Disaster at Leuthen TL - Frederick the Great dies in battle
Disaster at Leuthen Timeline
“...the Prussian king’s horse bolted suddenly, whether from a noise or some other occurrence may never be known, and Frederick was tossed from his saddle. The king’s retinue could only look on in stunned horror as the monarch’s head smashed into a rock and his lifeless body sprawled out on the road. The great Frederick II was dead.” – An excerpt from ‘The Four Year’s War’ by Arthur Stonebridge.
“...the sudden and accidental death of Frederick II was the pivotal moment of the war. The Prussian army, demoralised, confused and without their great leader, was subsequently routed by the larger Austrian army at the Battle of Leuthen on December 5th 1757. The Prussian cause, already desperate, was now hopeless.” – An excerpt from Ferdinand Strauss’s ‘A History of Prussia’.
The Four Years War
The Four Year’s War, in Europe, began on 29th August 1756 when Prussian king Frederick II, having recently signed an alliance with Great Britain, invaded the German nation of Saxony in a move designed to pre-empt an Austro-French invasion of Silesia. The Prussian army won a series of battles against the Austro-Saxon forces, eventually cumulating in the surrender of Saxony. The invasion of Saxony however was viewed negatively in the rest of Europe and soon Austria was joined by France and Russia in the war against Prussia. Great Britain joined their Prussian allies, and began sending aid to the Prussians as well as deploying an army under the Duke of Cumberland to Hannover.
Elsewhere in the world the colonial superpowers, Britain and France, battled against each other. In North America the conflict had begun two years ago, and had been going poorly for the British. The French continued to enjoy success, repelling various British assaults into Canada and into Louisiana. The French and their Indian allies maintained the upper hand against the British and the colonials and were even able to seize the British base at Fort Oswego. In India the conflict was known as the Third Carnatic War.
Meanwhile in Europe, Frederick II invaded Austrian Bohemia in attempt to knock Austria out of the war, as the Russians invaded East Prussia. The Prussian advance into Bohemia however was dealt a blow with defeat at the Battle of Kolin on June 18th 1757 and Fredrick was forced to withdraw back into Prussia. Meanwhile the French had moved west and attacked Hannover defeating the Duke of Cumberland’s forces at the Battle of Hastenbeck, which resulted in the Convention of Klosterzeven and the surrender of Hannover and Cumberland’s forces. The Prussian victory at the Battle of Rossbach however gave the Prussians hope that they could survive. Tragedy however followed shortly after with the surprise death of Frederick II following a fall from his horse and the subsequently decisive Austrian victory at the Battle of Leuthen. Frederick’s heir apparent was his nephew the thirteen year old Frederick William. The sudden death of the king threw the Prussian government into a state of chaos.
The Prussian army that had been crushed at Leuthen withdrew north in disarray where it was again defeated by the Austrians at the Battle of Crossen in February 1758. This defeat resulted in the complete destruction of the Prussian Army. This, in addition to the Russian advances in the East and the French successes in the west caused the Prussian government, still in disarray, to ask for an armistice, which was accepted in early May 1758.
Prussian Troops advance against Austrian forces Battle of Leuthen 1758:
The Four Years War
The collapse of their continental ally left the British in a serious state. The new British government led by William Pitt had set the goal of conquering Canada this year by attacking the French at Louisbourg and Quebec. However, the Prussian collapse had thrown doubt onto all these plans. The French and their allies were now able to shift their focus entirely against Britain. Seeing the Prussian collapse and sensing Britain’s upcoming defeat, Spain, under French pressure, declared war on Great Britain in early June 1758. The Pitt government decided that hey had to act fast to reach a position from which an agreeable peace could be reached. The British plan was therefore to quickly assemble a force in Britain which would be sent to seize Louisbourg while meanwhile creating a force of colonial troops and drive the French out of the Ohio River Valley area. Pitt sent out a passionate call to the colonials asking them for more men to drive out the French, and they responded quite strongly and the volunteers began assembling.
The French and their allies had different plans however. The Spanish began assembling troops in Florida in order to strike at the southern British colonies. Meanwhile the French and Spanish began expanding and improving their fleets. Following the Treaty of Dresden in August 1758, formally acknowledging the Prussian surrender, the French began moving their forces west and massing them near Calais, threatening the invasion of Britain. Seeing the entire might of the French army across the Channel the Royal Navy was called back to defend the home islands. With the Royal Navy concentrated at home the French and Spanish managed to slip more and more men and equipment through the British blockade and land them in the New World. In January of 1759 the French dispatched a large expedition to Canada, containing around 15,000 men. The Pitt government became aware of this and called for the expedition to be intercepted. However, the King and other members of parliament refused, saying this could be a ruse and that the main strength should be kept at home.
With nearly all of mainland Europe closed to it, Britain’s trading ability was severely curtailed and thus the government began to run out of money. The French, now solely focused on Britain and receiving money from a defeated Prussia, were able to out finance their opponents. In order to improve the financial strain on the country Pitt dispatched ships south to raid and capture French West African bases and then proceed on to Africa. With the French expedition now clearly heading to the New World, Pitt was able to gather enough support to dispatch ships from the Home Fleet for his African mission.
In March of 1759 the colonial forces with a British attachment under General Forbes moved west into the Ohio Valley as part of the envisioned British double offensive. The British force that had been organised to attack Louisbourg was delayed however by the invasion scare, and finally arrived in early April. However the imminent arrival of the French expedition, dissuaded the British from attacking Louisbourg, fearing that they would be trapped between the fort and the arriving French. Instead the British moved south to their base at Halifax. The French fleet arrived later that month, the British fleet moved to intercept them. A titanic naval battle ensued off Cape Breton. The French tried to force their way through the British to land their men. At the end of the day the French casualties were 6 ships of the line destroyed, 1 captured, around a dozen smaller vessels lost and around 5,000 dead. The British had lost only 4 ships of the line and less than 10 other ships. However, the French were still able to land around 9,000 men of the expedition before being forced to break off.
In June the French Expedition moved south to strike at Halifax. On July 2nd the British moved out to meet them and the Battle of Halifax was fought. The French army, veterans of the European war, were joined by a further 1,000 men, mostly French Canadians and a few French-allied Indians. The result was a decisive French victory, the British forces was destroyed and Halifax fell. Meanwhile the British Ohio Campaign and succeeded in taking Fort Duquesne and Fort Niagara. However, the Spanish drive into the Carolinas and the French victory at Halifax more than neutralised these gains. In early August, with the Royal Navy concentrated heavily at home, a surprise Franco-Spanish force managed to capture Barbados. In India meanwhile the fighting had gone back and forth, yet neither side had managed to make a significant breakthrough, the arrival of British ships dispatched by Pitt allowed them the British to compete with the French in the subcontinent. The British victory at Plassey however cemented their control over Bengal.
In December the last major battle of the war would be fought. With the nation war weary and with the defeats at Halifax and Cape Breton the Pitt government decided that a resounding victory was needed to raise the country’s morale. The British decide to attack the combined Franco-Spanish fleet massing near Brest. The Royal Navy is however spread across the globe and the force sent to attack the allied fleet is not as powerful as it could have been, especially following the losses at Cape Breton and the ships sent to India and Africa. On December 5th the Royal Navy attacks the allied fleet near Quiberon Bay. The result is a pyrrhic victory for the British. The allies loose nine ships of the line, the British eight and the allied fleet is put to flight. However, the inconclusive victory is not enough to rally the nation. The King, who has the interests of Hannover rather than Britain at heart, intervenes. Pitt is dismissed and the Duke of Newcastle is placed in charge. In early February, following a series of skirmishes and with the French army in Canada marching south, the British ask for an armistice according to status quo ante bellum. The French counter, offering to cede Chandernagore and some West African bases in return for Barbados and Belize (to Spain) and peace. India was to be divided with Britain in Bengal and France in the southeast. After much debate the war weary British government accepts, and the Treaty of Rotterdam is signed on March 27th 1760.
Treaty of Dresden (1760):
The Treaty of RotterdamThe Treaty of Rotterdam (1760) officially ended the Four Years War. This treaty dealt with territorial exchanges outside of Europe. The French gains were originally supposed to be marginal, but were enhanced as a reult of compromises discussed in the earlier Treaty of Dresden.
In India there was no major exchanges. Instead, the continent was in effect divided into areas of influence. Britain's ownership of Bengal was cemented and recognised, as well as of Bombay. French control on the southeast of the subcontinent was accepted by Britain.
In North America French claims in the Ohio Valley were accepted, though the British Thirteen Colonies were able to solidfy their immediate claims. Nova Scotia was ceded to France along with British Guyana in exchange for France not getting the Austrian Netherlands. British Belize was ceded to Spain and Barbados to France.
The Treaty of Rotterdam was widely unpopular in Britain. The Duke of Newcastle was forced to resign following a backlash explosion in Parliament, and Pitt was back in charge. The new king, George III, was resented for signing the treaty in order to save Hannover. His influence was greatly diminished and Pitt's Parliament began to distance itself from Hannoverian politics, arguing for 'Britain first'.
The major lasting impact of the treaty would be in North America however. The British colonial subjects and the redcoat garrisons eyed the French surrounding them with fear and suspicion. Pro-British Indian tribes, now in French territory, continued to wage a guerrilla campaign against the French supplied and aided by Britain and the colonies.
Treaty of Rotterdam 1760:
The conflict in eastern Europe between 1768 and 1772 is known and was known by many names, the Polish Civil War, the Confederate Uprising, the Crimean War, but the title of the Third War of Polish Succession, though not strictly accurate, is the one that is most widely used and is representative of the war as a whole rather than painting it as a local or regional conflict. The origins of the Third War of Polish Succession (the first two being 1587-1588 and 1733-1738) stem from the ‘election’ of Stanislaw II August Poniatowski as king of Poland in 1764, a nomination that was encouraged by Russian troops. This rigged election upset many leading Polish aristocrats and religious leaders who wished to rid Poland of Russian influence. Following the Four Year’s War (1756-1760) the Prussians began taking an active interest in developments in Poland. The alliance with Britain, though helpful, was strained and the Prussians needed to look for a continental ally, thus they began secret negotiations with the anti-Russian forces in Poland, also pro-Prussian lobbying is stepped up in Istanbul.
The Third War of Polish Succession
In 1768 a meeting of these Polish-Lithuanian nobles meet at the fortress of Bar. They declared their intentions to be the removal of Russian influence from the Commonwealth and the deposing of King Stanislaw August Poniatowski, who was seen as a Russian puppet. The Confederate forces soon began taking control of the west of the country, while a simultaneous revolt breaks out in Polish controlled Ukraine. They begin raising an army in the west and use weapons imported from Prussia. The Bar Confederation immediately send a message to Berlin, offering the return of East Prussia in exchange for Prussian aid. The young Prussian King, Frederick William II, is encouraged by his hawk-like ministers, who were angry with the Treaty of Dresden, to recognise the Confederate cause, as indeed many of its members have been Prussian allies since the end of the Four Year’s War. Prussian forces begin mobilisation and veteran Prussian officers are sent to advise the Confederate forces. This is met by a declaration of war on Prussia by the Russians and King Stanislaw August. The current Elector of Saxony, Frederick Christian , was the son of the previous king of Poland, and begins negotiations with Prussia and the Bar Confederation, offering himself as an alternative to King Stanislaw.
In September a force of Russian Cossacks sent to aid King Stanislaw pursue a Confederate force into Ottoman territory . The Ottoman Sultan Mustafa III, a reform minded king who was determined to reverse the Ottoman decline, with backing and encouragement from his Prussian allies, declared war on Russia and Stanislaw in response. A Prussian army under the command of General Wichard von Mollendorf invades western Poland late in the year and heads straight for East Prussia in an attempt to take Konigsberg from the pro-Stanislaw garrison. The Prussians are opposed to the plans of Frederick of Saxony and influence the Confederates to refuse the Saxon’s offer. Upon hearing of the rejection King Stanislaw sends an alternative offer to Saxony. He offers to wed his daughter Izabela to Frederick Christian’s son Frederick Augustus and will name Augustus as his heir to the Polish throne if Saxony intervenes against Prussia, thus recreating the dynastic union of Poland and Saxony.
Leaders of the Bar Confederation at prayer before a battle:
The Third War of Polish SuccessionThere was fierce debate within Saxony over whether or not to accept Stanislaw’s offer. Those against thought it might antagonize the Austrians and suck Saxony into a war they didn’t want. Those in favour saw it as a way to ensure Saxony’s independence and possibly expand their power in Germany. In the end the possibility of a Saxon-Polish union, and not to mention Frederick Christian’s own personal ambition, meant that the Saxon government decided to accept the offer. Saxony declared war on Prussia and the Ottoman Empire soon after and mobilized. The Prussians reacted quickly, and began assembling an army in Brandenburg under the command of Charles William Ferdinand, Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbuttel. In Vienna there was much division on what course of action to take. Some argued for intervention against Prussia and the Confederates and honour the old alliance with Russia, others, including Empress Maria Theresa, believed that neutrality was the best option, a powerful Saxony and a Russian dominated Poland-Lithuania were seen as a much greater threat, especially now with Prussia weakened. In the end, the Hapsburgs opted for neutrality, at least for now.
Throughout early and mid 1769 the Confederates achieved many successes against the Loyalist and Russian forces. They managed to gain control over much of the west and south of the country. The Russians were being increasingly distracted by the Ottoman front and their support for Stanislaw was not as forthcoming as was needed. In June 1769 the Saxons invaded Prussia. A second Saxon army meanwhile was being assembled in the west, in Saxony’s new German territories. By early August the Prussian eastern army had re-occupied all of Eastern Prussia, the populace there overwhelmingly supporting the Prussian return. When news arrived of the Saxon invasion however, General Mollendorf decided drastic action was required. He sent several messages to Confederate forces in the south and then, leaving a small force to continue the siege of still holding Konigsberg, turned south recruiting some local militia as he went.
The Saxon invasion force made good ground as the Prussian hurried to counter the threat. The goal of the Saxon army was clear: Berlin. The Prussians manage to pull themselves together in time and headed out to stop the Saxon offensive before it got to the capital. On August 15th 1769 the two armies met at the Battle of Potsdam, southeast of Berlin. The Saxon force, approx. 65,000 tried to break through the Prussians, 55,000, and head for Berlin. After three failed Saxon infantry attacks up the centre, the Prussians were wavering. The Saxons were preparing for a fourth and final attack, when a Prussian cavalry attack smashed into their right flank. Led by the Hussar officer, Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher, the surprise offensive panicked the disorganised Saxons and their army soon turned to rout, cut down as they fled. The battle was a major success, Blücher was promoted to Major for his part in the battle, and it was a major turning point in the war.
Prussian soldiers at Potsdam:
In Poland however Mollendorf’s plan was bearing fruit. In early 1770 Mollendorf’s 60,000 Prussians marched quickly south from East Prussia and a Confederate attack from Krakow encircled the capital Warsaw and placed the King under siege. King Stanislaw was captured by the sudden allied offensive and the surviving Loyalist forces were either forced to surrender or flee to the east. The Russians meanwhile were finding themselves hard pressed on two fronts. A series of naval battles saw the Ottoman Fleet (which was advised by British naval experts, as London was determined to prevent Russian gains) defeat the Russian Baltic Fleet which had moved to the Mediterranean and force them to withdraw back to Russia. In early 1771 a Russian offensive south from Courland was halted by a Prussian/Confederate force and repulsed. Things turned for bad to worse for the Russians and Saxons. The new King Gustav III of Sweden, decided the moment was right to retake old Swedish lands, and invaded Russian Karelia in August. The Prussian army, victorious at Potsdam headed southwest into Saxony, now under the command of Major Blucher, Duke Charles having been injured in the previous battle. In November the Saxon western army, hurried eastward, met the Prussians west of Dresden, at Dobeln. The superior Prussians eventually broke the Saxon attack and won the battle. However, the Prussian casualties were too heavy to risk a drive on Dresden and Blücher ordered a withdrawal back to Prussia. In early 1772 King Stanislaw, still a captive, formally abdicated. The abdication took the wind out of the pro-war faction in Vienna, and the Austrians offered to mediate and end the war, the fear being now that continued war would benefit the Prussians, who were reforming for an invasion of Saxony. With Stanislaw’s abdication and the Austrian offer, the Russians, beset on three sides decided to throw in the towel, the Saxons following suit.
The following Treaty of Vienna (1773) was the result of much haggling and debate. The Prussians pushed for Saxon territory, but the Austrians were determined to maintain a balance between the two north German states, and in the end the Prussians were forced to accept financial indeminites instead of territory rather than risk war with the Hapsburgs. The Russians were forced to officialy recognsie the Crimea as Ottoman and renounce any claim to it, it being officialy absorbed into the Ottoman Empire. East Prussia was returned to Prussia as promised by the Confederates. Sweden also managed to regain some land in Karelia. The main question that dominated proceedings would be who would be the new king of Poland? The Austrians pushed for a Hapsburg candidate, the Prussians for a Hohenzollern, each blocking the other. Some Poles attempted to claim the throne themselves, but they were in turn blocked by others wanting the prize. The Austrians decided to compromise, they wanted an end to the war so they could focus on the troubles taking place in Italy. In the end the only candidate agreeable was from a neutral party: in this case France. The second son of the current Dauphin of France was chosen. A Bourbon king was acceptable to the Poles, he was a Catholic and wasn’t Russian, and was acceptable to the Prussians and Austrians because he wasn’t from the other. In addition he was the son of Maria Josepha of Saxony, wife of the Dauphin, who was the daughter of the old Polish king Augustus III who preceded Stanislaw. After officially renouncing any claims to the French or Saxon thrones, an Austrian insistence, the eighteen year old was crowned King Louis I of Poland-Lithuania. The Prussians had regained their pride, the Poles regained their kingdom, the Saxons regained their fear, the Ottomans regained Crimea, the Swedes regained Karelia but most importanly of all the Russians regained their distrust of the Austrians, their allies who abandoned them.
Louis I of Poland-Lithuania:
The Sardinian WarVictory in the Four Year’s War had a great impact on France. The French King, Louis XV and his ministers now became attached to the idea of a grand French colonial empire. France’s gains in America and Africa were to be the beginning of a globe spanning French state. To achieve this the French began encouraging increased emigration to their colonies, especially to Louisiana. The large and under populated French territory of Louisiana saw a massive increase in the amount of settlers. The French saw the populous and successful British colonies as a threat, despite their victory, and realised that the key to maintaining their power in America was population. French peasants began arriving in New France in large numbers as the government in Paris began using various incentives (money, promises of land, force) to encourage settlement there. Those that left willingly tended to flock to Canada, settling in and around Quebec and Montreal. Louisiana however tended to be settled by a combination of forced émigrés, entrepreneurial merchants as well as dissatisfied members of the bourgeoisie who attempted to escape the absolutism of France.
The rise in French settlements in the New World upsets the local native tribes that are being forced of their lands. In 1771 and 1772 a series of native attacks occur in French Louisiana and Canada. In the northeast Iroquois tribes, with weapons smuggled in from the British colonies, attack French settlements and forts. In the far west of Louisiana the Plains tribes, also under pressure from the new French expansion, step up their hostility. In response French forces are dispatched from Europe to quell the unrest. The French pre-occupation in the colonies and with Austria distracted by the war in Poland, the new Sardinian king, Victor Amadeus III decided, in late 1772, the time was right to expand the Sardinian kingdom and he invaded neighbouring Genoa. The Sardinian Army achieved great successes against the Genoese and by the end of the year the city itself had fallen, as had Corsica. The king then made the risky decision to invade the Duchy of Parma as well, before the great powers could intervene. The Duke of Parma, a Bourbon, fled to France and asked for help. The Parmans put up a spirited resistance but they too were overcome.
Victor Amadeus III:
In February of 1773 Venice, Tuscany, the Papal States and others, formed a coalition in order to halt Sardinian aggression. Leopold II of Tuscany, son of Maria Theresa, wrote his mother asking for aid. His brother, Joseph, wrote back saying he thought Leopold could handle it and that the crisis in Poland required his attention. The southern states hastily assemble a unified force and head north to face the Sardinians. In the mean time Venice begins marshalling its own forces which head west to join the southern armies. King Victor decides to attack the southern forces before the Venetians can arrive. He marches south and manages to rout the coalition army, which was suffering from a lack of unity and cohesion, at the Battle of Modena. The Venetians, upon hearing of the defeat, loose faith and their advance slows as the generals are concerned about encountering the Sardinian army. This concern is well founded, when the Sardinians catch the Venetians by surprise at the Battle of Verona resulting in a Venetian defeat. Most of northern Italy was now under Sardinian control.
In late 1773 however, Empress Maria Theresia intervened at the behest of the Italian coalition. Austrian armies moved into Italy, the stated goal being the end of Sardinia’s war of aggression, but the empress’ true purpose was to increase Austrian power in Italy. The French however were not about to allow Austrian domination of Italy. King Louis XVI, the new King of France, had been recalling troops from America and India following the Duke of Parma's arrival, and in January 1774 he threatened Austria with war unless they withdrew. The Austrians, after much debate, backed down and in April 1774 the Treaty of Nice was signed. In it, the Republic of Genoa ceded Corsica to Sardinia as well as some mainland territory. The Bourbon duke of Parma was reinstated. A new North Italian Confederation was created to counter future Sardinian aggression. Austria ceded its Italian territories to the Confederation in exchange for all of Venice’s Illyrian Territories and the Bishopric of Trent.
Prince Charles of Sardinia:
After the treaty however France moved to increase its influence in Italy. King Victor Amadeus III’s eldest son, Charles, was married to the new French king’s daughter Marie Clotidle, in an attempt, as France stated, to contain future Sardinian expansionism. This goal was lost on Austria, and the other major states, and all they saw was yet another Bourbon dynasty. There were just too many Bourbon states now. An issue made even more prevelent when word reached Vienna of the marriage between Ferdinand, son of the duke of Parma, and the French princess Louise, daughter of King Louis XVI. The Austrian ambassador to Paris was actually temporarily recalled in protest at these marriages, that had not been part of the Treaty of Nice and had taken part without Austrian knowledge. The feeling among many states, especially Austria, was that this family was getting a little too powerful for their own good.
Treaty of Nice 1774:
India and the Franco-Mysore War
The Treaty of Rotterdam (1760), which ended the Four Years War, effectively divided India into two competing areas of influence. British control of Bengal was cemented with the cessation of Chandernagore to Britain from France. From Calcutta, the effective capital of British India, a new policy from London began to take effect. The government in Westminster, weary of the French threat, began increasing its control over the East India Company, including reinforcing its own garrison there in addition to Company troops. On the other side of the subcontinent Bombay became an increasingly important centre of British trade as well as serving as an excellent staging ground for British commercial and political ventures into the Maratha Empire.
In the southeast of India, however, it was the French that served as the primary European power. The French counted themselves lucky that they had achieved success in India, and knew it was only due to victories in Europe and America that they still had any influence in the subcontinent. As such King Louis XVI and his ministers decided to enhance their forces and position in the south. The French Governor General in India, Thomas Arthur , was granted new resources and backing from Paris and was instructed to extend the French powerbase, which he did in the early 1760s. In addition the French began aggressively attempting to gain influence and control in the area between their bases in the northern Circars and the southern area of Coromandel. The current Nizam of Hyderabad, Ali Khan Asaf Jah II, who nominally owned the disputed region, was courted by the French. Large amounts of French gold and weaponry went into bribing the Nizam, backed as always by the threat of force, who eventually allowed the French into the territory.
Nizam Ali Khan Asaf:
This move however was condemned by the nearby Kingdom of Mysore, whose ruler Hyder Ali, saw a possible French alliance with the Nizam as a threat to his state’s existence. So, with tacit British backing, attacked the French base at Arcot, taking the city and massacring the French inside. The French responded with a declaration of war in early 1767 and the Franco-Mysore War had begun. The French were supported by the Nizam who was to fight Mysore while the French mustered. Hyder Ali continued his campaign and headed southeast towards Pondicherry, though he did not feel confident enough to assault the city. The Nizam invaded Mysore in summer, although he made little headway he did cause Ali to lead the majority of his troops north to confront the Nizam.
Early in 1768 the French force arrived and began advancing westward. A smaller force was landed in the west of Mysore and launched a successful surprise attack on the city of Calicut. In June the Nizam and Ali met at the Battle of Gutty, which saw the Nizam defeated. A series of small inconsequential skirmishes dominated the rest of the year. Ali was reluctant to advance against the French for fear of the Marathas; but when it became clear that British lobbying had convinced them to stay neutral, Ali marched east to confront the French. They met at the Battle of Gurramakonda in June of 1769. The result was a French victory and saw the Mysore army heavily damaged and they were scattered. The French were reluctant to pursue too far though as disease and attrition were already taking their toll and they withdrew to Madras. After another year of inconclusive fighting the Treaty of Goa was signed in August of 1770 ending the war. No territorial exchanges took place but Mysore was forced to recognise French influence over Hyderabad and its territories, which became an effective French vassal.
The treaty however was not a permanent peace effort, more a cease fire, and war would resume in India in a few years. In the north the British looked in alarm at the French victory and began stepping up their efforts in the Maratha Empire as well as sending advisors to Mysore. India was becoming a continent-wide tinderbox.
Russia: Rebellion and Rebirth
Defeat in the Third War of Polish Succession (TWPS) was hard on the Russians. They had suffered territorial loses in Finland and lost influence in the Crimea, not to mention the replacement of a friendly regime in Poland with a staunchly anti-Russian state. One of the most lasting impacts however was the breakdown in relations with Austria. The failure of the Austrians to intervene in the TWPS infuriated Catherine and she even temporarily recalled her ambassador to Vienna. It was domestically though that the impact of the defeat would be felt first.
The Russian defeat encouraged anti-establishment groups within the Russian Empire, peasant and noble, that the state was weak and the time was ready for change. The first sign of trouble was in the Volga. Defeat by the Ottomans had greatly encouraged the local Cossack tribes to rebel. They gained widespread support throughout the region amongst Cossacks and peasants dissatisfied with the absolutist regime in St. Petersburg. The Cossacks were led by Emelyan Pugachev, a dissatisfied deserter, and they quickly seized control of large areas in the south. New recruits, Cossacks, Tatars, peasants, deserters etc., flocked to the rebel’s cause and soon a full scale insurrection was at hand. By early 1774 large areas of land between the Urals and the Volga, including the capture of the city of Ufa, which became the rebel headquarters.
The rebellion had originally not been viewed too seriously by Catherine and the government in St. Petersburg, but with the fall of Ufa it was becoming increasingly obvious that the situation was far more troublesome than originally perceived. Consequently the Tsarina ordered Aleksandr Bibikov to take an army east and crush the rebellion. The result was a disaster. The Russian army at this point was demoralised and divided, many of the officer corps were unreliable and the conscripted masses were sympathetic to the rebellion. At the Battle of Sarapul, on November 13th 1774, the Imperial Army was crushed by the rebels and Bibikov was captured and executed.
The Battle of Sarapul was the critical moment of the war. The victory emboldened the rebel cause. Many of the survivors of Imperial Army from Sarapul defected to the rebels. This in addition to the scores of new recruits from the area brought the total rebel force to around 60,000 men, a formidable force. Pugachev now ordered his forces to move on the fortress at Kazan. The defeat at Sarapul however proved to be a death nail for Catherine, however. From the moment she had taken power from her husband, Peter III, there had been many in the aristocracy who opposed her. The victory in the Four Year’s War temporarily muted these voices; however the defeat in the Third War of Polish Succession granted new life to this growing mutiny, the defeat at Sarapul was the spark. A group of nobles, led by the disaffected Nikita Ivanovich Panin, conspired to overthrow the Tsarina. A direct coup was considered too risky; instead, the conspirators began assembling their own forces in the west, and on February 14th 1775 they kidnapped the Tsarina’s son Paul and spirited him away. The conspirators soon declared him to be Paul I, Tsar of Russia, and declared Catherine a usurper. Recent evidence indicates that Paul was a knowing member of the plot, his strained relationship with his mother was well known, and it is likely the ‘kidnapping’ was a ruse.
The Russian state was now apparently on the verge of collapse. In early March Pugachev’s rebels took Kazan, another great blow to the government. The rebels now had control of much of the eastern bank of the Volga. Pugachev, upon hearing of the Panin rebellion, decided to move on Saratov, a major city on the Volga further south, the fall of which would open up the possibility of an offensive in the south. Kazan’s fall encouraged the conspirators. From their base at Minsk they were reinforced by a flood of new nobles who were abandoning Catherine. In May they moved east towards Smolensk. The Tsarina was not defeated though, she still had support and she ordered General Michelsohn west to confront Paul and Panin while she gave orders for a new army to assemble in the east to deal with the rebels.
Tsar Paul’s forces continued to mass in the west, centred at Minsk, and their numbers rose significantly throughout the middle of 1775. In June they received word of General Michelsohn’s advance towards them and they decided the time was right to confront him. A diplomatic envoy was also dispatched to Pugachev and his rebels in the east. There was much controversy and argument within Tsar Paul’s supporters over this decision, but in the end it was decided that negotiation with the rebels might lead to better results than fighting them. So a mission was sent, heading south from Minsk they were to proceed through the Ukraine to the Volga and attempt to make contact with the rebels, all the while promoting the Tsar’s cause.
Russia: Rebellion and Rebirth
Meanwhile in the east Pugachev’s campaign continued. In mid July, Saratov fell. This was a bloody battle and the rebel army suffered greatly for the city’s fall, but it was indeed worth it. With Saratov captured the Tsarina was effectively cut off from the Russian Empire east of the Urals, and any support she might have received from there was muted. Also, it opened up the south for a new offensive. However Pugachev needed time to rebuild his forces and thus he made camp at Saratov and sent out recruiting parties. The victory at Saratov did much to raise the credibility of the rebel’s cause and dissatisfied peasants, Cossacks, Tatars, Ukrainians and others flocked to their banner.
The turmoil in Russia however did not escape the notice of the outside world however. The neighbouring powers all soon attempted to use the chaos to their advantage. The Ottomans were the first to intervene. They began sending large convoys of aid to the rebels through the Caucasus and up the Volga in an attempt to gain favour with and aid the rebellion. They also took this moment to secure their own borders and began moving troops into Georgia and Armenia, both of which were in anarchy. The Poles too decided this was an opportunity to good to miss. In November King Louis authorised an invasion of Courland. The Russian protectorate was soon overwhelmed and under Polish control. The Prussians however did not take too kindly to the Polish move however, taken without Berlin’s knowledge, and relations between the two states soured. The Swedish king, Gustav III, too decided time was right for a rematch, and launched two incursions into Russia; the first in December into Karelia and the second in February 1776 in Estonia.
Russian Rebel Cossacks, Near Saratov 1775:
The foreign invasions convinced both Catherine and Paul that the civil crisis must be ended as soon as possible. Thus the two armies were spurred into action, both sides eager for a victory to improve their negotiating position. Unfortunately neither side got their wish. The following Battle of Polotsk was an inconclusive draw and both sides withdrew suffering casualties. In the meantime however Paul’s diplomatic envoy had reached the rebels in Saratov. A few days of negotiation ensued but eventually the two sides agreed on terms, Pugachev’s rebels would declare support and fealty to Tsar Paul, and the tsar would agree to a list of demands by the rebels. The mission took their leave and headed back west. Pugachev, inspired by the meeting, decided to make a risky move, and march northwest: towards Moscow.
In March the Swedes took Riga, thus confirming occupation of much of Estonia and the Baltic coast. Catherine decided to order Michelsohn to retake Riga and drive the Swedes out of Estonia, a move that she hoped would endear the people and nobility to her, putting Russia’s interests first, and win support for her cause. Whether this would have worked however will not be known for Michelsohn’s army was routed by the Swedes in May at the Battle of Volmar. In the meantime Paul and Panin had reorganised their forces and taken Smolensk before moving northwest to cut Michelsohn off from Moscow and the east. In June Pugachev faced Catherine’s army at Vladimir, just east of Moscow. The battle lasted two days but in the end the unmotivated and disaffected Imperial forces were routed, and the rebels took Moscow a few weeks later.
The twin disasters at Volmar and Moscow were the end of the Tsarina’s reign. When word got out of the state of the campaign a palace coup was launched and Catherine was deposed. The conspirators invited Paul to enter St. Petersburg and take the crown, which he did in August. He moved quickly to win the favour of the people. He moved his army west and defeated the Swedes in a series of battles, cumulating in the Battle of Reval and expelling them. His army now was too exhausted and depleted to deal with the Poles in Courland and the Swedes in Karelia and he was forced to compromise sending delegations to Warsaw and Stockholm to discuss peace terms.
Pugachev meanwhile had not vacated Moscow. His army, too, still maintained control over large areas of the east. In January of 1777 Tsar Paul went to meet Pugachev in person. The two held a prolonged and tense discussion. In the end Pugachev and his followers announced their loyalty to Paul, disbanded and returned all territory to the Tsar. In return Paul conceded to a list of rebel demands, including the guarantee to respect the culture of the Cossacks and outlaw future persecution against them (a status that was later conferred to other minorities such as the Tatars and Ukrainians) and importantly the abolition of serfdom. He was also forced to concede to the demands of his supporting nobility, led by Panin. The principal one was the restoration of the Duma, and limited provincial democratic reform, a move that the aristocracy hoped would placate the masses and enhance their own power by a move to a more constitutional style monarchy. Over the next several years Tsar Paul began a period of reconstruction, liberalisation and westernization Russia, which, although limiting Russia’s role in external and foreign affairs, would lead in later years to the emergence of a strong, united, liberal Russia.
The American Tax RebellionBritish North America in 1760, following the Four Year’s War, consisted of three separate regions. The Caribbean was still Britain’s priority, the taxes and trade from these colonies, and the resources, were vital to Britain’s interests. The Thirteen American Colonies were populous and had a growing economy. And in the north British territories in the Hudson Bay region were sparsely populated but did a decent trade in furs and other goods. One of the principal attributes the three regions had in common, especially the northern pair, was threat of a powerful enemy: France.
Despite some successes in the Four Year’s War the British Thirteen Colonies still found themselves encircled by the French. The Colonials and the British had struggled against the French in North America in the war and had come away with little to show for it. To make matters worse the population of French North America had been growing at an increasing rate, and as each day went by the French threat grew greater and greater. The British therefore were forced to maintain a large garrison in the colonies at all times to dissuade the French of any aggressive actions. This however was expensive to maintain; a matter made worse by the war debts incurred between 1756 and 1760. As such the Westminster Parliament passed the Stamp Act in 1765, in an effort to increase profits and combat the debt. The Stamp Act was greeted unfavourably by many in the colonies. However Parliament’s argument that the tax was there to pay for the colonies’ defence was taken to heart by many colonials. The redcoat garrisons were viewed favourably by the locals as every glance to the west and north was fearful of the surrounding French and their native allies. However not all colonials were appeased…
Notice of the Stamp Act:
Some colonials felt cheated by the tax, arguing that Parliament had no right to tax them as they had no representation themselves in parliament. The cry “no taxation without representation!” became their rallying call. They were however a minority group. Their numbers did increase slightly however in 1767 with the Quartering Act, which pertained to the housing the standing British army in the colonies. The Quartering Act as a whole, though unpopular, was tolerated by the colonists more so than the Stamp Act, due to the clear necessity of having a large garrison in the colonies with the French so ever present. However the dissenters soon formed into a group known as the “Sons of Liberty” and began organising in towns and cities, principally Boston.
In 1770 Parliament passed a new tax on tea. This tax was deplored by the “Sons of Liberty” and they began planning a demonstration against it. It was also unpopular throughout much of the colonies, and unlike the previous acts this one could not be seen as anti-French in anyway and many local assemblies complained about it. At Charleston in late 1771 delegates from a variety of the southern colonies drafted a letter to Parliament protesting the tax as unlawful and unnecessary. Following this Parliament voted to repeal that act in mid 1772. News of the repeal however did not arrive in Boston before the end of the year.
In June of 1772, unaware of the repeal, the Sons of Liberty decided to raid a collection of commercial ships in the harbour, which were rumoured to be carrying large quantities of tea. Dressed as native Indians they attempted to storm the ships. Unfortunately for them they encountered a local British garrison on patrol. Some of the leaders, including John Adams and Paul Revere attempted to abort the raid and call the Sons back. However some of the more impetuous members attacked the garrison. The British troops were taken by surprise. Unsure how to respond to the attack they had their choice made for them when one young Sons member struck a soldier with a tomahawk, killing him. In response the British opened fire killing several of the Sons members, including one Samuel Adams. In response to the commotion many locals emerged on the scene and seeing the fight many joined with the Sons and drove the garrison away violently. At the end of the day the garrison suffered two dead and four injured, while the Bostonians lost nine dead and a dozen wounded.
Rebel Samuel Adams:
The British response was swift and decisive. They moved a large force into Boston and placed the town under marshal law. An inquiry was launched into the incident but the authorities could not find those responsible and the Sons of Liberty escaped further prosecution. In Boston and much of Massachusetts, the attack was branded the “Boston Massacre” by the local printer Benjamin Edes, a Sons of Liberty member. His Boston Gazette told and retold the story of the “massacre”, and Boston soon seethed with quiet rebellion. This was however, in strong contrast to the mood of much of the rest of the colonies. Sure there were various local pockets of dissent that lauded the Sons, but the vast majority of people saw an attack on His Majesty’s soldiers as downright appalling and treasonous. This mood was seized upon by South Carolina governor Lord Charles Montagu who launched a rumour that the Sons of Liberty were working with the French and that the Boston incident was meant to distract the British troops from the border for a French invasion. This rumour spread like wildfire throughout much of the colonies, north and south. The credibility of it was helped enormously when in mid 1773 several French Indian tribes, led by the Shawnee, attacked British towns and forts near the Great Lakes, an act widely circulated by the Royalist papers as being backed by the French, while mentioning the Sons of Liberty as much as possible.
Lord Charles Montagu:
The result was that by the end of 1773 the vast majority of colonial subjects outside Boston and the surrounding area, were nearly convinced that the Sons of Liberty were a treasonous pro-French plot. In Boston however, they were heroes. Heroes, waiting for their next opportunity to strike. In early 1774 they got it. To combat the Shawnee raids the majority of the British garrison was pulled out of Boston and sent northwest. For the Sons of Liberty this was a chance to good to miss up. In May they attacked and seized garrison barracks and armouries all over Boston, as well as capturing and destroying HMS Gaspée which was in harbour at the time. The Sons were soon joined by much of the town’s populace and were forced to withdraw to nearby Breed’s Hill. Bu July the entire city of Boston was in the hands of the rebels. The news of the Boston Rising spread throughout much of the colonies. Local groups, sympathetic to the Sons’ cause, tried to repeat the act. They made little success however and were in most cases defeated, or forced to resort to a low level insurrection and guerrilla movement. In Philadelphia however they had some success. Philadelphia’s Royal Garrison, like Boston’s, had been pulled out to battle the Shawnee. In Philadelphia rebels managed to seize weapons and take over the town. They however, did not have the backing of much of the populace. The pro-Royalist faction rose up, but were unable to overcome the better armed rebels and were forced out of town.
The rebel’s success was short lived however. When word reached Parliament of the Boston Rising there was shock and outrage, feelings further incensed when word arrived of the numerous other aborted risings and the fall of Philadelphia. Many in Parliament advocated an immediate hard-line military response to crush the uprising and attacks on suspected pro-rebel individuals, a course strongly supported by King George III. The larger more moderate faction led by Prime Minister Duke Augustus FitzRoy had other views. The primary fear of the moderates was that the course advocated by the hard-liners would lead to open rebellion, something that had to be avoided with the French ever ready to move in, in addition to the fact that defeat in the Four Year's War had left Britain more war weary, less confident and more open to compromise than it might have been otherwise. So instead they opted for compromise. Representatives from the various colonies, Massachusetts excluded, were invited to Parliament to discuss the situation, while British forces began assembling to retake Boston and Philadelphia. In January of 1775 Parliament passed the Dominion Act, something strongly resented by the king, but with the monarchy still in disgrace with much of Parliament following George II’s pro-Hanoverian attitudes that led to the Treaty of Rotterdam and surrender in the Four Year’s War, the act went ahead. King George III, feeling resentful and snubbed, became a political recluse for the rest of his reign.
Prime Minister FitzRoy:
The Dominion Act divided the Thirteen Colonies into two large “Dominions” of New England and Carolina. Each dominion would have a ‘Parliament’ which was subject to Westminster and comprised of elected officials from the various colonies, each of which would maintain its colonial assembly. The Dominion parliaments, at New York and Charleston, would be able to deal with local issues, as well as each being able to send an observer to Westminster so the Dominion’s voices would be heard in Parliament. The Dominion Acts, though resented by parts of the government, was applauded by the colonial representatives and by those they represented.
The Dominion Act took the wind out of the rebel’s sails. When word reached the colonies of the act, rebels everywhere lost support. Many simply dissolved, most members seeing their cause as fulfilled and were placated by Parliament’s decision. This was indeed the case in Philadelphia, where the rebels became split and many laid down their arms and went home. The remaining rebels, including leaders Thomas Paine and Thomas Jefferson, were overthrown and captured by the pro-Royalist citizens supported by an arriving British detachment. The captured rebels were hung for treason. The rebels in Boston however did not back down. In August of 1775 the British forces, including a certain George Washington, began the siege of the city. A Royal Navy force arrived to blockade the city. In December the British assaulted the city and the rebels were overwhelmed and the city fell. The surviving leaders of the rebellion, including John Adams, Paul Revere and John Hancock were hung after being drawn and quartered, a gruesome yet effective response.
Executed Rebel Paul Revere:
After Boston’s fall the rebel cause eventually dried up. Various local militia’s continued to mount a hit and run campaign on the borders and in the wilderness up until about 1779. Some pro-rebel sympathisers emigrated, chiefly to Louisiana. Other Royalist members decided to leave and head for Canada or the Caribbean, not wishing to live in territories granted even so little autonomy. In the 1776 the first meetings of the Dominion parliaments went ahead faultlessly, and by 1780 martial law was finally lifted in Boston and the wounds of the rising had begun to heal.
Last edited by Max Sinister; March 16th, 2011 at 03:51 PM.. Reason: Discussion link
Philosophies and Ideas: The Enlightenment's ClimaxThe three decades between the end of the Four Year’s War and the tumultuous events of the 1790s saw the final stages of what has since been referred to as the Enlightenment. The events that followed it are regarded as nothing more than these ideas coming into fruition, or at least, trying to. The upheaval and turmoil these ideas were to cause and the efforts of the forces of reaction who opposed them were at the centre of the conflicts that dominated the close of the 18th century, a period that is now known as the Age of Revolution. This period was characterised by the emergence of several key philosophers in a variety of countries and continents. Their ideas embraced the new concepts of liberalism and republicanism, two ideas that did not sit too well with the majority of the leading members of the ancien régime.
The majority of these so-called Enlightenment thinkers, were French. And it is unsurprising therefore that the events of the Age of Revolution centred, for the most part, around France and its actions and repercussions. One of these philosophers is considered by many to be the father of the French enlightenment thinking was Francois-Marie Arouet, more commonly known by his pen name, Voltaire. Voltaire wrote heavily on the subjects of freedom of religion, civil liberties and against the corruption of the French monarchy. Upon the ascension of Louis XVI in 1772 to the French throne, Voltaire returned to Paris from his self-imposed exile in Geneva. The French king’s actions towards reform, as honourable as they were, were not enough for Voltaire. He grew disgusted with the actions of the French nobility and aristocracy who prevented the king from carrying out his grandiose plans. In 1774 Voltaire emigrated to New Orleans, the first of the French thinkers to do so, but far from the last.
Another influential French philosopher of the period was Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Rousseau was originally from Geneva, but went to Paris in the mid-1760s. He wrote two very influential papers during this period, the Discourse on the Origins of Inequality and On the Social Contract. These two works were widely popular with the European liberal scene and attracted lots of attention and interest. Following the publishing of the Social Contract in 1764, King Louis XV ordered Rousseau to be exiled, and the writer returned to Geneva, where he continued to write. Upon Louis XV’s death, Rousseau, like Voltaire, returned to Paris where the two were often seen in deep discussion. Like Voltaire, Rousseau was disillusioned with the actions of the French nobility in its determined efforts to block the king’s reforms. Unlike Voltaire though, Rousseau grew increasingly radical and turned against the King and the entire establishment, whom he attacked in his 1774 work An Essay on the Broken Regime. Like the previous works this one outlined what Rousseau thought was the perfect society, though more openly hostile and targeted at the Versailles regime. In 1775 Louis XVI, persuaded by his ministers, banished Rousseau from France. Instead of Geneva, Rousseau followed Voltaire’s example and went to New Orleans. Rousseau had originally believed that his radical vision of society would only work in a small un-populated state, such as Corsica; however the great expanses and sparse population of Louisiana soon gained his attention. Consul Philippe Bardet remarked in his diaries that he overhead Rousseau once say that, “here in this great wilderness, we can begin anew; here we are once more in the state of nature”.
Other enlightenment thinkers played their parts too. Denis Diderot, another French thinker, also proved to be quite influential. His thoughts and writings on free will were groundbreaking in many aspects and were seized upon by many radicals. His scientific works, such as the Encyclopédie, were also quite popular amongst the educated elite. Like Rousseau and Voltaire he too moved to New Orleans in 1776, he died there ten years later. Other French thinkers and agitators too emigrate to New Orleans were Baron d’Holbach, whose controversial ideas on atheism appealed to a small community in the New World, the Marquis de Condorcet, Jacques Pierre Brissot, Jean-Paul Marat, who was Prussian by birth, and Georges Danton, to name a few. The result of this mass migration of reformists was that by the mid 1780s New Orleans had become the centre of the Enlightenment, and free of direct persecution they began to write, and meet, and plan, freely. For their part the powers that were in Paris, for the most part, were happy to see them go. New Orleans to them was the end of the world, and in France itself, the exodus of reformers allowed the aristocracy to tighten and increase their power, which they now believed to be unchallenged.
It wasn’t just France that played host to this, the final stage of the Enlightenment, though it was the centre. In the Dominion of New England, a writer known as Benjamin Franklin gained notable fame for his writings. His political work, centring on the ideas of community spirit and self-governance were influential in the forming and workings of the New England Parliament, where he indeed served as an MP for Boston from 1780-1786. He greatly applauded Britain’s passing of the Dominion Act and loyally served the crown and the Dominion all his life. It was his scientific studies that made him famous though, especially his work on electricity. When in London, which he visited frequently, his scientific displays, made him very popular in the scientific community. Elsewhere in Britain other great thinkers emerged on the scene, such as Paley, Burnett, Reid and others. The marginalisation of the monarchy following the Four Year’s War and the recluse of King George III following the Dominion Act allowed greater freedom of ideas in the country; and, ironically, would help save the monarchy in the years to come, as its appearance as an already marginalised institution helped shield it from attack. Ignacy Krasicki was a Polish philosopher whose ideas were very popular with King Louis I of Poland-Lithuania, whose own reforms and beliefs were greatly influenced by the Enlightenment. Johann von Herder, Mozart, Moses Mendelssohn and other German thinkers congregated in Vienna which had replaced Paris as the capital of the European Enlightenment. Russia itself was in the process of becoming a liberal monarchy under Tsar Paul I, and in St. Petersburg too many great thinkers were to be found such as Dashkova and Novikov. By the year 1790 it was clear that the east of Europe, Austria, Poland and Russia, was joined with Britain and the New World in the advance of liberalism and reform, while the countries of western Europe, France, Spain and others, resisted the march of progress. Something it was clear, had to give, and indeed it soon would, with monumental consequences.
 Not OTL Louis XVI; instead his fahter, Louis, Dauphin of France
 Not OTL, new essay
 This was Rousseau's actual belief in OTL; that only Corisca would suit his plans for society, maybe an insight into why the attempted implementaion of his teachings in France failed as it did.
 From the "Diaries of the Revolution", published 1828.
 Following the Russian Civil War 1774-1777
The Triumvirate: Germany
In the approximately three decades following the end of the Four Year’s War and the outbreak of the Age of Revolutions the area of Germany was dominated by three principal powers: Prussia, Austria and Saxony. It was the actions and decisions of these three states that dominated the affairs, both internal and external, of Germany in this period. Other German states, such as Bavaria and Hannover, wielded notable influence, but the actions of Berlin, Vienna and Dresden were the principal factors in the development and actions of Germany in this period. The outcome of the Four Year’s War had left these three states as the dominant actors. They were not all equal however. Prussia had been seriously weakened by the loss of Silesia and East Prussia in 1760. Austria meanwhile was clearly the dominant actor in Germany, indeed it was arguably the principal continental European power after France. Saxony, was strengthened with the gains it received from the Treaty of Dresden and saw itself as Prussia’s equal in the following years. The term the German “Triumvirate” was originally used by the Italian writer Ludovico Vitruvi in 1769, and became a popular term, and thus the period of Germany history from 1760 to the Parisian Rising is referred to as the Time of the Triumvirate. The shifting alliances and ploys between these three states would shape the future of Germany for years to come.
Maria Theresa, Empress of Austria:
Austria emerged from the Four Year’s War stronger and more influential than when it went in. The return of Silesia from Prussia was the major boost. Silesia was a wealthy and highly prised territory that helped contribute to the various undertakings of Austria in these years. Maria Theresa was Empress of Austria during the Four Year’s War until her death in 1779. Although staunchly conservative in many aspects Maria Theresa did oversee many reforms in the Habsburg territories during her reign. In 1761 she established the State Council, a group of elite officials to advise and assist the Empress in the running of the state. Reforms took place in the judicial system as well, as Maria Theresa outlawed medieval practices, but did not outlaw torture and continued its role in the state. She was staunchly Catholic and was a strong supporter of the Church, a stance that was generally approved by most of her subjects. In terms of her foreign policy Maria Theresa sought not only to enhance the power and prestige of the Habsburg Monarchy, but to maintain a balance of power in central and eastern Europe. During the Sardinian War (1772-1774) she intervened against Sardinia and negotiated a compromise following the French ultimatum. The resulting creation of the North Italian Confederation granted Austria considerable influence in northern Italy, with those states being in Austria’s debt, as well as granting Austria Venice’s Illyrian territories. In a more controversial move her decision not to intervene in the Third War of Polish Succession (1768-1772) in support of the Russians and King Stanislaw, was designed to prevent the Russian’s gaining too much control and thus in line with her preference of the balance of power.
A crucial result of Maria Theresa’s actions in these two conflicts was the souring of relations with her allies France and Russia, a fact that had to be dealt with by her son Joseph, when he succeeded his mother in 1779. Joseph, more so than his mother, was a reformer. Also, and of great importance, was the fact that he failed to inherit his mother’s staunchly anti-Hohenzollern beliefs. The Russian and French allies both expired in the 1770s and were not renewed, both states having reason to distrust and resent Austria. Joseph then looked for an alternative option. What happened in 1783 is often known as the ‘Second Diplomatic Revolution’. This was the signing in June of the Austro-Prussian Alliance. Prussia’s decline meant that it no longer presented a major threat to Austria. Frederick William II, was not the man his father was, he was no warrior and jumped at the chance to ally himself with Austria and secure his kingdom. Joseph also saw this as a boost in order to fulfil his ambition to acquire Bavaria. Domestically Joseph launched a series of large-scale reforms. One of the most controversial, at least amongst the nobility, was his complete abolition of serfdom in 1780, inspired by Tsar Paul’s own abolition in 1777. He also pursued an aggressive policy of centralising, not only in terms of brining the empire together, but in terms of strengthening the power of the Emperor at the expense of the nobility. He also pushed through numerous other reforms such as compulsory education, religious toleration, making German the Empire’s official language and others. The result was that on the verge of the Age of Revolutions, Austria was a strong centralised and advanced state. The emergence of Vienna as the centre of the European Enlightenment following the exodus of French thinkers in Paris, is in no small way responsible for and also because of many of these reforms. Not everyone in the empire approved of Joseph’s actions however. Many in the nobility felt cheated and resolved to check the future pace of reform and in the eastern parts of the Empire the effective closure of the Hungarian assembly angered much of the populace in that region; these internal fissures would become evident in the Age of Revolutions.
Frederick William II:
Prussia, on the other hand, following the Four Year’s War was weak, divided, and effectively leaderless. Frederick William II, nephew and successor to Frederick II, was only sixteen when he ascended the throne. As such for the first few years of his reign he was under the guidance of a council of advisors, such as Heinrich von Mollendorf, Charles William Ferdinand Duke of Brunswick and Hans von Blumenthal. The influence of these military men in the early years of his reign was a major cause of his decision to intervene in the Third War of Polish Succession, a move that was definitely rewarded with the return of East Prussia in 1772. As he grew older however Frederick William II began to loose interest in military matters and foreign affairs in general. He turned instead to internal reforms and cultural developments. He like Joseph in Austria and Paul in Russia, was a great reformer and influenced by the ideas of the Enlightenment. His numerous reforms included infrastructure improvements, improvements in education, and also was benevolent towards the arts, sponsoring both Beethoven and Mozart in their professions. His foreign policy, or lack thereof, was passive, in staunch contrast to his uncle. He cared not for regaining the lost territories, something that infuriated parts of the nobility and of course the army. In 1767 he wed Sophia Albertina, daughter of the Swedish king Adolf Frederick, who was himself a weak king. In 1783 he concluded the Austro-Prussian Alliance, which included a clause in which Frederick William II withdrew any Prussian claims to Silesia, something which when it became known, further antagonised the military. The army declined too during his reign, although it was in dire need of reform the king did not pay much attention to it. In 1770 Frederick and Sophia gave birth to their first son, Wilhelm. Immediately the military managed to convince Frederick to place Wilhelm under the care of Molldendorf, who took it upon himself to have a great role in the life of Wilhelm. The result being that by 1790 Wilhelm resembled Frederick II much more than his own father, and he was a firm supporter of the military. By the time of the Parisian Rising, Frederick William II had domestically reformed Prussia but had lost the support of the military, who now looked to Wilhelm to restore their honour and importance, and with the turmoil to come many leading men in the army were to question the sense in Frederick leading the nation in such times.
Frederick Augustus of Saxony:
Saxony at the end of the Four Year’s War was in a much stronger position then when it entered it. Gains in its immediate neighbourhood as well as receiving Prussia’s territories in the west and the Rhineland turned Saxony into Prussia’s relative equal. The disaster of the Third War of Polish Succession changed all this however. King Frederick Christian’s ambition to enhance the power of Saxony backfired when they were defeated. Although they lost no territory, the financial indemnities owed, along with Prussia’s gains, meant that Saxony was once more thrust beneath its northern rival. Following the death of Frederick Christian in 1779 he was succeeded by his son who became Frederick Augustus I. Frederick Augustus had married Elisabeth, the daughter of Maximillian III Joseph of Bavaria in 1770. This marriage alliance between Bavaria and Saxony was made into a full political alliance in 1784 following the Austro-Prussian alliance. This alliance was compounded when Maximilian III’s son, Charles, married Frederick Augustus’ sister Maria Amalia. The alliance between Saxony and Bavaria was seen as a necessity following the joining of Austria and Prussia. The Bavarian-Saxon alliance began trying to unify the smaller states of the Holy Roman Empire and alert them to the danger of the Austro-Prussian alliance. By the year 1790 Germany was divided into two armed camps and storm clouds were gathering across the Empire and Europe.
 A little cameo to Vitruvius who came up with the "Triumvirate"
 Maximilian III Joseph died childless in 1777 in OTL, he does not do so here
The World 1790: On the eve of the Age of Revolutions:
The Age of Revolutions
Part I: Vive le Revolution!
The approximate three decades following the Parisian Rising are oft referred to as the “Age of Revolutions”. During this time Europe and the Americas would be shaken by a series of revolutions, wars, counter-revolutions, civil wars and rebellions the likes of which have never been seen before or after. The spark of this tumultuous period was the so-called Parisian Rising. This event would ignite a far greater rising across the Atlantic before seeing the fire sweep its way across central and eastern Europe.
France at the dawn of the Age of Revolutions was at a crossroads in its history. It was a strong, proud and wealthy state. Victory in the Four Year’s War and in the Franco-Mysore War had left France with a dominant position in Europe as well as a formidable overseas empire. It’s current ruler Louis XVI  was the envy of the other monarchs of the world. Since he took the throne Louis XVI had on numerous occasions attempted to initiate numerous reforms throughout France, which were repeatedly blocked time and again by the actions and protests of the nobility. Louis XVI was unwilling to be drawn into conflict with the nobility and thus backed down, a process which gradually weakened his position in the eyes of the aristocracy. The failure of these reforms was one of the principal cause of the exodus of political thinkers that took place in the 1770s and 1780s, chiefly to Austria and New Orleans.
In practice what this meant was that the people of France were still in the same social and political status that they were before the Four Year’s War. As word of the reforms in Russia and Austria began to make themselves known amongst the general public, the call for such changes to take place in France. The most important desire being the abolition of serfdom, something the aristocracy were unsurprisingly reluctant to adhere to. Critically of course the common people had no notion of the ongoing struggle between nobility and king and to their knowledge it was the monarch who was preventing reform. This general mood was seized upon by those middle class reformers that remained in Paris. They decided to meet and draft a petition to the king calling for numerous reforms, chief among them freedom from serfdom and a calling for an elected legislature.
Word quickly spread throughout Paris about this meeting. Thousands flocked to the house of reformer and astronomer Jean Sylvain Bailly who had agreed to host the meeting. The sheer size of the crowd that was gathering shocked the reformers who had not counted on such a gathering. The crowd clamoured and swelled as each man, woman and even child attempted to get their name, or at least their mark, on the petition. The authorities unsurprisingly quickly became aware and responded. A large force of soldiers, drawn primarily from the Bastille prison moved to disperse the crowd. As always happens in such situations things got out of hand. A few members of the crowd began throwing rocks and swearing at the soldiers. One officer ordered his men to fire into the air in an effort to quieten and disperse the crowd, a fateful decision. Believing they were being fired upon the crowd started to panic. Many began to flee while still more charged the soldiers. A pitch-battle ensued as the crowd forced the soldiers back and back until the garrison was forced to take shelter in the Bastille. Before the siege began the garrison managed to get a messenger out, who rode straight for Versailles to warn the king of the situation. The crowd meanwhile, effectively a leaderless mob, besieged the prison fortress.
The Siege of the Bastille:
The king wasted no time upon hearing of the uprising. He began mustering his own forces to crush the rebellion. The king’s forces reached Paris several days after the messenger arrived. By the time they arrived it was clear that Paris was in anarchy. The Bastille prison still stood, although the garrison was on its last legs, while elsewhere in the city the reformist leaders were trying to regain control over the mob while opponents of the rising battled in other parts of the city in the king’s name. What followed was a week of street fighting as the garrison, joined by the arrived soldiers and sympathisers gradually dismantled and defeated the rising. Many of the reformist leaders fled the city, though some including Bailly were captured and executed. The turmoil spawned by the rising was not however as the word of the revolt had spread like wildfire and across France small risings were taking place everywhere with peasants attacking any sign of authority they could see. The most tumultuous results however would appear when word of the Parisian Rising made it across the Atlantic, to New Orleans.
By 1790 New Orleans had emerged a haven for reformists and agitators. Unlike their fellow reformers in Paris those in Louisiana had the benefit of being far-removed for the centre of royal authority and thus were able to act with less fear of repercussion. In late 1789 a meeting of reforms, businessmen, merchants, philosophers and academics had drafted a letter to the king calling for numerous reforms as well as a desire for Louisiana to receive local autonomy in line with that given to the British dominions to their east. Above all however, the letter made clear that those who wrote it considered themselves loyal Frenchmen ad servants of King Louis XVI. This letter however never reached the king. The fate of the document has never been accurately determined, though the most accepted argument is that the ship carrying it was sunk, either by natural or other means. The lack of response however was seen as a direct snub by the reformers in New Orleans, and resentment continued to fester in the colony. When word of the Parisian Rising reached the city it was as a spark that lit up the city. Spontaneous rallies erupted across the colony in support of the rebels. In Bâton-Rouge a large mob seized control over much of the town.
In New Orleans a group of influential people attempted to emulate the actions of their Parisian counter-parts. They organised a meeting and attempted to write a letter to the governor, Louis Blaise d’Abbadie, calling on him to speak to the king on their behalf. He refused and called out the militia. This proved to be a mistake as the city turned against him almost to a man. The militia, those that answered the governor’s call, fled the city. The governor then tried to establish a presence in Bâton-Rouge but they were again forced out. A running battle ensued as rebel forces, angered by decades of neglect by the king, drove the loyalist forces northward. In the meantime in New Orleans the rebel’s leaders formed a council in the old city hall and attempted to gain some level of control over the situation. Word began to arrive of the set backs in France so the council decided they needed to act soon before the king was able to move against them in force, as they assumed he would. The council soon became dominated by three leading individuals. The first was the ageing but fiercely respected philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau, émigré scientist and radical Jean-Paul Marat and a local well-regarded and charismatic businessman known as Philippe Bardet. Debate over the direction of the rebel movement lasted days but in the end the more radical faction le by Bardet and Marat triumphed and on the 14th of July 1791 they declared the independent Republic of Louisiana (République de Louisiane).
The Declaration of Independence (Déclaration d'Indépendance), when it was published was greeted by huge celebrations across the southern portion of the colony, that part that was in rebel hands. The council, now re-branded the National Assembly began trying to form a country and more critically an effective resistance. When word of the declaration reached St. Louis, currently occupied by the loyalist forces, a huge tide of citizens rallied around the idea of their new nation and attempted to drive the soldiers out of the town. The loyalist soldiers were eventually driven out, but not before they had killed nearly a hundred St. Louis citizens. When word of this reached New Orleans it was seized upon by the Assembly, soon pamphlets lamenting the “St. Louis Massacre” appeared all over southern Louisiana. The result was a frenzy. Royalist citizens were attacked and driven out of their homes, armed groups began forming in cities, many men travelled to New Orleans to enlist in the rebel army.
By 1792 all of southern and western Louisiana was in rebel hands. The governor had retreated with what forces remained under his command to Detroit, where he was marshalling some form of resistance, while a letter had been sent to the king pleading loyalty and requesting aid. Further north in Quebec however the situation was quite different. A small uprising has occurred in Montreal but it has failed to significantly materialise and was crushed. The people of French Canada it seemed were with the king, and troops were soon begin sent south to Detroit to prepare to retake the colonies. In France meanwhile the rebellion was dying, and it was dying fast. The rebel forces has slowly been driven back into the southwest. A lack of resources, belief and a sharp division between the radicals led by one Maximilien Robespierre and the more conservative forces led by by Jean Joseph Mounier plagued the rebellion. Robespierre and his supporters eventually won out. They tried to initiate a draft of the people under their control to counter the royalist army now bearing down upon them, this served only to further alienate those that supported them. In late 1792 the King passed a series of acts, known as the Crown Acts. The Parisian Rising and subsequent rebellion had awakened the king to his people’s desires and he had decided to act, many of the nobility seeing the events in France supported him, and those that didn’t remained quiet. The act granted numerous reforms, including the abolition of serfdom, though it did not provide for an elected legislature. The passing of the Crown Acts brought the King wide respect and applaud from the French people, in addition Louis XVI wisely decreed that all those in rebellion who stood down now would be a granted amnesty, except the movement’s leaders. The rebellion collapsed; the vast majority of people defected or simply gave up. A few radicals, including Robespierre, continued to fight on in the west. By 1793 however the rebellion was dead, Robespierre and the other leaders were executed via the torture technique of the breaking wheel, and the king meanwhile was able to turn his attentions to Louisiana.
In Louisiana meanwhile the rebels had solidified their hold on the south and southwest. In March of 1792 they had passed the Declaration of Rights. In it was a list of basic principle human rights that the new republic would be based upon. In the Declaration was an abolishment of “slavery of all kinds” including serfdom. It also drew strongly from the works of Rousseau including his quote that “Free people, remember this maxim: we may acquire liberty, but it is never recovered if it is once lost.” The preparing of the Louisianan Army received a massive boost when in May the HMS Triumph arrived in New Orleans carrying arms, supplies, cannon and British officers to help train the rebel forces. In August the Royalists moved south from their base at Detroit; they crossed the Mississippi north of St. Louis and met a hastily assembled rebel force at the Battle of Fort Orleans, a crushing Royalist victory. The Royalists then turned south towards St. Louis. The Royalist advance was slowed however by winter. In December with the Royalists nearing St. Louis a band of Louisianan hunters and rangers raided the Royalist camp, stealing weapons and setting alight ammunition stores. This victory, though small, did much to raise morale. In January however the siege of St. Louis had begun. Meanwhile a second Royalist army had advanced down the east bank towards the city of Crevecoeur, which fell in late December. They then turned southeast towards Ouiatenon. The National Assembly however had dispatched an army north under the command of General Charles Baptiste, a former French officer who had defected.
The new Louisianan Army fell upon the unsuspecting royalists outside the city and defeated them in a shock yet hard fought victory. The Louisianans then turned southwest to relieve St. Louis. The victory did much to raise spirits of the rebels and helped draw more men to the rebel banner, and a new force began to be assembled in the south. By now however the French had crushed the rebellion at home and dispatched a fleet carrying a force of 15,000 men to crush the Louisianans. The Battle of Ouiatenon however had convinced the powers that be in Westminster to support the rebellion, as an attempt to break French power in North America. In April Great Britain recognised the fledgling republic and declared war on France. The Dominion of New England enthusiastically followed suit a week later. The Dominion of Carolina too joined the war, though a bit more reserved as many of the leading members of the Charleston Parliament were uneasy about supporting a nation that opposed slavery. Nonetheless when Spain declared war on Britain and its allies, following a mixture of threats and promises by France, in May the Carolinans desire to seize Spanish Florida outweighed other reservations. The Louisianan Revolution had become a major European War, but much more fighting was yet to come.
A Map of French North America:
 Not OTL Louis XVI, but his father Louis
 His death by a haemorrhage did not occur in TTL
 Not an OTL person
 An OTL Quote
The Age of Revolutions
Part II: The Fires Spread
The fires of revolution that were kindled in Paris were to blow eastward as well as west. As Paris descended into violence and Louisiana began to sir the word of the rising in France would drift eastward across the European continent causing an orgy of rebellion, war, counter-revolution and civil war that would shock the globe. The first land that would feel the flames would be Germany. In early 1791 as word of the turmoil in France spread similar risings were to break out in much of the Holy Roman Empire. With the previous reforms in Russia and Austria in the east by now known, specifically in relation to serfdom, the populace in this region were already demanding similar reforms in their states, to little effect. When word of what the people of Paris had done hit Germany it pushed the situation over the edge as the German peoples decided to take action themselves to bring about their liberation. Risings in Stuttgart, Dortmund and Cologne achieved unexpected success, capturing the authorities there completely off-guard, and in each case were able to seize control of much of the city and the surrounding area. These early successes promoted more risings in the rest of Germany. An attempted rising in Frankfurt however was crushed, while those in Erfurt and Wurzburg were more successful.
Whatever the original goals of the risings had been in some cases it simply became an excuse for looting, murder and attacks on the aristocracy and the state. The riots in Dresden and Munich for example were simply cases of widespread lawlessness, which were eventually put down, hard, by the Saxon and Bavarian authorities. Nonetheless the leaders of numerous electorates, bishoprics and other entities were forced to bow to the pressures of the people, some indeed embraced the reforms willingly. Either way, between 1791 and 1793 a wave of reform swept across the southern and western parts of the Empire as serfdom was abolished and other reforms enacted in regions such as Wurttemberg, Wurzburg, Munster, Cologne and Hessen,. There were even glimmers of the emergence of a pan-German movement in the affected areas. An alliance of German states however was determined to prevent this wave of reform and decided to stop it. Led by Frederick Augusts of Saxony and Maximilian III of Bavaria the counter-reform forces moved westward in late 1793 intent on crushing the risings and roll back the reforms. In early September Bavarian forces captured Stuttgart and crushed the risings to the relief of the new Duke of Wurttemberg, Louis Eugene, who proceeded to undo all the reforms his predecessor, brother Charles, had been forced to enact. In the northwest however the reformist states, centered around the Rhineland, were determined to resist the armies of the counter-reform alliance and appealed for help from the model of German reform and liberalism, Austria.
Reformist Emperor Joseph II, ruler of the Austrian Habsburg empire was more than happy to intervene on behalf of the reformists. Some of his court were not entirely overjoyed at the prospect, being not too sold on the reforms of Joseph themselves, yet the chance to crush the Bavarian-Saxon alliance, looking increasingly worrying due to the declining health of Maximillian and the prospect of a dynastic union, sold them. On November 11th Austria declared war on the Bavarian-Saxon alliance and the war became a pan-German conflict. Almost immediately the war seemed to turn against the Counter-Reform Alliance as Habsburg troops from the Low Countries moved east into the Rhineland to support the reformists while an Austrian army under the command of Dagobert Sigmund von Wurmser gathered in Bohemia before marching south in December to invade Bavaria.
On January 13th an Austrian-led army under Archduke Francis, son of Joseph II, defeated an Alliance army near Marburg, a great victory for the reformists. The Bavarians however managed to blunt the Austrian advance into their country in a battle near Regensburg in early February, critically though in this battle Charles, son of Maximilian, was killed when he was shot riding too close to the battle despite calls for him to remain in the rear. The tide however seemed to be with the reformists. Two events however were to dampen their prospects. First Maximilian III of Bavaria died in March, just weeks after his son's death, of what is now believed to be pneumonia. He was succeeded as Elector of Bavaria by his son in law Frederick-Augustus of Saxony, the dynastic union of these two states had come to pass. Frederick-Augusts reaffirmed his commitment to the struggle and now the war effort of these two-states were coordinated. The second was the actions of France. The outbreak of the war in Germany had alarmed France, even more so with the Austrian intervention. King Louis XVI and his advisers were determined to prevent Austrian hegemony in central Europe. The French state though could not effectively wage war against Austria on the continent while battling in Louisiana. So the French decided to abandon the struggle against the rebels there. There had been many in the French government who had been arguing against a prolonged campaign against the rebels in what was seen as a large wilderness; no, instead efforts should be taken to defend the important parts of the French colonial empire, namely Quebec and the Caribbean. The British declaration of war and the German crisis gave wait to this perspective. King Louis agreed and ordered the French army that was gathering in Quebec to stay there and fortify the region while a naval task force was sent to protect the Caribbean territories. Meanwhile the bulk of the French war effort now would be closer to home. On March 30th 1794 France, backing Frederick-Augusts' succession, declared war on Austria and the reformist states. The two wars were now linked.
The Austrian government responded by calling on their Prussian allies to enter the war on their side. The Prussian king, Frederick William II, refused not wishing to get involved in another war. The military was furious. Their pleas for the king to change his mind however fell on deaf ears though. The Austrians too were angry, and now had to face a serious challenge effectively alone. The Austrians were forced to increase taxes and conscript more men into the military, actions that caused great resentment in parts of the country, especially in Hungary. Elsewhere however the French were moving. A large army had moved into the Austrian Netherlands, causing Francis to lead his army back westwards to confront it. A second French army was assembling in the south, though for a move into Italy or Germany the Austrians were not sure. With the main Austrian strength departing the Saxons moved to counter-attack in the north. A reformist army was routed near Kassel and the Saxons now occupied most of Hessen. On June 2nd however Frederick William II died in Berlin. A quick autopsy was performed, the cause being given as heart failure, and the body was then ferreted away. Prussian troops meanwhile had moved to take control of large parts of Berlin at the behest of leading Generals that same night. It is now believed that Frederick William was suffocated as part of a military conspiracy. No matter the cause two days later his son Wilhelm was crowned Wilhelm I of Prussia. His first act was to declare war on France and Bavaria-Saxony and the army was moved southwards.
Prussian troops invading Saxony:
To the east however there too were a series of developments. Poland had largely ignored the revolutionary wave unlike Germany, however it would not be spared from bloodshed in this time. The current Polish king, Louis I, was in declining health, a brain tumour it was later discovered. He decreed that he wished to be succeeded by his son, Louis. This however spat in the face of the traditional electorate model used in the country. Opposition to this gathered quickly. Some nobles did not wish to abandon the elective model while on the other side some believed that a simple succession model with Louis' ascension would end the division and weakness of the past. Louis I died on May 18th 1794 and his son succeeded him as Louis II and the new constitution, providing for more reforms for the lower classes, the end of the liberum veto and the direct succession of the monarch amongst others, was enacted into law. Immediately rebellion broke out in the east of the country. Based at Wilno the rebels, led by Count Stanisław Szczęsny Feliks Potocki, set out to overthrow Louis II and abolish the constitution, portraying themselves as the defenders of the traditional Polish-Lithuanian elite. The country was plunged into Civil War.
Count Stanislaw Potocki:
The Prussian entry again shifted the war. A Prussian army under General Blucher invaded Saxony while another force was sent westward to help free Hessen of the Saxon forces there. The French however achieved a great victory at Namur on August 11th 1794 in the Austrian Netherlands forcing Francis and his army to retreat. The victory at Namur prompted Charles Emmanuel IV, King of Sardinia and husband to Marie Clotidle, daughter of the King of France and aunt to the new King of Poland, to enter the war on the French side. The Sardinian forces immediately declared war on the Austrians and their allies the North Italian Confederation. The Confederate forces were woefully unprepared and were driven back. At the Battle of Bergamo (November 9th) King Charles' brother, the Duke of Aosta, the commander of the Sardinian army there, was injured and forced to retire from the battle. In the confusion of his withdrawal the Venetian and Parmese forces threatened to overwhelm the Sardinians, but they were stopped dead by a young Corsican officer, Napoleone di Buonaparte, who using mass artillery halted the allied advance, before taking command of the Sardinian right wing and launching a successful counter-attack that broke the Allied army. When told of this feat the Duke of Aosta had Buonaparte promoted and appointed him to be his second. Meanwhile a second Sardinian army under King Charles himself, supported by the French fleet, managed to overwhelm the Genoans and seize their capital. The French army gathering near the Swiss border now moved eastward into Wurttemberg on their way to assist the Bavarians fighting the Austrian invasion. The Duke of Parma, Ferdinand, surrendered after Bergamo, seeing how he was married to the aging French king's daughter this was hardly surprising.
While the French and their allies seem to have the ascendency in Italy, in northern Germany the story was different. In January of 1795 representatives from Britain, Austria, Prussia, the nations of the North Italian Confederation and a collection of allied German states had signed an alliance in Berlin aimed at preventing the Saxon-Bavarian union and driving back the French. This alliance became known as the Coalition. Soon after Prussian forces, joined with British and Hanoverian soldiers, defeated a force of Saxons near Munster and began a campaign to drive them out of the Rhineland. Meanwhile Archduke Francis had reformed his army, which, fresh with reinforcements from reformist Hessen and Munster, managed to prevent the French forces in Flanders from taking Aachen, the west of the former Austrian Netherlands remained in French hands though. In the east of Germany the fighting raged. The Austrian advance, checked at Regensburg, again moved forward as the Bavarians were this time defeated near Eichstatt in April and forced to abandon the lands north of the Danube and wait for the French forces to arrive to support them. Another Austrian army begun an advance into Venetia to help their allies there against the Sardinians. In June however a rebellion broke out in Hungary where the locals, angered by the treatment from Vienna and inspired from rumors of the German and Parisian risings, rose up and attacked local garrisons and causing all manner of nuisance, the Austrian army was thus redirected from Italy to tackle it.
On the other side of the Atlantic meanwhile the French change of tactics due to the outbreak of hostilities in Europe effectively saved the Louisianan Revolution. In June of 1793 the French task force that was en route to Louisiana was attacked by a combined Royal Navy and Royal New England Navy fleet and forced to redirect to the Caribbean and French Saint-Domingue. The rebels were now granted some leeway as French forces to their north were ordered back to defend Quebec. The Louisianan National Assembly now attempted to consolidate its position. The rest of 1793 was spent gaining control of the rest of the country south of the Great Lakes, as well as continue to equip and train their army with British support. The Carolinans meanwhile had invaded Spanish Florida and were making great gains and by March of 1794 most of the peninsula was in their hands. A Franco-Spanish fleet was defeated by the British and their Dominions near the Bahamas in April effectively ending any hope the Spanish may have had of aiding the fighting in Florida. In May a New England army, under General Anthony Wayne invaded French Quebec while another force moved west into the disputed Ohio region to claim it for New England. While the fighting in Ohio went well for New England, with most French forces pulled out of the area, the advance into Quebec did not. A few miles east of Montreal the French beat back the invaders and it was only the timely arrival of a British force that checked the French counter move into New England. The Parliament at Boston authorized the raising of a new army. Around 20,000 men were gathered and British officers began training and arming them, like they did for the Louisianans. In mid 1794 a Spanish army invade Louisiana from New Spain. They were defeated however, as much due to the Louisianan resistance as the lack of motivation from the Spanish troops. The enthusiastic Louisianans now drove south into New Spain, though they did not get very far. Things in New Spain were to change dramatically though when in August the Viceroy of New Spain, Juan Vicente de Güemes, was deposed and arrested by a band of rebels, inspired by the Louisianan rebellion. It soon became clear that this was no spontaneous rising, as other revolts broke out throughout New Spain, many rebels were armed with what appeared to be British weapons. Hearing the news of the rebellions the new Louisianan army resumed its offensive into New Spain in an effort to link up with and support the rebellion. Many Spanish forces, most native to the colony, mutinied and went over to the rebels and by 1795 all of New Spain was awash in a three-way struggle between rebels, loyalists and Louisianans while the rebel leaders in Mexico City debated on what they should do next.
Also this is a map of the alliances of the Revolutionary Wars at this time:
The Age of Revolutions
Part III: Sparks in the East
Russia. The Land of the Tsars had endured its own revolutionary activity in the 1770s and thus was one of the few countries not to be plagued by upheaval in this period, not to say it was immune from the revolutionary tide however, far from it. By early 1795 Tsar Paul I had been in power for nearly two decades and he had not been idle. Honouring his promises made during the Civil War, Paul had continued the liberalization and modernization of Russia. The Duma had survived and become more assertive and had helped Paul mold the nation into a more recognizable constitutional monarchy, modeled on Britain's but slightly more autocratic and restrictive. The Duma had now become home to two main groups, not quite political parties but moving in that direction. On one hand were the Moderates, who generally backed the Tsar's reforms, and on the other were the Conservatives who were opposed to further liberalization. The Moderates were led by Count Alexsi Panin, son of Nikita who had aided the Tsar in the Civil War. Count Alexsi was young and was a staunch proponent of constitutionalism as well as supporting the lower classes. He was an admirer of Joseph of Austria as well as of Britain in general and advocated entering the war on their side. The Conservatives on the other hand tended to rally around Count Alexei Grigoryevich Orlov whose brother, who had died a few years previous, was a close friend to Catherine II. The two sides continually battled in the Duma, though the Moderates were almost always in the majority. Elsewhere the serfs had been freed from bondage and consequently local representation at provincial levels had become the norm in parts of western Russia while the minimal Russian middle class had begun to grow and many former serfs saw themselves migrating to cities or working for pay on noble estates and even on their own as part of Paul's reforms was to allow peasants to purchase their own land, which was kept cheap; though it was often far from the most desirable land.
Alexei Grigoryevich Orlov:
The early 1790s were quiet in Russia and the only real threat was if the Conservatives tried anything too radical to stop the reforms. In late 1789 for example a few minor nobles were executed for plotting a coup against Paul, although doomed in all likelihood, regardless the threat of such an event occurring caused Paul and Panin to maintain a close eye on disaffected members of the aristocracy. Two events however were to bring the revolutionary age to Russia and shake it out of its calm. Firstly a series of Cossack risings along the Volga broke out in late 1794. The Russian garrisons in the area were overwhelmed as those in power did not take the risings seriously and most Russian troops were in the west gathering for a possible intervention into Poland, currently in civil war. The Cossack risings convinced some to believe they should postpone any Polish campaign until the issue was dealt with, while others thought they could be ignored and Poland should come first. When word came however that Cossacks were intending to march on Azov, a rumour that turned out to be unfounded, Paul ordered troops east and the invasion of Poland postponed. The second and more dramatic event occurred in mid 1795, as Russian troops moved in force against the Cossacks, when the Balkans erupted.
The Ottoman Empire in 1795 was ruled by Sultan Abdülhamid II, who, like his father and namesake, was not a dynamic individual whose reforms were few and far between. Though the Ottoman Navy was strengthened, as it had been by father and grandfather, following the Ottoman naval victory over Russia in the Third War of Polish Succession, the army and government were still obsolete. A series of revolts in Syria and Greece were put down in the late 1780s, but the Sultan's passive nature in dealing with these and other problems antagonized many Ottoman nobles who increasingly looked to the Sultan's charismatic and reform-minded younger brother Mustafa as a possible leader. The biggest test was yet to come for the Empire however. In June of 1795 Hungary rose up in rebellion against Austria. The Ottomans, hoping to capitalise on a weakened Austria, began moving troops to the border. This however backfired dramatically. Inspired by the Hungarian rising next door, and rumours of such events elsewhere, the Balkan Christian subjects of the Ottomans were already stirring. The arrival of Ottoman troops, who were clearly intended to wage war against Austria and, in the views of the peasantry, stamp out any such rising in Ottoman territory, raised the temperature massively. Rioting soon broke out in Belgrade and Sarajevo. Ottoman troops reacted badly, disillusioned and unmotivated, and most dangerously, bored, attempted to forcibly disband the mobs. They lost. Serb rebels chased the Ottomans out of Belgrade and the surrounding area. In the town of Nish, which had also risen up, the Ottoman troops, mainly unchecked Janissaries, massacred the rebels and then proceeded to pillage the town. The Ottoman authorities were appalled and tried to restrain the troops, the Serbs though were incensed, and soon the whole region was in revolt, aided by Hungarian rebels who began supplying the Serbs with whatever weapons they could spare. The rebellions spread to Bosnia, Greece and then to Wallachia and Moldavia. The new Prince of Moldavia was the idealistic Alexandru Callimachi. He has been greatly interested by the news coming from the west and the Serb risings gave him an opportunity he couldn't miss. On November 3rd, he and his few advisers arrested all Ottoman officials in Jassy and declared the total independence of the Kingdom of Moldavia and immediately sent messengers to St. Petersburg asking for Russian aid.
Tsar Paul and the Duma leaped at the chance to expand the empire at the expense of their ancient enemy the Turks. The conflict united the Russian government as Conservatives and Moderates both rallied behind the Tsar and the army in this enterprise. While Russian forces campaigned along the Volga against the rebel cossacks, a new Russian army was gathering in the Ukraine for a move south. Under the command of General Alexander Vasilyevich Suvorov, who had served with distinction in the War of Polish Succession. Suvorov's orders were to advance south into Ottoman Crimea while sending a small detachment to assist the Moldavian uprising. Once Crimea was in Russian hands he was to move west and strike south into the Balkans. Moldavia itself at this point was nearly entirely in the hands of the rebels. The Ottomans were bringing troops from the east and assembling them in Thrace to take on the Moldavians and Russians while the current forces were regrouping to deal with the risings in Greece, Bosnia and Serbia.
In March Prince Nicholas Mavrogenes of Wallachia, inspired by events around him, declared Wallachia to be independent. A series of small clashes broke out and the Ottomans, who were preparing to strike into Moldavia, were forced to withdraw south and east to Silistra. Meanwhile in Serbia events were rapidly getting out of hand for the Ottomans who were battling Serb militias as far south as Sofia. Russian forces meanwhile had won a serious victory in the Crimea and were besieging Sevastopol. In Bosnia however the Ottomans had effectively crushed the uprising and now were moving east to confront the Serbs. The Greek revolt however was more serious and Athens was firmly in rebel hands. At the beginning of May 1796 the Balkans were ablaze as Russian troops entered Moldavia to prepare for a campaign south. Those in power in Vienna looked on in stunned disbelief as there backyard was torn apart in bloodshed and the Austrians were now determined to wrap up their own interior issues and the war to the west in order to take a hand in the Balkans. The Ottomans appeared to be on the retreat on all fronts and Abdülhamid II was increasingly isolated in the halls of power.
The Age of Revolutions
Part IV: World Aflame
1795 was a year of blood. War, revolution, counter-revolution, rebellion, civil war and anarchy dominated the globe. From New Spain to Poland and from Germany to Canada the world was at war. In North America what had started as a small rising in New Orleans had transformed the continent. The Louisianan rebels by now seemed safe. The Republic of Louisiana was by now an established entity and a French reconquest was out of the question. The government in New Orleans was now attempting to create a country in more than just name. Of the old trio of leaders only Philippe Bardet remained. Rousseau and Marat had both died (Rousseau 1792 and Marat 1794) previously and had been buried with great honour and ceremony in New Orleans. Philippe Bardet was now the leading statesman in the National Assembly, though he was far from the only person of note. Local lawyer Jean Laurent (who had strong support from the local elite) as well as French emigres Adrien Duport and Jérôme Pétion de Villeneuve, who had both arrived in Louisiana after fleeing the failed rebellion in France, all were well respected and influential. The Assembly, after much dispute, finally drafted a constitution that was published in November of 1795. The National Assembly was to be an all elected body (first elections scheduled for 1796). All males over the age of twenty-one could cast a vote and any over twenty-nine could run for office. The Republic was divided into départements each would elect a representative. The First Consul would be elected separately and would govern for a five year term and was not re-electable. The First Consul would be the face of the Republic but the majority of administrative power lay with the Assembly. Philippe Bardet was chosen by the Assembly to be the nation's first First Consul. The tune of Chant de guerre pour l'Armée du Rhin  had become very popular during the revolution having come over with rebels fleeing from France. The Assembly voted to make it the new nation's anthem and it was renamed the Call of the Revolution (L'Appel a la Révolution). The Assembly also agreed on the nation's new flag, as during the revolution there had been a series of standards used. The government eventually decided to use a tricolour design, popular during the revolution. It would be comprised of red (for the blood of the revolutionaries), white (for old France and their heritage) and blue to represent the Atlantic Ocean that separated the two.
The flag of the Republic of Louisiana:
The fighting in North America was far from over though. Around the Great Lakes and in the Ohio Valley there was still a raging conflict. French, Lousianan, British, New Englanders and native Americans fought bitterly for control of this region. The British soon became aware that the French had been making overtures to Native tribes in this region and further west and attempting to encourage them to attack the British and their allies. The British pre-empted any such action. They sent out their own feelers and manage to win the loyalty of several major tribes, such as the Shawnee, Santee and Fox by promising them their own lands and an independent Native American state(s) after the war, a promise the British did indeed keep. This swung the battle in this area to the British and the French were gradually pushed out of the Ohio Valley and back to Detroit. In Florida the Carolianans continued their offensive and by the beginning of 1796 all of the Spanish territory was in Carolinan hands, expect for parts of West Florida which were in Louisianan hands. A few small skirmishes actually broke out between Carolina and Louisiana in this region, the start of the long feud between New Orleans and Charleston. In late 1795 the New Englanders launched a renewed drive into French Canada and succeeded in rolling back the French advance into New England the previous year and soon threatened Montreal. The main conflict though was in New Spain. The colony had dissolved into violence following the coup in Mexico City in August 1794. The Spanish were completely unprepared for a major rebellion, having already suffered severe naval defeats to the British and their Dominions. It soon became clear though that the rebels had underestimated the level of loyalist support in the colony and it was only the arrival of Louisianan troops in the north and a British landing at Veracruz in June 1795 that enabled the rebels to gain the upper hand. The loyalist forces withdrew south and centered their resistance around Antequera. From mid 1795 to early 1797 the loyalists would find themselves, devoid of assistance from Spain itself, pushed back until they were into Guatemala where they put up a strong enough resistance to dent allied incursions. In March of 1796 the rebel leaders met to create a constitution of the new country. The issue of the name of the new state dominated the congress. Many favoured the name Mexico, after the capital; this was especially supported by those who wanted a strong federal government. But those who preferred a collection of the various provinces (each determined to retain some autonomy) were the majority and favoured a name that would reflect this political structure. So on October 1st 1796 the new independent United Provinces of America (Las Provincias Unidas de América) in Mexico City. The new government was structured around a series of Provincial Parliaments who were strongly autonomous, all subservient to a National Senate in Mexico City. The nation's leader was to be (drawing from the British model) a Prime Minister representing the dominant party in the Senate, which had already seen two 'parties' form: the Federalists and Provincialists. Although this system provided for a weak central government it enabled the new nation to come together. Spanish rule in Guatemala and further south was, for the moment, stable and secure.
In Europe meanwhile the continent continued to wage war. The Saxon forces in the Rhineland were now in retreat as the combined British-Hannoverian-Prussian forces advanced. The Austrian Low Countries were now in French hands however and the armies of France were pouring into Germany. In the east though the Austrian armies had scored several key victories against the Bavarians and by mid-1795 were threatening Munich. The Austrian war effort however was faltering. The Hungarian rising had caused many Austrian troops to be withdrawn from the front to confront it. Things were compounded when the Balkans erupted in 1795-6. The Serbian and Danubian risings scared Vienna; the Russian intervention terrified them. Joseph II and his court feared a Russian dominated Balkans on the back door far more than a union of Bavaria and Saxony. This shift in focus to the east caused the Austrian commitment to the fight in Germany began to erode. Consequently a Franco-Bavarian force was able to defeat the Austrians near Freising in February 1796. The fighting in Italy also continued to go against the Coalition. The Sardinians, with French support, continued to go from success to success in northern Italy. By the summer of 1796 only Venice in the north remained free. The Prussians and their Rhineland allies were now determined to achieve a great victory so they could gain a favourable peace before Austria was forced out of the war. They got one, sort of, in May 1796 when Leipzig was captured. Fighting in the east however continued to drag on as a French army fought a Prussian-led force near Bonn to a standstill.
Blucher leading Prussian troops in Saxony, 1796:
In April of 1796 the British Parliament passed the Reform Act of 1796, spearheaded by the liberal minded Prime Minister William Pitt. The British government had been coming under great pressure to push through more modern reforms as it had continued to support the radical revolutionaries in the New World and was getting left behind. The Reform Act was Westminster's attempt to catch-up as it were to the new liberal wave. Chief amongst the reforms were Catholic Emancipation, abolition of the slave trade  and greater emancipation for men (though not all), as well as slightly more autonomy to the Irish Parliament. This was opposed strongly by the king and his supporters. However the king was a political exile and recluse, and was still in dishonour following his behavior in the Four Years War. A British politician from Kent gave a speech denouncing the king as “backward”, “ancient” and “mad” and more than hinted at a removal of the monarchy. Although he was condemned by his peers, this speech (known as the Kent Speech) is often regarded as the birth of modern British Republicanism. The king however was furious, he left the country and took up residence in Hanover. The reformers in Parliament pushed through a law making illegal for the monarch to be outside of Britain for more than two months without Parliamentary approval. When George III refused to comply with the law Parliament condemned him and demanded his return. George, never one to take demands well, abdicated the throne; yet he maintained the title of Elector of Hanover and continued to reign there. Prime Minister Pitt was overheard to remark that George III was “sulking like a naughty child”. The king's abdication, something his advisers had cautioned him against, took Parliament by surprise and the issue of succession became paramount. Some argued that a monarch was not needed and pushed for a republic, like Louisiana or the UPA. But they were a minority and George IV was crowned in November as King of Great Britain and Ireland, while his father still ruled in Hanover. Many in Parliament were overjoyed at this turn of events not only had they got rid of the mad George III and replaced him with his (much more liberal and co-operative) son George IV, but they had finally freed themselves of Hanover, long seen as a unwanted territory by Westminster.
William Pitt the Younger:
In the east meanwhile war also raged. The Polish Civil War had been frozen in fear of a Russian invasion, but as those Russian troops turned south the internal conflict reignited. King Louis II was eager to assert his rule and stamp out the rebellion so he could support his ally, France, and his grandfather King Louis XVI, in the war to the west. The rebels, as is so often the case, were unable to act coherently, divided on what course to take. A battle near Minsk in mid-1795 was a victory for the loyalists. The rebels retreated and managed to win a follow-up clash near Troki in December. The war would rage on for another year as the rebels were able to just prevent their total defeat by fighting a series of inconclusive draws. In early 1797 the Loyalist forces trounced the rebels near the Russian border and captured several rebel leaders, including Count Stanislaw. Without its leaders the rebellion soon collapsed, with only a few small rebel holds outs and skirmishes continuing on into mid 1798. With the internal difficulties mopped up however King Louis moved his focus to the west and prepared to intervene in the German crisis, which looked to be winding down. In the Balkans meanwhile the fighting continued, and not well for the Turks. The Russian army achieved a colossal victory in Wallachia in August 1796 and the city of Sevastopol in the Crimean fell soon after. These twin defeats rocked the Ottoman establishment. The Ottoman Sultan, Abdülhamid II, recalled the army in Bosnia to defend Thrace from the Russians, effectively conceding victory to the Serb rebels, who went on to seize much of the region. The Russian advance was halted at Varna however in early 1797 and the Greek uprising was running out of steam. Abdülhamid II however soon died under mysterious circumstances (a small coup by a few generals) and was succeeded by his brother Mustafa. Mustafa began pulling Ottoman troops from Egypt and the east to shore up the Balkans forces and prepare for a counterattack. He also sent messages to Tatar groups in the Caucasus and inspired them to revolt against the Tsar causing Russia to send troops there. Prince Alexandru Callimachi of Moldavia meanwhile had for all intents and purposes won his country's independence. He now set out to establish a national identity (the first true case of nationalism in Europe). Attempting to depict Moldavia as the heir to a Greco-Slavic culture and the true people of the Balkans he rallied his people around the idea of the “Heirs of Byzantium” (not too appreciated by the Russians). In Wallachia however things weren't as rosy for Prince Nicholas Mavrogenes. His coup had been far less successful and opposition to him was widespread. When he tried to proclaim himself King he was opposed by many nobles who did not support the power grab. Violence broke out and soon Wallachia had descended into anarchy as the leading elites turned on each other. The turmoil only ended in March 1798 when Moldavian and Russian forces took Bucharest and found that Mavrogenes had been murdered and dumped in an alley. Wallachia now fell under Moldavian influence, and the fates of the two countries became intertwined. The war here though was entering its final stage as the Ottomans now attempted to save what could be saved and Tsar Paul began drawing up his new plan for the Balkans.
In the German and Italian wars things seemed to be unraveling for the Coalition. George III, now solely Elector of Hanover, had withdrawn from the war after abdicating the British throne depriving the Coalition of an important ally and forever earning him the enmity of the reformist states and Prussia. The French had counter-attacked and were now across the Rhine in the north while slowly liberating Bavaria from the Austrians. The Prussian drive into Saxony was more successful however and was soon threatening Dresden. A huge defeat near Marburg in early 1797 by a combined Franco-Saxon force was a major setback for the Prussians. At Marburg the neglect of the Prussian army under Frederick William II was made obvious as the Prussian infantry lacked the precision and ferocity of the past and were outmatched by the more experienced French troops. The Austrians meanwhile were in a bad state. They were being driven back in Italy and South Germany, the Balkans were being gobbled up by the bear and the Poles were moving into the border having ended their Civil War. The aging Joseph II was now beginning to consider making peace with France and Bavaria to avoid total collapse. The Bavarians achieved a shock victory near Innsbruck in November and Frederick-Augusts took this moment to announce his new title of Frederick-Augusts I King of Saxony and Bavaria, and renouncing any obedience to the Holy Roman Empire or its emperor Joseph. France immediately backed this move and encouraged other allied German states to follow suit. Ironically this gave Joseph an opportunity to solve the Hungarian crisis. In late 1797 he, and his supporters, pushed through a new constitution which gave the Hungarians increased authority and a parliament at Budapest, subservient to Vienna. Abandoning the Imperial title, now bereft of any true meaning, he decided to unify the two halves of his realm completely and on November 10th 1797 declared the United Empire of Austria and Hungary (or the Austro-Hungarian Empire) claiming a new title of Emperor and renouncing the position of Holy Roman Emperor, a move that placated the Hungarians and seemed to win over the support of much of the nobility in both halves of the new Empire. Freed from the internal difficulty more troops could be sent to stem the enemy advance in the west. After over eight hundred years of existence the ancient Holy Roman Empire had ceased to exist.
An artist's depiction of the Battle of Innsbruck:
Despite this the tide looked to be turning strongly against the Coalition. Austria-Hungary had been forced on the defensive and the Prussians and their allies were on the retreat in the Rhineland. In Italy the Sardinian forces under the Duke of Aosta had defeated a Venetian army, again thanks to the brilliance of di Buonaparte, before being forced to abandon the siege of Venice itself in early 1798 by the timely arrival of the British fleet. Efforts by the coalition to entice the Dutch into joining the war had fallen on deaf ears. By mid 1798 the Coalition were on the retreat across Europe and would likely have been forced into a humiliating peace if it hadn't been for the Spanish explosion in May..
 OTL La Marseillaise
 The abolition of the slave trade would soon be followed by the ending of Slavery in the British Empire completely. This as can be imagined will cause great antagonisms with the Dominion of Carolina which will erupt in the near future.
 It cannot be stated how different British internal politics in this timeline are different from OTL because in this war Britain is supporting the radicals, not fighting them. In our timeline republicanism and liberalism in Britain during the 1790s and early 1800s was seen as pro-French and treasonous thus preventing any successes for these movements. In this timeline however reform and political progress are being embraced and thus we are seeing a Britain whose politics are about 50 years ahead of its time.
The Age of Revolutions
Part V: Spreading Embers; Dying Ashes
Within the British Reform Act of 1796 was a law abolishing the slave trade within the British Empire and its Dominions. Though well received in Britain and New England it struck a chord with the elites in Carolina and the Caribbean colonies, who saw their fortunes and the economies of their states under threat from this new law. In the Caribbean there was a great deal of mumbling and finger pointing but eventually they just got on with it, and instead focused on using the slaves they already had to expand their workforce. Things were different in Carolina however. The Carolinans had been growing increasingly restless for some time now. The government in Charleston had been reluctant to enter the war in the first place, wary of the revolutionary message in New Orleans, and only the prize of Florida had enticed them into the conflict. Now that Florida however had been occupied, what more reason was there to fight? Charleston had even begun sending out peace feelers to the Spanish. The men in Charleston were determined not to let Westminster determine their future. The abolition of the slave trade did not go down too well in Carolina therefore. The economy of the Dominion was based on cash crops harvested by slave labour. In the Parliament in Charleston the ruling elite condemned the move, and following a bitter debate, decided to ignore the measure and continue importing slaves. The government of the Dominion increasingly under the sway of men, such as Virginian MP James Madison, who advocated a more determined course of action and breaking Westminster's hold over the Dominion.
Things came to a head in late 1797 when a Carolinan vessel carrying slaves from West Africa was intercepted by a British warship en route to the Caribbean. The British suspicious of the intentions of the other ship, boarded it. When the British captain discovered what was in the hull he immediately seized control of the ship and escorted it back to British Jamaica where the Carolinan captain and crew were imprisoned. The “Endeavour Incident” (named after the Carolinan ship) as it became known caused a fury in the Carolinan cities. The government decried the action as impugning on Carolinan commerce and sovereignty and demanded an apology from Westminster. The British refused to give one, saying that the Endeavour had been carrying out an illegal act and the Royal Navy was well within its rights to seize the vessel, after all Dominions had no sovereignty. Very well then, said Charleston, we will seek to change that. A faction in the Charleston Parliament began advocating total independence from Britain. The call was led by Madison, who it turned out had had many links with the American rebels of the 1770s. There was deadlock in Charleston over what course to take, however a rumour (that turned out to have been unfounded) that Britain was preparing to return Florida to Spain in exchange for territory in Europe, swung the vote. On January 12th 1798 the Dominion of Carolina declared full independence and renamed itself the Confederacy of American States with Madison as acting President. They began preparing for war.
Acting CAS President James Madison:
The break-away of the Confederacy of American States (CAS) had severe impacts on the rest of the fighting in the Americas. The conflict with the CAS drew British focus away from Latin America to deal with the issue. Louisianan forces too began withdrawing from the south to focus on the new threat along their western border. The withdrawal of allied forces had a profound impact on the United Provinces of America and its battle with the Spanish too the south. The UPA was a vast nation with a wide-ranging rural population. The process of uniting the nation properly was a tiresome one. Américan forces were tide up working with the local Provincial governments to fully gain control of all former Spanish territory north of the Yucatan, a process which was only fully complete by 1800. With large portions of the Américan military tied in up in this process very little manpower was left for the campaign in the south against the Spanish Loyalists. Consequently the government in Mexico City reached out to the Mayan populace of central America. Offering them a place in the UPA with considerable autonomy and a recognition of the rights and difference of Mayan cultural society the Américan government was able to win over their support and prompt them to rise up against the Spanish. This rising threw the Spanish into retreat and the Américan forces drove south towards the Panamanian Isthmus on the orders of Américan Prime Minister Ignacio Allende, a former Spanish soldier who had joined the revolutionaries during the rising and led the Federalist party in the government. The Battle of San Juan River in late March was a major defeat for the Spanish. The defeat forced many Spanish troops to flee to either Cuba or further south to New Granada, where they were harried by rebels who had recently risen up following news of the successful rebellions of the UPA and Louisiana. Spanish forces in South America were eventually able to regroup around Quito and prepare for a possible campaign to the north or at the very least to prevent the loss of any more colonies.
Portugal and Brazil were not exempt from the revolutionary wave sweeping the globe. Portugal itself had been shaken by the Parisian Rising. And as the tide of change had swept through Germany, Austria and North America political agitators in Lisbon began to grow in strength and in conviction. In 1797 these liberals had been able to oversee the creation of a Parliament in Lisbon, and a limiting of the monarch's power, a move towards, but still far from, the British model. The Parliament continued to gain influence at the expense of Queen Maria I, whose mental health had been suffering greatly. In early 1798 a rebellion broke out in Salvador, Brazil. The rebels were unable to take the city entirely but instead fell into a low level insurgency. Many other colonials however sympathized with them and as the wave of independence swept across the Americas many thought that Brazil should join them. Determined to maintain control over their colony the Portuguese government acted quickly. The royal heir, the young Prince John took a small force to quell the rebels. While in Brazil he became aware of the public sentiment for change. John was determined to keep the colony under Portuguese influence at any costs. He looked at the British Dominion system to the north but decided it would not work in this case, not least because of the recent actions by the Confederacy. Instead he, as Prince Regent, decided to elevate Brazil in importance, to be an equal to Portugal itself. He took the title Prince of Brazil and oversaw the development of a Brazilian Parliament in Rio de Janeiro in August 1798, one that would oversee the colony while still being subservient to Lisbon. He would remain in Rio as Prince of Brazil was to be the official title, and role, of the heir apparent, while his mother was given the new title Queen of Portugal, Brazil and the Algraves.
Maria I of Portugal, Brazil and the Algraves:
The events in Portugal, France and the Americas were too have a huge impact on Spain, and of all countries it may have arguably suffered the most from the era, at least in the short term. When the Parisian Rising broke out back in 1790, Spain had been stirred. When France broke out in civil war and Europe erupted, Spain was shaken. When its colonies revolted, its forces defeated and its Portuguese neighbor reformed, Spain was pushed to the brink. All it needed was a spark, and that came in May 1798. The Count of Floridablanca was the Spanish King Charles IV's prime minister, and was a reform minded man. He had tried to push through reforms in the nation and the government but had been blocked by conservatives and the king. In late 1797 he was dismissed from service after he made a remark that seemed, to the king at least, to praise the Louisianan and Américan risings as positives and implying that Spain should follow suit. Doubtless the Count only meant as far as increased reform, a la Portugal, but the king took it as a call for a republic. He was replaced by Manuel de Godoy, allegedly the Queen's lover, whose more reactionary views were favored by the king. When word of the defeat at San Juan River and the Portuguese reforms became public knowledge a large protest broke out in Madrid on May 5th 1798 demanding similar reforms in Spain. The king refused and ordered the crowd dispersed. The garrison was unmotivated and inexperienced, the best troops being in America or fighting the British elsewhere, and in the confusion some fired on the crowd. The result was chaos, as some protesters charged the garrison while some soldiers defected to the other side. The rebels, flush with the notions of liberty being heard across the western hemisphere, soon seized control over much of the city. The king and his minsters were forced to flee to Valencia. The rebels were soon joined by the liberal elite and were soon dominated by Floridablanca and a local priest Father Santiago. The nation soon descended into civil war. The king could have restored order, albeit after much struggle, had he not made the mistake of requesting French support. The moment the first French troops entered Spain in September of 1798 King Charles IV lost support and came to be seen as a French puppet. Britain and Portugal backed the rebels and soon a British force was dispatched to Portugal to prepare for an intervention, though they were keen to play a low key role to avoid the mistake Charles had made. Spain would soon bleed.
King Charles IV of Spain:
The outbreak of the Spanish Civil War would have a significant impact on the fighting in central Europe. The shift in French focus here deprived them the ability to finish off the Coalition which had appeared to be faltering. As Britain and France both became absorbed in the peninsula the fighting in Germany and Italy began to slow. This was a huge relief to both Austria and Prussia which were both eager for peace. The Prussians had been driven back and they and their north German allies were fighting a desperate struggle against the armies of the Counter-Reform alliance. Austria-Hungary was still recovering from internal issues while being pushed back in Bavaria and Italy; not to mention the Balkan crisis. Meanwhile Poland, finished with its civil war, was preparing to strike at both Coalition members. Vienna and Berlin both decided to approach King Louis for peace. The French were happy to oblige. They had managed to gain the upper hand in the east and were determined to orchestrate a peace so they could focus on the Spanish problem. Fighting continued into mid 1799 before the two sides managed to come to a negotiated peace in Rome. The Treaty of Rome (August 1799) ended the war in Germany and Italy bringing an end to the revolutionary conflict there. Representatives from Austria-Hungary, Prussia, Sardinia, Bavaria-Saxony, Poland, Britain and France (the two still at war elsewhere) hammered out the treaty. The Coalition was desperate for peace and were eager to maintain what honour they could, accepting the war was lost. Firstly the union of Bavaria and Saxony was recognized by all parties, as was the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire. The former German states were too be reorganized into a smaller amount of larger more manageable states as well as the secularization of the ecclesiastical states. In the northwest the reformist German states were united into the League of the Rhine. This was a Prussian insistence, backed by Britain and the states themselves fearful of being gobbled up by the great powers. The League was an almost miniature HRE. Each state was technically independent but they were all joined by a series of defense alliances. The rulers of these states would nominate one of their own to serve as Grand Marshall of the League to serve as its head for the duration of their lifetime. The first Grand Marshall was to be Maximilian Francis the former Archbishop-Elector and now King of Cologne. A council of the various rulers and their ministers was to be held every year in the League “capital”, Dortmund. The king of Prussia was also given the title of “Protector of the League”. Prussia was also awarded some of Saxony's territories. In Italy Sardinia was ceded Genoa and Parma as the North Italian Confederation was abolished following its failure to stop the Sardinians. Austria-Hungary was ceded Venetia and Salzburg to balance the Saxon-Bavarian union and the Sardinian growth. The former Austrian Netherlands were ceded to France despite British objections. But with no British troops left in Germany and their war with France still on going Great Britain was effectively only an observer at the conference. Westminster would try and seek to balance France's gains by seizing French territory overseas. Austria now turned its attentions to the Balkans while France and Britain continued to battle for global supremacy.
(Courtesy of the very talented Kuld von Reyn)
The Age of Revolutions
Part VI: Settling Accounts
India. The subcontinent was not immune to the strife of the Age of Revolutions. Long divided between Britain (concentrated in Bengal and Bombay) and France (in the southeast), India would once more be a battleground between the two superpowers. The Maratha Confederacy was the largest indigenous states in the subcontinent at the turn of the century. It was however a weak nation. The French had been trying to undermine the state through their allies in Hyderabad. The British had, to counter, been trying to prop up the nation, with mixed success. In 1798 however the French managed to convince the Pawars of Udgir to break free from the Confederacy. The Marathas dispatched forces to crush the rebellion, but they were surprised when they encountered not only rebels, but soldiers from Hyderabad and even French troops. The Marathas were of course routed. When news of the defeat became known a palace coup was launched against Narayanrao Peshwa by generals intent on freeing the Confederacy from the Europeans and bringing an end to the decline. Well it backfired tremendously, and the Confederacy soon collapsed as various states soon broke away. The British in India were shocked at the collapse of their ally. Some argued in favour of doing whatever possible to save the Confederacy. The British Governor General of Bengal (the British top dog in India) Charles Cornwallis, opted for a different strategy. In his mind the Marathas were doomed. Instead Britain should support the best placed rebels and set them up as client states. Consequently Britain started aiding some of the fledgling states while France busied itself in the south. By 1800 the former Maratha Confederacy was now divided into five key players. French backed Udgir had gained a large area of control in the south, Baroda and Nagpur had both managed to carve out large areas of control and were backed by the British, in the north the Mughals had been overthrown by an ambitious general and a new state was rising around Delhi and in the east Orissa had increased its power.
Governor General of Bengal Charles Cornwallis:
Britain and France were at war in Europe and the Americas so India did not receive much in the way of support from either nation, so the war was to be fought mainly with proxies. Mysore took this opportunity to strike at France and invaded Hyderabad in May 1800 triggering the Second Franco-Mysore War. Meanwhile from 1800 to 1802 Cornwalls directed British support for Baroda and Nagpur which soon had large areas of land under their control. The new Kingdom of Delhi had unified the north of the country and was now battling against Sikhs and Afghans, and was for all intents and purposes no longer involved in the politics of the south. Orissa had signed an alliance with the British in 1801 and had supported their war against France. The French were losing out. No support was coming from Europe with France having far too many concerns, and with the British and their Portuguese allies controlling the seas. With the wars wrapping up in Europe and the Americas the British and French eventually made peace in India in 1805. Mysore was to gain lands in the south. The former Maratha Confederacy was divided up between the Kingdoms of Orissa, Baroda and Nagpur; the latter having freed itself of British influence. The rule of Delhi was recognised in the north west. In five years the entire geopolitical balance in India had shifted. Two new Indian states ruled in the north (Delhi and Nagpur) free of European influence and modernising their armed forces under powerful and ambitious kings. Mysore, Orissa and Baroda each had carved out spheres of influence and were favourable to Britain, but still determined to remain independent. While in the south east France's bid for more land was checked but their influence over Hyderabad was cemented while they began trying to drive the Indian states away from Britain.
Spain was at war with itself. The loyalists to King Charles IV were regrouping in the east of the country in Valencia and Barcelona. French troops, veterans from the German War, crossed the Pyrenees in support of the king. The rebels meanwhile had seized the capital Madrid and gained control of much of the West. An Anglo-Portugese army under the command of General John Moore. Moore's men began training the Spanish rebels as weapons were shipped in from Britain. 1799 was a quiet year in Spain however. Both sides were rallying forces and negotiations took place between loyalists and rebels throughout the year in Seville. These were mostly a sham though as the king refused to bend to any of the rebel wishes. The only major action of 1799 was a naval engagement where a British fleet that had been assisting the rebels was attacked by a Franco-Loyalist Spanish fleet near Cadiz off Cape Trafalgar. British Admiral Collingwood's force managed to inflict a decisive defeat on the Franco-Spanish fleet ensuring British naval superiority around the Iberian peninsula. In 1800 the action flared up again however with a loyalist assault on the city of Burgos. The rebels manage to hold the city against their Spanish kin but were unable to hold back a French force when it arrived and the city fell. A British attack on Murcia later that year was a success. The rest of the year saw fighting go back and forth throughout the east of the country. During this time the rebels had struggled to find a common cause. Republicans, conservatives and radicals all debated and argued over what their rebellion should be about. If it wasn't for the support of their allies and the insistence of Westminster on a solution it is likely the rebel cause would have splintered and collapsed. In June 1801 however word came to Madrid of a massacre by French troops in a town near Bilbao; the massacre was rumoured (falsely) to have been on the orders of King Charles. The result was a backlash against the monarchist faction and a radical-republican alliance won out. On July 4th 1801 the rebels in Madrid proclaimed the Spanish Republic. Floridablanca was the first choice to lead the republic but was in declining health and refused the position. Instead the post was offered to one of the rebels' leading generals and statesmen Miguel Ricardo de Álava, who was soon sworn is as President. The declaration of the Republic worried London and Lisbon, who were suddenly less sure of backing a radical republic. Nonetheless they stayed, fearing a French puppet Spain more than a republican government. The Republic went on a renewed offensive in 1802 and that year they made great ground pushing the loyalists and French back. For a moment it seemed as if total victory for the republic was in their grasp, indeed so high was the fear of the loyalists that a group smuggled out Prince Ferdinand for fear of capture by the rebels when they approached Valencia. Managing to slip by the British blockade Prince Ferdinand and his retinue fled to South America. By the beginning of 1803 however the rebels had lost steam. The British were becoming increasingly weary of war and the Portuguese were growing increasingly alarmed over the radical government in Madrid. Fortunately for the rebels the French too were tired of war, having by now been fighting non-stop since 1790, and on three continents. The war once more turned into a stalemate as both sides were too exhausted to continue. When Britain and France made peace in 1805 the Spanish situation was finally resolved in the Treaty of Paris. Despite all efforts at reconciliation in the end the warring powers were left with no choice but to accept the division of Spain. The Republic was recognised in Madrid while a rump Kingdom was organised in the east ruled from Barcelona under Charles IV.
President de Álava of the Spanish Republic
War had still been raging simultaneously in the Americas. The UPA and the United Provinces of New Granada had both, by 1801, established independence. In Peru and further south however the Spanish still held sway. A Granadan attempt to strike south was repulsed and the new nation retreated to concentrate on internal affairs and never threatened to strike south again. The Spanish now could have possibly launched a campaign to retake their lost colony to the north had not word of the civil war back in Spain arrived. The Spanish in Peru were soon in chaos. Many wished to side with the rebels, while others, mainly in the officer class, were loyal to the king. Mutinies broke out in the army. In late 1801 however word came of the declaration of the Republic. The army en masse declared support for the Republic, aided by the arrival of a Republican delegation from Spain, and the monarchists were forced to flee further south. The new republican forces, supported by Britain, had by late 1802, had gained control of all the lands of the former Viceroyalty of Peru. With Britain now focused on events in North America the Republicans here were left on their own. They decided to strike south and drive the monarchists out of the Americas, expecting limited and confused resistance. In this they were deeply mistaken. The monarchists had rallied around the young exile Prince Ferdinand and beat back the invasion. The two sides skirmished throughout the next few years but each was too preoccupied with domestic affairs and lacked the strength to go on the offensive. When the Treaty of Paris was signed Peru was made an autonomous province of the Republic while the south was given back to King Charles IV. This encountered a slight snag however when Prince Ferdinand, who had long since grown distant (in character as well as geography) from his father refused to submit to his father whose failures at home were viewed as weak. Indeed when it became known in Buenos Aires that Charles had given up half of Spain, more than half, the elites were astonished and angered by his apparent weakness. A few ambitious men capitalised on Ferdinand's own dreams and convinced him to declare himself King. Most of the men around him rallied to his cause, and those who didn't either fled or kept their reservations quiet. Ferdinand was soon proclaimed King of Spain and the Rio de la Plata. Neither Ferdinand or his father had the will or capability to strike at one another and so the Kingdom of Rio de la Plata achieved independence without a shot being fired. At the end of 1805 there were three Spains in the world.
In North America too the fighting continued. Louisiana had by now achieved full independence. To its north a collection of native tribes had driven the French out and were soon formed into a British protectorate. French Canada meanwhile was still fighting. New England forces, with British maritime assistance, had been gaining the upper hand. The appearance of the CAS however forced them to redeploy men to their southern border. The Confederates meanwhile were convinced it was only a matter of time until the British invaded and until they made peace with France and turned on them. So, sensing that Britain was currently too distracted to act decisively, the Confederates invaded New England. “Strike hard, strike fast, and strike now, and England will have to accept us”, words written by President Madison on the day the attack was ordered. A Confederate army invaded New England and drove into Pennsylvania. They were repulsed however by the more numerous and experienced New Englanders The fighting freed up the French in the north who began a counter-attack to drive the British and their allies out and back into New England. The Dominion found itself at war on two fronts. In 1803 there was a decisive battle near the town of Gettysburg in southern Pennsylvania, a defeat for the Confederacy. With France unable to mount a significant threat in North America due to commitments abroad the government in Boston was able to devote its full resources to the south. In mid 1804 they managed to capture Maryland but were defeated in a series of battles in northern Virginia. Britain and New England, both tired of war, were eager for peace. They offered Charleston peace with Maryland being ceded to the Dominion. President Madison was unwilling to give up the land but with the forces arrayed against him and with Louisiana encouraging slave risings in the south and west, he felt he had no choice. Peace and the CAS' independence were both part of the Treaty of Paris.
A side effect of the declaration of the Spanish Republic was the Neapolitan rising. The Kingdom of the Two Sicilies had been ruled by Charles IV's brother Ferdinand. When hearing of the republican declaration in Madrid Ferdinand acted to prevent such a fate happening in his own realm. Suspected radicals were arrested and troops were called up. This worked well in Sicily itself but on the mainland the people rose in revolt when a few Sicilian soldiers got a bit carried away. Elites in Naples took power and declared a republic, inspired by the happenings in Spain. Ferdinand fled to Palermo where he asked for support from France and his brother. Both however were far too busy. Soldiers on the mainland mutinied and went over to the Republic. In 1805 the Neapolitan Republic was recognised in Paris when Britain threatened to strike at Palermo if Ferdinand didn't accept the new state. French troops soon arrived in Sicily and in the Papal States soon after the treaty was signed to prevent any threat to these governments from Naples.
The Ottoman Sultan Mustafa meanwhile was not having a happy time. The war in the Balkans was increasingly going against his nation as Serbia, Greece, and the Danubian principalities were in revolt. The Russians were driving south in a campaign to assist the risings. The Russians seemed unstoppable. Two things happened in 1799 that gave the Sultan hope. First the Austrians made peace with France and begin to move troops to their eastern border. Now Vienna was hardly a friend of the Ottomans, but they had a similar fear of a Russian dominated Balkans. Secondly the Ottomans achieved a surprise victory at Sofia routing the Russians who had driven too far too fast. Fighting continued into 1801 and although the rebels had made significant gains it no longer looked like the Ottoman state would collapse. Mustafa however was aware that any chance of a reconquest was fanciful. When in early 1802 the Austrian emperor Joseph II offered to mediate a peace (fearing a Russian triumph) the Sultan accepted. The Treaty of Budapest in November of 1802 saw the recognition of the new independent Kingdoms of Greece and Serbia as well as the new United Kingdom of the Danube ruled by King Alexandru Callimachi. The Ottomans had lost the war, but, free of these troublesome provinces and now with a more ambitious Sultan the Empire set about rebuilding itself. Tsar Paul had won control of the Crimea in the treaty along with a trio of new allies in the south. This new Russia had its first victory, and there were many more to come.
The Treaty of Paris ended the most intense period of the Age of Revolutions. Fighting still continued to rage in the Americas though between Louisiana and the CAS. The two constantly skirmished along their border as New Orleans continually tried to ferment slave uprisings. In the UPA and New Granada small bands of Spanish loyalists continued to wage a guerrilla war for many years. Similar small scale skirmishes also plagued La Plata and the Spanish Republican controlled Peru. The final battle of the Age of Revolutions is considered to be the Battle of San Rafael in 1820, a small battle involving less than 200 men in which the UPA eliminated the last tiny holdout of royalist Spain in California.
Last edited by Direwolf22; June 17th, 2012 at 09:49 PM..
The Post Revolutionary Age: North America And Europe 1800-1830
Exploration and Conquest
Out of all the major colonial powers only the Dutch managed to stay neutral from the great conflicts of the turn of the century. This roughly twenty year period has been called by some, mainly Dutch writers, as the second Golden Age of the Netherlands. As Britain and France dueled across the globe, Dutch explorers and colonists gradually expanded the nation's overseas empire and charting new lands. While the British were pre-occupied elsewhere a Dutch expedition had set off from Jakarta and headed southeast to make good Dutch claims on Nieuw Zeeland . A successful colony was established at New Rotterdam in 1797. During this time the Dutch too consolidated their control over Sumatra, Ceylon and various other colonies. The Anglo-French wars over India had, not only distracted them from actions elsewhere, but had worried the Dutch who feared that such conflict would disrupt their lines of communication from the base in South Africa to Asia. In the early 1800s therefore the Dutch began claiming and settling the island of Madagascar (with settlers drawn from those in South Africa and families wishing to escape from the troubles in Europe), their colony there was named. From 1802-1805 the Dutch fought the Merinan War, the only major Dutch conflict of the period. The local African kingdom put up a brave struggle but was eventually subdued and placed under Dutch influence, de jure independent but de facto run by the Netherlands. In this period too the Dutch East India Company which had been experiencing a relative decline was abolished. Instead the various colonies in the east were divided into African, Indian and East Indian regions each with a 'capital' of sorts (Cape Town, Colombo and Jakarta) and was ruled by a Viceroy appointed from the Netherlands; the move was designed to increase government control over the colonies and increase direct management, a plan influenced by British actions in Bengal and North America. The only incident of real concern for the Dutch was a dispute with Britain in 1805 over Australia and Nieuw Zeeland, both of which were claimed by Britain and the Netherlands. In the end, with neither side wanting war, it was agreed that Australia would be recognised as Britain's while the Dutch maintained their influence over Nieuw Zeeland.By the year 1810 the Dutch Empire in the Indian Ocean was a strong and rich collection of colonies, trading posts and military outposts.
Elsewhere in the world Britain and France had, once the war ended, begun picking up a few pieces of their own. Spanish Hispaniola and Pueto Rico had been seized by Britain during the war with Spain. Puerto Rico was returned to the Spanish Republic in 1806 by Britain, though they kept the rest. Britain too had cemented its claim on Australia while establishing new bases in Africa and the South Atlantic. It also waged a campaign of conquest along the African east coast, taking a few bases, to secure their own passage to India. France had not been wonderfully successful outside of Europe during the Age of Revolutions. In the immediate post-war period it was occupied with defeating a rebellion in its colony in Saint-Domingue and reasserting its influence in southeastern India. It caught a lucky break in 1807 however. The Treaty of Paris had placed all former Spanish colonial territory under Republican control, minus of course the lands controlled by the UPA, New Granada and the Kingdom of La Plata. The Republic tried hard to reassert itself in these lands and had varying degrees of success; in the Philippines though they encountered a serious problem. The Spanish officials in Manilla were loyal to the King in Barcelona and refused to submit to Republican authority. They rebelled and by 1808 were in control of most of the islands. The Spanish (Republic and Kingdom) lacked the ability, or indeed the will in some cases, to reconquer the islands. In Britain there was fierce debate on what to do, do they take the islands for their own, or give them to the republic, or leave them be etc. By the time they came to a conclusion however, it was too late. The French, who had fortunately sent a fleet to India recently to reinforce and replace the garrison, had no such dilemma. In 1809 the French expedition sailed to Manilla and overwhelmed and seized the colony for themselves. The French replaced the Spanish as colonial governors and the natives went on about their business. The Republic and Britain protested the move, but did nothing; so recently embroiled in war. The Spanish Kingdom expected the French to turn the islands over to them. The French had no intention of doing so however and the result was a cooling of relations between Paris and Barcelona. The conflict however was a great success for France and reignited French colonial ambitions, though the expense and effort of holding the Philippines was to prove greater than expected for France.
The World in 1810: Following the End of the Age of Revolutions
A New Germany
The old balance of power in Germany had been broken by the Treaty of Rome (1799) and a new political status quo had settled in central Europe. The period of the Triumvirate (c.1770-1799) was now at an end. Prussia remained a strong power in northern Germany though it had not majorly expanded following the Revolutionary Wars and the damage done by the reign of the previous king Frederick William to the military being readily apparent. The nation however had managed to reassert itself somewhat. Under the determined King Wilhelm the army had been restored to its previous prestige and had held its own with pride during the fighting against Saxons, Bavarians and the French. Saxony-Bavaria was now a unified country and dominated a large stretch of German lands in the east. It did however have a long and volatile border with Austria to its east and Prussia sitting to its north. Austria-Hungary had reforged itself into a united empire and sought to balance itself between west and east Europe. It still wielded great influence within Germany, despite the end of the Holy Roman Empire, through its close ties with Berlin and Dortmund. The League of the Rhine was the newest political force on the scene, and represented a new power block. Friendly with Vienna and a close ally of the Prussians, the League was the banner carrier for the German reformists. Hanover was the fifth major player now in Germany. Ruled by the aging and increasingly deluded King George (formerly George III of Britain) the nation was at odds with its neighbours and was increasingly being drawn into the French sphere while courting the Poles.
Prussia was on the winning side of the Revolutionary Wars. It had however gained little for its efforts. It had received a few former Saxon lands in the west, though they were now members of the League of the Rhine. The administrative grey area between Berlin and Dortmund over who ruled these lands would be a thorn in the otherwise close relations these two countries shared until the matter was resolved following the Pommeranian War. The Prussian nation went through a military renaissance under Wilhelm in the decades following the Treaty of Rome. The cultural period that went hand in hand with neglect for the army that prevailed under Frederick William was reviled by the Prussian elite. The traditionalists came once more to the forefront in this new period. The army was restored to its previous position at the heart of the Prussian nation. Buoyed by military success in the war the young King Wilhelm yearned for another conflict, one that would be a decisive Prussian triumph. In the late 1810s Prussia tried to push Poland towards war by demanding the portion of land separating Brandenburg from East Prussia. Poland obviously refused, as intended. King Wilhelm did not get his war though, when it became clear that Austria would not support them (as Vienna was still focused on the post-war situation in the Balkans) and France announced it would support its Bourbon ally, the Prussians backed down. In 1826 however with many of the great powers focused elsewhere, Berlin got its war. A small skirmish with Swedish troops in the north was exploited by the Prussian government as an excuse to seize Pomerania. The Prussian army soon moved into the Swedish territory. A battle in August of 1826 near Stettin was won decisively by the Prussians. Further advance was delayed though by Swedish maritime control, which landed a fresh Swedish army in the north. Swedish diplomacy soon brought Denmark and nearby Mecklenburg (both concerned about Prussian expansionism) into the war on their side. A few months later though the Prussians managed to bring a Swedish-Mecklenburg army to battle near Anklam, which again was a crushing victory for the Prussians. Anklam was exploited by Berlin and a deal was signed with Dortmund for the military support of the League. In exchange the disputed Prussian territory in the Rhineland was ceded to the League (they were to become special zones ruled directly by the Grand Marshal).
League forces, acting for the first time as a united military unit, invaded Danish Oldenburg. The League forces were initially repulsed by the more organized Danish forces. However two decades of industrialization in the League soon played its part. From 1808 to 1825 railroad construction had spread rapidly across the Rhineland. British industrialists provided the early expertise (for which they made great profit) but soon the Rhinelanders themselves took over the majority of the project. The complex waterways and natural resource rich lands of the area proved perfect breeding grounds for this type of industrialism. Though it began in Britain the Industrial Revolution was well underway in the League by the early 1820s. The unique political structure of the League, divided yet unified, provided ample competition for growth while providing enough political security for private enterprise. The railroads allowed Rhinelander forces to be gathered quickly from throughout the League which in 1828 launched a new offensive into Oldenburg which overwhelmed the Danish defenders. Other domestic events in the League were quiet and served more as a precursor to future events than anything dynamic in their own right. Some notable events were the 1817 death of Maximilian Francis of Cologne. Without a legal heir there was dispute over who should succeed him as King. The issue was avoided however when in Cologne, always one of the more reformist states, the people declared a republic following the Spanish style. Hans Maier, an influential and wealthy lawyer (as well as a veteran of the Revolutionary Wars) was elected the nation's first Chancellor. He did not inherit the title of Grand Marshall however which the League electors voted to give to King Philipp of Westphalia, who like many of the other League monarchs had been made king (drawn from either the clergy or nobility, in this case the latter), following the Treaty of Rome. The existence of a republic within the League was feared to become a major divisive issue, but turned out not to be so, perhaps the election of a monarch to Grand Marshall helped balance this issue. Cologne, however, would prove to be far from the last of the League states to abandon the monarchist system.
The Prussians had followed up their victory at Anklam by invading Mecklenburg. Resistance to the Prussian advance gradually collapsed throughout 1828. Wismar fell in July and signaled the effective end of resistance. Denmark was committed to fighting on but with Mecklenburg overrun and the government in Stockholm now determined to make peace due to reports of Russian troops massing along the Finnish border in the east, peace was signed in Vienna in August of 1828. Pomerania and Mecklenburg were ceded to Prussia while Oldenburg became the latest member of the League of the Rhine, choosing its own king drawn for the local nobility (though Oldenburg would always remain one of the more conservative of the League states). The victory restored Prussian pride and was the League's first foray into the international stage. So successful was it that the Duchy of Trier, wary of France, applied to enter the League in early 1829, and was accepted. Other German states however were less impressed and more concerned about the League-Prussian alliance. Hanover (now ruled by George's son William, one of the few of his children to flee with him to Hanover) signed an alliance with Saxony-Bavaria while the remaining southern German nations too began to look to foreign alliances and collective defense.
The years following the Revolutionary Wars were a time of great change in Austria. The nation, now known as Austria-Hungary, experienced rapid constitutional change. Joseph II, known in Austria to this day as “Joseph the Great Reformer” died in 1806. He was succeeded by his son, Francis, crowned Francis I Emperor of Austria and Hungary, King of Bohemia and Croatia. Francis, like his father, was a reformist, though perhaps more pragmatic and less ideological than his father. The early years of Francis' reign were focused on the Balkans. The Ottoman retreat from this area was celebrated in Vienna and Budapest, the defeat of their ancient enemy was always good news. However the mood was soon dampened when it became evident that Russia had now replaced the Turk as the dominant power in this region. The new nations of Serbia, Greece and the UKD all were allies of the Tsar and gave him considerable influence in the Balkans. Consequently Francis, quietly, began improving relations with the Ottomans. Neither liked the other but both feared the bear more. Though no official alliance was signed Austro-Turkish relations improved strongly in this period and both were determined to halt the Russian advance south. Francis too in this period improved upon the already established system of mandatory education. Encouraging its growth throughout the Empire, as well as making German as well as Magyar compulsory for all students. Higher education too was expanded and improved, with the University of Vienna becoming arguably the greatest in continental Europe; though women still were barred, or discouraged, from most high learning. A small rising took place in Illyria in 1827 but it was soundly defeated. Francis too sought to court Poland, seen as a useful ally against Russia. This was one of the major failings of Austrian diplomacy in this period. Though cautious of Russia, Poland too feared Austria's ally Prussia, while still harbouring territorial designs on Silesia, which would soon lead to war between the two nations. Consequently King Louis II preferred to maintain his alliance with his Bourbon cousin in France.
Saxony-Bavaria was a new force on the world stage following the Treaty of Rome. It was however an artificial creation, joined solely by dynastic union. The aging Frederick-Augusts I was no reformer. His rule saw the forcing together of these two nations. The armies were integrated and rule was increasingly centralised in Munich. Though Dresden was the Saxon capital, it was seen as too vulnerable to attack, plus Munich had a grander history and prestige to it, or so the King saw it. Saxony-Bavaria had intended to intervene in the Pommeranian War against Prussia in the 1820s but eventually stayed out for three principal reasons: lack of forthcoming French support, the fear of Austrian intervention and the string of Prussian victories. Instead the Saxobavarians invaded neighboring Gotha and conquered the nation in only a few weeks. Frederick-Augusts I died in 1826 and was succeeded by his son, Maximilian. In all the period of 1800-1830 was a quiet time for this new nation. It saw the welding together of these two nations and the creation of a Saxobavarian identity. The nation did not, like the League, industrialise and instead was a centre of reaction-ism, arguably the centre of it in Europe. The alliance with France was paramount in Munich's foreign policy. This however caused discontent amongst other south German states. The union of Swabia and Ansbach in 1828 (creating the United Kingdom of Swabia) as well as the alliance signed between Hessia and Wurzburg (1829) can both be attributed to Saxobavarian activies in this period. Talks between the remaining three German nations (Baden, Wurttemberg and the Palatinate) had amounted to nothing by 1830.
Blood and Earth
North America: (1800-1820)
The Louisianan Republic was the child of the Age of Revolution. In fact its Declaration of Independence triggered the outbreak of revolts and revolutions that broke out across the Americas and Europe. The revolutionary tradition inspired by this birth in fire would stick with Louisiana and its people. Louisiana in the early 1800s was a nation getting to its feet. It had to organise and establish a government, encourage immigration from abroad and set about unifying its large but relatively sparsely populated lands. The Republic's first national elections had finally taken place in 1798 (two years later than planned). The election had been a success, despite the voting/counting process taking around 3 months to complete; primarily due to the sheer size of the nation as well as the people's lack of experience with a representative government and system. This first government was primarily focused on the war effort against France as well as dealing with the issue of forming a nation. The First Consul during this time was Philippe Bardet a charismatic and determined leader who is still regarded as a hero and indeed earned the monicker the “Father of the Republic”. Bardet's term as First Consul ended in 1803 (despite only supposed to serve 5 years his term was considered to have started only in 1798). He was succeeded by French emigree Adrien Duport who too had been an influential figure in the early years. Duport's Consulship was devoted to two main goals: improving and establishing the nation's judicial system and foreign negotiation (primarily with trying to prevent war with the CAS and maintaining strong ties with London and New York). The elections for the National Assembly took place in 1804 (the Consul had a separate 5 year term compared to the Assembly's six-year, at this time). This election signaled the rise of the first Louisianan political parties, although they were more like camps than organized political machines at this point. On one side were the Radicals (this group was dominated by French exiles who tended to have more extreme, and militaristic, views) and the Modérés (Moderates) who were more focused on internal improvements and an isolationist foreign policy. Consul Duport distanced himself from the parties and set about portraying himself as the leader of all Louisianans. This tradition of the aloofness of the First Consul and distance from party politics was to become as strong as law in the next few years. The Assembly of 1804-1810 was controlled by the Moderates.
Duport was succeeded as First Consul by Lucien Thomas. Thomas had been born in Louisiana, but before the Revolution. Thomas had been mayor of St. Louis which he had helped transform into the nation's second largest city, indeed it was one of the only major cities in the country north of the Cœur (heart) River (OTL Arkansas River). Consequently First Consul Thomas had a strong following in the north of the nation that had helped win him the election. Thomas consularship and that of the 1810-1816 Assembly, still run by the Moderates but with a notably reduced majority, was on institutional reform. The new structure of the nation was established in the Republic Act of 1812. There were now 41 départements in the Republic, each would elected an Assembly representative at the next election, up from 36. The Assembly elections would also now be split with the six year terms becoming overlapping. Half of the current members would be up for re-election in 1816 while the rest would serve on until 1819, thereby allowing more frequent elections in government and breaking political monopolies on power. In early 1815 however an incident occurred that would have great ramifications for Louisiana. Over the past few years a small movement had grown in the eastern part of the nation. These “Friends of Liberty” were a band of settlers, veterans and foragers who had made it their goal to help Confederate slaves escape to Louisiana and freedom. Many in New Orleans had known about this movement but had thought little of it. Until that is in February of 1815 when the 'Friends' had pulled off, or thought they had, a major operation, assisting over three dozen slaves escape over the border. However, they were pursued by the slaves' owner and a band of Confederate cavalry. The pursuit took them over the border where they encountered a Louisianan military patrol and the 'Friends' a few miles outside the town of Calais. The slave owner demanded the return of his slaves. None of the Louisianan soldiers however spoke English so it was up to one of the Friends to translate. What the translator reported however is believed to be a far less diplomatic statement than what was actually originally stated. The outraged officer in turn demanded that the Confederates withdraw from sovereign Louisianan territory. In the confusion one of the slave children got away from his mother and tried to run for a nearby forest. He was immediately shot by the slave owner. As one might expect things immediately escalated. When the smoke cleared the Confederates were in retreat but five slaves, three 'Friends', a half dozen Louisianan soldiers as well as nearly twenty Confederates (including the slave owner) lay dead.
It turned out that the dead slave owner had been a wealthy and well-respected man named James Page. Who, to make things worse, turned out to be a close friend of Confederate President James Monroe. The Confederate government was organised along lines maximising the individual rights and powers of the nation's five 'states': Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida (which was officially made a state in 1811). Each state had its own government as well as their being a national Senate in Charleston. The President was elected to a renewable four year term. President Monroe upon finding out about his dear friend's death sent an ultimatum to New Orleans. He demanded those responsible be turned over to the CAS, a hefty financial payment as way of an apology and a guarantee that Louisiana would cease all aid to slaves in the Confederacy. New First Consul Henry Lambert (a wealthy New Orleans businessman who made his fortune in overseas trade) was more inclined that most to accept, or at last negotiate on these terms. However the Radicals in the Assembly, along with a few more offended Moderates managed to gather a majority vote in the Assembly (25-16) to refuse the demands. In addition the Assembly (which of course had more power than the Consul) sent its own reply demanding that Monroe apologise for the transgression of the Confederate troops into Louisianan territory and the murder of its soldiers and citizens. Press in both nations got wind of the dispute and public anger was stoked to boiling point. On May 9th 1815 President Monroe sent a final note demanding the above terms or he would ask the Confederate Senate to approve a declaration of war. On May 30th the Louisianan National Assembly declared war on the Confederacy of American States.
The Louisianans were able to act first in the war. Their revolutionary spirit allowed a quick mobilization. An army of 20,000 Louisianan troops invaded the Confederate state of Georgia. The Confederate forces in this area were initially pushed back. The Battle of Columbus, in central Georgia, on September 9th was a victory for the Louisianans who now, under the talented General Lucien, made for Atlanta. Unfortunately a new Confederate army, the Army of Northern Virginia, arrived before the Louisianans reached the Georgian capital. The subsequent Battle of Atlanta (October 20th-22nd) saw the Louisianans defeated and scattered. The Confederates launched a counter-offensive and by 1816 had retaken almost all of their lost lands. It was now though that the planned advance to the Mississippi had to be delayed. The Louisianans in their advance/retreat had freed thousands of slaves, and armed them. Louisiana had been importing thousands of British arms and munitions (London had no intention of getting involved in this war but still wished to assist their ally in New Orleans), a large amount of which they had used to arms freedmen who now executed a bloody guerrilla war against the Confederates in the area. A new Louisianan host, around 28,000 men, was assembling to relaunch the offensive. General Luicen was expected to take command, however he was overlooked in favour of Jean Bourdillon, an Assembly representative who fancied himself a general. This political appointment, achieved by bribes, enraged elements of the military, Lucien himself was put in charge of the 2,000 strong force guarding the border with the UPA. Bourdillon's army moved east in early 1816. The Confederates withdrew and regrouped near Rome, Georgia; the guerrilla war had bled them dry but the insurgency was effectively crushed, those remaining had fled west. The Battle of Rome was a disaster for the Louisianans, the arrogant Bourdillon had been outmaneuvered by the Confederate General Andrew Jackson. The defeat was the end of Louisianan advances in the war. Critically the Battle of Rome ended any possibility of New England intervention. The New Englanders had been sympathetic to the Louisianan effort but the defeat at Rome caused the pro-war faction in the north to lose influence.
The rest of 1816 saw a gradual collapse of Louisianan resistance east of the Mississippi. Freed slaves (and un-freed) fled west in the wake of the vengeful Confederates, an exodus fled to the safety of Louisiana. Fittingly enough the last major confrontation of the war took place in November of 1816 near the town of Calais. The Battle of Calais saw Jackson finish the last opposing army on this side of the Mississippi. The Louisianans (led by another political appointment) were divided before the battle, and around a third of the army deserted rather than serve under another political buffoon. In February 1817 a peace treaty was signed in Havana ending the First Louisianan-Confederate War. In the terms of the treaty all Louisianan territory east of the Mississippi and south of the Ohio rifer was ceded to the Confederacy, New Orleans would outlaw the 'Friends of Liberty' and promise to no longer assist slave uprisings in the CAS and finally Louisiana would pay a hefty sum to Charleston. In addition the 'Friends' responsible for the Calais incident were turned over to the CAS where they were imprisoned. The outcome of this war and the Treaty of Havana were important in their own right, the success of the CAS, the shift in the power balance and the lack of New England support to Louisiana; however the most dramatic legacy of the war would be its role as trigger for arguably the greatest political rise in the history of the Americas.
The Dominion of New England in the first two decades of the 19th Century was a place of great change and innovation. Emerging from the Revolutionary Wars, not only victorious against the French and Confederates, but having gained the Ohio Valley and Maryland, left New England in a politically secure and powerful position. The Dominion parliament at New York gradually grew in confidence and authority throughout this period. Elections to the parliament were held every five years starting in 1776. By the1800s two main political parties had come to the forefront, the Federalists and the Whigs. The Whigs tended to be in favour of greater power to the constituent provinces, an isolationist foreign policy (with the exception of the continued relationship with Britain), and backed and were backed by the more agrarian and interior provinces, such as Pennsylvania and Ohio. The Federalists on the other hand argued for stronger central government, a more adventurous foreign agenda, support for the New Orleans regime, and were big proponents of a stronger navy to protect the Dominion's maritime commercial interests; consequently they had strong support in Massachusetts and other north-eastern provinces. Starting in the 1801 election the Federalists were the ruling party. Consequently the nature of the Dominion changed dramatically with two important pieces of legislation: the Constitutional Act (1805) and the Navy Act (1808). The Constitutional Act was a major piece of Federalist vision. The provincial parliaments lost power and the federal parliament was strengthened. Also this act moved the seat of the Dominion parliament to Boston. This was to appease the smaller states, who following the granting of provincial status to Ohio (1801) and Michigan (1804) feared they were being ignored in favour of the western larger states. Therefore moving the capital out of New York (the most populous province) to the smaller Massachusetts was seen as a way of alleviating their concerns. The Constitutional Act also created the post of First Minister. The Dominion had always been represented by the leader of the largest political party in parliament, but it was only in 1805 that an official position was created with specific powers. The Dominion's first First Minister was a Federalist New York representative Alexander Hamilton. Hamilton was a strong believer in a more ambitious New England aiming to make the Dominion the dominant power in North America. He too was committed to maintaining the relationship with Britain and had no desire to make New England a fully sovereign nation (a political belief that was gradually gaining ground in this period). Indeed Hamilton, who served as First Minister from 1805 to 1816, became a great friend and correspondent with two British Prime Ministers in his time in office (William Pitt the Younger and the Earl of Liverpool). Hamilton also entertained King George IV at his house in New York when the King made his historic visit to the Dominion in 1812. The Navy Act (1808) on the other hand made the creation, expansion and maintenance of a New England Navy the paramount concern of the period. The Dominion's first home built first rate ship of the line, HMDS (His Majesty's Dominion's Ship) Emergence, was launched in 1810 bearing 100 guns. By 1820 New England possessed by far the most powerful navy in the Americas, it even surpassed the Royal Navy as Westminster was happy to hand much of the responsibility in this area to Boston to concentrate elsewhere. It is also during this period that New England fought the Barbary War (1807-1810), which in itself motivated the passing of the Navy Act. Pirates from North Africa had been increasingly striking at the Dominion's shipping (vital to its economic rise) and eventually the Boston government had enough. A series of punitive expeditions was sent and resulted in the effective dismantling of the Barbary pirates. Britain sent a small force to assist and diplomatically backed the Dominion, but it was New England that did the lion's share. The success in the Barbary War was New England's first independent military campaign. This success saw a redefining of the relationship between Dominion and master as for the first time politicians in Westminster began to see New England as a credible military and political ally and partner rather than colony.
New England First Minister Alexander Hamilton:
Elsewhere in North America this period saw an increase in immigration from Europe and the construction of new towns and developing economies. French Canada continued to grow and became a wealthy offspring of France. The population continued to remain loyal to the King back in France, but by 1820 a majority of the populace was now determined that they should have more autonomy and decision making powers, they only had to look over the border to the south to see the thriving British Dominion and the independent states further south. By 1820 French Canada had a population of near 800,000 with Quebec being one of the continent's major cities. British lands further north and west however remained more scarcely populated. It still attracted settlers however and the lands of the Hudson Bay Company continued to push west into the American interior. Newcastle was founded in the west and would develop into a major transport and commercial hub in this region. Two decades into the new century though the population of the colony was still less than a quarter of a million. The Native Protectorate was a curious case in this time. No central government existed and was in fact a series of tribal lands grouped together for convenience sake. The tribes skirmished with each other more often than not, as well as with Louisianan settlers to the south. Eventually though the Protectorate began to come together and the Shawnee tribe began to emerge as the dominant political force in the Protectorate and would steer it through the tumultuous events of the 1820s and 30s.
Rise of the Eagle
Jérôme squinted his eyes in attempt to peer through the smoke. Battle's were, as far as Jérôme could tell, all smoke and fire and noise. In the distant he could see the shape of hills and men and cannon dotting the ridge. Flashes of fire occasional burst into lie along that ridge as Confederate artillery spewed death and destruction. Somewhere beyond those hills Jérôme knew lay Atlanta. Atlanta. That was always the goal, 'if we can just take Atlanta the war would be as good as won'. Jérôme scoffed, no bloody chance of that now.
Around him his own brigade of cannon blasted away at a Confederate infantry regiment down in the valley. Twenty-five artillery pieces under Jérôme's personal command. All British built, Jérôme mused, like most of the army's equipment, at some point this country needs to start making its own damn weapons. His brigade was the finest artillery brigade in the army, he truly believed that. Wouldn't do much good now true or not though he thought. The battle was clearly going poorly. The Confederates kept coming and the Louisianan centre looked about to break. In the distance he could see white-coated horseman charging into the army's left flank, through his looking glass Jérôme thought he recognised the cavalry's banner, Virginians it seemed.
The Louisianan left began to collapse. Jérôme ordered his artillery to begin pounding the Confederate centre to buy his countrymen time to retreat. He was aware that the rest of the cannon division had done the same. Commander Sout was not a bad man. Old, he had fought in the Revolution, but he knew what was right and tended to follow Jérôme's lead rather than the other way around as rank dictated. It was no use though the battle was over. The call to retreat came down the lines and Jérôme's brigade began to withdraw, bringing up the horses to mount the guns. He'd be damned if he let those Confederate bastards have his cannon.
It shouldn't have come to this he thought bitterly as his men began to join the withdrawal streaming south and west. The government should have sent more men, more guns, more supplies, more everything. Those fools in the capital did not know how to fight a war. His father did. His father had served in the Sardinian army years before; he'd even met the Sardinian king! He could still see his father fuming as he came down the stairs outside the Assembly building. He'd tried to argue that the government needed to raise more men for the campaign, but they hadn't listened. It's because he's an Italian. If he'd been French born they might have listened. His father had tried so hard to integrate himself in the elite, even changing his name, but to no avail. No Jérôme thought it shouldn't have come to this. Something needed to be done about those corrupt fools in New Orleans. Watching the army trudge away, the sounds of battle still booming behind as the rearguard fought to give time to the retreat, Jérôme felt anger flood his face. Something needed to be done indeed. But what could he do, a mere artillery captain? Well no matter his station Jérôme Bonaparte would do whatever it took to save his country.
Good, Jérôme thought as he closed the door behind him and stepped out into the street. He had hoped, and indeed believed, that the other officers were still on board but it was nice to have it assured. Roux and Baudin were both near fanatical in their dedication to the cause. General Lucien was a pleasant addition. Though, Jérôme thought, his appearance is understandable given how the fools in the Assembly treated the man. Plus the name Lucien still commanded respect amongst parts of the army. But with himself, Baudin and Captain Giroux they had the loyalty of all the troops within and around the capital. No, he thought, that meeting was just to confirm what he hoped he already knew, it was the next talk that really mattered.
He turned left on Liberty Avenue. Out of the corner of his eye he could see the distant dome of the Assembly rising above the skyline. He surpressed the momentary pang of bitterness. The streets were almost deserted, not surprising for a wet night this time of year. A man came staggering out of an inn down the road, he gave Jérôme a challenging look but backed down when Jérôme pulled back his coat showing the pistol hanging at his waste. From the man's tattered uniform he was a soldier, one of the local garrison who slipped away for a night in the city. Hopefully he's not one of my men. The man jerked back and stumbled off to the west. One of Baudin's then probably. The men all around the city were growing restless and bored. A dangerous combination in soldiers. The Assembly had yet to begin sending the soldiers home, maybe it feard a new Confederate attack? Regardless the capital was ringed by around 11,000 men, which, hopefully, Jérôme could now count on as being loyal to his little plot.
He turned right, then left, then right again heading towards his destination. The small house lay on the far eastern side of the city. It was owned by Jean Leon, an old friend of his father's. When Jérôme entered Jean gave a small movement of his head towards his study at the back but didn't get up from his reading by the fire. Jérôme murmured a thanks and headed to the back room. The young man in there turned from the window to look at him. Roughly the same age and height as Jérôme this was the man that Jérôme needed to win over. His support would be vital when the time came. As a member of the Assembly he had influence in the government amongst the reformers. But it was this man's name that Jérôme needed. This man was Henri Bardet.
The Fall of the Republic
List of First Consuls of the First Louisianan Republic:
Philippe Bardet (1798-1803)
Adrien Duport (1803-1808)
Lucien Thomas (1808-1813)
Henry Lambert (1813-1817)*
Jean Dubois (1817-1818)
Louis Fontaine (1818-1819)**
*Resigned following the defeat in the war of 1815-7.
** Ousted by political coup.
In July 1819 a band of ambitious officers and politicians staged what amounted to a military coup in New Orleans, toppling the elected government. The causes of the coup are to be found in the Louisianan defeat to the CAS in the war of 1815-1817. Dissatisfaction with poor and divided political leadership from the capital during the war became overwhelmingly prevalent in the army in the aftermath of the war. In fact in some parts of the military it was the government that was outright blamed for the defeat. This belief rang true for some politicians as well, who also had the added belief that the ruling elite had moved too far from the ideas of the revolution and instead taken on the role of the new aristocracy. Members of the Radical political party were especially prone to take the latter belief. The election of Louis Fontaine as First Consul in 1818 is seen as the tipping point. Fontaine, a political big-wig, was widely regarded as a corrupt and selfish individual. Indeed there is great evidence that he bought the Consular election by paying civil servants to fudge the election results. Fontaine's consulship, along with another Moderate assembly, saw an immediate passing of measures increasing pay for the elite politicians, a rapidly expanding spoils system and the side lining of more reformist and progressive officials and activists. In June 1819 Fontaine, already far too involved in the Assembly's decision making progress for many on the outside, and his cronies announced they were planning to pass a bill making it possible for the First Consul to serve multiple terms as well as requiring the sitting Consul to receive only 40% of the vote to stay in office. This wouldn't stand.
Led by three men, (the respected General Lucien, the politician and son of the nation's first consul Henri Bardet and a young and soon to be famous ambitious officer, Jérôme Bonaparte) 3,000 soldiers from the outlying garrisons stormed the city and seized the Assembly building. Fontaine and his supporters were arrested. A new regime was formed. Lucien, Bardet and Bonaparte were each made a 'Consul' and a new Assembly was formed with Radicals and reformers replacing all those previously loyal to Fontaine. Elections were scheduled for this new Assembly in 1820. However after the news of the coup reached the northern part of the country a counter-revolution broke out around the city of Turin, led by some friends of the former First Consul. General, now Consul, Lucien was appointed by the new government to take an army north to crush the rising before it could move south, he agreed. Then in a critical decision Consul Bardet decided to go north with Lucien to try and lend the weight of his name to a possible peaceful diplomatic solution. Leaving Bonaparte in effective sole command of the capital, and therefore the country. Consumed by ambition and a desire to regain lost territory Bonaparte and his more radical supporters convinced the Assembly to pass a declaration of war against the Confederacy. Bonaparte himself assembled an army of 35,000 men and marched east to cross the Mississippi.
The Louisianan invasion caught the Confederates completely by surprise. In the years following the war the CAS had been focused on internal domestic divisions over slavery as well as the rising tensions with the Spanish Republic over Cuba. Within a month Bonaparte had regained control over all the lands previously lost to the CAS. In doing so he raised new units of freed slaves and encouraged them to fight alongside his men to free their comrades from slavery. The Confederacy called upon veteran general Andrew Jackson who gladly decided to gain fresh victories over his old enemy. Jackson however was not prepared to face Bonaparte. Jérôme was a new brand of military tactician. Learning a lot from his father, a veteran of the Sardinian War, as well as from first hand experience and a natural ingenuity Jérôme would remake war in North America in his image. The goal of the Louisianan Army in the first war had been to seize Atlanta, Jackson assumed that it would be the same again and moved his army to block an advance on the city. Jérôme however cared not for cities instead his maxim was to destroy the enemy army in the field, then the cities would fall like grapes. Bonaparte then feigned at Atlanta and moved a force of 10,000 under the command of his old friend and now commander Jean Baudin to take the town of Manchester, a few miles south of Atlanta. Jackson, believing this to be the main Louisianan thrust towards the state capital marched south to face it. Baudin withdrew west drawing the Confederates with him. Bonaparte then sprung his trap. Having used Baudin as bait, Bonaparte and his 25,000 had marched around West Point Lake in secret and then fell on Jackson's army from the rear. The ensuing Battle of Manchester was a crushing victory for the Louisianans. Jackson himself was killed while attempting to rally his men and the entire Confederate army was wiped out. Atlanta fell three days later.
Louisianan and Confederate forces clash at the Battle of Manchester (1819):
With the fall of Atlanta Bonaparte could now have made peace on favorable terms. He however was determined to achieve even greater success. Detesting slavery he announced the Atlanta Proclamation, freeing all slaves in occupied CAS lands and granting any escaped slave freedom and land in Louisiana if they could escape the Confederacy. The Proclamation forever endeared Jérôme to the slave and ex-slave communities. Around 2,000 freed slaves were raised and armed (with captured CAS weapons) and were integrated into Bonaparte army. Then Bonaparte marched north. The Confederates were in disarray, their great commander had been killed and Atlanta had fallen. Now the Louisianans were marching north! A new army was being assembled in North Carolina to be sent south. Meanwhile Louisianan irregulars and freed slaves had dispersed and were striking at slave plantations across Georgia and parts of Florida. Soon thousands of slaves were freed and a full guerrilla war was being waged across parts of the south. Eager to prevent the complete collapse of the southern part of the country the Confederate government ordered the hastily assembled army of 50,000 men to march south to protect Charleston, the clear objective of Bonaparte's army. The Battle of Hampton in South Carolina would prove to be Jérôme's masterpiece. Outnumbered the Louisianans managed to smash the Confederate army as Bonaparte's masterful use of artillery and the resolve of his loyal infantry proved too much for the Confederates. On March 1st 1820 Jérôme Bonaparte marched into Charleston.
With much of the CAS in tatters Bonaparte was able to enforce whatever peace he wished. The Treaty of Charleston returned all previous lands taken from Louisiana in the first war back to them, the abolition of slavery in the CAS, and a new republic was created out of occupied western Georgia to be run by freed slaves and to be a free and independent state allied to New Orleans. The Confederate government fumed but had no real choice but to sign unless they wanted to see their way of life completely demolished. Bonaparte, and his now fanatically loyal army, returned to New Orleans in May to a tense situation. Bardet and Lucien had been furious to learn of Bonaparte's unilateral invasion of the CAS, and, returning to the capital (after dealing with the northern insurrection) declared Jérôme a traitor to the republic and hoped to have him arrested. The Battle of Hampton and the Treaty of Charleston changed all this however. The magnificent victory in the east had changed Jérôme who now saw himself as an unchallengeable military genius and the rightful ruler of Louisiana. His men, and many others, agreed. Who could argue with his achievements? When Bardet and Lucien tried to have Bonaparte arrested his men decried the proclamation and in turn arrested the arresters. Jérôme marched triumphantly into the Assembly building where he was met by an angry collection of politicians, including Fontaine and his allies, who had escaped during the panic of Bonaparte's return, who refused to allow Bonaparte into the chamber. Bonaparte's loyal soldiers soon forced the issue and drove the politicians out of the building and had them all placed under military 'protection'. Many of Bonaparte's closest allies now encouraged him to seize power to prevent the old elite from ousting him. Jérôme went one step further. Tired of all the petty political maneuvering, disillusioned with the corrupt and inefficient republic and eager to find a more permanent solution to the question of political leadership (made more pressing as word soon arrived that the Confederate government had not abolished slavery and was now raising a new army as well as courting allies abroad) Jérôme Bonaparte abolished the Assembly and the Republic. On July 14th, almost one year to the day of the coup, Jérôme Bonaparte declared himself Emperor of Louisiana and began preparing once more for war.
The Flag of the Empire of Louisiana:
The Great Powers
Britain and France (1805-1830)
In the early 19th Century there were two nations that could be defined as “Great Powers”. They were the only countries capable of global (or near enough) power projection and were the leading parties during the Revolutionary Wars. These of course were Britain and France. Other nations, Austria-Hungary and Prussia for example, were major players in their own regions and others looked to emerge into the ranks of Great Powers in the near future, Russia. But in the period between the Revolutionary Wars and the Fourth Silesian War, London and Paris were the two great capitals.
Great Britain emerged triumphant from the Revolutionary Wars. It had helped liberate Louisiana from France as well as aid in the collapse of the Spanish American empire whilst aiding and assisting its allies on the European continent. One key relationship for Britain in the period 1805-30 was that with the Dominion of New England. The strengthening and continued friendship between New York (later Boston) and London was a great boon to Britain in this period. Trade with the Dominion, as well as with the rest of the ever-growing empire made Britain rich and affluent. The Barbary War (1807-1810) was the turning point in Britain seeing the Dominion as a partner and future ally. With North America now apparently secured Britain turned its attentions elsewhere. It established trading posts throughout Africa and the Pacific, which caused it to have a brief skirmish with the Dutch over Australia. In this period too Britain began making its first major inroads, along with the Portuguese and Dutch, into China.
The primary developments in this period for Britain however were domestic. Ireland was the first issue that drew attention. An Irish Rebellion broke out in 1814, encouraged perhaps by the revolutions in France and the Americas. The rising however did not pose a serious risk. The Reform Act of the previous century, specifically Catholic Emancipation, seemed to have placated the majority of the Irish. The rising was eventually defeated in 1816, interestingly enough the majority of government troops were loyal Irish. The government, now led by the Earl of Liverpool, decided that the loyal Irish should be rewarded to prevent any such rebellion again. In 1818 the government passed the Union Act forming the United Kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland. Ireland, or more properly the Kingdom of Ireland, was given equal footing with Britain and Dublin was given more autonomy, though full executive power stayed in Westminster. The other key political development in Britain during this period was the rise of reform-ism, and republicanism. Many in Britain had since the Four Years War begun calling, quietly, for Britain to become a republic. The 1796 “Kent Speech” is often seen as the birth of the modern British republican movement. But it was after 1805 that the movement begun to gain serious traction. Why, they asked, should Britain remain a monarchy whilst it supported republican movements from Spain to Louisiana? By 1830 a large minority in Parliament were pro-Republic and with King George IV's health rapidly deteriorating and with only a daughter to succeed him the United Kingdoms were heading for a constitutional breaking point.
France was in the losing side of the Revolutionary Wars. It's colonial empire had been much reduced, though it still held Quebec, its Spanish ally had been cut in half and to its east the German states of Prussia, Austria-Hungary and the League were hostile. It however had not been truly defeated. It had actually gained land on the European continent and its armies had proven more that capable. It's own internal revolution had been crushed and it was well on its way to becoming a truly constitutional monarchy. Indeed out of all the states that had fought on the side of reaction it was by far the most reformist, more so indeed that many of its war-time opponents had been, such as Prussia. The old king had died in 1809 and had been succeeded by his son who became Louis XVII. King Louis, like his father, was an advocate of the constitutional limited monarchy. The recently established French parliament in Paris saw its powers grow in the passing of three decrees (in 1812, 1819 and 1825). There was some opposition to this trend both from the left (who wanted more powers to the parliament) and from the right (who wanted less), but in general the reforms were accepted. Though its powers were still short of those of Westminster.
France, like Britain, grew in wealth and power in this period. The new reform-minded French government freed up many of the more archaic and repressive economic and social limits allowing trade and commerce to grow in the Kingdom. And with the new rich lands in the northeast the French state was bringing in more capital than ever before. Like Britain, France set about establishing itself as a global power. The Philippines had already been seized from Spain and French India was reinforced and new allies were courted on the subcontinent. France too sought to reach out to the new Louisianan Empire and forge a friendship with this francophone nation. Quebec was a major part of French foreign policy in this time. Encouraged immigration had seen the population of the colony rise sharply and many, in France and Quebec, began to call for a new relationship between the two. In the end it was decided that Dominionship was far too British instead, similar to the relationship between Portugal and Brasil, Quebec was directly integrated into France and a royally appointed governor would manage Quebec, though Quebecois were allowed to be represented in the Parisian Parliament, known as the Chamber.
Though both Britain and France were content to look to their own domestic political reforms in this period and to the wider world for new lands both were to have their eyes forcibly pulled back to the heart of Europe in 1830. To Silesia.
The Fourth Silesian WarEurope 1830, The Eve of War:
Part I: The Prelude to War
The conflict that would plunge Europe into a war on a scale not seen on the continent since the Thirty Years War was the result of various contributing factors. The question of Silesia would obviously be the spark but under the surface there were numerous forces at work. The aftermath of the Revolutionary Wars, the first signs of the emergence of nationalism, republicanism and global ambitions all played their parts. The Revolutionary Wars had destabilised the continent and the roughly thirty years between the wars was in many ways a powder keg just waiting for the spark.
Poland had undergone dramatic change since the Civil War (1794-1798). Louis II had crushed the rebels and recentralised authority under his rule from the capital at Warsaw. The abolition of the liberum veto as well as other reforms, limited reforms, had allowed Poland to evolve into a modern kingdom. The nation had also managed to avoid becoming entangled in the Revolutionary Wars as well as escaping from Russian invasion due to St. Petersburg's focus on the Balkans. Louis II died in 1823 and was succeeded by his son Henry who became Henry IV of Poland. Henry, like his father and grandfather, was a supporter of the monarch's authority, however he was also inspired by the wave of reform around Europe and the Americas and in 1826 he officially abolished serfdom in the Kingdom and passed new laws to benefit the lower and middle classes. The nobles grumbled as usual, but the memory of the Civil War, kept them quite. However Henry was determined to go further, he wanted to make Poland a great power again. Plus a patriotic struggle would, he hoped, rally the disgruntled aristocracy around him and the nation. A campaign against Russia was considered unwise so instead he looked to retake the old Polish territory of Silesia. Polish forces began preparing for war.
Austria, or more properly Austria-Hungary, had become one of the most socially and culturally advanced states in Europe. Francis I, the ardent reformer, had transformed his country along lines outlined by his father, Joseph II. Throughout the late 1820s however Austria was becoming increasingly focussed on foreign affairs. It had one eye on Germany watching the actions of Munich, as well as Dortmund and Berlin and the other eye on the Balkans where the Bear was continuing to entrench itself. Simultaneously it was forced to keep glancing at Italy as well as looking over its shoulder at Poland and Silesia. Francis was growing ever fearful of Austria being politically surrounded, hence the reach out to the Turk. More important however was the relation with Berlin. As war with Poland became increasingly likely Vienna was determined to get the guarantee of support from King Wilhelm.
The escalating Austro-Polish tensions over Silesia were observed with great interest by Berlin. The Prussians themselves had desires to regain Silesia, though their formal renouncement of claims to the territory under Frederick William II were a bit of an impediment. The Prussians though, despite this, had no plans to attempt to seize Silesia. A three-way war for the territory would be disastrous. In the end, after much lobbying from Vienna, the king and his ministers decided that Polish territory would be just as beneficial, linking up East Prussia with the rest of the country. Consequently on August 9th 1830 King Wilhelm renewed the Austro-Prussian Alliance of 1783 and announced Prussia would support Austria is Poland attacked. The Poles now reaffirmed their alliance with Saxony-Bavaria to counter this and seek to force the Austrians to fight on at least two fronts. The battle-lines were drawn.
There were still however some major question marks over the coming conflict. Would the war stay focused on Silesia with Austria and Prussia set against Poland and Saxony-Bavaria? Or would the other powers get involved. In September King Louis XVIII of France, king since 1828, wrote to his cousin in Warsaw asking Poland not to go to war over Silesia, however, he wrote, if war becomes inevitable France would support them. Other concerns were raised over Britain and the League. Would the League honour its alliance with Prussia? There was great doubt over this. The new Grand Marshall, King Frederick of Münster, was an old man who was focused on the internal political dealings of the League and was known to bear the Prussians no great love. Britain had since the Revolutionary Wards sought to distance itself from the continental bickering. However Vienna and Berlin were both confident that Britain would join them in order to prevent France from gaining too much power on the continent. The rest of the German states were for the most part up for grabs, though Hanover was an ally of the Poles. The Italian states too could be entangled, the peninsula was indeed subject to many political forces bubbling under the radar. The birth of the Neapolitan Republic had destabilised Italy and this force had been growing, unnoticed by the outside powers. The biggest unknown however was of course Russia.
The Russians had not fought in the Revolutionary Wars proper, instead they had been fighting against the Turks in the Balkan War (1796-1802) which had seen Russia gain a trio of new allies in the region and finally cement their control of the Crimea. Russia internally had been undergoing huge changes since the 1770s. Serfdom and the more archaic laws had been abolished and Russia had seen six decades of modernisation, partial liberalisation and military reform. The son of Paul I and new Tsar, Peter IV, had continued these trends. The Russian Duma had become a significant political force. The old division between Conservatives and Moderates had disappeared. Now there were the Traditionalists, who emphasized slower reform and expansion to the north and west, and the Militarists, who were in favour of more rapid reforms and wished to finish off the Turks. Peter IV however was more favourable to the Traditionalist party who were the dominant force. The Poles were unwilling to go to war over Silesia with Russia looming on their eastern border.
In October however King Louis II of Poland was given information by his ministers that they in turn had received from their agents in St. Petersburg. It indicated that the Russians were preparing to go to war with Sweden to regain control of Karelia and push into Finland. With this information and France's promise of aid the Poles decided to act. On October 20th 1830 a Polish army of around 30,000 men invaded Silesia, the war had started.
The Fourth Silesian War 1830-1834
The Shifting Balance
North America: 1820-1830
The Third Louisianan-Confederate War started on August 20th 1820 when Jérôme I, Emperor of Louisiana, invaded the Confederacy of American States. The CAS had been obliged, under the terms of the Treaty of Charleston (which ended the Second Louisianan-Confederate War of 1819), to abolish slavery throughout the country. It however had done no such thing and in the few months since Jérôme withdrew from the CAS the government in Charleston had cracked down on slave insurrections and began mobilising new armies. The newly created Freedmen's Republic was full of slaves who had recently escaped from the Confederacy who told of the new counter-insurrection. Word was sent to New Orleans and the Emperor decided to act. 35,000 Louisianan soldiers invaded Georgia, the third time such an undertaking had happened in six years. The Confederates had assembled an army of 40,000 men near Atlanta ready to stop the Louisianan advance on the city.
Bonaparte however had no intention of taking Atlanta. The city, partially raised during the previous war, was no longer the important hub it had been, in addition Jérôme was convinced, correctly, that the Confederacy presumed he would strike this way. Instead Bonaparte went north-east coming round behind Atlanta and cutting it off from the north of the country. The Louisianan goal appeared to be Charlotte, capital of North Carolina. The Confederate forces were completely outmaneuvered. There was now a division within the CAS army. Many officers advocated that they stay where they are, believing Bonaparte's move to be a feint and that his primary goal was still Atlanta. Others, including the general Thomas Taylor, called for an immediate move north to engage Bonaparte. Eventually the latter view won out and the Confederates marched north with all speed. When word arrived of their movements a second smaller Louisianan force (around 6,000 men) as well as a force from the Freemen's Republic (c.3500) moved into Georgia from the south west. Like the last war they began a campaign of slave liberation and scorched earth eventually moving up to take the now lightly defended Atlanta. The great drama however was fought at the Battle of Hartwell.
Bonaparte had hoped that the Confederates would be forced to come to him, and he had prepared well. His forces had fortified the town of Hartwell, on the shores of the lake of the same name. To the east behind the river he had deployed his artillery and behind them, hidden, his cavalry. The Confederates arrived on February 2nd 1821. They immediately began an assault on Hartwell. The strike was bloody and the Confederates took great losses from the artillery across the river. General Taylor soon ordered an attack by his cavalry to cross the river and take out the cannon. Unfortunately for him the cavalry got bogged down in the river and were hit hard by the artillery. Eventually they crossed and were now ready to take out the guns. At this moment however Jérôme unleashed his own cavalry, divided in two groups. The first group struck the exhausted and battered Confederate horse on the east side of the river, routing them and saving the cannon. The second forced crossed the river further to the north over a pre-prepared wooded bridge. They poured down into the Confederate infantry assaulting the town shattering them. The Louisianan infantry now sallied out of Hartwell, and joining the cavalry, put the Confederates to flight. In only six months of war the Confederate Army of Georgia had been annihilated and the southern half of the country was in enemy hands.
Louisianan Cavalry counter-charge the Confederates at the Battle of Hartwell (1821):
The Confederate still had another large force available however, the Army of Northern Virginia, led by Virginian Robert Adams. It was at this point however that the political developments doomed the CAS. There had been a growing resentment in Virginia over the last decade, or two, that Charleston was overreaching its authority and impeding on Virginians rights. The defeats in the south had not helped. Once word of the disaster at Hartwell reached Richmond there was a wave of defeatism and anti-war sentiment was high. Orders came from Charleston that the Army of Northern Virginia was to march south to defend the capital. The Virginians were aghast. They did not want to send their army (as they saw it) to die in attempt to save the Carolinans, whilst leaving themselves open to a Yankee attack no less! Leading Virginian politicians and General Adams conferred long into the night, and in the end refused to march the army south. The Confederate government was astonished and angered, they ordered that General Adams be relieved of command. The Virginians had another idea however. On March 30th 1821 the state government in Richmond, Virginia voted overwhelmingly to secede from the Confederacy and declare the independent Republic of Virginia.
The Confederate cause was now hopeless. Bonaparte's forces continued to move north and took Charlotte in April and then Raleigh soon after. Here he paused to let his men rest and gather supplies. During this period he negotiated peace with Virginia. Virginian independence was recognised and it was allowed to keep its borders as they were, provided they free the slaves, which they did (though with much grumbling). In the south of the Confederacy however things were still active. The Louisianans and Freedmen had continued their fight, battling the Confederacy in a series of skirmishes. There was however another force in the region, the Five Civilized Tribes. The natives had been gradually relocated during the early 1800s, some to Louisiana, the rest to Florida. Now, with backing from New Orleans, they too rose up against the CAS, and by the end of 1821 had seized large parts of the peninsula. The war would drag on until Charleston fell in early 1822 when peace was signed in the Treaty of Queenstown. Virginian independence was accepted, slavery was abolished (for real this time), the Freemen's Republic was enlarged, Louisiana received parts of Georgia and North Carolina and southern Florida was made independent as the Native Republic of Florida (or at least thats what other nations called it), a country comprised of the Seminole, Creek and Choctaw tribes. Bonaparte's legend was now established, he returned to New Orleans in triumph.
Rebelling Confederate slaves fighting in southern Georgia (1822):
In the far north of the continent meanwhile Britain and Russia had begun a period of serious competition over the Oregon region. British Canada had expanded westward as immigration increased throughout the 1820s, driving towards the Pacific. The Russians had simultaneously being moving south from Alaska. A skirmish broke out in 1824 and again in 1828 between British and Russian settlers. In the end to avoid war Britain and Russia divided up the territory, Russia gaining land whilst Britain got its Pacific coast. The rest of Oregon remain a disputed tinderbox however as British, Américan and Louisianan settlers all flooded into the region. In eastern Canada, Fort James had grown into a large city. It was also well fortified. The growth of Quebec was seen as a threat to the people both here and in New England. Quebec had been officially integrated into France in 1825. Since then French investment, economic and military, had increased and the population of the province had risen to just shy of 2 million people by the end of the decade.
In the 1820s New England had meanwhile continued its development and economic rise. Trade with Britain and the Caribbean continued to boom. First Minister Arthur Johnson, a Federalist, continued to push for a more assertive and prominent New England. The Royal New England Navy (RNEN) grew in size and strength. The army too was not neglected however as the wars to the south convinced the country that it needed to be able to defend itself. Relations with New Orleans cooled considerably during this time as the expansionist policies of Bonaparte were regarded with suspicion. Internally New England was the industrial heart of North America. Factories and iron works began to dot the Dominion, in addition rail-roads sprung up along the east coast, and out west connecting the cities of Queenstown and Pittsburgh. Domestically there was the rise of a third political party, alongside the Federalists and Whigs, the Liberals. The Liberals advocated a (surprise) liberal social agenda and were a pro-independence party. By 1830 however they were still by far the smallest of the parties.
Louisiana after 1822 was the powerful united French-speaking heart of North America. With the Confederacy finally dealt with the Emperor now set about domestic issues. A new constitution was drawn up. The Assembly was preserved as were the departments (now 48 with the new territories). Its powers had however been drastically reduced and supreme executive authority now lay with the Emperor. The country's population continued to rise as immigrants from Europe continued to arrive (primarily from France, Italy and the French Low Countries) and bringing with them the Industrial Revolution. The southern part of the country began to urbanise and, using the Mississippi river system, became an industrial and commercial power-hub. New Orleans controlled the river trade of the continent and became the largest city in North America outside of the UPA (Boston also claimed this title and in truth the two cities were extremely close). By the late 1820s however tensions had begin to rise with the United Provinces over Tejas. The border region between the two was filled with immigrants from Louisiana and elsewhere and was increasingly restless under the control of Mexico City. The Tejas issue would be explosive in the coming years. The British Native Protectorate too expanded into Oregon. It also would have growing issues with Louisiana over the issue of Native Americans in the border region between them. In the rump-Confederacy things were not good however. The CAS had lost huge amounts of land as well as its most populous state. The abolition of slavery had caused the Confederate economy to implode. The government in Charleston seemed increasingly unable to cope, and in 1829 the republic was overthrown by a military coup led by general James Moore who was made President, the country was now run by a military dictatorship.
The Fourth Silesian War
The Fourth Silesian War
Part II: Storms in Silesia
(October 1830 to April 1831)
Prince Philippe of Poland, younger brother to the reigning Henry IV, led an army of thirty thousand men into Austrian Silesia. To his right an army of 22,000 led by Count Grabowski moved to prevent a Prussian move south and protect the flank of the main advance. To Philippe's left a similar size force under Count Poniatowski headed to secure southern Silesia and the town of Ratibor. Five days after Polish forces launched their invasion Saxony-Bavaria declared war on Austria-Hungary. Prussia soon joined the war on Austria's side. The goal of the Polish armies was to secure as much of Silesia as quickly as possible and above all else to prevent the Prussian and Austrian armies linking up and co-operating.
To that end the Saxobavarians launched an invasion of Silesia from the east under Prince Maximilian, eldest son of the king, with an army of around 32,000. Maximilian sought to link up with Polish forces near Goldberg and sever the Austro-Prussian forces. By now Austria had begun moving its own armies into battle. Prince Leopold commanded the Army of Bohemia (34,000) and was ordered by Vienna to move north-east and engage the Poles. Archduke Joseph and the Army of Silesia (31,000) had already moved to counter the Polish forces under Poniatowski. Duke Charles meanwhile was given 20,000 men to prevent a Saxonbavarian invasion of Bohemia from the north. Joseph's forces fought a battle against the Poles near Oppeln, in which the Austrians were forced to retreat. The Battle of Oppeln, in January, was a victory for the outnumbered Polish army who capitalised on their success and moved south to take the city of Ratibor. Prince Leopold (overall Austrian commander in the theatre) was now aware of the Saxo-Polish plan to prevent him linking up with the Poles. To prevent such a move he led his army north, joined with some forces from Joseph's command, and headed towards the city of Liegnitz.
The Prussians by now had entered the theatre. Prince Frederick, heir to the Prussian throne, led an army of 35,000 men south into Silesia. He too was determined to prevent the allies being cut off and sought to link up with the Austrians. At Sagan in mid February, he engaged a Saxon force under Maximilian's command and achieved a resounding success. This was the first example in the war of the more experienced Prussian forces (having successfully battled in the Pomeranian War a few years ago) outfighting their less veteran foes. The Saxobavarians were forced to regroup southeast. The Saxon Duke Ernest, commanding an army of 19,000, was ordered to increase his defences in northern Saxony in case the Prussians headed his way. Frederick of Prussia had other ideas though. The victory at Sagan had offered him an opportunity to swing round behind the Polish lines and strike at Grabowski's rear. The Prussian forces immediately began such a move taking the town of Glogau and crossing the Oder, throwing the Poles into a panic.
The Austrians by now had beaten off the Saxons in a series of skirmishes and continued their move north. The Poles under Philippe had overran large areas of Silesia and had taken Breslau. Determined to link up with Maximilian and the Saxobavarian forces, Philippe and his army crossed the Oder and attacked Liegnitz. The town repulsed the first assault and the Poles were forced to prepare a siege. Before they could launch a second attack however, to the south the Austrians under Archduke Leopold arrived to break the siege on April 2nd. The two sides skirmished back and forth for a day or two and were preparing for a full-scale battle when the Saxobavarians appeared from the west. The two allies began preparing to attack the now outnumbered Austrians. As the first cannon began to sound riders brought news to Leopold that a Prussian force of 9,000 men under a General von Clausewitz was three hours away, having been sent south by Frederick whilst the main army dealt with Grabowski. Leopold sent the rider back to the Prussians asking Clausewitz to “march to the sound of the guns”, meanwhile his own army prepared to do battle with the Saxon-Polish forces. The date was April 4th 1831.
The Fourth Silesian War
Part III: Fog of War, Call of Battle
(1830 to 1832)
The Fourth Silesian War had begun with the Polish invasion of Silesia in October 1830. Within weeks tens of thousands of men were fighting for control of the province as Poland and Saxony-Bavaria opposed the armies of the Austro-Prussian alliance. The other nations of Europe too looked on with concern and began preparing their armies, resigned to the likelihood of themselves being called into the war. As the fighting in Silesia continued the other German states began to be pulled closer and closer to war. In March of 1831 the Prussian army under Prince Frederick completed its encirclement of General Grabowski's Polish army and crushed them in the ensuing engagement. The victory here was a great triumph for the Prussians who had eliminated the immediate Polish threat to Prussia itself. Frederick now decided the time was right to invade Poland itself. A second Prussian force, the Army of East Prussia, had launched its own attack south into Poland. Frederick aimed to head east and join with this force before moving on to Warsaw.
The Silesian Campaign of the winter of 1830/1 climaxed in the great Battle of Liegnitz. The battle would rage from the morning of April 4th to the evening of the next day and would in all constitute over 120,000 men. The battle began at 5:00AM with Polish cavalry striking at the Austrian right flank. The Austrians managed to beat off the attack while attempting to withdraw south slightly to gain a better defensive position. Austrian and Polish forces fought bitterly all morning, until around 3:00PM when the Saxobavarian forces entered the battle, attacking the Austrian left. Around 5 o'clock the city of Liegnitz itself fell to the Poles. The Austrians attempted to hold the two opposing forces off with battle raging all evening. At dawn on the next day the three armies spotted a new force arriving from the north, around 9,000 strong. The Poles, believing them to be their own reinforcements, continued their fight with Archduke Leopold. Leopold, for his part, hoped they were the Prussians. He decided to gamble, remaining on the defensive on his left, he sent his cavalry in a full attack on the Polish infantry. This great charge (nearly 7,000 horse) coincided with the new army (who of course were in fact the Prussians under von Clausewitz) falling on the Polish rear. To make things worse the Prussians managed to catch Prince Philippe of Poland isolated and the Polish commander was killed by an anonymous Prussian horseman. The Polish forces soon fell into disorder and by around 4:45PM they were in retreat. The Saxobavarians under Prince Maximilian fatally hesitated to send men to assist the Poles around noon, fearing a larger Prussian force was on the way. With the Poles in flight, the Saxons began to disengage from the battle as the Austrians retook Liegnitz. By 7:30PM on the 5th the battle was over, around forty thousand men were dead or wounded.
The Battle of Liegnitz would be one of the major events in the Fourth Silesian War. There would be two key consequences of the Austro-Prussian victory. Firstly it effectively ended the possibility of Poland and Saxony-Bavaria being able to link up in Silesia and act as a unified force, handing the initiative and upper hand to the Austrians and Prussians. Secondly there was France. The French had been preparing to enter the war in support of the Poles, as promised. However there was considerable opposition in France itself. Many, nobles and commoners, saw no reason for France to intervene in a war over Silesia. The king on the other hand was eager to support his Bourbon cousin and had just as many supporters as opponents. Liegnitz changed the game. Vienna and Berlin had hoped that a major victory in Germany would cause France to avoid joining the war, not wishing to back a losing side. How wrong they were. Leignitz sent alarm bells ringing in Paris. What would happen if Austria and Prussia crushed the Poles and Saxons, as many now feared? Would they divide Poland between them? Would Saxony-Bavaria be swallowed up by the Hapsburgs and Hohenzollerns? France must intervene now or face a hostile Europe unified from the Rhine to the Russian border. France declared war on Austria and Prussia on April 30th 1831. Hanover, under political pressure from France and Poland, followed suit a week later.
The French, and to a lesser extent the Hanoverian, declarations of war were a significant blow to the Austro-Prussian alliance. It was now necessary for the allies to change their battle plan. It was decided that they should attempt to hold in the west whilst trying to knock Poland out of the war, hoping that with the Poles out the chief casus belli would be gone and maybe peace could be established. To that end the Army of East Prussia continued its campaign against the Poles in the north whilst simultaneously the Austrian Army of Hungary was to invade Poland from the south whilst the army in Silesia under Archduke Joseph launched a renewed drive to force the southern Polish army out of the territory. The Prussian army under Prince Frederick however was ordered back to Prussia proper and was sent west to counter the Hanoverians. With Frederick moving west the Army of East Prussia, under General Franz Mosh, lacked the strength to take Warsaw, instead it set about conquering the Posen region, where it defeated a Polish force under Paweł Dikowski near Toruń (German: Thorn). The Austrians now began to prepare for a much greater conflict than originally hoped. Archduke Leopold (victor of Liegnitz) was to invade Saxony-Bavaria to gain a foothold there before the French could arrive. Another Austrian army was being raised in Venetia to prepare for any Italian campaign. Berlin and Vienna were now, also, determined to balance out the sides by diplomatic means. Diplomatic pressure on the League of the Rhine mounted throughout May of 1831. The average Rhinelander was sympathetic to the Austro-Prussian cause. However the elites, especially the Grand Marshall, King Frederick of Münster, were opposed to war. No help came from Dortmund for the time being. Britain however seemed more receptive. The British, secretly, promised to enter the war as soon as possible (distracted by a rising in Bengal at this time).
The French war effort began in Italy. A French army, roughly 38,000 men, moved into Sardinia. The Italian state, a Bourbon ruled French ally, joined the war and contributed a further 20,000 men. This huge force then invaded Austrian Venetia. The Austrian army here was not yet fully assembled so the defenders withdrew, delaying the French advance with a series of skirmishes. The French did however manage to win a large engagement near Verona in July 1831. The victory at Verona was enough to bring the other pro-French Italian nations (Modena, Lucca and Tuscany) into the war. The Papal States too were brought in (the French military presence in the country likely helped them make this decision). A bright spot for Vienna however was the actions of the Neapolitan Republic who invaded the Papal States in August forcing the French to distract themselves from the north. In Germany the French crossed the Rhine with a huge force led by Prince Charles (brother of the King) which numbered roughly 50,000 men. Baden had refused permission for the French to cross their nation, so the French simply invaded. The invasion of Baden however push other German states into the Austro-Prussian camp. Hessia and Wurzburg joined the war in early September, a significant addition to the Austrian and Prussian forces in Germany.
The Hanoverians had attempted a swift invasion of Prussia which had been beaten off by a much smaller Prussian army under General Richter von Manthofen, buying time for the main Prussian army to return from Silesia. The Saxobavarians meanwhile were on the defensive. Their army had withdrawn from the defeat at Leignitz, pursued cautiously by the Austrians. The joining of the war by Hessia and Wurzburg however had left them nearly surrounded. Saxony proper was almost cut off when an Austrian army invade the centre of the country. Dresden was ordered fortified whilst the main Saxobavarian force prepared in the south awaiting French forces. Swabia and Wurttemberg, seeing Baden's fate, both agreed to allow French forces through, though they were reluctant to declare war on France's enemies, known as the Coalition, but were eventually pressured into doing so. On September 20th the French met a Hessian-Wurzburg force at the Battle of Hanau, attempting to crush the allies before the Prussians could arrive to assist them. The result was an overwhelming French victory shattering the Coalition forces. The French continued their advance threatening the city of Wurzburg itself before the Prussians under Frederick arrived. The Battle of Wurzburg was a tie. The French had threatened to break the Coalition army but the timely arrival of the Hessians forced them to withdrew to the west, though the Prussian and Wurzburg forces had taken quite a beating.
The French invasion of Germany greatly antagonized the Rhinelander population. But the Grand Marshall continued to remain against war. In October however a popular revolt (rumours indicated British and Prussian assistance) ousted King Frederick in Münster. Following the example of Cologne a republic was declared, with one of the revolt leaders Kuld von Reyn (a respected local aristocrat) made Chancellor. With Frederick's overthrow (he went into exile in Switzerland) the League needed a new Grand Marshall. The pro-war King August of Westphalia got the nod, he brought the League into the war in November. The League's, eventual, declaration of war restored balance to the conflict. The French were forced to send a new force to deal with them. The Palatinate, in the path of the French, joined the Coalition and invited the League to send a force to protect it, which they did. French diplomatic efforts were also under way however, backed up by the great wealth of the nation. Towards year's end they pulled off a great political coup by convincing Sweden to enter the war in a bid to retake Pomerania, Prussia was now fighting on all sides. By the end of 1831 nearly half of Germany was in French hands. French forces had also arrived in Bavaria to help drive out the Austrians, and were simultaneously pressuring the League and the Coalition armies in Wurzburg. In Poland Austro-Prussian forces had despite, early victories, faced increasing Polish resistance. This Polish resilience caused the Coalition to begin to consider approaching Russia to enter the war. However, despite the benefit of Russia fighting Poland (and indeed Sweden) Berlin and Vienna were reluctant to see a Russian dominated Poland, let alone Russian armies on their own borders. In Italy French and allied forces had besieged Venice but in the south were facing a gradual Neapolitan drive north whilst pro-republican stirrings were beginning in northern Italian states. The war had raged for over a year, and thousands were dead, but the conflict was only just beginning.
The situation end of 1831:
(Note Denmark is not pro-Coalition is as much as it is anti-Sweden, it just happens to be the same thing).
Edit: Also this map makes an error in not showing Karelia as Swedish, my mistake.
The Fourth Silesian War
Part IV: Men and Steel
(1832 to 1834)
In December of 1831 the last remnants of the Bengali rebellion had been crushed by the British. In the early days of the new year the United Kingdoms declared war on the Alliance and joined the conflict as it had promised. Denmark, with very little pushing, followed suit and joined the Coalition in early February. The addition of these two northern powers once again shifted the dimensions of the war. The Danes attacked Sweden from the west from Norway. Despite some initial successes here their advance stalled. Denmark also, in a secret pact with Prussia, invaded Holstein, subduing the country in a matter of weeks. From here they could now threaten Hanover from the north. As the Prussian western army under General Richter von Manthofen, now flushed with reinforcements from the east, launched an attack westward in March 1832 into Hanover they were supported by Danish actions to the north. The British intervention was a massive blow to France, who had hoped that the fighting in Bengal would have dragged on for longer (indeed French agents had been active in encouraging and arming the rebels). The immediate result of the UK joining the war was its financial muscle, huge amounts of money now flooded into its Coalition allies on the continent staving off the financial depressions that had threatened them. As Britain set about preparing itself for a European war it was able to land a small force, roughly 12,000 men, in the northern part of the League to assist the fighting in Germany. The Royal Navy meanwhile moved to enact a blockade of France and win the war at sea.
For the first half of 1832 the war continued to drag on. The Poles continued to put up a brave fight in defence of their country. A Prussian attack on Warsaw was repulsed in April, though there was little chance of pushing the Prussians out entirely. To the south the Austrian advance into Galicia had managed to seize control of most of the territory but was unable to capitalise on this success as first call for men and munitions was Germany. Polish forces, enjoying a brief respite, began assembling new forces further east to prepare for a counter-attack. The Polish state, centralised and expanded under the Bourbon kings, was waging war like never before seen. This conflict, viewed as a life or death struggle for Poland and the Polish people, saw the first signs of total war in Poland, a precursor to the conflicts of the twentieth century. The entire population of the country was being affected as thousands were called up for the struggle. These vast armies that were being gathered were often inexperienced, ill-equipped and poorly supplied but were to fight with a ferocity that would stun their enemies. The Polish government had sent feelers down to the United Kingdom of the Danube. Poland was attempting to bring the UKD into the war, pointing at the great reward of Austrian Transylvania.
Prussian cavalry in Posen (1832):
In Italy 1832 was to prove a bloody year. The French and their Italian allies had managed to defeat the Austrians in Venetia and place Venice itself under siege. The city however was holding out. In May of 1832 the siege was broken by an Austrian counter-attack supported by a Royal Navy contingent operating out of Malta, where they had gained permission to establish a small base. This defeat shook the Italian allies of France who were facing growing problems at home. The British blockade and the losses in the war were undermining the states at home. Compounding this was the growing republican movements inspired by the actions of Naples. The Neapolitan Republic had achieved a surprising amount of success in the early years of the war. By now they had isolated Rome and seized much of the Papal lands. In an effort to drive back the republicans a Tuscan led army from the various Italian states attacked the Neapolitan armies near San Marino. The battle was a close one and could have gone differently had the Luccan forces not broken so easily. In the end the Battle of San Marino was a victory for the Neapolitans. San Marino would have a climatic effect on Italy. Republican elements in Tuscany encouraged by San Marino, and egged on by British agents, launched a revolution in the country plunging it into a civil war. Similar uprisings now broke out in Lucca and Modena.
July 1832 was a low point for France. The British and Danes had entered the war and shifted the balance against them. Despite heroic resistance the Poles were still on the back foot and to their south their Italian allies were collapsing into revolution. It was only in Germany, the decisive theatre, that France could now achieve victory. Fortunately it was in the German battle that France was doing the best. The Palatinate had by now fallen and, despite the setback at Wurzburg, central Germany was being slowly won. As French forces arrived in Saxony-Bavaria the Austrian advance here slowed, and was then reversed. The Saxobavarian and French forces freed much of the country and struck into Tyrolia catching the Austrians off guard and forcing them to divert troops here from the Italian theatre. To the west the French and their German allies had launched a new offensive. Wurzburg fell this time around as the Prussians and Hessians were driven back. The League of the Rhine was also under invasion. French forces had seized Trier and much of Nassau. Their advance was checked a few miles south of Cologne however as Rhineland and British forces beat them back. The war continued in this way for the rest of the year. In Germany the French and their allies continued to make slow but steady progress as the Hanoverians attempted to hold out against the Prussians, Danes and now British troops. The Poles fought a fighting retreat using scorched earth tactics to buy time for the gathering reserves to be mobilized. In Italy Franco-Sardinian armies now fought Austrians, Neapolitans and republican rebels throughout the north of the country alongside the loyalist monarchists whilst Rome was cut off in the south. Around the globe British and French forces clashed on land (in Canada and India) and at sea. The Dominion of New England had not joined the war, worried as it was by events on its own continent, but had moved troops to the border with Quebec and was fighting an undeclared war against French shipping. It was in early 1833 that the face of the war was to change once again, and dramatically.
Russia. This great empire was unrecognisable from that of Catherine. Its economy and society had been liberalised, its government was ruled by a constitution and its military had grown and learnt from its wars against the Turks. The Russians had sat out the Revolutionary Wars in the rest of Europe and consequently had not gained any land. They were however not about to sit out this great conflict. Russian politics were at this point divide between the Traditionalists (cautious reformists and Europe focused) and the Militarists (more radical and looking to the Balkans and the Turks). Throughout 1831 and 1832 it was clear, at least to those in St. Petersburg, that Russia was on the verge of war. It was not however clear who that war would be against. The Militarists advocated a campaign south. Now that the Austrians and British were distracted the time was right to drive the Ottomans out of the Balkans and on to Constantinople! The Traditionalists argued that Poland and Sweden were both fighting in the west. A strike east could bring new lands and glory and would see Russia gain strong allies. What was obvious however was that Russia could not do both and must act fact lest this opportunity pass them by. In January 1833 the Danish ambassador handed the Tsar a letter from his king asking Russia to join them against the Swedes. Peter IV, already more supportive of the Traditionalist viewpoint, decided finally what to do. In February 1833 the Russian Empire declared war on the Alliance and invaded Sweden and Poland.
The Russian invasion doomed Poland. The Poles were to fight a heroic resistance however. The gathering reserve armies in the east were sent to counter the Russian move. The Russians, overconfident and lacking in recent military experience, were halted and then defeated in a titanic battle near Minsk. This however prevented the deployment of the reserves to the west. The Austrians and Prussians launched a combined offensive in the Spring which achieved great success. Polish forces were recalled from the east to defend the capital. The Russians, learning quickly, renewed their offensive winning a great battle near Wilno (Vilna/Vilnius). Pressed by three armies the Polish state began to collapse.
Russian infantry at the Battle of Wilno (1833):
The Swedes too were now having great difficulty. Any attempt to regain Pomerania was now nothing but a dream as all efforts went into fighting off invasion. The Russian attack had stalled against a line of Swedish fortifications in Finland and Karelia. As Spring became Summer however the Russians managed to knock out fortress after fortress and soon were spilling into Finland. The Danes had had a difficult time in the west, fighting in Norway and in Germany. The Russian intervention allowed them to regain the upper hand however and they were soon driving the Swedes back. For France this was a catastrophe. In Paris it was decided something had to be done to prop up their eastern allies. It was decided that a French fleet would join with their Swedish counterparts to crush the Danish navy. Winning control of the sea they would cut the Danes in half buying the Swedes time to regroup as well as opening the possibility of assistance to Poland. As Germany, Italy and Poland burned the French navy set off from Brest heading east. The Brits, who French spies had tried to mislead into thinking the ships were going to Canada, were not fooled and shadowed the French. As the French and Swedish navies joined in the Skagerrak strait they were surprised to find not just the Danes waiting for them but the Royal Navy. The Battle of Skagerrak was to be one of the largest naval battles of the 19th century. For twelve hours the two allied navies fired at each other. But as the day wore on it was the Anglo-Danish navy that gained the upper hand. The Swedes broke off from the battle, knowing that the complete loss of their fleet would spell their country's doom. The French, now abandoned and outnumbered, were seriously bloodied and eventually fled back to France. The Battle of Skagerrak was the turning point of the war. With the seas now completely in Coalition hands Sweden and Poland were doomed.
Royal Navy ships near Skagerrak (1833):
Events in Italy had gone from bad to worse for the Alliance. The republican rebels had won out in the three small Italian states and had joined up with the Neapolitans. The unified republican forces were now invading Sardinia. This was the birth of Italian nationalism. The unified Italian armies, united under the Republican movement, had gained control of most of the peninsula. Pan-Italian feelings were on the rise. In Sicily as well there were important developments in this time. The Kingdom of Sicily had not entered the war. Its king, Francis I, was dying of disease. He had no male children and his brother Leopold had died a few years back. The only likely successor was his cousin Charles, now Charles V of Spain. Francis died in August 1833 and Charles was declared king. The rest of Europe, tearing itself apart in war, did not notice for the most part or did not care. The one nation of note who did care a great deal was the Spanish Republic. Madrid was actually in favour of the succession, believing that the joining of the Spanish kingdom and Sicily would shift Barcelona's focus eastward and away from the republic. The Republic's ambassador in Barcelona told Charles V that the Republic would not oppose the union with force (a threat that if carried out would likely have ended in the Kingdom's defeat) provided Charles drop any claim to the rest of Spain forever. Charles didn't like this one bit but his more cautious advisers told him to accept the deal, Sicily over war any day they said. Consequently on August 28th 1833 Charles was declared King Charles V of the United Kingdom of Aragon and Sicily.
The French needed, and needed badly, to achieve a massive knock-out victory in Germany to shatter the Coalition before Poland, Italy and Sweden all collapsed. Throughout late 1833 the various armies in Germany skirmished and maneuvered. Hessia was overrun in September and not long later Cologne fell to France. In Dortmund the Council of the Rhine passed the New League Act which centralised power in the capital and granted the Grand Marshall increased powers. The Rhinelanders felt that their internal divisions were hampering their war effort and with the French in Cologne urgent action was needed.The Austrians had however regained the upper hand against the Saxobavarians and Hanover was on the point of surrender. The Austrians, Rhinelanders and Prussians now launched a combined counter-attack. The three forces moved to threaten Leipzig, a victory they hoped would force Saxony-Bavaria out of the war. The French and Saxobavarians moved to counter this drive and crush the Coalition forces once and for all. On November 10th 1833 over six hundred thousand men clashed at the Battle of Leipzig, known to history as the Battle of Five Armies.
The flag flown by the Rhinelander armies after the New League Act:
The Fourth Silesian War
Part V: Smoke, Blood and Iron
(Leipzig: November 10th - 12th 1833)
The Battle of Leipzig (aka the Battle of Five Armies, or the Battle of the Nations) was the defining moment of the Fourth Silesian War. The battle would determine the fate of the conflict as well as the balance of power in Europe for the next several decades. It was by far the largest battle in the conflict and indeed is believed to be the largest battle, in terms of combatants, in European history until that point. Well over half a million men fought in the battle. The Battle of Leipzig marked the end of the German campaign of late 1833. As their allies in the east gradually began to collapse France and Saxony-Bavaria were seeking a great victory in the centre of Europe to shatter the Coalition and provide acceptable peace terms. The Coalition armies (Austria, Prussia and the League) had invaded Saxony. Focusing on Leipzig they sough to force the Saxobavarians out of the war and leave France isolated. The Alliance armies were comprised of 200,000 French and 120,000 Saxobavarian and other German allies, 320,000 in total. The Coalition had amassed an even larger force of 135,000 Prussians, 170,000 Austrians and 60,000 Rhinelanders, a combined army of roughly 365,000 men. The two colossal forces clashed on November 10th 1833.
The plan of the Alliance forces, under the combined command of Prince Charles Bourbon of France, was to defend Leipzig and keep the Coalition forces divided. The Austrians were approaching from the east the Prussian/Rhineland force from the northwest. The Saxobavarians were to hold the city and delay the Austrians for as long as possible for the French to crush the northern force. The Coalition plan was, unsurprisingly the opposite. The two armies would seek to combine northeast of the city and then envelop and crush the Franco-Saxobavarian force. On the morning of the 10th the Saxobavarian and Austrian cannon began firing at each other as their armies manoeuvred and prepared for battle. The majority of the Austrian force deployed against the Saxons whilst a force of 35,000 continued northwest hoping to make contact with the Prusso-Rhineland forces under the Prussian Prince Frederick. The eastern part of the battle would be fierce and would drag on for hours. To the north the French had surprised the German forces, who had been expecting to meet Austrian allies not French enemies. Regardless Frederick adapted quickly and soon the battle was under-way. The land around the city was flat for the most part making ideal terrain for a battle, even one of this size. Throughout the day the two battles were fought almost independent of one another. By early evening however the French were driven back by the Prusso-Rhineland forces (now joined by the Austrian contingent) and were withdrawing towards Leipzig itself. The Saxobavarians, who had been holding their own against the Austrians, now moved west linking up with the French around the city, the two battles merged.
The Battle of Leipzig on the 10th:
The battle continued to rage in approximate stalemate throughout the 11th. After a brief lull over night the battle resumed early on the morning of the 12th. The Allied armies were slowly pushed back and the city itself came under attack from Prussian cannon. At around 10am the Austrians managed to break the Saxon centre and cut the Saxobavarians in half. The southern group managed to regroup in good order and keep up the fighting. The northern force now found itself surrounded on three sides by Austrians and Prussians with the city at its backs. By noon this force had been crushed and the survivors fled into Leipzig. The Prussians and Rhinelanders capitalised on this success and drove the French back before beginning an assault on Leipzig. The remaining Saxobavarian forces began to waver and the Austrians gained the upper hand. By around 2pm the battle was clearly going against the Allied forces. But then at around half past two on the 12th everything changed. Prince Charles had noticed a weak point in the Coalition lines. Attempting to simultaneously assault Leipzig and keep the French at bay the Prusso-Rhineland forces had overstretched themselves, leaving a gap in their centre. Charles knew this was his last chance to save the battle. In an act that would be immortalized in French art and literature for decades to come 20,000 French cavalry hurled themselves into this gap. Taking great casualties from cannon the French horse threw themselves into the weak point. The Prussians shattered. As French cavalry tore through their lines the Prussian forces lost all sense of order and structure. The Saxobavarians in the city, seeing what was happening, sortied out catching the Prussians in disarray. The Prussian army was now in full retreat. The Rhinelanders soon followed, in somewhat better order, as the French infantry turned on them and swept them from the field. The Austrians, now suddenly alone, attempted to withdraw eastward but suffered great casualties from the Allied pursuit. By 7o'clock it was all over. The French cavalry charge (resulting in the deaths of one in three of the men involved) had snatched victory from the jaws of defeat. The Prussian army was annihilated, the Rhinelanders broken, and the Austrians beaten. And around hundred and fifty thousand men were dead or dying on the fields outside Leipzig.
The Fourth Silesian War
Part VI: Endgame: The Closing Stages and the Madrid Congress
Leipzig decided how the war in Europe would end. In military terms the Battle of Five Armies won France the war in Germany. The League of the Rhine was the first to request peace. When word arrived of the defeat of their army in the east and with half of the League under French occupation the League requested an armistice in January of 1834. Hanover, which had been crushed beneath Prussian, Danish and Rhinelander armies surrendered on the same day. The war was now clearly winding itself down. Outside of Europe the war too entered its final stages. In India relatively inconclusive fighting had raged between Britain and France, as well as their respective clients. In early February of 1834 however the British and their allies won a major battle against French forces south of Bengal. In North America New England had finally acted. Irritated by French raids on their commercial shipping, the lifeblood of their economy, a New England expedition had sailed into the Caribbean and seized Saint Domingue, the staging ground for French maritime operations with small British assistance. The colony was taken and represented the first, but not the last, overseas territory for the Dominion.
In Europe the final stages of the war contained no great shocks and instead saw the wrapping up of the various Campaigns. The first three months of 1834 saw Sweden driven back in the west and east. Danish forces, now with naval superiority in the Baltic following Skagerrak, launched a twin invasion of western Sweden, one force moving down from Norway the other landed by sea. The campaign was a great success and, following continued Russian victories in the east, Sweden threw in the towel in March. The Poles followed suit after a battle outside Warsaw was won by the Austro-Prussian forces and the capital fell. The remaining Polish forces withdrew south and east continuing their fanatical resistance against the advancing Russians. Polish irregular forces had mounted a determined campaign against the invaders throughout the war. Austrian troops in Italy maintained their fight against the Franco-Sardinian army whilst nervously eying their nominal allies the pan-Italian republican forces to the south. The Prussians attempted to regroup following Leipzig. However the Austrians and Prussians, their German armies defeated, now both sent feelers to Paris asking for peace, their war aims in the east completed. The Russians had won great successes in both Poland and the north and were content for the war to end on favourable terms. Russian eyes now moved south as tensions in the Balkans were mounting. The British, seeing their continental allies drained and wishing to focus on domestic concerns as well as events outside Europe, approached France for peace. In France a minority, following Leipzig, believed the war could be won outright but the majority, and the king, realised that with their allies crumbling the best they could hope for was a negotiated peace using Leipzig as a bargaining chip. In May of 1834 the warring powers met in Madrid, capital of the Spanish Republic, to forge a peace.
Prussian forces near Warsaw, March 1834:
It was clear to the representatives of the participating states that two things were undeniable. Firstly the Coalition had won in the east. Poland and Sweden were overwhelmed and both nations lay at the mercies of the victorious powers, despite the ongoing skirmishes between the occupied and the occupiers. Secondly France was triumphant in Central Europe. France and its German allies, especially Saxony-Bavaria, had crushed the Coalition forces at Leipzig and the League was half occupied by French troops. Prussia was eager for peace seeking to make gains in Hanover and Poland whilst Vienna was eager to focus on the situation in Italy and, like the Russians, the Balkans. The two sides sought to create a peace, a lasting peace they hoped, that reflected these two developments. But were there actually only two sides in Madrid? Well pretty soon it became clear that this wasn't the truth; in fact there were three factions at the conference. The French delegation, led by Prince Charles (victor of Leipzig) led the wartime Alliance faction. The Coalition, or most of it, was led primarily by the British Earl of Liverpool and Archduke Leopold of Austria-Hungary. However after only a few days of negotiation it became clear that there was a third party that was pursuing its own interests apart from the other two, and that of course was Russia. Prince Nicholas (Nikolay), brother to the Tsar, was the leader of the Russian delegation which soon found itself isolated in the conference and quickly abandoned any loyalty to the Coalition and sought to find the best deal for Russia. Disagreements with the other Coalition partners led the Russians to believe they were being ostracised and they consequently began to drift apart from the Coalition, (there were even rumours that secretly Russia and France had discussed signing an alliance against the Coalition if negotiations went south).
The three factions argued and negotiated for months. Some issues were resolved fairly easily. Holstein was ceded to Denmark, as were various parts of Sweden on which it had claim. Scandia, Halland and a few other pieces were given to the Danes. Gotland, the strategic island in the eastern Baltic, which had been conquered by the Danes, was made an independent kingdom ruled by a member of the Danish royal family and was in effect a Danish protectorate. Poland was forced to drop its claims on Silesia, which after all had been the cause of the whole war. Baden was ceded to France, this was unopposed even by Austria and Prussia as by now the French had effectively integrated the German state and seemed unlikely to leave. Hanover was to be divided between Denmark, Prussia and the League, representing the only major wartime success for the Coalition in Germany. There was however discussion on how to divide the country. Prussia sliced off a large part of Hanover in the east. Lying completely on the North European Plain Hanover had little to no terrain defences and this made absorbing it easier for the victorious powers. The League took a bit in the west. Hamburg became the key as both Denmark and the League wanted the city, which was currently occupied by Britain. As negotiations wore on no agreement seemed to be in sight. Austria even suggested that Britain maintain control over the city as a compromise, which was rejected by Denmark and the League, and Britain as a matter of fact. In the end the Danes decided that they weren't going to win out and offered a compromise. Hamburg is ceded to Denmark, who in turn would sell it to the League. The League gets the city and Denmark gets a large amount of money to pay off war expenditure. This was accepted by the other states and Hamburg and the surrounding area was added as new League member. Although it had previously been agreed that Hanover should be completely carved up, the League and Danes both now (united on this point now that Hamburg had been resolved) proposed the idea of keeping it alive, a buffer between them and the Prussians (not that they phrased it that way). The Prussians did not object as they were unlikely to gain the land being discussed and saw it in turn as a shield against western attack, primarily from France. A rump Hanover was allowed to exist and the three powers (Prussia, Denmark and the League) agreed that none of them would seek to absorb Hanover through aggression without first consulting with the other two. Other issues however proved tougher to resolve.
An artist's depiction of the Madrid Congress discussing the fate of Poland:
It was over Poland that most of the negotiations were spent. The Russians had pushed for Poland to be completely partitioned between themselves, Berlin and Vienna. The French objected, citing dynastic ties (the proposed Franco-Russian alliance fizzled on this issue) The British were wary of increasing Russian power too greatly and also voiced objections; not to mention the several thousand Poles still under arms that someone would have to tell were now stateless. The biggest proponents of a continued Polish state were, ironically enough, Prussia and Austria-Hungary. Both had been shocked and concerned by the sheer size of the Russian forces in Poland, and impressed in spite of themselves by the Russian forces quick ability to adapt and their successes in the war. Neither Prussia or Austria wanted to replace a defeated Poland on their border with a triumphant powerful Russia. It was over this issue that Russia and the Coalition fell out; most publicly with Nicholas and Leopold having a major argument in the conference. In the end the Russians backed down. Russian diplomats had been quietly made aware that Prussia and Austria-Hungary were now, almost laughably, prepared to fight to defend Poland from the Russians (negotiations with France were immediately started up again behind the scenes, though by now the French had soured on the deal). St. Petersburg was not willing to risk war with the Coalition. The final decision on this matter saw Posen ceded to Prussia, Galicia to Austria-Hungary and Courland, most of Ruthenia and a slab of eastern Poland given to Russia. Poland, though greatly reduced in size, power and prestige, remained. Denied in Poland the Russians were in no mood to compromise in the north, and no-one was willing to risk war for Sweden. Karelia, Kola and Finland were ceded in their entirety to Russia and the Swedish were forced to pay reparations to Russia. Madrid marked the end for Sweden as a great power and as a major actor on the European stage. With Poland sorted other issues soon fell into place. Trier (removed from the League) and the Palatinate were made French protectorates. Saxony-Bavaria absorbed Swabia and parts of Wurzburg and in turn ceded land to Austria and Prussia. The three independent German states in the south (Hesseia, Wurzburg and Wurttemberg) signed an alliance wary of being surrounded by Paris and Munich. The Aragonese inheritance of Sicily was also recognised. A few territorial changes took place in India and Africa in Britain's favour as well as despite success on the continent France had been beaten elsewhere (though North America saw no territorial changes as this theatre had remained fairly static). The powers were unsure on what to do with Italy though with both France and Austria concerned about the nationalist republican movement there, however this decision was taken out of their hands when on June 9th 1834 the republican representatives of Tuscany, Modena, Lucca and Naples declared the unified Italian Republic in Florence. Leaving a rump Papacy in Rome (to not antagonize France) as well as Piedmonte in Sardinian hands (with a few bits of land going to Italy and Austria) and Venetia in Austrian. In August 1834 the Madrid Congress signed the peace treaty that ended the Fourth Silesian War and changed Europe forever.
Kings and Sultans: The Rest of the World 1805-1850
In 1805 Great Britain and France made peace ending the Revolutionary Wars that had waged not only in Europe and the Americas but in India as well. The treaty created a new balance of power on the subcontinent. Britain was still, arguably, the region's strongest power. The Royal Navy based out of Bombay controlled the seas giving the British a key advantage. British power though was centred in Bengal. In the early years of the 19th Century Britain had increased its control over this territory. The French had been evicted from the region and the Ganges Delta was firmly British. Calcutta and Dacca had become wealthy and sprawling metropolises. The Governor-General, in charge of British India, based in Calcutta had become the supreme authority in Bengal. The influx of a new ruling class of Britons naturally caused some resentment amongst the natives. Two risings occurred against the British in Bengal (in 1814 and then a larger rebellion in 1830-1), but both were eventually defeated. These revolts however were to have an effect on the British way of ruling in India. Worried that another rising may receive support from another power (Delhi perhaps or even worse France) the British took steps to accommodate the locals. Indian elites were accepted into positions of power in Bengal (to an extent), important Bengalis were offered opportunities to go study in Britain and the Bengali people (especially those serving in the British army) were treated better, given better opportunities for social advancement and for the soldiers better pay. This new approach, pioneered by Governor Thomas Wellesley (Governor-General from 1833 to 1845), was successful in placating the Bengali people and strengthening Britain's grasp on the region.
Delhi had broken free from the collapsing Maratha rule at the closing stages of the Age of Revolutions. Since then the city's rulers had not been idle. Delhi had carved itself out a huge kingdom in the northwest of India. From 1807 to 1811 Delhi waged a series of campaigns under its king, Muhammad Ajit, along the Indus Valley. This region had been ruled by a collection of competing states following the fall of the Mughals. Ajit gradually brought these petty kingdoms into line crushing the last (Multan) in August of 1811. Ajit then turned his attention to the north, to Lahore. This city had fallen to a nomadic group invading from Afghanistan during the chaos of the early 1800s. Ajit's armies fought a grueling war lasting nearly four years but eventually expelled the Afghans. For the next two decades Ajit's rule was peaceful, with the brief exception of the first of many border wars with Persia (1824-5). The wars of the early years had nearly bankrupted the kingdom. To rectify this the king launched a series of economic reforms, increased taxes, crushed dissent inside the kingdom and centralised control in Delhi, new wealth was generated from the growing trade between Delhi and its neighbours, as well as from within the kingdom itself. As the money began to pour in a programme was launched to expand the city of Delhi. New monuments were erected including a grand new palace. But the greatest work of all was the Grand Mosque. Ajit, a devout Muslim, ordered the construction of this magnificent structure (rivaling the Taj Mahal) in 1831. Unfortunately he died in 1837 and did not live to see its completion, for his conquests and efforts to forge a new empire in India he was given the honorific "the Great" on his death. His son however continued the work his father had begun, completing the project in 1849. Like his father, Muhammed Ajit II (or simply Muhammad II) was a religious man, though his dedication led his enemies to dub him a fanatic. Sunni Islam became the state religion of the empire and heretics were either killed or exiled. Religious wars within the kingdom were waged with great ferocity in the period from 1841 to 1845. The worst of these was the Malwa War (1842-44) where Hindu rebels allied with the neighbouring Kingdom of Nagpur and fought against Delhi, though were eventually defeated. By 1850 this great kingdom, known as the Second Delhi Sultanate, was the most populous and richest of the Indian kingdoms, almost completely Muslim, and a true rival to the European powers in the region.
A depiction of Muhammad Ajit I, or Ajit the Great:
The Kingdoms of Nagpur, Orissa and Baroda were the other successor states to the Marathas. Although all had originally been British allies, Nagpur gradually removed itself from Britain's sphere becoming in time a fiercely anti-European state in the heart of the subcontinent. Ruled over by a series of kings of the Mahesha Dynasty (originally a family of ambitious warriors they took the name Mahesha, meaning lord or ruler, on kingship) Nagpur forged itself into a powerful militaristic kingdom. Nagpur waged a series of wars in the first half of the 19th Century. From 1821 to 1825 it fought the Kingdom of Baroda to a standstill. Although the larger of the two kingdoms Nagpur was unable to overcome the Barodans who were receiving large amounts of aid from the British. Nagpur tried again in the early 1830s, this time against Orissa. Here they were more successful forcing the British to directly intervene on behalf of their ally, the British and Orissans eventually defeating the then king of Nagpur Rajmata in 1835. The final conflict in this period was Nagpur's intervention in the religious wars in the Delhi Sultanate in the Malwa War, which also ended poorly. These string of defeats fatally weakened the Mahesha family and their grip over the country weakened considerably. The Nagpur attacks on Orissa and Baroda actually helped the British. These two states, both coastal and relatively wealthy kingdoms, were reliant on Britain during the fighting and once peace was made the British stayed, their influence increasing. By playing off local nobles and the monarch against each other the British had masterfully turned both states form allies to puppets by the mid point of the century.
The Kingdom of Mysore was the last native state in the subcontinent. Mysore had managed to stay independent during the previous century. It had fought wars against France in the past and had managed to, with help from Britain, keep the French at bay. Unlike Baroda and Orissa, Mysore was very much a British ally, not a puppet. The kingdom had grown rich on trade with Britain as well as with the Dutch on Ceylon (itself growing wealthy at the heart of the Dutch Indian Ocean empire) and the Portuguese in Goa. Whilst remaining very much an Indian state, Mysore's military and government became increasingly European. By 1850 Mysore was the most advanced of the Indian realms and it became a major maritime trading power even establishing bases in east Africa and in the East Indies. The French had been beaten in India both in the Revolutionary Wars and in the Fourth Silesian War. They had not however been forced out. These defeats showed the French that, unable to master the seas, their holdings in southern India were vulnerable. So the French began to turn their Indian territory into an increasingly independent and self-reliant state. Pondicherry became the centre of French power in India. This city was ruled by the so-called Prince in India, who was indeed a relative of the French king. Loyal to Paris these lands developed a unique Franco-Indian culture as the two people's intermixed and indeed intermarried and it soon became difficult to distinguish between ruler and ruled. By the century's mid point French India was for all intents and purposes its own state, more a Dominion of France than a colony.
The United Provinces of América
Part I: Nation Building
The UPA had won its independence from Spain during the Age of Revolutions. On October 1st 1796 the constitution of the UPA had been crafted and the new state was born, though years of fighting against Spain and Spanish loyalists followed. The early years of the UPA were dominated by two main issues: forging a nation and defeating the loyalists. The first was to prove the more troublesome. The government in Mexico City was divided between two political parties, the Federalists and the Provincialists. Each had its own view on how the UPA should be formed and indeed what type of nation it should be. The Federalists had argued in the beginning for a strong central government. They had been outvoted however and the Provincialists got their way. The United Provinces was divided between regions, each with autonomous government, all supposed to follow the lead of the capital. In 1811 the first real test of the nation occurred when a rebellion broke out in the northwest. Spanish loyalists had attempted to break off from the UPA. The Arizpe Rebellion was fought from 1811-1813. The rebels were a better motivated and better led force while the Américan government struggled to get the men needed to combat the rising due to difficulty in getting the regions to commit men and funding. Eventually however the government won out and the rebels were crushed. This conflict however highlighted the problems with the constitutional structure of the state, leading to political power swinging, slightly, to the Federalists.
The UPA was a parliamentary state. Elections, done every five years, were held for regional and national governments. The first election had been held in 1798, which was easily won by the Provincialists, while the war time government of the previous years had been a coalition led by Federalist leader Ignacio Allende, a figure revered by both sides. The Provincialists were to go on to win the elections in 1803, 1808 and 1813. This fifteen period of power had led to a developing level of corruption and complacency within the government and a spoils system taking effect. Ironically, too long in national power, the Provincialists had begun to neglect the provinces themselves, they key to their support. In the 1818 election several major provincial elections went to the Federalists who also managed to take control of the national government, the first time they were in power since the war-time coalition. Winning the election did not give them the power to radically change the nation's structure however, as their majority in Mexico City was small and over half the provinces were still in Provincialist hands. All key decisions had to be approved by the regional governments, meaning the five years the Federalists were in power were a constant struggle between provinces and the capital. In 1818 the Provincialists were returned to national power, albeit by a hair.
Ignacio Allende, first Prime Minister of the UPA:
These five years however were focused on other things. Primarily events to the north in Louisiana were watched with concern. The fall of the republic and the rise of Bonaparte led to a crackdown in the UPA by the government on anyone suspected of rebel inclination. As Bonaparte went on to defeat the Confederacy many in Mexico City worried that they were next. The War Powers act was drafted that eroded some of the rights the provinces had and made it easier for the central government, in times of war, to override the regional governments. The passing of the War Powers, which was only achieved due to Federalist backing, act split the Provincialists. Around a third of their party voted against the bill and split off to form a third party who became known as the Liberals (they opposed central government, argued for middle class advancement, business friendly government and a reformed judicial system). As the CAS was crushed by Louisiana the UPA reached out to Britain for help in their military reforms, which the British were happy to do, themselves growing concerned about Bonaparte. In 1823 the Federalists regained office defeating the Provincialists and Liberals. 1823 to 1828 was a peaceful time for the UPA. The Louisianans had stopped their wars in the north and the government in Mexico City was able to relax. This period was focussed on internal development. New infrastructure was developed as a great road building plan was put in action to tie together the huge nation, the Federalists hoping that by tying the nation together central control could be more easily enforced. The chief achievement in this endeavour was the Veracruz Railroad. Veracruz had become a major commerical hub and, with British assistance, a railroad was laid connecting it to the capital. This took four years and wasn't finished until 1829. Immigration to the UPA, primarily from Iberia but also from elsewhere in Europe (escaping the wars on the continent and wishing to avoid the conflicts elsewhere in the Americas). It is estimated that between 1820 and 1835 roughly half a million people emigrated to the UPA. This was a great economic boon to the country and also resulted in the growth of new major urban centres, specifically Los Angeles, San Fernando, Seville and Monterrey.
The immigration issue was however to provide one major negative. In 1828 the Provincialists regained national office, as the Federalists were hindered by internal party fighting. The Provincialists passed a new bill giving increased powers to the regions on the issue of immigration. How many to take in, where to settle them etc. A response to the call from many coastal provinces that they could manage things better themselves away from the capital on the ground. This proved not to be a significant problem except in Tejas. Tejas was the border region with Louisiana and it was awash with immigrants from the Louisianan Empire over the border as well as from northern Europe, New England and the CAS. In 1830 fighting broke out in the province between immigrants and Américans who were resentful of the continuing flood of immigration. This tide of immigration was advocated by the provincial government which itself was controlled by a collection of Louisianan and English-speaking immigrants. Fighting soon began to escalate as the provincial government began to grow restless and was unwilling to use force against either side, despite pro-immigrant leanings. Mexico City refused to send troops citing the violence as a concern for the provincial government, centred in Seville. The Federalist opposition was outraged, demanding the government send men to deal with the issue lest it become a major crisis. Eventually the Provincialists caved in and sent a force to end the bloodshed. Unfortunately this was too little too late. The small government force was unable to stem the violence and its increasingly desperate tactics to do so incited more Tejans to rise up. By 1831 it was clear that a major rebellion was underway. In July 1831 a larger Américan force crossed the Rio Grande into Tejas where it was defeated by a rebel army, which was equipped with Louisianan weapons. Following the defeat the UPA government declared a national emergency and began raising a larger army and declared Tejas to be in a state of unlawful rebellion and ordered the rebels to stand down. The rebels had something else in mind and in September at a fiery meeting in Seville the provincial government declared independence as the Republic of Tejas (the declaration was written in French, Spanish and English). Louisiana recognised the Republic soon after. Fighting continued to wage for the rest of the year but in 1832 an Américan force crushed a rebel army and moved onto Seville. Here though they were met not just by rebels but a Louisianan force sent by New Orleans. The Battle of Seville was a crushing defeat for the UPA. In Mexico City the Provincialist government was collapsing. Rebel sentiments were beginning to stir in other parts of the country and defections to the Liberals were rising, meanwhile the Federalists were calling for snap elections. Hoping to save face and buy time to deal with other issues Mexico City offered peace to Tejas, knowing that they stood no chance in their current state against the rebels and the Empire. New Orleans and Seville accepted the offer.
The Federalists were furious. The 1833 election was the most bitterly fought in the nation's history. Federalists accused the Provincialists of cowardice and incompotence. The Provincialists hit back at the Federalists calling their strong central state beliefs “Bonapartist”. The Federalists campaigned on a promise to restore the nation's pride and make secession illegal, paving way for a new constitutional structure. A few days before the election a collection of southern regional governments (where rebellion was brewing and Provincialist loyalties were strongest) announced they could not accept a Federalist victory as it would violate provincial rights and they would not tolerate the “Northerner” Alejandro Fox (the Californian born Federalist leader) as Prime Minister. On March 9th 1833 the Federalists won the national election. The Provincialists claimed election fraud and anti-Federalist militias began forming as the southern regions declared they would not accept a “tyrannical Federalist regime” and rose up in rebellion. The Américan Civil War had begun.
The United Provinces of América
Part II: Civil War
The Américan Civil War began in March of 1833 following the triumph of the Federalists in the national election. Six southern provinces (Guatemala, Panama, Southern Mexico, Valladolid. Oaxaca and Honduras) had rebelled against the Federalist government in Mexico City and had begun calling up their individual militias. In the north of the UPA, Provincialist rebels had risen up in Lower and Upper California as well as further south in Arizpe province. The new Federalist government immediately found themselves in a crisis. The government began gathering its own forces, those provincial militias loyal to them. The Américan Army split, around two thirds stayed loyal to the government whilst the remainder (mainly those deployed in the south and Californias) went over to the rebels. The first clash of the Civil War was the Battle of San Francisco on April 4th 1833. Garrisoned by loyalists the city was assaulted by renegade army units. The city was held as the defenders were backed up by the guns of the Américan navy (which remained almost entirely with the Federalist government) in the San Francisco Bay forcing the attackers back. Hopes for a peaceful solution evaporated however at Fort Santiago a week later. Fort Santiago was a coastal stronghold in eastern Honduras whose garrison had remained loyal to Mexico City. Rebels fired on the fort and stormed in a bloody assault. This attack, the first launched by the southern formal rebel provinces, was seen by many as the tipping point; now the dispute could only be settled through war.
The early months of the Civil War saw a variety of skirmishes and raids as both sides collected and gathered their forces. The Federalists were distracted by the increasingly troublesome rebel activities in the north whilst raids, primarily for cattle, across the border from the recently independent Republic of Tejas were a constant concern. The six rebel provinces of the south meanwhile were attempting to form a common government to run the war effort. Meeting in Guatemala City the rebel leaders decided that to conduct the war effectively they would need to form a government in exile. They were divided however on what course to take, some argued that they were simply there to overthrow the Federalist government others argued for complete secession. The argument was tipped when word arrived that in the capital the Federalists had outlawed the Provincialist Party as rebels (the Liberal Party had split early in the war with most going to the rebels meaning the Federalists were in effect the only party in the loyalist areas). This declaration pushed the rebel leaders to announce they were seceding from the UPA as peaceful coexistence with the Federalists was now deemed impossible. Taking their name from the (claimed) capital of their new nation the rebels announced the creation of the Mexican Confederacy on May 9th 1833; the conflict had now formally split the UPA. The new Mexican Army immediately launched an assault aimed at capturing the capital. The Federalist (or as they can now be called Américan) forces met them a few miles south where the Mexicans achieved a crushing victory. Panic set in in Mexico City and the Américan government began to flee the capital, the Mexicans entered Mexico City a few days later.
The flag of the Mexican Confederacy. Red and white were the colours of the UPA flag. The green is the colour of the Provincialist party. The cross (red on white) is inspired by the old colonial flag of New Spain. There are seven stars, one for each of the original provinces that seceded and one for the capital at Mexico City:
The fall of Mexico City was the critical moment of the early stages of the Civil War. The Américan government fled and regrouped at Durango. The capture of the capital was a boost for the Mexican Confederacy who now sought international recognition and prepared to move on the critical port of Veracruz. The Californian rebels were encouraged and, avoiding the hostile coast, launched a campaign to gain control of the interior of the northern part of the country. In Durango there was great argument and discussion on what to do. On the war effort many favoured negotiations with the Californian rebels and then concentrating on defeating the Mexican forces. Others argued that the Californians should be crushed and the rebellious southern provinces should be let go. There was also debate on the future of the UPA. The secession of the Mexican Confederacy caused many Federalists to believe that the time was ripe to abolish the hated old constitution (with its hated provincial and confederate nature) and bring forth a more centralised and united state. This view won out. Consequently, once and for all casting aside the old nation and system, the Durango government declared, with the name Mexican stolen by the rebels and the namesake city in their hands, the Américan Republic on August 11th 1833. The United Provinces had now ceased to exist. To add to the dissolution of the old state the Californian rebels announced their own independent republic in the city of San Angelo a week later.
Map of the Civil War situation at the beginning of 1834:
The Américan government now began to reassert its control over what was still under their control. The provincial capitals were brought into line and a new programme was launched to raise and train a new army. The war in the south dragged on. Mexican forces attempted to move north to exploit this success but their advance was checked at the Battle of Alicante. Veracruz came under siege in December of 1833. This city, the most important port in the country, was heavily fortified and well defended. Lacking any naval capability the Mexicans were unable to prevent supplies being ferried into the city by the Américan Navy. The Californian theatre on the other hand was a lively and dynamic conflict. The nascent Californian Republic struggled against the Américan forces. Outnumbered nearly 3 to 1 the Californian army was gradually pushed back. There were two factors benefiting the Californians however. Firstly it was their land. They knew the terrain well and were (after decades of skirmishes with Natives) experienced guerilla fighters. Secondly rising tensions with Tejas and the Louisianan Empire forced the Américan Republic to divert some of its troops from this campaign to strengthen their garrisons there. San Francisco was the focal point of the Californian war effort. This city was a strategic hub (sort of the northern version of Veracruz). The area however was controlled by Américan forces who fought a brilliant campaign. Again the control of the seas allowed the Durango government to reinforce the otherwise isolated front. In May of 1834 an overeager Tejan forces crossed the Rio Grande in a cattle raid. The raiders were, unfortunately for them, wiped out by an Américan force. Fearful of retaliatory raids Tejan President, Thomas McCauley, opened negotiations with Durango in which they formally recognised the Américan government as the legitimate successor to the UPA and promised to prevent any further raids, provided the Américan government confirmed that they, like their predecessors, recognised the sovereignty of Tejas. This deal was accepted by Durango. Louisiana too was having troubles of its own and tensions fell. Freed from these concerns Américan forces now re-concentrated their efforts in the north (under the recently adopted California First plan) and began to steadily defeat the rebels here.
Flag of the Américan Republic. Drawing on the red and white of the UPA flag this takes the original colours and sets them in a horizontal tricolour (vertical is too Louisianan). The blue was added symbolizing a new birth, the white the old heritage and red the blood split to get from one to the other:
The Battle of Veracruz was one of the war's most important battles. This city had been under siege by the Mexicans since December 1833. The Américan navy however managed to keep the city supplied and the big guns of the ships kept the city fighting. In mid-1834 the Durango government decided to attempt to break the siege of the city. An army of 30,000 men was sent to relieve the city and battle against a similar sized Mexican army. The Américan forces achieved a decisive victory. The Américan triumph had three main consequences: firstly it represented the first major success for the Américans against Mexican forces, secondly the city was now once more open to trade and the wealth it generated would go along way to financing the war effort, thirdly was the effect on Britain. The British had long been allies of the UPA, helping them gain their independence. When Civil War broke out the British had backed the Américans, seeing them as the legitimate successors, but had been hesitant to outright declare for either, especially with their focus on the Madrid Congress in Europe. After Veracruz however the British felt confident to officially recognise the Américan Republic as the only legitimate UPA successor (though Tejan independence, being recognised by the UPA before the Civil War was undisputed) and began giving arms and funds to the Américans. This recognition also meant that the British would respond aggressively to any other nation backing the Mexicans. France and the Spanish Republic had (separately) been quietly backing the Mexicans eager to gain some influence in Central America. Following the British recognition both sides stopped. Madrid was unwilling to upset their British ally (their best guarantor against France) whilst the French lacked the naval strength (following Skagerrak) to dispute with the British in the Caribbean.
The war would drag on however. The Américans, now with the undeniably stronger position, eventually crushed Californian resistance in early 1835 taking their “capital” at San Angelo. Freed from this front Américan forces were redistributed south. It is important to note that the movement of troops from the Californian theatre to Mexico was facilitated by the infant railroad system in the country, a product of the Federalist governments (a fact not lost on other nations). Mexico City was retaken by the Américans in March of 1835. Following the fall of the capital negotiations began between América and the Mayan province of Yucatan. Originally favouring the Mexican cause Yucatan had never fully declared from either side. With the war going against the Confederacy the Américan government wanted to bring this traditionally autonomous province in line, knowing that antagonizing them could make the war much more difficult. In May 1835 Yucatan negotiated entry into the Américan Republic managing to maintain a degree of autonomy unique in the new country (a contested but grudgingly accepted deal for the Federalist government). The Mexicans meanwhile, seeing the tide going against them, opted for what was hoped to be a knock out blow. A Mexican army, some 40,000 strong, invaded the Republic attempting to come in round behind Mexico City cutting it, and the relocated Américan government, off from the rest of the country. The invasion won two small battles in the early days but soon found itself confronted by an Américan army of 33,000 men which was standing in the way to the capital. The Battle of Getaffe was fought from July 5th 1835. The fatal moment coming when a Mexican infantry charge was repulsed along a fence in the centre of the battlefield which saw the Américans gain the upper hand eventually crushing the invaders. Getafe marked the end for the Confederacy. The war finally ended in February 1836 when the last Mexican army, down near Panama, surrendered to the advancing Américans.
The Mexican Confederacy was reabsorbed into the Américan Republic. The leaders of the rebellion were either hung or imprisoned, a similar fate awaited the leaders of the Californian uprising. The next twenty years are known as the “Reconstruction”. The Américan Republic had reunited all the lands of the old UPA (minus Tejas). Mexico City, badly damaged during the war, was steadily rebuilt and expanded. The provinces of the former Mexican Confederacy were under military occupation for the following years (the last occupation ending in 1842 in Guatemala). A new constitution kept the old provinces and their provincial governments, whilst dramatically reducing their power. A new electoral system was created. The Senate would continue to be elected as always. Now though, in keeping with their view of a strong government, a President would then be elected separately with strong executive powers for a six-year term, one term only. Parts of the country had been seriously damaged during the war. With financial assistance from Britain, New England and Spain, the Américan Republic would rebuild from the Civil War. Seeing the importance of rail-roads the government was to make this the centre point of the next few years. By 1850 América had more miles of rail than any other country in the Americas. The Federalists would be dominant in political power for the rest of this period but by the mid-point of the century a new Populist party (strong with rural populations, pro-agriculture, isolationist and more provincial minded, though not close to the same scale the Provincialists had been) would emerge to challenge them. Unified and rebuilt the Américan Republic would begin to now emerge as one of the great powers on the world stage.
A New World?
South America 1800-1850
“This place was named the New World. As I look around this continent, a land that is bloodied by rebellion, war, territorial and dynastic struggles I ask myself is this any different from the Old? Did we really leave Europe behind or have we simply recreated it half a world away?”- José Santiago, First President of Peru. 1849
The United Provinces of New Granada (UPNG) were formally established as an independent nation at the Treaty of Paris in 1805, though they had been a de facto sovereign state since 1801. Unlike the rising in the UPA to the north the New Granadan rebellion was more contested. Inspired by the wars of liberation in Louisiana and the UPA Granadan revolutionaries had risen in Cartagena. Though they were soon supported by large amounts of the population a sizable minority (estimated between 30-35%) remained loyal to the Spanish crown. It was only the military and financial support of the UPA and Britain (and to a lesser extent Portugal) combined with the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War that allowed the Granadan uprising to succeed. This loyalist minority however would prove to be a problem in the early years of the nation. Three times (1804, 1807 and 1810) a counter-revolution broke out against the Granadan government in Cartegena. After the failure of the last in 1810 this loyalist force was spent, the division between republicans loyal to Madrid and monarchists to Barcelona prevented effective co-operation and after this final failed effort many simply accepted there was no going back or alternatively emigrated south to Spanish Peru or north to Cuba. The transfer of peoples between Peru and New Granada exacerbated a series of disputed land claims that escalated into war between the Spanish Republic and New Granada from 1813-1815. Despite Spanish dominance at sea the war on land was inconclusive. A division of claims that was fairly equal eventually went through settling the dispute for the time being.
New Granadan soldiers fighting against Spain/Peru, 1814:
Once the troubles of the initial years were dealt with New Granada went through a few decades of nation building. Cartegena, birthplace of the rising, was established as the nation's capital. Fearing that a federal system akin to the UPA would foster separatism and regionalism, as indeed proved to be the case in the UPA, the New Granadan founders outlined a more centralised state with authority resting solely in the capital under a President voted upon by an elected Congress. Political parties failed to fully come into force here due to a widespread variety of influences, beliefs and regional foci and instead political factions were more common, loyalties and defections provided for a constant flux of groupings and allegiances, usually determined by whatever issue was the main focus of the time. Though this resulted in relatively week governments it allowed greater room for compromise without party bickering and partisan loyalties. It is worth noting that unlike in the UPA or Louisiana there was not universal male suffrage in New Granada. In the UPNG the right to vote was only given to the land-owning elite (those Spanish who had stayed and the lucky ones who had stolen the land from the Spaniards who had left). In 1829 the voting franchise was extended to a variety of other classes, such as merchants, businessman, industrialists, though this still represented only around twenty to thirty percent of the male population in the country. Slavery was abolished formally in 1830 as well. The new non-land owning politicians were less determined to maintain the tradition and with slavery abolished in most New World countries by this point, and under international pressure to do so, Cartegena followed suit. In the late 1820s early 1830s France began to play a greater role in the country. To the north the UPA was a British ally so the French, and Spanish, courted the UPNG. French and Spanish investment flowed into the country. In fact following the loss of Saint-Domingue to New England in the Fourth Silesian War, France's only real presence in the New World south of Quebec became in New Granada. When the Américan Civil War broke out in 1833 there were many in Cartegena who advocated intervention to gain complete control of disputed Panama, others wanted to recognise the Mexican Confederacy and undermine their northern neighbour. In the end the country was unable to do either as it was itself to be plagued by a series of conflicts. From 1834 to 1839 New Granada would be ravaged by a combination of Civil War and independence movements. Starting with a Venezuelan declaration of independence in Angostura a war of independence was fought lasting five years eventually ending in Venezuelan defeat. The war overlapped with a civil war in the UPNG itself between a reactionary conservative group supported by the army and peasantry called the Hawks (after their chosen symbol) and a more revolutionary orientated alliance of liberals and the middle class known as the Jaguars. Also an uprising by the remaining native population began near the border with Brasil that found itself fighting everyone and anyone before collapsing around 1838. The conflict between Hawk an Jaguar was eventually won by the Hawks who were backed by France and Spain. The British had initially supported the Venezuelan rebellion but had been unable to devote enough resources to the region with their forces already involved in América and Asia. The leader of the Hawks was General Juan Antonio who was declared President in August 1839. In February of the next year he initiated a political coup claiming that their was a left-wing rising imminent and assumed dictatorial powers. In 1841 he had himself declared king and turned New Granada into a kingdom. An anti-monarchist rising was put down in the southern part of the country by the veteran New Granadan army. King Juan I was a great admirer of France and imported much from the country, indeed it was said that King Juan spoke French more often than Spanish. In return for their support in the wars of the 1830s the French were allowed to establish a permanent naval base in Cumana. The transition into a monarchy would benefit the country in the upcoming years however. The stable rule it allowed for and the gradual transition into a more constitutional structure begun by Juan Antonio's son Francisco (became king in 1850) would allow for the Kingdom of New Granada to become a strong regional power in the coming years.
Peru. The last bastion of Spanish rule in South America. Following the collapse of colonial rule further north during the Age of Revolutions, Peru had served as the base and rallying point for those loyal to Spain. The breakaway of the Kingdom of La Plata to the south under King Ferdinand had further reduced the remaining lands answering to Madrid. Unlike in New Granada where the Spanish loyalists had been divided between monarchists and republicans in Peru the population was overwhelmingly on the side of the republic in Madrid, not the king in Barcelona. Perhaps it was the active effort of the Republican regime to win over the area or the animosity towards their monarchist southern neighbour but either way the republican spirit was live and well in Peru. The biggest test in the early years was the war with New Granada (1813-15) that resulted in an effective stalemate and let to a tense relationship with Cartegena. Seeing that direct management was impossible during the war however Madrid passed the Peru Act (1817) granting a respectable level of autonomy to the government in Lima over internal and commercial affairs. Tensions with various native groups plagued efforts to develop the territory but most agitators were subdued by 1823/4. Relations with La Plata continue to sour and war erupted between Spain and La Plata twice in the decade (1822-1823 and 1827-1829). Conflicting territorial claims between Peru and La Plata were the primary causes of the conflicts. The first war resulted in the return to status quo but in the second Spanish and Peruvian forces managed to win several key engagements as well as blockading large swathes of the La Platan east coast. Indeed the Las Malvinas islands were seized by Spain and a port (St. Juan) was established on the eastern island to serve as a forward base to maintain the naval campaign. The resulting Treaty of New Orleans settled claims in Peru's favour. The next ten years were a peaceful time for Peru as immigration and urbanization continued at a steady pace. Anti-Spanish sentiment was starting to brew however as many agitated for outright independence and the end to Madrid's meddling, especially on Spanish enforced tariffs hurting Peruvian trade.
Brasil had been directly incorporated into Portugal by Prince-Regent John in 1798. Making Brasil an equal to Portugal. He also established the precedence of the heir to the Portugese throne taking the title of Prince of Brazil and being based in Rio de Janeiro presiding over the Brasilian parliament there. This system proved very successful. Having a royal in both halves of the country as well as providing Brasil with its own parliament (obviously subservient to Lisbon) allowed for balance in the union. As Portugal focused on expanding its colonial influence in Africa, India and Asia, Brasil was left able to manage events and priorities in its own territory. Maria I died in 1814 and was succeeded by John who set off to Lisbon. His eldest son, Francisco, who now became Prince of Brasil. Under Francisco's stewardship Brasil became a rising power in South America. Immigration from Europe, primarily Portugal, Spain, Aragon and Italy, saw the population rise considerably during this period. Unlike its neighbours Brasil had not waged a costly war of independence and consequently was able to develop peacefully from a strong starting position. Rio, Brasil's capital, became the largest and wealthiest city in South America. São Paulo emerged as Brasil's second city further south. São Paulo's importance was based largely on its proximity the important port of Santos which served as a naval port for the navy as well as a stopping point for Portuguese ship heading east. The large dockyards constructed for this purpose served the city well as it became a maritime hub in the south Atlantic. Things weren't all rosy for Brasil however. In 1821 a large slave rebellion occurred in the north followed by an even larger one in 1831 near Pará inspired no doubt by abolition in neighbouring New Granada. Francisco, after consulting with the parliament in Rio and his father in Lisbon, abolished slavery in 1832. This was a major step for Brasil as it led to a transition from a slave based economy to a more modern commercial and industrial power. This shift however was not easy and from 1831-4 the country suffered from a severe economic depression as well as discontent from the former slave-owning elite. In 1833 however Francisco was able to distract from these events with a war against La Plata. Like elsewhere on the continent old colonial borders and claims led to conflicting ideas on where borders should lie. In 1833 the First Cisplatine War began when the government in Buenos Aires declared the whole region to be rightfully belonging to La Plata and began evicting Brasilian settlers, clearly designed a way for that government to restore some national pride and make up for the defeats to Spain/Peru in the 1820s. Well it went poorly. From 1833-35 La Plata and Brasil (with Portuguese naval assistance) fought over the area with the war being decided by a Brasilian victory at the Battle of Salto, the resulting peace gave Brasil control over most of the disputed area. In 1836 John died and Francisco became King in Lisbon. In Brasil he was succeeded by his daughter Isabel. The succession of Isabel could have been an explosive issue as many wanted Francisco's younger son Manuel to succeed. Fortunately (though unfortunately for Manuel) he died a week before his father. Isabel then became Princess of Brasil. Though in Brasilian history she is also known by many other names: The Lady of Brasil, the Warrior Princess and Isabel the Great.
Francisco, Prince of Brasil:
Under Isabel's rule Brasil would go from the major South American power to the dominant one. Showing an apt hand for politics she outmanoeuvred, coerced and flattered her political opponents into becoming some of her fiercest supporters. She made great efforts to travel across the large territory and won over much of the population. Under her guidance immigration laws were relaxed and health care for the poor, including a string of orphanages and hospitals, were established. The population continued to climb and new cities dotted the landscape. One, named Isabella in her honour, became a centre of learning and innovation. To link up these growing metropolises the Brasilain government, aware of the role they played in the civil war in América, begun a railroad construction campaign that was soon copied by her father in Portugal. She was not one to shy from confrontation either. Capitalising on dynastic troubles in La Plata she launched an invasion to seize the remaining disputed territory in the Second Cisplatine War (1839-41). This campaign was remarkably successful. The iconic image being that of Isabel herself encouraging her soldiers, despite the best efforts at restraint by her advisers, against the La Platans at the Battle of Minas. The resulting peace treaty not only won more land for Brasil but formalised the division in their southern rival effectively ending La Plata as a major threat for the foreseeable future. Her main test of leadership however came in the 1840s.
The peace enjoyed by Peru since 1829 was broken in 1842. Peru and Brazil had overlapping territorial claims (on the Gran Chaco region but also in Acre) and skirmishes between settlers had been growing increasingly common. War feeling between the two was growing day by day as reports came into both Lima and Rio of crimes committed by the other side. This spread across the Atlantic as Spain and Portugal backed their respective partners. War did break out in April 1842 though the spark didn't come from South America. In an effort to make up for the loss of the Philippines the Spanish Republic had sought to establish itself as a power in the East. It had established a series of bases throughout Africa and the East Indies as well as cultivating friendship with the Kingdom of Siam as a bulwark against the other more powerful regional players (France, Britain, Portugal, the Dutch and arguably Mysore), a formal alliance had been signed in 1840. Portugal had long held interests in this region and resented the Spanish incursion. Tensions erupted when in January 1842 Spanish ships fired on Portuguese merchant vessels in the Straits of Malacca, apparently believing them pirates. As these things often do, events escalated. When Madrid refused to pay compensation (and with Britain and France distracted by events in the Balkans) Portugal declared war in early April. Isabel followed her father and entered the war soon after. The war that followed was known by many names. In Europe it was known as the Iberian War though in South America it was referred to as the Gran Chaco War. The war was primarily fought in two theatres: the Peru-Brasil border and in the East Indies. Actual fighting on the Spanish-Portuguese border was fierce and costly but the battle here was a general stalemate. In the East Indies the war went back and forth with the Spanish gradually losing out. The South American theatre is the focus here however. Peru seized the upper hand early on, soon gaining control of all the disputed land. The more experienced Brasilian army however hit back, hard. Isabel's railroad projects paid off as they were able to transport men to the front-line much faster than their opponents. Portuguese assistance begun to flow in once they had achieved superiority at sea (helped in this by low level support from their British friends). Though a Portuguese force fought in Acre the vast majority of troops were Brasilian. In Peru tensions between those loyal to Spain and those favouring breaking away had originally been subsumed by war fervor. However as the war dragged on and the tide turned this divide re-merged. With help from Spain not forthcoming (their forces were focused on fighting in Asia, Europe and defending the Malvinas) anti-Spanish sentiment grew. After a climactic defeat to Brasil at the Battle of Potosi the war was as good as lost. In La Paz rebels declared independence plunging Peru into Civil War. With Peru collapsing the Spanish were ready for peace and the British stepped in to mediate. The war (1842-45) was ended with the Treaty of Edinburgh which saw great gains for Portugal and Brasil (though Madrid now begun to drift into the French sphere). Francisco died in 1846 and Isabel became Queen of Portugal with her son Miguel replacing her. Isabel's legacy in Brasil cannot be understated and indeed it is unsurprising therefore that Brasil would become the first country to pass women's suffrage in years to come and, along with Portugal, be the pioneer in the advocacy of women's rights and equality in the future.
Peruvian and Brasilian soldiers clash at the Battle of Postosi:
Following defeat Peru had collapsed into Civil War between loyalists and rebels. Spain, exhausted from the war and facing pressure at home, however could do nothing to aid the loyalists. In time then the war shifted from loyalist vs. rebel to two competing factions. From La Paz a Republic of Peru led by President José Santiago fought for the establishment of a presidential state with a strong central government and a pro-industrialist mentality. Opposing them was the declared United Ecuadorian Republics a coalition of various groups that had unified around an alliance of shared interests which had strong support amongst the lower classes and pushed for a more federal structure as well as tactic backing from New Granada. Eventually the two sides were too exhausted to continue fighting and with Spain having renounced any claim to the area the two nations signed peace in 1849 and recognised the independence of one another. The Kingdom of La Plata meanwhile had not done well. The country, created by the ambitions of Prince Ferdinand, had strong early years. Under Ferdinand's reign the kingdom grew and prospered whilst settling the southern region of Patagonia. Two defeats against Peru/Spain however left their mark and Ferdinand's support amongst the nobility began to erode. Attempting to rally support behind him he launched the First Cisplatine War in 1833, which went poorly. Ferdinand died soon after, later proved to be due to arsenic poisoning. His son Alfonso succeeded him. Alfonso however proved to be a weak ruler and the authority of the monarch, already weak after Ferdinand, eroded further. He died in 1838 of an unconfirmed disease. His early death threw La Plata into a dynastic struggle. Childless the throne passed to his only sibling his sister Maria. Many were unwilling to have a woman rule the kingdom. Three factions soon emerged those backing Maria, a minority who advocated that the throne should pass to Charles of Aragon, and others who rallied around local noble Carlos, Count of San Luis. Civil war between the three would last three years, complicated by the Brasilian invasion in 1839. In the end the country was divided by the peace that ended the civil war and Brasilian invasion. The “Aragonese Faction” had been eliminated and the Legitimists (those backing Maria) were left in control of the north and east of the country in the Kingdom of La Plata (capital at Buenos Aires) whilst the “Carlists” were left with the west and south in the new Kingdom of Córdoba named after the capital ruled by the new King Carlos. By 1850 both successor kingdoms were far behind their South American neighbours in terms of development and prosperity.
Empires: Old and New
East Asia: 1790-1850
China. For a hundred and fifty years this ancient empire had been ruled by the Qing Dynasty. This great kingdom was ruled by the Qianlong emperor who had reigned since 1735. His reign had been an era of peace and prosperity. For decades China had been stable and wealthy. In the 1790s however things began to take a turn for the worst. The emperor's health began to deteriorate (based on Qing records it is believed that it was in late 1789 or early 1790 that the emperor's physical state began to worsen noticeably). In 1791 a British trade delegation arrived. They were unable to see the emperor due to his health and felt snubbed. However whilst in Beijing the British began to make contacts amongst some of the local elites who were jockeying for influence under the decaying emperor. Though unable to gain the trade benefits and opportunities they wanted the British were able to establish links within the government. A Dutch expedition from Jakarta followed the British the next year. Like their predecessors the Dutch also began, as a member of the expedition put it, “making and solidifying friendships” amongst the elite.
The Qianlong Emperor:
In 1794 a rebellion, known as the White Lotus Rebellion , broke out in central China. Starting as a mere annoyance the rising soon became a major concern. The government in Beijing however was paralysed. The emperor was near death and the remaining elites were becoming divided between three camps. British, Dutch and an anti-European faction known (to the Europeans) as the Golds. By 1795 the crisis was nearing a breaking point. Huge areas of central China were no longer under government control. The Gold faction had resorted to sending their own independent forces to attempt to crush the rising but these had been defeated near Xi'an. The emperor finally died in August of 1795. He was succeeded by his son the Jiaqing Emperor, an ally of the Golds. The new emperor immediately ordered troops to quell the rebellion as well as launching partially successful moves against the British and Dutch factions and against allies of his late father that he distrusted. The fateful dithering under his father however had allowed the White Lotus Rebellion to become a serious force. With the ascension of an anti-European emperor the British and Dutch through their agents now began aiding the rising hoping that a weakened China would be more susceptible to their demands. The war against the White Lotus Rebellion would drag on until 1806 with an eventual victory for the Qing. The struggle, lasting over a decade, however bankrupted the empire. The only ones who had actually grown richer were those in the payroll of the Western powers. In an effort to improve the state's finances the Jiaqing Emperor launched an ambitious plan to tax the elites and squeeze European trade. Resentment towards this move (from the aristocracy as well as from Britain and the Dutch Republic) coupled with ambitious royals led to the assassination of the emperor in 1810 and the succession of his pro-Dutch son, known as the Daoguang Emperor .
There was however much resistance to this ascension. Many believed the assassination a European plot (which indeed is what the evidence seems to suggest) and saw the new emperor as nothing but a European puppet (again fairly accurate). The rebellion of the Gold faction in January 1811 marked the outbreak of the Jīn War . The Jīn War (1811-1818) would devastate the Qing Empire. Based in Nanking the Gold forces launched a campaign aimed at driving all European forces out of China and replacing the “puppet” emperor with his brother, a Gold sympathiser. The war would last seven years. Whole segments of Chinese society would be consumed by the violence. Gaining great support amongst the rural poor and parts of the army the Golds had the upper hand initially and the first few years went very well for them. By 1813 huge swathes of southern China were in their hands. The central heart of the empire, still yet to recover from the White Lotus Rebellion, was decimated. Whole towns were wiped out and famine ripped through the region. The city of Lanzhou changed hands three times in the fighting and by war's end was a burnt husk. The Golds almost took the capital in 1814 but were repulsed by the loyalist forces who were supported by a Dutch contingent. After the failure to take Beijing the war turned against the Gold forces. The city of Shanghai was retaken by loyalist forces the next year, again backed up by European power, this time a British Royal Navy force. The war dragged on for three more years. The last Gold bastion, Chengdu, fell in May 1818. Estimates are that between seven and nine million people died in the war. A further two in the following years due to starvation and disease.
Victorious, the government in Beijing was nonetheless bankrupt. The economy spiralled downward. The next few decades were hard for China. The emperor continue to rule from Beijing but the desolation throughout large areas of the west and south resulted in a collapse in taxation and the nation gradually went bankrupt. The Dutch and British gradually drifted apart as well. With the common enemy defeated the British began to resent the increasing Dutch dominance in the imperial court. To regain footing the British looked for alternative means to increase their influence in China. They found this in opium. Opium was grown in British Bengal and the Chinese had soon developed a ravenous habit for the drug and imports into China rapidly grew. The Dutch, eager to edge out their rivals, convinced the emperor to ban the opium trade and seize stores of the drug from British merchants. The emperor was willing to go along with this as he saw it as chance to secure a propaganda victory against a European power. Well it backfired. The British sent a fleet to China from India in support of their merchants and trade. The Opium War (1840-42) saw the British defeat the vastly inferior Qing ships and force a humiliating peace on the Qing. Hong Kong island was given over to the British and, with Britain eager to establish a major base in the east , the island of Hainan was also placed under British control. The Dutch, who at the end of the day had not been willing to risk outright war with Britain by intervening directly, had attempted to aid the Chinese. In the end the Dutch increased their influence in Beijing as the emperor, distraught over the war's outcome and the Qing fall from grace, became a recluse and de facto control of the country passed to his (Dutch paid) advisers. Not willing to miss an opportunity the Russians presented an offer to the Qing in 1848 to purchase Chinese lands north of the Amur river. With the economy in desperate straights and with Russian troops already moving into the region the Beijing government agreed. Eager to establish formal control of their own on a base in the region and to pre-empt a rumoured French move, the Dutch purchased the island of Taiwan the year after. The money from the two sales helped stabilise the Chinese economy. However by 1850 the Qing Empire was a shadow of its former self. It had lost land to the European powers, its economy was stagnant and weak, the emperor a recluse, its military humiliated, European influence continued to rise, it was outpaced by Asian neighbours, and above all else the central control of Beijing was dissolving as regions on the fringes of the empire began to drift away and the Imperial “mandate of heaven” was under question.
Map of the Qing Empire 1850:
The Korean peninsula in 1790 was under the rule of the Chosun (or Joseon) Dynasty. Chosun was nominally a Qing tributary state and was a vassal of the Empire to the west. The current king of Chosun, Jeongjo, had been ruler since 1776. His reign was a turning point in Korean history. Jeongjo  was a reformist monarch who had done much to increase the power and stature of his kingdom. He had early in his reign established a royal library (Kyujanggak), as well as passing a series of laws freeing up social and economic regulations and restrictions as well as opening government positions to those who had previously been barred due to their social status. Above all though Jeongjo was an ambitious man who, like all leading Koreans, resented the rule of the Qing who were seen as aggressive barbarians. As the Qing state entered into a wave of uncertainty in the 1790s many in Chosun thought the time was right to remove themselves from Beijing's grasp. Jeongjo however was concerned that doing so might bring the wrath of the British and Dutch who were seen as allies of China. Things began to change however in the early 1800s. As China continued to experience war and political instability Jeongjo became bolder in his reforms. Unwanted Chinese customs were abandoned and an independent Korean state and military were well on their way to full establishment. The greatest boon came in 1814. As China tore itself apart in the Jīn War the Kingdom of France sought to gain in foothold in East Asia, and they saw one in Chosun. In exchange for deals benefiting French trade and allowing France to station a small naval force in the country, Chosun began to receive French aid and assistance. Acting out of their base in Manilla the French were determined to win an ally in Asia. With much of India controlled by Britain and its ally Mysore, the Dutch ruling the East Indies and China falling under Anglo-Dutch influence, Paris was determined to cultivate its own ally. French weapons and technological innovation soon poured into Chosun. Jeongjo's arguably greatest achievement was his success in making France see him and his country as an ally not a playground as was happening in China. He was able to gain the best of European learning and crafts without coming to be seen as a European puppet. Jeongjo died in 1832 and is still remembered as one of Korea's greatest monarchs. In 1841 as the Opium War waged in China, Chosun (now ruled by Jeongjo's capable and ambitious son Sanggye) signed a formal alliance with France. The Franco-Chosun alliance was popular in the country as the British triumph in China worried Korea. It was clear that traditional Asian weapons and tactics were simply outclassed by the Europeans. Sanggye also took this opportunity to formally renounce any loyalty to the Qing and declared Chosun completely independent. By 1850 Korea was a buzz of activity. The army and state were modernizing and the first inklings of industrialisation were appearing on the peninsular with the first railroads beginning construction. Like Mysore in India, Chosun was a successful example of an Asian state adopting the strengths of the Europeans to become a major power whilst remaining truly independent. At the midpoint of the 19th Century Chosun was an advanced and ambitious power, and with China crumbling to its west and the Japanese remaining firm in their isolationism to the east the Korean kingdom was ready to make its mark on the world stage. To fuel its infant industrial transition Chosun needed resources..
Flag of Chosun:
The history of the south-east Asian mainland in the early 19th Century is one of two simultaneous and competing conflicts: a struggle for dominance between the three Asian powers (Burma, Siam and Viet Nam) and battles between Asian and European empires. Of the fighting between the three Asian powers Viet Nam achieved the most success. Viet Nam was ruled by the Nguyễn Dynasty who had come to power in 1802. The country fought two wars against Siam (1814-16 and 1829-32) both of which ended in triumph and brought the disputed area between them under Vietnamese control. The weakening of the Qing to the north was seen as an opportunity for Viet Nam who were able to fight the Siamese without fear of Chinese aggression as well as launching a limited campaign against the Qing in the early 1840s managing to expand their kingdom. Relations between Viet Nam and the European powers in this period were tense. But with the main powers (Britain, the Netherlands and France) focused to the north the Vietnamese managed to avoid any major confrontations in this period; although the 'accidental' sinking of a Portuguese merchant ship in 1837 by the Vietnamese briefly resulted in fighting with Vietnamese Emperor Minh Mạng eventually agreeing to pay an indemnity to Portugal in return for peace. By 1850 the Empire of Viet Nam was a stable and strong nation and was, arguably, the strongest Asian state outside of India and Chosun. Siam had a tougher time. It had been defeated by Viet Nam in 1816. This weakness had seen it invaded by Britain in 1819 and the loss of southern territories. It's second defeat to Viet Nam in 1832 resulted in King Rama III courting the Spanish who had recently reasserted themselves in the area. A formal alliance between them in 1840 and Spanish military assistance prevented the Vietnamese from attacking Siam again and instead Viet Nam went north to China. Siam became embroiled in the Iberian War (1842-5) and, alongside Spain, was defeated by the Portuguese losing yet more territory. Despite defeat Siam's armies performed well against the Portuguese and the kingdom remained a regional power. In 1848 Siam even went on to defeat Burmese forces in a short yet bloody conflict to the northwest. Burma did not do so well. The British, starting in the 1830s under Governor-General Thomas Wellesley, would wage a series of campaigns against the Burmese. Despite valiant efforts the kingdom was crushed and by 1850 was divided between British control in the south and a collection of successor states to the north.
 An OTL rebellion that is more successful in TTL.
 There were (at least) two attempts to assassinate him in OTL, though they were unsuccessful.
 A Westernization of the world for Gold.
 Since they don't have Singapore in TTL
 In OTL he died earlier under mysterious circumstances, he does not do so here.
Cracks in the Crescent
The Ottoman Empire: (1805-1840)
The Age of Revolutions had shaken the empire of Osman. Pulled into the Revolutionary Wars by the Balkan rebellions the Turks had fought against Russia and their Slavic allies. Though Constantinople had been forced to grant independence to Serbia, Greece and the United Kingdom of the Danube (UKD) it had remained intact despite the Russian onslaught. The primary reason for this was the ascension of Sultan Mustafa who had deposed his incompetent brother in a coup in 1797. Mustafa had begun a process of reform in the Ottoman Empire that would help it stave off Russian aggression. After the end of the war in 1802 Mustafa's reforms continued. Britain was courted during this period as a counter to St. Petersburg. Under British guidance the Imperial navy and army were modernized. New weapons, uniforms and tactics were imported. Prussia too was friendly and one of Mustafa's greatest achievements was getting the Prussians to train and educate Ottoman generals in Berlin. Internally corruption was top of Mustafa's list of targets, he hoped to cleanse the government and bring about an end to the stagnation of the Empire. The administrative and bureaucratic systems were opened up to skilled commoners, old and inept officials were cast out and a new education system (inspired by Austria) was implemented. The more decedent elements of the government including the Harem were purged and reformed and the role of the eunuchs was curtailed. A more Western and efficient civil service was created.
Not everyone agreed with Mustafa and his campaign however. In 1818 a reactionary element in Constantinople attempted to oust the Sultan. They were foiled however and interrogated. Under questioning it came out that the conspirators had (or at least had tried to) form an alliance with Janissaries, themselves alienated by the military transformation. The Sultan had been eager to do away with this archaic military order and used this as an excuse to abolish them in March 1819. The Janissaries didn't take this lying down however and rose up in revolt, taking control of large areas of Thrace and threatening the capital. The Greeks and Serbs begun preparing to take advantage of the crisis and support the Janissaries. However the arrival of a British naval squadron in the Aegean dissuaded the Greeks whilst the rapid collapse of the Janissary revolt in the face of the new Ottoman army ended any likelihood of intervention from Serbia. With the Janissaries defeated the Sultan was able to secure his rule. He died in 1822 and was succeeded by his son Osman IV.
Osman IV was very much his father's son. He continued the work of his father in reforming the Ottoman state and military. He was also fascinated by European power and prestige. He visited London, Dortmund, Berlin and Vienna in a grand tour and was inspired and encouraged by the things he saw there. In Britain and Austria-Hungary he was intrigued by their constitutional monarchical systems. In 1824 he drew up plans for an Ottoman constitution designed to make a move in this direction. Opposition from conservatives however made this plan difficult and it was eventually dropped. Osman was also an ambitious ruler. In 1826 a border skirmish with Persia was exploited and Osman launched an invasion of his eastern neighbour. The war (1826-28) was a triumph for the Ottomans and their new military, though the Persians put up tough resistance and the victory was not as conclusive as hoped and showed that the Turkish reforms were still far from finished. The most important consequence of this war was the link it forged between the empire and the Second Delhi Sultanate. Delhi, a rising power in northern India, had recently fought its own war with Persia and the current king of Delhi Muhammad Ajit became a close ally of the Empire. The two empires gained a lot from one another. The Ottomans gave Delhi military assistance which it had in turn received from Britain (though it is worth noting that once this exchange began Britain greatly slowed its support to the Ottomans as Delhi was seen as a major rival in India) whilst from Delhi the Ottomans gained an ally against Persia and privileged access to the luxury goods of India. Ajit was succeeded by his son Muhammad II in 1837 and he continued this tradition. Though now Muhammad II's radical form of state (Sunni) Islam flowed to the Sublime Porte. This new near fanatical and political form of religion found a receptive base in the Ottoman empire and would become quite a force in the coming decades. Osman IV died however in 1830 of a fever and was succeeded by his young and weak son Selim III.
Selim III was only fourteen when his father died. Very quickly he came under the influence of a small caste of conservative reactionaries. Selim's reign would be a low point for the empire. The small council that controlled the young Sultan effectively ran the country. Selim, it soon became clear, had a mental handicap that affected his speech and he was kept out of the public sphere and in isolation. Throughout the early 1830s infighting, jealousy and incompetence amongst the 'council' greatly weakened the empire. The reforms of the past slowed and many were abandoned. Economically the empire's recent growth halted and stagnation set in. In 1834 as the Fourth Silesian War raged Greece and Serbia smelled blood. With the great powers distracted they signed an alliance and invaded the Ottoman Empire. The war lasted thirteen months and was a bloody stalemate. Though they made early gains against the Ottomans who were beset by division at the top, the Greco-Serbian advance was soon checked and reversed. The Balkan countries had hoped Russia would intervene on their behalf but the Tsar was preoccupied with the war in Poland and Finland. Peace was signed in Budapest in 1835 with a return to status quo ante bellum. The Ottoman war effort showed that their military reforms had made progress and that the tools for success were there for the empire, but without a stable and competent leadership the empire was doomed to continue its relative decline.
Ottoman forces fighting the Greeks in Macedonia (1835):
During this period Egypt was a hive of activity. The governor (or Wāli)of Egypt during the reign of Selim III was Omar Ali. Omar was a competent and highly religious man who had aptly governed Egypt for the Sultan. He had been a close friend to Osman IV and had been a strong supporter of the former Sultan's reforms. Under Selim's rule however direct control of Egypt slackened. Ali had begun to grow bolder in distancing himself from Constantinople and had been developing a strong power base. The most dramatic development in Egypt however was the rise of the Whaheydism (also known as the Green Crescent movement). Whaheydism (from the Arabic word for unity) was a religious and political movement that began in Egypt in the early 1830s. It's leader and primary advocate was Said Awad. Awad was a former lawyer who had become swept up and enthralled by the radical Islamic ideas coming into the empire from Delhi. He had started speaking, organizing and gathering a following in Alexandria, stressing stricter adherence to the Quran and traditional Islamic beliefs. In 1831 he was joined by Muhammad Seif. Seif was an ex-soldier who had traveled throughout the empire. He had grown to resent the Turkish dominance and desired the end of Turkish rule over the Arab people. His ideas greatly interested and influenced Awad whose devotion and faith in turn inspired Seif. Thus Whaheydism was born: stressing strict Islamic law and custom whilst calling for Arab unity and freedom form Turkish rule. By 1840 Whaheydism was a powerful political and social force in Egypt to the point that Omar Ali himself met with Said Awad and was reported to have been greatly taken with his ideas. It is one of history's more interesting anecdotes that the force we today know as nationalism, a movement that would soon hit Europe like a storm, began in the suburbs of Alexandria as a Muslim Arab ideology. Egypt was now a tinderbox restless under Turkish rule and host to rising numbers of Whaheydi. The Ottoman Empire as a whole was divided between reformers and reactionaries as infighting in Constantinople and rebellion in the provinces caused tensions to sizzle under the surface. All it needed was a spark.