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Tommy4ever

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The World in Review – 1860



Ten years on from the revolution the world was still dominated by the great Imperialist powers. The traditional Imperial powers have retained their power (for the most part) and many have indeed expanded their influence. Meanwhile in the Americas three new Empires have emerged. In North America the Empire of Mexico recovered from the loss of Texas to the USA and secured victory in a civil war with its own people whilst in South America Brazil and Argentina have expanded their influence through sheer brute force. Whilst the ‘Republic’ of Argentina does not officially have a King the state does not bear the usual hallmarks of a Republic in that it does not have elections.



The United Kingdom has remained the undisputed greatest power on earth for 5 decades since Napoleon’s final defeat. Industrially it is unmatchable, its great fleet dwarfs all those of Europe’s other powers combined whilst its influence is felt in every single corner of the globe from New Zealand to Oregon.

Russia was the great success story of the mid 19th century. Under the leaderships of Nicholas I and Alexander II after him the Russian Empire has experienced an incredible wave of industrialisation. A mixture of forced migrations, a lack of land in the countryside and schemes by the state to encourage men to come to the cities provided millions of men as labour of Russia’s program of industrialisation (accomplished with British and French advisors). Whilst Russia’s industry is very simple in nature (this largely due to the lack of education in its workforce and a simple lack of expertise in the country) it is vast in scale. However with so much concentrated on industry the once vaunted Russian army has suffered. Already badly outdated by Nicholas’ ascension to the Imperial throne the army has not benefitted from any of the technological advances made elsewhere whilst it has failed to make up for this technological lag by increasing its size.

France has been a major loser of the past decades. Whilst still wielding the most powerful land army in Europe, perhaps the world, the Kingdom has lagged behind its main competitors (the UK and Russia) in other fields. Industrially it has failed to close the gap on the UK’s industrial lead whilst at the same time the Tsar’s Empire has outstripped France. More worrying for the state’s future is the clear internal divisions within the country which led to the ongoing French Civil War.

The USA experienced modest success during the mid 19th century. Benefitting from a steady flow of cheap labour from Europe the first Republic in the Americas has built up a strong if not entirely awe inspiring industrial base (largely located in the North of the country). However dreams of a Republic stretching from sea to shining sea have been dashed by Anglo-Russian influences in North America which have not only secured territories for those Empires but also continue to prop up the Mexican Empire as a counter to American ambition.

Amongst the Great Powers the VSVR is unremarkable. A cultural hotbed, if only for a niche, an industrial powerhouse, if only in the Ruhr, and a major military power, if only in Germany.

Austria has failed to modernise in the same way as the other great autocratic, multi-ethnic, Empire of Europe but has succeeded in many other areas. Industrial concentrations have sprouted up in Italy, Bohemia and along the Danube between Vienna and Budapest giving the Habsburg Empire a decent industrial base. Meanwhile its sphere of influence has, unlike Prussia’s, survived largely intact giving it the economic and military backing of its allies to make itself look perhaps artificially powerful. Realistically only France could defeat Austria in battle without a coalition of Great Powers forming.

Prussia is a state doing all it can to avert a decline that is being forced upon it by the unique power of the VSVR. With its sphere of influence in Northern Germany crumbling away and its industry being outpaced by all its major competitors Prussia, as always, has looked to its Army to hold itself up amongst the Great Powers. The Prussian Army still strikes fear into the hearts of Europe’s leaders.

Like Prussia the Ottoman Empire has been forced to fight against internal and external enemies to retain its place amongst the Great Powers. It has been much more successful at this than Prussia. In Thrace, Macedonia and Western Anatolia the Empire has created the seed of a strong industrial base. With industrial expansion comes modernisation and its military has slowly received the benefits of investment – now the Empire is slowly gobbling up the Levant despite the sometimes violent protests of the Great Powers.

VSVR Industry




Whilst the past 5 years have seen significant growth outside of the Ruhr (most notably in Wallonia and the upper Rhineland) the lion’s share of both industry and industrial growth remains concentrated in the Rhineland.

Over the course of the past 5 years the Republic has successfully diversified beyond its specialisation in steel and cement to create booming textiles, arms and drinks industries. What’s more industry has been brought to previously largely rural areas in Hessen whilst Belgium has recovered strongly from total industrial collapse prior to the Republic’s invasions.
 

Enewald

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Hessen and Hesse-Nassau are provinces? Why two? :confused:

Otherwise, I suggest that you speed up your tempo of liberating the world.
 

LordTempest

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If I may advise, a splitting of the Anarchists into two factions (the radical or "Kadon" faction and the more moderate "Necazian" faction) would be nice.
 

Tommy4ever

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If I may advise, a splitting of the Anarchists into two factions (the radical or "Kadon" faction and the more moderate "Necazian" faction) would be nice.
I've added in a Young Anarchist faction.

ps @ Enewald - I promise you in the next update I am really speading up the worldwide revolution :cool:
 

LordTempest

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Seek75

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I can just see some kind of Militants/Young Anarchists alliance springing up. Obviously not in the form of a coalition (as much as I'd enjoy that), but...something along those lines.
 

Tommy4ever

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I'm just about to post the next update. its a big un' filled with war abroad, trouble at home and even a new faction. Sadly the Fascists haven't appeared yet so they can't play their part :(.

Still you guys are going to have some big decisions to make in the next election. :eek:

I'll take a while to upload the pics so wait a few mins.
 

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The VSVR – 1860-1865

With the Marxists returned to office following a strong electoral showing they quickly rushed to push through the social reforms they had promised.



Healthcare was improved, as were pensions whilst an unemployment subsidy was set up as well as a maximum working day. These reforms were greeted with great approval by the populace. However this period of the Republic’s history will not be remembered for the social reforms introduced by the Marxists. Instead it will be remembered for the spectacular foreign policy of the Republic.



As a whole wave of revolutions that swept Germany and France during late 1859 and early 1860 were mixed successes. In Hesse-Darmstadt the Communist coup had succeeded and the territory reverted to the VSVR. In the city of Frankfurt it took the entrance of Bavarian troops to restore order but the city remained in the hands of the aristocracy. Meanwhile the French Civil War turned decisively against the revolution in February when the King’s troops started to pour in from the French African Empire. Whilst the Republicans fought on in the South for almost another year the revolution was quickly swept away elsewhere. In Bavaria proper the socialist revolution was crushingly defeated by the Bavarian Army, however in the Bavarian Palatinate the revolution was a glowing success and the Palatinate Commune (run on Anarchist ideas) was established. Finally the tiny Principality of Lippe-Detmold was invaded by AKVD troops after a minor incident involving cabbage provoked war. Within a short time the Principality was annexed and a nervous Prussia did nothing.

As things started to calm down across Germany in the summer of the aura of Prussian power seemed to have been gravely diminished. They had now been totally ejected from Hessen (although the retained some control over Frankfurt) whilst both Hannover and Holstein had ended their alliances. Prussia seemed barely able to control its own country never mind its collapsing alliance in Germany. Seeing a precious opportunity to strike at its great rival the Habsburg Empire declared war on Prussia on June 25th 1860. So began the Deutschkrieg.



Prussia was supported by the remnants of its once powerful German alliance as well as the Kingdom of Sweden. Austria decided not to call upon its allies in Italy or Southern Germany, instead opting to fight alone.



The war began in spectacular style. Fearing the risk of losing all its influence in Germany in a protracted war Berlin sent out around 1/3 of its entire army to face down the Austrian invasion of Silesia head on. They met at the Battle of Liegnitz. This is often regarded as the point of no return for Prussia. Before Liegnitz they still wielded a supposedly impressive army able to compete with all its neighbours – even with its lack of industry and declining German influence so long as the Prussian army’s aura of invincibility remained strong then Prussia could still remain a major player in European politics. However at Liegnitz Prussia was destroyed. The pride of its standing army was utterly destroyed, Marshal Helmuth von Molkte (the most respected of Prussia’s military elite) was captured as he failed to escape following the rout of his army and Silesia was left with nothing the defend it but the hastily called up conscripts who were still yet to be made battle ready.



As Prussia fell apart under the pressures of the Habsburg invasion the VSVR suffered from indecision. Marx and Blanqui headed the hawkish side of the People’s Party who demanded that the Republic take advantage of the opportunity afforded to it and invade Northern Germany. Meanwhile the ever more agitant Anarchists alongside much of the German Socialist faction and indeed many Marxists remained fearful of getting involved in a major war by attacking the states of Northern Germany – with France recovering from her revolution and Britain circling the region there was a genuine chance of non-German interference in any war. It took a speech by Karl Marx himself to the members of the People’s Party to swing the Central Committee in favour of war, in his famous closing to the speech Marx claimed that ‘’history shall never forgive us if we pass up this opportunity, you cannot wait for the revolution to happen on its own – you have to make it happen’’.

In the end the VSVR declared war upon Hannover. Hannover had recently been ejected from the Prussian sphere of influence; however it was allied with the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Denmark making it a dangerous target. It is likely that had the Red Army not achieved victory so quickly over it Hanoverian opponent that the VSVR would have found itself at war with the greatest power on earth.



War was first declared on September 10th, on September 17th the marginally outnumbered Hanoverian army was crushed outside of Hannover itself whilst four days later the survivors of that engagement surrendered at Luneburg. It had taken just eleven days for the Red Army to destroy Hanover’s army; there hadn’t even been a need to call upon the reservists.



As Austria continued to force the Prussians out of the Silesia and the VSVR continued its occupation of Hannover the Worker’s Council of the Palatinate voted unanimously for union with the VSVR after the province was promised an injection of funds for the creation of a rail network and industry.



On November 10th 1860 the Austrian Empire was officially abolished as the new Austro-Hungarian Empire came into being. Whilst for decades, even centuries, Hungary had been demanding further autonomy the real reason for the Compromise was the immediate need for loyalty from the Hungarian troops who made up the largest section of the Austrian Army. Despite victories on the field of battle over Prussia the Austrian Army had been facing heavy casualties in Silesia and the main brunt of these losses was being felt by the Hungarians. Talks had been going on for years with the Hungarian aristocracy over some sort of compromise with Vienna but following the mutiny of a brigade of Hungarian soldiers on November 5th and a mass demonstration in Budapest on November 7th the Austrians were frightened into action and agreed to the Compromise with Hungary. Fighting under the new banner of the Dual Monarchy the Austro-Hungarian Army seemed to be injected with vigour as it violently thrust into Prussian territory.



In March Hanover was officially annexed into the VSVR. By this stage Austro-Hungarian troops had all but finished fighting in Silesia as the main focus of the Prussians at shifted from holding on to their Eastern territories to defending Berlin itself. At this stage, on the advice of Blanqui, Karl Marx convinced the Central Committee to once again go to war. Frankfurt, the small Saxon Principalities, Mecklenburg, Oldenburg, Bremen, Hamburg, Lubeck and for good measure Holstein were declared war upon by the United Socialist People’s Republic in the name of the revolution and the liberation of the oppressed masses of these lands. Perhaps unsurprisingly Prussia did not fancy a tangle with the Republic whilst it was in the midst of a crushing defeat at the hands of the Habsburgs and they abandoned their German allies to the VSVR.



For Prussia at least the pain of war ended on July 14th. With Berlin surrounded and her armies destroyed the new King Wilhelm I had no choice but to accept the surprisingly light demands of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, considering the circumstances of the Habsburg victory. The province of Silesia, lost in 1742, was returned to the Habsburg Monarchy.



The Deutschkrieg came to an end in October 1861. There was no room for Prussia as a Great Power in the new German order. The VSVR’s population had increased by 7.2 million people in just over a year whilst the patchwork of independent North German states had now been destroyed. For all these benefits the new territories did present a serious burden to the Rhineland. Almost entirely agrarian and barely developed by their former tyrants the rich Rhineland was forced to send huge amounts of funds North and West in order to construct railways and factories whilst at the same time the Red Army went through a major expansion during which it almost doubled in size.



The war may have been popular with the people but it had polarised opinion within the People’s Party. As they saw the state becoming frighteningly aggressive abroad and the state expanding its control over industry (not even allowing the Trades Unions a chance to have any control over industry in the new territories) the Anarchist faction had become increasingly split. On one side the Young Anarchist faction had exploded in popularity whilst on the other the current leader of the Anarchist faction, Proudhon, was becoming increasingly isolated from his faction. Despite an open request from Proudhon that the planned demonstration against the government in Cologne not go ahead in August 1862 ¼ of a million Anarchists did turn up. Even worse, in an open violation of the law of the land, the Young Anarchist sympathisers had opened up an underground newspaper known as the Anarchist Zeal which had become increasingly popular with the workers for its sensationalist headlines and articles and its very different style of emotive reporting than the rally tawdry state paper (Wahrheit).



As Anarchist agitation started to become violent once more in 1863 the state attempted to use propaganda to stem the flow of support towards the extreme end of the Anarchist spectrum. When members of the Young Anarchist movement bombed the hated headquarters of the AKVD in Wahrheit they were portrayed as terrorised attempting to destroy anything and everything that belonged to the Republic. However the movement had become more sophisticated from its earlier origins and made sure to only attack targets that would draw little sympathy from the public. Instead of turning people against the Anarchists the Wahrheit campaign against them merely turned people towards the Anarchists Zeal whilst isolating the moderates.



In an effort to appease the Anarchists the moderate Necazian was promoted to the Central Committee. Bakunin was promoted to the long vacant position of Trade Union Councillor whilst Necazian took the role of Minorities Secretary. This gave the Anarchists parity with the Marxists as each had 3 positions within the Central Committee – however the Anarchists remained badly outnumbered by the Marxist leaning members of the Committee and this move was largely unsuccessful calming the Anarchists. Necazian simply did not represent the part of the faction that was angry.



In what was in truth a rather vain attempt to bring support back behind the state the VSVR invaded the Kingdom of Saxony between January and March 1864. The Kingdom was coming under increasing Habsburg influence and there was a genuine fear that it would join the Austro-Hungarian league of Kingdoms in the South. The quick and victorious war was regarded as a yet another provocation by the pacifist Anarchists and like the suppression of Kadon’s letters to the people before it provoked large protests across the country.



In this highly charged arena of distrust an event occurred that shook the Republic and the People’s Party to its very core. On December 9th 1864 an unknown assailant walked up to Proudhon, who was riding in the back of a carriage with his wife, and shot the unpopular Anarchist leader 4 times in the chest before being gunned down by armed police. Proudhon died and there was nothing to be found that could prove whom he was acting as an agent for.

The left of the party (the Marxists and Centralists) blamed the Young Anarchists who they believed wished to take control of the mainstream of the Anarchist faction and they called for blood. Much of the Anarchist faction blamed Blanqui who they believed was launching an anti-Anarchist purge and they too called for blood. Left in the centre was a squeezed middle calling for moderation.



Almost unnoticed a bright, young Anarchist named Kropotkin was promoted into the Central Committee.



In Dortmund a large crowd of several thousands of angry Young Anarchists rioted against the state causing chaos on December 16th. AKVD detachments responded to this by, allegedly without orders, marched into the city and fired upon the Anarchists. The resulting slaughter left the country on the very brink of a seemingly unavoidable civil war.

On December 20th the new leader of the Anarchist faction, Bakunin, seemed to look to the Young Anarchists for support when he openly called for the execution of Blanqui.

On December 21st Karl Marx announced that he did not intend to stand for re-election as Chairman and would leave the Central Committee at the end of his term. He threw his support behind Blanqui and called for a united Marxist-Centralist platform in the election saying ‘’the only way to save the Republic from civil war now is to expel the Anarchists and shoot the Young Anarchists. I cannot do that, but Blanqui can’’.

Incensed at what he saw as his friend’s betrayal of the principles of the People’s Party Engels defected from the Marxists and with a large group of fellow Marxists as well as moderate Anarchists he founded the United Cooperationists who called for peace and cooperation between Anarchist and Marxist alike. Whilst the German Socialists, another faction calling for peace, were invited to join the United Cooperationists they refused on the grounds that Lassalle wished to stand for election himself.



Within the Central Committee there were now 5 members calling for civil war and 5 calling for peace.
 

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Wow. Just...wow. Poor Prussia.
 

Tommy4ever

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OOPS!

I forgot to mention that my industrial score tripled in size over the past 5 years. Alot of this is due to expansion in the new territories but TBH the biggest expansions have occured in my original Rhenish provs and in Belgium. 3 new NFs over the course of the 5 years helped alot . :cool:
 

Enewald

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Für Anarchismus!
Live free or die!

Kill the oppressors!
Liberate the mankind!
Undo the society!
 

naggy

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I suggest an aggressive economic stimulus package be developed to help our German brethren in Prussia.

War is good for the economy. ;)
 

LordTempest

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You were right, that was a terrific update.

I love the idea of a Marxist-Centralist alliance, a weak Prussia and that you killed off Proudhon. Just look at him, dressed in the manner of an Austrian Archduke... I can't wait until the next election.
 

cpteveros

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These misguided youth deem to destroy our glorious Republic! I call for the immediate extermination of any and all Young Anarchists and their supporters! Blanqui will have my vote, we cannot let this cancer ruin what we have worked so hard to achieve!
 

Seek75

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I will never vote for Marxists or any Marxist sympathizers!

Power to the people! Down with the over-saturated powers of the state!
 

Viden

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The Anarchists have lost their mask. "Destroy the state" they claim. Yes! Do that and let Prussian, French and Austro-Hungarian reactionaries re-enslave us all!

Blanqui will have my vote. Should I remember the Young Anarchists attacked first without provocation? They are a bunch or murderers and reactionary lapdogs!
 

Candidus

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The Anarchists have lost their mask. "Destroy the state" they claim. Yes! Do that and let Prussian, French and Austro-Hungarian reactionaries re-enslave us all!

Blanqui will have my vote. Should I remember the Young Anarchists attacked first without provocation? They are a bunch or murderers and reactionary lapdogs!
We did not fight a revolution against one tyrant just to bow before a new one even if he is in our own party. The ideals of the revolution must be upheld and if that means civil war, than I say let it come and let the final battles to restore freedom to the worker happen.
 
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