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The Spanish coat-of-arms throughout much of the 19th century

And hello once again, Paradox Forums. I guess it took longer than I wanted to start my second AAR, eh? This time Spain is the subject here, to be done in similar fashion to my Chilean AAR, hopefully with improved style now that I've found my footing here.

This game is played using the same base as the previous AAR, however this time, I'm running some other customisations that I'm slowly compiling into a submod to PDM that eventually anyone interested will be able to play. At this point it consists of a few flavour events and decisions for Latin America and Finland, and some province renaming decisions--I'll be sure to point out any of the more interesting ones if they pop up.

This Spanish AAR will be one where Spain tries to reinvent herself as a European great power along the lines of Italy and Germany in the age of nationalism and beyond. What this will entail will have to wait.

Or I could fail horribly--this isn't an easy country to play as compared to, say, Prussia (or even Chile!).

Comments and such are always appreciated--do your part to keep the Victoria 2 AAR section thriving until Victoria 3 comes out!

TABLE OF CONTENTS​
 
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Overview--Our Glorious Decline
After the completion of the Reconquista in 1492, Spain quickly emerged as one of the greatest nations in the world. Gold, silver, and agricultural wealth flowed in from the recently discovered Americas, Spain conquered much of Italy in the Italian Wars, and Spanish culture flourished. Spain was truly the master of the world in these years.

But Spain squandered her wealth and power. The gold was put to no good use, fueling the decadent lifestyles of her aristocrats and noblemen instead of any meaningful investments. The state's poor investments led to bankruptcy being declared 4 times in the 16th century alone. Even worse, Spain overextended herself. The Netherlands broke free, Portugal broke free, and Spanish invincibility was shattered. Throughout the 17th century, the Spanish Netherlands were chipped away at as France conquered more and more of it. France even conquered part of the Catalonia--the county of Rossellò was incorporated into the French state. Upon the death of the last Spanish Habsburg, an inbred fool, a great war raged over who would inherit Spain, eventually settling upon the Bourbon King Philip V. Spain was to lose another portion of her land this time, the fortress of Gibraltar which was to provide Britain a steady base for their own growing empire.

While Spain somewhat recovered in the 18th century, the arrival of the revolutionary 19th century would prove to be worse for Spain than anything yet. Napoleon's invasion of Spain in the Peninsular War devastated the country, and the instability it caused would lead to so many of Spain's problems. The Americas broke free in this turbulence, and Spain failed to reconquer them. Without the income of these lands, the Spanish government sank further and further into depression.

And now, what remains is a mere shell of this once mighty empire. The majority of the people are illiterate, there is no industry unlike in England or France or the United States, the transportation networks are nonexistent, and the country is the most underdeveloped in Western Europe with the possible exception of her fellow Bourbon state the Two Sicilies or her neighbour Portugal (which has gone through a similar traumatic experience). Spanish rule over Cuba and Puerto Rico is uncertain with the rise of the United States and the revolutionary fervor of Latin America. And worst of all, the conflicts resulting over the rise of liberalism, common throughout the former Spanish colonies, have now come to Spain in the form of the Carlist Wars. Led by the Count of Molina, Infante Carlos, the Carlists exploit regional loyalties amongst the Catalans and the Basques in hopes of installing their reactionary absolutist leader on the throne.

There is no greater criminal in Spain now than this man, Don Carlos

As we shall soon see, Spain has many, many challenges ahead of her if she is to regain her place amongst the Great Powers of the world in this new age. In Spain's current state, many defend her queen, the child Isabella II, but perhaps none are better suited for Spain than Baldomero Espartero, a leader in the struggle against the Carlists and a champion of liberalism.


General Espartero--his name shall soon enter into legend
 

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Ah, good old Spain. The best book I've read of her is, of course, Braudel's masterpiece The Mediterranean and the Mediterranean World of Philip II! Nothing like reading how all that wealth was squandered then Dutch merchants opportunistically moved in to control Mediterranean trade at the expense of the Spanish! It is time for the re-Reconquista! Good luck.

Cheers!
 

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Chapter I--The View at Rock Bottom (1836)​
But since we now have seen the decline of Spain, we must now witness the rebirth of Spain. And no better way of doing so than describing the pieces left at rock bottom that shall be reforged into a second Spanish Empire.


At least Spain is civilised, although the actions of some in the Carlist Wars certainly isn't...

And such a rebirth will prove to be the most difficult task Spain has faced in all her history. Spain has a literate population of 13%, tied with Portugal for the lowest of any state in Europe (even the Turks, the Sick Man of Europe) aside from, as noted earlier, the Two Sicilies, where the mother of the child Queen Isabella II hails from, and naturally the hordes of serfs as found in Russia. This literacy rate is only marginally better than her former colonies in the Americas, and will hinder development in the country for years to come. Little extra money can be spent on education due to the myriad of economic problems facing Spain.


Not much large-scale industry has been attempted in Spain, perhaps because it would likely fail. But thanks for trying, Toledo.

And more on the industrial situation Spain struggles with. Since the advent of the Industrial Revolution in England, the course has been set for the Western World (and any nations of Asia who wish to tag along)--the 19th century will be industrial, not agrarian in character. Spain has vast artisan industries, who make up around 11% of the population, but these are insufficient for meeting the mass demand both at home and abroad. However, old embers of the Spanish Empire's strength still flicker--Toledo has the beginnings of a steel industry, no doubt inherited from the legendary Toledo steelmaking tradition that has been famed since even before the Romans. The men involved in this operation have been given full subsidies by the government (almost certainly needed as these steelworks are far inefficient to their competitors in Britain and the United States, despite their superior quality!) [1].

Perhaps the biggest drain on the economy of Spain is required in sustaining her colonial empire--or what's left of it. Over 5.1 million of Spain's population of 17 million lives in the overseas colonial territories. These include the African island of Fernando Pó and Spain's foothold on Africa in the Equatorial Guinea, the crown gem in the crown what's left of the Spanish Empire the Spanish East Indies, or the Philippines as it is sometimes called, and the remnants of the Spanish New World colonies in Cuba and Puerto Rico. All of these regions are subject to slavery, and ruled by small minorities of Spaniards over vast amounts of mixed-race people and slaves. Naturally, these regions are hotbeds for potential rebellion. Spain thus constantly supplies them and extracts resources from them using an expensive fleet of clipper ships. 15,000 soldiers guard these vast territories, a far insufficient number, especially compared to the vast amount of British forces in India.


The transport ship Isabel II, purchased from British--an early yet capable steamship pressed into Navy service

The state of the Spanish Navy is rather poor as well. The defeat at Trafalgar, the destruction of Spain in the Peninsular War, corrupt administration, and the loss of the Americas have taken their toll on the navy. The ships are dated, the crews inexperienced, the officers lazy, incompetent, and corrupt. This is not the same Spanish Armada that brought such prestige to the nation in the centuries prior and nearly brought down the British. Nine ships of the line remain in any useful service--they are obsolete by British standards, but necessary to remain in service for matters of prestige, for Spain must keep up appearances. Eleven frigates also are in service, but several have been retired to cut costs and divert naval expenses towards increasing the squadron of transport ships to ferry men around in case of rebellion in the colonies.


Heroes of the past, the present, and the future...[2]

The Spanish Army is rather poor as well, and faces similar problems to the Navy. The army is woefully understrength at about half of the size it could be [3]. Like the Spanish Navy, the Spanish Army is behind in equipment, tactics, and combat doctrine, in its case ahead of only the states of Eastern Europe and marginally ahead of its former colonies in the Americas, the defeats to them which still sting decades later. However, it does have the benefit of having several well-trained commanders to lead it, including many veterans from the Peninsular War and especially the wars in Latin America. A younger class of officers and leaders is also rapidly emerging, and should serve Spain well in the years to come.


The regent of Spain, Maria Cristina of the Two Sicilies, mother of the Queen and wife of the deceased Ferdinand VII

Political leadership in Spain is generally liberal--we have abandoned absolutism after the disastrous reign of Ferdinand VII, who henceforth has entered history as "the Felon King". There are nominal elections, and the power of the monarch is constrained, for we need no more men like the Felon King governing Spain at their whim. With his death, the throne has passed to his infant daughter Isabella II. Her regency council is led by her mother Maria Cristina of the Two Sicilies, but many suggest her mother is unfit for this role, especially with her secret marriage to a captain of the royal guards, Agustín Fernando Muñoz. In this turbulent era, it is likely she will be forced to resign at some point.


A kindly looking man--though perhaps not if you're a monk or clergyman

The Prime Minister, Juan Álvarez Mendizábal, is also very controversial--an anticlerical liberal, his most notorious act is the Desamortización, where land owned by the Catholic Church and especially monasteries has been confiscated and doled out to private, secular landowners. While enriching both the state (or at least easing the economic issues faced by the state) and the upper classes, it has not made the government friends with the Church--perhaps more moderate leadership is needed in Spain, and the days of Mendizábal's government are likely numbered.

But above all, we now face one of the greatest threats to stability in Spain since Napoleon--Don Carlos and his Carlist rebels. The brother of the thankfully-deceased Ferdinand, Don Carlos draws his support from regional rebels in the Basque Country and Catalonia and the few misguided reactionaries throughout Spain. The man calls himself Carlos V, but he will never be allowed to accede to that name, for he will only lead to cruel absolutism and further backwardness that we reject, regardless of the grand promises he makes to anyone who will back him.


An important victory, although the pretender escaped

The situation of the Carlist Wars is fairly grim--they are well-entrenched within Basque Country, and their base in Catalonia is similarly strong. The war has largely been a stalemate, with some bright moments coming with the death of the brilliant Carlist general Tomás de Zumalacárregui from wounds sustained in combat. The Carlists are currently threatening to mount a major offensive, which is what our next chapter will cover, along with the first actions of Spain to recover her prestige and might.
And it is well known that Spain has further ambitions that the Carlist Uprising is only placing on hold for now...

[1] - Thankfully I have one (1) factory, and if you can get the raw goods, steel is usually highly profitable.
[2] - Gave myself a stack of historic Spanish leaders to start with--the custom mod I mentioned will hopefully expand this to all nations at some point!
[3] - Assuming 3.5% soldier POPs per state (optimal and maximum size in PDM).
[HR][/HR]
Apologies for the slow start to this AAR--I've been disorganised thanks to visiting family and such. I'll try and post the next one (i.e. the ACTUAL start, with all the blood, death, and Carlists) within a day or two.
 
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Although both updates have been brief, I do enjoy the style of the AAR. A picture-based histories are always great, and not to mention your prose is just as fine too! But it looks like you're going to need to rebuild your navy since navies are the cornerstone of empires! :cool:
 

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Thanks for the comments, everyone--I'm glad people are reading, especially those who've written great AARs themselves!

Current status is I got a bit carried away in a session of this game (Vic2 is my favourite Paradox game), so I'm currently at 1865 with a ton of screenshots saved and little text written.

Although both updates have been brief, I do enjoy the style of the AAR. A picture-based histories are always great, and not to mention your prose is just as fine too! But it looks like you're going to need to rebuild your navy since navies are the cornerstone of empires! :cool:
About the navy--I really should've heeded your advice (a bit of foreshadowing here, heheheheh).
 

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Current status is I got a bit carried away in a session of this game (Vic2 is my favourite Paradox game), so I'm currently at 1865 with a ton of screenshots saved and little text written.

About the navy--I really should've heeded your advice (a bit of foreshadowing here, heheheheh).
Haha! I have that happen to myself too. In fact, several of my dead AARs died 50 or 60 years behind my pace of the game and the 100s of screenshots I otherwise had for the next half century! :p (I prefer to play ahead since, as I like to write history, I can provide foreshadowing and write in the past tense in my updates more akin to how histories are written anyways). Hey, sometimes I even start taking screens and start writing a planned AAR, that upon further inspection, I decide not to do... :p

"All ships or none!" :cool:
 

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And it looks like I'm having Internet issues with my main computer that I play on and I feel too lazy to transfer the files to the one I'm posting with here.

Hopefully will have this sorted by tomorrow.
 

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And FINALLY after days of Internet trouble and procrastinating on writing the damn thing/editing the images (My addiction to the World Cup doesn't help, but fortunately for the AAR's sake that's almost over), we can start this!
[HR][/HR]
Chapter II--For the Security of Our Future

The immediate focus for the leadership in Spain was to bring the economy to balance, or something approaching it. These budget concerns were to be tempered with the immediate needs of the state to improve both bureaucracy and administration (especially in rural areas, where the vast majority of Spaniards lived) as well as to increase funding and access to education. The budget was handled independently of the Carlist War--Carlos and his followers will be chased out of Spain soon. The Catholic Church received slight additional funding to use to promote education and literacy (with the added bonus of appeasing those who might otherwise join Don Carlos), though anticlerical elements within the government such as Prime Minister Mendizábal ensured that funds alloted to the Church would be watched carefully. Recruitment campaigns were undertaken to sign up new administrators--the civil service would pay well, and only partial literacy was needed!

The Spanish government was more than willing to take on debt to help develop the infrastructure and administration needed for future economic success--substantial amounts of loans were taken out throughout the next four years, all of which were eventually paid back with little issue [1].
The moment the Congress System was established, the Congress of Vienna in 1815​

Foreign relations were also a focus of interest in this turbulent time. It is unlikely Spain will find herself embroiled in a foreign war thanks to the atmosphere of peace in Europe created by the post-Napoleonic Concert of Europe, but Spain must make advances to the world to be seen as a Great Power--essentially, Spanish integration into Europe and the Congress System is necessary. Spain's biggest advocate in Europe is France, cousins of the royal Bourbon dynasty. The French are likely to prove the greatest ally for Spain in the time being. The other major power of Western Europe, Great Britain, is decidely less friendly with Spain, though there is mutual animosity on both sides. The British are not likely to attack Spain, but will merely keep a close eye on her. And on the subject of being taken seriously as a Great Power like Spain claims she still is [2], a decision was made to attempt to rebuild the Spanish Empire in Latin America through diplomacy. It is certainly noted by observers that British influence had essentially replaced Spanish influence in the region, something that would not be tolerated in the long run.

A map of New Granada with her president, Francisco de Paula Santander​

And for this new program, the new Republic of New Granada [3] was the first Spain would attempt rapprochement with. The Granadine government offered many things--it could provide coffee on trade terms favourable to Spain and Spanish interests, but also coal, tropical wood, and other resources of interest. But perhaps most importantly was control over Panama. Spanish explorer and admiral Alejandro Malaspina had drawn up plans for a canal in this region between the Atlantic and Pacific, as infeasible as it may be. However, the invention and proliferation of the railroad may prove to be a far more realistic proposal, though with funding tight no survey could be made. However, the government of Spain fully recognised the independence of New Granada, and declared (against the reservations of many) that. Though the President of New Granada Francisco de Paula Santander was known for his strong anti-Spanish positions (such as infamous massacres of Royalist prisoners), he cautiously signed the treaty establishing diplomatic relations with Spain. But with Santander and others in Colombia and the rest of the region looking more towards the United States (and the US certainly looking back), and British influence so strong in the region, it may be difficult to re-establish Spanish influence in the region, especially not with the country in such dire straits.

And there lies the most pressing issue of Spain in 1836--the Carlists. The order was given to mount an offensive against Don Carlos and his followers early in January. The leading generals were Baldomero Espartero and the old Peninsular War hero José de Palafox, Duke of Zaragoza. While Palafox was aging and effectively retired to a life as a regional politician (Prime Minister Mendizábal had named him Captain-General of his homeland Aragon), the Carlist presence in Aragon and threat to his hometown Zaragoza led to a popular call for him to take up his commission once again. Indeed, the Carlists controlled a vast amount of land in the northeast of Spain, and the words of Don Carlos held sway over many Basques and Catalans with his promise to protect their traditional rights and religion. But the old privilege given to those people must end--the fueros must be abolished, and Spain must be one country, not an amalgation of several. The Basques will receive no more special right and privilege than the ordinary Spaniard. So was the belief of many of the leaders of Spain--Don Carlos represents backwardness and feudalism, and the new liberal government represents a new Spain, one that can reclaim its glory better than any of Don Carlos's hollow promises. And Baldomero Espartero represents that ideal in the minds of Spaniards more than anyone.

Our work bears fruit, the bitter fruits of war​

The immediate focus was to stop the planned campaign of Carlist leaders Ramón Cabrera (the brutal "Tiger of Maestrazgo", a religious fanatic who leaves a trail of blood in his wake) and Miguel Gómez Damas to the south aimed at linking up with Carlist sympathisers in the Extremadura region. Veteran leader Palafox and the Spanish northern army spend much of January in sparse guerrilla engagements in Southern Catalonia before making the decisive engagement at Gandesa in the rural regions near Tarragona. The town had refused to open its gates to Cabrera's army, and soon Palafox and his nearly 15,000 strong army were engaging the Carlists. Outnumbered and in mostly hostile territory, the Carlist army surrendered after many hours of fierce fighting. Gómez and Cabrera escaped, unfortunately, and the dogged determination they showed will ensure them fame amongst advocates of Carlism.


Your days are numbered, Don Carlos!

The news of the victory at Gandesa made the Christino armies all the more eager to crush the Carlists--the momentum was there's now! Thus, the advance of one of main Carlist field armies under Marshal Bruno Villareal toward Zaragoza was not seen as a threat, but as an opportunity for a decisive victory. Thus, General Espartero was to lead the strongest Spanish Army of around 24,000 soldiers to root out the Carlists.

Having already taken casualties from Espartero's guerrilla warfare efforts in Aragon [4], the Carlists were slightly understrength, but still had numbers equal to Espertaro's army. Carlist efforts to raid Zaragoza itself had been frustrated by the heroic resistance of the citizens of the town (later to be celebrated in a popular festival in the region). At the town of Zuera north of Zaragoza, Espartero engaged Villareal's main army on February 19, seeking a decisive engagement, which he would achieve--by the end of the day, the Carlists were fleeing from the field. Almost half the Carlist army had been killed or forced to lay down their weapons. The personal heroism of Espartero, almost certainly instrumental in the engagement, led to his even greater popularity amongst the public.

Though two major Carlist armies had been defeated, the main army--that of Don Carlos and his trusted lieutenant, the famed general Rafael Maroto--still held most of Basque Country and continued its march to Madrid in a final effort to win the war for Carlos. And it looked as though he might be successful, for the only Isabelino army present near Madrid was a 12,000 strong force led by General Marcelino Oráa (nicknamed "The Old Wolf"). The army had not been committed to the main offensive into the Carlist-held north due to the suspected Carlist sympathies of many of its soldiers [5]. The rough terrain and Carlist resistance would prevent Espartero or Palafox from reaching this unit in time, and thus it was up to Oráa and his lieutenants to organise a defense.


Flee while you still can, Carlos, and never return!

Digging into the landscape outside the village of Aranzueque, a Carlist Army nearly twice the size of them attacked the positions of the Isabelino forces. Though many times the battle looked grim, the efforts of Oráa and especially his lieutenant Manuel Pavía y Lacy managed to win the day for Spain. The Carlists had lost over half of their force in this attack, with Maroto barely managing to escape, and Aranzueque above everything proved the Carlist cause was lost.

Throughout the rest of 1836, Carlist forces were hunted down in the mountains of Aragon, Catalonia, and the Basque Country. Carlists were forced to lay down arms whenever they were encountered, and sometime in September Don Carlos fled to France, where he was placed under house arrest. Maroto and other Carlist leaders continued the fight throughout the year, but they had nearly no chances against the fierce offensive into Basque Country. [6]

A bronze-relief depiction of the event​

On December 14, 1836, Maroto, Espartero, and other leaders on both sides, accompanied by French, British, and Portuguese observers, met in Basque Country to sign peace. The Carlists managed to get significant lenience in treatment, with many Carlists being allowed to serve in the Spanish Army (such as Maroto), and the Spanish government promising to care for orphans and war dead of the Carlists. Maroto told his Basque soldiers in a grand speech that he had realised that Don Carlos was not best for Spain, and Espartero's popularity only became greater. This event was known as the "Embrace of Vergara", named for a nearby town instead of the actual place the treaty of signed. Almost all Carlists chose to accept the peace treaty, despite a small Carlist uprising in 1839 that was rapidly defeated.

More soldiers will be needed throughout the empire​

And with the Carlist War effectively concluded, the Spanish government took about the task of reorganising the empire both at home and abroad. A new constitution was promulgated in 1837, which represented a rough compromise between progressive and moderate ideas in Spain. It could roughly be comparable to the constitutions of France and Belgium of the time. The army was expanded by almost 20,000 soldiers--even with the economic issues facing Spain, the army must be kept strong if Spain is to maintain her position as a great power. Fortifications were constructed and expanded throughout the north of Spain in regions ravaged by the Carlists, as well as in exterior regions of Spain such as the colonies, the Canary Islands, and the Balearic to strengthen resistance in case of another major Carlist uprising, local discontent, or foreign aggression, though with the Concert of Europe bringing peace to the land, the latter was rather unlikely.

Maria II, Queen of Portugal. Perhaps she and Isabella II can be friends? And if they can, so could their nations...​

An interesting concept began to develop in the 19th century with the Spanish focus on regaining the Empire--Iberian federalism. Portugal had once been a part of the Spanish Empire under Philip II and his successors, joined to it in personal union similar to Aragon. The Portuguese and Spanish languages were similar, even moreso than Catalan and Spanish, and the two countries had a shared cultural heritage and historical background--both had recently lost an empire in the Americas and now struggled to reinvent themselves in this new era. Both were even ruled by young queens! Intellectuals such as Spaniard Abate Marchena had supported an Iberian union. During the liberal revolution in 1820, societies existed that sought to establish a federation between the two states. And even in this time period, powerful figures such as Mendizábal and Portuguese statesman Mouzinho da Silveira have advocated for it. Before his premature death, some sought to have Emperor Pedro I of Brazil (Pedro IV of Portugal) appointed regent of Spain. Upon the birth of Portuguese Infante Pedro in 1837, a movement began to betroth Isabella to this prince to bind our nations together.

A major event in this Spanish rebirth. Pictured are two of the men who made it possible, the Spanish Prime Minister Bernardino Fernández de Velasco, Duke of Frías and the Portuguese Prime Minister Bernardo de Sá Nogueira de Figueiredo, Viscount of Sá da Bandeira (later created Marquis)​

To realise these dreams and make them more than just wishes, diplomatic overtures must be taken between the two nations, and throughout 1837 and 1838 constant effort was made to draw Portugal away from the British sphere and into a reborn Spanish sphere of influence. And by 1838, Portugal could be said to be in the Spanish sphere, and a military alliance was signed on February 9, 1839.

Important figures in this tale--left to right Jean-Pierre Boyer, José Núñez de Cáceres, Pedro Santana​

And above all, rebirth of Spanish might was demanded. While a reconquest of the Americas was foolhardy, one place lost to Spain could in theory be regained--Hispaniola. The Treaty of Ryswick at the end of the Nine Years' War in 1697 granted France control over part of Hispaniola. That part of the island prospered under massive slavery and exploitation of its agricultural wealth, while the Spanish side continued to decline as many of its inhabitants left for South America. French colonial policy backfired as a class of mixed-race mulatto intellectuals and freedmen waged a war of independence against France with the support of many slaves. Starting as mere slave revolt, by the end of it a new nation was founded--Haiti. Haiti took part in the wars in Latin America when its president Jean-Pierre Boyer invaded the rebellious province of Santo Domingo (calling itself the "Republic of Spanish Haiti"). The president of Spanish Haiti José Núñez de Cáceres attempted to gain the support of Simon Bolivar and join Gran Colombia, but this proposal failed and Boyer conquered Spanish Haiti and thus united the island under his rule.


And thus we will pursue our first aggressive war in so many years

An opportunity presented itself to Spain to regain this part of the empire. Wealthy landowner and rancher Pedro Santana corresponded with Espartero, the Duke of Frías, and other Spanish politicians about freeing his nation from Haitian rule, which many in the eastern side of the island had grown increasingly frustrated by. He proposed annexing his country to Spain in return for preferential treatment and autonomy not seen in other Spanish colonies. Santana would become the governor-general of Santo Domingo. The Spanish government proposed to take it a step further--annex all of Hispaniola. Haiti was still considered an illegitimate state by many, and its very existence inspired slave revolts and conspiracies of such globally. Upon Boyer's failing to meet annual payments of the independence indemnity and the French government declining to reduce the payment, France tacitly agreed to let Spain annex its rebellious former colony, provided Spain could pick up those indemnity payments (at a much reduced cost never even offered to the Haitians).

And upon the defeat of the aforementioned minor Carlist insurgency and the transport of an army to the Caribbean under General Pavia y Lacy, hero of Aranzueque, the plans for the campaign began. And on March 9, 1840, Spain declared war on Haiti, with the intent on making it the first step in reclaiming the glory of Spain.

[1] - About 70,000 pounds total if memory recalls, but I'm not sure how to convert that into any actual currency used in this time period.
[2] - I must keep Great Power status at all costs!
[3] - The original name of Colombia until 1861
[4] - Attrition from sieging my provinces
[5] - Included three brigades from Basque Country, all of which were Carlist rebels ready to rise.
[6] - Considering how weak the Carlists were, it's rather disturbing how I see Carlist Spain so often in the majority of my Victoria 2 campaigns. A tad ahistoric, but I guess if the Carlists were a more credible threat rather than an annoyance, the poor AI wouldn't be able to cope. I suppose early 21st century hardware just can't simulate the 19th century historical experience without compromises. Maybe in the 22nd century we'll have an ideal simulation.
 
Last edited:

stnylan

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You have to start somewhere, and between defeated Carlists, Toledo steel, and Haiti seems to be it ;)
 

Orlov Kruskayev

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Subbed.
 

volksmarschall

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Quite the rout of the rebels if I do say so myself! Also interested to see how the United States reacts to European meddling into the Western Hemisphere!
 

Warlord Skorr

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Quite the rout of the rebels if I do say so myself! Also interested to see how the United States reacts to European meddling into the Western Hemisphere!
That's a really good point. Does PDM have anything to represent the Monroe Doctrine?
A Spanish-American war this early is really unlikely to end well for either side.
 

BBBD316

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Looks good, haven't played PDM. Any difference in the ART that you built?
 

metalinvader665

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Thanks for all the comments, everyone! I'll be posting the next update pretty soon.

That's a really good point. Does PDM have anything to represent the Monroe Doctrine?
A Spanish-American war this early is really unlikely to end well for either side.
I wish it did. For as great of a mod as it is (I think it's the only way to play Vic2), there's tons of things PDM doesn't do, which I'd love to add to the game at some point, but I'm pretty mediocre at modding outside of simple events and decisions.

Looks good, haven't played PDM. Any difference in the ART that you built?
Those are mobile artillery, which have higher movement value (and thus won't slow down your armies like regular artillery) at the cost of being slightly weaker and not adding siege values to your army like regular artillery and engineers. I try and have equal amounts of stacks with artillery and stacks with mobile artillery, with the mobile artillery-using stacks as vanguard units and rebel hunters, as well as for campaigning against uncivs.

Also pretty useful in that you can build them with non-accepted cultures (unlike regular artillery), which really helps in places like Africa or in my case Cuba and the Philippines (note that Spain has both Catalan and Basque as accepted cultures).
 

metalinvader665

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Chapter III--In Turbulent Times, an Empire Is Reborn

It was an audacious move attempting to conquer Hispaniola. The British government lodged a complaint against Spain (the first of many British complaints raised in the 19th century over Spain), but French support and the indifference of the rest of the Great Powers ensured Spain would be allowed to continue their conquest. The United States also declined to take an interest in the conflict--the slaveholding lobby in the US South disliked Haitian independence (and indeed, the United States did not recognise Haiti as an independent state) out of the belief that it encouraged discontent and rebellion amongst slaves, and American President Martin van Buren needed their support to keep his base in the South strong against the rising opposition Whig Party.



A map of the island of Hispaniola, the focus of conflict

Aside from international concerns, conquering Hispaniola would be difficult. While the Haitian Army would likely pose no challenge, holding the land would be quite difficult. Hispaniola was perfect for staging guerrilla insurgencies in the rough terrain, and Haitian (or even Dominican) rebels could easily resist Spanish control. Disease such as yellow fever and malaria were common in the jungles and swamps of Haiti, as the French had learned in their war. It was for this reason no Spanish general wanted the task of fighting in Haiti--as such, the young General Manuel Pavía was sent with 18,000 men with the task of occupying Haiti. The Dominican Pedro Santana was called to Cuba to command another 9,000 men from Spain's Caribbean possessions as well as several thousand of his own army consisting of native Dominicans. The general Spanish strategy was to occupy the major population centers and capture Jean-Pierre Boyer, Charles Rivière-Hérard, Jean-Baptiste Riché, and other Haitian leaders and politicians to force the surrender of the country and install a puppet administration. Propaganda would be key to this war--the Spanish had no intent to restore slavery to Hispaniola, and the locals must realise that.



Charles Rivière-Hérard, leader of the Haitian Army

Upon securing the coast from the small Haitian Navy, Spanish troops stormed the harbour of Port-au-Prince in the early morning of March 10, 1840. Minimal street fighting occured with the town garrison, which quickly surrendered. By noon, Port-au-Prince was occupied, with little sign of the Haitian Army. President Boyer had fled the capital presumably at the moment he received news of the declaration of war.

From there, the Spanish Army divided into several divisons, each enough to suppress local insurgencies. General Pavía remained the overall commander of the expedition, with Santana of the Dominican rebels commissioned as a Spanish general himself to lead his own army. The war also marked the first appearance and successes of General Leopoldo O'Donnell, an officer of Irish descent descended from the old Kings of Tyrconnell in Ireland. It was O'Donnell's forces that raised the Spanish flag over Santo Domingo--he would later use this event to further his military career that would bear him great fortune in the future.

While much of the war was fought dealing with poorly organised bands of insurgents and militia (as well as the deadly spectre of disease that claimed far more lives than the Haitians ever could), there was one true battle of the war. On August 23, the Haitian Navy--an assortment of old French warships stolen by the Haitians sometime during the Haitian Revolution. All dreadfully out of date, the fleet was nonetheless impressive for a nation as poor as Haiti. It was, however, no problem for the amassed Spanish fleet, consisting of the local Cuban squadran and several ships from the main squadron in Spain. Two Haitian ships were destroyed in the fight, while the rest were damaged and were later scuttled by the Haitians to prevent them from falling into Spanish hands.

By October, it was clearly over for Haiti, and all that remained was to find a Haitian general to negotiate peace with. The nation--already very disorganised and fraught with internal conflict--had completely fallen apart, and resistance was slowly ceasing as it became obvious the Spanish had no plans to restore slavery. It was learned that President Boyer had been murdered by his political enemies, and General Charles Rivière-Hérard had declared himself president. Rivière-Hérard was captured on October 2 near Cap-Haïtien in the north of the country, and was ultimately to be the last president of Haiti.



And so ends the story of the second independent state in the New World

In Havana, the peace terms were negotiated upon by the parties involved--Santana, Rivière-Hérard, and the Spanish representatives under Pedro Téllez Girón, Captain-General of Cuba, as well as General Pavía and General O'Donnell. The Spanish terms were just and simple, to prevent international anger as well as keeping the population peaceful. Spain would abolish slavery in Hispaniola, and divide the island into two captaincies-general: the Captaincy-General of Haití and the Captaincy-General of Santo Domingo. Pedro Santana was to rule in Santo Domingo, while Rivière-Hérard was kept as the Captain-General of Haiti for the time being. Both were given substantial amounts of self-government not seen in any other Spanish dominion. The Spanish government made promises that it would develop the island moreso than the French or any independent government could--the new Spain had learned from her mistakes in Latin America, and now would certainly have better colonial policy. And thus on October 21, 1840, the Haitian state was abolished after 36 years of independence and incorporated into the Spanish Empire.



The war hero (left) and one of his many political enemies, Prime Minister Evaristo Pérez de Castro (right)

Even before news of the treaty reached Spain, a new shadowy conspiracy was already in motion back in the homeland. Queen Regent Maria Cristina had become increasingly unpopular in recent years. She interfered too much in the operations of the Spanish government and dominating liberalism, and the succession of conservative governments that had followed the administration of Mendizábal and his ally José María Calatrava were similarly unpopular, and had made efforts to amend the Constitution of 1837. With her marriage to Agustín Fernando Muñoz y Sánchez made public, there was a more valid reason than ever to remove her. Evaristo Pérez de Castro, Prime Minister, had similarly made many enemies with his laws enabling the Cortes to appoint mayors of cities directly. This mode of centralisation was unacceptable--the cities began to form committees to organise against the government of Maria Cristina. When the Queen Regent ordered Espartero to suppress this, Espartero instead took up the cause of the cities--and liberalism in general--and seized control of the government. He dissolved the moderate Cortes and forced Maria Cristina to declare him Prime Minister. Maria Cristina soon left Spain, leaving Espartero Regent. This event came to be called the Revolution of 1840, as Espartero was now given free reign to pursue a radically liberal administration.



Spanish foreign minister Joaquín María Ferrer (left) and the President of New Granada, José Ignacio de Márquez (right)

Espartero sought to continue some of the policies of the previous administration, such as the rebuilding of Spanish power. Spanish influence was expanded in New Granada, as well as in the Empire of Brazil where Spain hoped to gain a strong ally in the region. The Viscount of Sepetiba traveled to Madrid to meet with the Spanish government--despite Sepetiba's conservative views, further cooperation with Brazil was likely to result in the future. In New Granada, José Ignacio de Márquez, a liberal with similar views to Espartero, agreed to Spanish assistance in the ongoing War of the Supremes, a civil conflict resulting over the closing of monasteries that turned into a struggle between federalism and centralism, deepening Granadine-Spanish relations.

It was also in 1841 that Spain faced her first entry onto the global stage. In the Pacific Northwest, the debate over control of the Columbia region began to break into open hostilities, often involving trappers recruiting local Indians to do their fighting. Neither side wished to give up their claims to the land, and it was suspected in the future that the United States might even go to open war over the issue. As such, the issue became a global debate, and was taken up by the Concert of Europe [1].



A contemporary British map of the dispute

Spain, of course, had significant stake in this as well. The terms of the Adams–Onís Treaty gave the United States control over the former Spanish land claims in this region. Supporting the United States on their claim in Columbia would yield better relations with the US government, which was always on shaky relations especially with the increase in Spanish imperialism in the Western hemisphere. However, the government of Regent Espartero felt that such a brazen declaration of support could be ruinous if the British took too much issue to it, and thus the Spanish chose to wait for others to declare support.



The nations of their world take their sides--Spain chooses to support the United States, a nation Spain had assisted in the past

And other nations certainly did. By February of 1842, all Great Powers of the world aside from Russia had taken sides: France and Prussia had chosen to back the United States, while Austria sided with the British. Thus on February 4, Spain announced their support for the United States, citing the Adams-Onís Treaty as legal justification. The British immediately protested, questioning Spain's legal right to join in such a major international debate, to which the Spanish gained support of the Prussians and the French. This essentially guaranteed Spain a place in the Concert of Europe, an important step in global recognition of Spain as a Great Power. Throughout February of 1842, the debates became ever more heated, as warhawks began to emerge on both sides--some in Spain sought to opportunistically use any upcoming war to seize Gibraltar back with the help of Prussia and France. But the balance of power (and with it peace) would prevail [2], and on March 7, the United Kingdom and the United States signed the Oregon Treaty. This treaty turned over the land south of the 49th parallel excepting the watershed of the Columbia River to the United States. This included the economically productive Okanagan Valley, and thus a flood of American settlers began pouring into this region at the news.


Belgium was a brave experiment, but it was not to last

And the world went from one crisis to another during Espartero's regency. The Belgians had continually refused to accept the terms of the Treaty of London which recognised their own independence--they wished to keep Limburg, Zeeland, and above all Luxembourg. Others in the Belgian government sought to press the Dutch for territorial claims, believing that the new state's future could be assured if they had a piece of the East Indies. This greed would prove to be their undoing--on March 17, 1842, the British, sick of Belgian demands, gave their support to the Dutch in their reconquest of Belgium [3]. Called the Flemish War, it was to rage for much of 1842 and 1843 as Belgium fought tooth and nail to maintain their independence against fierce opposition. The Flemish War ultimately led to the rise of the Netherlands onto the global stage, as Dutch king William II belatedly suppressed the Belgian Revolution of 1830 and re-annexed the Southern Netherlands with the signing of a new Treaty of London--that of Dutch proposal--on October 27, 1843.

Spain would become involved in a conflict of her own in 1842. The militarism of Espartero's regime (the Ayacuchos faction of Espartero supporters, so named because many of the top generals had all fought at the Battle of Ayacucho in the Latin-American Wars of Independence) needed an outlet, and with Spain committed to keeping the balance of power in Europe, the only option was to engage in further colonial pursuits. The most obvious was in the East Indies, where the Sultan of Sulu, a Spanish vassal, had recently lost control of some of the outlying regions in Sabah. Espartero, and above all the current Govenor-General of the Philippines, Marcelino de Oráa of Carlist War fame, saw a golden opportunity to expand colonialism in the region and produce more success for the Spanish Empire. And further, this would deny the British and Dutch the use of these resources if they so chose to expand in this corner of the Indies.

In the hot summer of 1842, Spain declared war on the Sultan of Brunei, seeking to restore order in Sabah. Brunei, one of the strongest states in the region, was allied to numerous other regional sultanates and kingdoms, the most noted being the wealthy Sultan of Johor, who honoured his alliance with Brunei. Spanish troops in the Philippines numbered only 21,000 total, over half being colonial recruits of questionable quality and loyalty. The local Philippine Squadron of the Spanish Navy was similarly understrength, and would have difficulties transporting this army around the many islands in the region. And above all, the Spanish state was rapidly running out of money to pursue these sorts of colonial activities. In order to ensure state resources were not being wasted, Espartero sent his ally José Ramón Rodil, famed for his dogged defense of Callao during the Latin American Wars of Independence, to the East Indies, with the promise that his success would win him appointment to Prime Minister [4].


The Spanish Navy off the coast of Palawan in the Malay War

Rodil prosecuted the war with excellence. As was predicted against this alliance of East Indies sultanates, no significant resistance was mounted. The concerned region in Sabah fell quickly, and a small invasion of Palawan was stopped by the Philippines Squadron of the Spanish Navy, who utterly destroyed the primitive ships of the Malays. The main obstacle to Spain was fighting in the jungles, which mired down the progress of the war significantly [5]. Brunei and their allies mounted few organised counterattacks--the war proceeded in much the same way as Haiti with attrition being the primary obstacle.



A battle long since coming

Oráa and Rodil wished to further expand the war on the part of Spain with permission from Regent Espartero--specifically to have Johor open itself to Spanish interests in return for the Spanish protection against further British aggression. Despite the heavy cost supplying the forces in the East Indies was, Espartero agreed to it, feeling Johor's resources could be easily exploited with Spanish aid. Thus, an invasion of the Malay Peninsula was needed to defeat Johor. On November 30, 1842, Spanish forces stormed ashore at Muar, routing the forces of the Sultan of Johor with minimal losses. The major cities of the country were slowly occupied throughout winter of 1843, despite heavy resistance. The young Sultan Ali of Johor continued to fight on, goaded by his vassals.



Ali (left) can have his luxuries, Rodil (right) his titles, and Spain that which is theirs

But spending so much time waging war against the Europeans from increasingly remote villages wouldn't suit one so extravagant as Sultan Ali. He wondered if Spain could help him out with his desire for money and riches more than the British ever did. As such, the Sultan surrendered himself to Spanish forces, and called for a peace conference. In exchange for a monthly stipend (in addition to what the British already offered him), Ali agreed to end the pointless war and grant Spain what they wanted. The ruler of Brunei, initially shocked at Ali's betrayal of their alliance, was to soon come to terms with losing the land--it was a marginal border region, with little income and value. And the effect of the war was Spanish corporations and businessmen became increasingly common in Johor in the years to come, sparking tensions with the British [6] over alleged violations of their sphere.

Despite Spanish success in the Malay War (as it came to be called), Espartero's regime was fraught with challenges, even before the Malay War and issues with funding of the government. He quickly grew unpopular in Spain, for his anticlericalism, for his suppression of republicanism and republican efforts, and for his brutal reaction against popular uprisings in the economic slump during the Malay War, which many Spaniards opposed.

Economic recession was a general trend in the early 1840s in Spain, hitting some regions such as Extremadura particularly hard, reliant on a collapsing and largely unprofitable wool industry. The Spanish economy still had not industrialised and adapted to modernity, and had difficulties competing with the modern agriculture and mining systems of France, Britain, and the German states. The slave-based plantation labour was weakening in Cuba and Puerto Rico as the soil became increasingly exhausted after many years of intensive cultivation of sugar, tobacco, and other goods--increased speculation was often put on new sugar mills in Cuba, some of which succeeded, many of which failed. Many people left Spain to try their luck in the Spanish colonies, and many more left Spain altogether to head for the United States, Chile, or Brazil. Other nations in the New World also drew many Spaniards, such as the breakaway Republic of the Rio Grande in Mexico, which upon the ascension of its second president Manuel María de Llano, strongly promoted immigration and drew thousands of people to what was once a sleepy region in northern Mexico [7]. It is estimated in the ten years from 1836 to 1846, over 100,000 people left Extremadura alone, the majority of them during Espartero's regency. And though Espartero had tried to be a great hero to the people, the state of the common Spaniard was still very poor during his regency--literacy rose less than 1% in the years of Espartero, and the true benefactors of many of his land reform programs (as well as Mendizábal's land reforms) were greedy nobles who already owned great amounts of land instead of the middle class he attempted to support.



A great evil ended in Cuba, but the backlash will be great

A vicious decision was forced upon Regent Espartero in mid-1843--mass criticism in Cuba over the brutality of the slavery practiced there threatened slave revolts and backlash by the Cuban landowning class. The "Ladder Conspiracy" incident was perhaps when the issue came to a head. When the Progressive goverment of the Regent heard of it, he had put restrictions on the slavery in Cuba after a lengthy debate in the Cortes on May 27, 1843 [8]. These acts, modeled on similar abolitionist laws in Chile and Uruguay and elsewhere, included the freedom of the children of slaves (free birth), the freedom of slaves who had served in the Santo Domingo War against Haiti, and the freedom of slaves who reached the age of 60, as well as strong restrictions against the slave trade. These acts would effectively abolish slavery in Cuba and make the institution moribund. Immediately, the backlash was fierce--Cuban slaveowners (who received minimal compensation) rejected this brazen act of emancipation, seemingly designed only to please the US government who continually sought to try and purchase Cuba on behalf of slaveowners in the US South (likely Espartero's main motive). Free of the threat of a slave uprising, Cuban leaders immediately began plotting Cuban independence. The upper classes in Spain were also furious at this violation of Spanish law, and though exiled to France, the craft pretender Don Carlos used it as one of many recruiting tools. News reached the slaves in the Philippines and Puerto Rico, who became ever more rebellious, as well as their owners, who likewise sought to protect their "property". Calls immediately began for Espartero's removal from power, and Espartero's liberal faction began to break apart as many felt he had overstepped his boundary in regards to the Ladder Conspiracy, other incidents where he brutally put down rebellions and protests, and the generally dictatorial nature of his rule.

It became increasingly obvious that Espartero's government wasn't going to last much longer. On June 27, the military under General Ramón María Narváez issued a pronunciamiento against Espartero and his regency, compelling him to resign. Realising he couldn't possibly resist with so much of the military and upper classes against him, Espartero peacefully resigned on June 30 [9], and departed Spain for France. Isabella II was declared of age shortly after in July, and crowned Queen of Spain on July 20 at the age 12. For Narváez's role in this, he would later be granted the title "Duke of Valencia" and would serve as Prime Minister from 1844 to 1846.

Isabella II had maintained her throne through the turbulent regency, and most of all, Spain had begun to reassert her place in global affairs. Time would show if Isabella II's reign would prove as good for Spain as Philip II, or even Isabella I, but what could not be denied was that for the first time in ages, Spain was once again on the rise.


[1] - I don't think I've played a Victoria 2 game since Heart of Darkness came out in which the Pacific Northwest wasn't the subject of the first crisis in the game.
[2] - Six days away from war breaking out! I don't think I've ever seen a crisis get that close!
[3] - Also happens rather frequently in Victoria 2. But unified Netherlands looks very nice, I have to say!
[4] - Historically, Rodil was already Prime Minister in summer of 1842, but I have to find a reason for him to be in the Philippines.
[5] - Sieging provinces when you only have a few brigades takes forever.
[6] - Probably stupid of me and a waste of time to add Johor to my sphere, but I believe you can somehow form Malaysia as a vassal in PDM? Can someone help me out here on what's up with Malaysia?
[7] - I have never seen a Republic of the Rio Grande as successful as in this game. It lasted almost a decade and drew a good deal of immigrants, and gave Mexico a hell of a fight when the Mexicans reconquered it.
[8] - A tad out-of-character, I suspect, but slavery in Victoria 2 is a pain to keep around because you end up having to frequently put down slave rebellions.
[9] - Historically Espartero's removal was more violent. Here the coup is relatively bloodless, perhaps the represent the fact that this is more background flavour for the AAR rather than anything that happened in game.
 
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