Salik

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Happy to see you are continuing this excellent History Book, Salik!

I'm very happy to see the Kruse family finally out of the picture, hopefully forever. They'd rather take Denmark back in time. I hope Frederik IV restarts colonization in earnest instead of focusing on the North German princes. That will earn Denmark more profit in the long run I think.

As always, it is an honour to have you as a reader. I can't promise anything on Frederik's behalf, but let it suffice to say that it will be times of great changes.

Up and down. Rise and fall.

That is the way of the world, even more so in AARs

Long- and eagerly-awaited, here at last. And of the same high standard seen throughout the AAR. How will the Little King deal with the Turkish menace? and shall he avenge the war with Austria? Go and retake your southern fiefs, and drive the Germans as far south as possible!

I am glad to (once again) be back. I hope to drive the Germans south, but let's see what will happen (I see that you have joined the dark side, according to your location :eek:)

Yes, a lot to live up to, and the clock is counting down towards the end of..game.

Game? I think Fredie will be sorry to hear that
 
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King_Richard_XI

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(I see that you have joined the dark side, according to your location :eek:)
Nah, just a day in Trier. Now back to good ol' 3 words of Danish. :D
 

Salik

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Chapter XXXVII: The Little King

Gyldenstjerne.png


Coat of arms of the House of Gyldenstierne

Following the death of his uncle Christian III in December 1662, Frederik IV was crowned as king in February 1663. His popular nickname, The Little King, fitted him well. At 25 years old and five foot two, he was young, short and ambitious. As seen in the previous chapter, he had held the reins of the state for four years before his ascension, and the coronation was nothing but a confirmation of the already established order. Even though Frederik surrounded himself with noblemen, his complete expulsion from the court of his cousins, the Kruse family, still led to a much more egalitarian administration. The trend, which would continue for decades, was that the king was advised by liberal nobles, who assumed, and sincerely tried, to rule for the benefit of all classes. Unlike his uncles and grandfather, Frederik did not have a “hand behind the throne”- he was young, short and independent. He did have close advisors, but learning from the way the Kruse family had ruled over the head of Harald IV and Christian III, he wanted to be part of every decision. He would listen to several opinions, consult the Statskancelli or the Rentekammer, and then make up his mind. Even though it was an understandable decision, it created a lot of latency in the administration, especially when the king was on a military campaign- which he would be for a considerable part of his reign.


freIV.jpg

Young, short and wearing a whig

The downfall of the Kruse family had been a result of the defeat in the Imperial War, in which Magdeburg, Lüneburg and Pskov where released as independent states. Frederik wanted to regain the duchies, which he saw as his rightful inheritance, and shortly after his coronation, in May 1663, Frederik carried through a decision he had already made several years before, but which had been stalled by the reluctance of Christian III to meddle with German affairs. He declared war on Lüneburg. He was young, short and not afraid of the emperor. Although it would seem a bit rushed, the timing was actually perfect. The grandduke of Lüneburg was in negotations about reentering the Holy Roman Empire, the successful conclusion of which would have made the war much more costly. Meanwhile, Rainier I of Austria, the emperor, was tied up in one of several consecutive wars against the Ottoman sultan, and was unable to interfere. Many other German states had no interest in fighting against Denmark without the Imperial army, so of the great Imperial alliance which had given Lüneburg its independence, only Trier and Brunswick interfered.

The king himself led an army into Lüneburg, while his generals held off the Brunswickian forces to the North. This was the first time a king had seen battle since Harald IV led his troops in the Rosenkrantz wars- in fact, it was the first time since the militia act had made the king supreme commander of the army. Frederik was young, short and on his way to becoming a warrior king.

It quickly became evident, that neither Trier nor Brunswick had been instrumental in wining the Imperial war, as their armies were overrun by Danish forces. Within a year, Lüneburg was conquered and reincorporated into the realm as a new duchy. Frederik then led his conquering army into Brunswick and on to Trier. In October 1664, the king of Brunswick acknowledged Frederik as his lord and became a vassal, and in November, the Archbishop of Trier did the same. Several years later, this conclusion of the war would have dramatic consequences, but elaborating on these would be getting ahead of ourselves.

The immediate consequences were dire enough. In February 1665, Rainier I came to another ceasefire with the Ottoman sultan, and instead turned his armies north to finally punish the “Danish upstart”, as he is reported to have called Frederik IV in private conversations. With the support of Austria secured, several German princes saw their chances of success on the battlefield significantly increased, and Münster, Hesse and Mainz joined the war. Frederik was young, short and faced his first serious challenge.

Moving troops through Poland and Brunswick, Frederik stood up to the attackers, and managed to keep foreign forces entirely out of his German duchies, eventually taking the war to Austrian soil. In 1666, a white peace was reached, and Frederik had effectively gained acceptance of his expansion into the Empire, if not for anything else then for the fact, that he could force the emperor to a stalemate.

At 28 he was still young and short, but the nickname “Lillekongen” was well on its way to be replaced by another epiteth, by which he is still known to this day. Frederik the Great.

 
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dinofs

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Frederik is young, short, and awesome. :cool:
 

Salik

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Wasn't Frederik IV the one that's reported to have said "All your base belong to us!" to the Emperor? ;)

I feel new heights coming for the Danish empire.
 

Salik

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Wasn't Frederik IV the one that's reported to have said "All your base belong to us!" to the Emperor? ;)

I feel new heights coming for the Danish empire.

Yes, yes indeed it was. You are very well versed in Danish history, sir.;)
 
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Salik

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Chapter XXXVIII: Cold War
Gyldenstjerne.png


Coat of arms of the House of Gyldenstierne

Throughout Danish history, there had been rivalling nations with whom the kings had fought. In pre-Christian times, king Godfred and others had fought Charlemagne over the fate of pagan Saxony. Later on, the three Scandinavian countries had gone through all possible constellations of alliances and wars between each other until the Treaty of Kalmar had joined them in the union, which evolved into a triple kingdom with a strong preference for Danish. In late medieval times, the Hansa and other North German powers had fought Valdemar Atterdag and Erik of Pomerania for control of the Baltic trade. Within the scope of this book, Lithuania, France, Great Britain, Poland and varying German powers had been bitter enemies of the kingdom. All these rivalries were rooted in conflicting interests, be they in trade or territory.

The conflict between Rainer I of Austria and Frederik IV of Denmark had its roots in the struggle between Austria and Denmark for power in Northern Europe, but the two monarchs also held a deep distain for each other. Though they are not known to ever have met, diaries, personal letters and other leftover documents from both men show an unusual dislike, even hatred, between them. When Rainer, upon the death of the Count Palatine of the Rhine, gave the title to his eldest son, Frederik described him in a letter to his brother Vilhelm as “His Gluttonous Majesty, always groping for the next dish”. Rainer referred to Frederik only as “The Runt”, “The Upstart” or “The Peacock of Denmark”, all of which were allusions to Frederik’s slim build and taste for fashion.


Frederikiv.jpg
Raineri.jpg


The Runt and His Gluttonous Majesty. It is the runt on the left.


The Count Palatine of the Rhine was one of the most powerful men in the Empire, and controlled its second largest demesne. He was an elector, and on several occasions, a count had been elected as Holy Roman Emperor. When the male line of the House of Wittelsbacher, which had held the title since 1214, died out in 1672, Rainer, as emperor, gave the county to his eldest son, Rainer, who became Rainer I, Count Palatine of the Rhine. Having a Habsburg count was not in the interest of Frederik, especially not one who was next in line to the Austrian throne, and who stood a good chance of being elected Emperor upon the death of his father. So a grand diplomatic campaign was started to sway the electors away from Rainer, while agents working undercover put words into the right ears and money into the right pockets to make the people of the Rhine stand up against their new count. This work was probably led by the infamous Franz Scholten of who very little is known, but who has been popularized in fiction. He is rarely mentioned in letters or other written sources, but when he is, it is clear that he made a formidable presence. Cunning, ruthless and extremely discrete, he made it possible for the royal administration to infiltrate any spy ring, revolt or other internal threat while weakening the Habsburgs both in their own countries and abroad. People who met Scholten very rarely had a pleasant experience.

scholten.jpg

No portrait exists of Franz Scholten, but the role played by Mads Kjærbye in the 1940 film “The Holy Roman Emperor” has become so iconic, that most people today identify this picture with the spymaster.

Spies and diplomats from both sides fought over the hearts and minds of the people and electors of the empire during the 1670’ies, until the death of Rainer I in 1678 called out the jury to find a winner.
Even though the reputation of the Habsburg dynasty had been severely tarnished by Danish diplomacy, the majority of the electors still preferred Rainer II above any other plausible candidate within the Empire. However, some conditions were negotiated in backroom deals, most notably that Rainer would renounce his title as Count Palatine of the Rhine and that he would not appoint another member of the House of Habsburg in his place.

With the death of his rival, and a partial victory in his struggle to diminish the power of the Habsburgs, Frederik once again turned his attention to the internal structure of his kingdom. Public works were undertaken throughout the realm with construction of temples, the institution of customs houses and the encouragement of local workshops.
In 1678, the Church of Denmark was further incorporated into the state with the act of Uniformity. This act made all churchly ceremonies adhere to the same strict prescriptions. All sermons were dictated by the court, and a book of common prayer was issued, including a mandatory prayer “for the health of our good king, Frederik IV and all other members of his royal house, and for that highest gift, a son, to be given to our most dear sovereign Lord, that he may once rule with as Godly, wise and honourable council as does now his father.”
 
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dinofs

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I like how you used a picture of Rasputin for Scholten. :rofl:
 

Salik

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I like how you used a picture of Rasputin for Scholten. :rofl:

He... yeah, Scholten seemed like that kind of guy to me


Ooh, Danish spies running ops on the Rhine...
Fredrick the warrior king...I also notice that the state makes no bones about having
a male heir

No, it's a continuing problem for the House of Gyldenstierne. Interesting times are ahead for sure

who is to have the fate of rasputin?

Who says anyone is? :cool:
 

Salik

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Chapter XXXIX: Blood and Water

Gyldenstjerne.png


Coat of arms of the House of Gyldenstierne


To his majesty Frederik IV, by grace of God king of Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Greenland, Vinland and adjoining territories, duke of Mecklenburg-Ruppin-Magdeburg, Lüneburg, Kurland, Livland, Estland, Pomerania and of the Poles, prince of Bremen, Hamburg, Riga and Danzig, high lord of Ireland, Brunswick and Trier. […]


For decades, Austria and Poland had fought the Ottoman Empire, but with limited luck. The armies of the sultan had overrun Poland and divided the country in two, stretching its borders almost to the Baltic coast, while Austria had lost all of the Pannonian Plain. Although the court in Copenhagen was content to see the demise of Austria, there was some concern that the ever growing strength of the sultan would eventually become a threat to the Baltic and Russian duchies.

[…]As your most humble and loyal servant, it is with great regret and sorrow that I learn of your plans to withdraw our armies from this Holy Crusade. I understand from your letter, which I received today, that you believe yourself to have exhausted the possibilities of this campaign, that you believe to have gained what is to be gained. [...]

In Paris, the administration was equally concerned about an eventual Ottoman expansion into the Mediterranean, and Louis XIX issued a guarantee of support for Austria in case of war against the Ottomans. Though he was urged to do the same, Frederik IV refused to outright support the Habsburg dynasty, however, the forts on the Baltic coast were expanded, and regiments of the standing army had their stations moved to better fit a war against the Ottomans.

[…]I humbly disagree. Great diplomatic and political gains have been made, that much is true. The proposed release of Krakow and Croatia as independent states may fit into your majesty’s grand ideas of a new Europe, but for myself, I will not accept that one heathen replace another in ruling these lands, which verily do belong to Christ. With our armies reaching Bulgaria and Greece, our fleets blockading even the port of Constantinople, how can you not carry through? The splendour of the East awaits those who dare grasp for it.[…]

When hostilities broke out between Austria and the Ottomans in 1683, France immediately joined the war. Two years earlier, the 7 month war between Denmark and France had been concluded in a white peace, but the horrible loses on both sides had created a great deal of animosity towards the French in the army. Prince Vilhelm, Frederik’s younger brother, was a fervent Christian, and urged the king to join in the war and fight the heathen Turk, while Christopher Moltke, Hans Piil and Harald Danneskiold, the highest ranking officers of the army and navy were against engaging in another war so soon. This is known from the resumes of cabinet meetings and reports in the army and navy archives. What is not written anywhere, except the private diary of the king, is that Franz Scholten was an eager proponent of the war. Whether this was the deciding lot for the king is impossible to tell, but three weeks into the war, Denmark entered on the side of Austria and France. It was the first time that the three major Christian powers of continental Europe fought on the same side in a war.

[…]Alas, you have chosen not to take this path, and it is therefore with great sorrow that I hereby declare my intent to continue this war under the banner of those who truly fight for Christ, their French and Austrian majesties. Once Christianity has prevailed, I shall return to the realm to receive whatever rewards or punishments you deem fit for my actions.[…]

After fighting successfully for two years, Frederik had gained what he most desired from the war, and had no intend to keep on fighting, Therefore he agreed to a separate peace with the sultan, in which the Muslim emirates of Krakow and Croatia were released as independent states. French and Austrian armies kept fighting the war for several years after this, but gained little from their efforts.

[…]
Your loving and obedient brother,
Vilhelm Gyldenstierne, Prince to Denmark

PS News have reached me of your recently acquired title, however, having sworn my allegiance to the house of Habsburg, I choose not to call you by that name which rightfully belongs to the heirs of Rainer I

 
Last edited:

Qorten

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Original throwing in that letter. Love that you still conitnue albeit at a much slower pace. It doesn't bother me though, otherwise I might miss a chapter!

EDIT/ It's also great that we now have a bit of an idea what's it like more to the east these days. You've been focusing very heavily on the HRE of late (of course, if that's where the big things happen, that's what you write about mostly). I keep hoping he will be the king to renew colonisation.
 

Salik

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Original throwing in that letter. Love that you still conitnue albeit at a much slower pace. It doesn't bother me though, otherwise I might miss a chapter!

EDIT/ It's also great that we now have a bit of an idea what's it like more to the east these days. You've been focusing very heavily on the HRE of late (of course, if that's where the big things happen, that's what you write about mostly). I keep hoping he will be the king to renew colonisation.

Yes, I have been quite busy lately, and until I came up with the letter, I had some difficulty writing this in a way that I liked.

As for the HRE, it is very much the focus of Frederik IV, mainly because he came into power right after the catastrophic German War. That war gave him a strong resolve to control Northern Germany completely. But I'm getting a bit ahead of myself here. I might do a bit on colonialism soon, actually. It has not been stalled, just been out of focus in the AAR

Emirates of Krakow and Croatia?
Muslim states?

Yes, the Ottomans have expanded their religion with amazing speed. I seriously believe Krakow was under Christian control until five or six years before its release as an independent state. Now the neighbouring provinces of my Baltic possessions are Muslim.

Muslim Krakow...
Oh well at least the Danes pulled off a victory.
And not that obedient a brother, either!

No, he has his focus elsewhere than loyalty, Vilhelm does. And it will have consequences.