began to crumble. Prussia, influenced by the nationalist ideas of the Springtime, wanted to assert hegemony over all the German states. In order to do this, they had to weaken Austria. Austria crushed the Hungarian revolt after the Springtime, and Prussia decided to back the Hungarians in regaining their independence. This was the first major split between members of the Holy League. Even though the crisis ended in a white peace, the relations hit would effect the Holy League and rock it to its core. If the Holy League were to fall, the liberal powers of Europe would gain a major footing on the continent.


(Prussian soldiers preparing for possible war against Austria)
In Asia, the Spanish embarked on an expedition into the Asian nation of Sulu. Five years ago, the Sulu nation embarked on a policy of foreign removal, execution or exiling all foreigners within the country. Such victims of the attack were a group of Spanish missionaries. The Sulu warriors had them beheaded and thrown into the sea. Spain vowed revenge for their deaths, and threatened to bring God’s divine wrath down upon these heathens. In 1849, Carlos V commanded Don Rodrigo Fajardo de Mendoza, General of the Army of the Philippines, to invade Sulu. General Mendoza won a scoring victory in the Sulu capital, destroying an entire army of 3,000 warriors with losing less than 40 men. However, Sulawesi, a neighboring sultanate, joined Sulu in fighting the Spanish. Sulawesi took control of the war effort when Sulu fell. Mendoza was ordered to move into Sulawesi and force the sultanate to give up the fight for Sulu. Mendoza would encounter stiff resistance from the Sulawesian people, and suffered immense casualties from the environment and the Warriors. Eventually the war dragged on leading to Sulawesi demanding peace. Sulu was annexed and added to the Philippine Colony. It was another expansionary victory for the Carlist regime.


(The Sulu sultan and his retainers)

The new decade also brought death to the royal family. Twice was the wife of Prince Carlos pregnant. Both children died before they were born. As the nation mourned for them, the prince’s only daughter Maria Carlota succumbed to Cystic Fibrosis and passed away in 1851. She was only 8 years old. Now, Carlos V was without any successionary grandchildren. The only grandchild he had was the infant Carlos, son of Juan. Perhaps the male bourbon line would survive if Juan became King...

------------------------------
Player Actions Needed: Four more days to IC and do actions and give responses.
 
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Luftwafer

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((Private))

To Juan

If this information about the secret society Is correct then I despair for the quality of the secret Police. How could we allow such an organisation to form so quickly without spies being entered into it?

This is a problem we must rectify post haste! We must have known members of the group, we will have to turn them and get spies inducted into it. I hear the group is a secretive one, so identification of the average member will be extremely difficult, however I'm sure identifying meeting places will be a lot easier.

The reports state that the Upper classes rule over this cult, we must identify them as quickly as possible and move to arrest them. However this is a matter for another time.

The archbishop of Toledo
Andrès Cardinal Porcelli
 
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Korona

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Before departing for Madrid, and the Carlist Court, Miguel de Costa met with a number of liberals in León, under the guise of a house party.
Miguel was dressed in formal clothes, giving him an appearance of authority and respect. In the dimly lit room sat two prominent Leónese liberals, Jose de San Maria, and Manuel de la Plata*. In his hand was a glass of Andalusian wine, his hand subconsciously swishing the wine around in the glass.

"Tomorrow, I depart for Madrid to lead the Liberal Faction, in hopes of achieving our goals through courtly intrigue. However, you two have a much more dangerous task ahead of you. You must lead protests against the Carlist regime in León. You must show Carlos that we are not his playthings. Thus, on the 30th day after I have departed this great city, you two must take to the streets against Carlos."

Jose frowned. "Miguel, we will certainly be killed, and you will be linked with this protest."

"The risk of death is one we must have to take, when fighting for liberty and justice among Spain. It is a risk I take every day, and yet I live on."

Manuel laughed. "You expect me to die? You are insane."

"I expect you, and everyone else to serve Spain. If that means with your life, then so be it. I would gladly lay my life down, if I wasn't the leader of the Liberal Faction. I am not asking you to do this as a friend, I am telling you to do this as your leader. Either you stand with me, or you stand on the sidelines and watch Spain fall into chaos and absolutism. The choice is yours."

Manuel and Jose exchange looks, and nod. "Fine. We'll do it."
 

Keinwyn

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In recent months, the Duke of Valencia, now 61, has become increasingly sickly, his once bushy salt-and-pepper moustache is now fully silver and visibly wilting. Whilst his posture is as erect and disciplined as ever, it costs him far more effort than it used to to maintain it.


To His Catholic Majesty, Carlos V, King of Spain etc ((Private - @Riccardo93 ))

Your Majesty,

It has been a great honour to serve as the presiding secretary of Your Majesty’s council for these eighteen years, however as age and illness weigh me down I do not feel capable of providing a degree of oversight that would satisfy myself, your majesty or your majesty’s realm. As such I offer my resignation as First Secretary in the hope that a younger and healthier man than I may take up the burden. If it is pleasing to you I shall continue to invest my energies into my duties at the War Office.

If I may, I will also take the opportunity to highly commend the efforts of his excellency the Duke of Alba, his diligence in guiding the foreign aspects of your government are exemplary. Should he be faced with greater burdens I have no doubt he would face them with the same energy and discipline he has displayed in running his secretariat.

Respectfully yours,

General Alejo Ma. Sastre y Díaz de Santa Ava,
Duque de Valencia.
 
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Riccardo93

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A VE, el Duque de Valencia

Your long and immensely distinguished service thus far, over the course of these near twenty years and beyond, have been immeasurably beneficial to both my cause and the Cause of Spain; your wealth of experience in all matters military compels me to have no other serve as War Secretary whilst you are still able and willing to perform those duties. I shall take your suggestions regarding the Duque de Alba to heart and shall consider your replacement for that highest office in the coming days.

I remain,
Carlos V
 

naxhi24

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Miguel de Costa Arrested!
Liberals Outraged!

Today, in Madrid, Miguel de Costa, the leader of the Liberal faction, has been arrested under charges of conspiracy to incite rebellion in Spain. The prosecution claims they have a witness who overheard de Costa tell two men to go out and start protests in Spain. Miguel de Costa's arrest has spurred outrage among the liberal community who feel that his arrest is nothing more then an attempt by the regime to silence liberals in the country. It is uncertain if de Costa will plea not-guilty or guilty in this case, but regardless, the liberal community is outraged at his arrest. Carlos V has the people of his country in mind, so we shall see if the glorious King will punish this man...

((After a successful investigation into a private post, Korona has been detained. Should he plea non-guilty, a trial shall ensue if the government allows one to take place.))
 

Luftwafer

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The Archbishop was awoken by a knocking on the door of his bedroom. Half asleep he moped over to the door and opened it. Seeing the servant standing there.

"Your eminence, we have received a rider. He claims to have news from one of our spies in the Liberal leader's household. Apparently, the spy working as a footman overheard his master speaking to two liberals about inciting a revolt in Madrid!"

"The leader of the Liberal Faction? How unlikely is that, after all we have had spies in that household for years, and we haven't heard a peep from them. Did he bring any proof?"

"No my eminence, he couldn't have brought any evidence it was simply something he overheard."

"Do we even have any evidence there was a meeting of Liberal Faction members?"

"Yes your eminence, the rider claims to have multiple accounts of from paid informants that his was the case."

"Bring in the rider, I want to speak to him."

As the servant went to fetch the Rider, the Archbishop pondered about the best course of action to take. On the one hand if this evidence was true, it would amount to the end of the liberal faction. On the other hand if it was false it would lead to open revolt.

His thoughts was interrupted by the arrival of the rider.

"You claim to have evidence that the Liberal Leader has been engaged in illegal activities?"

"Yes, my most trusted agent came to me, babbling about the Liberal Leader's meeting and about the attempts to incite a revolt. He is my most trusted agent, and has brought me quality information about the faction. So I came as quickly as I could to inform you."

"Ah, so you think this agent could identify these two men that he was plotting with?"

"Of course your eminence, it would be an easy act of remembering faces."

"Perfect, rider bring your source to Madrid post haste, and serving you must go and get the Police forces at the court. We will trap the leader and his dogs at the court."
 
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