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You could always go for domination of England--another rightful province of France. :)
Lord E - Thanks for the encouragement. I might just do that.

Grahamule - Sounds like a good idea. My navy is amongst the strongest in the known world, if not actually so, so an expedition would probably yield some interesting results. I'd probably start with Japan and then head into China. Interesting...

Morpheus - I had actually given that some real "strong" consideration especially after the relative ease at which I invaded and dominated Southern England. Not sure on that one yet.

Cornelius - Yeah I wasn’t familiar with your name and I appreciate the compliments. Hope to see you more often... We need more people coming to this forum to keep it alive. EU1 is still a fantastic and highly enjoyable game.
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Part XII. The Rise to Greatness.

The years following victory over austria were those of consolidation. They were also years of intense diplomatic activity between France and former enemies England, along with Prussia. This culminated, incredibly, in first royal marriages between the countries and ultimately the invitation to alliance by England in 1603.

The development of the french navy was increasing at a rate that far outstripped her opponents. Large Naval Equipment Manufactories were cropping up all over the place not to mention the massive shipyard in Vendee. The development of blockading tactics (Naval:19) was of particular worth to the kingdom in her attempt to secure the homelands. The chance to test the newly enlarged and powerful navy came quicker than expected in the war of 1613.

Portugal, long since dominated by her larger iberian cousin, used the alliance with France, England and Prussia to attempt to reassert her statehood in the peninsula. It was soon proven to be far from a trivial matter of honour an alliance. By mid 1614 it was very clear that the gravest threat in fact came from a 100 thousand strong savoyard army led by the incredibly talented Charles Emmanuel. As Louis XIII was crowned king of France large swathes of territory in the south lay under the hand of Savoy (Fig.46). It isnt until October 1617 that the French armies have any sure sign of success with the capture of Savoy and the siege of Genoa. In mid 1618 the war is officially over by treaty. Charles Emmanuel has escaped to fight another day although the threat of this tiny kingdom had not gone unnoticed... nor had the more advanced equipment or training.

Measures were immediately put in place to improve the defence of the realm (Land:12 Lvl 3 Fortresses) and great fortifications were erected (Fig.47) along the entire kingdom within a mere few years. Development with naval strategies had not ceased either with advancements in the field of cartography (Naval:21) which would assist the effort to explore the globe. In 1625 the beginnings of a shipyard were put into place in Havana (Fig.48) greatly enlargening the presence of the French Navy in this region and further accelarating the growth of its capital city, Saint Barthelemy.

As time went on, the situation on the savoy border, was becoming increasingly unacceptable (Fig.49). thousands and thousands of men and materials were being sent into the region and development was poured into the areas. This resulted in the construction of a shipyard in provence, and a refinery in languedoc in 1628. Even trade benefited from increased effeciency and organisation (Trade:5 High Baroque). In 1631 Magny, a great minister for Louis XIII, would set about making France one of the greatest nations on earth.

Fig. 46 - - - - - - Fig. 47 - - - - - - Fig. 48 - - - - - - Fig. 49​
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Part XIII. Louisiana.

Magny was to set in motion some very consequential actions for france. He was able to persuade King Louis XIII to approve the foundation of a new colony in southern north america named after himself. The province, now named "Louisiana", had been visited before... but active settlement had never been attempted before. By 1634 the colony had grown well with colonisation being pushed strongly. In late 1634, Jean Nicollet signed on with the Compagnie des Louisiana to go to the provinces and serve as an interpreter. He ended becoming an impromptu explorer (Fig.50) later going on to discover much of central north america during his travels (Fig.51).

By 1640 a provincial capital, New Orleans, had sprung up and become a city within its own right. Men and Materials were poured in to protect and develop the province. It was noticed around this time that the only enlgish city in north america, savannah, had obviously been won by Spain in the last war. The sheer size of the settlement near Louisiana prompted a marked increase in the colonial army presence and fortifications within the region (Fig.52).

Throughout the 1640's Louisiana remained the principal focus of Magny, Louis XIV and his successor "Anne d'Autriche". Development was continued for some considerable time leading to a sizeable, organised, populous and well defended colony by 1649 (Fig.53).

Fig. 50 - - - - - - Fig. 51 - - - - - - Fig. 52 - - - - - - Fig. 53​
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Is creating Louisiana now a new goal for you? I like it... :)

EDIT: Woohooo, finally a Field Marshal! :D
Part XIV. Louis XIV & The Great War of 1656.

The coronation of Louis XIV was to spark of the transformation of France into the premier western european state. His first course of action was to prepare the army for war against the savoyard upstarts. In 1652 the Navy introduced (Naval:24) Naval Infantry into its ranks to further its ability to board and capture ships rather than simply blow them out of the water. Successful diplomatic overtures were made with England and Bohemia (Royal Marriages) to assure those states of France's intentions. It wasnt until 1655 the Savoy could see the vast build up of French men in the region to there west and by that time it was too late. A formal declaration of war was handed to the kingdom on Sept.23 1656 (Fig.54). The war drew in a strong continental alliance that was to trigger off a war between a myriad of states and kingdoms (France, England, Portugal and Venice VS. Savoy, Papal States, Spain and the Knights) that many would see as a primarily Protestant/Catholic conflict. This time Savoy would not get off so lightly.

Turenne marched against spanish held Nice and Conde marched against Savoy itself and both provinces quickly came under siege. The modest armies that had defended both were swept aside. By May 1657 both Savoy and Nice had been captured, Genoa was under siege and soon fell. The trading city-state was annexed to the Kingdom of France soon after (Fig.55). This allowed the focus of the war to shift to Spain, both on the continent, and in the new world. The focus of the war shifted to the capture of former-english colony Savannah and of Nice south of Savoy. When Madrid fell in mid-1658 those demands were met with the acquisition of Savannah(Fig.56) and Nice, not to mention the annexation of Savoy (Fig.57).

Fig. 54 - - - - - - Fig. 55 - - - - - - Fig. 56 - - - - - - Fig. 57​
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They're both still there, just have been eaten alive by Spain and Turkey, respectively :p :D
Originally posted by Grahamule
Nice update, but where's Portugal and Hungary :confused: :confused: :confused:

Portugal paid the price for actions against Spain, fortunately though, they have a well established empire around the globe that has protected them from total annexation. Our wars against the Spanish have given them some hope but they are just too weak...

Hungary? Swallowed whole by Turkey/Austria :(
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Part XIV. Rebellions, Development and Prestige.

The years following the war of 1656 are a strange mix indeed. The early years are dominated by rebellions in Savoy, Genoa and Nice (The most serious occuring from 1658-65) (Fig.58) that take some time to finally quell. In 1659, the last combatant of the war the Knights, a paid off with a generous indemnity. They are warned not to make war against France again.

Later that year development in the military is given serious injection with the establishment of the first large scale weapon manufacturies (Land:17). In the coming years they are built in earnest across the kingdom (Dauphine 1662, Auvergne 1671, Lorraine 1672, Limousin 1675, Cevennes 1678, Nivernais 1683) (Fig.59) (Fig.60). In 1662 the organisation and infrastructure of the kingdom was developed with the promotion of Governers both at home and in the new world (Infrastructure:5). This is further expanded with the creation of the firsty "mighty" fortresses in the Kingdom (Land:20 Level 4 Fortresses). Several of these were built immediately in the most troubling spots but they were soon extended across the entirety of France.

In 1676 France took the lead by creating and leading its own alliance drawing in England and the Palatinate. It used this security to allow it to continue development primarily on the military front. In 1684 the construction of the largest fortresses on the continent at that time (Land:29: Level 5 Fortress) along with the first "Conscription Centres" (Land:31) shortly afterwards in 1687 led to a highly militarised and defensible state (Fig.61). It was around that time that France, peaceful for so long, decided to make its presence felt once more.

Fig. 58 - - - - - - Fig. 59 - - - - - - Fig. 60 - - - - - - Fig. 61​
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Yay, Languish has returned too! I await the continuation of this AAR with great anticipation. :D
Oh wow, I wondered where you have been. Loved all your AAR's, very picturetastic. :)