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    The realm rejoices as Paradox Interactive announces the launch of Crusader Kings III, the latest entry in the publisher’s grand strategy role-playing game franchise. Advisors may now jockey for positions of influence and adversaries should save their schemes for another day, because on this day Crusader Kings III can be purchased on Steam, the Paradox Store, and other major online retailers.


    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

gis

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Nay! the Republic must be reassembled! it must control California! it is the last of the Royalist Sucessues! (I hope :p)

You know, at the start you said that all "new cadencies" had to claim whatever they were Alvaradan or not, I haven't seen this, especially since they were only two cadencies...
 

Strategos' Risk

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This part was worth the wait. Excellently-written verisimilitude. The formation of such an ambitious Latino-Catholic state will have great ramifications to the future of this world.
 

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It was thus, with a widely-publicised royal declamation of “that most recent and most perverse of blasphemies against Our Sacred Catholic Faith”, that the Kingdom of California declared war upon the semi-autonomous Mormon state of Deseret. With Don Carlos del Serrano once again leading from the head of his Bourbon Lancers, the Californians smashed the tiny Mormon militia near the village of Tooele after an impressive march through the Nevada deserts (the logistics of which were largely the work of Santa Anna), and marched on to the fledgling capital of Salt Lake City. Almost before the Mormons’ desperate calls for aid (utterly ignored by an American government horrified by the seemingly-effortless victories of Robert E. Lee) arrived in Washington, the modest Salt Lake Temple was in flames and the “heretic traitor” Brigham Young was on his way to a Royalist internment camp, as the Kingdom sought to inforce its religious credentials.
That's for Prop 8, you Mormon bastards! :mad:

:p

A very intriguing update. Somehow I can't see the successes of the monarchy lasting much longer - with a paranoid nutter like Tibalto in charge, something will go wrong, somewhere, sooner or later. I'm much reminded of a certain other megalomaniacal dictator's dreams of conquest, which ended rather badly for him and his country.
 

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Excellent updates DK. Loved the history book update in particular. :D

It's amazing that so much has happened, and yet it's only 1861. I have to say though, most of your characters must be well into their 40's and 50's by this point, since they were around in 1836. How much longer will Don Alejandro be able to go around blowing up navies, for example? :p
 

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canonized- The Kingdom certainly has big plans- it remains to be seen in what form these will materialise in reality, but I feel there is certainly potential at the very least!

Glad you're still enjoying it, your readership is very much appreciated as always! Am still working to rectify my new computer's random loathing of MSN...

gis- I'm afraid you're going to have to sit through a couple more Royalist triumphs at least, but the fate of the Republicans will not go unnoticed! They are far from destroyed...

Also good point on the Alvaradan question, but I would say that his premiership was so recent that it's essentially self-evident where his successors have stood with regard to his legacy so far. Every President (or King) since Alvarado was, after all, a contemporary of his. The way Tibalto responded to him, for example, is a fairly strong statement on whether he's "Alvaradan" or not!

Strategos' Risk- Glad you're enjoying it still! We will have to see just how far the New Spanish Empire gets in the coming years...

Morsky- I'm afraid I can't possibly say- though the issue of personality is definitely important for the fate of the Kingdom (as you might expect) so we will need to keep that in mind...

Unrepentant One- Well of course, currently New Spain is just an idea. The current conquests are simply a "work in progress" as of 1862- we will have to see how much further it gets...

Jhovozhymeh- Glad you're enjoying it, another history-book update on its way for your consumption!

Well spotted by the way- the protagonists are indeed getting on a bit. Alejandro was 18 in 1836 (to ensure he had a long shelf-life!), Tibalto one year older, Diego a further year older. So at 43, he's still fairly upwardly-mobile, but definitely coming to the end of his boat-exploding days. Hopefully the new generation of characters (Alejandro's sons, Don Antonio/El Zorro et al) will fill the void- you will have noticed that Don Carlos, not Don Tibalto, now leads the Royalist armies from the front...

Jape- Well to be fair to Tibalto, I think it's a plan that can be developed slowly. I doubt even he is mad enough to try and grab it all at once...

longlee- Glad you're enjoying it, thanks, and good to have you with us!


To all- An update is coming this evening, thanks for reading!
 

unmerged(57402)

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The Californian Renaissance

Extract from “Independence to Empire, A New History of the Californian Republic” (By Chris Carmack and Michael Connor, Berkeley University Press, published 2007)

For all the traditional vitriol directed at the Kingdom of California, and despite its doubtlessly Machiavellian methods, one cannot deny the impressive, and in many cases lasting achievements of King Tibalto’s court. In particular, historians that follow the highly modern thesis of the “golden years of the reign of Tibalto”, from 1862 to 1866, have highlighted the cultural efforts of the King’s artificially-induced “Californian Renaissance”, and the genuine results they achieved. The project to enhance the Kingdom’s cultural pedigree and thus its international prestige were headed by one of the few prominent members of Tibalto’s court to emerge with much modern credit- Don Ricardo Luis Hernandez.

Hernandez had received a mixed upbringing: born in Spain, he was educated in France and Vienna, before completing his studies at Lincoln College, Oxford, in Great Britain, and eventually settling in California to take up the less significant part of his family’s estates (he was the youngest of four siblings). He was a firm devotee of Enlightenment ideas, and a subscriber to the German concept of Bildung (the idea that true class and quality came from a rounded intellectual, cultural and moral education). As such he was both the perfect advocate for a deliberate policy of investing cultural capital in the Kingdom, and an ideal agent for the enaction of such a policy. In February 1862, while Don Carlos del Serrano was busy crushing the Mormons in Deseret, Hernandez was charged with ultimate responsibility for the cultural well-being of a kingdom that ought, in the eyes of its ever-ambitious ruler, to be a beacon for the world.


Don Ricardo Luis Hernandez, the father of the "Californian Renaissance".

His achievements are visible, not least in an enormous number of buildings erected under his authority that still stand in contemporary California. The capital having been changed to Monterey and the Republic having been officially abolished, Parliament Square in San Francisco was a conveniently eligible site for renovation, and the First Republic’s already-impressive epicentre was converted and enhanced (with the help of re-fashioned rubble from the battle of 1860) into a glorious neo-classical set-piece. The Royal Opera House, Royal Californian Theatre, First Library of California (aptly named- it being the first public library in the country on opening in August 1864), and Californian Museum remain famous landmarks at the time of writing, changing the old Parliament Square forever into the Plaza Hernandez, in honour of its creator and designer. Indeed, almost all buildings in the neo-classical style in California can be credited to Don Ricardo, for they were either ordered from his office during the reign of Tibalto, or modelled on the striking prototypes he created during those years. The fact that such achievements were only possible through the use of money appropriated from political opponents and the slave labour of interned dissidents and prisoners of war, while it ought to be remembered, does not detract from the remarkable architectural and cultural achievements that they represent.


This photograph of the interior of Hernandez's Californian Museum typifies the neo-classical style he championed.

It was not merely architecture, but a variety of other cultural pursuits that flourished in the “golden years”. A hand-picked group of Hernandez’s agents were sent across Europe and the wider world (one went as far afield as Madagascar!) in order to literally import a cultural heritage to California. Among the most famous writers to answer the call (and lure of royal patronage) was Alexandre Dumas, whose romantic retellings of many of the events he witnessed during the Civil War have created a lasting impression in the public and indeed academic imagination, while noted composers included Félicien-César David and Verdi, and the Brazilian Pedro Américo and French Edouard Manet led the field in painting. This selective poaching of foreign artists and literati, particularly successful at harvesting the out-of-work courtiers of abolished Italian states, was to make Don Tibalto’s California, however briefly, the cultural envy of the world. Nor was education neglected: the Catholic church was placed in full control of primary education while considerable funds were made available for the establishment of new elementary schools for literacy, numeracy and religious studies (while also aiming to instil a sense of loyalty to the Bourbon dynasty at a young age). Furthermore, two new universities were founded to complement the small establishment in San Francisco (which received an increase of funds and expansion of its facilities), at Monterey and Los Angeles. Although they could only accommodate around 550 students between them, these initiatives doubled the number of places available for higher education in California, and provided a focal point for an influx of European and American academics into the Kingdom. Indeed, the Californian Renaissance was not even merely a human phenomenon- a large royal pleasure park just outside the growing city of San Diego was opened to the public for the first time in 1864 as the now world-famous San Diego Zoo, offering such curiosities as an African elephant and Sumatran tiger, and which was, in a gesture of royal magnanimity, free of charge to all visitors. Once again, it must always be remembered that such achievements were made possible only by the appropriation and use of the money of defeated political opponents, but they were impressive and lasting nevertheless.


French author Alexandre Dumas, who became a celebrated Californian literary figure after his arrival in the Kingdom in 1863.

Finally, Hernandez was charged with emphasising the Hispanic and Catholic nature of the Kingdom. As a result, Monterey’s cathedral, seat of the only archbishopric in California, was impressively re-styled in a Byzantine architectural style, while numerous beautiful churches were built across the country and various monasteries either extended or enhanced. Furthermore, steps were taken to ensure that the Spanish character of California was reinforced- a number of aristocratic families from the Old World who had fallen upon hard times, as well as those who simply held large estates on the Pacific coast, were invited to make the journey across the Atlantic and either take personal control of their possessions or help themselves to the confiscated lands of exiled and imprisoned Republicans. Among the most important families to heed the call was that of the father of Don Javier de la Vega. Don Marcos and his son Don Ridolfo were both given high-ranking positions within the Bourbon Army upon arrival in May 1863, and through their rapid rise to power illustrate the easy advantages that were available to those that made the decision to take up King Tibalto’s offer. At least 100,000 others, of varied social status, made the same decision.

Its armies seemingly invincible, its potential enemies in disarray, and its domestic prestige at an all time high, the Kingdom of California seemed destined to establish itself among the pantheon of great nations. Furthermore, the royal desire to enhance the Spanish and Catholic character of the realm had been served: education had been placed in the hands of the church and teaching was available in English only in purely English-speaking areas (of which there were very few); a considerable number of new Hispanic migrants had arrived; and most of the cultural, educational and architectural developments had occurred in the predominantly-Hispanic south. The only dark cloud on its otherwise-azure horizon was the stubborn refusal of the colonial Republicans to submit to the will of the Bourbon King. It is to developments among these “troublesome dissidents” that we must now turn.
 

canonized

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An excellent historical interlude ! And a significant one to boot .

The neo-classical revival in architecture as well as the cultural works to increase prestige and gain such people as Dumas to the court is impressive ! Really has helped transform my idea of California as a second rate backwater colonial area to a real nation ! And great explanation for the San Diego Zoo XD loved that one .
 

Andreios II

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Such marvellous updates! Your sense of scope; as well as detail, makes your story-telling very believable.

Glad to see the Bourbon Navy blown to bits, only the Republicans should have a NAVY! (I was the one who called for its creation to begin with anyway!)

Looking forward to some Barja-bashing of more permanence, I want to see the Royalists (more or less) totally eliminated from Politics... let them ride their horses rather then debate in the Parliament ^^
 

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An excellent update demonstrating the might and glory of the Kingdom, but constantly reminding of the darker side to all this order, prosperity and grandeur. Also, the 1862 - 1866 bit is certainly portentous! That's a very brief Golden Age for the Golden Nation's monarchy - I imagine things turn uglier very soon. The education of hundreds of young men according to Enlightenment principles will probably pose a lot of troubles for Tibalto as well, once those granola-munching hippie liberal students decide to topple the backward aristocracy. :D
 

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This sounds like the rise of a New Republic!

Great Update, can't wait to hear more about the Republicans!
 

Cinéad IV

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I'm impressed that Tibalto has managed to maintain and grow his kingdom quite so well :D
 

Jhovozhymeh

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Another excellent chapter of 'Independence to Empire', DK. The weaving of contemporary figures (Dumas, Verdi and Manet) and events (the Italian Unification) into the narrative lend it a certain depth, making the idea of California that much more believable.

Just out of curiosity, are you going to continue as is until the end of the game, or are you going to finish with the current cast of characters and use 'Independence to Empire' to summarise the rest?
 

longlee

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it still amazes me that you can take a real wold event and make it so beliveable in your alternate history
what happened to former private Christian Hamann. he hasn't been around for alot of updates. tibalto only has 5 years left to live. this AAR is better than alot of books i've read
 
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This is going great, waiting for a Republican victory!
 

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Another Update soon?
 

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I would Update it soon, as my head will explode soon, for I need more!! JK, this is goin along fine, Im re reading it to make time between updates.