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wilcoxchar

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This will be a Castile AAR, starting on January 2, 1492. EU3 patch 1.1

Sorry for lack of screenshots, I've played up to 1553 so I'll post some when I get closer to then. :)

Introduction
On January 2, 1492, the last remnants of Islam were destroyed in Iberia with the capitulation of the Kingdom of Granada. This sparked a new era, the Age of Exploration. Although Portugal had been traveling south along the African coast to find a sea route to India, Castile was looking for a new way. The revolutionary concept was led by Christopher Columbus, and in early 1492, he set sail west to discover what lay beyond the Atlantic Ocean.

The Voyages of Columbus
Four months after Columbus set sail west, he arrived at the islands in the Caribbean. He first made landfall at Puerta Plata, and over the next year came within sight of most of the islands in the Caribbean. After returning to the naval base in the Canary Islands, Columbus set out again in 1496 on his Second Voyage and discovered Cuba, the land surrounding the Gulf of Mexico, and the land between the Maya and the Amazon Delta.

Columbus’ third voyage in 1499 was up the coast of North America from Florida to the frigid north where Columbus landed in Labrador. On the way back to the Canaries, two of the cogs were lost due to an Atlantic storm. In late 1501, Columbus set sail again to the west. On this fourth voyage, when Columbus arrived at Puerta Plata, he turned south instead of north. Traveling past the Amazon Delta Columbus sailed down the Brazilian coast. On March 11, 1502, Columbus came upon a wide estuary, and landed on its south bank. Castile’s second colony was set up there named Buenos Aires, and Columbus’s fleet stayed there for a couple months. The fleet continued southward from Buenos Aires along the coast to Tierra del Fuego where, finding the coastline turning back to the north, Columbus turned back for Buenos Aires. The fleet led by Columbus arrived in Buenos Aires in 1506.

Once at Buenos Aires, Columbus sailed east to map the African continent as the Portuguese had done a decade before. On November 26th, Columbus sighted a small island in the middle of the south Atlantic. The island was named after Saint Helene, mother of Constantine the Great. At the island the crew turned north, and two weeks later reached the Portuguese colony of Fernando Po. Columbus’ fleet then traveled west along the north coast of the Gulf of Guinea and up to the Canaries, arriving in late 1508. Columbus would make two more voyages in his lifetime in 1512 and 1515. Both set out from Buenos Aires to explore the coast of South America beyond Tierra del Fuego. During the voyages, Columbus would pass through the perilous Strait of Magellan twice and sail as far north as the Atacama Desert. Columbus returned to Buenos Aires where he would live the rest of his life, dying in May of 1517.
 
Last edited:

unmerged(16407)

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Please dont take it as an offense, but could you space your lines a bit ? It hurts the eye, i swear.
 

Subcomandante

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I didn't have any problem reading it. Anyway, it's a good start, I like the factual account style. I also like that you give lots of dates, which gives the reader a framework.
 

wilcoxchar

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@MahoTsukai: Yeah, sorry about the big block of text. I'll see if I can chop it into two or three paragraphs.

@Subcomandante: Thank you. I personally both like reading and writing this style, because I suck at dialogue. :D

EDIT: Cut the Columbus section into three smaller paragraphs.
 

fj44

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Looks fine thus far, wilcox. I'll be following this one.
 

Dysken

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I feared you had started another Granada AAR stealing my thunder :p, Castille is cool. I'll be reading this one.
 

wilcoxchar

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Thanks fj and Dysken. I'm enjoying writing this.

Initial Colonization of the New World
The colonization of the New World started with the Portuguese settlement of the western half of Hispañola. This was followed very closely by the settlement of Puerta Plata by Castile, who claimed the eastern half of Hispañola. Both countries continued to focus on the island for their colonization until August of 1502, when Castile sent colonists to the Rio de la Plata estuary and settled Buenos Aires. As time went on, diseases spread from the European settlements on Hispañola to the natives in the interior. The spread of disease was most prevalent in the Portuguese part of Hispañola, called Tortuga. In the area of Totuga, all the natives had been wiped out by disease by 1509. That same year the Poruguese branched out from Tortuga establishing a colony in Yaqui, north of Mexico.

By 1510, the town of Puerta Plata had reached over one thousand people, so Castile started spreading their colonization efforts throughout the Greater Antilles. In the same year, the first Castilian settlers arrived at Puerto Rico. In 1512, Castile sent colonists to the northwest portion of Cuba. They founded a city in a natural harbor on the north coast of the island and named it La Habana. The rest of Cuba was claimed soon after with expeditions sent to the hilly area in southern Cuba in 1514 and the midsection of the island a year later.

The First Mesoamerican War
Before the arrival of Europeans to the Americas, the three empires of Mesoamerica, the Aztec, Zápotec, and Maya empires, had lived in harmony with each other. The three empires had established alliances with each other to defend against outside invaders. Early contact with the Europeans only consisted of sightings of Columbus’s ships passing along the coast. Further contact came in the form of combat, when in 1509, Castile declared war on the Maya, bringing the other two empires into the war. Aragon also joined in the war, but they did not participate. The Castilian army, by then in Cuba and Hispañola in anticipation of the war and led by Cristóbal Campomanes, made quick initial advances into the Yucatán Peninsula and Honduras.

However, Aztec and Zápotec troops moved in to support their Mayan allies and the Castilian infantry and cavalry became bogged down in the dense jungle. The war would last two years, with the war going back and forth many times. Another conquistador came to prominence in January of 1511 named Rodrigo Gómez. Even with their new general, the Castilian troops continued to have trouble with the terrain and the relentless stream of enemy warriors. In late 1511, as both sides became tired of the war and Castile started being unable to reinforce its troops well, they began to negotiate with the Maya on a way to end the war. On August 2, 1511, an agreement was finally reached with the Maya ceding the regions along the northern and eastern coasts of the Yucatán Peninsula.
 

stnylan

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Good start. And yes, breaking the text up certainly makes it more readable. Thank you.
 

wilcoxchar

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Unification of Spain
When Isabel I of Castile married Ferrán II of Aragón, the Iberian Peninsula was brought one step closer to unification. During the lives of Isabella and Ferrán, Castile and Aragón were governed jointly by both monarchs. The two countries were prosperous, as Castile completed the Reconquista and Aragón partially dominated the Mediterranean trade. Possibilities of future unification seemed to diminish after the death of Isabel in 1497 and the death of Ferrán in 1500. The new Aragonese monarch, Ferrán III, expressed more interest in the Mediterranean than in his neighbor to the west. However, the Castilian monarch, Enrique V, persuaded Ferrán to come back into the fold while being able to pursue his Mediterranean interests. The resulting arrangement was that Aragón became a vassal of Castile.

On April 21, 1501, France declared war on the tiny Basque nation of Navarra. Navarra was very weak and likely to be overrun quickly by the French behemoth. To avoid French incursion into the Iberian Peninsula, Enrique himself declared war on Navarra two months later. The war proceeded smoothly with France quickly taking Béarn and moving on to besiege Pamplona, the capital of Navarra. Enrique ordered Castilian soldiers to move in to Navarra to assist with the siege, knowing that the French would not annex the nation completely, as that would anger the Basques already in France. The French and Castilian armies assaulted and took Pamplona easily and France accepted peace with Navarra on August 9, 1501. This left Navarra still at war with Castile and Aragón and within a week, a Castilian flag replaced the French one in the town square of Pamplona. Navarra was promptly annexed a week later, rounding out the Franco-Spanish border along the Pyrenees.

Throughout the next decade, Enrique sent lavish gifts to his Aragonese vassal to better relations between the two countries and hopefully unify them. He had hinted a peaceful annexation to Ferrán many times during that period but the only reply was doubtful at best. In 1511, a revolt broke out among the population of Sardinia, storming Cagliari and taking control of the island. Ferrán did not address this rebellion for some time, as he was tending to the cities of Barcelona and Valencia and building up his navy with galleys to dominate the Mediterranean further. By 1515 Ferrán had received many gifts from his liege and he spent them improving the infrastructure and industry in the Iberian portion of Aragón. Two years later, a message arrived in Barcelona from the court at Madrid. It was from Enrique, requesting the peaceful incorporation of all of Aragón into Castile and Enrique would make Ferrán governor of the Balearic Islands. Ferrán was getting on in years, and decided to accept the annexation, so he could retire of sorts and spend his time in La Palma, where he had always wanted to retire. Ferrán himself delivered the message to Enrique in Madrid amid much fanfare, as the momentous occasion was an influential one indeed. In the court of Enrique, Ferrán removed the crown of Aragón from his head and placed it upon Enrique’s, and the dream of Los Reyes Católicos was complete.
 

wilcoxchar

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Here's another update. :) I felt really motivated to write tonight. This one's got screenies!

African Colonial Expansion in the Early 1500s
The western coast of Africa south of the Spanish possession of Ifni all the way to the Cape of Good Hope and beyond has had a long multicultural history since the Portuguese sailed toward India and their maps spread to the other European powers. At the discovery of the New World, the only European possessions on Africa were the Portuguese colonies of Cape Verde and Fernando Po, and the Spanish holdings in Ifni and the Canary Islands.

The region of Africa between Ifni and the Mali Empire were the first areas to be colonized by the Europeans. The settlements were initially divided between France and Austria, with France taking the regions of Rio de Oro and Arguin, and Austria taking Trarza. The natives destroyed these first encampments as well as many others attempted later by Aragon, Austria, England, France Milan, and Venice. The natives finally settled down after 1500 and the first stable colonies were set up in the area. Venice claimed Rio de Oro and France claim Arguin and Trarza. France also attempted to move inland into Brakna, but they were unsuccessful at first. After four more times, the French finally subdued the natives and moved into the area in 1513. The areas became core territories of their mother countries in the late 1520s and early 1530s after their populations were built up to consider them cities.

The region south of the Mali had a similar fate as the area north of the country. The coast was initially dominated by Austria in the 1510s but they quickly lost their colonies to natives and others came to fill their place. After many more native raids on the carious coastal cities established by the Europeans, the English were able to take control of the entire coast by 1550. After managing to gain full control of a couple areas along the shoreline, the English settlers began to move inland, establishing the city of Beyla in Bonian in 1532.

West_Africa_1553.jpg

West Africa

Other colonies were built along the coast next to the Kongolese Empire, to capitalize on the lucrative slave trade to the burgeoning New World colonies established by the Iberians. The first border colony to the Kongo was in Gabon, established by the French in 1524. After being destroyed by natives, the French sent another wave two years later that perished in 1529. England had a turn in 1530, but the colony was deserted within a year. In 1531, the French again sent a ship to Gabon but were just as successful as their earlier efforts. Austria colonized the area in 1534 but the natives massacred the population after three years. In late 1538, more Austrians arrived and were finally successful at befriending the natives. Further colonists were sent in 1540 and 1549 by the end of that decade, the population of Gabon had increased to over 500 inhabitants.

The history of the lands south of the Kongolese port of Loango is far more docile and stable, possibly due to more European contact with the natives before colonization attempts began. The dominant force in the region between the Kongo and the Namib Desert was solely settled by Bavaria, who had conquered the port of Hamburg in 1529. After Bavaria gained a port, they started sending colonists to Africa in 1536. After a failed attempt at settling El Mina, the Bavarians moved south to Luanda. They spread their influence to Kisarna, Benguela, and into the northern Namib Desert, although that colony was destroyed ten years later.

Central_West_Africa.jpg

West Central Africa

The region around the Cape of Good Hope also had a stable colonization history. The first settlers arrived in Lesser Namaqualand in 1532 and near the Cape in 1533. Three years later some of the Milanese settlers moved northeast to the area known as Great Karoo. Milanese colonization continued to be centered on the coastal regions of their colonies until they expanded into Roggeveld after settlers discovered gold there in 1551. France also colonized a small coastal strip of land south of the Milanese Karoo region and named it Little Karoo. They found sugar to be an excellent crop in the soil of the region, and used it to compete with the utter Spanish monopoly on the importation of sugar into Europe, and by 1550 the colony reached over 1000 people.

South_Africa_1553.jpg

Southern Africa
 
Last edited:

fj44

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Wilcox, if you could, could you reduce the size of the screenies? Scrolling horizontally to see it all is a bit tough.
 

wilcoxchar

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There we go, they're resized. :)
 

coz1

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A great start. Seems you are focusing more on colonizing than in warfare in Europe. This might be best to assist in filling the coffers. But you don't appear to be alone. I can't believe Bavaria and Milan have done so well in Africa. Do you have any plans to compete with them there?
 

stnylan

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Well, first major hurdle complete with Spanish Union. Africa seems to be very popular.
 

wilcoxchar

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hehe, you shall all see soon.

I'm just glad the African colonies ended up in blocks and not random countries owning random scattered provs all over.
 

wilcoxchar

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The Fall of the Aztec Empire
In 1519, a new monarch came to power in Castile named Juan III. Although he was an average ruler, he had lofty ambitions regarding the New World. He built up more armies in the Caribbean colonies and made sure to station some armies in Iberia in case of a French or Portuguese attack. On February 12, 1523, Juan declared war on the Aztec Empire and moved his troops into Tamaulipas. The strategy to start with the Aztecs was decided upon to prevent the inefficiency caused by the jungle during the war with the Maya. Because the Aztecs had no fortresses and no armies in sight, the war proceeded smoothly with Castilian troops taking Tenochtitlan by May.

By this time troops were coming up from the south, and the day before the fall of Tenochtitlan, the Zápotec troops freed Tamaulipas. Later that month the region of Huastec fell to the Aztecs, leaving only Tenochtitlan in the hands of the Castilian troops. Soon after Huastec was captured, the Aztec forces moved on Tenochtitlan itself. For three long months, the Castilian troops fought wave after wave of Native American infantry, but in the end were victorious. After the successful defense of the Aztec capital, Rodrigo Gómez and Cristóbal Campomanes split their forces into three groups. One would go north and recapture Haustec and Tamaulipas. The second, led by Gómez would move up to Huastec and west, to capture the other Aztec provinces. The last army, led by Campomanes, would remain in Tenochtitlan and defend it from any other attacks on the city.

The plan worked to precision with Huastec retaken on August 18. Tamaulipas was recaptured soon after, and then Gómez moved west. He moved swiftly for not knowing the land. Gómez took Guachichil on September 12, and the valuable trade center of Zacatecas on October 2. Continuing west, Gómez and his army discovered the Pacific Ocean in late November, when they took Sayultecas. Less than two weeks later, on December 11, the final Aztec city of Huichol fell to Castilian hands. Four days later Gómez signed a peace treaty with the Aztecs forcing them to become part of Castile. However, due to a misunderstanding of the Aztec language, Gómez only later realized that this brought peace with the Zápotec and the Maya as well.
 

wilcoxchar

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Time for another update.

The Establishment of the Viceroyalties
After the peace was signed with the Aztecs, Castile went into a lull in expanding her colonial sphere. One reason was pressure at home, when France started stationing armies along the border in the Pyrenees. Juan trained some regiments to station there as well, but France’s aggression would not turn south. It would instead turn east, when in 1527 and 1528, France declared war on Lorraine and the Swiss Republic. Each war last approximately a year, with wins for France in both wars.

In 1530, Juan III passed away. He had expanded the colonies and his planning helped conquer the Aztecs, but it would be his daughter who would truly transform the Castilian presence in the New World. Queen Catalina I took the throne one February 7, 1530. Throughout her reign, she would be an excellent negotiator and administrator, but she was only average like her father in terms of military affairs. Her skills would have a great impact upon her actions as the Queen of Castile.

The major achievement of Catalina’s reign was the expansion of Castile’s colonial sphere. In the first half of 1530, the cities of Buenos Aires and Havana finally reached a population of one thousand. Additionally in late December 1530, the territory around Buenos Aires expanded with the Serranos and Pampas regions coming under Castilian control. In 1531With the large growth of Castile’s colonies, Catalina decided she needed a way to keep track of the lands in the New World without having to travel across the Atlantic every year. Catalina adopted the idea of viceroyalties, colonial governors who would rule the colonies and be representatives of her, and any Castilian monarch after her. Catalina initially established four viceroyalties. These were the Viceroyalty of Nueva Castilla, the Viceroyalty of Cuba, the Viceroyalty of Puerta Plata, and the Viceroyalty of La Plata. Each Viceroyalty had it’s own capital as well, where the colonial governor would stay. Nueva Castilla’s was Zacatecas, Cuba’s was Habana, Puerta Plata’s was Puerta Plata, and La Plata’s capital was Buenos Aires.

Nueva_Castillla_1531.jpg


Cuba_Viceroy_1531.jpg


Barahona_Viceroy_1531.jpg


La_Plata_Viceroy_1531.jpg


Light Green is La Plata, Yellow is Puerta Plata, Red is Cuba, Orange is Nueva Castilla, Dark Green is Portugal.

The End of the Mesoamerican Civilizations
Although Queen Catalina was not good on the battlefield, that didn’t stop her from engaging in one conflict during her reign. Campomanes and Gómez were still in Nueva Castilla training armies to defend against possible native revolts in the area. In May of 1534, Catalina issued an order for the two conquistadors to move south and invade the Zápotec and the Maya. They did so with most of the regiments in Nueva Castilla, leaving few men behind. The reason they did this was there were many recently built forts in Nueva Castilla, especially around Tenochtitlan, to hold back any invading Zápotec forces. There were also two forts in the mainland portion of Cuba, which held back a number of Mayan incursions.

The conquistadors proceeded quickly, finding little resistance. By September, Campomanes and Gómez had taken all the Zápotec territory and had moved into Mayan land. By November, all Mayan land was controlled by Castile as well. On the 16th of that month, the Zápotec and Mayan empires were annexed into Castile. With the addition of this new territory, Catalina created the Viceroyalty of Yucatán on January 14, 1535. The viceroyalty encompassed all the Mayan lands, the province of Zápotec, and the regions of Yucatán and Belize that were formerly part of the Viceroyalty of Cuba. The capital of the new viceroyalty was set up in Belize on the eastern coast of the Yucatán Peninsula. The remaining Zápotec lands were incorporated into the Viceroyalty of Nueva Castilla and its capital was moved to Tenochtitlan, which was renamed Nuevo Toledo.

Mexico_1535.jpg

Orange is Nueva Castilla, Blue is Yucatán
 

stnylan

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So, a nice widespread empire. Only have to deal with the Incas now.
 

wilcoxchar

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The Kingdom of Spain and Fernando V
Catalina made one last major change to Castile during her lifetime, but it would be a very important change in the country. On March 10, 1536, Catalina consolidated all the kingdoms throughout Castile’s holdings in Iberia into one single kingdom, the Kingdom of Spain. With this new title, Catalina ruled for two more years before she died on March 30, 1538. Her successor was Fernando V, the first official King of Spain. He was an exceptional administrator, but his skill at diplomacy was only average and he was fairly inept on the battlefield. Because of this, Fernando’s five-year reign would be spent mostly on colonization.

The first area settled under Fernando’s rule was the small Isthmus connecting the two large continents in the Americas together. This area was named Panamá after the native term referring to the abundance of fish in the region. The first settlers arrived on the northern coast of the area on August 10, 1539. They founded the city of Panamá on the Pacific coast of the isthmus making it the first Pacific port owned by Spain. Three years later, on June 9, 1542, Spain colonized further up the Pacific coast of Nueva Castilla in Sinaloa. Fernando sent settlers one more time during his reign to Mosquito on August 20, 1543. Two months and six days later, Luís I succeeded Fernando as King of Spain.

War and Diplomacy in the Mediterranean
Upon his accession to the throne, Luís was elected Holy Roman Emperor just like his father, who was elected in late 1542. Luís was elected with a clear majority, obtaining six out of the seven elector votes. The only elector who did not vote for Luís was Austria, who had a reputation of being imperialistic after expanding into the Low Countries and Hungary early in the 1500s.

HRE_Electors_1553.jpg

HRE Electors

Luís turned Spain’s attention back toward the Old World, namely to the Mediterranean. Luís’ first action taken in Europe was a diplomatic one. Sicily, on the southern end of Italy, had become a vassal of Spain soon after Aragon was incorporated into the kingdom. On March 5, 1545, she was annexed into Spain, giving the kingdom a firm foothold on the Italian peninsula. This did not give Spain full control of the southern end of Italy, however, for in a previous war the Papal States had taken the port of Taranto and the area to its south and east.

The annexation of Sicily brought another benefit to Spain other than new land. It also brought two more cardinals in the Papal Curia under the influence of Spain, giving the kingdom a total of four cardinals in the Curia. This gave Luís enough influence in the Papal Curia that Spain became the papal controller, giving Spain a greater standing among both its own people and the rest of Europe. Two months later, the Papal States offered an alliance to Spain, which Luís accepted.

Curia_1553.jpg

Papal Curia

On August 13, 1547, the Papal States declared war on Austria, bringing Spain in with them. The declaration of war was in response to Austria’s invasion of the Italian states of Milan and Venice a year earlier. The Pope moved his armies into northern Italy to take Ladislav II, Kaiser of Austria’s holdings there and to relieve pressure on Milan and Venice. Spain moved forces from Sicily to Ragusa to make the war a two-front war, and began a siege there. The Pope saved Milan and Venice from being overrun by the Austrian armies as well as transporting troops across the Adriatic to take Dalmatia. A battle between Papal and Austrian forces ensued on February 27, 1548. The Papal infantry, led by Pope Pius III, easily beat the Austrian cavalry who became demoralized when seeing the Papal flag with minimal losses on either side.

The main Papal army swept down the eastern coast of the Adriatic to Croatia taking the coastal cities along the way. The Spanish army, having completed the siege of Ragusa, moved up through Dalmatia and Croatia in an effort to take Wien, but were persuaded by Pius not to as they arrived in Croatia. Pope Pius told the Spanish army that the objective of the war was complete and that now the alliance should accept a modest peace agreement. One last offensive was taken on New Years Eve of 1548 when a Spanish force was transported from Sevilla to the North Sea and disembarked in Zeeland. The resulting combat between the Spanish and Austrian armies was not a success, as the Austrian cavalry was able to swiftly encircle the small Spanish band of infantrymen. After suffering approximately 275 casualties, the Spanish army retreated back to their ships and returned to Spain. On January 13, 1549, a peace was brokered between Luís and Ladislav with Austria paying 67 ducats to the Papal-Spanish alliance as indemnities for the war.