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…on desparate ground, fight

Hungary, early 16th century. One by one the Christian nations of the Balkans had fallen, now Hungary was to be the nation to defend Christianity against the Turkish onslaught. Hungary is a large nations, but few people are strong enough to live in this country. In recent years the Hungarian army had been on permanent standby, awaiting the inevitable flood of the infidels.

Janòs had only recently joined in the army, and now was on duty, watching at the border with mixed feelings, proud to stand, eager to fight, but on the other hand he felt, was almost certain, that he would not live to tell the tale of his heroic fight against the infidel.
 

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couriers speed across Europe to deliver the following message to all the royal families, great noble familes, bankers and traders of Europe

Brothers, friends, loyal servants of the Lord.

You must have all heard the tales of the Infidel hordes pillaging and plundering Europe and the Holy Land. As you will also know, one by one the Christian kingdoms, duchies and margravates between these Infidels and Hungary, and the rest of Europe, have fallen. As one Christian to another, I call upon you to send any aid you can to defend the Christian people against this onslaught. The Turk will not relent until all of Christianity has been eradicated. This must be stopped, and Hungary will stand to stem the tide as is its duty. Any and all help to do the work of God and stop the infidel, be it monetary, military, or in any other form, is much appreciated.

With the blessings of our Lord,
Lajos II,
protector of Christianity,
King of Hungary,
lord of the Danube.


a message is found pinned on many a door all over Europe, clearly with the intention to reach all the people of Europe

People of Europe, the Lord needs you.
The infidel hordes, led by devil-possessed man styling himself “Emperor of Rome”, MUST be stopped, they will stop at nothing, unless WE stop them. We call upon you to take up arms and support us in our Crusade against the infidel. People of Europe, UNITE!

The Lords humble servant,
Miklos Zrinyi, first Marshal to Lajos II.




edit: silly typo
 
Last edited:

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apparently i forgot to post my Hungarian AAR (very short though :( )



only the dead have seen the end of war..
-Plato

Hungary, 1520-1533

in 1520, Hungary was to face the greatest threat to her existence ever. Fortunately, Hungarian diplomats had been able to gather support from all over Europe, although some of the Electors were doubtfull about this "threat".. Their words were soon contradicted by the flood of Infidels storming over the Hungarian-Ottoman border.

Of these years only few documents remain however, as most documents concerning this period were either lost during the siege of Eger, or were later burnt on orders of the Infidel sultan, to cover up that they were forced to retreat in the first War of Hungary..

From what remains we can gather that Hungary put effort into training its cavalry and officer corps [OOC: +1 Ari twice] and that this aggraveted some people, although one can only wonder why.

little was done to improve the Hungarian economy, although some efforts were made to improve the infrastructure in Croatia, this only to be undone by corrupt administrators...
It is known that neither Lajos nor Zrinyi fell before the Turk, but Janos the First, the only hope of Hungary in the Second Hungarian War, fell in battle, still awaiting messengers to report the Polish advance....
in 1533, all hope was lost, and Hungary ceased to exist as a separate entity.
 

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April 24, 1533.
Dillenburg, county of Nassau.

William the Rich, count of Nassau, happily hands out alms to the poor in Dillenburg. He is happy, for his wife has given birth to his firstborn, a son, also named William.

1544
Breda, the Lowlands

René de Châlon, also known as René of Nassau, the prince of Orange, is dead. His possessions will go to his nephew, William, only 11 years old. This, however, could not happen without the consent of the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles, for the principality of Orange was a sovereign state, and it came with great powers and authority. Granvelle himself, mentor to the young Philip of Spain, and head of the “Geheimer Rat”, was to decide on whether to allow this inheritance. Granvelle, fearful that such an important title would go to the son of heretics, demanded three concessions.
Firstly, William would have to be brought in Spain (and thus in a Roman Catholic enviroment) .*
Secondly, three guardians would be looking after him, all of course Roman Catholics, one of these was Maria of Hungary, Charles’ sister.
Thirdly, William would be tutored by Granvelle himself.**

These conditions, deemed acceptable by William, were accepted. (the fact that Maria supported the Reformation, although not too openly, helped ofcourse)

Given that Granvelle was also mentor to young Philip, William soon faced lectures not meant for his young age.***

This event proved a great turning point in William’s life, and perhaps for all of Europe.

notes
*Historically: Brussels
**fictional, but not unlikely
***Historically, they did meet, but somewhat later.

there's more where that came from, hopefully to be posted within the next few hours
 

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and now that the treaty has been revealed to the general public, some more of the highly interesting William of Orange-Nassau, nicknamed "the Silent"

Valladolid, Spain

After a long, but uneventful, journey, William arrived in Valladolid, together with his new mentor, Granvelle, and the Spanish crown-prince Philip, who both were in Brussels at the time of the whole inheritance issue.
Philip, being seven years older than William, was clearly Granvelle’s senior student, and of course, Philip was crown-prince of Spain, while William would only rule over the estates of Orange and Nassau.
Granvelle, at first, feared that the young William would not be able to keep up with the pace of his education, but soon William caught up with Philip, and at times was even quicker to understand Granvelle’s teachings.
William, looking up to Philip as if he was an older brother, and Philip, who soon develop a sort of pride for what William was capable of, became good friends in these years.

April 24, 1551.
Brussels, centre of the Spanish rule in the Lowlands.

” We are together here on this joyful day to celebrate William’s 18th birthday. William now truly is a man, and he will thus be allowed to govern his possessions himself.
Furthermore, he will be made captain, commanding a cavalry company.”


One year later, William had already sufficiently proven himself, and was made colonel, commanding 10 companies. At the age of 22, he was made captain-general, member of the “raad van state” and was knighted in the order of the Golden Fleece. His friend Philip, who had only recently inherited most of the Spanish possessions from his father, the Emperor, Charles V, knowing William’s other capacities, asked William to travel to Italy, and report to the Duke of Alba. There William would, together with the Duke, be representing Spain on various diplomatic missions.

In these years, much was achieved for Spain, and although Alba received most credit, insiders knew that it was, in fact, William who made the best deals. The treaty of Vienna (1559) was clearly the most important of these events. The talks were very difficult for William, firstly, the League formed through the treaty aimed to eradicate Protestantism, whereas William himself was a Protestant, but on the other hand he aimed to represent Philip to the best of his abilities. Secondly, the Duke of Alba, in this case, likely was not the best choice for representing Spain, because the Polish war (’35-’40) had created great animosity between the Poles and the Duke, and had left him disdainful of Austrian military capacities. Thus, the talks were mostly Alba insulting both Austrians and Poles, and William attempting to keep the talks going. Eventually, a draft version of the treaty was written down. In a last ditch attempt, William was able to weaken some statements regarding Protestants, but was not completely successful, surrounded as he was by fanatical Catholics. The final agreement thus was slightly less anti-Protestant, but likely would still mean persecution for Protestants in the Holy Roman Empire.*

William’s star was indeed rising, and people began to speculate that he would probably be sent as Spain’s prime representative to some diplomatic missions, while Alba would be leading others. Some even speculated that William would soon take Alba’s place as head of the Spanish diplomatic effort.

Once again it was Philip who changed William’s future, as he needed a new governor for the Lowlands, and who would be better than his friend William, a great diplomat, an able military commander and administrator , and owner of some important estates within the Spanish Lowlands. Thus, William was made “stadhouder ende gouverneur der staaten Vlaanderen, Zeeland, Holland en Utrecht” (stadtholder and governor of Flanders, Zeeland, Holland and Utrecht) with the consent of the local rulers of these territories, thus giving William great responsibility, but also considerable freedom and authority.
After accepting this, William soon began diplomatic efforts to bring the independent states of Geldre, Overijssel, Friesland, Groningen and Ostfriesland within the Spanish empire, and to keep this acceptable, he and Philip were willing to leave them limited autonomy and full religious freedom, but under the governance of William.

Notes:
*- William most notably attempted to replace the following clauses:
to bind the Mother Church against the Heretical Doctrines of the Followers of Luther, already so deep in the hearts and minds of the Germans, deceived most cruelly and disabused of their sacred rights, and to restore the Holy Father to their hearts and minds as well, as is Catholic Duty and Sacrament;
and
The Emperor submits All Catholic Princes and Electors of the Empire to its Inclusion, and Compels Those That Have Been Lost to enter into It, reserving the right as is His by God’s grace to include them by force, and to retrieve them by the same means as at a later date withdraw. The King of Poland shall as asked Provide Support in these actions, if Necessary and Just.
with
to bind the Mother Church against the Heretical Doctrines of the Followers of Luther, already so deep in the hearts and minds of the Germans, so unfortunately deceived by events beyond the control of their rulers, and within the Limitations of Reason and the Bounds of Earthly Constraint , act to restore the Holy Father to their hearts and minds as well, as is Catholic Duty and Sacrament.;
and
The Emperor submits All Catholic Princes and Electors of the Empire to its Inclusion, and Compels Those That Have Been Lost to enter into It, reserving the right as is His by God’s grace to include them by force, and to retrieve them by the same means as at a later date withdraw. The King of Poland shall as asked Provide Support in these actions, if Necessary and Just.
respectively.
 

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The Gathering

Suylen, Utregt, August 21st 1575

”It is an outrage, Philip pretends to be a tolerant man, yet at the same time he signs a document effectively drawing a line between us, Protestants, and the Catholics in the south!” Shouted Hendrick, banker from Zutphen, representing Overijssel in this meeting.
”However, William supports him nonetheless. We must make him, and his sons, see what Philip is really planning. Until then, it will be our job to protect our faith, and our country” Gerard, a promising young administrator from Delft, Holland, calmly added.
”Yes, but our military is no match for the Spanish, we must seek help abroad if we are to gain our freedom from Spain. As you might know, France and England are at war with Spain, and I have heard that they are actually winning. Perhaps we should attempt to obtain support from them?” Suggested the cloaked man, usually called “de Korte” for his length. Supposedly, he was one of the most important people in Geldre.
” Aber nein! We must ask for support from the German princes,” that was almost always the response that Gerhard, an elderly trader, representing both Ostfrieslant and the Hansa cities, would give. Surely, the German princes had seen a lot of war, but would their forces be able to withstand the modern and numerous Spanish forces?
”What about the Swedes, the Danes? Surely, they would help us get free from the Catholic suppression, ” That was Sven, originally a Swede, but settled in Antwerp after making his fortune on trade in the Baltic.
”Why not beat them ourselves, it will take an effort, but we should be able to get it done, after all, we have been independent for most of our lives.” That was Douwe, a sturdy noble with domains in both Friesland and Groningen, who had opposed the Friesian joining with the rest of the Dutch lands, and got away with that alive.
”Gentlemen, I suggest we all gather support where we can find it, and sign a covenant to make clear our intentions, to be released in due time.” The count, owner of the house they gathered in now, always seemed to want something on paper, but why, no one knew.
 

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The Netherlands, late 17th century


The French-Spanish war

With the sale of Argentina and the trade of Brabant for Luzon, the failed war came to an end without further bloodshed. the Dutch hope that the peace now signed will last longer than previous vows of peace. Especially the non-aggression treaty with France pleases the Dutch greatly, as it offers us greater freedom in handling other pressing afairs.

The Swedish war

A new king, same old ambitions. Denmark, always fearing a Swedish attack over the rightfully Danish Norwegian lands, was again under attack from the Swedes, this time under the awe-inspiring leadership of king Karl.. Holland, grateful for Danish support in the French-Spanish war, commited itself fully to the defense of Danish land.. a grand total of 140,000 Dutch soldiers saw battle in this conflict, and the navy of some 200 ships provided transport and coastal support. In two great battles, the Swedes were wittled downed, untill finally, after the loss of some 70,000 dutch lives, king Karl and a few loyalists were surrounded by the Dutch army, and the king was forced to sign peace, never to be seen again on the field of battle.

Indonesia

Even during wartime, Dutch settlers and traders continued exploiting the vast riches of Indonesia, several more cities have been constructed from the ground up, and construction works are still ongoing.

recent European affairs

Germany
Recent years have seen an increase in banditry in the eastern border regions of Holland, also several Dukes and Counts in the surroundings of the Nassau territories are eyeing these territories greedily. The Dutch government is considering several actions to ensure continued security. the Staaten of Oldenburg are in this case the hardliners, seeing that the more friendly approach already lost Flandern and Brabant to the Netherlands.
Additionally, steps are being considered to strengthen the ties with Brandenburg and Denmark.. Brandenburg as possible allies in pacifying the rogue states of northwestern Germany, and as possibly necessary roadblock against Poland, which has recently advanced westward at an alarming rate. Denmark has for a long time been a valuable and trusted ally, and some whisper of strengthening the bonds for all eternity.

Italy
The Dutch are happy that the Italian conflict has been resolved, thus avoiding further bloodshed. The Dutch also hope that the new Italian Republic will prove as trustworthy a friend as the Venetian Republic it is based on, and that the peoples of Italy and Holland may enjoy prosperity together.

Hungary
As yet unconfirmed rumours of peace between the Habsburg realm and the Ottoman Empire greatly please the Dutch, as noone wishes for conflict.
 

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During recent recruitment and funding activities all over the country, various pictures of conflicts, old and new, have been discovered. One of our top artists has made an interesting "combined picture" of these paintings. If you wish to view the full pictures, or buy these for your own collection, contact the nearest Dutch embassy and they will help you further.

artist_impression.gif