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BalticM

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Oct 31, 2017
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  • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
Here is my proposal for France potential provinces for next update. It should be well balanced map :)


1. PROVINCES OF FRANCE

France.png


I've used historical provinces of Kingdom of France and some smaller divisions - bailliages & seneschals as main base for most provinces, also geographical definitions (Upper & Lower) to cut some provinces in half.

Normandy.jpg

Before French Revolution Normandy had 7 administrative divisions - Grand bailliages:
  • Grand bailliage of Rouen
  • Grand bailliage of Caux
  • Grand bailliage of Evreux
  • Grand bailliage of Gisors (the smallest one and later attached to Rouen)
  • Grand bailliage of Alencon
  • Grand bailliage of Cotentin
  • Grand bailliage of Caen
I've used 6 largest ones and it's easy to split 6-province Normandy into Lower & Upper Normandy states.

Channel Islands province would be another interesting possibility. By most parameters it was more important islands than the likes of Menorca, Ibiza or Isle of Man.
Brittany.jpg

I suggest 6 provinces:
  • Nantais
  • Rennais
  • Saint-Malo (Sanit Malo + Dol + Saint-Brieuc)
  • Leon & Tregor (can't decide how to name it)
  • Cornouaille
  • Vannetais
This will make size of provinces more balanced and some extra flavour for independent Brittany won't hurt.
Brittany would be made of 2 states - Upper & Lower Brittany, just as it was divided historically.
Loire valley I've split into 2 states - Anjou & Orleanais.

Anjou state to be made up of Angevin historical counties:
  • Anjou
  • Maine (Upper Maine)
  • Laval (Lower Maine)
  • Touraine
  • Perche
Laval and Perche were separate and highly autonomous counties already before 1444.

Orleanais state to be made up of historical Orleanais & Berry provinces:
  • Orleanais - bailliages of Orleanais & Montargis
  • Blois - bailliages of Blois & Vendome
  • Chartres - bailliage of Chartres
  • Berry - or Upper Berry with chief city of Bourges
  • Chateauroux - or Lower Berry with Chateauroux & Issoudun as contenders for 2nd most important town status in Berry.
This map says it all:
Poitou.jpg

Aunis is small province, but it was very important economically and also the most urbanised province in this region thanks to 2 big cities of La Rochelle & Rochefort.
Guyenne.png

Guyenne replaced old term of "Aquitaine" and for EUIV timeframe consisted of 5 historical divisions:
  • Bordelais (with capital Bordeaux)
  • Agenais
  • Perigord
  • Quercy
  • Rouergue

Gascony.png

While Gascony was one of the most fragmented regions in France. Many interpretations possible there, but I have focused on 15th century possessions:
  • Labourd - province covering Labourd, great port of Bayonne and town of Dax, all of this still at possession of English in 1444.
  • Bearn - part of Bearn & Foix country.
  • Bigorre - covering Bigorre & Comminges both of which were in possession of House of Foix in 1444, yet Comminges shortly after was lost to French Crown.
  • Armagnac - lands in possession of House Armagnac.
  • Albret - lands belonging to House of Albret, that is most of nowadays Landes province and also southern part of historical Bazadais province.
I've split Massif Central region into Limousin & Auvergne. And while I gave same culture - Auvergnat, these 2 regions where actually quite distinct from each other so it makes perfect sense to put them as separate states.

Map of 15th century Limousin:
Limousin.png

At the time it was bigger - about 20k km2 area, as it also included northern part of Perigord province, small parts of Quercy and etc. And 3 provinces would be perfect for Limousin:
  • La Marche
  • Limoges - also known as Upper Limousin.
  • Turenne - or Lower Limousin, covering Turenne, Ventadour and Comborn.

Limoges was in possession of House of Chatillon, later of House of Albret before it was integrated into France in 16th century, while Turenne was in possession of House of La Tour d'Auvergne until as late as 18th century, so split of Limousin into Limoges & Turenne should give game more flavour and probably the only realistic option how to represent House of La Tour d'Auvergne in 1444.
French wikipedia suggests that small lands of Turenne alone had around 100k inhabitants in 15th century, Ventadour which was fief of La Tour d'Auvergne should make this double, so Turenne province should be relatively populous in 15th century.



Auvergne state can be made up of historical Bourbonnais and Auvergne provinces:
  • Bourbonnais
  • Auvergne (Lower Auvergne)
  • Aurillac (Upper Auvergne)
Maps of Lower & Upper Auvergne:
Auvergne.png


Also worth mentioning that Lower Auvergne was not entirely united in 1444 with House of Bourbon, House of La Tour d'Auvergne and bishop of Clermont having their share of land in it. However I couldn't find any reasonable ways how to further divide it yet province is still quite big and extremely populous compared to other provinces in my map.
My suggested provinces for Languedoc would be:
  • Nimes
  • Vivarais
  • Velay (Velay + Gevaudan)
  • Toulouse
  • Foix
  • Carcassonne
  • Beziers

As you see I remove/rename 2 provinces of France already in game - Narbonnais & Montpellier(!) .
Looks weird, right?
But if we follow the history of Languedoc we'll find that Nimes (also called Beaucaire et Nimes) was the major seneschal (administrative division) of Languedoc existing since 13th century, probably the most important one in entire Languedoc as Nimes-Beaucaire area was economically the most important axis of Languedoc. Seneschal of Montpellier appeared only in mid 16th century as a split from Nimes and was few times smaller than that of Nimes.
While Narbonne was center of Viscounty Narbonnais during Middle Ages but it completely disappears as autonomous division at early 16th century when it gets fully integrated into France. Since then it's integral part of Seneschal of Carcassonne.

Map of Languedoc divisions:
Languedoc.jpg


Seneschal of Beaucaire et Nimes is also known as Lower Languedoc, while seneschals of Toulouse and Carcassonne make up Upper Languedoc.
Foix becomes separate county independent from Toulouse and is not considered to be part of Languedoc.
Seneschal of Carcassonne is split in half in 16th century and since then is known as Seneschal of Carcassonne & Beziers with seats in Carcassonne & Beziers.
North of seneschal of Beaucaire et Nimes is made up of highly autonomous divisions of Vivarais, Velay and Gevaudan.

Political "weight" of Languedoc divisions as follow:
Nimes - 16 deputies
Toulouse - 16 deputies
Carcassonne - 8 deputies
Beziers - 8 deputies
Villeneuve-de-Berg (Vivarais) - 8 deputies
Annonay - 4 deputies
Velay (Le Puy) - 4 deputies
Mende (Gevaudan) - 4 deputies
Montpellier - 4 deputies
Castres - 4 deputies
Limoux - 4 deputies
Castelnaudary (Lauragais) - 4 deputies

Largest cities in 1800:
Toulouse - 52 000
Nimes - 41 000
Montpellier - 33 000
Carcassonne - 15 000
Beziers - 14 500
Castres - 13 500
Le Puy - 12 000
Albi - 10 000
Narbonne - 9 000

So this is how I come up to proposed states and provinces.
Small Montpellier province probably would find its place in my 8 or 9-province Languedoc, but 7-province Languedoc I think I made about right given historical divisions.
Provence was fragmented, but 4 potential provinces are obvious:
  • Provence - covering 3 large cities of Marseille, Aix and Arles.
  • Toulon - covering Toulon & Draguignan
  • Forcalquier - mountainous inland part of Provence
  • Avignon (or Venaissin) - Papal State area
Map of Savoy-Dauphine in 1447:
Dauphine-Savoy.png


My proposed provinces for Upper Rhone region (Savoy state) would be:
  • Savoie (Savoie proper) with capital at Chambery.
  • Genevois (city Geneva + Gex + Genevois + Faucigny) - or simply old County of Geneva. For the first 100 year Genevois would be part of Savoy in full, but we know that city Geneva allies Swiss Confederacy and becomes de facto independant from 16th century, while rest of Genevois (then Duchy of Genevois) remains loyal to Savoy.
  • Bresse (Bresse & Bugey)
  • Vaud
  • Valais (Chablais or Lower Valais + Upper Valais)

With such division it will be difficult to picture ownerships of provinces ideally correct but personally I would hold off from giving province of its own to city of Geneva or extremely sparsely populated Upper Valais.
These 5 provinces should be enough to make Upper Rhone detailed enough.


For Dauphine state I would combine historical provinces of Dauphine and Lyonnais.
Dauphine at the time was divided into 8 bailliages while Lyonnais into 3, and I think 5 provinces in similar shapes to nowadays France departments would be ideal for this region:
  • Lyonnais (bailliages of Lyonnais & Beaujolais)
  • Forez
  • Dauphine (bailliages of Vienne, Saint-Marcellin & Grenoble)
  • Valentinois (bailliages of Valence & Die)
  • Gapencais (bailliages of Gap, Briancon & d'Embrun)
Burgundy.jpg


Burgundy is the only region where I make no new provinces as already in game Dijon, Charolais & Auxerre provinces cover historical bailliages of Burgundy in very balanced way - 6 bailliages each:
  • Dijonais (bailliages of Dijon, Chalon, Beaune, Nuits, d'Auxonne & Saint-Jean-de-Losne)
  • Charolais (bailliages of Charolles, Macon, d'Autun, Montcenis, Semur-en-Brions & Bourbon-Lancy)
  • Auxerrois (bailliages of d'Auxerre, Chatillon, Semur, d'Avallon, d'Arnay-le-Duc & Saulieu)
  • Nivernais


Franche-Comte.jpg


But Burgundy can be strenghtened in game by dividing huge province of Franche-Comte into 3 historical bailliages:
  • Vesoul
  • Besancon - it's important to note however that Dole was more important town (early capital of Franche-Comte) than Besancon early on.
  • Poligny - don't know if it's best name for southern province, but French sources suggest that Poligny was chief town and administrative center of this bailliage for 15th-17th centuries.
Bailliages of Champagne were many and very chaotic placed so I would rather look at this map to see and understand geography of Champagne better:
Champagne.png


My suggested provinces would be:
  • Troyes - historical capital of Champagne, once commercial center of Europe thanks to Champagne Fairs.
  • Reims
  • Rethel - to cover Ardennes region.
  • Meaux (or Provins) - to cover historical region of Brie in Champagne.
  • Langres - the most important town in southeast Champagne.

Historical region of Ile-de-France changed over time, but I concentrate on this map:
Ile-de-France.png

4 suggested provinces:
  • Valois (Valois, Soissonnais, Noyonnais, Laonnois)
  • Beauvaisis (Beauvaisis, Vexin francais)
  • Paris (Pays de France, Mantois, Hurepoix)
  • Nemours (Brie francaise, Gatinais)
Lorraine.jpg


Lands of Lorraine since 15th century were divided between Duchy of Bar, Duchy of Lorraine and Bishopric of Metz, Verdun & Toul. Duchy of Lorraine made up the biggest part of Lorraine and historically was divided into 3 bailliages - Vosges, Nancy & "German" (d'Allemagne) bailliages.
And those are the 5 provinces I suggest for Lorraine:
  • Bar - representing Duchy of Bar
  • Metz - representing Bishopric of Metz, Verdun & Toul (placed at northwest corner of Lorraine)
  • Nancy - representing bailliage of Nancy
  • Vosges - representing bailliage of Vosges
  • Saarland - representing bailliage of d'Allemagne and rest of Saarland (County of Nassau-Saarbrucken and etc.)

It's difficult to give proper name for bailliage of d'Allemagne and Saarland is the best choice I come up with. County of Nassau-Saarbrucken was very small, 3-4 times smaller than bailliage of d'Allemagne so Saarland province may cover all historical Saarland and German culture Lorraine. Historical map of province:
allemagne.baillage.jpg
I've added 3 more provinces in southern Low Countries which all I believe sooner or later will be added to the game - Lille, Vermandois & Arlon.
What I wanted to do more there is to make states which would make most sense there.
Hainaut.jpg


Picardy state to be made up of Burgundian lands which were inherited by France.
  • Calais
  • Amiens
  • Vermandois
Hainaut state to include counties of Hainaut and Artois which were inherited by Habsburgs after fall of Burgundy. Both counties lie in same geographical area - upper Scheldt river basin and these counties were also southwestern boundary of Seventeen Provinces so it makes perfect sense to separate them from French Picardy state.
  • Hainaut
  • Artois
  • Cambresis
Flanders state to be made up of historical County of Flanders only:
  • Ghent
  • Bruges
  • Lille
Wallonia state to include all historical Wallonia and possibly Luxembourg:
  • Liege
  • Namur
  • Arlon
  • Luxembourg

My intentions were to bring map of France to about the same level of detail as maps of its neighbours England and Germany already are. Proposed provinces might seem many but compared to its neighbours - number is reasonable.
Say if we compare France to Germany in modern borders, we can count that France has only 62 provinces compared to 67 of Germany, yet France is 50% larger in area and during years 1500-1800 was twice as rich (in GDP) and twice as populous compared to Germany in modern boundaries.
What are the reasons for Germany to have more provinces than France? Lots of small independent nations? Well, France was far from united in 1444 and many independent or partly independent tags can be released there as well.




2. FRENCH FIEFS

House.png


House of Anjou
1444-1481 Anjou
1444-1481 Laval
1448-1481 Maine
1444-1480 Bar
1444-1481 Provence
1444-1481 Toulon
1444-1481 Forcalquier
*it's weird that House of Anjou is called "Provence" in the game now, this should be changed

House of Orleans
1444-1498 Orleanais
1444-1498 Blois
1444-1498 Valois
1444-1498 Angouleme (potentially can be vassal-appanage of Orleans)

House of Bourbon
1444-1522 Bourbonnais
1444-1522 Auvergne
1444-1522 Aurillac
1444-1522 Forez
1477-1522 La Marche

House of Alencon
1449-1525 Alencon
1449-1525 Perche
1497-1525 Armagnac
1497-1525 Rouergue (Rodez)
*it would be nice if there was event for House of Alencon to appear in the game. 1444-1449 truce between France & England, then event fires which starts the England-France war and puts independent 2-province Alencon on French side in war.

House of d'Armagnac
1444-1497 Armagnac
1444-1497 Rouergue (Rodez)
1444-1503 Nemours
1444-1477 La Marche

House of Foix
1444-1479 Foix
1444-1479 Bearn
1444-1479 Bigorre
*since 1479 part of Kingdom Navarre (?)

House of d'Albret
1444-1484 Albret
1470-1484 Limoges
1470-1484 Perigord
*since 1484 part of Kingdom Navarre (?)

House of Chatillon
1444-1470 Limoges
1444-1470 Perigord

House of La Tour d'Auvergne
1444-1738 Turenne




3. FRENCH CULTURE GROUP

Culture.png


As of now German, Latin and even Iberian culture group is bigger than French one which is weird given that France is the biggest country out there with probably the largest cultural diversity as well. So I made suggestion how to expand French culture group from 7 into 15 cultures. This should give extra difficulties for France to make full use of its provinces and better portray France regional identities.

Cultures for French group I've split according main language dialects of late medieval France.

Language d'Oil group had 9 main dialects at the time:
  • Norman
  • Angevin - covering Angevin, Mayennais, Sarthois, Percheron & Gallo dialects, but I would leave Gallo for Breton culture
  • Poitevin - Poitevin & Saintongeais dialects
  • Francien - covering Parisien, Orleanais, Tourangeau, Berrichon & Bourbonnais dialects
  • Champenois
  • Burgundian - Burgundy-Morvandiau & Franc-comtois dialects
  • Lorrain
  • Picard
  • Walloon

Language d'Oc (Occitan) I've split into:
  • Languedocian
  • Gascon
  • Auvergnat - covering both Auvergnat & Limousin dialects
  • Provencal - covering both Provencal & Vivaro-Alpine dialects
I cannot think of any reasonable tag with prime culture of Limousin & Vivaro-Alpine, so I don't see them as separate cultures to add.

And then there are Breton and Franco-Provencal (Arpitan) dialects.

All this make up 15 potential cultures for France.




4. DEVELOPMENT

I made lots of research how to spread out provinces in France to make a well balanced map and therefore I have good idea now approx how development should also spread out between different regions of France. Total development is increased there but higher number of states, number of non-French provinces in 1444 and high cultural diversity should well counterbalance this from making France more powerful. At least for the first 50-100 years France should be far more busy in uniting its historical lands and be more restricted from expanding elsewhere.

Development.png


To better understand France I've checked how it was divided politically - Estates General of 1789, and what were its largest cities, and population and urban population distribution - perfect source for this.

Maybe it's not ideally good to use year 1800 sources, but at least they are reliable.
For year 1500 general trend would be that coastal provinces were not as advanced as they were in 1800, especially Brittany, Languedoc and Provence. While inland areas, especially those of Loire valley, Champagne or even Limousin & Auvergne had greater role for economy and higher share of France population.

Maps look like this:
Generelites.png


Some more things to note.

Lille is the only major city of France not present in EUIV. Potential province of Lille is quite small but as we see through maps I made it's very densely populated and had 2nd largest urban population in year 1800 after Paris. In 15th century Lille had about 25k inhabitants and was one of the Burgundian capitals among Dijon, Bruges and Brussels. It's madness that it's still not in game!

Mediterranean used to be among most sparsely populated regions in France, especially during 15-16th centuries. But at same time it was the most urbanised region of France with half population of coastal Provence and Languedoc living in towns and cities, at least so in year 1800.

And finally I want to bring attention to Basse-Auvergne province. French wikipedia suggests that there were about half million inhabitants in Basse-Auvergne in 14th century which should make it by far the most populous province in my France map in year 1444. Not only it was populous, but it also had one of the most dense network of medium sized towns and strong industry. Auvergne economy was booming particularly in years between Hundred Year War and Wars of Religion. Paper mills of Auvergne are among the oldest ones in France and the most numerous at the time (Ambert-Thiers surroundings) which made Auvergne leading region of paper production during centuries before French Revoliution. Cutlery was another major industry in Auvergne which had no match in France and which gave city of Thiers international reputation. So Basse-Auvergne is large, populous, decently urbanised and very industrous province which should make it among most developed provinces of France in year 1444 I think.




5. TRADE

And finally suggestion on trade. There is always room for different interpretations, but I believe that I interpreted history of French trade really accurate there, at least what comes to area change of trade nodes and locations of most important trade ports during XV-XVIII centuries.

Trade2.png



English Channel
I think England has way too many provinces in English Channel now which just do not fit concept of English Channel trade. If we look geographically - only Wessex, Sussex, Essex & East Anglia are near English Channel. And what a coincidence - those are the richest and most urbanised regions of England during 15-17th centuries, thanks to ... trade activities on English Channel. Regions in the north like Mercia or Wales were commercially remote regions and developed only much later - at the time when trade with America was going full scale. Even great port of Bristol has no history of big involvement in trade on English Channel but dominated trade with Ireland, Wales, or even Iceland instead, so Bristol and everything north of it would fit North Sea trade node much better I think.

Rheinland
Valley of Meuse should be Rheinland trade area as city like Liege was heavily involved in iron trade with Cologne and other German cities and hadn't much to do with Champagne fairs. Same with Metz & Lorraine - those are left bank Rhine, trade with France was never as important as trade along Rhine before 1800.

Champagne
Medieval times are past and glory days of Champagne Fairs are over, but this trade node still could represent land routes linking Mediterranean with English Channel. Troyes, Orleans, Paris and Lyon were 4 key inland commercial hubs of France during different periods of time and I think all these 4 should be in trade node which is supposed to be main trade node for France. Champagne trade node should also contain Savoy, Geneva and all French Switzerland along upper Rhone, Burgundy and Franche-Comte along Saone and Auvergne which was heavily involved in south-north trade directions linking it with Lyon & Orleans.

Bordeaux
All western France coast, Basque lands, Limousin which is historical Aquitaine with strong commercial link to Bordeaux and Anjou-Touraine which connected Nantes with Orleans.

Genoa
Only coastal Mediterannean France states should be there I think.
Seville -> Bordeaux
This one is must to include. It should be good for game play and it's historically important and correct - every article on France-Spain trade relations will highlight how profitable was trade for French merchants with Seville and other ports of Iberia.

Bordeaux & Rheinland -> English Channel instead of Champagne -> English Channel
This one is just idea. Now Champagne trade node is too weak to keep up decent amount of trade since it has 2 major trade nodes steering trade from it while competition in Bordeaux trade node is plain boring - there's no incentive to send light ships neither for France neither for anyone else there (only for Brittany for as long as it survives). And as history says France trade balance wasn't bad with England & Netherlands but it constantly ran into big deficit with Italian traders, so single exit from Champagne to Genoa may well picture that. It can also be noted that Lyon, Burgundy, Franche-Comte and even Champagne were frequently visited by Italian traders and had Italian merchant communities while English or Dutch merchants were rarely to be seen there.
Rheinland -> English Channel would be as correct as it can only be.
Major trade ports
  • Rouen
  • Nantes
  • Bordeaux
  • Marseille
For different periods of time all of these could be seen as no.1 port of France. Estuary next to CoT fit nice for these.

Other coastal trade centers
  • Bayonne - Bayonne merchants were controlling large share of trade in Bay of Biscay since medieval times actively participating in trade between Spain, France and England. Also Bayonne was the largest city in Gascony after Bordeaux.
  • La Rochelle - one of the most important ports of France in western coast, especially early on, while later it was somewhat outcompeted by Bordeaux & Nantes.
  • Saint-Malo - major commercial port of Brittany since Middle Ages and port of the largest Breton merchant group known as Malouin traders. They were largely autonomous traders establishing even Merchant Republic of Saint-Malo in 1590 for few years. Malouin traders were especially active on international scene participating actively in trade with America and French East India Company affairs. French sources suggest that Saint-Malo had the largest ocean going trade fleet in 17th century compared to any other French port.
  • Dieppe & Le Havre - major port cities of Caux. Dieppe used to be 2nd most important port of Normandy after Rouen, but it didn't take too long for Le Havre to claim this position. Caux province should be fierce commercial competitor to Rouen, while Lower Normandy remained commercially neglected region.
  • Calais - this one is tough call. Very important staple port of England early on, but since French occupation its commercial premience is over and it is nothing more but fishing port of no particular importance. If only possible I would use some other trade modifier there, something similar to Sound Toll which would benefit only England if England owns Calais.
  • Lille & Dunkirk - province of major commercial importance. Dunkirk starts as lesser port compared to Calais but from 17th century it clearly outcompetes Calais. While Lille stayed commercially important all centuries long - little Paris of the north. I guess CoTs in Calais-Lille-Bruges might be too much there and I would sacrifice Calais in first place as from France historical perspective French-Flanders was far more commercially important.
I skip all the ports like Brest, Toulon, Lorient and Cherbourg as they were either military ports or developed only much later - after 1700 and later.

Major inland trade centers
  • Orleans
  • Lyon
  • Paris
Thanks to their great positions on Loire, Rhone & Seine respectively these were the largest and most important commercial & financial centers of continental France.

Major Trade Fairs
  • Troyes - main market town of legendary Fairs of Champagne. Fairs of Champagne had lost its importance in 15th century already, but Troyes remained main commercial town of Champagne region for at least few more centuries.
  • Beaucaire (near Nimes) - the largest French trade fair during 13-19th centuries in Mediterannean region. It is said that one week of fair was exceeding total volume of yearly trade done in Marseilles.

Other commercial towns of France
  • Metz - main commercial town in Lorraine since Midde Ages.
  • Besancon - financial fair founded by Genoese bankers and traders in 16th century gave big stimulus for Besancon to become the largest and commercially the most important town in Franche-Comte.
  • Dijon - it's central position with well developed roads to all directions made it main trade hub and capital of Burgundy.
  • Tours - it was major commercial and industrial town of France during 15-16th centuries with over 50 000 inhabitants and silk industry (oldest in France). During next centuries however Tours went into decline.
  • Angers - capital of Anjou, its great position near confluence of Sarthe, Mayenne & Loire rivers made it main trade hub of Maine-Anjou region.
  • Clermont-Ferrand - the largest town of Auvergne wasn't particularly industrous itself, but it was main center of commerce with 4 annual fairs for many surrounding industrous towns of Auvergne like Thiers, Ambert, Riom, Issoire and etc.
  • Limoges - with many well developed roads to all directions Limoges was trade hub for region within 100km range around. But mostly it profited as being trade station on road linking Bordeaux with central France.
  • Reims - I guess it's mistake that Reims is level 2 COT in EUIV now - misplacement of Champagne Fairs? However Reims was commercially important town and could use level 1 COT if high density of COTs is preferred.
  • Toulouse - I confess that sources I went through state that Toulouse had relatively small commerce given that it was major town, however there are no other more important commercial town in provinces around.

Other trade centers outside France
  • Bilbao - Basques were well renown for their merchants and sailors, and Bilbao was the greatest port in region, one of the richest in whole Bay of Biscay.
  • Norwich - 2nd largest city of England during 15-17th centuries which is said to be as rich as London back then. All this thanks to intense wool trade with Low Countries which was set up by Flemish(Dutch) merchants since Middle Ages. *Overall I think Norfolk should be split into Norfolk & Suffolk as East Anglia used to be the most urbanised and developed region of England.
  • Southampton - with the best harbour on southern coast of England Southampton attracted lots of commerce along English Channel.
  • Liege - Meuse valley was well renowned for its metal industry, especially iron, and Liege was by far the largest and most important town of this trade.
  • Zurich - the most mercantile town of Switzerland back then. COT should be moved from Bern to Zurich.
  • Geneva - commercial and financial capital of upper Rhone region.

I hope all this can be useful :)
@neondt
 
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Insert Captn. Bison "Yes" here.
This is France i want to play with...
 
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Mr.Grizzly

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Looks really good, only thing I disagree with is Calais being a part of France since it's considered to be a part of Flanders to this day still, though that could be my Dutch bias sneaking out a bit! :p
 

mechanical_Critter

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This is very ambitious and frankly I don't like it even though I certainly respect the work poured into it. It does look beautiful.

Just a few of feedback items, maybe more to come:
- I think some of your culture part is a meme. You have to make a very strong case for splitting culture group. Gascon looks acceptable, arpitan was almost accepted, but auvergnat for instance looks very weak
- you're missing a trade goods map
- 1 to 1 comparisons (esp. with unbalanced neighbours) are misleading and don't help establish a proper balance. I don't want a repeat of iberiance griefing because spain would be too weak compared to india and in turn portugal wrt spain.
 

BalticM

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This is very ambitious and frankly I don't like it even though I certainly respect the work poured into it. It does look beautiful.

Just a few of feedback items, maybe more to come:
- I think some of your culture part is a meme. You have to make a very strong case for splitting culture group. Gascon looks acceptable, arpitan was almost accepted, but auvergnat for instance looks very weak
- you're missing a trade goods map
- 1 to 1 comparisons (esp. with unbalanced neighbours) are misleading and don't help establish a proper balance. I don't want a repeat of iberiance griefing because spain would be too weak compared to india and in turn portugal wrt spain.
I've just put cultures according language dialect classification for ~1500 year time and got what I've got:
Pour la période médiévale, la langue d’oïl peut être divisée de deux manières33. Son aire linguistique est, en effet, constituée de quatre zones dialectales : armoricaine, burgonde, francienne et franque. Et la langue est composée de neuf dialectes : angevin (ancêtre de l’angevin, du gallo et du mainiot), bourguignon (ancêtre du bourguignon-morvandiau et du franc-comtois), champenois, francien (ancêtre du français), lorrain, normand, picard, poitevin (ancêtre du poitevin-saintongeais), wallon.
2eb311ada66c5597b2ef33900eca43c8.jpg
If I would think myself I would think that maybe Champenois is too weak and can be merged with Francien, or Lorrain merged with Burgundian. Most English sources use Walloon description for both Walloon and Picard areas, yet French sources are always very specific to point out what was Picard and what was Walloon. Anyway not for me to decide what to remove, I've removed only Limousin and Vivaro-Alpine :)
While Auvergnat culture is very strong case. It comes from Arverni Gaul tribe, one of the most powerful tribes. All the way until France unification Auvergnis ruled their lands themselves and preserved their culture. Why would you think it's weak??

I thought about trade goods, probably could give about correct trade goods for half provinces right away, but it's big work and somewhat depresing as there always will be at least few trade goods which fit well for same province.
 

PurpulaPhoenixum53

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Firstly this is exactly the France that the thought of "A France as dense as Britain" encapsulates. The idea is a, in my opinion, a work of Art.

However, seriously, why wouldn't Breton fall into the Celtic group. That group is even smaller than the French.
 
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NaiveCarto

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What a Great France province overhaul project it is, preserved and watch it tomorrow.
 
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mechanical_Critter

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I've just put cultures according language dialect classification for ~1500 year time and got what I've got:
Pour la période médiévale, la langue d’oïl peut être divisée de deux manières33. Son aire linguistique est, en effet, constituée de quatre zones dialectales : armoricaine, burgonde, francienne et franque. Et la langue est composée de neuf dialectes : angevin (ancêtre de l’angevin, du gallo et du mainiot), bourguignon (ancêtre du bourguignon-morvandiau et du franc-comtois), champenois, francien (ancêtre du français), lorrain, normand, picard, poitevin (ancêtre du poitevin-saintongeais), wallon.
View attachment 472975
If I would think myself I would think that maybe Champenois is too weak and can be merged with Francien, or Lorrain merged with Burgundian. Most English sources use Walloon description for both Walloon and Picard areas, yet French sources are always very specific to point out what was Picard and what was Walloon. Anyway not for me to decide what to remove, I've removed only Limousin and Vivaro-Alpine :)
While Auvergnat culture is very strong case. It comes from Arverni Gaul tribe, one of the most powerful tribes. All the way until France unification Auvergnis ruled their lands themselves and preserved their culture. Why would you think it's weak??

I thought about trade goods, probably could give about correct trade goods for half provinces right away, but it's big work and somewhat depresing as there always will be at least few trade goods which fit well for same province.
Just reacting to that, LANGUAGE DOES NOT MAKE CULTURE, especially for such a very stratified dialectal continuum as the french one. You have to make a case why this set of population felt very distinct in administrative, language, general practices, laws, whatever… stuff related to culture in general. Imo Wallon would be a good example to follow amongst the french group: administered from a periphery with somewhat distinct traditions and the like, but still sufficiently close to the french group. I don't see that from Auvergnat, or at least you'd have to submit some materials because it's not obvious to other contributors neither.

Looking at your map again it looks obvious that most of these submissions have a high chance of not being considered, they just won't make 1-state cultures for the sake of displaying some dialectal continuum.
 

Flammifleure

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Personally, I don't share the desire to multiply provinces and areas, and France already got this treatment once. The only thing I really support is giving brittany more provinces so they can better cope with France. Though i don't really care too much, yet. i just hope that paradox will make holding large numbers of provinces/areas easier if the number of them is going to keep increasing.

As for culture, the only ones I think that are really needed are Francien, Burgundian, Walloon, Gascon, Norman, Breton, and Occitan (which is easier and somewhat more correct than "Languedocian"). : p Culture is far more than language, and I also believe it's being used in-game to represent political/separatist sentiment.

Francien ~ because it's the "main" culture of the group.

Breton ~ because of the actual Breotn Celtic influence and its long-standing independence (and I think Breton should belong to the French group, at least at first; it would be nice if it could flip to Celtic via an event).

Norman ~ because of the Viking influence, but more because of the historic ties with England

Burgundian ~ because of the rivalry of the Burgundians with France, with ties to old Middle Francia

Gascon ~ Gascons were noted as being distinctive, and much of Gascony at this time is not part of France

Occitan ~ Occitan is a completely different language, and the region was historically very restive, with some of it still being independent at game start

Walloon ~ because it is part of the Low Countries, and not France

Lorrain, maybe, since Lorraine is like Wallonia part of the Empire and the area has German influences. And maybe Swiss French. Auverngat I can see if the region really was that independent from France.
 
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Mr.Grizzly

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Great suggestion!

The only thing that worries me is the ballance with Iberia.
Easy solution, use @navaluiki Spanish Peninsula proposal (https://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/index.php?threads/a-few-suggestions-for-iberia.1123194/) and they should at least be close. You have to remember that the developers want France to get it's vassal swarm back and to go through a period of centralization. This would give Spain the advantage in the early-mid game and France the advantage during the mid-late game as it was historically.
 

Scorpene

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Here is my proposal for France potential provinces for next update. It should be well balanced map :)


1. PROVINCES OF FRANCE

View attachment 472912

I've used historical provinces of Kingdom of France and some smaller divisions - bailliages & seneschals as main base for most provinces, also geographical definitions (Upper & Lower) to cut some provinces in half.

View attachment 472925
Before French Revolution Normandy had 7 administrative divisions - Grand bailliages:
  • Grand bailliage of Rouen
  • Grand bailliage of Caux
  • Grand bailliage of Evreux
  • Grand bailliage of Gisors (the smallest one and later attached to Rouen)
  • Grand bailliage of Alencon
  • Grand bailliage of Cotentin
  • Grand bailliage of Caen
I've used 6 largest ones and it's easy to split 6-province Normandy into Lower & Upper Normandy states.

Channel Islands province would be another interesting possibility. By most parameters it was more important islands than the likes of Menorca, Ibiza or Isle of Man.
View attachment 472926
I suggest 6 provinces:
  • Nantais
  • Rennais
  • Saint-Malo (Sanit Malo + Dol + Saint-Brieuc)
  • Leon & Tregor (can't decide how to name it)
  • Cornouaille
  • Vannetais
This will make size of provinces more balanced and some extra flavour for independent Brittany won't hurt.
Brittany would be made of 2 states - Upper & Lower Brittany, just as it was divided historically.
Loire valley I've split into 2 states - Anjou & Orleanais.

Anjou state to be made up of Angevin historical counties:
  • Anjou
  • Maine (Upper Maine)
  • Laval (Lower Maine)
  • Touraine
  • Perche
Laval and Perche were separate and highly autonomous counties already before 1444.

Orleanais state to be made up of historical Orleanais & Berry provinces:
  • Orleanais - bailliages of Orleanais & Montargis
  • Blois - bailliages of Blois & Vendome
  • Chartres - bailliage of Chartres
  • Berry - or Upper Berry with chief city of Bourges
  • Chateauroux - or Lower Berry with Chateauroux & Issoudun as contenders for 2nd most important town status in Berry.
This map says it all:
View attachment 472928
Aunis is small province, but it was very important economically and also the most urbanised province in this region thanks to 2 big cities of La Rochelle & Rochefort.
View attachment 472930
Guyenne replaced old term of "Aquitaine" and for EUIV timeframe consisted of 5 historical divisions:
  • Bordelais (with capital Bordeaux)
  • Agenais
  • Perigord
  • Quercy
  • Rouergue

View attachment 472931
While Gascony was one of the most fragmented regions in France. Many interpretations possible there, but I have focused on 15th century possessions:
  • Labourd - province covering Labourd, great port of Bayonne and town of Dax, all of this still at possession of English in 1444.
  • Bearn - part of Bearn & Foix country.
  • Bigorre - covering Bigorre & Comminges both of which were in possession of House of Foix in 1444, yet Comminges shortly after was lost to French Crown.
  • Armagnac - lands in possession of House Armagnac.
  • Albret - lands belonging to House of Albret, that is most of nowadays Landes province and also southern part of historical Bazadais province.
I've split Massif Central region into Limousin & Auvergne. And while I gave same culture - Auvergnat, these 2 regions where actually quite distinct from each other so it makes perfect sense to put them as separate states.

Map of 15th century Limousin:
View attachment 472934
At the time it was bigger - about 20k km2 area, as it also included northern part of Perigord province, small parts of Quercy and etc. And 3 provinces would be perfect for Limousin:
  • La Marche
  • Limoges - also known as Upper Limousin.
  • Turenne - or Lower Limousin, covering Turenne, Ventadour and Comborn.

Limoges was in possession of House of Chatillon, later of House of Albret before it was integrated into France in 16th century, while Turenne was in possession of House of La Tour d'Auvergne until as late as 18th century, so split of Limousin into Limoges & Turenne should give game more flavour and probably the only realistic option how to represent House of La Tour d'Auvergne in 1444.
French wikipedia suggests that small lands of Turenne alone had around 100k inhabitants in 15th century, Ventadour which was fief of La Tour d'Auvergne should make this double, so Turenne province should be relatively populous in 15th century.



Auvergne state can be made up of historical Bourbonnais and Auvergne provinces:
  • Bourbonnais
  • Auvergne (Lower Auvergne)
  • Aurillac (Upper Auvergne)
Maps of Lower & Upper Auvergne:
View attachment 472936

Also worth mentioning that Lower Auvergne was not entirely united in 1444 with House of Bourbon, House of La Tour d'Auvergne and bishop of Clermont having their share of land in it. However I couldn't find any reasonable ways how to further divide it yet province is still quite big and extremely populous compared to other provinces in my map.
My suggested provinces for Languedoc would be:
  • Nimes
  • Vivarais
  • Velay (Velay + Gevaudan)
  • Toulouse
  • Foix
  • Carcassonne
  • Beziers

As you see I remove/rename 2 provinces of France already in game - Narbonnais & Montpellier(!) .
Looks weird, right?
But if we follow the history of Languedoc we'll find that Nimes (also called Beaucaire et Nimes) was the major seneschal (administrative division) of Languedoc existing since 13th century, probably the most important one in entire Languedoc as Nimes-Beaucaire area was economically the most important axis of Languedoc. Seneschal of Montpellier appeared only in mid 16th century as a split from Nimes and was few times smaller than that of Nimes.
While Narbonne was center of Viscounty Narbonnais during Middle Ages but it completely disappears as autonomous division at early 16th century when it gets fully integrated into France. Since then it's integral part of Seneschal of Carcassonne.

Map of Languedoc divisions:
View attachment 472937

Seneschal of Beaucaire et Nimes is also known as Lower Languedoc, while seneschals of Toulouse and Carcassonne make up Upper Languedoc.
Foix becomes separate county independent from Toulouse and is not considered to be part of Languedoc.
Seneschal of Carcassonne is split in half in 16th century and since then is known as Seneschal of Carcassonne & Beziers with seats in Carcassonne & Beziers.
North of seneschal of Beaucaire et Nimes is made up of highly autonomous divisions of Vivarais, Velay and Gevaudan.

Political "weight" of Languedoc divisions as follow:
Nimes - 16 deputies
Toulouse - 16 deputies
Carcassonne - 8 deputies
Beziers - 8 deputies
Villeneuve-de-Berg (Vivarais) - 8 deputies
Annonay - 4 deputies
Velay (Le Puy) - 4 deputies
Mende (Gevaudan) - 4 deputies
Montpellier - 4 deputies
Castres - 4 deputies
Limoux - 4 deputies
Castelnaudary (Lauragais) - 4 deputies

Largest cities in 1800:
Toulouse - 52 000
Nimes - 41 000
Montpellier - 33 000
Carcassonne - 15 000
Beziers - 14 500
Castres - 13 500
Le Puy - 12 000
Albi - 10 000
Narbonne - 9 000

So this is how I come up to proposed states and provinces.
Small Montpellier province probably would find its place in my 8 or 9-province Languedoc, but 7-province Languedoc I think I made about right given historical divisions.
Provence was fragmented, but 4 potential provinces are obvious:
  • Provence - covering 3 large cities of Marseille, Aix and Arles.
  • Toulon - covering Toulon & Draguignan
  • Forcalquier - mountainous inland part of Provence
  • Avignon (or Venaissin) - Papal State area
Map of Savoy-Dauphine in 1447:
View attachment 472938

My proposed provinces for Upper Rhone region (Savoy state) would be:
  • Savoie (Savoie proper) with capital at Chambery.
  • Genevois (city Geneva + Gex + Genevois + Faucigny) - or simply old County of Geneva. For the first 100 year Genevois would be part of Savoy in full, but we know that city Geneva allies Swiss Confederacy and becomes de facto independant from 16th century, while rest of Genevois (then Duchy of Genevois) remains loyal to Savoy.
  • Bresse (Bresse & Bugey)
  • Vaud
  • Valais (Chablais or Lower Valais + Upper Valais)

With such division it will be difficult to picture ownerships of provinces ideally correct but personally I would hold off from giving province of its own to city of Geneva or extremely sparsely populated Upper Valais.
These 5 provinces should be enough to make Upper Rhone detailed enough.


For Dauphine state I would combine historical provinces of Dauphine and Lyonnais.
Dauphine at the time was divided into 8 bailliages while Lyonnais into 3, and I think 5 provinces in similar shapes to nowadays France departments would be ideal for this region:
  • Lyonnais (bailliages of Lyonnais & Beaujolais)
  • Forez
  • Dauphine (bailliages of Vienne, Saint-Marcellin & Grenoble)
  • Valentinois (bailliages of Valence & Die)
  • Gapencais (bailliages of Gap, Briancon & d'Embrun)
View attachment 472939

Burgundy is the only region where I make no new provinces as already in game Dijon, Charolais & Auxerre provinces cover historical bailliages of Burgundy in very balanced way - 6 bailliages each:
  • Dijonais (bailliages of Dijon, Chalon, Beaune, Nuits, d'Auxonne & Saint-Jean-de-Losne)
  • Charolais (bailliages of Charolles, Macon, d'Autun, Montcenis, Semur-en-Brions & Bourbon-Lancy)
  • Auxerrois (bailliages of d'Auxerre, Chatillon, Semur, d'Avallon, d'Arnay-le-Duc & Saulieu)
  • Nivernais


View attachment 472940

But Burgundy can be strenghtened in game by dividing huge province of Franche-Comte into 3 historical bailliages:
  • Vesoul
  • Besancon - it's important to note however that Dole was more important town (early capital of Franche-Comte) than Besancon early on.
  • Poligny - don't know if it's best name for southern province, but French sources suggest that Poligny was chief town and administrative center of this bailliage for 15th-17th centuries.
Bailliages of Champagne were many and very chaotic placed so I would rather look at this map to see and understand geography of Champagne better:
View attachment 472941

My suggested provinces would be:
  • Troyes - historical capital of Champagne, once commercial center of Europe thanks to Champagne Fairs.
  • Reims
  • Rethel - to cover Ardennes region.
  • Meaux (or Provins) - to cover historical region of Brie in Champagne.
  • Langres - the most important town in southeast Champagne.

Historical region of Ile-de-France changed over time, but I concentrate on this map:
View attachment 472942
4 suggested provinces:
  • Valois (Valois, Soissonnais, Noyonnais, Laonnois)
  • Beauvaisis (Beauvaisis, Vexin francais)
  • Paris (Pays de France, Mantois, Hurepoix)
  • Nemours (Brie francaise, Gatinais)
View attachment 472943

Lands of Lorraine since 15th century were divided between Duchy of Bar, Duchy of Lorraine and Bishopric of Metz, Verdun & Toul. Duchy of Lorraine made up the biggest part of Lorraine and historically was divided into 3 bailliages - Vosges, Nancy & "German" (d'Allemagne) bailliages.
And those are the 5 provinces I suggest for Lorraine:
  • Bar - representing Duchy of Bar
  • Metz - representing Bishopric of Metz, Verdun & Toul (placed at northwest corner of Lorraine)
  • Nancy - representing bailliage of Nancy
  • Vosges - representing bailliage of Vosges
  • Saarland - representing bailliage of d'Allemagne and rest of Saarland (County of Nassau-Saarbrucken and etc.)

It's difficult to give proper name for bailliage of d'Allemagne and Saarland is the best choice I come up with. County of Nassau-Saarbrucken was very small, 3-4 times smaller than bailliage of d'Allemagne so Saarland province may cover all historical Saarland and German culture Lorraine. Historical map of province:
View attachment 472944
I've added 3 more provinces in southern Low Countries which all I believe sooner or later will be added to the game - Lille, Vermandois & Arlon.
What I wanted to do more there is to make states which would make most sense there.
View attachment 472945

Picardy state to be made up of Burgundian lands which were inherited by France.
  • Calais
  • Amiens
  • Vermandois
Hainaut state to include counties of Hainaut and Artois which were inherited by Habsburgs after fall of Burgundy. Both counties lie in same geographical area - upper Scheldt river basin and these counties were also southwestern boundary of Seventeen Provinces so it makes perfect sense to separate them from French Picardy state.
  • Hainaut
  • Artois
  • Cambresis
Flanders state to be made up of historical County of Flanders only:
  • Ghent
  • Bruges
  • Lille
Wallonia state to include all historical Wallonia and possibly Luxembourg:
  • Liege
  • Namur
  • Arlon
  • Luxembourg

My intentions were to bring map of France to about the same level of detail as maps of its neighbours England and Germany already are. Proposed provinces might seem many but compared to its neighbours - number is reasonable.
Say if we compare France to Germany in modern borders, we can count that France has only 62 provinces compared to 67 of Germany, yet France is 50% larger in area and during years 1500-1800 was twice as rich (in GDP) and twice as populous compared to Germany in modern boundaries.
What are the reasons for Germany to have more provinces than France? Lots of small independent nations? Well, France was far from united in 1444 and many independent or partly independent tags can be released there as well.




2. FRENCH FIEFS

View attachment 472913

House of Anjou
1444-1481 Anjou
1444-1481 Laval
1448-1481 Maine
1444-1480 Bar
1444-1481 Provence
1444-1481 Toulon
1444-1481 Forcalquier
*it's weird that House of Anjou is called "Provence" in the game now, this should be changed

House of Orleans
1444-1498 Orleanais
1444-1498 Blois
1444-1498 Valois
1444-1498 Angouleme (potentially can be vassal-appanage of Orleans)

House of Bourbon
1444-1522 Bourbonnais
1444-1522 Auvergne
1444-1522 Aurillac
1444-1522 Forez
1477-1522 La Marche

House of Alencon
1449-1525 Alencon
1449-1525 Perche
1497-1525 Armagnac
1497-1525 Rouergue (Rodez)
*it would be nice if there was event for House of Alencon to appear in the game. 1444-1449 truce between France & England, then event fires which starts the England-France war and puts independent 2-province Alencon on French side in war.

House of d'Armagnac
1444-1497 Armagnac
1444-1497 Rouergue (Rodez)
1444-1503 Nemours
1444-1477 La Marche

House of Foix
1444-1479 Foix
1444-1479 Bearn
1444-1479 Bigorre
*since 1479 part of Kingdom Navarre (?)

House of d'Albret
1444-1484 Albret
1470-1484 Limoges
1470-1484 Perigord
*since 1484 part of Kingdom Navarre (?)

House of Chatillon
1444-1470 Limoges
1444-1470 Perigord

House of La Tour d'Auvergne
1444-1738 Turenne




3. FRENCH CULTURE GROUP

View attachment 472916

As of now German, Latin and even Iberian culture group is bigger than French one which is weird given that France is the biggest country out there with probably the largest cultural diversity as well. So I made suggestion how to expand French culture group from 7 into 15 cultures. This should give extra difficulties for France to make full use of its provinces and better portray France regional identities.

Cultures for French group I've split according main language dialects of late medieval France.

Language d'Oil group had 9 main dialects at the time:
  • Norman
  • Angevin - covering Angevin, Mayennais, Sarthois, Percheron & Gallo dialects, but I would leave Gallo for Breton culture
  • Poitevin - Poitevin & Saintongeais dialects
  • Francien - covering Parisien, Orleanais, Tourangeau, Berrichon & Bourbonnais dialects
  • Champenois
  • Burgundian - Burgundy-Morvandiau & Franc-comtois dialects
  • Lorrain
  • Picard
  • Walloon

Language d'Oc (Occitan) I've split into:
  • Languedocian
  • Gascon
  • Auvergnat - covering both Auvergnat & Limousin dialects
  • Provencal - covering both Provencal & Vivaro-Alpine dialects
I cannot think of any reasonable tag with prime culture of Limousin & Vivaro-Alpine, so I don't see them as separate cultures to add.

And then there are Breton and Franco-Provencal (Arpitan) dialects.

All this make up 15 potential cultures for France.




4. DEVELOPMENT

I made lots of research how to spread out provinces in France to make a well balanced map and therefore I have good idea now approx how development should also spread out between different regions of France. Total development is increased there but higher number of states, number of non-French provinces in 1444 and high cultural diversity should well counterbalance this from making France more powerful. At least for the first 50-100 years France should be far more busy in uniting its historical lands and be more restricted from expanding elsewhere.

View attachment 472918

To better understand France I've checked how it was divided politically - Estates General of 1789, and what were its largest cities, and population and urban population distribution - perfect source for this.

Maybe it's not ideally good to use year 1800 sources, but at least they are reliable.
For year 1500 general trend would be that coastal provinces were not as advanced as they were in 1800, especially Brittany, Languedoc and Provence. While inland areas, especially those of Loire valley, Champagne or even Limousin & Auvergne had greater role for economy and higher share of France population.

Maps look like this:
View attachment 472919

Some more things to note.

Lille is the only major city of France not present in EUIV. Potential province of Lille is quite small but as we see through maps I made it's very densely populated and had 2nd largest urban population in year 1800 after Paris. In 15th century Lille had about 25k inhabitants and was one of the Burgundian capitals among Dijon, Bruges and Brussels. It's madness that it's still not in game!

Mediterranean used to be among most sparsely populated regions in France, especially during 15-16th centuries. But at same time it was the most urbanised region of France with half population of coastal Provence and Languedoc living in towns and cities, at least so in year 1800.

And finally I want to bring attention to Basse-Auvergne province. French wikipedia suggests that there were about half million inhabitants in Basse-Auvergne in 14th century which should make it by far the most populous province in my France map in year 1444. Not only it was populous, but it also had one of the most dense network of medium sized towns and strong industry. Auvergne economy was booming particularly in years between Hundred Year War and Wars of Religion. Paper mills of Auvergne are among the oldest ones in France and the most numerous at the time (Ambert-Thiers surroundings) which made Auvergne leading region of paper production during centuries before French Revoliution. Cutlery was another major industry in Auvergne which had no match in France and which gave city of Thiers international reputation. So Basse-Auvergne is large, populous, decently urbanised and very industrous province which should make it among most developed provinces of France in year 1444 I think.




5. TRADE

And finally suggestion on trade. There is always room for different interpretations, but I believe that I interpreted history of French trade really accurate there, at least what comes to area change of trade nodes and locations of most important trade ports during XV-XVIII centuries.

View attachment 472923


English Channel
I think England has way too many provinces in English Channel now which just do not fit concept of English Channel trade. If we look geographically - only Wessex, Sussex, Essex & East Anglia are near English Channel. And what a coincidence - those are the richest and most urbanised regions of England during 15-17th centuries, thanks to ... trade activities on English Channel. Regions in the north like Mercia or Wales were commercially remote regions and developed only much later - at the time when trade with America was going full scale. Even great port of Bristol has no history of big involvement in trade on English Channel but dominated trade with Ireland, Wales, or even Iceland instead, so Bristol and everything north of it would fit North Sea trade node much better I think.

Rheinland
Valley of Meuse should be Rheinland trade area as city like Liege was heavily involved in iron trade with Cologne and other German cities and hadn't much to do with Champagne fairs. Same with Metz & Lorraine - those are left bank Rhine, trade with France was never as important as trade along Rhine before 1800.

Champagne
Medieval times are past and glory days of Champagne Fairs are over, but this trade node still could represent land routes linking Mediterranean with English Channel. Troyes, Orleans, Paris and Lyon were 4 key inland commercial hubs of France during different periods of time and I think all these 4 should be in trade node which is supposed to be main trade node for France. Champagne trade node should also contain Savoy, Geneva and all French Switzerland along upper Rhone, Burgundy and Franche-Comte along Saone and Auvergne which was heavily involved in south-north trade directions linking it with Lyon & Orleans.

Bordeaux
All western France coast, Basque lands, Limousin which is historical Aquitaine with strong commercial link to Bordeaux and Anjou-Touraine which connected Nantes with Orleans.

Genoa
Only coastal Mediterannean France states should be there I think.
Seville -> Bordeaux
This one is must to include. It should be good for game play and it's historically important and correct - every article on France-Spain trade relations will highlight how profitable was trade for French merchants with Seville and other ports of Iberia.

Bordeaux & Rheinland -> English Channel instead of Champagne -> English Channel
This one is just idea. Now Champagne trade node is too weak to keep up decent amount of trade since it has 2 major trade nodes steering trade from it while competition in Bordeaux trade node is plain boring - there's no incentive to send light ships neither for France neither for anyone else there (only for Brittany for as long as it survives). And as history says France trade balance wasn't bad with England & Netherlands but it constantly ran into big deficit with Italian traders, so single exit from Champagne to Genoa may well picture that. It can also be noted that Lyon, Burgundy, Franche-Comte and even Champagne were frequently visited by Italian traders and had Italian merchant communities while English or Dutch merchants were rarely to be seen there.
Rheinland -> English Channel would be as correct as it can only be.
Major trade ports
  • Rouen
  • Nantes
  • Bordeaux
  • Marseille
For different periods of time all of these could be seen as no.1 port of France. Estuary next to CoT fit nice for these.

Other coastal trade centers
  • Bayonne - Bayonne merchants were controlling large share of trade in Bay of Biscay since medieval times actively participating in trade between Spain, France and England. Also Bayonne was the largest city in Gascony after Bordeaux.
  • La Rochelle - one of the most important ports of France in western coast, especially early on, while later it was somewhat outcompeted by Bordeaux & Nantes.
  • Saint-Malo - major commercial port of Brittany since Middle Ages and port of the largest Breton merchant group known as Malouin traders. They were largely autonomous traders establishing even Merchant Republic of Saint-Malo in 1590 for few years. Malouin traders were especially active on international scene participating actively in trade with America and French East India Company affairs. French sources suggest that Saint-Malo had the largest ocean going trade fleet in 17th century compared to any other French port.
  • Dieppe & Le Havre - major port cities of Caux. Dieppe used to be 2nd most important port of Normandy after Rouen, but it didn't take too long for Le Havre to claim this position. Caux province should be fierce commercial competitor to Rouen, while Lower Normandy remained commercially neglected region.
  • Calais - this one is tough call. Very important staple port of England early on, but since French occupation its commercial premience is over and it is nothing more but fishing port of no particular importance. If only possible I would use some other trade modifier there, something similar to Sound Toll which would benefit only England if England owns Calais.
  • Lille & Dunkirk - province of major commercial importance. Dunkirk starts as lesser port compared to Calais but from 17th century it clearly outcompetes Calais. While Lille stayed commercially important all centuries long - little Paris of the north. I guess CoTs in Calais-Lille-Bruges might be too much there and I would sacrifice Calais in first place as from France historical perspective French-Flanders was far more commercially important.
I skip all the ports like Brest, Toulon, Lorient and Cherbourg as they were either military ports or developed only much later - after 1700 and later.

Major inland trade centers
  • Orleans
  • Lyon
  • Paris
Thanks to their great positions on Loire, Rhone & Seine respectively these were the largest and most important commercial & financial centers of continental France.

Major Trade Fairs
  • Troyes - main market town of legendary Fairs of Champagne. Fairs of Champagne had lost its importance in 15th century already, but Troyes remained main commercial town of Champagne region for at least few more centuries.
  • Beaucaire (near Nimes) - the largest French trade fair during 13-19th centuries in Mediterannean region. It is said that one week of fair was exceeding total volume of yearly trade done in Marseilles.

Other commercial towns of France
  • Metz - main commercial town in Lorraine since Midde Ages.
  • Besancon - financial fair founded by Genoese bankers and traders in 16th century gave big stimulus for Besancon to become the largest and commercially the most important town in Franche-Comte.
  • Dijon - it's central position with well developed roads to all directions made it main trade hub and capital of Burgundy.
  • Tours - it was major commercial and industrial town of France during 15-16th centuries with over 50 000 inhabitants and silk industry (oldest in France). During next centuries however Tours went into decline.
  • Angers - capital of Anjou, its great position near confluence of Sarthe, Mayenne & Loire rivers made it main trade hub of Maine-Anjou region.
  • Clermont-Ferrand - the largest town of Auvergne wasn't particularly industrous itself, but it was main center of commerce with 4 annual fairs for many surrounding industrous towns of Auvergne like Thiers, Ambert, Riom, Issoire and etc.
  • Limoges - with many well developed roads to all directions Limoges was trade hub for region within 100km range around. But mostly it profited as being trade station on road linking Bordeaux with central France.
  • Reims - I guess it's mistake that Reims is level 2 COT in EUIV now - misplacement of Champagne Fairs? However Reims was commercially important town and could use level 1 COT if high density of COTs is preferred.
  • Toulouse - I confess that sources I went through state that Toulouse had relatively small commerce given that it was major town, however there are no other more important commercial town in provinces around.

Other trade centers outside France
  • Bilbao - Basques were well renown for their merchants and sailors, and Bilbao was the greatest port in region, one of the richest in whole Bay of Biscay.
  • Norwich - 2nd largest city of England during 15-17th centuries which is said to be as rich as London back then. All this thanks to intense wool trade with Low Countries which was set up by Flemish(Dutch) merchants since Middle Ages. *Overall I think Norfolk should be split into Norfolk & Suffolk as East Anglia used to be the most urbanised and developed region of England.
  • Southampton - with the best harbour on southern coast of England Southampton attracted lots of commerce along English Channel.
  • Liege - Meuse valley was well renowned for its metal industry, especially iron, and Liege was by far the largest and most important town of this trade.
  • Zurich - the most mercantile town of Switzerland back then. COT should be moved from Bern to Zurich.
  • Geneva - commercial and financial capital of upper Rhone region.

I hope all this can be useful :)
@neondt
Fantastic. And i love the idea of playing with not only vassal but minor houses. And we also need France not to have any queens in EUIV. It is not possible.

I love what you did. Really. You should maybe see to mix your thread with the other great french thread :)
 
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BalticM

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Just reacting to that, LANGUAGE DOES NOT MAKE CULTURE, especially for such a very stratified dialectal continuum as the french one. You have to make a case why this set of population felt very distinct in administrative, language, general practices, laws, whatever… stuff related to culture in general. Imo Wallon would be a good example to follow amongst the french group: administered from a periphery with somewhat distinct traditions and the like, but still sufficiently close to the french group. I don't see that from Auvergnat, or at least you'd have to submit some materials because it's not obvious to other contributors neither.

Looking at your map again it looks obvious that most of these submissions have a high chance of not being considered, they just won't make 1-state cultures for the sake of displaying some dialectal continuum.
Before saying something like this you should at least try to read something about this.
"Stratified dialectal continuum" you talk about didn't exist in 1500, neither even in 1800. I've put it all as "French language dialect groups" but it would be more correct to call them separate languages which are just somewhat similar to each other. French was used by upper classes, courts and etc all over the France, but peasant and other lower classes (over 90% population) were talking their regional languages which were different and unique for every region at the time.
And it's far from just languages.
Every culture group I wrote down has very clear regional identity formed over many years and valid even up to these days.
Lombard culture for Lombardy is ok.
Piedmont culture for Piedmont region is ok.
Norman culture for Normandy region is ok.
But suddenly Auvergnat culture for Auvergne region, Picard culture for Picardy region, Champenois culture for Champagne region and etc etc are not ok?
What Auvergnat people did differently compared to Normans that you see Norman as valid culture group and Auvergnat not as example?
You think people of Amiens would agree that they were Walloon and not Picard people?

All in all I'm not expert explaining it all well nor have big knowledge of this, but I didn't invent this map, I've just used classification made by historians.
 

BalticM

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However, seriously, why wouldn't Breton fall into the Celtic group. That group is even smaller than the French.
In such case there would be only 3 Breton provinces as culture of Saint-Malo, Rennes and Nantes provinces was entirely French (Gallo-Angevin).
I don't think that this would serve well for game but again, not for me to decide :)
 

mechanical_Critter

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All in all I'm not expert explaining it all well nor have big knowledge of this, but I didn't invent this map, I've just used classification made by historians.
No, but the converse is true. The continuum was much more detailed with a lot of variation of dialects. That continuum extended all the way to Italy, too (I think Spain too but I'm not too confident on that). There were absolutely MASSIVE efforts to erase that diversity both during and after game time by french governments, therefore most of what we have now is a slight cultural stratification.

Before saying something like this you should at least try to read something about this.
"Stratified dialectal continuum" you talk about didn't exist in 1500, neither even in 1800. I've put it all as "French language dialect groups" but it would be more correct to call them separate languages which are just somewhat similar to each other. French was used by upper classes, courts and etc all over the France, but peasant and other lower classes (over 90% population) were talking their regional languages which were different and unique for every region at the time.
And it's far from just languages.
Every culture group I wrote down has very clear regional identity formed over many years and valid even up to these days.
Lombard culture for Lombardy is ok.
Piedmont culture for Piedmont region is ok.
Norman culture for Normandy region is ok.
But suddenly Auvergnat culture for Auvergne region, Picard culture for Picardy region, Champenois culture for Champagne region and etc etc are not ok?
What Auvergnat people did differently compared to Normans that you see Norman as valid culture group and Auvergnat not as example?
You think people of Amiens would agree that they were Walloon and not Picard people?
you're showing some serious "esprit de clocher" right there. This sort of bullshit is precisely what the culture map of EU does not represent. This game is not about culture, and the culture part is used as a tool to represent coarsely and efficiently how population aggregated/resisted some rules, not put a medal on this or that group for having a special language, hairstyle, economy, lifestyle or whatever.

What Auvergnat people did differently compared to Normans that you see Norman as valid culture group and Auvergnat not as example?
Imo the strongest justification of the Norman culture group (which imo is still rather weak but w/e) is that it was land that was owned by the king of england during HYW, and therefore it looks appropriate to let english accept that culture if they so desire, while not giving away the entire Francien culture group. There is also the imo weaker justification that the traditions were still very strong, with the duke of Normandy having historically enforced his claim to the English throne, in some relation to his viking ancestry as well.

You think people of Amiens would agree that they were Walloon and not Picard people?
Wow are we having this discussion about people feeling offended AGAIN? What a really epic way to push forward your submissions. Surely nothing counter productive will come of that. Surely any dev passing by would be eager to put both hands in the hornet nest. After all, not doing so would be offensive, wouldn't it? ;)
 

BalticM

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you're showing some serious "esprit de clocher" right there. This sort of bullshit is precisely what the culture map of EU does not represent. This game is not about culture, and the culture part is used as a tool to represent coarsely and efficiently how population aggregated/resisted some rules, not put a medal on this or that group for having a special language, hairstyle, economy, lifestyle or whatever.
It's good that you "know" what culture is supposed to represent in EUIV :)
While I follow rules stated by devs.

All cultures from my suggestion have at least 3 provinces and at least 1 potential prime nation.
Breton - Brittany
Norman - Normandy
Angevin - Anjou
Poitevin - Poitou
Francien - France, Orleans, Bourbon, Berry, Chatillon etc.
Champenois - Champagne
Burgundian - Burgundy
Lorrain - Lorraine & Bishopric of Metz
Picard - Picardy, Artois and Hainaut
Walloon - Liege
Arpitan - Dauphine, Savoy
Auvergnat - Auvergne
Provencal - Provence (not the same as the one already in EUIV)
Languedocian - Toulouse, Foix
Gascon - Gascony, Armagnac, Albret

french_coats_of_arms_by_hillfighter.png
As I see maybe Limousin can be valid culture as well.
 

Mr.Grizzly

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Cultures don't need a minimum of 3 provinces to be in game, otherwise Maltese would like to know your location. :p
 

EasternTiger

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Cultures don't need a minimum of 3 provinces to be in game, otherwise Maltese would like to know your location. :p
They do if you're asking the devs to implement more new cultures. The devs will only consider it if the culture has a minimum of 3 provinces. Otherwise Paradox would have to add many different culture not yet represented in the game, such as the Assyrians, Cumans, Corsicans, Chuvash, Mordvins, Edo, Igbo, Ossetians, etc. I do wish they could sometimes relax that policy, as it's just weird that the Benin Kingdom is Yoruba instead of Edo as it should be.
 

deserk

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This is a great suggestion. The only thing I would suggest adding on top would be a province of Lower Navarre (Basque culture, held by Navarre) separated from Labourd, as the crown of Navarre continued to survive for many centuries under French sphere of influence, when the western Navarre lands were conquered by Castile.
 
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Naranjito

Second Lieutenant
Mar 26, 2018
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Very good work.

I believe that currently the combination Castilla + Aragon (Iberian wedding yes or yes) + Naples, is stronger than France.
At least in the game not multiplayer, and in difficult mode.

I do not see badly that France is doped in provinces and development, and that until 1550-1600 has not been unified and begins to centralize (mission).

I currently feel sorry for France, with less money and army than Spain and in 1500, most of the games.

You do not need to join forces with Austria to defeat them.

But come on, France should have more provinces and development at the beginning of the game. And Spain better generals or military ideas, (at the beginning of the game). And that there are many states and cultures in France also seems right to me. France is a long-distance race.

By the way, how much total development have you put into France?