Salik

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Salik, I have thoroughly enjoyed this first half of Danish imperialism. Here's to the next 211 years of Denmark!

I hearby award this AAR the second ever Irish Shamrock Cookie!

Congratulations Salik!:cool:

What an honour. I shall display it most proudly in my signature. Thank you, sir

This is by far the finest Scandinavian AAR this forum has seen in many moons and amongst some of the best history book styled AARs I've read ;)

Coming from you, that is indeed flattering. Glad to have you on board

GAHHH! You drive a hard bargain, and I'll take it within the week... :D

Oh, well. If you don't update by Thursday, I will have to. I have my girlfriend coming to visit me in California from Thursday night, so no updates between then and sometime after the 17th.

Also, remember to vote in the ACA's round 3. As always, this AAR is eligible in the category "History".
 
Last edited:

Salik

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Well, if it's any comfort, it is Denmark-Sweden now...

Also, as I probably will be busy the next few days, here it comes: Chapter XXIV!

There is a rather high possibility that I won't be online before the 18th. So 'till then I bid you farewell and hope you will enjoy this chapter
 

Salik

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Chapter XXIV: Dette landet Harald berget*

Gyldenstjerne.png


Coat of arms of the House of Gyldenstierne

The 18th of October, 1599 was a clear, crisp autumn day in Wümmel, a small village between Bremen and Hamburg, not far from Lüneburger Heide in the Duchy of Mecklenburg-Ruppin-Magdeburg. The night had been cold and cloudy, the first night frosts were starting, but as the dawn came, the inhabitants woke up to clear skies. The topsoil of the fields was frozen, as were the puddles still standing from the showers of the day before. The roosters started crowing, and the young girls got up to milk the cows, while the youngest boys were stirring the embers to get a fire burning for breakfast porridge.

At sunrise a trumpet sounded across the fields. In the distance, first one, then two, then five, ten, fifty, hundreds of men came pouring over a hilltop and down on the plain, their bright banners flying, drums and trumpets playing. There were thousands and thousands of men. Some were on horseback, but most were on foot. Behind them, large bronze cast cannons were being pulled by horses and positioned on the hilltop. The older boys ran out to see what was going on, but were held back by the mothers.
Then, from the North, came a rider. He rode through the village and towards the great army on the plain. For half an hour, all was quiet. Then the rider returned, riding back north. For hours, all that was heard was the horses neighing, as the villagers tried to go about their daily duties as usual. At noon, something happened. The drums started drumming, and the murmuring of the men could now be heard. From the North, a new trumpet sounded. Then, another great army approached from the distance. This army consisted mostly of mounted troops. They were fewer than the first army and had no artillery. This army was flying the royal standards, which meant that king Harald must be with it. Again, a rider came flying through the village, this time from the first army. He returned shortly after. Then, trumpets on both sides sounded signals, and the men gave terrible cries. The villagers went inside and prayed to God for deliverance.

For hours, all that was heard was the thunder of the cannons, the hooves of horses clasping the ground, the heartbreaking cries of men that were blown to pieces by the cannonballs or trampled to death. Then, a great silence. Not a bird was singing, not a dog barking. It was as if the entire world stood still. Suddenly, drums could be heard again. Then trumpets, blowing a fanfare. The villagers came out of their houses. The great plain was filled with death and wounded men and horses. The king’s army had taken the field and was now erecting a large tent camp. The cannons stood forlorn on the hilltop, their owners having deserted them. A small group of men came to the city and started commandeering supplies in the name of the crown. Cows and pigs were hauled off, as well as bags of flour. The villagers were paid for their livestock, but not very handsomely. No compensation was paid for the fields, which would be hard to plough the following spring with all the broken arms and dead bodies that littered it.

Who the king had fought and why was not discovered until late at night, when a local peasant family were awoken by a knock on the door. Three men dressed as monks stood outside. The first one stepped in, threw back his hood and said in a bit shoddy German: “You shall be rewarded handsomely for hiding us tonight. For I am Haakon of Norway, the righteous Lord of these lands.”

christian4_tilhest.jpg

Harald IV at the battle of Wütten

How Haakon IX Rosenkrantz got away from the battle of Wütten is to this day unknown. At the battle, his continental armies, that only a month before had been headed straight for the Eider river and the kingdom of Denmark, were annihilated by a smaller, but better equipped force led by his cousin Harald IV. Thousands of men died that day, and the Danish army conquered the heavy Norwegian artillery that was brought along to break the walls of Copenhagen. The defeat could well have been fatal for Haakon, who found himself stranded in the lands of his fiercest enemy. Yet, he managed to escape and show up in the independent and neutral County of Oldenburg in the beginning of November, two weeks after the battle. From there he procured a ship, which sailed him to Bergen. Once in Norway, he managed to raise enough troops to fight off the first invasion of the Danish-Swedish armies. These armies had travelled all the way from Karelia within two months, and were exhausted, but by Springtime, their ranks had been filled again. Fresh forces from the Danish mainland came from the South and lifted the siege of Lund. But things were still about to get worse for Haakon. In March 1600, the Republic of Novgorod agreed to a white peace with Harald, and the next month, a treaty was signed with Lithuania and Great Britain, by which all British possessions North of the Great Lakes and the Sehested River, along with the British half of the island of Newfoundland were ceded to the Danish crown. Haakon found himself alone in a war against his cousin, the king of the entire Baltic region.

In May, a grand invasion was started. Danish-Swedish troops entered Norway from the South through Bohuslän and by sea from Jylland. By August, all the Southern provinces of Norway were conquered, and Haakon found himself rambling through the very scarcely populated Northern regions. In October, he was intercepted in Hålogaland, and drowned in a fjord while trying to escape. The great gamble he had undertaken to win all of Scandinavia had been lost, as he overestimated his own capabilities compared to his cousin.

By the death of his father, Haakon X became the second consecutive child king of Norway. He was already king of Brunswick since 1599, but without the support of his father, or of Denmark-Sweden, he was forced to abdicate, and was replaced by a local nobleman. His new kingdom was occupied by his uncle Harald IV, who claimed to be rightful king of Norway. After two months of negotiations, in which France, the Pope and the Holy Roman Emperor had to intervene, it was agreed that Haakon could be crowned king of Norway. However, by the treaty of Bergen, which put an end to the war, the Danish-Swedish armies would remain in Norway until the death of Haakon, by which time a new agreement was to be made. The province of Iceland would be handed over as a dependency of the Danish-Swedish crown. In fact, this was an annexation of Norway into the kingdom. Although Haakon X was king by name, he really only controlled the city of Oslo. Norwegian laws and customs were still in force throughout the land, but the provinces were in fact part of Denmark-Sweden. The final blow would only be a matter of time.

When Haakon died unexpectedly in 1609, his younger brother Olav V took the throne. According to the treaty of Bergen, a new agreement was to be made concerning the future of Norway. A short war was fought over the matter, in which the city state of Riga became the last part of the Baltic coast, save Marienburg, to be incorporated in Denmark-Sweden. The city was granted rights as a free city. In July of 1609, Olav V surrendered the crown of Norway to Harald. The city of Oslo was kept as a vassal princedom ruled by the Rosenkrantz family, but the rest of the country was now officially part of the new triple kingdom of Denmark-Sweden-Norway.

*This country, Harald won or united.
 
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Qorten

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The villagers were paid for their livestock, but not very handsomely. No compensation was paid for the fields, which would be hard to plough the following spring with all the broken arms and dead bodies that littered it.

Maybe there is no need to plough. All that human flesh and blood is excellent manure, I've been told. ;)

Also: Minor mistake in the first paragraph under the Wütten battle scene, you wrote Haakon IX Gyldenstierne, instead of Rosenkrantz.
 
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Milites

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Well at least dear Christian got some field glory in this timeline. Although I don't really think "King Harald stood by lofty mast" sounds as great as the current version.

Bah, whatever ^^

King Harald stood by the lofty mast
In mist and smoke;
His sword was hammering so fast,
Through Norse helm and brain it passed;
Then sank each hostile hulk and mast,
In mist and smoke.
"Fly!" shouted they, "fly, he who can!
Who braves of Denmark's Harald,
Who braves of Denmark's Harald,
In battle?"

Oh and it's also great to note that Scandinavia now, hypothetically, is only 10 years from unification.
 

Salik

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Maybe there is no need to plough. All that human flesh and blood is excellent manure, I've been told. ;)

Also: Minor mistake in the first paragraph under the Wütten battle scene, you wrote Haakon IX Gyldenstierne, instead of Rosenkrantz.

I make that mistake A LOT when I write. I just kind of feel like Rosenkrantz should have been the Danish branch. Oh well, too late now, and besides Gyldenstierne does have a nicer COA

Excellent description of the battle! Nice portrait too! :)

Thanks. Glad you enjoyed it. How is Sweden-Pomerania coming along?:p

Well at least dear Christian got some field glory in this timeline. Although I don't really think "King Harald stood by lofty mast" sounds as great as the current version.

Bah, whatever ^^

King Harald stood by the lofty mast
In mist and smoke;
His sword was hammering so fast,
Through Norse helm and brain it passed;
Then sank each hostile hulk and mast,
In mist and smoke.
"Fly!" shouted they, "fly, he who can!
Who braves of Denmark's Harald,
Who braves of Denmark's Harald,
In battle?"

Oh and it's also great to note that Scandinavia now, hypothetically, is only 10 years from unification.

:D Almost stood up straight to honor the Royal Anthem there (haven't done that for ages...)

The "Christian" of this timeline had something his OT-counterpart didn't have: A superior army. Without that- well...;)

Also, I have a long break between classes, so here it comes: Factbox number SIX!
 

Salik

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Factbox: The Private Life of Harald IV​

During the reign of Harald IV, the court became a secluded world of its own. Since Harald saw himself as having power by birth rather than virtue, he preferred to see people around him who were in the same position. So while the state to a large extent was run by administrators of common birth, the court was filled with scheming, slandering noblemen, all of whom imagined themselves to have the kings ear, and thus enormous influence on the matters of the state. The seclusion of the court from the actual workings of the state made the administration inefficient, as all decisions had to be approved by the king, who was seldom available.

The king was married three times. His first marriage was to a Muscovite Princess, Olga. When they were engaged in 1587, she was 14. Harald was 27. The wedding was arranged for her 18th birthday, but when Frederik III died in 1588, the schedule was rushed, so that she could participate in Harald’s coronation. The ceremony took place just hours before the coronation, and the very frail, 15 year old girl was anointed as queen of a country she had only arrived in days before. At the same time she was baptized by a Catholic priest. The marriage was not a happy one. Olga did not adjust well to the Danish climate, culture or the elaborate manners of the court. Having come from a dying kingdom, a shadow of its former self, the contrast to the pompous Frederiksborg Castle, the centre of an Empire that stretched from Nordkap to Lüneburg and from Ny Norge in Vinland to Neva in the swampy regions inland from the Baltic, could not have been greater. Harald regarded the marriage as purely dynastical. The pale, unattractive Olga was of little interest to him other than ensuring an heir to the throne.

Sophie-Amalie-Danmark.jpg

Queen Olga

How much effort Harald put into the task of procreation inside of wedlock is, of course, unknown, but let it suffice to say, that during the first eighteen years of their marriage, Harald is known to have become the father of several children, while Olga remained childless. These children, most of who were born to young, unmarried noblewomen, became the ancestors of the prominent family Daneskiold, from which so many ministers, ambassadors and viceroys of the Administrative Monarchy came. The family would get further branches later on, as it became customary for the Gyldenstierne dynasty to call their illegitimate children Daneskiold. On the 2nd of September 1606, a boy was born to Olga, and prayers of gratitude were held throughout the kingdom, the duchies, the free cities and (months later) the colonies. The child was the first royal child to be born after the Kongelov, and as such the first prince who was destined to rule from birth. He was given the name Christopher after his grandfather. Olga never recovered from the pregnancy, and died a few weeks later.

On Olga’s death, Harald married a daughter of the count of Oldenburg, Charlotte Amalie. Marrying into families such as the Muscovite and Oldenburgian royal houses might seem a waste, since the benefits from having good relations with such small nations were very negligible, but in the political environment of Europe at the time, all the five or six major powers (being Castille, Great Britain, France, Austria, Denmark-Sweden and, to some extent, Poland) were bitter enemies. To Harald, marrying into the ruling house of a rival power was not desirable, as he thought his in-laws might meddle too much with his internal affairs.
Charlotte Amalie seems to have been more to his liking than Olga, at least she gave birth to another son, Christian, only a year after the wedding.

kongefamilie.jpg

Harald IV with queen Charlotte Amalie and crown prince Christopher. Prince Christian is not portrayed, since Christopher was the heir.

On Gammeltorv, a five minute walk from the castle, Harald had a young noblewoman, Vibeke Kruse, installed in 1598. It was with her that he spent most of his leisure time, away from the formalities of the court. She, and the four daughters that he got by her, would play a major role in the internal development of the state. In 1615, while Charlotte Amalie was still alive, Harald entered a morganatic marriage with Vibeke Kruse, which by the death of Charlotte Amalie in 1617 was elevated to a fully dynastic marriage. Vibeke Kruse thus became the only non-royal to be anointed queen to a hereditary Danish king.

kirstenmunck.jpg

Vibeke Kruse and her four daughters, around 1610

The two young princes, Christopher and Christian, only had two years between them, and became very close. They were not brought up by their parents, but by courtiers, generals and noblemen, most of whom they despised. It is said, that they identified themselves with the mythological figures Roar and Helge, two young princes who, despite being hunted by their uncle, end up winning the kingdom together, Roar being the peaceful, city founding ruler, while Helge is the great warrior king. How fitting this comparison would be shall be left to the reader to judge.
 

unmerged(81979)

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Harald has illigetimate children? A king has illegitimate children??? My, what's next, the sky will be blue??? :rofl::rofl::rofl: Good to see a glimpse behind the royal door... :D
 

Montague

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The two young princes, Christopher and Christian, only had two years between them, and became very close. They were not brought up by their parents, but by courtiers, generals and noblemen, most of whom they despised. It is said, that they identified themselves with the mythological figures Roar and Helge, two young princes who, despite being hunted by their uncle, end up winning the kingdom together, Roar being the peaceful, city founding ruler, while Helge is the great warrior king. How fitting this comparison would be shall be left to the reader to judge.


Very nice background, but this part has my curiosity suitably piqued!
 

Salik

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yaaay! "history" lesson!
=D

:) I think you're going to like the next one even better.

Harald has illigetimate children? A king has illegitimate children??? My, what's next, the sky will be blue??? :rofl::rofl::rofl: Good to see a glimpse behind the royal door... :D

I know, it is SHOCKING! I personally feel repulsed.

Nice insight into the Gyldenstierne royal house.

Thanks- or was it Rosenkrantz? I'm still confused;)

Very nice background, but this part has my curiosity suitably piqued!

Oh, really? That was unintented:rolleyes:
 

Salik

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He... ruling factory.

Okay, new update coming soon. About a month ago, I managed to establish a wonderful thing- a backlog, so I could update regularly. However, I am at the bottom of the pile now. The next chapter, chapter XXV, should be up soon. After that- I have no idea. I have midterms coming up and a new project I am working on on the side. But this is not dead, I just don't know when I will be able to make a new chapter. I hope you'll enjoy the next one, which should be up sometime today (Pacific Time, that is)
 

Salik

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Chapter XXV: The British-French War and The Irish Revolt

Gyldenstjerne.png


Coat of arms of the House of Gyldenstierne

In 1606, the British-French war erupted. It has been called the first major colonial war between the European great powers, but in fact the term colonial war might in this case be a misnomer. The cause of the war was not in the New World. The major land battles were fought in Europe. The results of the war changed the borders in Europe, not the New World. And yet, the war became the symbol of a new era in Europe. An era in which colonial warfare would be crucial in conflicts between the major powers.

The reason for this change was the great growth of the colonies during the late 1500’s. This growth had increased the economic importance of overseas trade tremendously. By 1600, more than half of the fur that was traded in Europe came from the British, Danish and Castillian possessions in Vinland. Coffee and tobacco from the areas around Dansborg and Spanish Creek was getting increasingly popular (both Harald IV and king Adolphus of Great Britain were obsessive smokers, as was king James of Scotland).

pibe.jpg

Detail from a portrait of Harald IV. The king is holding a pipe. This was one of the first portraits of a ruling monarch in which the monarch did not pose in a symbolic way, but was portrayed in an everyday situation.

From the French Caribbean came sugar, which replaced honey as the main sweetener in upper class households throughout Europe. Moreover, the colonies were personal property of the ruling houses in France, Great Britain, Castille and Denmark, and represented a tremendous personal wealth and prestige, which the kings were more than reluctant to give up. Especially in Great Britain, the outwards expansion became a national quest after the liberation of Scotland and Northern Ireland by the treaty of London, and British possessions in Europe quickly became dwarfed by the large landmasses the country controlled in the New World.

20091005043010.jpg

Colonies in Vinland, 1605. Danish colonies in light red, British in dark red, Spanish in yellow and French in blue.

20091005043021.jpg

Colonies around Dansborg, 1605. Same colour code as above, only light blue and green represents Indian areas

The reason for the war, however, was Brittany and Southern Ireland. Great Britain had held Brittany as its last continental possession for more than a century. King Louis XVI of France had made it a main objective of his reign to expel the British from the Continent and control the entire Atlantic coast between the Pyrenees and the Low Countries. In Ireland, the English still held Meath, while France controlled the Southern part of the island. The provinces of Connaught and Ulster were independent princedoms, who were vassals of Denmark-Sweden. The British and the French had had their balance of power on the island ruined by the independence of the Northern provinces, and a shift in power seemed eminent.

In May 1606, the French launched an invasion of Brittany and Meath. The British troops could only provide limited resistance and were quickly defeated. By late August, Meath and Brittany were controlled by the French. If the war had been conducted 50 years earlier that would have been the end of it, as the two powers were able to hold each other in a stalemate. The French navy was inferior to the British and had no hope of invading Britain proper, yet the French armies were by far the strongest, and beat the British invasions in several large battles, most notably the battle of Anjou in 1608 and Parma in 1613, after the British got the upper hand in the Mediterranean in the battle of Gibraltar. At some point, France might have acquired Bretagne or Meath, or a return to status quo would have been agreed upon in exchange for indemnities. But this was not 1550, and as noted above, the New World now played a crucial role for both countries.

The sugar plantations in the Caribbean was a major source of income for the French crown, but with the British royal navy and privateers on the Atlantic, this source quickly dried out. The Caribbean ports were blockaded, Guyana was occupied, and tensions within France grew steadily. In 1609 and 1611 sugar revolts broke out in several cities, where angry burghers demanded a stop to the war and a secure supply of sugar. Two large West Indian trading houses in Gascoigne went bankrupt, and the crown had to intervene to save a third. The war was becoming an economic disaster for the French, while the British had only lost peripheral and unprofitable territories. But the final blow to the French was still to be dealt.

In 1612 the majority of French forces in Ireland were transferred to the Continent to help fight the British. The transports were intercepted and sunk, and the island was effectively cut off from the outside world. Soon, a wave of nationalism swept across Southern Ireland. It started in Meath, were the British citizens of Dublin were tired of living under occupation. In November, a revolt broke out, which ousted the French commanders in the city. The attempts at involving the rural, Irish population of the province resulted in a shift of focus. As more and more Irish joined the rebellion, it became a quest for a united island. Soon, a peasant force was marching on the French possessions in Leinster, and then on to Munster. By New Year of 1614, all of Southern Ireland was occupied by the Irish rebellion. Local councils were set up, and the rebel provinces started a system of self governance. In April the regional council of Meath surrendered the province to the duke of Connaught, and was followed by Leinster in November. In February 1616, Munster became the last province under foreign rule to join the new kingdom. Only the duchy Ulster remained independent of duke Art. Although both dukes were under pressure to negotiate a final union of the island, the duke of Ulster refused. Both he and duke Art were subjects of king Harald, and their independence was only guaranteed by his protection against Britain and France, so when Harald was unable and unwilling to interfere in the internal bickering, the island remained divided.

With the loss of Ireland, France had finally lost the upper hand, and was forced to negotiate a humiliating peace. The duchies of Lorraine, Provence and Baden were released as independent nations, creating a buffer between The Holy Roman Empire and France. The war had proved, that in the 17th century, ruining the overseas trade of a nation could be more crumbling than defeat on the battlefield. The war had not made Great Britain stronger, but it had weakened France. And a wounded beast is always the most dangerous.
 
Last edited:

King_Richard_XI

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So does this mean that Ireland, or at least part of it is independant?:eek:










................HooooRAAAAY!:D

Glad to hear that the Irish have overthrown their cruel governors (not saying that the Danes are.. in fact, Denmark is possibly one of my favourite European companies.;))