The Hohenzollern Empire 5: Renewed Phoenix - A Roman Reich Megacampaign in New World Order

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TheAnguishedOne

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An empire that focuses purely on land will have a hard time flourishing in a world with so much ocean. That alone would have pushed the Reich to build a navy.
 
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zenphoenix

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I see that some students like Manfred there are going for a closed world view and are forgetting about what makes the Reich great and its rise to power out of hard work alone! (ignoring the console commands and the angels)
Manfred really doesn’t care about this unless it directly impacts his life. He doesn’t see how learning about “dead people” can impact his life in the modern day. This apathy also applies to his outlook on other things like politics. As long as he lives a comfortable life, he doesn’t care.
An empire that focuses purely on land will have a hard time flourishing in a world with so much ocean. That alone would have pushed the Reich to build a navy.
Really only true if that nation has a big coastline. Russia and the Mongols in our history, as well as later imperial China even with its long coastline, did about fine without a signinaval presence.
 
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CaptainAlvious

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Great post Zen, way more content than the previous study session for sure. The in-depth discussions about military logistics, economics and colonization are very nice, but I also like the little details like some of Reinhard's policies indirectly having a positive affect on the Reich (which makes me curios about how Bismarck will be discussed when the school arc reaches the Imperial Century, especially since you once said Bismarck's mental decline in a way lead to the collapse of the Metternich system.) Jewsades, or the Mexica’s brief campaign into the heart of Continental Europe. Plus seeing lore about naval warfare and logistics is neat since that’s something that’s not really covered by CK2’s gameplay. The character interactions here are also nice and flesh out this world even more. I do disagree with Manfred’s general apathy about anything outside his immediate environment, but he is just a teen not really interested in what’s going on in the world so it’s possible he’ll grow out of the future as part of his character arc, or at least adjust and reconsider it. Looking forward to the next study session you got planned.

The idea of proto nationalism is a very interesting one I’d like to see explored. Seeing it tied into discussions of Romanitas and how groups like Hispanian and Maurentian Malians managed to integrate and contribute to the Reich (like the Reich setting up large dockyards and ports on Mauretania's coastal cities so that they could build ships for colonization) as opposed to either leaning more towards seperatism or aligning with the Reich's neighbors whenever they went to war.

If you ever talk about the Wars of Eimerican indepdence than there is something I'm curios about something outside of its connection to the Commonwealth Wars and the independence movements of Nsoloria and Kananta, and that would be Roman-Mexican cooperation. Obviously the Mexican-Roman alliance was kind of strange, but its not completely without precedent since during Gaberial, Adam and Blasius' attempts to circumnavigate the globe, there was an exploration where Mexican conquistadors ended up running into Roman conquistadors lead by a descendant of Arndt and spent a significant leg of their their mission to explore the Amazon. I think it would be neat if you could reference that when talking about the weirdness of the alliance systems in the Eimerican Independence Wars.

FLM huh, nice to see the French are finally reasserting their identity and culture, it’s time that they made so that they will no longer be ignored. Makes me wonder if we’ll see how other groups displaced by the Early Kaisers, like the Arabs and Poles, reasserting themselves like the French have done. They’ve been through a lot and I imagine that the school arc will be talking about the injustices inflicted on them during the Reich’s long history, but it would be nice to contrast it with brighter moments of these peoples’ fortunes making a turn around, such as the Arab Muslim island of Socotra being the site of the Ming’s first contact with the Reich and later the base of a merchant republic in the Indian Ocean similar to the Hansa in the North Sea, the Mediterranean Italian Republica, and Southeast Asia’s AOG.
 

Golden Dragon

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FLM huh, nice to see the French are finally reasserting their identity and culture, it’s time that they made so that they will no longer be ignored. Makes me wonder if we’ll see how other groups displaced by the Early Kaisers, like the Arabs and Poles, reasserting themselves like the French have done.
Seeing this reminds me of other cultures that the Germans have squashed from history like the Hungarians and them only having a culture due to Eu4 mechanics or how the Bohemians were wiped from existence as a culture and the nation of Bohemia not making sense to the point of rebellions against the Equalist multiple times.
 
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zenphoenix

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Great post Zen, way more content than the previous study session for sure. The in-depth discussions about military logistics, economics and colonization are very nice, but I also like the little details like some of Reinhard's policies indirectly having a positive affect on the Reich (which makes me curios about how Bismarck will be discussed when the school arc reaches the Imperial Century, especially since you once said Bismarck's mental decline in a way lead to the collapse of the Metternich system.) Jewsades, or the Mexica’s brief campaign into the heart of Continental Europe. Plus seeing lore about naval warfare and logistics is neat since that’s something that’s not really covered by CK2’s gameplay. The character interactions here are also nice and flesh out this world even more. I do disagree with Manfred’s general apathy about anything outside his immediate environment, but he is just a teen not really interested in what’s going on in the world so it’s possible he’ll grow out of the future as part of his character arc, or at least adjust and reconsider it. Looking forward to the next study session you got planned.
I don’t think I talked about Bismarck in these study sessions, but I did mention him later on the political side in the context of his long tenure as chancellor and if Merkel can beat that. I am going to talk about the Metternich system in a later study session so I may put a reference to him there.

Manfred has a lot of room to grow, but he has plenty of time to do so.
The idea of proto nationalism is a very interesting one I’d like to see explored. Seeing it tied into discussions of Romanitas and how groups like Hispanian and Maurentian Malians managed to integrate and contribute to the Reich (like the Reich setting up large dockyards and ports on Mauretania's coastal cities so that they could build ships for colonization) as opposed to either leaning more towards seperatism or aligning with the Reich's neighbors whenever they went to war.
I should’ve mentioned here that this helped to avoid another failing of the Reich’s predecessors, namely how major Byzantine nobles sometimes were powerful enough to simply take their domains and troops and sabotage the emperor. The most obvious example is Manzikert (which happened after the main point of divergence and didn’t happen here, but similar incidents happened before). By encouraging Romanitas among the people, integrating every part of the country into the same economic network, and breaking the power of local nobility, the provinces would remain loyal.
If you ever talk about the Wars of Eimerican indepdence than there is something I'm curios about something outside of its connection to the Commonwealth Wars and the independence movements of Nsoloria and Kananta, and that would be Roman-Mexican cooperation. Obviously the Mexican-Roman alliance was kind of strange, but its not completely without precedent since during Gaberial, Adam and Blasius' attempts to circumnavigate the globe, there was an exploration where Mexican conquistadors ended up running into Roman conquistadors lead by a descendant of Arndt and spent a significant leg of their their mission to explore the Amazon. I think it would be neat if you could reference that when talking about the weirdness of the alliance systems in the Eimerican Independence Wars.
I don’t think I would talk about that era, but I might bring up incidents of Roman/Mexican cooperation prior to the modern day, since I will be talking about the Roman/Mexican relationship.
FLM huh, nice to see the French are finally reasserting their identity and culture, it’s time that they made so that they will no longer be ignored. Makes me wonder if we’ll see how other groups displaced by the Early Kaisers, like the Arabs and Poles, reasserting themselves like the French have done. They’ve been through a lot and I imagine that the school arc will be talking about the injustices inflicted on them during the Reich’s long history, but it would be nice to contrast it with brighter moments of these peoples’ fortunes making a turn around, such as the Arab Muslim island of Socotra being the site of the Ming’s first contact with the Reich and later the base of a merchant republic in the Indian Ocean similar to the Hansa in the North Sea, the Mediterranean Italian Republica, and Southeast Asia’s AOG
I focused mainly on the French for this arc, but I could mention similar movements for the Arabs and Poles later on.
Seeing this reminds me of other cultures that the Germans have squashed from history like the Hungarians and them only having a culture due to Eu4 mechanics or how the Bohemians were wiped from existence as a culture and the nation of Bohemia not making sense to the point of rebellions against the Equalist multiple times.
I will be addressing the fate of non-Lombard Italians in the future as well as some other minority groups. And of course, the Anglo-Saxons/English have been dominant in Babelsberg for decades. Thanks to deromanization, some semblance of Bohemian/Hungarian/Romanian culture has reemerged in the east, although there isn’t much to embrace.
 
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TWR97

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Since we are probably gonna be seeing an expansion in regards to Saint Gunhilda's lore, I'd like to see how she ends up as a patron saint for the French minority (It'd be a nice tie-in as to why her painting has French symbols as well as her home having French signs). I'd love to see if the Arabs and the Poles are also gonna be reasserting their culture, especially since I do recall a brief Polish rebellion (Can't tell if it was the Vicky section or the HOI3 section), gonna be interesting to see how that will be discussed. And of course since Gunhilda herself is from Poland, I can tell she's a beloved saint there by the Poles as well.
 

zenphoenix

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Since we are probably gonna be seeing an expansion in regards to Saint Gunhilda's lore, I'd like to see how she ends up as a patron saint for the French minority (It'd be a nice tie-in as to why her painting has French symbols as well as her home having French signs). I'd love to see if the Arabs and the Poles are also gonna be reasserting their culture, especially since I do recall a brief Polish rebellion (Can't tell if it was the Vicky section or the HOI3 section), gonna be interesting to see how that will be discussed. And of course since Gunhilda herself is from Poland, I can tell she's a beloved saint there by the Poles as well.
Study Session 4 will focus on the saints and their legacy. I’m going to talk about Gunhilda’s legacy and relationship with Wilhelmina.

Also, the Polish rebellion was in Vicky during the Maximist Wars. I didn’t cover that one in the study sessions. Maybe I’ll talk about the Polish diaspora community in Lithuania and how they provided many officers and generals for the early Commonwealth military, though much later on.
 
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zenphoenix

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Study Session 3

October 24, 2016

“Alright, I want to talk about something more modern today,” Oskar said, “This isn’t really a Roman event, but the Persian Revolution still had massive consequences for the Reich and the rest of the world. Even if it failed in the end. To start, let me ask a simple question. Why did the revolution begin?”

“Because Iskander Yinal wanted to overthrow the shah,” a student said.

“And why did he want to do that?” Oskar said.

“Because he was an incompetent ruler,” another student said.

“I don’t think you have the full story,” Oskar said, “Remember the revolution began in the middle of a war with the Reich.”

Manfred raised his hand. “Because the Roman invasion destroyed all central authority and contributed to anarchy in the countryside.”

“Exactly,” Oskar said, “The economy was already doing terrible because of high taxes levied during the war. The complete collapse of central authority caused chaos and famine across Persia. Bandits and raiders from Yavdi terrorized the people. State presses failed to operate, and they lost their grip on the people’s minds at the same time greater communication between citizens allowed them to share their own ideas and develop their own identities.”

“Wasn’t the monarchy also paralyzed by the shah being forced into exile and multiple different claimants attempting to seize power with loyal troops?” Josh said.

“Yes, that too,” Oskar said, “That was a major factor in Yinal rising up. He was an officer in the Persian army during the war. Even before the war, he was already part of certain circles within the army advocating for radical reforms. He was one of the most radical in that group, calling for the abolition of the monarchy and the establishment of a republic. The war and the following chaos gave him an opportunity to make that a reality.”

“But he failed in the end,” Josh said.

“Yes, because he miscalculated the Roman reaction,” Oskar said, “He forgot the Romans and Indians were just as hostile to his radicalism as the shah was, and the two countries’ forces easily crushed him. And yet his ideas lived on. He became a martyr for the growing Persian republican movement, and the idea of a Persian republic would last well into the 1940s. They gained more followers as the succession crisis continued even after the shah returned home. When the shah died, his bodyguards turned on each other, each propping up one of his relatives as the true heir. The Majlis and nobility were divided between absolutists, meritocratic reformers, and liberal revolutionaries well into the mid-1800s. It’s not unlike the situation the Reich was in at the time. And it’s thanks to Yinal.”

“Wait, how does Yinal’s failed revolution relate to Roman meritocracy?” Alex asked.

“I’m glad you asked,” Oskar said, “Well you see, the early Roman liberal movements were very similar to Yinal’s movement. They wanted democracy in the Reich, and a few even wanted to establish a republic. For a time, these movements were even mainstream and had public support. But fast forward a few decades and these movements all disappeared, replaced by familiar meritocratic movements. Do you know why this happened?”

“The Maximist movement took Yinal’s ideas to the extreme and discredited them to further their own power,” Josh said, “The Maximist Wars put an end to the Roman democratic movement and at the same time strengthened the Metternich system and meritocracy.”

“That is right,” Oskar said, “There was never a proper transition to democracy. For all of Konrad von Habsburg’s talk of democracy and voting, it came with a lot of strings. You see, democracy itself wasn’t the problem, it was just the system he implemented, which was not democratic. Votes were rigged, the regime was corrupt, and those who weren’t Germans or Greeks or Christians lost all of their rights provided by the previous system. He reigned as a dictator, that is until he lost all of his power to a Jagdruff militia which sacked Berlin. The Maximist Diet was massacred at least four times by Jagdruffs. Nobody knew what to do because there was no central authority left. By the end of the Maximist Wars, both Konrad von Habsburg and Prince Maximilian were figureheads for the Jagdruff juntas, who ruled by fear until they themselves were purged. None of them had any shred of legitimacy left. Their influence only extended over Berlin and the areas around it.

“After the war, the movement split. One group, the diehard Maximists, went underground and abandoned democracy to embrace their nationalist side. This group was eventually absorbed into the Angeloi movement due to Angelos strong-arming Duke Franz Ferdinand into joining him. Another group renounced everything except democracy and was absorbed into democratic movements which supported the Ryukyuan/Chinese system, and they slowly died out over the next few decades. The final group renounced the rest of the movement. They were welcomed into a restored Metternich system under Sigismund II. He coopted most liberal policies to strengthen his regime and welcome back these moderate Maximists. Some of these moderates were responsible for the Schweinfurts establishing the first and leading left wing political faction in the 1860s. The Schweinfurts were the last of the old noble factions which thrived in the Diet of the early Imperial Century. But by the 1860s, the dynatoi families were politically in decline due to the war killing or discrediting so many of them. Even the Hohenzollerns themselves largely withdrew from Diet affairs after the Hohenzollern Diet of 1858-61. Those three years and Sigismund’s subsequent death from overwork went to show how even the Kaiser could not handle running an entire centralized government and bureaucracy on his own. So more commoners began being appointed to national offices, while provincial meritocratic leaders were empowered over the traditional noble viceroys. The first non-noble political parties emerged, like the SPR, established in the later half of the century as the first commoner-run faction in the Diet.”

“So what you’re saying is, the Maximists only served to destroy themselves and strengthen the Metternich system,” Alex said.

“Yes,” Oskar said, “And as you can now see, these events are all connected. The Persian Revolution set off a chain of events which led to the solidifying of the Metternich system and its eventual evolution into our current Ottonian system. But I would not say Iskander Yinal was solely responsible for all this. The great man theory of history is outdated. Yinal was merely in the right place at the right time, taking advantage of prevailing social and political sentiments of the later Nikephoran Wars to promote his views. And others, feeling the same way and now able to share those views thanks to new technology and cultural norms, agreed and spread his ideas to all corners of the world. From there, Yinal’s revolutionary ideas informed the Maximists, the early Fuxingyundong movement, and even the Siegfriedists and the Metternich system. The Metternich system furthermore saw heavy centralization on the Kaiser and chancellor. Sigismund II and Frank Joseph provided a steady hand to guide the system through the decades, while Metternich led the civilian government in the same way. Bismarck’s sanity began slipping in his later years, causing cracks in the system that were widened by the Hohenzollern family tragedies at the turn of the century and blown open by the first two world wars, leading to the Ottonian system being set up to replace it. Everything is connected, even today. Why, I could even bet some of you in this room might go on to shape the future, provided you are in the right place and time just like Yinal was.”
 
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Golden Dragon

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What an interesting lesson in how a rebellion lead to a somewhat democratic movement while another caused its occupation for some time and civil war.
 

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What an interesting lesson in how a rebellion lead to a somewhat democratic movement while another caused its occupation for some time and civil war.
And to think all this started because a newly appointed Metternich wanted cleaner borders with Persia and declared war on a whim. As a result of that, the current world order and dominant political systems came into being.
 

zenphoenix

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Oh, and as an aside, the 2020 ACAs are open until the end of the month! Why don’t you all go give your favorite AARs of the year the love they deserve?:)
 
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TheAnguishedOne

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Ideologies never die, they are absorbed and influence the ones who persist.
 
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CaptainAlvious

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Great choice of topic for a lecture. The Persian Revolution didn’t get much attention during late EU4 and early Vicky 2, so I’m glad you decided to flesh it out and give it more detailed lore. Now that talked about the Reich’s early liberal movements, I predict we’ll eventually talk about either the establishments and reforms of the Augustan Code or how the Reich reacted to threats from within and abroad, like Fascism and Equalism.

I really like the lore about for the Maxmists movement and it spiting apart into different factions after its defeat. It would be would be really interesting if something similar happens in TTL's Alt history media regarding Maxmists victory, like in TL-191 if that's ever revisited, or your take on Decades of Darkness in the Hohenzollernverse.

Also, I know Prince Maxmillian himself disdained the movement despite being its figurehead, but it'd be interesting if his descendants ever dabbled in the more moderate factions. Ironically Franz Ferdinand was something of a nationalist in late Vicky 2, but probably not to the extent of the diehard Maxmists or Angeloi. As for Maxmillian's son, Prince Martin, since you said you originally wanted him to be the leader of the Maxmisist movement and talked about him being apart of the movement before retconning that in HOI3, I like to imagine he was a diehard revolutionary before before being disgusted by the excess of the Maxmist regime and later turining to either of the two moderate liberal movements.

Wasn’t a part of the opposition against the Shahs the fact that they were seen as foreigners by Persia’s native inhabited and likely was out of touch with Persian society the way a lot of monarchies usually are before being overthrown by the masses? What would be some factors of the Seljuks throwing off the sitgma of being an incomplete and corrupt dynasty of foreign Turks until, let’s say, the mid 20th century after WW2, the Persian Civil War and Reza Khan’s tenure as a meritocratic chancellor after the 1953 coup?

It'd be pretty cool if we get a lecture about Deromanization and the legacy of Soviet rule on the Occupied Territories, but I won't mind if you don't have plans for that. The Occupied Territories will be probably somewhat important to the main Forum arc anyway, since Elias is from there, so maybe we'll get some looks at their culture and economic/political situation that way.

And I know this is a question related to the last study session and not this current one, but how did the majority Jewish Roman Middle East react to the Kohen Gadol being forced to declare a holy war against the Reich and the Abyssinian invasion, as well as Abyssinia's subsequent claims on a good chuck of the Middle East and Africa until WW2?

Anyways, great job with this lecture, looking forward to the discussions about the two Roman saints in the next update and how they changed the Reich during their lifetime. I’d also be interested in what plans you’d have for them outside of these study sessions in terms of story, like elaborations on Gunhilda's backstory, such as her origins as the last remaining Nephilim and her relationship with Fredrich the Glorious among other things like that.
 

zenphoenix

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Ideologies never die, they are absorbed and influence the ones who persist.
It is hard to kill an idea once it has many believers.
Great choice of topic for a lecture. The Persian Revolution didn’t get much attention during late EU4 and early Vicky 2, so I’m glad you decided to flesh it out and give it more detailed lore. Now that talked about the Reich’s early liberal movements, I predict we’ll eventually talk about either the establishments and reforms of the Augustan Code or how the Reich reacted to threats from within and abroad, like Fascism and Equalism.
I talk a little about the Augustinian Code and some of its inspirations in the next study session, but I think I covered the “reaction to major threats” angle with the Thirteenth Century Crisis discussions, and I’ll be talking about Mexicanist extremism and pan-Eimericanisn in Study Session 5. Probably not going to discuss fascism and equalism since I have HOI3 and early NWO already
I really like the lore about for the Maxmists movement and it spiting apart into different factions after its defeat. It would be would be really interesting if something similar happens in TTL's Alt history media regarding Maxmists victory, like in TL-191 if that's ever revisited, or your take on Decades of Darkness in the Hohenzollernverse.
It would be interesting if in the Maximist TL-191 there were multiple factions within the Maximist regime supporting democracy, meritocracy, and nationalism. That would make their story more diverse and nuanced.
Also, I know Prince Maxmillian himself disdained the movement despite being its figurehead, but it'd be interesting if his descendants ever dabbled in the more moderate factions. Ironically Franz Ferdinand was something of a nationalist in late Vicky 2, but probably not to the extent of the diehard Maxmists or Angeloi. As for Maxmillian's son, Prince Martin, since you said you originally wanted him to be the leader of the Maxmisist movement and talked about him being apart of the movement before retconning that in HOI3, I like to imagine he was a diehard revolutionary before before being disgusted by the excess of the Maxmist regime and later turining to either of the two moderate liberal movements.
I did mention here how Duke Franz Ferdinand was forced to join the Angeloi movement, so he didn’t seem to be that nationalist. Martin being a true believer in the movement before becoming disillusioned and joining the moderate factions is something I could see happening.
Wasn’t a part of the opposition against the Shahs the fact that they were seen as foreigners by Persia’s native inhabited and likely was out of touch with Persian society the way a lot of monarchies usually are before being overthrown by the masses? What would be some factors of the Seljuks throwing off the sitgma of being an incomplete and corrupt dynasty of foreign Turks until, let’s say, the mid 20th century after WW2, the Persian Civil War and Reza Khan’s tenure as a meritocratic chancellor after the 1953 coup?
The Seljuks being of Turkish origin was something I completely forgot to put in this study session, and I assume that would be one of the reasons for the revolution even though they had been fully Persianized for centuries. That reputation would last for at least another 150 years and would really only be shaken off after WW2 and the republican referendum, when the shahs realized they had to change their ways to avoid being overthrown. Then they supported things like the White Revolution, which modernized the country, and economic reforms which brought higher standards of living. The ever present threat of equalism and Chinese takeover also reinforced the shahs’ place as a good alternative to those outcomes. Nowadays most Persians don’t care much about the shahs or that they were Turks. They’re just there.
It'd be pretty cool if we get a lecture about Deromanization and the legacy of Soviet rule on the Occupied Territories, but I won't mind if you don't have plans for that. The Occupied Territories will be probably somewhat important to the main Forum arc anyway, since Elias is from there, so maybe we'll get some looks at their culture and economic/political situation that way.
I’m probably going to cover that in Elias’ or maybe Boris’ parts, though not in detail, so not in a study session.
And I know this is a question related to the last study session and not this current one, but how did the majority Jewish Roman Middle East react to the Kohen Gadol being forced to declare a holy war against the Reich and the Abyssinian invasion, as well as Abyssinia's subsequent claims on a good chuck of the Middle East and Africa until WW2?
Most Jews probably didn’t care since they knew the circumstances behind the declaration. They would be opposed to the Abyssinians invading since they considered themselves Romans first before Jews. As for the territorial claims, they are of course worried about further Abyssinian aggression, but in times of peace they conduct trade and religious activities with Jewish communities in Abyssinia.
Anyways, great job with this lecture, looking forward to the discussions about the two Roman saints in the next update and how they changed the Reich during their lifetime. I’d also be interested in what plans you’d have for them outside of these study sessions in terms of story, like elaborations on Gunhilda's backstory, such as her origins as the last remaining Nephilim and her relationship with Fredrich the Glorious among other things like that.
Obviously I can’t talk about angel stuff in these study sessions, but I did talk about how Gunhilda effectively became Wilhelmina’s mother because Wilhelmina’s birth mother died when she was young. Outside of these study sessions, I might talk about previous Hohenzollerns if their actions are relevant to the current story, particularly Georg and Wilhelmina’s arcs.
 
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CaptainAlvious

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I talk a little about the Augustinian Code and some of its inspirations in the next study session, but I think I covered the “reaction to major threats” angle with the Thirteenth Century Crisis discussions, and I’ll be talking about Mexicanist extremism and pan-Eimericanisn in Study Session 5. Probably not going to discuss fascism and equalism since I have HOI3 and early NWO already
I'm excited for Study Session 5's discussions. I wonder if the Palluists movements, Equalist regimes or Pierramaskin's reign will come up during the lecture about Eimerican nationalism and religious fundamentalism?

Also, not sure if this will be covered in the school arc, but how would the revelation of a secret organization like Sentinel manipulating events from behind the scene affect how people see those events when they look back on them? Would they look at the War on Terror or the Cold War and its effects any differently then they would otherwise?
It would be interesting if in the Maximist TL-191 there were multiple factions within the Maximist regime supporting democracy, meritocracy, and nationalism. That would make their story more diverse and nuanced.
Maybe there would be a faction that’d want to reconcile with the former Siegfriedists and make peace with them at the very least. I do wonder how a Maxamist victory would affect the growth of meritocracy tho. I can see such a world being polarized between the Maximist model and the Sino/Ryukan model of democracy, but I’m not sure how meritocracy would evolve in an era where the Siegfriedists lost and the Metternich system was likely dismantled. Maybe the exiled Siegfridists could become more autocratic and influenced by radical factions, like Gorring's faction assuming they don't split off from the Siegfridists like we suggested before?
Obviously I can’t talk about angel stuff in these study sessions, but I did talk about how Gunhilda effectively became Wilhelmina’s mother because Wilhelmina’s birth mother died when she was young. Outside of these study sessions, I might talk about previous Hohenzollerns if their actions are relevant to the current story, particularly Georg and Wilhelmina’s arcs.
That’s an interesting dynamic between them. Looking forward to their update. By the way, does Gunhilda still have her statue in front of the Hagia Sophia. There’s there’s a chance it was destroyed or damaged in November 9 like the original Hagia Sophia, Hippodrome and Great Palace were afterall, although all of those sites I mentioned were rebuilt in the end.

I wonder how the Kurds have been doing in the Reich since they seem to be the majority culture of Mesopotamia, and the 1900s conuntry update for the Reich talked about Zoroastrian Kurds being important to securing the stability of Mesopotamia. I wonder how they interact with their cultural neighbors like the Arab and Turkish Muslim communities of the three caliphs, Persian minorities as a result of the Reich’s conquest of its border lands, and Jewish and Greco-German groups in the rest of the Middle East?

Since Gertrude talked about the Reich’s shift towards secularism after the Fifty Years War in the main Forum arc, I wonder how much the next update will be focused on the Reich’s theological history given the religious significance Gunhilda and Wilhelmina have? Perhaps details about the Iconoclastic and Purist movements or how Wilhelmina managed to overtake Catholicism, maybe some discussions about the Inquisition and the Reich’s cases of Islamophobia?

Also, since the Mexica pyramid in Altmark was retconed, I wonder if there’s any significant cultural traces of the Triple Alliance's European conquest besides the leftover descendants of settlers and Actal refugees, like Mesoeimerican architecture in the British Isles, Iceland or parts of Scandinavia?

Any details about how Mali got out of its decades of internal and external troubles between the early 1900s' Air crisis, the World Wars and the Malian Civil War of the 1980s? Perhaps the many different ethnic groups the country has have become more integrated into the greater Malian identity to prevent nationalist uprisings like the Senegal rebellions, or the government is more representative now that it's moved away from decades of right wing dictatorships and resulting equalist insurgencies.
 

zenphoenix

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Study Session 4

October 31, 2016

“Okay, so Oskar decided to put us in this group…again,” Alex said.

Manfred looked bored, while Josh’s expression was neutral.

“Let’s just get this over with,” Manfred said, “I’m only here for the grade.”

"Agreed," Josh said.

“Anyways, we’re back to the medieval Reich again,” Alex said, “So how did the early Roman military become so successful in the wars of the Restoration?”

“Friedrich the Great emphasized rapid deployment and quick tactical dominance,” Josh said, “He believed superior speed, good use of terrain, and effective management of resources was the key to victory. He wanted dominance in every area to maximize his chances of victory, and this total dominance is still at the center of modern Roman military doctrine. Even when outnumbered, he could turn what was supposed to be a disadvantage into an advantage. His knights and kataphraktoi formed the backbone of the early military, and as his domains grew he integrated local troops and recruited locals into his army, treating them as fairly and respectfully as his other troops.”

“Yeah, but why did he focus on rapid deployment?” Manfred said.

“Rapid deployment allowed him to respond quickly to rebellions, which was absolutely critical for such a large empire,” Alex said, “And he could easily adapt to local terrains. In Europe, he relied on the old feudal levies, which he consolidated into a standing army loyal to him. Its flat and open terrain was suited for cavalry and siege units. Eastern Europe was covered in forests, so he used smaller armies focusing on mobility or avoided conflict with diplomacy. In places like Hispania, North Africa, and the Middle East, local troops were recruited and diplomacy focused on to avoid conflict where possible.”

“And what happened to the lands after they were conquered?” Manfred said.

“Friedrich the Great reviewed each defeated lord on a case by case basis,” Josh said, “Whenever he could, he left local rulers in place as long as they swore fealty to him. Others were brought into the fold with political marriages. The old Greek dynatoi were given representation in an expanded Imperial Diet. But in places like France and Poland, which fiercely resisted his reign, he ousted any troublesome or unpopular rulers and replaced them with loyal ones from his court, like installing House Sigmaringen in France and the Habsburgs in Poland. This earned him the support of such dynatoi, and the Sigmaringens and Habsburgs remain the most loyal to the throne of all dynatoi barring the Schweinfurt cadet branch.”

“Wait, so are we going to call the Schweinfurts a Hohenzollern cadet branch and not their own dynasty now?” Manfred said.

“Well, the Schweinfurt dynatoi are descended from the children of Saint Gunhilda and Friedrich the Glorious,” Josh said, “It’s technically correct. Anyways, Alex, do you know why certain dynatoi remained fiercely loyal to Friedrich the Great, even after he took away their powers?”

“Because of familial ties, friendships, and earnest belief in his ideas,” Alex said, “Other nobles were promised roles in his new government if they were qualified as long as they swore allegiance to him. Bringing together nobility from all over the country to work for him was the start of Romanitas. Once the nobles joined, the commoners joined as well. Romanitas evolved from there as a way to supersede religious and cultural ties, so all would consider themselves Romans first.”

“It helped local authorities were largely untouched by Friedrich the Great,” Manfred said, “As well as most local traditions. Although the central authority in Berlin handled common defense, taxes, trade regulations and standards, and large projects like roads and aqueducts, most other things were locally run. Friedrich the Great protected private property rights and made sure goods were legitimate and both merchants and customers were treated fairly. He struck a balance between enforcing his rule and preserving local autonomy.”

“Okay, let’s go back to the previous subject,” Josh said, “So that’s how he consolidated his control over places he already ruled. How did he conquer new places?”

“Well first, like all conquerors, he needed to show he was a preferable alternative to the ruler he had just defeated,” Alex said, “Inspired by the relatively peaceful coexistence of Christians, Jews, and Muslims in Hispania, he respected local cultural and religious traditions to appeal to minorities being oppressed by local rulers. This earned him the loyalty of the Jews, who were now protected from pogroms and given land in Israel and Arabia. He lowered taxes in areas where tyrants extorted money from their subjects. He set up a new judicial system with a standardized code of law so everybody could be treated fairly in his new regime. Local markets were integrated into a continent-wide economic system, giving people access to new markets. His troops eradicated bandits and enforced the law when it previously failed. And he promised anyone could advance in society if they demonstrated their merit and set up a comprehensive education system to achieve that.”

“But there were exceptions, weren’t there?” Manfred said.

“Yeah,” Josh said, “Contrary to the politically correct narrative, Jews and Christians merely had their existence tolerated, and they were not fully accepted in al-Andalus and the Norse jarldoms that replaced it. The French, Poles, and Arabs were used as scapegoats because they kept rebelling against Friedrich the Glorious and Saint Wilhelmina. Friedrich the Glorious used them as targets to unite people against. Saint Wilhelmina ironically reenacted the Jewish diaspora on these groups, scattering them across the empire to decisively end their rebellions.”

“You’re not saying it was justified, was it?” Alex said.

“Well…” Josh said. “It was a shame those people had their lives and cultures broken up and scattered across Europe, but you can’t deny it was effective in ending unrest, especially in places like Italia. Wilhelmina was willing to do what had to be done to ensure peace and order. ‘They must be given no quarter’, she said of these campaigns, ‘Only then will the rest of us enjoy lasting peace’. She knew any and all threats to her power had to be destroyed with extreme prejudice. No mercy. No political correctness. This world is kill or be killed, and everyone is like a vulture. She understood she had to be a vulture to avoid being food for other vultures. And as bad as things were in the short term, they led to decades of lasting peace and technological and social advancement that ended the Dark Ages. You can’t deny her efforts were successful and effective.”

“And it was also effective in causing a rift between the two saints,” Alex said.

“Wait, what?” Manfred said. “I never knew that.”

“Saint Gunhilda was a committed defender of the targeted minorities,” Alex said, “Particularly the French, as many of them served in the armies under her direct command. She personally defended many of them against Wilhelmina’s deportations and continuously fought to end such policies. But Wilhelmina, still grieving over the death of her father when she was 15, believed there was no other way to achieve peace. After the death of Wilhelmina’s mother a few years prior, Gunhilda had effectively stepped in as Wilhelmina’s mother figure, but this didn’t stop the two from having a falling out. While Wilhelmina’s troops uprooted entire communities of French and Poles and Arabs, Gunhilda personally led her own army to protect them, even when it threatened to undo the Throne's centralization and cause a rift within the royal family itself. Towards the end of her life, she convinced Wilhelmina to spare certain groups, like the Lombards and Occitans, and then end the deportations altogether. Perhaps by then Wilhelmina finally got over her grief. Perhaps her religious zeal from the Mending of the Schism tempered. Perhaps she realized she went too far when she married her husband Ali, who many Arabs today believe saved what remained of their culture, or that she was pushing away her mentor and adopted mother and undoing what her father did by splitting the army and government down personal loyalties instead of a single loyalty to the throne. The two reconciled shortly before Gunhilda’s death. She’s still fondly remembered by the communities she saved, especially French ones. Many French consider her one of their own, causing some disagreement with Polish cultural organizations who claim her as well.”

“Wow, I really didn’t know that,” Manfred said, “I never imagined the two saints would disagree on something so bitterly. Gunhilda raised Wilhelmina like her own daughter, and Wilhelmina legally and personally treated her Schweinfurt half-siblings as full siblings. After her own falling out with the Pope and abandoning of Catholicism, she was the reason Wilhelmina adopted Orthodoxy and mended the Schism by marching on Rome and forcing the Pope and cardinals to acknowledge Orthodoxy. The two came to the realization the Catholic Church had lost its way, and the Pope had too much secular power and influence. If the Pope could singlehandedly raise an army of the faithful to help Friedrich the Great take Jerusalem, he could just as easily raise an army against Wilhelmina.”

“Yeah, I was taught the saints were holy heroes who always got along and worked together to mend the Schism and fight heretics,” Josh said, “Not this leftist revisionist scheiße.”

“It’s hard to believe it sometimes,” Alex said, “They’re called the saints, but they were really just like us. They’re human in the end.”
 
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I'm excited for Study Session 5's discussions. I wonder if the Palluists movements, Equalist regimes or Pierramaskin's reign will come up during the lecture about Eimerican nationalism and religious fundamentalism?
Yep! I talked about all of those, from the reign of Pierremaskin to modern religious fundamentalism and how they all fed into each other to create the current crisis.
Also, not sure if this will be covered in the school arc, but how would the revelation of a secret organization like Sentinel manipulating events from behind the scene affect how people see those events when they look back on them? Would they look at the War on Terror or the Cold War and its effects any differently then they would otherwise?
At least in China there is a huge outrage over the Sentinel-implicated Unit 731 still persisting after WW2. At home, Schröder was arrested and put on trial for allowing 11/9 to happen, while Scheel was also imprisoned. People are now aware of the Patriot Act’s origins as a tool for Sentinel to gain more control over society, but due to the current political gridlock the law hasn’t been changed or repealed yet. I’ll probably mention some of this in future updates on the political side.
Maybe there would be a faction that’d want to reconcile with the former Siegfriedists and make peace with them at the very least. I do wonder how a Maxamist victory would affect the growth of meritocracy tho. I can see such a world being polarized between the Maximist model and the Sino/Ryukan model of democracy, but I’m not sure how meritocracy would evolve in an era where the Siegfriedists lost and the Metternich system was likely dismantled. Maybe the exiled Siegfridists could become more autocratic and influenced by radical factions, like Gorring's faction assuming they don't split off from the Siegfridists like we suggested before?
Meritocracy would probably die after a Maximist victory, just like Roman democracy never took off after the Siegfriedist victory. The remaining Siegfriedists might become more radical, like the Carlists and Action Française in real life. The world would be split between Maximist-style democracy and the Sino-Ryukyuan model. Meritocracy would be remembered the same way as Roman democracy was, as a failure.
That’s an interesting dynamic between them. Looking forward to their update. By the way, does Gunhilda still have her statue in front of the Hagia Sophia. There’s there’s a chance it was destroyed or damaged in November 9 like the original Hagia Sophia, Hippodrome and Great Palace were afterall, although all of those sites I mentioned were rebuilt in the end.
It should still be there, but I haven’t mentioned it in my drafts so far.
I wonder how the Kurds have been doing in the Reich since they seem to be the majority culture of Mesopotamia, and the 1900s conuntry update for the Reich talked about Zoroastrian Kurds being important to securing the stability of Mesopotamia. I wonder how they interact with their cultural neighbors like the Arab and Turkish Muslim communities of the three caliphs, Persian minorities as a result of the Reich’s conquest of its border lands, and Jewish and Greco-German groups in the rest of the Middle East?
Kurds get along okay with their neighbors. Although they are Zoroastrian, they see themselves as Romans first. They have some cultural ties with the Arab, Turkish, and Islamic communities in the area like the Yazidi, and they are quite friendly with Persians on both sides of the border. Nothingout of the ordinary.
Since Gertrude talked about the Reich’s shift towards secularism after the Fifty Years War in the main Forum arc, I wonder how much the next update will be focused on the Reich’s theological history given the religious significance Gunhilda and Wilhelmina have? Perhaps details about the Iconoclastic and Purist movements or how Wilhelmina managed to overtake Catholicism, maybe some discussions about the Inquisition and the Reich’s cases of Islamophobia?
You caught me right in the middle of the final edits for Study Session 4.:p Theological history wasn’t the focus of this update, as I wanted to focus more on the personal relationship between the saints. But maybe I’ll talk about the issue of Islamophobia and lingering anti-Semitism in the future.
Also, since the Mexica pyramid in Altmark was retconed, I wonder if there’s any significant cultural traces of the Triple Alliance's European conquest besides the leftover descendants of settlers and Actal refugees, like Mesoeimerican architecture in the British Isles, Iceland or parts of Scandinavia?
There are probably dozens of old forts across the British Isles, and Dublin and Reykjavik have lots of old ruins with Nahua architecture. I think there are still livable buildings in Dublin which were built by the Triple Alliance.
Any details about how Mali got out of its decades of internal and external troubles between the early 1900s' Air crisis, the World Wars and the Malian Civil War of the 1980s? Perhaps the many different ethnic groups the country has have become more integrated into the greater Malian identity to prevent nationalist uprisings like the Senegal rebellions, or the government is more representative now that it's moved away from decades of right wing dictatorships and resulting equalist insurgencies.
Probably just that the continued Roman military presence helped stabilize the Malian government to the point where it could stand on its own, and then it passed reforms to integrate and placate the various ethnic groups so the insurgencies stopped.
 
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TheAnguishedOne

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A nice reflection to remember than even those who have been sainted, those who are viewed as righteous, were human and as such had flaws.
 

Golden Dragon

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It's quite interesting to see the flaws in our saints like Saint Wilhelmina being such a zealot and ends justify the means until sometime later. It is a difference from the worship she has received and some miracles that also happened like somehow managing to look 20 when she was 80.
 

GhostRider124

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I am near the 1900s in terms of the story and along with the History of China update that I am working on I also want to do some updates to what this world would be like in the Cyberpunk 2020/Red/2077 Timeline. However, to do that I was wondering where Night City would be? I ask this because in OTL according to Mike Pondsmith Night City is built on Morro Bay which is between Los Angeles and San Francisco and that I think you said in a previous update that in this TTL the stand-in for the West Coast of the United States is the Middle East. I was also wondering what Axis country has a similar Post-War history to Japan (in were it is an ancient land but after the war has become one of the most advanced nations on Earth and still douse a good job in maintaining its traditions) since for TTL India appears to be the stand-in for Germany and in a previous comment you said that the Two Japans were based off of OTL India and Pakistan. I was also wondering if there was a faction like the European Economic Community where they would be since the Reich dominates Europe in TTL.