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ComradeOm

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Sins of the Fathers
A Social History of the Rise and Fall of Papal Italy

"March at the head of the ideas of your century, and these ideas follow you and support you. March behind them and they drag you after them. March against them and they overthrow you." Napoleon III



-----​


Well this is my third AAR and my first with Vicky. As the title suggests, the story is concerned with affairs on the Italian peninsula from 1836 to 1878. I've gleefully returned to the safe pastures of the history book and, as you can see from the above dates, I am working towards a definite end point. That should be reached in roughly twelve updates, one every Saturday.

The game was played on Normal/Aggressive with Revolutions and OHgamer's hotfixes. A number of custom made events will make an appearance but otherwise no mods were used in the making of this production.

Time for the usual disclaimer: I have probably made many, many historical errors in this AAR. If you spot one, or think that I've completely misinterpreted the history, then please speak up. This is particularly pertinent in this case as, despite the tone of the writing, I am no expert in this field. If I reference a book then there's a very good chance that I've never read it and am simply throwing it in for flavour.

With that out of the way we can proceed with the overly verbose introduction that covers history that you're all aware of anyway. Aside from upholding an AARland tradition, I feel that this is needed to introduce the tone of the author. I'll kick off the AAR proper in a few days with a look at the Papal States. I hope you enjoy.
 
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ComradeOm

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Lecture One: An Age of Reaction (1815-'36)

"A Spectre is Haunting Europe…" Karl Marx

In many ways the 19th C was a period of transition for Europe and its peoples. Massive forces - be they social and economic or political and military - effectively transformed region and the nations that comprised it. The Industrial Revolution began to rapidly spread beyond the borders of Great Britain and agrarian societies of peasants slowly gave way to urbanised masses of workers. The very landscape itself was irrevocably changed by industry as, fuelled by finance capital and powered by the pursuit of profits, factories, mines and railways came to dominate the countryside. The great locomotive of industry hauled the rest of society after it as rising literacy rates led to the development of mass politics, the rise of new social classes, and an explosion in population growth as mortality rates collapsed in the face of advances in medicine. In short the 19th C saw the establishment of the modern European society.

Yet change almost invariably brings conflict and the transformation of Europe was by no means peaceful. Indeed the sheer speed of this process - breathtaking when viewed from the perspective of macro-history - conspired to produce intense contradictions that would wrack the region throughout the century. Clergyman and atheists bellowed from their respective pulpits; republicans and autocrats waged wars over the right to rule; landowner and capitalist clashed over economic direction; revolutionaries and reactionaries rubbed shoulders in cafes and ballrooms; while old hegemonies were shattered by rising upstart classes. Out of these contradictions and clashes progress occurred, in fits and starts, as the very fabric of European society begin to contort itself into new shapes.

Change is never a simple linear progression however. Pressures tend to accumulate quietly, and with little notice, before slowly building into a thundering crescendo, and finally exploding violently. This is certainly true of the first half of the 19th C in which the defeat of Napoleonic France heralded in an apparent calm in European affairs. Unfortunately for those statesmen who tried desperately to turn the clock back to the previous century, foremost amongst them the Austrian Prince Metternich, their work on the political level was being constantly undermined by social forces below*. The defeat of Napoleon's armies and the restoration of a Bourbon monarch did little stem the tide of republican, radical Jacobin, and other, undesirable, ideals. The twin revolutions in the political and economic spheres could not be halted or, to use a modern analogy, it proved impossible to get the toothpaste back into the tube.


The political borders of Europe circa 1836. Far less obvious are the cultural and economic units

The continuing popularity of republican and liberal, to say nothing of socialist or communist, politics in the early and mid-19th C presented a dilemma for those absolute rulers throughout Europe. In general these autocrats could either give into reforming tendencies, and thus relinquish some degree of power, or do their utmost to suppress, often violently, those petitioning for or plotting change. The overwhelming response from the established elite was for the latter course of action. Amongst the Great Powers it was Russia and Austria, the self-proclaimed "Holy Alliance", which took the lead in quashing any perceived liberal movements. Both Metternich and Nicholas I abhorred any notion of reform. In Prussia the influence of the liberals, who had risen to the ascendancy following the shock defeat to Napoleon at Jena some two decades previously, had been on the wane since 1819 and German reformers had seen all hopes of a constitutional monarchy fade before Frederick William III. These bastions of the Ancien Régime could offer no alternative order to the region and had proffered little but their refusal to contemplate a changing world.

It was in France, the very home of republicanism, that liberalism remained strongest as a political current. Charles X had been unceremoniously removed from power during the July Revolution of 1830 and was replaced by the constitutional monarchy of Louis Philippe - the "Citizen King". Even here the forces of reaction were not defeated - struggling against popular republican sentiment, in 1835 Louis Philippe outlawed all republican societies and indeed all advocacy of a republic. As a result secret societies and radical philosophies proliferated at an alarming rate.** Affairs were considerably more tranquil in Great Britain which, despite being unique amongst the Great Powers in being ruled by a parliamentary government, remained governed by a tiny clique of rich landowners focused on the world beyond. Its European policies were somewhat vague and, at times, contradictory. Checking French ambitions in the Low Countries remained the only dominant theme during those decades***

It was not only the Great Powers who continued to be openly hostile to the ideals of liberalism. This period of deep reaction saw almost all European nations governed by absolute monarchies - in the Kingdom of the Netherlands the States-General existed solely to rubber stamp the monarch's decrees, and the determination of Spanish monarchs to retain their "divine right" would lead to over a century of almost constant internal conflict. Even the myriad petty comic-opera states of the German Confederation were increasingly swayed by Metternich's fear of liberalism. This picture of absolutism was only more pronounced in the divided states of the Italian peninsula. Even if Italy was "merely a geographical expression" its rulers were at least united by a loathing of popular rule and the absolute nature of their power. By 1836 the major political entities on the peninsula - Sardinia-Piedmont, Two Sicilies, and the Papal States - remained firm autocratic monarchies. Of these fiefdoms, none could match the reactionary nature of the Papal States under Pope Gregory XVI.


The Catholic Church remained very much, almost defiantly, a medieval institution

It should come as no surprise to learn that the Vatican remained at the forefront of the struggle against reform and liberalism - this was a position that the Catholic Church had occupied for centuries and arguably still does today. Across Catholic Europe the clergy formed a powerful political bloc dedicated to exercising more than mere spiritual guidance or authority. In France one of the more immediate aims of the Revolution, and hence the more immediate reversals of the Restoration, was the demolition of the Catholic Church's authority within the nation. Throughout the 19th C the primary aim of the Church would be to prevent a repeat of such damaging and costly reversals of fortune. To this end the autocratic monarchs of Europe, even those of Prussia and Russia, could rely on Rome for moral support in condemning the spread, legitimate or seditious, of liberal ideals and practices.

The picture that therefore emerges of the first half of the 19th C is a region in which the established rulers were still labouring to cope with the consequences of the French Revolution and transformation of politics that this event had unleashed. The Great Powers would struggle in the face a variety of threats - from French republicans to German philosophers to Italian nationalists – all intent on upsetting the status quo for better or worse. What was not apparent in the first half of the century was the magnitude, and ultimately futility, of the task facing the autocrats of Europe. This would become painfully obvious in the decades to come.

-----​

* So prevalent was Metternich's reach that the period 1815-1845 is occasionally, if rarely these days, known as the "Age of Metternich". Few biographies of this statesman and diplomat extraordinaire surpass "von Srbik, H., (1925), Metternich, der Staatsmann und der Mench, Munich". It is unfortunate that no English translation has yet been published.

**See "Johnson, C.H., (1974), Utopian Communism in France: Cabet and the Icarians, 1839-1851, The American Historical Review" for an overview of the early socialist and communist movements emerging in France at the time.

*** "Seaton-Watson, R.W., (1938), Britain in Europe, 1789-1914, A Survey of Foreign Policy, Cambridge: University Press" serves as an excellent overview of British policies towards Europe and the world during those decades. Incidentally it also provides an insight into these same attitudes in 1938.
 
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J. Passepartout

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I firmly support His Holiness the Pope in the struggle against the dark and Satanic forces of Radicalism and Communism. :nod:

Looks interesting.
 

unmerged(61559)

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An extremely interesting introduction; I'm looking forward to seeing how your game goes... I don't believe I've ever read a Papal AAR for Victoria. :)
 

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Looks great looking forward to it.
 

ComradeOm

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Thanks for the comments all. J. Passepartout: Radicalism and Communism? Oh no, this is the Papacy that we're talking about. The early 19th C Church was too busy condemning secularism and liberalism to pay much attention to the more radical creeds. I don't mention this below but Pope Gregory went so far as to ban gas lighting (that notorious tool of the Devil) in the Papal States!

Cheers Quintilian and Somua53. Hopefully I'll live up to your expectations and the dry tone won't put you off. The Papal States, and Italy in general, has always been one of my favourite Vicky scenarios and I see from the recent batch of Italian AARs that I'm not alone in this.

Now that we're moving into alt history territory, albeit in a pretty undramatic manner, I encourage all readers to leave a comment. Even if you just want to tell me that I'm an overly wordy hack with no grasp of pacing. Compliments, real or false, are also good :)
 

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Lecture Two: The Gregorian Reforms (1836-'45)

"Who overcomes by force, hath overcome but half his foe" John Milton

It was not entirely inaccurate to argue that Italy in the early decades of the 19th C was, to quote Metternich, "merely a geographic expression". Italian nationalist sentiment was slowly gaining popularity but by 1836 the peninsula was still a collection of petty states and principalities resulting from the Congress of Vienna. Some of these (Sardinia-Piedmont and Two Sicilies) were minor European powers in their own right while others were mere fiefdoms and duchies that were legacies of Napoleon rather than viable states as we would understand the term. Between these two extremes lay the Papal States - the temporal realm of the Pope in Rome. The weakest of the larger Italian kingdoms, the Papal States was the centre of the global Catholic Church but nonetheless still had to contend with the mundane realities of international politicking.

Complicating this state of affairs were two powerful forces that threatened to undermine and overwhelm the Italian states - revolutionary nationalism and competition between the Great Powers. In the case of the latter, fierce rivalry between France and Austria had for centuries manifested itself in conflict in Northern Italy. The downfall of Napoleon's French Empire had permitted the Austrians to occupy much of the northeast (including the great cities of Milan and Venice) while France began to support Sardinia-Piedmont as a buffer state and proxy in the region. Even Spain retained long standing links to Two Sicilies. The intervention of these Powers may not have been so welcome if it was not to play a critical role in suppressing nationalist and liberal sentiment that threatened the positions of the Italian states. In particular Austrian military aid was necessary in crushing the Carbonari Revolt in 1831 at the behest of the new Pope Gregory XVI. This act would set the template for the fresh Pope's dealings with liberals.


The Italian Peninsula circa 1836

Succeeding the exceedingly brief reign of Pius VIII, Gregory XVI (born Bartolomeo Alberto Cappellari) was considered a zelanti in that he strongly opposed any form of modernisation or liberalism of the Church or in society*. To him the nationalist or liberal elements that wished to abolish the Papacy's temporal realm were nothing short of an evil to be exorcised wherever possible. This was a task that Gregory set himself to with a passion following his election in February 1831. The Carbonari became the prime target of the Papacy's wrath but no liberal movement was viewed with anything but intense suspicion. Under Cardinal Bernetti, the Pope's secretary of state, oppression of political opponents was systematic and all dissention was ruthlessly persecuted. By 1836 a relative, if enforced, calm had once again descended on the Papal States. This was not to last.

The assassination of Cardinal Bernetti in Rome on 1st September 1836 rocked the Church hierarchy to its core. While no group openly claimed responsibility, and indeed the identity of the assassin remains unknown today, the finger of blame was pointed squarely at remnants of the Carbonari and its successor, the emerging Young Italy movement. In his address at the Cardinal's funeral the Pope's language was strident when he spoke of the "vile campaign against Christian morality and the Christian Church". The crisis would only worsen with the robbery of a Vatican bank in Ancona by Carbonari bandits a week later. In keeping with the militant language, the Church's reaction would amount to a full scale war against those it perceived to be enemies. A raft of reactionary measures would follow in the coming months as the level of oppression reached new heights in central Italy - funding for both the Church run schools and the military was increased; a new paramilitary force called the Pontifical Volunteers was established to act both reserve police and soldiers; tools of censorship and policing were increased; and the justice system was reformed to allow for extra-judicial hearings in cases of terrorism. It is not for nothing that one historian has referred to Gregory's Rome as "the first European police state"**

Gregory's counter-reforms would effectively place the northern provinces under a state of martial law. Convinced that nationalists and liberals were preparing for open insurrection, and unwilling to rely again on Austria's generosity, the Pope began to invest heavily in the military. The small standing army was provided with the latest equipment, including imported Baker rifles and Armstrong cannons from Britain, while thousands of Roman citizens were conscripted into the military to bring the Esercito Pontificio up to its declared strength of ten thousand men. Those Vatican officials and clergymen that retained pacifist leanings were slowly replaced by zelanti sympathisers. On a civil level the autonomy of the legations (the "states" within the Papal States) was severely curtailed and the patchwork of towns and villages forcefully brought under Roman law.


Pope Gregory XVI

At the same time these militant reforms placed the Holy See in a bind as financial constraints could not be ignored. The Papal States at this time was largely a poor agrarian society and its stagnant economy was ill equipped to deal with these new demands on the state budget. The years immediately following Bernetti's assassination saw the Church's profits shrink dramatically even as taxes on the poor and middle class rose considerably. Taxation for the rich was slashed in an effort to encourage some degree of economic growth but it had little effect on economic performance. Only when attention was focused on reform of the tax agencies in the mid 1840's could a measure of economic security be obtained. Despite this, and the general European economic crisis of 1844, the Papal States remained considerably poorer than its larger neighbours to the north and south.

Economic concerns aside, these measures were successful in creating a false atmosphere of peace. The extensive overhaul of the civil administrative apparatus, increasingly indistinguishable from the Church structures, rapidly led to the creation of new jails throughout the countryside. These rarely stood empty for long. Such repressive measures, coupled with increased taxation, were not particularly popular but they did succeed in driving the nationalist republicans underground and severely curtailed their meetings and activities. By the mid 1840's the Church could be understandably pleased with itself - the Church coffers were breaking even, just, and the strong action against the Carbonari had led to a sharp decrease in terrorism. Ultimately however this illusion of tranquillity would be shattered by events beyond the control of any Pope. On February 24 1845 Louis-Philippe of France was deposed and the Second Republic declared. The Revolutions of '45 were about to sweep across Europe.

-----​

* Lamentably few historians have paid much attention to Gregory, preferring instead to focus on the more spectacular achievements of his successor. This ignores the fact that it was the tools that Gregory provided - reform of the military and civil structures - that allowed for later Papal successes. For the most comprehensive study of Pope Gregory XVI see Trebiliani, M.L., (1974), "Il Pontificato di Gregorio XVI: Interpretazioni e Problemi, Editrice Elia"

** See "Aquarone, A., (1965), L'organizzazione della stato totalitario, Turin"
 
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J. Passepartout

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This will be fun. Austria-Hungary won't be able to save us this time and you seem to be indicating there is a good chance we would need to be saved.
 

El Pip

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It will be interesting to see if Italy welcomes it's new temporal (as well as spiritual) Catholic overlords or if they prefer Church and State to not be run by the same person. And the position is so tempting for abuse;

"I've cut police spending to nothing as I know nobody will dare commit a crime or they will burn in hell for all eternity." or
"I've doubled income tax. Pay it or you will be forever dammed beyond redemption."

Something like that. :D
 

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I hereby subscribe to this course :)
 

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This is great so far! I'm reading a lot of history books in preparation for my university application, and the writing in this AAR is sophisticated enough to be one! I particularly admire the use of footnotes- very scholarly of you :D.

The scene seems to be set for a more aggressive Papacy after the reforms- and your neat little footnote teaser about the "spectacular achievements" of Gregory's successor certainly seems to suggest as much...

Keep it up!
 

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Deus lo vult!
 

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Now this looks like it could be interesting :D
I have to wonder though... what are your aims? Papal unification of Italy...? Catholic domination of South America?

Love the historical style btw
 

ComradeOm

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Lecture Three: Springtime of the Peoples (1845-'47)

"Let insurrection, like the Nile, flood all the country that it is destined to make fertile" Giuseppe Mazzini

The role of France in Papal affairs dates back to the days of Charlemagne. In the following centuries there had been occasional spats between Rome and Paris but overall the relationship had been cordial and French armies had intervened on more than one occasion to safeguard the independence of the Holy See. Understandably the French Revolution - with its radical ideas of egalitarianism, personal liberty, and rationalism - brought an abrupt halt to this friendship. The constant demands and ambitions of the Emperor Napoleon were little improvement. Even the return of the Bourbon monarchs, and the subsequent reestablishment of an independent Vatican, could not entirely restore relations as the Papacy looked on with horror as the strains of radicalism and liberalism within French society simply refused to die. If the rise of Louis Philippe in 1830 did little to reassure a nervous clergy then his fall in 1845 would trigger a general panic.

All of Europe was in the grip of economic depression in 1845 but the general hardship in France was particularly acute. Public discontent was bitter and all range of radicals and revolutionaries found ready audiences. The repressive measures of Louis Philippe were unable to prevent public gatherings, thousands would congregate at what were obstinately large banquets, and by late February the city was in the throes of open revolution. Louis Philippe fled and on February 24 the Second French Republic was declared. The sight of the tricolore once again flying from the Hotel de Ville would spark an immediate reaction throughout Europe. There were uprisings in Belgium; the Dutch middle classes were granted parliamentary rights by a panicked William II; the various German states hurriedly followed suit and issued constitutions; and even Austria was not immune - Prince Metternich, that stalwart of reaction, was dismissed as militant minorities took to the streets across the Empire*


In 1845 all Europe was aflame

The response in Italy was even more dramatic. Inspired by events in France, and motivated by decades of oppression, the liberal opposition groups took to the barricades of almost every major town and city on the peninsula. The moral and political bankruptcy of ruling elites was never more apparent than their failure to mobilise support or resist the inexorable calls for reform. One by one the Italian monarchies buckled - Charles Albert of Sardinia-Piedmont, Ferdinand II of the Two Sicilies and Leopold II of Tuscany were all forced to introduce written constitutions and accept legal and popular limits on their powers by the end of 1845. Without a platform of popular support they had little choice but to bow to the crowds… or at least the liberal politicians that represented the masses. In the north east there were clashes in Milan and a short lived Venetian Republic was declared before Austrian soldiers were able to reassert control.

The reaction within the Papal States was no less violent or immediate. In the north, from Bologne to Ancona, there were violent demonstrations against the authority of the Church and in favour of a united Italian republic. On the June 5 a detachment of the Young Italy movement, led by Giuseppe Mazzini, seized the town of Rimini and announced their intention to march on Rome** In neighbouring provinces the liberal classes, long suppressed by the secret police, also began to ferment revolt and to actively oppose and obstruct the civil structures of Vatican rule. An abrupt end was brought to virtually all Papal authority north of the Apennines as panic descended on Rome itself. Yet the Papacy remained unbowed. It was possible for the secular monarchs of Italy to surrender some power in return for continued rule but this was never likely to occur in Rome. Gregory XVI was not just the ruler of his lands – he was also God's representative on Earth and the head of the global Catholic Church. The very idea of him submitting to constitutional limitations was almost sacrilegious in itself. Nor were the rebels of Young Italy particularly eager to compromise in their pursuit of a republic with its capital in Rome. As the nationalists rallied their followers in preparation for a march on Rome, the Pope elected to stay in his city and face the rebels.


Young Italy at Rieti

It is this moment that is beloved of those speculating in counterfactual "history" as they ponder the alternative channels that history may have travelled had a different outcome resulted from the meeting of Young Italy and Esercito Pontificio in the small town of Rieti. As social historians however we know that this was a conflict settled years previously. The reforms of Pope Gregory had produced an expensively armed and trained fighting force. Crucially the twenty thousand Swiss and Irish mercenaries that comprised the Roman formations were unaffected by the emotional maelstrom sweeping Italy and remained loyal to their paymasters in Rome. In contrast the Young Italy radicals were outrageously exuberant but lacked the discipline, numbers and arms of the professional soldiers. Their previous successes in the northern legations had been a product of their genuinely popular appeal, not their military prowess. The clash of the two forces at Reiti rapidly turned into a predictable rout as the revolutionaries were scattered and the authority of the Holy See secured for the immediate future.

Gregory's initial response to this affront to his authority was not surprising - the Young Italy leaders seized at Reiti (notably Mazzini escaped capture) were executed within the week and Papal authority was forcefully restored to the northern legations. This did not signal the end of the insurrection as Young Italy fell back to its strongholds in the cities and continued to agitate for an Italian Republic. Crucially however they were unable to extend their support base into Latium, and Rome and its hinterlands remained loyal to their Pope. This relative peace in the capital would allow the Esercito Pontificio free reign to move north to suppress repeated riots and risings. The successful defence of the Holy See signalled the turning of the tide again the European revolution. In Austria Franz Josef assumed the throne and, with Russian aid, was able to defeat the Italian and Hungarian rebellions. The Empire had survived. To the north the progress of the German bourgeoisie was also sluggish and the revolutions failed to make any lasting gains in the German lands… much to the disgust of one young Karl Marx. By the end of the year it appeared that the old order had somehow seen off the waves of liberalism and revolution, albeit not without losses. It had certainly been a "damned close run thing" and the reactionary powers of Europe were badly shaken by the experience.

None were more concerned than the Vatican. The Young Italy rising had been a damning indictment of the failure of Gregory's reforms. These had saved Rome, and indeed the Papacy itself, but had failed to secure peace throughout the countryside. Revolutionary and subversive movements remained both a strong and popular threat to the Holy See and were apparently undiminished by almost a decade of harsh repression. It was this dilemma that occupied Gregory's mind before his death on June 1, 1846 aged eighty. There is little indication that before his death the late Pope had produced an answer as to what, other than a constitution, could placate the masses. His successor, Pope Pius IX, would prove up to the task.

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* The fall of the July Monarchy, and the various causes for this, is best dealt with in "E., Bourgeois, (1934), The Orleans Monarchy, Cambridge". For a general overview of the subsequent wave of revolutions, see "Stearns, P.N., (1974), 1848: The Revolutionary Tide in Europe, New York"

** The definitive, if somewhat dated, account of Mazzini’s eventful life, including his campaigns against the Papacy, can be found in "Salvemini, G., (1905), Mazzini, Turin". His connections a number of subversive nationalist movements, including both the Carbonari and Young Italy is examined in "Hales, E.E.Y., (1956), Mazzini and Secret Societies, London" while "Griffeth, G.O., (1932), Mazzini: Prophet of Modern Europe, London" provides a somewhat broader analysis of Mazzini and his unabashedly idealistic democratic republicanism.
 
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ComradeOm

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As you can see above this game took an ahistorical twist in that the liberal revolution in the Papal States started in 1845. As a result I moved the entire historical chronology of the revolutions (the fall of the July Monarchy et al) back three years to accommodate this. The exception, and this will carry on in future updates, is the footnotes in which all reference names remain unchanged.

For those who are interested in the period and the history that we're seeing, I urge you to check out The Will of God. It hasn't kicked off proper yet but Quirinus308's AAR has done a far better job than my own of looking at some specific facets of pre-unification Italian politics.

Thanks again for all the comments. Its a great response that signficantly eases my concerns over the tone and quality of the writing.

LeonTrotsky: Nope. I've heard nothing but good things about VIP but I remain somewhat conservative in my use of mods. This is plain Revolutions with a number of my own events thrown in at a later point.

J. Passepartout: Historically this was the point where the liberals did take Rome and the Pope (Pius IX in '48) was briefly forced into exile. In this timeline however the reforms stimulated by Bernetti's assassination, combined with the Pope in '45 being Gregory, have produced a somewhat different result.

Specialist290 and Kaeso: Thanks. I only hope that I'll be able to keep your attention :)

Fiftypence: Its odd but I originally bought Vicky for the chance to do some revolting. Despite this I have the most fun when playing absolute monarchies (Russia and the Ottomans are also favourites). Is my authoritarian streak showing?

El Pip: Burning at the stake for tax evasion? I like it :cool:

DerKaiser: Well I figured that I might as well put my extensive experience in referencing academic journals (damned thesis!) to good use. I'm glad that you like the historical style, as that was exactly what I'm going for, but let me know if I get too dry.

Herbert West: It is amazing what you can accomplish when God is on your side :)

Although I'm not sure if I have, or will, mentioned this but you can take it as a given that this strengthening of the Papacy's temporal authority is leading to some heated debate behind the scenes. Gregory's reforms haven't quite brought Church dogma to the point of penitential warfare, being as they were more material/administrative than theological in nature, but any historical reformers (not that there were many of those) are definitely finding themselves sidelined.

Cinéad IV: I've no aims beyond telling a story. If this story is entertaining and historically plausible then all the better. Certainly the more outlandish possibilities, such as rebuilding Christendom or a new Crusade, are not going to happen. Expect most of the action to take place in Italy and at least bear some similarities to history. If there is a unification campaign then it can only happen after Church doctrine is ready for one.

I know that this emphasis on historical trends and realities doesn't make for the most exciting reading but I'm consciously trying to keep events and developments ticking over at a relatively rapid pace. Feel free to stop me if I get bogged down in history at any point.
 

El Pip

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No "Crusade" to reform Italy, under the benevloent rule of the Papacy naturally. :(

While I will of course continue to follow this interesting AAR I must confess I'm saddened by that revelation. ( ;) )