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Incompetent

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German culture has been a real bugbear of discussions about culture in Interregnum. On the one hand, it's a very big and rich cultural zone, perhaps to the point of being unbalanced. On the other, we haven't been able to agree on a way to split it. As a result, there has been much argument but little clarity as to what to do. I propose an event-based solution that will answer some of the complaints of both sides.

1. We should have no qualms about giving German as a secondary culture to countries that deserve it. Anyone with a reasonable claim to the culture can have it. In particular that means the Hansa, the TO, Bavaria, Swabia and Bohemia all start with German as one of their cultures.

2. Everything is fine if you just have the odd German city, and you don't get any penalties on them. But it all changes if you start taking large chunks of Germany. At this point, you will forced to be make a decision, the exact form of which depends on which country you are playing:

- If German is your only culture and you don't ever plan to get more cultures, no problem. You will never be challenged on cultural issues.

- If you are not the Emperor and German is not your primary culture, it is assumed you have only a peripheral interest in the HRE. As such, Germans aren't happy that so much of the HRE is being ruled from outside. This will kick in when you have a fair number of German provinces. The A option is to grant independence to/hand over to the Emperor some of your German holdings and grant tax concessions to the rest in the hope of winning them over; also you pay the Emperor some money and expend some diplomats. (This could be done in a series of events, so the player can choose which places to let go of. Not one event per state, but one event per 'region' - either you keep everything in that region or you renounce it all.) The B option is to stubbornly hold onto the lot, but at this point the Germans will become upset and you'll lose German culture forever, as well as getting bad relations with the Emperor and other major players in the HRE. If you choose the A option, but then get greedy and don't release enough, you will also lose German culture, and the same will happen if you start taking provinces in regions you previously renounced.

- If you are the Emperor, or German is your primary culture, it is assumed you have a central interest in the HRE. As such, your non-German subjects are getting grumpy about the strong Germanising pressure that your state is exerting. This will kick in if you have quite a big chunk of Germany, say 15 provinces. The A option now is to accept that you are now a fully German state, and to lose all other cultures. There may be some limited opportunities for assimilation (eg if Hansa takes over the Empire, Hanseatic-culture cities in the HRE would go German), but you'll never get any more cultures. The B option is to grant wide-scale autonomy, greatly reducing centralisation. If you raise centralisation later and still control a lot of Germany, you will lose all your non-German cultures.

I've described this in generic terms, but it obviously gives us better control if we make country-specific events. Since we are talking about states with multiple cultures, we'll only have to write events for a handful of majors.

The only difficulty will be determining when a country has passed the threshhold in terms of taking chunks of Germany. Obviously these can be tailored to each country so that 'natural' provinces of that country are exempt, and we don't actually need to count the number of German provinces exactly, just get a rough idea of how much the player has taken (by region maybe?).


Incidentally, something similar (only on a smaller scale) could work for Scotland. Scotland gets Gaelic culture initially, and may use it to take the odd province off Eire, eg Ulster. But if Scotland conquers too much of Eire (say 3+ provinces), the tensions between Gaels and Scots-speakers within Scotland become overwhelming, the Gaels revolt and Scotland loses the culture. (There will be other ways for Scotland to lose Gaelic culture, but conquering Eire is sufficient if you haven't lost it already.) If Eire recovers, it has a chip on its shoulder and gets random events to undermine Scotland further (eg by sponsoring revolts in the Highlands, or sending missionaries to convert random Scottish provinces). On the other hand, Eire can conquer the Highlands without culture penalties - assuming they are still Gaelic - because Eire has a claim of lordship over all Gaels. But Eire never gets Inglis culture. The overall result is that there are incentives for both Scotland and Eire to attack each other in a limited way, but maybe not to go for all-out annexation.
 

MattyG

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Back with avengeance, Incompetent.

This I like entirely and completely. It won't satisfy mikl (who still wants at least Alpen culture, if not south german) but it resolves some other issues, and elegantly.

It's an approach that has been taken already, in the Brittany file, where the qualifications are layered even more with the parlement choices being made. And in the Savoy file with Italian, French and Occitan cultures that can come and go not only based on dynastic choices but also the number of provinces of a particular culture owned.
 

Rhodz

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What about Bavaria? Should they lose dutch culture for taking over Germany? One would think that a German king could rule the dutch pretty easily...

The problem I see here is that the game treats all cultures as the same and have the same relationship to each other, whereas we know that french culture is much closer to anglosaxon culture than say, han is. If the french could rule England for a long time in real history, surely that sets a precedent whereby similar cultures don't have to be mutually exclusive. German and dutch are a good example of similar cultures that in our history could be ruled by the same person without a huge issue. But a power that has provinces in Germany but is based in, say Hungary, is going to have a much more slavic bent, which isn't as chummy with german culture as dutch might be.

So maybe we need events to qualify which cultures aren't going to have a problem ruling germans and which are.
 

Incompetent

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Rhodz said:
What about Bavaria? Should they lose dutch culture for taking over Germany? One would think that a German king could rule the dutch pretty easily...

Well, we could make an exception for Bavaria. Each power is going to have its own set of events anyway. But if Bavaria takes over all of Germany, even as Emperor, there should be consequences: this is not how the HRE is supposed to work. A centralised Bavaria ruling over Germany would effectively mean the end of the HRE as we know it, and there need to be events to document this upheaval and what it means.

It's actually a good question to ask what we mean by Dutch culture in Interregnum, and why it is separate from German in the first place. Different language? No, actually there's a dialect continuum, and the Low German of northern Germany is closer to Dutch than it is to the High German of Bavaria. Different history? Not so much, given they're all in the HRE, and the Dutch are mostly descended from the Franks (who came from Franconia, which we're definitely classifying as German). It's true that historically, the HRE's control over the Low countries was relatively weak, but that's not necessarily going to be the case if large parts of the Low Countries are directly ruled by the Wittelsbachs, who in Interregnum are the most powerful dynasty in HRE politics. Different political goals? Maybe, but we have to develop this. We can't just assume Dutch culture will emerge just because it did so in real life, as the real-life circumstances were vastly different.

As such, there is no obvious border between German and Dutch culturally in 1419. So maybe we should use Dutch culture to mean 'a related group of people speaking a language similar to German, formerly in the HRE, but have made a decisive break with the HRE'. After all, 'Dutch' is just taken from the German word for 'German', so a priori it doesn't refer to any particular German tribe. That means no Dutch culture at all at the start, but it may or may not emerge in roughly the area of the Low Countries as it drifts away from the 'German' HRE politically.
 

MattyG

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Incompetent said:
Well, we could make an exception for Bavaria. Each power is going to have its own set of events anyway. But if Bavaria takes over all of Germany, even as Emperor, there should be consequences: this is not how the HRE is supposed to work. A centralised Bavaria ruling over Germany would effectively mean the end of the HRE as we know it, and there need to be events to document this upheaval and what it means.

It's actually a good question to ask what we mean by Dutch culture in Interregnum, and why it is separate from German in the first place. Different language? No, actually there's a dialect continuum, and the Low German of northern Germany is closer to Dutch than it is to the High German of Bavaria. Different history? Not so much, given they're all in the HRE, and the Dutch are mostly descended from the Franks (who came from Franconia, which we're definitely classifying as German). It's true that historically, the HRE's control over the Low countries was relatively weak, but that's not necessarily going to be the case if large parts of the Low Countries are directly ruled by the Wittelsbachs, who in Interregnum are the most powerful dynasty in HRE politics. Different political goals? Maybe, but we have to develop this. We can't just assume Dutch culture will emerge just because it did so in real life, as the real-life circumstances were vastly different.

As such, there is no obvious border between German and Dutch culturally in 1419. So maybe we should use Dutch culture to mean 'a related group of people speaking a language similar to German, formerly in the HRE, but have made a decisive break with the HRE'. After all, 'Dutch' is just taken from the German word for 'German', so a priori it doesn't refer to any particular German tribe. That means no Dutch culture at all at the start, but it may or may not emerge in roughly the area of the Low Countries as it drifts away from the 'German' HRE politically.


Maybe, then, we do what mikl always wanted and have Low German, stretching from Flandern to Pommern and as far south as Magdeburg area?

Bavaria currently can lose Dutch culture.
 

Incompetent

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MattyG said:
Maybe, then, we do what mikl always wanted and have Low German, stretching from Flandern to Pommern and as far south as Magdeburg area?

What I'm thinking of is more of an evolving situation. Cultural differences weren't really of political consequence in 1419 for the areas we currently have as 'German' and 'Dutch', so I propose we make them all German in 1419. The HRE at that stage is cohesive enough to count on their loyalty. However, the increasing independence of the Hansa from the HRE, the perceived oppression of the Emperor (if Bavaria does its usual trick of annexing everything in sight) and the chaos of the Reformation are all conspiring against German unity. As a result, a certain amount of Northern Germany is likely to look to local dialects and traditions in search of a distinct identity, and so break away; but the exact area over which this takes place will vary from game to game, depending on who owns what and when. Alternatively, and especially if the Alternate Reformation fires, it may be possible for the Emperor to prevent this split; but it will be very difficult, and will require the Emperor to make quite significant concessions (which in practice will mean he can't turn the HRE into a single state). Possible antagonists for the Emperor include the Hansa and/or religious radicals (can we have a crazy theocratic Anabaptist revolter? :D), and the TO and Burgundy might both get heavily involved on either side, depending on how scared they are of Bavarian power and so on. I see this kind of thing flaring up around the mid-16th century.

Bavaria currently can lose Dutch culture.

Yes, especially as Dutch culture may well emerge in opposition to the Wittelsbach Empire (somewhat similar to its RL rise to prominence in opposition to the Habsburg Empire, come to think of it).
 

MattyG

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OK. but I think that these changes are for Interregnum 2. There's a lot of tinkering and work to do to bring this in properly, too much for Interregnum 1.
 

Incompetent

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MattyG said:
OK. but I think that these changes are for Interregnum 2. There's a lot of tinkering and work to do to bring this in properly, too much for Interregnum 1.

Of course. Anything that involves provinces in some complicated fashion should wait for the new map, and this certainly qualifies.
 

MattyG

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In all the debate in the European Cultures thread, I'd like to bring the german debate back here.

So, I think we can do away with hanseatic culture, which always felt a little bit forced. That means buying the low german culture (if that's what we call it) for free, and it would replace both hanseatic (canary) and dutch cultures. If Germania forms or the Hansa is wiped out, those northern provinces could be converted to high german at some point, and we could still work out a scenario where Dutch culture emerges, but we don't have to.
 

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MattyG said:
In all the debate in the European Cultures thread, I'd like to bring the german debate back here.

So, I think we can do away with hanseatic culture, which always felt a little bit forced. That means buying the low german culture (if that's what we call it) for free, and it would replace both hanseatic (canary) and dutch cultures. If Germania forms or the Hansa is wiped out, those northern provinces could be converted to high german at some point, and we could still work out a scenario where Dutch culture emerges, but we don't have to.

I thought you were opposed to splitting German culture like this? Are you just trying to save tags, or do you now think this is a good way to divide it up?

The reason for Hanseatic was that it could assimilate places that aren't German at all, such as Novgorod. It was intended to be a kind of 'cosmopolitan culture', or rather that the League transcended culture. It was also to discourage the Hansa from just forming an easily defensible blob in northern Germany (which was the only sensible option in the old setup), and instead encourage them to go for objectives scattered across Europe, in order to maximise trading power (as opposed to military power). I'm a bit worried that making them Low German is going to turn the Hansa into just another German blobby state.

Still, the Hansa do tend to have their heartland in northern Germany and the Low Countries whatever we plan for them, and a decent Hansa will at least try to take the coast. I'm OK with Low German as long as we don't stretch it too far inland.

Incidentally, Low German will also make things simpler with the TO - we can give them Low German without worrying about giving them the 'overpowered' German culture. Curiously though, I can think of circumstances in which the TO should then lose Low German and gain High German, as their affinities turn against the Hansa and towards Bavaria.

What about a Middle German culture? This would be the German we let eg Bohemia have; conversely, if Swabia expands southwards, it would only get High German. Bavaria would start with all three Germans, but could lose one or more of them if they mess up or get too greedy.

Rhenish has also been suggested. It is unnecessary because we already have a potential culture for the area around the Rhine: Burgundian.


We could have cultural divisions in Germany laid down from the start; I'm not convinced there is justification for this in 1419, as dialectal differences do not make a culture, and the Germans had a strong sense of common identity which lasted until at least the 19th century. Alternatively, we could start with a blanket German culture for most of the Kingdom of Germany, which may stay dominant but probably won't, and as the Emperor's region of authority goes into retreat, so does the unified culture. But preferably, the splinter cultures shouldn't be named after dialect families of German, because the split has nothing to do with language issues.
 

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With the new map there will be additional provinces in Germany. This will afford us the luxury of adding a few additional single province minors, whould we choose to do so. I feel that this would create a more functional and flavourful region, as opposed to merely dividing the additional provinces among the existing states. I like particularly that Bavaria would shrink in size somewhat, better expressing that the Wittelsbachs had influence more than simply holdings.

It's hard to know which to add as the map is not yet available, although I understand from Garbon that it has been finished.
 

Avernite

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IMO, the Dutch provinces, like Italy, are markedly different from the rest of the Empire.

More involved with france (Flandern being part of the old French kingdom), more independent from the Empire (Holland and Brabant) due to a focus at sea and England, and quite a bit more urbanized. Maybe not a true culture, but definately already a distinct region which requires more work to rule as a normal German feudal ruler.

And, in my opinion, the distinction is clear enough to mark an own culture, so that Burgundy may engage in some meddling without total imperial culture, or perhaps a way to test the Bavarians while giving them a reward for sticking to the region, while not allowing all the little German nations to walk in without the events Bavaria has to represent the difference.
 

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Rhodz said:
What about Bavaria? Should they lose dutch culture for taking over Germany? One would think that a German king could rule the dutch pretty easily....[/QUOTE

Yes, the Spanish IRL had such an easy time there... So I think especially Bavaria should lose dutch culture.
 
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MattyG said:
Maybe, then, we do what mikl always wanted and have Low German, stretching from Flandern to Pommern and as far south as Magdeburg area?

Bavaria currently can lose Dutch culture.

Yes, let's do exactly what Michael wants... :rofl:

Seriously, Incompetent is dead right with his exploration of the outcomes of cultural clashes within large empires. Big states, generallly without the infrastructure to deal with disparate and unlike cultural groupings, disintegrate. Just ask the British and the Romans.

IRL, by 1250 there were upwards of 18 dialects operating in the germanic provinces. These are grouped into 3 distinct groups.

Hochmitteldeutsch (High Middle German = south of Leipzig, and essentially the mountainous end of Germany)

Niedermitteldeutsch (Low Middle German - North of Leipzig and incidentally the correct german spoken today)

Niedermittellandisch (Low Middle Dutch - what we know today as Holland).

But all essentially german dialects, and all remarkably middle ;) . So lets group those in game terms into Low German, Middle German, and High German. Different dialect, different diet, different neighbouring influences, different culture.

Then - for us - Dutch arises out of revolting Low Countries, They lose Low German culture with their new-found identity, and we call it Dutch. Same with the Swabens, if they take the Adeligrat strain of their event-based destiny, and relocate to Stuttgart, they lose High German, and tale on a culture we can call Swabisch, or Alpen. By the same token, if Hansa are successful, their core provinces become Hanseatic, and they lose their Middle German culture. Maybe if Heltia is recreated, it takes on Alpen culture. Whatever.

The Bavarians however keep their High German culture, doomed forever to speak through the side of their mouths, and think they are a german version of Texas.
 

Incompetent

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mikl said:
Rhodz said:
What about Bavaria? Should they lose dutch culture for taking over Germany? One would think that a German king could rule the dutch pretty easily....[/QUOTE

Yes, the Spanish IRL had such an easy time there... So no I think especially Bavaria should lose dutch culture.

You're thinking of the Dutch revolt, I take it. But was that revolt inevitable? How much did it depend on the special circumstances we had in real history, and on the general megalomania of the Habsburgs? Also, I'd point out that Spain did manage to hold onto a good chunk of the Low Countries, only losing them in the War of the Spanish Succession in the early 18th century; thereafter the Spanish Netherlands became the Austrian Netherlands. The northern and southern Netherlands were reunited after the Napoleonic Wars, but we all know how that union worked out.

The Low countries were somewhat different to Germany in 1419. But was Antwerp so different from Amsterdam in 1419 as to explain how the Spanish could keep hold of the first, but not the second, or to explain why the city's inhabitants later supported the Belgian revolution against Dutch rule? Or were these consequences of subsequent history?


I don't mind having events that possibly lead to Dutch nationalist sentiment. But they should come in several stages, starting very early, and not be inevitable. This is Interregnum after all - we generally don't want to force a historical outcome. Events coming out of the blue that basically say 'those bolshie Netherlanders have got agitated, and are starting a revolution against us' just don't cut it for me when we're talking about such a momentous change in the landscape.

As for the 1419 setup, I'd say Bavaria has at least as much right to start with Dutch culture as Burgundy does in vanilla. Whether they mess up later is another matter.

Re mikl's last post: I think you're suggesting High German, Low German and Dutch if you're going by dialects. Modern German is actually descended mostly from High German dialects. All dialects in 1419 were 'middle', but only in the sense of 'Middle Ages'. But I still think early on a lot of states should have more than one of these cultures, as they're different but not as different as Italian and German, say (eg Low German + Dutch for Hansa, High German + Dutch for Bavaria); it will then get harder and harder for them to retain these as the different bits of the HRE start to drift apart, but this drifting apart has to be documented and controlled by events.
 
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Rhodz

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mikl said:
Rhodz said:
What about Bavaria? Should they lose dutch culture for taking over Germany? One would think that a German king could rule the dutch pretty easily....[/QUOTE

Yes, the Spanish IRL had such an easy time there... So I think especially Bavaria should lose dutch culture.

Nice sarcasm, smartass. Are you really going to tell me that the Bavarians in our alternate timeline would rule the netherlands in the exact same way as the Spanish? For one, Spanish and Dutch cultures are nothing alike, whereas dutch and german cultures at the time were quite similar. Also, Munich was closer geographically to the region, not to mention the points that Incompetent has made.

So try and be constructive instead of just trolling other people's posts.
 

MattyG

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mikl said:
Seriously, Incompetent is dead right with his exploration of the outcomes of cultural clashes within large empires. Big states, generallly without the infrastructure to deal with disparate and unlike cultural groupings, disintegrate. Just ask the British and the Romans.


British Empire: roughly 1550 to 1950 about 400 years.

Roman Empire: roughly 300 BC to 500 AD, about 800 years.

It does depend a little on how you define an Empire, of course.

And the rot set in before the Empire collapsed.

Nonetheless, using either the Roman (different timeframe) or the British (definitely this timeframe) as the yardstick, one can see that an Empire enjoys a period of sustained acceptance from conquered peoples prior to losing their grip. So let be not too hasty to bring on such an 'inevitable' collapse.
 

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Incompetent said:
mikl said:
The Low countries were somewhat different to Germany in 1419. But was Antwerp so different from Amsterdam in 1419 as to explain how the Spanish could keep hold of the first, but not the second, or to explain why the city's inhabitants later supported the Belgian revolution against Dutch rule? Or were these consequences of subsequent history?

They could keep Antwerp because it was closer to the Union of Atrecht parts of the Netherlands. Plus it isn't surrounded by boggy Netherlands.

Do note, also, that Amsterdam was loyal to the Spanish crown for quite a while while the Antwerpians were in open revolt.


Nitpicking aside, the Dutch culture also need not be stuck. Certainly the Rhineland and Münster were also closely linked to Gelre, speaking a lower-frankish dialect similar to Dutch, or lower Saxon similar to those in the northeastern Netherlands of these days.

Perhaps, then, fluidity should be near complete. Any starting middle german can go high or low german (or both), any low can go middle, and any high can go middle. Perhaps not perfect, and should come at a price and reversability, but it is true there was little fixed at the time.
 

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Avernite said:
They could keep Antwerp because it was closer to the Union of Atrecht parts of the Netherlands. Plus it isn't surrounded by boggy Netherlands.

Do note, also, that Amsterdam was loyal to the Spanish crown for quite a while while the Antwerpians were in open revolt.

That's exactly my point. The situation was created by military successes and failures on the part of the Spanish and the Dutch rebels and resulting movements of population, not by pre-existing cultural divides.

Nitpicking aside, the Dutch culture also need not be stuck. Certainly the Rhineland and Münster were also closely linked to Gelre, speaking a lower-frankish dialect similar to Dutch, or lower Saxon similar to those in the northeastern Netherlands of these days.

Perhaps, then, fluidity should be near complete. Any starting middle german can go high or low german (or both), any low can go middle, and any high can go middle. Perhaps not perfect, and should come at a price and reversability, but it is true there was little fixed at the time.

This could be a good compromise. Start with Dutch and two or three German cultures, but make it relatively easy for a state that has one of these cultures to assimilate provinces of a neighbouring culture under the right circumstances. The boundaries would start to solidify in the 16th century, but with possible upsets later if religious turmoil causes mass movements of people.

As with my suggestion, this will need to wait for the new map, but it's good to have the discussion now so we can consider the options.