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unmerged(28307)

First Lieutenant
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Hello, and welcome to the second installment of my history of Sweden. An epic covering 800+ years from 1066-1948. I will play through CK-EU2-Victoria-HoI2 with a continually converted Sweden, narrating as I go. The first part of this tale can be found in my sig.

Here follows the first post in this new part of the AAR. The first gameplay will come tomorrow.
 

unmerged(28307)

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The formation of the First Republic

The formation of the first Republic

In 1411 the last of the kings of the Stenkilsätten dynasty was killed and a council of merchants and nobles took over. After 8 years they had agreed to rule the country through a parliament that would convene every spring and disband every autumn. The Riksdag thus formed would consist of four estates, nobles, burghers, priests and peasants. The first parliament was heavily weighted in favour of the burghers since they had been instrumental in toppling the monarchy. The clergy were seriously underrepresented and both nobles and peasants alike held a somewhat fair share of power. In 1419 Sweden thus emerged as the most powerful of all the christian countries.

Sweden in 1419

Elsewhere in Europe the picture was more muddled. In Britain the kingdom of England held as the greatest realm.

Britain in 1419

In Spain there were the three rival powers of Léon, Castille and Portugal.

Spain in 1419

In France no one power held sway but the duchy of Orléans held more clout than the others.

France in 1419

In both Germany and Russia the map was littered with different duchies, counties, kingdoms and principalities.

Germany in 1419

Russia in 1419

In Germany especially the emirs and caliphs of the muslim lands had made great inroads, with the Fatimids and Hedjaz controlling the north German plain and Bohemia respectively.

Meanwhile the Republic of Sweden was wracked with internal problems since the newly agreed upon government was having trouble asserting its authority. This left the country paralyzed for most of its existence as time would later prove.
 

MichOrion

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Come over from Part I, can't wait for more.
 

Lurken

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Duke of Wellington said:
I think I shall pick this up and make it my homework to read the CK one. I'm not familiar with CK but how is it you have cores on Spain etc?
Claims work that way, atleast by the built-in converter. There you get cores, by having claims.
 

das

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IMHO the republic itself is alittle too utopian (or maybe its my dictatorophilia, if that's even a word, showing again...), but anyway, still following. Do continue!

What exactly happened to the Golden Horde, though? Last time I checked this AAR, it seemed very strong...
 

Lurken

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BTW, what converter did you use?
 

unmerged(28307)

First Lieutenant
Apr 25, 2004
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BTW, what converter did you use?

I used the ingame converter. I wasn't aware that there's any other.

IMHO the republic itself is alittle too utopian (or maybe its my dictatorophilia, if that's even a word, showing again...), but anyway, still following. Do continue!

The republic is not a republic in the modern sense, it's more like the Republics of Venice or Genoa. A state controlled by a few powerful families and interests.

What exactly happened to the Golden Horde, though? Last time I checked this AAR, it seemed very strong...

It collapsed in the 1340's, the Germans simply ground them down and then they in turn collapsed when the king was excommunicated. Very exciting to watch.
 

unmerged(28307)

First Lieutenant
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The time of the merchants (1419-1434)

The time of the merchants (1419-1434)

In 1419 the newly formed Republic of Sweden seemed invincible; she was flush with cash and held sway over the largest realm in Europe. She was also in the hands of the great merchant families and this would shape her policies for the coming 15 years.

Over the following decade the merchants waged a fierce war of commerce with all comers in the great trading centre of Visby. Visby was by now a great city of 50 000 inhabitants and the centre of all trade via the Baltic Sea. This meant that whoever controlled the trade in Visby would control the long distance trade from most of Russia, Scandinavia, Poland, the Baltic provinces and northern Germany. A huge amount of wealth was thus to be had. Since the government lacked the institutional means to enforce a monopoly and the physical means to dominate the trade the overriding concern became the construction of a navy. In five years a huge navy consisting of 45 galleys and 5 carracks was built to control the Baltic. The greatest of these was the great carrack Värdigheten (Worthiness) which even sported a bombard, a primitive cannon which could fire stones.

The trading centres of Europe

By 1426 the new navy was ready and took to the seas protecting the trade inside the Baltic and finally ridding the sea of the pirates, often of muslim persuasion, that had been plaguing it since the 13th century. With this also came a dominance of the trade, although not quite a monopoly, since Swedish merchants were not required to pay for the protection of the navy, giving them a large competitive advantage. The merchants now expanded into the trade of Western Europe but failed to gain more than a tentative foothold, it was clear that they had reached their limit.

In Europe three new major alliances were appearing on the political stage. The Kingdom of England had become dominant on its own isles and was now allied to the grand duchy of Luxembourg and the powerful Papacy. The re-vitalized Kingdom of Germany had gained control of most of the Rhine and now built its power in an axis from the duchy of Zeeland on the North Sea to the duchy of Steiermark east of the Alps. The Final alliance was that of the French. In 1420 the Duke of Orléans had proclaimed himself King of France and then forged an alliance with the powerful duchies of Artois and Armangnac.

These three alliances now waged war intermittently with each other and since England held lands in France and France held lands in England as well as Germany the conflict was guaranteed to go on for quite some time.

By 1429 the new government of merchants felt sufficiently secure internally to go to war against the former Swedish vassals of Finland over the control of the rich port of Riga in Livland. Despite the enormous preponderance of the Republic the war dragged on through five years of hardships until the Finns finally gave in. Over five winters more than 50 000 Swedes froze to death in the wilderness of Karelia and the Kola peninsula in the north. The war was waged on a strategy of occupying the central parts of Finland in order for them to give up their holdings in the Baltic provinces. In October 1430 the capital of Helsinki fell and the army moved inland. Sieges were set in the provinces of Savolaks and Kexholm and these were completed in October and December 1431 respectively.

During the winter of 1432 the army, which was very short of competent commanders since the purging of noblemen in the aftermath of the revolution, suffered a mutiny of most officers. In the end the government was forced to recall some of the noble officers of the old royal army in order to maintain discipline and quell the mutiny. This was accomplished at the cost of increased noble power in the Riksdag.

In 1432 the Finns finally decided to make a stand and two armies of 8 and 10 000 respectively were defeated in the woods of Karelia, with the death of Marshal Engelbrekt as the greatest loss. Still the Republic persevered and in the spring of 1434 both Kola and Karelia had been conquered. Now a great army of 18 000 men embarked for Livland and on June 9 the Great fleet of the Republic met the Finnish navy of three ships off Nyholmen in Åland. All three Finnish ships were sunk and the Swedes lost none. As the army disembarked outside of Riga the mayor appeared and presented its commander with the keys to the city. The Finns were finally ready to give up and in the ensuing peace the Republic of Sweden gained the provinces of Estland, Livland and Savolaks. The war had been a success since the Republic had gained two great trading ports and now controlled the trade of the Dvina River. However the cost had been great as well since treasury was almost emptied and the merchants had been forced to yield a significant amount of power to the nobles in exchange for an efficient army. All told the Republic was probably stronger for it, if somewhat more unstable.
 

unmerged(28307)

First Lieutenant
Apr 25, 2004
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New competition

As has been my tradition in this AAR I would like to give my readers, new and old, the opportunity to vote for an extra post with their choice of content. Instead of a straight-up vote this time I'd like to create a little competition. Whoever answers the following question (correctly) first will get to choose between the three alternatives on this list.

A; A recount of a typical trading voyage

B; The tale of Håvard, the merchant prince who became regent of the realm.

C; An account of the embassy of 1423 sent to the court of the Caliph of Kurland-Iraq

And now the question: When Napoleon rampaged across Europe he had in his service a marshal who wasn't of French but rather British descent. What was the name of this marshal?

The first one to answer correctly in this thread will get to pick from the above list and I'll post your choice within the week.
 

Lurken

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The other converter, which performs quite nicely and is considered better then the built in, it can be found here.
 

das

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The republic is not a republic in the modern sense, it's more like the Republics of Venice or Genoa. A state controlled by a few powerful families and interests.

That's quite an overgrown Venice (or Genoa). :p My impression was that it was something more similar to the English Commonwealth or the United Provinces (Holland). Anyway, sorry about the nitpicking again, it definitely does make things more interesting than a run-of-the-mill Vasa dynasty. What do you have for rulers, btw? A new merchant "dynasty"?

EDIT: Another little nitpick... are you sure that a CoA with crowns on it suits a republic very well? IMHO the original Swedish CoA (you know, the one similar to their modern flag) fits more here...

When Napoleon rampaged across Europe he had in his service a marshal who wasn't of French but rather British descent. What was the name of this marshal?

British including Scottish, it was duc de Tarente, Jacques Macdonald.
 
Last edited:

unmerged(28307)

First Lieutenant
Apr 25, 2004
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That's quite an overgrown Venice (or Genoa). My impression was that it was something more similar to the English Commonwealth or the United Provinces (Holland). Anyway, sorry about the nitpicking again, it definitely does make things more interesting than a run-of-the-mill Vasa dynasty. What do you have for rulers, btw? A new merchant "dynasty"?

For the purposes of this AAR I was thinking along the lines of the merchant republics. As time will tell the Republic of Sweden is indeed overgrown and that means that a primitive system of government such as this will prove more and more inadequate for controlling the country. The Vasa dynasty will come forth in due time. Right now I'm not using dynasties since the whole point is to portray a fragmented rule.


EDIT: Another little nitpick... are you sure that a CoA with crowns on it suits a republic very well? IMHO the original Swedish CoA (you know, the one similar to their modern flag) fits more here...

As for flags, I'm not a good modder and I don't really know how to change the flag. To me it's not that important.

British including Scottish, it was duc de Tarente, Jacques Macdonald.

Right you are! I'll be happy to hear your choice. Just post it in this thread and I'll do my best to oblige.
 

das

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The CoA isn't too important to me neither, just struck me as alittle odd...

I'll choose the "account of the embassy of 1423 sent to the court of the Caliph of Kurland-Iraq", option C in other words. Am rather curious as to how exactly do you see those Baltic Muslims...
 

Lurken

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das said:
The CoA isn't too important to me neither, just struck me as alittle odd...

I'll choose the "account of the embassy of 1423 sent to the court of the Caliph of Kurland-Iraq", option C in other words. Am rather curious as to how exactly do you see those Baltic Muslims...
Good choiche with C, I wanted to read that too.
 

cuchulain

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hey ive followed on from ck, still looks good, are the kalmar events going to fire at all? if they concern denmark anyway..

go back to the vote! i was at school during your competition
 

unmerged(28307)

First Lieutenant
Apr 25, 2004
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hey ive followed on from ck, still looks good, are the kalmar events going to fire at all? if they concern denmark anyway..

I have had the end of the Kalmar Union and now I'm stuck by the crappy Nationalregenter for a hundred years. Denmark exists you know. Though they only have the Jutland peninsula.

go back to the vote! i was at school during your competition

I'll give you all a heads-up if I decide to hold another competition, say one days notice.

Thats an impressive Cot you have there. Is it possible to se a religious map of Europe? Muslims ruling in Germany

I'll get you a religious wiew with tomorrows update. How's that?
 

unmerged(28307)

First Lieutenant
Apr 25, 2004
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The embassy of 1423

Entreating the Pirate Caliph

The tale of the great embassy to the Caliph of Courland-Iraq of 1423

As transcribed from medieval Swedish by prof. James Oswald of Cambridge University.

Background

In 1423 the muslim fleets had controlled the seas of Europe for almost five centuries. Since the demise of the Vikings and their fearsome fleets of longships the muslim rulers on the Mediterranean had been virtually unopposed in their dominance of the seas. By this time that dominance was in decline. Already the muslim hold over the Bay of Biscay and the north sea was slipping, and the outcome of this embassy would seal their fate in the Baltic as well.

After the establishment of the Swedish Republic, following the fall of the Stenkilsätten monarchy in 1411, the leading faction within the Republican government, the merchants, had long argued over how to secure their trade and handle the problem of piracy in the Baltic Sea. The naval proponents managed to gain approval for the construction of a large navy of galleys to secure the merchant vessels sailing to and from the port of Visby. As the cost of this naval programme proved very great its opponents gained the upper hand and it was agreed that another approach was to be tried. The rulers of Sweden, being merchants and thus profit-oriented, simply calculated that to pay off the pirates would cost less than the construction and maintenance of a large navy. And so it was decided to send an embassy to the Caliph of Courland-Iraq, the main source of piracy on the Baltic.

Here follows the account of Sune Sletta, the official chronicler of the mission.

The ninth of June in the year of our Lord 1423

Today our expedition sets sail from the harbour of Stockholm. Six magnificent galleys, crewed by 600 men and carrying 400 soldiers. In our holds we carry many hundreds of our finest furs, and much of the finest crafts that our artisans can muster. It is a princely gift indeed and my masters fervently hope that it will please the Caliph of the musulmans.

The seventh of July in the year of our Lord 1423

Today we sighted the Crescent Keep. It is a mighty fortress situated on a low hill overlooking a busy harbour. The port and keep are situated at the very tip of the Courland peninsula and is surrounded by marshes. The harbour is shallow and a narrow channel has been excavated over generations to allow for the passage of only one ship at a time. Inside the harbour there are docks so as to allow for several dozens of ships to moor at the same time, though the scant depth of its waters allows for nothing but galleys.

The eight of July in the year of our Lord 1423

After having spent the night lying at anchor just outside the port we were admitted before the court of the Caliph this morning. Muammar Al-Kribi Obeid is the nineteenth Caliph of Iraq and Courland, or so he claims. My masters in the capital have access to the royal records of the Fatimids, conquered in the sack of Stettin 130 years ago, and they claim that this Caliph is a descendant of common sailors and only in the fourth generation on this throne.

The Caliph resides inside the keep and he keeps a court of some hundred men and women. A great oblong hall lined with trophies and flanked to the northwest by a grand balcony overlooking the harbour ends in a dais upon which stands a throne of stone. This throne is clad in the finest Persian carpets and the Caliph slumps upon it with a bored expression. He seems a craven little creature and when the Duke of Östergötland, ambassador from the Republic of Sweden approaches he is required to prostrate himself before the throne.

Tonight a feast is held in our honour. We are served many delicacies and many meats. The most interesting of these is the exquisite medallions of beaver, a local delicacy from the marshes surrounding the port. The rumoured exotic belly dancers are also proven to be true! The heathens bring forth women with hardly any clothing on their bodies; these are then made to dance a strange dance in which they sway to the enchanting rhythm produced by a battery of drummers. It is a fascinating dance and I am much amused by it. The ships chaplain had several harsh words to bestow upon us later about the sins of lust and the flesh. In this instance he need not worry though, as I am told that all of these women belong to the Caliph personally and may not be touched by any man other than he. What strange customs these heathens have.

The tenth of July in the year of our Lord 1423

Today the ambassador has presented our gifts and message to the Caliph and his court. The Caliph was very pleased to receive the gift of a greatcoat of fur, studded with silver adornments. Aside from that our embassy has been authorised to promise him ten barrels of silver annually in exchange for safe passage for all ships flying the Swedish flag inside the Baltic Sea. This offer was well received by the Caliph, though I cannot answer for his court. The Duke is pessimistic and fears that the magistrates in Stockholm may have misjudged the level of control that the Caliph has over his subjects. We have been promised an answer within the week and in the meantime we will be entertained as guests at the court.

The fourteenth of July in the year of our Lord 1423

Today the Duke was summoned to appear before the Caliph in the great hall. I was allowed to accompany him. When we arrived the Caliph was in a rare temper, he bellowed insults at the hapless Duke, calling us infidels and dogs and spitting at the carpet in front of us. The Caliph has rejected our proposal in every particular and says that unless we are gone by nightfall he will cut us down to the last man. On this the Duke rose and standing over the Caliph, who is a rather short and podgy little man, he uttered these words. “If the heathens of this barbarous den will not accept the offer of the mightiest power in the north, then so be it. We will wipe you of the waves within a generation!” Then he turned on his heels and left, and I followed. We left that evening without incident.

The third of August in the year of our Lord 1423

Today we arrived back in the capital. Since we had docked in Visby on our way home word of the Caliph’s insults has reached here before us. The entire parliament is in an uproar I hear, the war party has gotten approval for the continued expansion of our navy and I have no doubt that, God willing, the Duke promise will be kept. This ends the chronicle of the embassy to the Caliph of Courland-Iraq.

Written by Sune Sletta, third scribe of Håvard, Grandmaster of the Republic of Sweden

In the subsequent years the expansion of the navy carried on without pause and by the end of the 1430’s most pirates on the Baltic had been hunted down and hanged. The Duke was proven right.