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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

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Let's suppose I found the book below on e-bay (in effect, it doesn't exist). Let's suppose I'd leaf through it, quote here some of the parts you'd find interesting and skip the boring ones.

What is an AAR but a game within a game? :rolleyes:


"The History of The Romanian-Speaking Peoples" by George Marsh (Professor of Central European Studies at Princeton University, holder of the Longwell Award for Distinguished Teaching), 312 pages, hardcover, Warwick Publishing House, Chicago, 1932.

Introduction by Richard Sowers, Professor of Contemporary History at Harvard University:

...starts smartly: "Mr. Marsh has achieved a remarkable piece of scholarship. Few if any historians in the developed world have sought to shed light upon the ordeals and sufferings of the Wallachian Principate during the past century. Of Prussia and Austro-Hungary we have read a lot; we know more than we care to count about the inner workings of Russia, Belgium or the Ottoman Empire. Yet Wallachia, its goals and hopes, remain shadowed to the Western mind."

Some common sense things thrown throughout: "One must ask the reader to suspend his preconceived perceptions of Wallachia before he begins to read. Like in most countries of the world there were villains and geniuses, men of great stature and dumb weaklings. Even more remarkable is the work of the elite, the thin layer of businessmen, politicians and scholars, all benefitting from education in Paris or Vienna, who sought to bring Wallachia closer to its natural, modern destiny."

Boring, boring and more boring, until he says: "Last but not least, Mr. Marsh has been measured in his treatment of the subject. His objectivity invites the readers to perceive the subject matter the same way. The geographic and national ideals of the Wallachian Principate conflicted with those of other neighboring nations, ethnicities and religious groups. Assuming that one is "right" and the other is "wrong" is an error of the mind, particularly harmful in the study of history."


Mr. Marsh's photo. Just had to share this happy stare with you guys. Next update will get us into action.
 

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Thanks for the encouragement. I need it. :rolleyes:

Chapter I, "The Title of This Book and Its Scope"

Some general stuff about history, subjectivity vs. objectivity, how hard it is to find reliable data, especially about Eastern European countries, etc etc. Nothing that would blow your socks off, trust me. And then...

(..) "In truth, a history of the Romanian-speaking peoples is beyond the reach of today's historians. Our inquiry shall focus on the fate of Wallachia and Moldavia, the two Romanian-speaking countries in the East of Europe, and on their quest to reunite fellow Romanian speakers into a modern European nation.

The Romanian language - 19th century Wallachians and Moldavians felt - was a mission in itself. Let us perceive what they felt and thought, or else their political and military endeavors will seem meaningless to us.

Romanian is a awkward language as far as historians are concerned. And that is because it shouldn't exist, or at least it shouldn't exist in its current form. After the retreat of the Romans in the 3rd century AD, and after the waves of Goths, Huns, Avars, Slavs and Bulgars (to quote only the more important barbarian tribes), Latin should have disappeared as a language north of the Danube.


Aaaaaaaaaalright, look north of Macedonia. You see an horizontal blue line? That's the Danube. North of it, you can barely make out the letters W (Wallachia), M (Moldavia) and T (Transylvania - Marsh's book will refer to it in a second). Those are the geographical locations of the states in Vicky. What the map doesn't show is that Transylvania is separated from the other two by the Carpathian mountains. And, boy, did that turn out to be important later :cool:

And yet Latin didn't disappear. All through the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, to the north of Danube one could encounter two Christian kingdoms whose population spoke a Latin-heavy language called Romanian.

'Encounter', did I say? OMG he'll try to be funny. 'Encounter', yes, if the Turkish infantrymen would step out of the way and ceremoniously point north. OMG he tried to be funny. :wacko: Endless wars with the Turks could lead only to one ending - the sourest kind: in the 18th century Wallachia and Moldavia became vassals of the Sultan. They were spared forced conversion to Christianity unlike their southern neighbors, the Bulgarians. But the suffering, the cultural isolation and the gigantic tributes ravaged their heritage. The land-owners (boyars) cooperated; the peasants attempted to survive.

Oh, and I liked this one: In Wallachia and Moldova, the peasants had will but didn't have the power, and the boyars had mediocre amounts of both, enough to complain but never to take dramatic action. :rolleyes:

A third group of Romanian-speakers, located west of the Carpathians - which is to say north-west of Wallachia and west of Moldavia - fell early in the Middle Ages under the rule of the kingdom of Hungary, and their province was named Transylvania. Hungarians, and then Austrians and Germans developed urban life, established a strong religious and soldierly tradition, controled and improved trade. Transylvania became a jewel in Hungary's crown and then among the domains of the Habsburgs.

Most Romanians, however, lacked the possibility or the will to become city dwellers and worked the land. Some converted to Catholicism, hoping thus they would gain political leverage. Others clung to the religion of Wallachians and Moldavians and remained Orthodox Christians, the faith started by Byzantium a thousand years before. Political representation was denied to them.

He goes on to say how depending on whether you read Hungarian or Romanian modern historians you get the feeling that Romanians were the minority or the majority in Transylvania. I'm sparing you the tables and the statistics :wacko:

Through internal dissention and external pressure, all hopes of independence or re-unification remained dormant until 1821.

Chapter II: "The Stage is set"

And then this man came along:



The best account concerning the 1821 rebellion is that of an observer, namely Count of Durtzenberg, Austrian Embassador to the Domn of Wallachia, in a letter dated December 9th, 1821 and adressed to Ferdinand I, the heir to the Austrian crown :

" (...) After the revelations which have smothered the ears and minds of all men of honor in the last few weeks, it is beyond doubt that the fate of our strategic interests south of the Karpathians has been spared a true catastrophe. Tudor Vladimirescu, a Wallachian, had been a captain in the Russian army during the Napoleonic wars, where he gained many medals and trinkets such as the Czar sees fit to give to men of valour. Tudor's mercifully brief rebellion had thousands of peasants follow him to the capital, where the boyars welcomed him. Could it be that it had all been planned beforehand, peasants, Tudor and boyars aiming together to disturb Turkish rule in their lands? My eyes and ears within the Wallachian kingdom gave me no warning, but the proof is there for the discerning eye.

Firstly, there was almost no burning of cottage manors from what me and other loyal servants of the Crown could gather. Even more distressing was the almost perfect timing of the rebellion with a similar attempt in Greece, led by that odious group, the Philikí Etaireía, of which Your Highness has been already made aware of. The desire of this southern people to remove the yoke of their Turkish masters should be noted by Your Highness, and perhaps utilized to their full measure later. In the matter of Wallachians in particular, one should take particular care that they are cut off from all said attempts, since despicable verbiage (! Try saying that outloud! Isn't it true that you get a British accent while doing it? Darn Austrians! :rolleyes:) about union of some kind with Romanians in Transylvania has been circulating for some time and is known to all as a danger to the stability of our interests in the East. The wickedness of their planning, as obvious by the facts I have laid before Your Highness, makes all future union of purpose between them and the Crown even less desirable.

The end to this dreary tale of confusion and malice came none to soon, as I am happy to transmit to Your Highness. God, with his ever watchful eye, punished this insolence towards the status quo crafted with infinite wisdom by kings and sultans only a few decades ago. The situation in which Tudor found himself was desperate, and the daring Wallachian realized it soon: the Turks, or us, or the Russians would step in and crush his pathetic endeavor into the oblivion of history (Wow! How true this will be throughout the whole 19th century!) Upon trying to negotiate an agreement with the Turks he was assassinated by Wallachian boyars and Greek allies, who felt he was about to betray them."

What the Count's letter fails to point out was how rapidly the Turks intervened with armed forces from across the Danube, trying not as much to stamp the rebellion (which had de facto already ended) but to show that they were and had been in control of the region all along...

but the die had been cast.

" We, Alexander I, by the grace of God Czar of Russia, Ruler of Poland and Grand Duke of Finland

and

We, Francis the First, by the grace of God Emperor of Austria,King of Jerusalem, Hungary, Bohemia, Dalmatia, Croatia, Slavonia, Galicia and Lodomeria, Archduke of Austria, Duke of Lorraine, Salzburg, Würzburg, Franconia, Styria, (tired yet?) Carinthia and Carniola, Grand Duke of Cracow, Grand Prince of Transylvania, Margrave of Moravia, Duke of Sandomir, (I bet I saw a llama somewhere among this titles) Masovia, Lublin, Upper and Lower Silesia, Auschwitz and Zator, (llamas are absolutely wonderful to have around the house! Really! They are nice and obedient, just the perfect kind of pet for anybody with a short temper, which is most of us. Don't trust all you read about llamas. There are many evil people out there who want to spread bad rumors about them beca...) Teschen and Friule, Prince of Berchtesgaden and Mergentheim, Princely Count of Habsburg, Gorizia and Gradisca and of the Tyrol, and Margrave of Upper and Lower Lusatia and in Istria

and

Frederik William III, Duke of Prussia, Grand Duke of the Lower Rhine, Ruler of Swedish Pomerania, Saxony, Posen, and Westphalia

in the name of the glorious Holy Alliance which has brought together our wills and hearts under the watchful eye of our Lord

rule

that Alexander I, by the grace of God Czar of Russia, Ruler of Poland and Grand Duke of Finland, shall be the protector of Holy Alliance interests in Wallachia and Moldavia;

that he shall act as he sees fit to bring order to these lands and to maintain the integrity of our fellow friendly power, the Ottoman Empire;

that support from the other members of the Holy Alliance towards that goal will be undending,

that all who interfere with his duties shall be harmed by the will of the Holy Alliance and by that of God.

All provisions will be brought to the attention of Mahmud II, Sultan of the Ottoman Empire.

Agreed today, October 3rd, 1825 since the birth of Christ, Our Lord,


In plain English, people: it's RUSSIA time! And this is the Czar you've been waiting for - can we have a biiiiiiiiiig clap of hands for Aaaaleeeexaaaaaandeeeeeeeeer the fiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiirst!





The Holy Alliance designated Russia as the "protector" of Wallachian and Moldavian interests. And the Russian Czar chose to adopt a radically new strategy concerning the two countries: rather than see them as financial dependencies to be dealt with as one wants, he wished to transform them into allies.




In charge of the two countries was Pavel Dmitrievici Kiseliov, or Pavel Kiseleff as speakers of Romanian knew him. A forward-thinking man, (forward-thinking? what has Marsh been smoking? :confused: This Russian dude doesn't look forward-thinking in the least. His face says '17th century' to me. Seriously!) Kiseleff introduced the Organic Regulations, constitution-like laws which set the political and legal environment upon a clear footing. The Russian officers brought French culture among the ruling class; this caused a snowball effect for several generations, as many young boyars or old boyars' sons would get their education abroad and thus modernize society even further.

Yet Moldavians couldn't trust the Czar's intentions. Half of Moldavia had been remitted to the Czarist Empire some twenty years before, as the map below shows:



The river running north-to-south through Moldavia became the new border of the Russian empire. All land east of it became a direct possession of the Czar.
I take back what I said about Kiseleff. He must've been an awesome guy, because I can't imagine him going around Moldavia twenty years after this happened and not getting killed or something. He must've been very very very charismatic.


Wheeew, long post. Hope you're not asleep yet. We'll get to the Vicky part in a second, don't worry :D . It's just that the campaign has a deep historical background, which is very very relevant to what will actually happen. So, don't worry: reading this post was *not* a waste of time, but rather an integral part of the AAR experience. Trust me :D
 

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well that was a long post, but got through it. Lets see what you can do in the vicky part and not end up running the country as a president who is a mutant formed of god knows what... yes you know what i am talking about Dysken!
 

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@robou: Wallachia can't be run like that. They don't like mutants. :rofl: For the record I'm playing VIP 0.2, so there are some intriguing possibilities for the distant future...

Chapter III: "The External Challenges of 1830s"

Kiselev's departure in 1834 has put into action the Organic Regulations. The boyars in each of the two principates would elect a "domn" (a word derived from the Latin "dominus"). This title was considered both by Romanians and by foreigners as inferior in prestige to "rege" (king, i.e. the ruler of an independent kingdom), and yet superior to the pre-1820s titles of "voivode" and "hospodar", which reminded everybody of Ottoman domination. This small entry on political vocabulary is symbolic: it shows how the destiny of Wallachia and Moldova was hanging in the balance, both strategically and culturally.


Partial view of a typical Wallachian boyar's house from the 1820s. Please notice the prevalent cross symbol and the white color of the walls - Wallachia is plainland and thus heat escaladates in the summer.

Should any of the major powers in the area dislike the actions of the current 'domn' they would ask the boyars - quite forcefully one imagines - to remove said individual from power. In order to avoid the temptation of dinastic rule (and the further temptation of independence), each "domn" would rule for seven years.

An inkling of democracy - but just an inkling - did exist in the Romanian political model. The peasants and the small urban population would be consulted via "divane ad-hoc" - political meetings during which the merits of the candidates would be debated publicly. The participating boyars would, presumably, make up their minds depending on the opinions expressed during these meetings. This seems unlikely, considering the financial and political power of the boyars. Why should they be paying attention to what their social inferiors believed? Why should a boyar feel that a burger had the same political know-how as he did, or more than that? However one should point out that boyars were present without exception at these "divane ad-hoc" - either because they truly wanted to get the pulse of public opinion, or because they wanted to feign attention to the public's priorities. As a minor state employee noted in a 1835 diary entry,

"apai daca boierul numit sa vina nu iaste prezent la divanu ad-hoc, apoi toata lumea stie cu putinta peste banuiala ca boierul acela ie bolnav greu, pasamite pe moarte".

= "if the boyar appointed to participate at the divan is not present, it is public knowledge that he is very ill, or dying".

For those in the know, however, the petty wranglings of politics mattered little. It was in the foreign policy arena that the fate of Wallachia was going to be decided.
(No. Really?!)

The situation of the two Romanian Principates was strategically difficult in 1836. They risked annexation from either of the three major powers surrounding them.



(The white-and-grey monster in the upper left is Austria. The red blip in the lower left is Serbia, but it doesn't matter because they will be swallowed up by somebody really soon. Wallachia is yellow. Moldavia is the redish vertical thing on top of Wallachia. Green is Russia. The white-like thing in the south and southeast is Turkey. Yes. It's that bad. Yes. Where is Knud when you need him?)

Officially still the liege of the two Principates, Turkey seemed more of a danger to Wallachians than ever. Should Turkey's understandings with the Holy Alliance fail, Wallachia's teritory would be in the middle - to be fought over, or perhaps annexed directly by Turkey's rival.

Even if they were lacking in navigation know-how, Wallachian boyars easily understood the importance of controlling Constanta, the Ottoman province directly to their east. Maybe they could persuade the Western Powers that holding the mouth of the Danube was not a matter that the Turks could be trusted with.

Austria's control of Transylvania was, for all practical reasons, absolute. Unless a diplomatic and military miracle were to occur simultaneously, the Romanians west of the Carpathians would be severed from their co-nationals for decades. On the other hand, Austria did not represent an immediate threat to the Principates. Austria's interest in its south-eastern border was limited - greater worries, such as the increasing power of Prussia and the Slavic Balkans, pressed upon them.

When discussing the issue of the third powerful neighbor that the Principates had - namely Russia - the vulnerabilities of Moldavia come to the forefront. This Principate had the unfortunate position of being Turkey's ally, and yet not bordering the lands of the Sultan. Indeed, they were not only at the mercy of Russia and Austria, but also of Wallachia. A misstep by the Wallachian Principate - like severing their alliance with the Turks during a particularly trying war between Turkey and Russia - would leave Moldavia defenseless. This is why Moldavia chose the path that it did - and why they will, slowly but surely, fade out of our focus.

Serbia's problems were identical to that of Wallachia, and the Romanian Principate had no hopes of support from that tenacious Balkan country. Indeed, the only hope of the Wallachians was to play the three powers against each other, to chose the right side in the wars which would follow and to take any opportunity available to expand their teritory to Romanian-speaking lands, both for emotional and economical reasons. To the clear observer's mind, it is beyond doubt that the quality of Wallachia's leadership would be tested.

Chapter IV: "The Internal Challenges of 1830s"

Wallachia, and to a lesser extent Moldavia, were countries filled with contradictions. Within the same family of boyars father and son dressed differently, had different personal values and thought differently about the future of their country. Bucharest became a city - small by European standards, but a significant one. Smaller localities began to develop, in response to the more relaxed fiscal measures which were put in place after the departure of the Ottomans.






Mihail Sturza, the 'domn' of Moldavia after its first post-Kiselev election, is a awkward figure to size up for students of Moldavian history. He was definitely gifted enough diplomatically to persuade the Powers to allow him to run for re-election in 1841 (a re-election which he won, which proves that at some level he was also capable of gaining the support of the population). It seems that as long as he was not threatening to start a dinasty, he was acceptable to Russia and Turkey.

According to a British intelligence estimate de-secretized some seven years ago, he was widely connected with the Western European educational establishment. He attempted to organize post-high school studies in Iasi (at this point, rather regrettably, no universities existed in either Wallachia or Moldova - all high school graduates of value continued their studies abroad). Yet there is a remarkably limited consequence to his modernizing endeavors in this field. Seen by figures within the Wallachian establishment as "corrupt", "worse than a disease" or "a servant of Empires", Sturza did indeed avoid taking liberal measures in fields such as the political or economical organization of his kingdom.

His Wallachian counterpart, Alexandru II Ghica, was a figure more worthy of attention, with a pedigree that offered almost no information about his real nature. He was the descendant of a long family of Hellenized Albanians who had settled in Romania in the 16th century and who had provided eight rulers to Wallachia and five to Moldavia. They had been appointed by the Sultan, and did his will; though to some that meant corruption, and to others the development of a unique cultural model, which combined Greek, Turkish and Romanian styles in the construction of buildings, in the development of the arts and in court etiquette.


The Ghica manor. Not the manor of the 'domn' - the manor of the family. Hmmmmm... nice. Kind of on the big side, but nice. I wonder how much the heating bill is in the winter.

What Alexandru II proved quite immediately was that he had inherited from his father and grandfather a talent to get money - as Wallachians would put it - 'out of dry stone'. "Independence", he wrote to a friend, "of the mind, of the body, of the country can come only through coin. Coin is to our part of Europe what prestige and honor are west of Vienna." And he proceded to turn this thought into a priority:



To the outraged boyars he explained in a statement issued in March 1836:
"We give to the rest of the world coal and grain, of which there are plenty in other places, with people better trained than ours, and paid even less. Our tariffs are based on the same consideration as that undertaken before us by other, senior nations of the world: to put the good of the state, and the good of Wallachians ahead of that of others.

Boyar Calimachi, I respond now to your worry, the one you have voiced incessantly around the coffe shops of Bucharest for days on end. You are concerned about taxing levels, and you're thinking of the 'too fair a deal' those in the middle of society get. Yet how dare you close your eyes shut to the reality around us? Wallachians are peasants and miners; few live in the city as of yet; greater taxes than they receive under my plan would help neither us nor then.

To the boyars of Braila I choose to remind that our army is in shambles. I choose to let the safety of our country be in the hands of Anastasie Mardare, our envoy to Turkey. His sharp mind will save us the money we need to improve our economy. Some six thousands peasants, herded like sheep, untrained, unfit, will do harm to no invader. Until we can reconsider our defense on a more professional basis, like that of the armies of the West, I see no use for paying bad soldiers a bad pay. Let the money come back to us, and be used for literacy."

Change was coming indeed - change of the rapid kind. The anti-government "Curentul" newspaper published on the 3rd of March 1836 the following news item:

"Mister Johnny Where, an Englishman and experimenter, has been invited two weeks ago by our domn to the Colentina Marsh, outside Bucharest. There he attempted to demonstrate a select gathering the benefits an outrageous invention supposedly functioning throughout Anglitera. This artefact supposedly blows steam in order to propel itself on the ground, like an animal onto its prey yet faster. Mr. Where's apparatus failed to function as agreed, and several ladies in the audience fainted due to poisoning mix of steam and marsh air. May we remind our ever-so-inquisitive Alexandru II Ghica that a basic Turkish sauna, the kind of which there are many in Bucharest, can provide him with all the steam he needs to propel himself out of office? An Intelligent Citizen."

Although a progressist of sorts, Ghica was no democrat. The newspaper was promptly banned, and a severe censorship was imposed upon the few non-government newspapers in circulation. Alexandru II Ghica's rule had begun.

And now I get to play the game - at last! :D
 

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i wonder if you can keep the tiny nations from being gobbled up by the big 3 neighbours. Just one word of advise, try to span the updates out a bit. Your updates are quite long and people will be less obliged to read a lot of long updates in quick succesion. Only my 5 cents!
 

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WhiteWolf said:
And now I get to play the game - at last!
Excellent! :D

Great overview by the way. I really liked it even if it was rather cumbersome.
 

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robou: I'll definitely take the tip. It's my first AAR, I'm learning :p
germanpeon: Welcome on boat! Hold on... yeah... Alex II Ghica is whispering to me that Wallachia doesn't have boats. They have the Danube to sail on, it's just that they don't have the money. Ummmm, yeah. So, germanpeon, have a seat. Are you really German? Could you put a nice word for me with Prussia? You saw how bad the map looks. Would you happen to know somebody who knows somebody who is the cousin of the grandmother of the niece of the half-sister of Bismarck?

So a little update now before I go to bed.


Chapter V: "Immeasurable Optimism - the Early 1840s"

The values and ideals of Wallachians in 1836 were heavily influenced by their quasi-feudal past, as the image below shows. At least a generation would have to pass before the mores of modernization would became part of the Wallachian self.



No surprise that occidental values were not on their mind - their immediate future as a nation was under heavy doubt! The new ruler of Wallachia was not to the liking of the Sultan, who early in 1836 suspended the peace agreement with Wallachia, but crucially not its satellite status. Thus, the Romanian Principate was diplomatically bound to the fate of the Ottoman Empire - it could not declare war, though it could enter alliances with other (powerful) nations.

The problems caused by this announcement were reduced in amplitude by three aspects:

First of all, Wallachia no longer had economic obligations towards Turkey. It paid no fees, taxes or tributes of any kind to Turkey (or to any other power, for that matter). The country - as shown in the previous chapter - had complete mastery of its budget.

The second and third fortunate events came together. In 1839 Austria and Russia began courting Wallachia's favors for an eventual war against Turkey - not that such a war was being actively planned by any of the powers, but its emergence was possible. Wallachian leaders, diplomats and their entourage were being wooed - by Western, or more Western-than-Turkey nations. The modernization of the country took speed, in part due to Austrian and Russian acceptance, but also because burgers and elites alike sought to emulate the efficient societies that they were coming into contact with.

In some fields, changes were sudden and obvious: mining equipment designed in 1840 led to a visible increase in the output of the coal mines in Valea Jiului. The first factory opened in Bucharest on the 1st of February 1841, turning the city into the world's second glass supplier, behind Birmingham.



What do you mean, you want a 12-hour workday? Get moving, you lousy lout!


However, at the same time, two influenza epidemics coming in the winters of 1837 and 1842 hurt the capital's reputation as a nice place to live. The government simply didn't possess the financial resources or international prestige to improve the antiquated sanitation system. And who could blame them? Less than 60% of taxes were actually being collected - the rest of the money finding its way into the pockets of corrupt officials.

Next time: of treason and traitors, two major wars on the continent, the Wallachian army crosses its borders, an exciting peace conference leads to too much drinking and weapons get smuggled (and discovered). Stay tuned!
 
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Glad to be onboard, so to speak. :p No, I am not actually from Germany. I am ethnically a smidge more than half German (half of which is Prussian!), but Yankee born.

Glad to see that Wallachia is industrializing, but how come there arent any craftsmen or clerks to work in the factories? The population overview we were presented with didnt indicate the presence of any factory workers. :confused:
 

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germanpeon: Sorry about that - I edited the last update and made more clear what was up with the table. That's what's wrong with writing a post at 3 AM :D .

robou: Wallachia is too young a nation for Western banks to take seriously (a bit of excessive roleplaying perhaps, but since it fits my playing style ... :rofl: ).
 

stnylan

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Wallachia is a nervous sort of place to play :)
 

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Chapter V: (continued)

On the international level, Wallachia's independence was being guaranteed throughout the 1840s by all three major powers, all hoping to use the country's teritory in case of war.

At the same time, a Graz division was under the disposal of General Stumpf at Orshova, only two days march from Wallachia's western mines at Petroshani. South of the Danube a small Turkish force was ready to assault Bucharest should there be a need.


Cartoon from a Debrecen newspaper, 1842. The caption was simply: "The right time?"

Yet nobody attacked. Wallachia was defenseless, but the diplomatical web it had cloaked itself into stopped all from conquering its lands, for fear that it might spark a large European conflagration. If only I can get more land, I could be like Romania or Italy before WW1 :)

Two diplomatic scandals serve to illuminate Wallachia's delicate position and point out the inherent difficulties of living under the shadow of empires.

The Valceanu Affair


The Moldavian domn, whose diplomacy was weak and whose independence was not being guaranteed by anyone, was seeking to ingratiate itself with the Sultan. With the encouragement of the Turks, Sturza obtained the services of Robert Valceanu, a minor magistrate, and attempted to create an espionage network. What were Turks looking for, you ask? Some of the industrial inventions that Wallachia had obtained were becoming of interest to the backward Ottomans. Moldavia was promised a share of the spoils... should its espionage efforts lead to a successful conclusion.

They didn't.



Gheorghe Bibescu, Wallachia's new domn since 1841 and a follower of Alexandru II Ghica's progressive policies, ordered the execution of those responsible on the 10th of June 1845. The recent work of a Hungarian historian, namely Laszlo Halmadi, suggests that some conspirators were located so high within the Wallachian government that Bibescu didn't dare to punish them. If true, this statement is yet another proof of the weakness of Wallachia's political establishment.

The discovery of Valceanu's ill-doings was made even more painful by the agreements that Sturza and Bibescu had made during an International Diplomatic Conference held in Bucharest just a month before. While the Conference had settled nothing on the international arena, Bibescu and Sturza had gotten along very well, and the Wallachian ruler had had the impression that his Moldavian equivalent was a man to be trusted.

Weapons for Slovenes

The second challenge to Wallachia's foreign policy attitudes came on the 2nd of March, 1847, when two Russian 'traders' were found at the Lisovci border post to be transporting weapons. The intention of the Russians, as Wallachians quickly learned from decrypting their secret documents, was to transport said weapons to Serbia, from where they would be carried onward to Slovenia. A nationalist revolt had begun there the year before, under the brilliant leadership of poet France Prešeren.


The center of the Slovenes' revolt against Austro-Hungarian rule: Trnovo church in Ljubljana.

Russia's diplomatic plans in the Balkans were nothing short of grand: they were already guaranteeing the independence of Greece, Montenegro, Serbia, Sardinia-Piemont and Wallachia itself. Could Bibescu take a chance and annoy his protector?

"We are not cattle, to be lead as one pleases", he wrote rather pointedly to his son in Paris a week after the 'traders' had been arrested. "But the cause of the Slovenes is much like that of our brothers in Transylvania. They are caught under the heel of an injust empire. Perhaps upon remembering what we did this day, the Russians will look fondly upon similar revolts in Transylvania."

The traders were allowed to cross Romanian territory into Serbia. The rebellion was crushed - and Prešeren executed - before the end of the year.
 

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Heh, interesting.

And an original style.

Llamas are great. I have three at home.
 

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Thanks everybody. By the way: I am inventing no event. All these things actually happened in the game (traitors, epidemics, what you will read today, etc.).

Chapter VI: The Bells of Change

The desire for change began to flow through the minds of young Wallachians. According to an estimate of the Austrian Intelligence Office, the country's literacy had doubled from 1836 to 1843, reaching 20%. Young studious Wallachians could, for the first time, reap the advantages of a good education.


The active social life of the Bucharest elite. 1843 drawing.

Also, as clerks multiplied in number, their opinions began to shift away from tradition. Young boyars, departing for French universities in ever greater numbers, fell under the influence of ideas more progressist than any Bibescu could put forth.

These unrelated social groups came together in the form of a loose political organization, limited in power and scope, but bold in its ideals:



Deriding the traditional prudence of the boyars, they labeled themselves the "National Party" and proceeded to foster liberal thought throughout the country. In the spring of 1845 they had public demonstrations, asking for marked improvement in the treatment of workers. Nothing was given - the liberals learned from their mistakes, and learned much.

In early 1846, they forced Bibescu to create the first Wallachian army unit, the "Dealul Spirii Fire Brigade". Officially this was a civic entity, whose sole goal was to stop the fires likely to errupt in a city filled with wooden buildings. In reality the brigade had been in existence since 1842, with the tacit acceptance of the government, as an ad-hoc defensive unit. To guarantee that the division would not end up in the hands of a revolutionary liberal, Bibescu appointed Aristide Cornescu, an undistinguished figure, to lead the young troops. This was funny. As you saw, I had disbanded the one (1) army unit that Wallachia starts with, in order to get more funds. Three years later, one was created via an event by the game engine. But undeployed (still in reserves), so no cash costs :rofl: I decided to put it on the map once my glass trade really got going.

Two years later, a wave of revolutions swept throughout Europe. Austria was bogged at the time in a long war in Italy; the troupes of Piemont had occupied Slovenia. It was time for those who had not been heard to shout.


15th of March 1848: Hungary declares its independence from Austria. I don't think they're listening to the guy.

What could Romanians want? Romania itself. Wallachian and Moldavian liberals (of which they were fewer, and less powerful) set up numerous public gatherings, asking for union within a new modern state, Romania. "Let them shout!", replied the Sultan mockingly on the 16th of June 1848, three days after the biggest pro-Union demonstration at Islaz. The Russians hesitated, suddenly remembering that they had a sizable Romanian population within their teritory, due to their acquisition of Eastern Moldavia at the beginning of the century. With Eastern Moldavia lost, access to the Ottoman Empire would have depended on the goodwill of Wallachia and Moldavia - a strategic risk the Czar could not take.

"The demands of the Wallachian and Moldavian liberals are no good for us", wrote Count Vasilievitch, the Russian Foreign Minister to his ambassador to Bucharest on the 23rd of June 1848. "Create dissention whenever possible. Spread doubt, by alluding to our troops in Ismail and to how fast they can reach Braila. Turn the sensibilities of these peoples against them: suggest to the Wallachian officials that the claims of the liberals threaten the stability of Moldavia and that Russian troops may be required to occupy its capital, Iashi, for the good of the Empire".

The Wallachians were undergoing some writing of their own. Mihail Moda, the liberal leader, expressed his anger to Bibescu on the 25th of June 1848:

"What do we do? We wait, while the Hungarian hand strikes a deadly hammer upon the granite idol of Austria? Join them in their fight for freedom! With a strong, independent Hungary - liberal like us, freed from the darkness of tyranny like us, a country of vibrant, educated, modern people - with them at their side the dream of Romania can come true! The French papers claim the Hungarians have mobilized 9 divisions. Austria has 24 divisions, spread out across their lands and onto foreign soil. Hungary will win. We must win with them, or the dream of Romania will lose with them"

In his reply Bibescu elaborated on the weakness of the Hungarian army - five of the nine divisions were irregulars - and then revealed some of the diplomatic wrangling that had already taken place:

" (..) Russia is opposed to the Union. So are the Turks. Austria has said nothing as of yet, but have no hope. If Romania is to benefit from the current crisis, it will be in Transylvania.
Paul Chivaran is in Budapest for that very reason. You know his diplomatic skills better than anybody - you were colleagues and roomates at Ecole Technique de Lyon. He has limited access to President Petofi - the Hungarians have more things on their mind than to be talking to us. However, Chivaran has tried his best. We've been trying to purchase Deva, or Fagaras, or Orsova - any of the provinces bordering Wallachia and where Romanians are the majority. We have offered money, technology and goodwill to no end. The Hungarians are stubborn - they think they will succeed without our help.
We cannot help them - our military forces don't allow for a campaign outside the borders while Russia and the Turks gaze hungrily. We cannot attack them for the same reasons. That's why we wait, my dear Mihail."

In effect, the government shared in some of the desires of the liberal politicians. This is made obvious by the correspondence written above; in Moldavia there was none to be had, because Sturza had imprisoned Moldavian liberals by the end of June.

Much of what Bibescu had mentioned came to pass: Austria declared war on Hungary on the 7th of September; Russia joined the war a month later.
At their pleadings, the Wallachian Army crossed the border with Hungary and into Fagaras. Bibescu had gone to war.


Fagaras Mountains (yikes. Is there such a thing as defense bonus +10 000?).
 

robou

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taking advantage of the Hungarian revolution. Cunning. Hope you can take some of Transylannia before the Austrians gobble it all up. I would suggest veering away from the danger of owning any Austrians cores though.
 

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Chapter VI: (continued)

It was only in January that the inexperienced troops under Cornescu's command managed to remove in full the Hungarian administration. Loyalist mayors and occupying soldiers alike had their minds focused on another matter entirely: Kossuth's Army-of-One-Million-Men, the main Hungarian military force, which had been formed in the northwest of the country and was heading east.

(It is worth mentioning that the army had a retinue of 60 to 80 thousand soldiers, and than the name was a metaphorical expression of the Hungarian people's solidarity with the revolution).

Austrians and Russians together began to occupy Hungarian territory from all sides. Russia had utilized as much as seven corps to contain the Hungarian rebellion and occupy the province of Slovakia. When the revolution succombed, on the 5th of March 1849, the Czar conformed to his obligations as under the protocols of the Holy Alliance, returning all occupied Hungarian teritory to Austria.



The remains of the One-Million-Men-Army surrender at Vilaegerszeg.

And of Wallachia's fate? The army was asked to withdraw in no ceremonial terms, Bibescu being threatened with invasion. On the 4th of April 1849 the Emperor of Austria echoed the Sultan's comments to the demands for a modern Romania: "Let them shout! Their voice is as meek as their hungers are great."

The Russian stationed the Pekhotnaya Division in Bucharest for several months, as a gesture of warning to Wallachia's liberals.

As a Romanian rebellion in Deva was squashed by Imperial troops, Wallachia dissolved its wartime alliance with Russia, since it had proven useless in its diplomatic endeavors. Bibescu was replaced as 'domn' by the more sedate Aristide Alionte, a boyar known for his anti-liberal views.

"We are desperate and isolated", wrote a liberal leader to his son, who was studying in Paris. "Austrians have mocked us, but they will pay - if not now, then a decade or more from now. They were afraid they would annoy their recently-pacified Hungarian subjects by allowing us to take Fagaras or form a Union. This slap Wallachians will not forgive. Our face now turns elsewhere, for Austria will not come to our aid ever again. Their sense of sin for what they did to Transylvanian Romanians is too great."
 

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Chapter VII: The Years of Passion, The Years of Revolt

The cause of liberalism had failed, not just in the Principates but throughout Europe. In disillusion, liberals in Moldavia and Wallachia turned away from politics and to artistic expression. Through the West, their poems and music became recognized as reaching depths of sensi (OK, now the author goes into a 5-page description of artsy stuff. I *will* *spare* *you*). In brief, Wallachia became known as more than just a Balkanic country - but also as a fertile reservoir of artistic and cultural thought.

The emphasis that liberals gave to the arts had another unexpected effect. While the governments of their countries behaved modestly in their diplomatic endeavors (at least in the case of Wallachia attempting to keep the pace of modernization), intellectuals in the two Romanian principates met, collaborated and thought together. The concept of "Romania", either in its limited sense as a union of Wallachia and Moldavia, or in a broader geographical sense, became commonplace. Such are the revolutions of the mind: soft, yet powerful. In 1854, a young poet by the name of Mihai Eminescu could openly write what was to become Romania's anthem decades later:

What am I wishing for you, dear Romania,
My country of past glories, my country of the heart?
Strong arms, hardy weapons,
For your shining past - an ever brighter future!
A dream of revenge, as black as a grave,
Your spade fuming with the foe's cursed blood
And above the land, whistling as the wind,
Your proud existence, in valour triumphant;
Tell the world of your people's sacred flame,
Dear Romania, that I wish to you.


Eminescu allright - Romania's greatest poet IRL. Well, actually he was a Conservative. *And* he lived some twenty years later. *And* to do the poem above I had to mix two of his poems. *And* he had nothing to do with Romania's anthem. Hmm. But it's Eminescu allright :rolleyes: .

The poem above is very useful for understanding the mindset of Romania's elite at the time. There are "past glories", but the present is not mentioned at all. "Strong arms" refers to the country's economic prowess; "hardy weapons" to its military might. Liberals had borrowed from Alexandru II Ghica the notion that a healthy budget protects against further misfortunes.

The "dream of revenge", rather sourly described as "black as a grave" refers most likely to the Austrian insult to 1848. As in the following lines, the identity of the country's enemy is left unclear - in part because Wallachia had legitimate claims to land against all three of its imperial neighbors.

"Tell the world of your people's sacred flame" is a covert appeal for diplomatic efforts, which would aid the cause of Romania. Many of Eminescu's newspaper articles dealt with the involvement of Prussia or France as to alleviate Wallachia's suffering.

As fantastic as these plans may have seemed, British and French soldiers were soon to travel through lands where Romanian was spoken. In 1853 Russia's aggressive foreign policy sparked the Crimean War.


The residence of the Duke of Sevastopol, also known as The Pearl. This was the first objective occupied by British troops in the Crimean War.
 

robou

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Perhaps you can take advantage of the Crimean war seeing the failure to do so with the Hungarian Revolution. These updates are still coming very quickly...