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AEdwardian

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Ruling Britannia: The Golden Age of the British Empire

Table of Contents:
Prologue: The Birth of an Empire
Chapter One: Victoria Imperatrix
Chapter Two: Early Days
1936 - 1837
1838 - 1839
1840 - 1846
Chapter Three: A Change In Direction
1847
1848 - 1852
1853 - 1856
Chapter Four: Ambition and Expansion
1857 - 1858
1859 - 1862
1863 - 1866
Chapter Five: Reassessment of Matters
1867
1868
1869 - 1876
Chapter Six: Noninterference and Inaction
1877 - 1886
Chapter Seven: The Great Empire Builder
1887
1888 - 1893

Prologue:
The Birth of an Empire

In these days of global turmoil it is good to look back upon history to not only learn from it but to realize the potential present in our civilization. The concept of a wide spanning Empire has been a part of English, and eventually British, culture since the days of the Hundred Years’ War. Now, over two hundred years since the declaration of our first Emperor, the British Empire stands atop Earth as the dominant power. We have our rivals; make no mistake, rivals that could spell disaster for our Empire. But they are nothing new; the British Empire has faced challenges like these before and emerged victorious. To ensure the continuation of our way of life and glory for all subjects of the Empire, we need only look to the past.


King George III (1762)
King of Great Britain


As 1774 came to a close, the Kingdom of Great Britain was shocked to hear some most unexpected news. King George III, ruler for barely fifteen years, had died. Although modern forensic investigates discovered high levels of arsenic in his body, no conclusive reason had ever been discovered, leaving the exact reasons behind his death a mystery. At only thirteen years of age, his son George IV was crowned his successor. A Regency Council was established, effectively leaving Great Britain to the government of Lord North, until George IV reached maturity.


John Dickinson (1782)
Author of the Olive Branch Petition


Meanwhile, protests and eventually open rebellion broke out across the British colonies in North America. The reasons were many and varied, ranging from high taxes to lack of representation in Parliament. In July of 1775, a delegation from the colonies lead by John Dickinson sent a petition to the British government asking for an end to hostilities. Hoping to reconcile with Great Britain, Dickinson’s so called Olive Branch Petition requested that the British government resolve the issue peacefully. The more romantic version of events goes that the young king, upon receiving the petition and seeing the pain his subjects were enduring, immediately ordered his government to reach a resolution. To most historians however, this story is seen as apocryphal. Even though George IV was viewed as a meddler in the affairs of government, this was only until after he came of age. In reality, the instability of the government brought on by the sudden death of George III meant that Lord North was more willing to seek an easy way out of the problem. The story may have changed but the ending stayed the same, revolution had been averted in North America.


Emperor George IV (1816)
Emperor of the British and Irish


On the first of the New Year, 1801, the Kingdom of Great Britain and the Kingdom of Ireland were merged to form the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. To celebrate this, it was suggested that King George IV, by now of age to rule on his own, be crowned Emperor. He agreed with this notion, using the growth of the British Empire at home and oversees as justification. So on 1 January 1801, George IV was proclaimed Emperor of the British and Irish. It is this date that was retroactively chosen as the start of the Britannia Era calendar inacted at the turn of the millenium. As the subjects of the British Empire reveled for their new Emperor, across the English Channel in France, things were about to take a turn for the worse.


Napoleon Bonaparte (1801)
Self Proclaimed Emperor of the French


Having overthrown its monarchy and executed King Louis XVI in 1793, the French rallied behind the fledgling French Republic. In 1804 a young military officer named Napoleon Bonaparte would seize power and crown himself Emperor of the French. After which he sets upon a massive campaign of conquest across Europe, lasting a nearly decade, which only ended when a British-led coalition marched into Paris after a failed French invasion on Russia. Napoleon abdicates and is exiled to the island of Elba. The Napoleonic Wars are at an end and the former monarchy is reinstated with Louis XVIII as King. The next year, Napoleon escapes exile on Elba and returns to France to amass a new army. He is soundly defeated by the British under the command of Arthur Wellesley, the Duke of Wellington. However, as Napoleon attempts to flee France onboard a ship, it is attacked and sunk by British Imperial Navy vessels with him presumed killed.


Emperor William IV (1833)
Emperor of the British and Irish


With peace restored to Europe, the British Empire enters a period of relative stagnation. Emperor George IV dies in 1830 and is replaced by his brother. Emperor William IV reigns for another seven years before dying of heart failure at Windsor Castle. As William IV has no living legitimate issue, the crown of the Empire would pass to the woman who would serve as the architect for the period known as the Golden Age of the British Empire.
 
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Wow...that is all I can say. That is a great start with a very nice premise and good work on the American Revolution issue. I am waiting to see what happens.
 

El Pip

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Ohhhhhh, that's different. I wonder how things will pan out and if the treacherous colonials will remain happy with the fairly limited scope of the Olive Branch Petition? So many possibilities to ponder, which is always good. :D
 

AEdwardian

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Chapter One:
Victoria Imperatrix

Alexandrina Victoria was born on 24 May 1819 to the Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, the fourth son of King George III, automatically becoming fifth in line to the British throne. Over the next two decades, old age and disease would ravage the legitimatize line of succession leaving her the heiress presumptive. Many feared that Emperor William IV would die before she came of age, thus leaving the Empire with another Regency to contend with, this time under the watch of the Duchess of Kent. The Emperor himself disliked the Duchess and public wished that he live only until Victoria’s eighteenth birthday. Emperor William IV would hold true to that promise, succumbing to heart failure one month after her birthday. Her official coronation as Empress of the British and Irish would take place the next year on 28 June 1838. As a result of her ascension to the throne however, the British Empire would lose its personal union with the Kingdom of Hannover as the Salic law that governed German states forbade matrilineal primogeniture. Instead, her uncle Ernest Augustus would become King of Hannover.


Empress Victoria (1837)
Empress of the British and Irish


Following the Congress of Vienna that marked the end of the Napoleonic War, the British Empire entered a brief period of relative stagnation. No major territorial gains were made nor were any significant military or economic victories won. The only major cultural change to take place was undoubtedly the abolition of slavery throughout the Empire in 1834 and ramifications of that. The Empire would become a vanguard of the abolitionist movement throughout the world, forcing many other nations to emancipate or face the consequences.


Buckingham Palace (1837)
Principle Residence of the Royal Family


The Home Nations of the British Empire, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, enjoyed the benefits that came about from being the seat of imperial power. Despite this status, trouble began to brew at home. The newly incorporated Ireland had started to become a thorn in the side of the United Kingdom with the Irish Repeal Movement, to repeal the Act of Union, lead by Daniel O'Connell.


British North America Continental Congress (1775)
Signing of the Olive Branch Petition


Spanning from Saint John’s to New Orleans, British North America was becoming a great experiment in empire building. Having reunited the region with the Olive Branch Petition in 1776, British North America had its own regional version of Parliament, the Continental Congress as it was known by the colonists that would insure its needs were met in the greater Empire. The Napoleonic War in the early 1800’s had acted as a test of this reunification with several regiments of soldiers from British North America serving in Europe and elsewhere. These regiments served with distinction and showed the world that the colonists of North America were ready to stand with the rest of the Empire. The only major instances of discontent came in 1834, with the Grey Revolt in the southern colonies over the abolition of slavery, and in 1837 in the northern colonies, sparked by Republicanist rebels. With industry being developed in the east and an entire continent of resources to the west, albeit under native control, the only worry British North America would have is from its neighbor to the south, Mexico.


George Eden, 1st Earl of Auckland
Governor-General of India


Administering the Indian Subcontinent since 1757, the British East India Company was seen as the Empire’s pride and joy. The Governor-General of India at the time of Empress Victoria’s coronation was George Eden, 1st Earl of Auckland, a prominent politician of the time. It was his vision to build up industry on the subcontinent and improve the quality of native schools. At the same time complications began to arise between British India and neighboring Afghanistan.


Battle of Blaauwberg (1806)
British Imperial Forces seize Cape Colony from the Batavian Republic


The British Empire has taken control of Cape Colony in South Africa from the French-controlled Batavian Republic during the Napoleonic Wars. As British settlers moved eastward from Cape Colony they soon became the target of attacks from the natives. The point of issue for Southern Africa would be as to what they would do with the various groups that inhabited the region.


Foundation of Perth (1829)
Capital of Western Australia


Settlement efforts in the Australia were the result of a combination of willing colonists and not-so-willing transported convicts. Ventures in neighboring New Zealand were overseen by James Busby and his dealing with the native Maori.
 

stnylan

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Truly the Mistress of the World.
 

AEdwardian

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Chapter Two:
Early Days

The Boer Migration and the Anglo-Xhosa War

British Imperial Forces in Southern Africa faced two problems in 1837. The first was the resolve of the Boer population, the descendants of the original Dutch colonists, to depart Cape Colony and establish an independent nation to the north. The second was the resistance settlers were encountering from the native Xhosa population to the east. In both cases, military action was deployed, first to secure the regions with a high Boer population and then to forcibly remove the Xhosa from the eastern provinces for development. Resentment spread through both groups with sporadic revolts taking place over the next several decades, only slowing British advancement in the region by a small degree.


Xhosa Insurgents (1851)


Simulation of the Anglo-Xhosa War (1837)
Cape Town Garrison’s Move Eastward


The Belgian Revolution and the Talleyrand Partition

An aftermath of the at times questionable actions of the Congress of Vienna, the Belgian Revolution threatened to divide the United Kingdom of the Netherlands into two. Differences in culture, religion, and language forced the southern provinces of the Netherlands to secede and form the Kingdom of Belgium. The Great Powers of the time were divided over the Belgian call for independence. The British Empire was of the position that the French would exploit the situation and annex and independent Belgium. The then French ambassador to the United Kingdom, Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord, proposed a division of the region between the main European powers. The British would receive the provinces along the shore, the north would be reintegrated into the Netherlands, the east would go to Prussia, and only the south would be annexed by France. Fearing that they could not risk any other outcome, the British government accepted the plan and authorized the deployment of troops to the region to enforce it. Additional French and Prussian troops entered the area following the arrival of the British Army in Bruges. The combined assault decimated the Belgium military and within weeks the partition was implemented. The newly independent coastal state of Flanders was placed under the protection of the British Empire as per the Talleyrand Partition Plan.


Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord (1808)
French Ambassador to the United Kingdom



Simulation of the British Intervention in Belgium (1837)
British Forces Landing in Bruges



Simulation of the Talleyrand Partition Plan (1837)

The Texas Relief Expedition

The only true competition that British North America faced was that from Mexico. As the Empire watched as the Republic of Texas declared independence and fought off their oppressors, even capturing and executing the Mexican military leader Antonio López de Santa Anna at the Battle of San Jacinto. Despite their victory, Texas was still in a precarious state. Their armies would not stand in a prolonged conflict with Mexico was rearming themselves for a second round. As a result, the British Empire was placed into a dilemma. They did not want Mexico to conquer Texas but they could not officially support Texas as it was technically a slaveholding nation and doing so would make the British appear hypocritical to the world. So British military leaders devised a plan to stop Mexican advancement and keep the moral high ground. The Texas Relief Expedition was a twofold operation. First, British military forces would proceed south from the border and take up a position along the Rio Grande River, the border with Mexico, and establish a perimeter. Once it was clear that the region was safe from Mexican attack, the forces were to overthrow Texan President Samuel Houston on the pretense that his nation was undertaking in illegal enslavement. The Expedition departed New Orleans in mid-1837 and by the end of the year, the Texas region was under British dominion.


Samuel Houston (1856)
President of Texas



Simulation of the Texas Relief Expedition (1837)
Forces from British North America move southward
 
Last edited:

Estonianzulu

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A very different Low-Countries. I imagine the British, with their puppet in Flanders, may become the more popular of the occupiers.
 

unmerged(62170)

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Ooh, a fellow Brit AAR. Some interesting roads taken America, Tallrand Plan, Hanoverian Emperors. A very jingoistic Britain you've got here. All excellent stuff :)
 

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Great, and the British still keep soverign land off the continent by creating a puppet flanders... Surely the Dutch can't be too happy about that settlement! Can we see a map of the Americas?
 

stnylan

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A very interventionist Britain indeed. I foresee numerous other foreign interventions in the future.
 

AEdwardian

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Thank you to everyone for your words of encouragement.

Robou:

Simulation of British North America (1837)

This is using VIP:R v0.2 in the event you were wondering. Since I didn't feel like editing files to simply start off with the USA's territories, I just had to do the old buy and DoW to get them. It will mean that the native expansion events that VIP:R uses won't quite work without the USA but it will give me room for a few more expansionary wars. The Caribbean and South America are pretty much historical for the moment.

Stnylan:
That's the plan.
 

AEdwardian

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Chapter Two:
Early Days

The Opium War

One of the primary sources of income for the British East India Company and of the Empire as a whole was the importation of opium from India to China. Alarmed by the increase in habitual users, with some sources placing the number in excess of two million, the Qing government sought to end the sale of opium in their nation. In 1839, the Qing Emperor appointed Lin Zexu to eliminate the opium trade in Canton Province. Along with making the sale of opium punishable by death, Lin Zexu also closed the trade routes in Canton, effectively holding British merchants in the region as hostages.

The British Chief Superintendent of Trade in China, Charles Elliot was able to convince the merchants to hand over their opium stockpiles in return for compensation from the British government. The incident seemed to die down until July 1839 when a group of rioting British sailors set up a local temple and killed a man by the name of Lin Weixi when he attempted to stop them. Since China did not have a jury trial system or evidentiary process, as the magistrate was the prosecutor, judge, jury and potential executioner, the British Empire requested extraterritoriality in the matter. The sailors would be tried under British law and not Chinese. However, upon returning home to the United Kingdom, the sailors were set free.

Events escalated again when the Chinese authorities began forcing British merchants to sign a bond prohibiting them from selling opium under penalty of death. Charles Elliot ordered the British communities in the region to withdraw and prohibited trade with the Chinese. Anticipated conflict on the horizon, British Imperial Forces took control of Hong Kong on 9 September 1839. In response the Qing Emperor asked all foreigners to stop helping British in China.

The British East India Company came to the conclusion that a direct attack on Canton Province was the only course of action that would make the Chinese capitulate to their demands. Funded by the British government, BEIC regiments began landing in the region with little resistance. The ease at which the BEIC defeated its Chinese opponents serious crippled Qing prestige and the war came to a close shortly thereafter with the China signing the Treaty of Nanjing, ratified by both Empress Victoria and the Qing Emperor. Under the treaty, the framework of foreign trade with China was altered, allowing the British to trade with anyone they wished. In addition the Qing was obliged to pay reparations to the British Empire for the losses in trade and the cost of the war. The final part of the treaty was the cession of Hong Kong to the Empire in perpetuity to provide the British with a safe habour. Hong Kong would become a major trade and military outpost for the BEIC and the Empire in the Far East.


Lin Zexu (1840)
Imperial Commissioner of Canton Province



Simulation of the Start of the Opium War (1839)
Imperial / BEIC Forces Landing in Hong Kong


Crisis in the Near East

The Ottoman Empire was merely an ally of convenience in their rivalry with Russia as far as the British were concerned. So when conflict broke out in the Levant in late 1840 between the Ottomans and the Egyptians, the British Empire, in concert with the other Great Powers, made sure neither side would gain from the affair. On the political stage, this placed the pro-Ottoman British against the long time opponents and pro-Egyptian French. After much stalling from Egyptian leaders, it was decided that war was the only solution to the problem. In the end, the French backed down, withdrawing from the commitments with Egypt and the Ottomans establishing rule there. The British Empire did declare war on Egypt with their Ottoman allies, but this was mostly a formality as no actual British troops or vessels took part in the campaign.


Simulation of the Ottoman Levant (1840)

Breakup of the United Central Provinces of America

Following their success in the Texas Relief Expedition, British North America saw the potential for further expansion in the form of the breakup of the United Central Provinces of America. Deficiencies in transportation, communication, and commitment to the federation as a whole ultimately doomed the nation that had barely been in existence for two decades since 1823. On 27 March 1840, spurred on by poverty and political instability, the constituent nations of the United Central Provinces of America broke away leaving Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica in its place. While these nations possessed strong nationalistic values, being one of the main causes of their union’s disintegration, they were militarily and economically weak. Seeing the opportunity present itself, the British Empire began drawing plans to expand its American Empire southward.


Simulation of the Central American following the Breakup (1840)

Election Day, 1840

On 3 August 1840, the first general election in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland since the coronation of Empress Victoria took place.

  • Conservative --- 79.27%
  • Whig --- 18.82%
  • Irish Repeal --- 1.9%
  • Chartist --- 0.1%

The results were a 3:2 victory for the Conservative Party over the Whig Party with the Conservatives taking roughly 79.27% percent of the vote as opposed to the Whigs’ 18.83%. The Irish Repeal group of Daniel O'Connell received only a few thousand votes and the Chartist reform group receiving only a few hundred. This victory would allow Sir Robert Peel to take his second term as Prime Minister since the victory of the Whigs in 1836. Further census information from the time indicated that approximately 80.9% percent of the Imperial population viewed themselves as Conservative, 19% identifying as Liberal, and only 0.1% choosing Reactionary ideology.


Sir Robert Peel, 2nd Baronet (1841)
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
 

unmerged(47582)

Lt. General
Aug 15, 2005
1.403
0
Theres one little error in your text..
They stole South Africa from the dutch. Took it from a nation who was down...

Great AAR. You should give Flanders to the Dutch and forge and make them your allies...
 

AEdwardian

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Chapter Two:
Early Days

A Royal Marriage

On 10 February 1840, Empress Victoria married Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha at Saint James’ Palace in London. Her first cousin, Victoria had known Albert since she was seventeen and after their marriage, he became not only her companion but an important political advisor. As the 1840’s dawned on the British Empire, it would soon transpire to be one of the few happy moments for them all.


The Marriage of Empress Victoria and Prince Albert (1840)

British North America Expands West

Seeking further resources to fuel the Empire, forces in British North America launched a campaign to secure territory belonging to several native groups, among which primarily included the Cherokee. On 1 February 1844, several regiments began crossing the Mississippi River into Cherokee lands. The actual primary phase of the campaign would only last a few months, with the British announcing success, although Imperial forces would contend with dissidents for a considerable time afterwards.


Simulation of the Invasion of Cherokee Lands (1844)

The Mediterranean War

The nation of Morocco was far from the minds of most in the British Empire. At the periphery of its sphere of interest, it was primarily a site for Spanish and French interest. The only time the British took action there was to prevent either side from gaining a considerable foothold. On 20 October 1844 however, Morocco and the entire Mediterranean would sit at the forefront.

For the better part of the past three years, the French has been embroiled in a campaign against the Ottoman Empire in Northern Africa. Under the pretense of guaranteeing the independence of Tunisia from Ottoman conquest, the French waged a slow war against them. In the end they would secure all of the former Ottoman territories in North Africa and set their eyes on the last remaining free nation in the region, Morocco. Under the guise of capturing rebels from French Algeria, French troops entered Morocco from the east and quickly set about invading the country. The British Empire attempted to negotiate a settlement to the affair but the French refused. So on 20 October, the Empire went to war.

While the British Imperial Navy would prevent along attacks on the United Kingdom from neighboring France, the situation in the Mediterranean was slightly direr. Joining with their allies the French, the Italian Kingdom of the Two Sicilies and the Duchy of Lucca along with the Kingdom of Greece declared war on the Empire. The British stratagem that came about was a simple one. Divide and conquer, separate France from its so called allies and achieve victory.

The first segment of the stratagem involved a landing on the island of Sicily and on the mainland in Lucca to cut off the Italians. The plan was stalled somewhat by a Sicilian invasion of Malta. As it turned out, they had utilized most of their forces in the invasion, leaving their homelands open for a counterattack. With the island of Sicily and Lucca entirely occupied by the Empire, the Italians withdrew from the war.

As events unfolded in Italy, a second force would depart for Greece. Their objective was to seize the major islands in the Aegean Sea to form a blockade of Athens, the Greek capital, and force them to capitulate. Resistance was minimal and the second phase was over in only a couple of months.

On 2 May 1845, the first full wartime general election since the Napoleonic War took place. The Conservative Party won with 67.34% of the vote and Sir Robert Peel remained in power during the war, although their lead had shrunk to roughly 2:1 over the Whigs who had won 32.66%.

With their allies defeated, the British turned their eyes to the French threat. The Moroccans had managed to hold on since war broke out but the tide was slowly turning against them. British Imperial Forces made a landing in Tiemcen, Algeria with the orders to form a buffer between the Moroccans and the French. Half of the forces would go west and assist in liberating Morocco while the other half would remain and keep the French forces separated.

The Battle of Haute Plateau would spell disaster for the British Imperial Forces in the region. The French had a large contingent of men in the region, left over from their attack on the Ottomans, a fact the military leaders failed to take into consideration. The French defeated the British at Haute Plateau, forcing the portion of the armies that headed west to double back and stop the French advance.

At the same time, out in the South Pacific, French forces occupied the island of Tahiti. The island had historically been pro-British but was forced to accept French protection when Admiral Dupetit Thouars convinced the Tahitian queen to cede sovereignty. While preoccupied with the events in the Mediterranean, the British government requested that the British East India Company dispatch forces to Tahiti to reclaim the island. The expedition would be funded by the government, as had occurred during the Opium War the preceding decade. The BEIC however declined on the grounds that Tahiti was not strategically or economically important and the island remained in French hands.

Back in Algeria, the British forces were unable to route the French from Morocco, instead deciding the hold onto the strip of land separating the two areas. After nearly three years of war, the conflict had exhausted both sides. The fate of Morocco no longer seemed significant in the eyes of the British. So in late 1846, peace was concluded, with the Empire holding onto the so-called buffer between Morocco and Algeria, in addition to the Italian and Aegean provinces.

The Mediterranean War was at times an illogical affair with the causes of the war losing meaning as time went on. Tens of thousands of British soldiers lay dead and despite the fact the Empire did gain territorially, public opinion was against the leaders of the war. In response to the backlash, Prime Minister Peel would resign. With the military exhausted and the economy shaken by the war, the future of the British Empire never looked more uncertain.


Simulation of the Mediterranean Before the War (1844)
Aftermath of the French Victory over the Ottoman Empire



Simulation of the Liberation of Malta and the Invasion of Sicily (1845)
British Imperial Forces landing across the Island of Sicily



Simulation of the Invasion of Algeria (1846)
British Imperial Forces landing in Tiemcen



Simulation of the Mediterranean After the War (1847)
British Empire gained territory throughout the region
 
Last edited:

Prinz Wilhelm

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Good AAR, too bad that BB will make your expansion harder! :mad: :(
 

brandnew70x7

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So you're starting with a significant advantage with the USA in your country, did you do anything to balance this for the AI?