No GNW (or “Peter goes South”)

That's nice. But now I believe that Prussia needs Moltke... Maybe in the war with Austria they also fight Poland as well.
Why should there be a war to start with? So far, I don’t see any reason for it and, with Austria being much weaker and surrounded by the enemies on all sides, FJI has to be a complete imbecile to go for a military solution. BTW, solution of what exactly?
Alright, so here is a map of the new situation after the Austrian collapse and the Sweden-Prussia swap. Incidentally Poland is getting pretty large, have all their core lands except Posen and West Prussia. Since they have a population roughly equal to Prussia, and probably at least as competent right now, they are going to be casting very tempted looks at Posen.
I’m not quite sure what do you mean by ‘competent’ but Kingdom of Poland is still an overwhelmingly agrarian country and its only reasonably developed industry is a textile production. The attempts to develop mining and metallurgy during that period in OTL had not been too successful and the whole thing ended up with the relevant financial institution ending up in the Russian receivership due to the bad investments and corruption scandal. ITTL Poland is on its own, aka, in a worse situation.

Adding Galicia was good for the King’s prestige and the national feelings but objectively the area is just one big problem. It is poor and the peasants hate the landowners. In OTL it is few years away from the oil rush but under Austria it did not noticeably improve situation of the majority of the local population and there is no reason to expect it will be noticeably different under Poland. Probably worse because OTL Austria of the 1850s had a reasonably good financial system, general technical expertise and experienced entrepreneurs. Not sure if on its own Poland will be able to jumpstart a kerosine lamps industry on a big scale but, anyway, this is a side factor.

Prussia is on the first stages of its industrialization but it already has one of the best metallurgies in Europe and seriously busy with the railroads construction. It is much stronger economically and, in general, it is a much better organized and administered state so if Poland gets overly ambitious, it will be exclusively Polish problem and if Austria joins on the Polish side, situation immediately escalates into a coalition war against these two states and their chances do not look too good.

A side note: Funny as it may sound, so far I did not have problems with finding meaningful materials regarding 19 century economies of Sweden, Denmark, Ottoman Empire or Norway but no lack with Germany, not to mention Prussia: mostly meaningless reviews of some books and numerous options to buy one of them (I’m not that interested, to put it mildly). So, unless I’ll get lucky, I’m not going to get into any depth as far as Prussia is concerned.

I didn't take you 100% literally and let Prussia keep a thin strip in southern Pomorskie that follows a majorish road there so they can still move troops by land to East Prussia if they want without having to go through a diplomatic dance, since Prussians clearly considered having a land connection important given their weak navy.

Very good idea. Thanks. As a byproduct it insulates Swedish Danzig region from the Polish ambitions.

Almost exactly even trade population-wise, 250,000 for both Bremen-Verdun and the new West Prussia territories, neither with any notable population centers. Population in 1848 would have been roughly 45% German, 40% Kashubian, 15% Polish.
Yes. Neither side has a reason to feel itself cheated and both are getting something that they think will benefit them.

Why should there be a war to start with? So far, I don’t see any reason for it and, with Austria being much weaker and surrounded by the enemies on all sides, FJI has to be a complete imbecile to go for a military solution. BTW, solution of what exactly?

Generally i was referring to Poland joining potential "Brothers war" between Prussia and Austria down the line, but yea even then i don't see them contributing significantly even without major continental coalition.

As you said Prussia is significantly more industrialized than Austria -Poland , not to mention that while it's smaller than otl it has tighter economic ties to Russia/Baltic, not to mention Erfurt union being the thing which will add even more to Prussian and North German development and probably make Hanover/Saxony side with Prussia.

Another important note is that most German state's that would ally Austria are a lot weaker and mostly divided in Pity Kingdoms unable to properly industrialize , on top of Austria being a lot weaker, not to mention potential Piedmontese backstab in Italy.

So yea Prussia should have this in the bag even without coalition (nor does such war deserves coalition really as both powers would prefer this being internal German matter).
Last edited:
Great Britain will still be superpower (or to better say it will achieve something similar to otl), even if it doesn't have some of it's colonies and difference between it and rest of Europe isn't as great ( due to France not killing itself and most of Europe and Russia not self sabotaging, though on other hand German space isn't as developed) British still have other otl elements that made it what it was otl and it still holds India and rest of it's otl colonies, plus it still has great world reach due to access to the world ocean so expect them to stay significant.
Britain has a serious advantage because (a) it started industrialization earlier than everybody else and (b) because it has good domestic resources of iron and coal. An additional advantage is that it can keep looting India while forcing the locals to buy its manufactured products.

(a) works for a while but the late comers will (as in otl) use it to their advantage: instead of doing things from the scratch they can start by adopting what is already there and keep progressing based on it.
(b) Britain is not the only country that has these specific resources and some of the newcomers have many other valuable resources or an easier access to them (shorter distance from a source).

So the gap is in a process of being close or shrinking.

The British disadvantage is in the need to import pretty much everything besides coal and iron and this raises production cost negatively impacting competitiveness. For a while, they can provide a quality advantage but only for a while. The extensive colonies are of a critical importance both as the more or less reliable source of the materials and as the competition free destination for the manufactured goods and having fewer of them has a negative impact on the whole system.

But, as we saw in OTL, transportation remains a weak point and the country itself is not self-sufficient. With a healthier France, more developed Russia (with less insane foreign policies), strong Prussia (even without a fully integrated Germany), better off Spain, etc. the British position is less dominant than in OTL even if it is still world’s leading producer of the manufactured goods. But the lead keeps shrinking and so are the European markets and the US.

strong Prussia (even without a fully integrated Germany),

Technically otl Prussia was second only to the British even before German unification, Prussia that manages to integrate N. Germany would still be a formidable rival, i would even say it will become Great power as Prussia of otl.
Back to Russia
240. Back to Russia

Not from bold dreams, always destructive, but from above, domestic institutions are gradually improved, shortcomings are supplemented, abuses are corrected. In this order of gradual improvement, every modest desire for the better, every thought to establish laws, to expand true enlightenment and industry, reaching Us in a legitimate way, for all open, will always be accepted by Us with favor.
Nicholas I [1], Manifesto of July 13, 1826
“The Russian peasant doesn't even understand measures other than rigor.
Dobrolyubov (a prominent Russian liberal of the XIX century)
A Russian peasant rarely hates his enemy when this enemy is stronger than himself; timidity, invincible fear replace hatred.”
Grigorovich (another liberal of the same period)
“The peasant, to whose help the merchant turned, was, like any Russian peasant, "looking gray, but his mind was not taken away by the devil."”
Leskov (a conservative)​

Everything was going just fine for Emperor Nicholas: international prestige of Russia (as well as his personal) was high, the foreign policy was quite successful, providing the tangible achievements with the relatively small military efforts, the industrial development was going on at the high rate, the trade balance was positive and Russian finances had been in a good shape. Even the perceived domestic enemy, a liberal opposition, proved to be quite tame and reasonably cooperative.

But there was a serious problem came into the existence during the reign of Emperor Paul and was not fully eradicated. Name of the problem was “Russian peasant” or, to be more precise, his attitudes. Population of the Russian Empire was over 65 millions and over 80% of it had been peasants. Of course, the term was very vague because it included both the “true” peasants and most of the nomadic and semi-nomadic population of the CA and Far East except for the groups which made it into a nobility, merchants and city dwellers or Cossacks. But a majority still had been the “true peasants” of the European Russia and western part of the Asiatic Russia. And these peasants had been predominantly occupied in grain production. The regions traditionally producing cotton, cattle, horses, fruits, etc. were separate issue and mostly had been geographically separated with the main exception being sugar beets production on Ukraine.

The land-ownership of the grain producing areas could be divided into the following big categories (with the “grey areas” on the fringes):
  • Big estates. They were owned either by nobility or by a new class of the “agricultural capitalists” who formally belonged to the merchant class or even remained in the peasants class [2]. These estates had been mostly engaged in the intensive development because their owners had money for purchasing a modern equipment, hiring specialists, etc. After emancipation of the serfs they had been fully relying upon the hired labor, pool of which had been the poorest peasants (or those with some profession).

Of course, the high productivity also meant the higher expenses so for this category the most important thing was to provide as big surplus as possible. In the European Russia these estates were relatively few because most of their owners (except for the “new people”) came from the pre-reform high nobility owning big estates with over 10,000 serfs (3% of the noble land owners before emancipation). However, with the growing quality and quantity of the agricultural machinery, usage of the fertilizers, etc., they had been producing a growing percentage of the grain, meat and the good quality horses needed for the army. The earliest experiments with the canned food had been conducted on some of these estates in the early XIX [3] and by the 1850s there were some functioning canning plants (mostly but not completely outside these estates) which were accepted army and navy suppliers producing canned fried beef, stew, porridge, meat with peas and pea soup.

  • Individual farmers. After the free peasants had been permitted to get out of the rural community with their own parcel of a land, this group kept growing in numbers being augmented by so-called “odnodvortsy” (a social group of “quazi-nobility” who were not the true nobles and did not own serfs or owned one or two families and had to get personally involved in agricultural activities) and, in the top of that category, the minor nobility who ended up with enough capital and skills to become a well-off farmer relying mostly upon the hired labor. For most of the farmers this was a family business with or without the hired help but, in general, they were interested in a higher productivity and tried as much as they could to get (or hire of a season) advancing agricultural machinery, use better methods, etc.

While initially this group was quite small, by the 1850’s it grew up to 25-30% of the total peasantry and amounted to the steadily increasing percentage of a total agricultural production (on the picture above the farmer is using iron plough and 3 horses).


  • Peasants of a rural community. - “met the hero” (on the picture above the “hero” has a wooden plough and one horse). This group was still biggest by the numbers and, no matter what had been done to it, most of it had been unmovable in their attraction to the traditional ways and a resulting misery, which they considered as some kind of a virtue. They hated pretty much everybody but especially the farmers: it was more or less taken for granted that a noble is some kind of a superior being entitled to a better life (but still to be hated for this) but another peasant who is doing better was an anathema. Immediately after emancipation the government tried to strengthen the rural community both because, due to the communal responsibility, it was easily taxable and because, due to the extreme conservatism of its members, it was considered a reliable support base for the regime. So the first agricultural bank had been giving loans exclusively to the communities, thus impeding creation of the individual farmers, and it took few years to indicate and eradicate this problem. Anyway, the communal land purchase did increase the peasant-owned land but, with the growing rural population, there were never-ending cries for more land coming mostly from the communal peasants. The reasons were quite simple:
    • The communal model did not mean a communal work with the following distribution. It meant that every year the ploughable land had been distributed between the families based upon the number of grown males. The land was distributed, in the name of fairness, in the sets of not-adjacent narrow strips that were too narrow to use any advanced agricultural machinery.
    • Due to the fact that each year the peasant was getting a different set of the strips neither he nor his neighbors were interested in fertilizing it: the results will be shown when this is neighbor’s land so why bother doing good to “thou neighbor”? Being community member did not produce any “communal mindset” beyond dealing with the common outside danger like taxation, road works, etc.
    • The result of the above was a minimal surplus which was not allowing purchase of even the minor “luxuries” like an iron plough.
    • The general conditions of misery had been extended to the livestock. The peasant horses were not only small but they were also very weak because they were eating grass and hay and even that not always in the quantities needed to keep them strong. The cows were of the similar breed in the terms of size and milking capacities: an average communal peasant simply could not afford to keep a bigger animal which would require more food.
    • When the individual farming had been permitted and supported the communal peasants became a product of the Darwinian selection: the “unfittest” stuck to the model that supported their survival. The paradox was in the fact that this model was the most labor-intensive and its members were probably the hardest workers among the peasants. It is just that their work had been getting increasingly inefficient because quality of the land was steadily deteriorating due to the idiotic usage. However, these dumbest peasants had been very inventive in finding excuses for not trying to improve their ways. The hard work (glorified by the liberal poets and ideologists) was the first excuse with the argument being extended to explaining that the drunkenness consuming a big part of already miserable income was caused by a heavy work and miserable life [4] and unwillingness to use the better tools, even when offered for free, had been backed by unbeatable argument “these tools invented in England and we are selling grain to England so who knows better?”.
Of course, as far as the state was involved, not everything was bleak in the communal category. As long as there was an uniform head tax, it was easily collectable with the non-payers being community’s internal problem. Then, because the production in this category was cheap, even a small per capita surplus multiplied by the big numbers was providing huge volume (if the harvest was good) of the cheap export grain sold by the international prices with a resulting big profit.

The main issues that did concern Nicholas were:
  • Due to the chronic malnutrition, the soldiers mobilized from the communities had been generally of not very good health: what can you expect when most of them started eating meat regularly only after they got to the army?
  • Russian army needed huge numbers of horses and the peasant horses were mostly unsuitable [5]. The cavalry needs had been more or less adequately covered by the breeding farms, horses from the Don, CA and Dzungaria, with some horses for the heavy cavalry being routinely purchased in Prussia and Mecklenburg, but there still was a great demand for the strong horses needed by the artillery and supply services for which the peasant horses were not quite fit. As a result, more effort had to be made to produce more strong horses in the traditional horse breeding areas, which were mostly to the east of the Ural and this put an extra pressure on a need to construct the railroads leading to these areas. In addition, the extensive selection work had been going on to produce a powerful work horse in the European Russia by mixing the heavy Belgian horse with the Don horses and Orlov breed. The results were good but much greater numbers had been needed. Of course, for a while the old practice of purchasing the peasant horses and feeding them well before sending to the artillery and supply services would do but during the last war it was noticed that the Austrian artillery and supply train had noticeably better horses than the Russian army (the captured ones had been used as a breeding material but it will take time and money before the needs will be fully satisfied).

  • For a while, the calls for more land had been more or less satisfied by extending the agricultural land (from 38,000,000 hectares in 1802 to 58,000,000 by 1850) in Novorossia, steppe area North of the Caucassus, Western Siberia and even Eastern Siberia. But, 1st, this could not continue forever and 2nd, the communal peasants crying for land had been extremely reluctant to relocate. The only new available lands in their traditional “habitat” were those freed by the active peasants who moved out to became farmers on the new lands. The former estates had been either already added to the pool and “consumed” or were now the most productive producers and could not be sacrificed to the least productive ones. And what he, as an emperor was supposed to do? Of course, he finally “convinced” Russian peasant to start growing potatoes. It resulted in few revolts and some administrative “educational measures” but even before their posteriors stopped itching the peasants recognized their mistake and now potato became practically a second bread. But this was easy comparing to a task of fundamentally changing people’s mentality and neither he nor any of his advisors could offer a good solution except for the cynical “let’s life teach them”.

Well, while waiting for the peasant’s enlightenment happening, there were other issues to attend and, as always, the main issue was increase of the state income.

The tax reform was long overdue. The main form of the domestic taxation still was a fixed head tax leveled on the grown male population regardless of income. Not all population: nobility was exempt and so were clergy, merchants of the 1st and 2nd guild, and the new category
consisting of low level employees, individual creative professions, scientists, etc. Plus, the Cossacks were exempt because they had to come to the service on their own horses, fully equipped and could be called to service at any time. Now, closer familiarity with the Hungarian system prompted an idea of the income-based tax which could be safely applied to pretty much everybody except for the Cossacks. It will also allow to manipulate the tax rate in a way, which was going to benefit the better producers allowing them to buy more manufactured products of all types, thus stimulating domestic manufacturers of all types. The communities will be further suffering: due to their group responsibility for taxation they’ll be considered a single big-scale landowner and a low productivity was going to hit them unless they start changing their practices. Of course, the individuals getting out will have a better chance for paying the lower tax. Some disturbances are to be expected but they were a routine nuisance with the well-tested methods of dealing with them.

Adding Hungary to the Russian “sphere of influence” was a noticeable bonus because the country was short of the natural resources and, thanks to the traditional Hapsburg policy, had been almost completely lacking manufacturing. Except for the Hungarian wine, Russian Empire was not too interested in the Hungarian agricultural exports but the Hapsburg Empire was heavily relying upon them and could not get their substitute domestically or in the neighborhood. So the “principle” was abandoned and the Hungarian agricultural products returned to the Austrian and Czech markets. But most of the imported manufactured goods had been coming from Russia by the Danube with the railroad passing through Moldavia being under construction with the heavy involvement of the French and British investments, which provided a good chance for its speedy completion. Among the most important items were iron, steel, coal, machinery and weapons (a lot of them). Not to be completely one-sided, some of the new Hungarian locomotives fitting the Russian specifications had been getting eastward. With the trade balance being in Russian favor, the deficit had been more than covered by the exports to Austria and Ottoman Empire. Gradually, these exports had been reaching farther European markets as well. So as of now, Austria was pretty much paying for the Russian exports to Hungary and the French and Brits for the railroad.

This was good because there was one more Big Plan. Recenly, Alfred Krupp started producing no-weld railway tyres, making them the company's primary revenue stream, from sales to railways in the United States. But his less peaceful innovation, a steel breech-loading cannon, still was exhibited as a curiosity item in Berlin’s arsenal. It was copied few years ago and, with some modifications, its production began on the Russian military plants but why not to buy a talent? Alfred Krupp got an offer to open a branch of his company in Russia with a guaranteed state orders for huge numbers of cannons for the Russian army and navy. Some new designs, obviously will be needed but an access to the source materials is not going to be a problem, accommodation for the specialists will be provided, construction of the plant subsidized and name whatever else you want. There will be no need to carry the produced weapons through all Germany, Poland and half of the European Russia so this will cut the transportation costs and there is absolutely no need to stop the German operations. The offer was too good to refuse and FWIV did not have any objections so the whole thing would not damage Krupp’s status of a loyal Prussian citizen.

[1] Actually written by Speransky.
[2] Only the top, 1st, merchant guild had tax privileges so if a specific “capitalist” was not rich enough, he could just as well officially remain a peasant. In some aspects, like getting the loans from “agricultural” banks, it could even be to his advantage.
[3] Presumably in OTL one estate owner provided the Military Ministry with the canned soup in 1812 and, not a big surprise, it was still in the Moscow warehouses when Nappy came in with a resulting epigram along the lines “Napoleon came and ate the soup”. Needless to say that on its way back to the Western border the Russian army suffered from the food shortages almost as much as the retreating French.
[4] An argument that limiting drinking could allow a better life was a sure sign that a person is a reactionary with no compassion.
[5] In OTL 1812 the French had been forced to confiscate Russian peasant horses for their cavalry and artillery and by eyewitnesses’ account the sight of the French cavalrymen on these horses had been quite comical.
Technically otl Prussia was second only to the British even before German unification, Prussia that manages to integrate N. Germany would still be a formidable rival, i would even say it will become Great power as Prussia of otl.
Yes. The obvious question is: rival to whom? In OTL the rivalry was mostly a byproduct of the foolish policies and questionable judgements eventually, on both sides) but how will it be with these mistakes not being made?
The communal model did not mean a communal work with the following distribution. It meant that every year the ploughable land had been distributed between the families based upon the number of grown males.
That means that if you can have many sons (and of course daughters) you can be entitled to more land, so this can increase population growth.
That means that if you can have many sons (and of course daughters) you can be entitled to more land, so this can increase population growth.
It did (coupled with better medical services), creating well-known problem with land shortage when Central Russia run out of the land reserves. BTW, I’m not quite sure if the shares were just for grownups or for independent households.
Last edited:
Does make sense Hungary is falling into it's old pattern of being a breadbasket in exchange for manufactured good from Austria and now Russia.

I admit Russia's peasant class is having mixed results but then again most of the population is that class would stronger if it was not. The idea of limiting drinking is a interesting concept in hindsight the temperance movement might accomplished many things in Europe.
Does make sense Hungary is falling into it's old pattern of being a breadbasket in exchange for manufactured good from Austria and now Russia.

I admit Russia's peasant class is having mixed results but then again most of the population is that class would stronger if it was not. The idea of limiting drinking is a interesting concept in hindsight the temperance movement might accomplished many things in Europe.
The temperance movement would not work. It was a mentality issue: an average farmer had to rely upon himself and could not afford the attitudes prevailing within the communal mentality where each individual member was not responsible for anything. Majority of every community were the hard workers placed into situation when, as long as they were community members, they could not noticeably improve their situation and the lazy or inept minority had been leeching upon these hard workers. And, if you see that a hard work does not produce any tangible results, is it too surprising that you’ll be drinking?
Russia. Looking for solution
241. Russia. Looking for solution

“How to turn the losing enterprise into a profitable one without making any changes…”
«…Есть мужик и мужик:
Если он не пропьет урожаю,
Я тогда мужика уважаю!»
not really existing, and therefore legendary”
A&B Strugatsky
Excellent abilities? It's a pity! With excellent abilities, now there is nowhere to go; it remains superfluous. All such places are occupied: one by Bismarck, the other by Beist.”
A.N. Ostrovsky
“In Russia cadaster was by the numerous reasons absolutely impossible.”
K.S. Veselovsky​

The “trouble area” was identified but this did not mean that it was well-known or that anybody had a productive idea of what to do about it. Everybody knew that the rural community (“мир”) was there and there was plenty of the administrative experience of dealing with it (mostly along the lines of …er… “fatherly persuasion”) but all the knowledge and experience had been superficial and not too useful because so far these communities remained something of the impenetrable black boxes.

To start with, there never were the comprehensive cadastral surveys [2] and, as far as the rural communities were involved, they were doing everything in their power to obstruct work of the land surveyors and census workers. The works in this direction started during the preceding reign but not on a scale necessary and with any degree of an accuracy. The so-called General Survey had been conducted in the1760s and since then used as a main reference document only partially corrected by the following “special surveys”: “Computations made based upon the General Survey and sizes of the estates defined by that survey contain serious inaccuracies sometimes reaching 29% but these inaccurate data for a long time had been in use: according to them the estates are being mortgaged, the border disputes are being resolved, etc.” As a result, the credit institutions, taking into an account the risks related to the unreliable data about the sizes and borders of the estates, had been lowering loans down to 60% of the estate’s estimated coast, while in the Western Europe the acceptable norm was 90%. The military survey of the 1832-44 conducted using the geodesic methods in European Russia found that the old survey “missed” 60,000 square versts (equivalent to Yaroslavl and Moscow governorships). But this latest survey was not dealing with the individual estates so a lot of the additional work had to be done. Taking into an account that neither the estate owners nor the peasants were really interested in the process, the state was the only interested force was recently created Ministry of State Properties which decided to find out what exactly the state owns.

The taxes levied upon the community had been distributed within the community based upon the undocumented and totally un-transparent rules individual for each village creating the whole class of the parasites expecting that a part of their fiscal obligations will be paid by other community members. While formally the main tax was the head tax, they were never collected directly from the individuals but always from a village or even the whole region.

Pretty much the same applied to the selection of the recruits prior to introduction of the universal military service and to the “judicial functions” formally and informally delegated to the community due to the shortage of the law enforcement personnel in the rural areas. Formally, these functions had been limited to the minor misdemeanors within the community but in a reality they may result in a murder (for example, of a horse thief or a “eitch”) covered by the group responsibility and the Russian version of the Sicilian “omerta”.

Then, outside the community, there was an ongoing debate about what is expected from a peasant? Should he become a market-oriented farmer or should he remain a member of a patriarchal community and carrier of the “historic traditions”? Should his life being under strict control of the “fatherly authorities” or should he be allowed to live on his own? Answers to these questions would define who is effectively in charge of the land: individual owners, rural communities or the government? Was the land grant after emancipation an one time deal or is it government’s responsibility to keep supplying peasants with the land when their numbers are growing and to protect them from a potential loss of their parcels of land? One German traveller after visiting Russian Empire wrote 3 volumes in which he explained that the Russian population is generally lacking the greed of the Western Europeans and this attitude is most in a rural community which is, in essence, a communist society. Nicholas was so amazed that he allowed printing of these books in Russia with the minimal censorship. Some of the extremely progressive personages abroad also cheered the notion.

One thing was clear. Prior to proceeding with any model there must be a deep and wide state’s intrusion into the rural life which would include implementation of a complete cadaster (at least in the European Russia because territories in Asia, surprisingly or not, had been much less problematic), enforcement of the common laws, taxation reform which would replace communal responsibility with the individual, create rural medical and educational systems, etc. Only after all this is accomplished, the further course could be decided upon.

It was quite clear that the governmental apparatus is simply not big and competent enough to handle all these tasks so, even it was going somewhat against Nicholas’ absolutist convictions, he had to agree to a proposal of creating the local elective self-governing institutions in the administrative units (one for each “uezd” and one for gubernia). They consisted of a representative council (zemskoye sobranye) and of an executive board (zemskaya uprava) nominated by the former. The board included representatives of the big and small landowners, delegates of the townsmen, and delegates of the peasants. Zemstvos had been made responsible for general education, public medical service, construction and maintenance of roads and sponsoring local economic development and were granted the right to impose duties to cover their expenses on various projects. As an additional source of a revenue, they were allowed to issue their own post stamps. Needles to say that the system was providing provincial nobility with a healthy superiority in the membership but who cares about the boring details? 😉

Speaking of the landed nobility, there was a reason why the emancipation reform happened the way it happened and not following the Prussian model. Unlike their Prussian counterparts, the Russian nobles tended to have little of their own agricultural equipment with a resulting heavy or complete reliance upon their serfs and their equipment when working on landlord’s fields. Which meant that releasing the serfs without land was impractical for both sides because a former landlord could not use them as the hired labor due to the absence of his own “infrastructure”. OTOH, thanks to the communal system, there was no big contingent of the completely pauperized peasants who could constitute a ready pool of a hired labor.

The natural shrinking of the numbers of serfs even before the reforms also had not been related to the failing effectiveness of a “forced labor” (while the methods were not advanced by any measure, the sector was producing consistently increasing surplus). The serfs had been bought in big numbers by the Ministry of the Udels to be turned into the state peasants and, prior to the universal military service, the recruits mobilized into the army ended service as the free people and this applied to their descendants as well.

In a meantime the landlords had been getting state loans with their estates (and the serfs) as a collateral but, with the exception of the clinical idiots, pathological drunkards, etc., the estate owners used these credits, obtained on very favorable conditions, to put the received money into the state financial institutions paying higher percentage on the investment than one of the loan. In other words, the landowners had been just milking the state on a completely legitimate basis by borrowing the state money and then forcing the state to pay for getting these money back.

There was a noticeable “evolution” of the land surveyors. Initially, they were members of a special military corps which was dealing mostly with the needs of a War Ministry and various state projects. They were highly trained professionals capable of performing the complicated tasks. One of the byproducts was that, in their uniforms, they had been scary to the peasants who were in a semi-religious fear of any officials and the task in hand was much simpler, it was just a huge volume that made it a problem.

Obviously, there were too few of them for implementing the new task so one of the things dumped upon zemstvos was to produce the big numbers of the civilian land surveyors who, after passing a crash course, would be capable to conduct a big volume of work and, not looking excessively “official”, could expect a better cooperation.

Of course, one of the temping ideas was to keep “squeezing” the agricultural sector to channel more money into industrialization. The arguments against this and similar propositions were two-fold:
  • Ideological argument was that preservation of the rural community is critical for the well-being of the Russian Empire. It was argued that even within the rural community the changes are possible if its members became less afraid of the risks and the profit related to these risks seems more obvious. Unfortunately, adherents of this argument could not present any explanation of what these desirable conditions could be. Funny as it may sound, this idea had been quite popular both on the left and right parts of the political spectrum (and in the middle as well).
  • Pragmatic argument was that general pauperization of the peasants will handicap their ability to buy the manufactured goods thus killing most of the industry. Obviously, this also meant that the growing welling of the peasants will be stimulating the domestic industries.
OTOH, in a favor of the approach was the obvious fact that industrialization needs a growing pool of a labor force and it is quite unlikely that the well-off peasants are going to be interested in turning themselves into the industrial workers.

So some middle course has to be chosen but this was easier said than done. Especially taking into an account that majority of those participating in the debates had very superficial and usually quite skewed knowledge of the Russian village, which, thanks to the ideologists of all persuasions, turned to something pretty much “legendary” and this applied not only to the history but also to “here and now” [3] so most of the argument about the rural community was along the lines of its historic roots, was it there “forever” or was it created by the state in XVII-XVIII centuries as a convenient way of the tax collection, and the rest was about the “moral economy” and “specific mentality” of the Russian peasants.

Well, while all these debates had been going on and the government was trying to figure out its course, the peasants had been trying to solve their problems in their own unscientific ways. One of them was «отход» - off the active agricultural season the increasing numbers of the communal peasants had been getting out of their villages to do seasonal work in the cities, timber industry, etc. Some of them, while not completely breaking connection with their communities, had been settling in the towns “forever” sending some of the gained money to their families and those who were doing better had been bringing their families to the cities. The railroads construction had been consuming huge numbers of the poorest peasants and so did the growing industrial enterprises and mines. Usually, they had been starting with providing their workers with the barracks but soon enough the big cities had been surrounded by the workers’ settlements: it made sense to build housing for the skilled workers to guarantee their loyalty.

Soon enough the first generation of the well qualified industrial workers (as opposite to the craftsmen) was in place and, not surprisingly, it was doing quite well providing something of a stimulus for the less qualified workers to get to the same level of skills and related prosperity. Only very few of them will return to their former agricultural activities: salary of even the average skilled worker was higher than an income of an average peasant.

With the fast growing numbers of the communal peasants being exposed to the “capitalist economy”, future of the rural community looked rather bleak without too much of the state’s patrimonial interference but you can’t tell the important people to just buzz off, especially if you are a lowly peasant who simply does not know what is good for him. Well, to start with, who would be asking his opinion when there were volumes of the assembled statistics, works of the domestic and foreign specialists, articles to be written, discussions in the committees and on the public occasions, etc. Ah yes, and the government paid inspection tours abroad to get information about the foreign experience and the comfortable trips into the Russian provinces to collect statistics and prepare reports. And a warm feeling of you doing something truly useful shared by your friends. And the speeches that you can make! “No, you give me a service where I can face my little brother. Give me the opportunity to see his urgent needs and satisfy them quickly and sympathetically.”

Taking into an account that in Austria the full cadaster included estimate of the land value with the soil analysis and that in France it started in 1807 and was still going on consuming millions of francs while not producing any coherent picture, this project was seemingly doomed to go forever guaranteeing numerous well-paid jobs.

But the good life does not last forever and soon enough Minister of the State Properties, Kiselev, formulated situation as “after showing desirable, we have to propose possible.” In other words, the question was: are there simpler methods to assess the land value? And of course there were. The Ministry developed a simplified procedure of the “people’s cadaster” which was initially used on the state lands and then extended to the whole empire. Instead of a complete topographic research, in each rural entity with the peasants’ help a number of the “normal” land shares was selected based upon the usual techniques (amount of a planted grain or just size measurement) which then was multiplied on a number of shares. The houses, gardens, etc. had been measured topographically. Similar method had been applied to the individually owned lands. Well, of course, thanks to this method the initial idea that the tax reform must provide a passage to a completely individual land ownership was forgotten but at least it did not stop the already ongoing process. The second important part of the cadaster, evaluation of the land quality started, as usual, with the Ministry creating tables containing the land classification, average harvest, and a lot of other useful data and passed them to the provinces. Soon enough it became clear that these tables do not reflect conditions on the ground and can’t be used. After which the work was delegated to the special commissions created in the gubernias while the Ministry kept developing the detailed instructions.

The process lasted through the 1850s and, with all its drawbacks, by that time change of the taxes from heads to land and other sources of income had been done in most of the European Russia. Well, within the communal property individual household still had been hidden from the state but, to be honest, the underlying principle still was “state figures out what it needs and takes what it can” and the new system proved to be more effective than the old one. What was of even greater importance, is that it was done fast taking the all-powerful Emperor off the hook of his own creation. For which Nicholas was truly grateful. 😉

The whole effort also indicated a critical shortage of the well-educated and competent middle level officials which would normally required for such a project. Which meant that the universities has to produce more of them and fast and that statistics is going to be the most important discipline.
[1] “There is a peasant and a peasant:
If he doesn't spend the harvest money for drink,
I respect that peasant then!”
[2] And as a result, the landowners since at least the early XVIII had been routinely busy litigating each other regarding ownership over specific patch of land.
[3] The well-off liberal writers, when visiting their estates, had been interested mostly with hunting and other entertainments and their poor colleagues tended to have even lesser exposure and relied mostly upon their imagination.
The good deeds… 😜
242. The good deeds… 😜

“... a policy of honor and unselfishness is not only the highest, but perhaps also the most beneficial policy for a great nation, precisely because it is great.”
Fyodor Dostoevsky
“And the most unselfish feelings have some reason.”
Alexander Herzen
What will I have for my unselfishness?”
“Before you accept unselfish help from people, make sure you are able to pay for it.”
“Unselfishness and sincerity evoke sympathy, respect and suspicion.”
“And I myself will become unselfish as soon as it becomes profitable.”
“Unselfishness is a virtue that requires a reward.”

Unknown authors

The old wisdom 'No good deed goes unpunished' is not always correct and Nicholas was intended to prove this. The good deed must be rewarded and it was just a matter of how you are going to proceed with it.

Everybody was admiring an unselfish help of Emperor Nicholas in arranging the Prussian-Swedish land exchange effort. Well, not actually “everybody” because to FWIV this unselfish help had a tangible, if not widely advertised, cost: Nicholas was promising to deliver what FWIV wanted (a good deed) and FWIV had something Nicholas wanted (reward for the good deed) and who said that the unselfish help should come for free? Or it could be put differently: one unselfish act can be reciprocated by another unselfish act so that both sides feel good. Or the whole demagoguery can simply be disregarded and simple “tit for tat” will do. Well, not exactly, because while FWIV was getting something tangible (territory with the peopke), Nicholas was asking just for few pieces of paper and some advise. Now, what did Nicholas want?

Well, of course, he wanted to keep his army strong and preferably the strongest in Europe, just in case. He had the numbers and reasonably good organization but this would mean little without the good weapons. He already “adopted” the Prussian revolutionary steel artillery and the Russian state and private artillery manufacturers, augmented by the new Krupp’s plant in the Southern Russia had been busily producing the new army and navy cannons, adding the new designs and dealing with the found problems. But what about the infantry weapon? Most of it was still relying upon the old smoothbore percussion cap muskets but it looked like they were getting obsolete with the French adopting the Minie rifle in 1849 and information that the Brits are planning to use it as well.

Not to be left behind, production of the Russian version started in Tula armory plant but it was brought to Nicholas attention that an obscure “leichtes Perkussionsgewehr Modell 1841" ( Light Percussion Rifle Model 1841) produced by the little-known Dreyse-Zündnadel factory in Sömmerda for the Prussian army is actually a revolutionary breech-loading rifle being produced at the rate of 30,000 per year and adopted by the Prussian army since 1841. A clear negligence of the Russian military attache who failed to find out and report this fact earlier but you can’t turn time back.


Of course, it was quite selfish from WFIV to withheld such information from a close relative and a personal friend but, OTOH, why shouldn’t he? Friendship and family should not be confused with the state interests. Anyway, Russian price tag for the land swap was “just” technical information and few samples. Plus, as a bonus to Prussia, readiness to sign a secret treaty promising support of the Erfurt Union and its possible expansion all the way to a direct military help in the case of a future Prussian conflict with Austria. Taking into an account that the traditional Russian-Prussian alliance kept getting stronger expanding to the mutually-favorable trade agreements and that the proposal will not require any commitments of the already limited Prussian production resources (there were no funds, state or private, in increase production volume of the Dreyse factory), FWIV gave his consent for sharing technical specifications and in 1850 production started in Izevsk and Sestroretsk military plants and the private rifle factories of Budakov, Berezin and Evdokimov. Introduction of the cast steel barrels allowed industrial mass production with the expectation that within a year it’ll exceed 100,000 annually or even more if other private rifle manufacturers will get involved. Cartridges for the new gun had been produced by the state-owned Lugansk and St-Petersburg cartridge factories.

Of course, the new rifle had its own problems but it definitely had noticeable advantages in a rate of fire over the muzzle loading rifle but some of these problems can be dealt with by gradually improved design and troops training. With an optimistic attitude of a ruler who is completely sure that his orders will be executed successfully [1] he ordered the specialists of the rifle factories to start working on the upgraded design of an infantry rifle based upon the available information.

Reaction of the Russian military on the new weapons was not uniform:
  • The troops, and especially the Cossacks, on the unquiet borders of the Caucasus and the CA were preferring the Minie rifle because its longer range would eliminate the advantage the natives had with their long-barreled jezail guns, karamultuks, etc. The rate of fire was not of a top importance in the small-scale skirmishes and individual encounters prevailing along these borders.

  • The “traditionalists” of the military establishment still had been under the spell of Suvorov’s and Bonaparte’s bayonet charges and unhappy that nowadays the armies “are shooting too much” [2]. They were pointing out to the fact that mechanism of Dreyse rifle is more complicated than one of an ordinary musket and can be damaged during a bayonet thrust. Then, the rifles, in general, can’t be polished inside the barrel with a crushed brick and, as a result, will be untidy. Similar concern was expressed about the mechanism: its parts could not be partially unscrewed to produce the proper “warlike” sound during the parade ground marching [3]. All these arguments had been serious and, being voiced the high-ranking veterans, received a due consideration and were discussed at length by an authoritative Committee of the Ministry of War.
  • The “progressivists” were all for it. The limited firing range (200 meters effective, 670 maximum setting on sights) was seemingly OK, at least so far, in the European battles and the rate of fire, especially if it is an aimed fire was quite important. It was also obvious that the new system, which allowed to conduct fire even while laying on a ground, opens a wide field for the tactical innovations and the “progressivists” liked an opportunity to show how smart they are by proposing the innovations (even if rejected, they’d make author’s name known to a top brass). This is, how in an absence of a war the careers are being made. However, the most important consideration was the opinion of the only person who truly mattered, Nicholas himself. He would be willing to acknowledge that he is not fully competent in all obscure details when it comes to the land cadaster but in the military issues his competence was not to be questioned. If he said “Prussian rifle”, than that was it. Production started while the discussions in the Ministry of War kept going on. Production of Minie rifle and its bullets in Tula continued to supply the border troops with the weapon of their choice but Dreyse was going to become the main weapon of the Russian military.
Of course, switch to the new systems was taking time but by the mid-1850s Russian army started accumulating a big surplus of the old percussion cap muskets. The old muzzle-loaded bronze cannons replaced by the steel breach-loaders had been routinely sent to the border fortresses in Asia but what to do with the extra muskets?

Fortunately, there was a chance for one more “selfless” action, which had all chances to produce a considerable profit as a reward for the good deed.

Xianfeng (“Universal Prosperity”) emperor, just few months after succession to the throne got himself a massive rebellion (actually, a number of the overlapping rebellions but this one was the by far biggest) led by Hong Xiuquan, who happened to be a brother of Jesus Christ.

At least he claimed so and when it comes to the things divine, how can we deny or confirm claims like that without putting to doubt the premise that the Deity is Almighty and, as such, can do whatever he/she/it wants? Wouldn’t it be a heresy? [4] Personally, I’d just assume that they were step-brothers because Jesus’ mother was long dead but, OTOH, who can tell anything for sure within the almightiness paradigm? Well, anyway, he established the Heavenly Kingdom as an oppositional state based in Tianjing and gained control of a significant part of southern China, eventually expanding to command a population base of nearly 30 million people (not too much when you are talking about China: its population in 1850 was estimated as 430 millions) while trying to convert population in some form of a Protestantism (or whatever). In the Heavenly Kingdom property ownership was abolished and all land was held and distributed by the state, foot binding was banned, society was declared classless and the sexes were declared equal (several women served as military officers and commanders) but rigorously separated (there were separate army units consisting of women only; until 1855, not even married couples were allowed to live together or have sexual relations), the queue hairstyle was abandoned in favour of wearing the hair long, slavery was abolished, opium, tobacco, alcohol, gambling, polygamy, prostitution and other types of entertainment had been punished by death. The Manchu had been declared the demons and dealt with accordingly.

At least in theory, the Taiping military force was well organized. Each Taiping army, or keun, is composed of 13,125 officers and men, under the command of a general (keun-shwae), and is divided into five divisions (ying), front, rear, right, left, and center. A division musters 2,625 strong, commanded by a general of division (sze-shwae), and contains five leu, or regiments, the front, rear, left, right, and center. A regiment is composed of 525 men and officers, commanded by a colonel (leu-shwae), and is divided into five tsuh, or companies. A company is composed of 104 men and officers, commanded by a captain (tsuh-chang) ; then come four lieutenants (Liang Su ma), distinguished as the north, south, east, and west, each in command of four sergeants (woo- chang), and twenty privates (woo-tsuh). Each division of an army is divided into three classes, or brigades. The first consists of bonafide Taipings, that is to say, all who are of more than six years' standing; the second brigade, of more than three but less than six years' service; while the third, and generally largest brigade, includes all new levies, and less than three years' service men. Each brigade is again divided into three classes. The best and bravest men are armed as musketeers, or cavalry; the next class as heavy jingall and halbert men; and the third as spearmen. In other words, the firearms were in a short supply.

Of course, based strictly upon the fact that these people had been Christians, and the principle that money do not smell, the Taiping army could be viewed as a potential great market for each and every piece of a military junk stored in the Russian warehouses. But, Nicholas did have principles and even if some silly German writer declared the Russian rural community to be a communist institution, supporting the Chinese crazies was out of question.

Initially, the Qing government had in its disposal the traditional and rather pathetic Banner Armies with their stress upon archery and general absence of enthusiasm. Small wonder that they were suffering terrible defeats and regime had been loosing the territory. Providing them with the better weapons will be a waste of time and effort.

However, due to the fact that the enforced Taiping ideology was in a serious contradiction with the Chinese “traditional values” and that a part regarding abolishment of property ownership also did not produce an universal enthusiasm, the local anti-Taiping armies had been raised, the most prominent of which was Hunan Army created and commanded by Zeng Guofan, a high-ranking official of Qing regime.

And this, as far as Nicholas was involved, a completely different kettle of fish. Besides the legitimacy, Zeng demonstrated noticeable organization skills raising a huge army from the scratch and the fact that besides the impressive victories his troops also had been regularly beaten with the heavy losses clearly indicated that he will keep needing a lot of weapons for the years to come. Contacts had been made to the Qing court and Zeng personally as a result of which considerable amounts of the outdated weaponry started arriving to Xiang Army. Well, outdated it could be but not comparing to the halberds and spears. Of course, the Qing court had to abandon not only its pretenses and ceremonies but also its tendency to turn any trade into the barter exchange. The weapons had been sold for the silver and the future Russian ambassadors will be spared the kowtowing and other procedures unsuitable for representatives of an equal imperial power.


The fighting kept going on all the way to 1864 or rather until 1871 when the last rebel army was wiped out so there was plenty of time for selling a lot of weapons. By the end the French and the Brits got involved after the Taiping troops tried to take Shanghai. The total human losses amounted to 20 - 30,000,000. But this is a different issue. The point is that the good deed may end up being rewarded.
[1] The cadaster effort was still going on and, anyway, it was reported as a success and even produced noticeable additional revenues, so there was no evidence to persuade Nicholas that this may not always be the case. 😉
[2] This jewel of wisdom came, IIRC, in OTL from Nicholas’ Minister of War few years prior to the CW.
[3] Standard OTL practices prior to the CW. It is not quite clear how the Russian infantry managed to shoot at all.
[4] Plagiarism. Stolen from A.K.Tolstoy who in his “Letter to M.N. Loginov regarding darwinism” pointed out that the top Russian censor can’t know what exactly was God’s plan during the Creation and that frivolous limiting of God’s unlimited power smells of a heresy for which he could be punished.😂
Well heres the new map of Europe and the world after the swap.



Gnerally beside Prusso-Swedish land swap i added some new facts like NZ being Swedish colony and Spain having Oregon (Given that there was the treaty betwen them and the British).

Otherwise as said before north American borders are still left in the air by this timeline , like for example is Florida sold, or not? Weather there was a War with US, or further purchse of land , or the treaty between US and Spain. Weather Spain is developing Oregon (deal with the British specifies development of Oregon, otherwise Spanish claim can be questioned ) etc.

Regarding the British, by this point given their relative isolation from European politics and no British NZ and South Africa they should have more colonies, i would say Madagascar and maybe those small lands around Natal in Southeastern Africa, or horn of Africa . It would play nicely in securing the route to India and Australia .

Otherwise Prussia is more or less securing Russian backing (Blank Check) for their plans for N. Germany, or maybe they will do otl and kick Austria from HRE while securing the title of the emperor for themselves together with N.Germany? Seems like reasonable decision really , get N. German federation and lose dominion of S. Germany via HRE (this would also be logical upgrade of already exsisting status).

Also Russia is making indoors towards China. I wonder will century of humiliation for China be lessend some way?But anyway i see Russia benefiting long term if it manages to strike Ottoman like relations with China.
Last edited:
Busy years everywhere
243. Busy years everywhere

“Don't try to mine gold when you can sell shovels.”
The first treasure California began to surrender after the Gold Rush as the oldest: her land.
John Jakes
"The Irish do not want anyone to wish them well; they want everyone to wish their enemies ill."
Harold Nicolson
“We have always found the Irish a bit odd. They refuse to be English.”
Winston Churchill
“…what I want to prevent is any, even the slightest, outbreak, and this is only to be done by showing that we have in Ireland a sufficient Saxon force to make any movement on the part of the Celts perfectly hopeless, and sure to bring immediate destruction on those who take part in it.”
“Most of wars or military coups or invasions are done in the name of democracy against democracy.”
Eduardo Galeano
“To put on the garment of legitimacy is the first aim of every coup.”
Barbara Tuchman

New Spain/Mexico. Within framework of the Spanish imperial constitution the territory, was initially ruled by a viceroy appointed by the Crown. However, in the early 1820’s the title was lowered to “captain general” and its carrier became just a formal representative of the Spanish crown appointed by Madrid with the agreement of a local government and responsible for overseeing the constitutional (on “advice” of the local government) and ceremonial duties. The real power was in the hands of the elected President and since 1833 this post had been held by López de Santa Anna. The Southern parts of the initial “New Spain” had been now the independent “captaincy general” with the similar administrative arrangements.

Situation was quite difficult because, besides chronic shortage of funds, Captaincy-General of Mexico suffered from two main problems: shortage of a controllable population, and the Comancheria, an area inhabited by the Comanche and their allies and spanning the territories claimed both by Mexico and the US.

Horses gave the Comanches more military power, and allowed them to hunt more buffalo.The Comanches used this military power to obtain more supplies and labor from the Americans, Mexicans, and Indians through trade, thievery, tribute, and kidnappings.

And, besides the Indians, there was a threat of the illegal migration from the North, which was quite difficult to eradicate because the border lands were almost empty and, as a result, it was almost impossible to control the border.

Seemingly, the most obvious solution would be to increase population of the border territories. The obvious question was by whom? People from the Southern captain-generalships were not too eager to resettle into the high-risk areas and Spain itself does not have a “surplus” of the population, especially after the state-sponsored massive irrigation works greatly increased agricultural territory. Then, obviously, the settlers had to be loyal, experiment with the American settlers in Texas proved to be a bad idea which ended with a bloody suppression of their rebellion in the 1830s and a need to expel the survivors, which did not improve relations with the Northern neighbor and almost led to a war, which was prevented by Spain’s diplomatic efforts and, eventually, American purchase of Florida (with which, to be honest, Spain did not know what to do) money for which had been used for the railroad construction [2]. Prerequisites of the “loyalty” were, in the opinion of Mexico government three-fold: (a) the new settlers have to be the Catholics, (b) they have to hate the Anglo-Saxons and vise-versa and (c) they have to be hard workers unafraid of the difficulties. Which, basically, left a choice out of one and the main problem was how to get them there in the big numbers. In the regard the Providence was definitely on the side of Mexico. Discovery of gold in California in 1848 (the army troops had been sent there in haste to not let the “Gringoes” [1] into the area) provided the government with a considerable amount of the gold reserves, which allowed to arrange for more ships sailing from Ireland to Veracruz and other Mexican ports on the Atlantic coast.

The Irish had been migrating into the British American colonies in the noticeable numbers since the XVIII century but their Catholicsm was frowned upon and many Irish Catholics that immigrated to the United States from 1770 to 1830 converted to Baptist and Methodist churches even if over time the Catholic population kept growing.

Situation changed explosively when in 1845 the potato blight initiated the Great Famine in Ireland and caused a huge surge of the emigration from Ulster. Traditionally, the destination point were the US (New York) but now Mexico could get into the picture and channel part of the flow to its territory. The “carrot” was there: before 1800, significant numbers of Irish Protestant immigrants became farmers; many headed to the frontier where land was cheap or free and it was easier to start a farm or herding operation but now most of the Irish Catholics went to the cities where they lived in squalid conditions in the new city slums and tenements. The lucky ones routinely ended in the as the low-wage workers for employment in the dangerous and unpleasant conditions and, still, had been openly disliked by the “natives” as a competitors ready to work for a pittance. Santa Anna was proposing a better deal: an ability to became a farmer or to get hired, usually as a low level overseer (if a person already worked in this area) , in the railroad construction or mining operation. Of course, all of the above involved hard work and for a farmer there was always a risk of a failure but it was better than alternative and, which was also important, the immigrants were not looked upon as the lesser human beings. Some of them had been recruited into the Mexican army where, unlike the immigrants on the other side of the border, they were not mistreated by the officers and other soldiers.


With the information spreading around and a number of the immigrants, both from Ireland and from the US, growing, raising up to half a million, a local equivalent of the former Military Frontier of the Hapsburg Empire was created with the armed settlers being ready, with the backing of the regular troops if necessary, to protect their territory both from the Northern neighbors and from the Comanches.

In 1854 Prince-President won his second election by a huge margin and asked himself an obvious question: why bother with the formalities? Isn’t “Vox Populi, Vox Dei”? Obviously, it is and the Deity already spoke twice and for how many times can you ask the same question testing the divine patience? With the things going surprisingly well, this point of view had been seemingly shared by a majority of population: the people did remember the quiet and prosperous times of what now was called “the First Consulate” and a mess resulting from its replacement with the untested leaders. Prince-President was credited with pulling country out of a terrible economic crisis and revolutionary turmoil so why change him to somebody untested? Of course, there were “staunch Republicans” who objected that the elections are needed for supporting the Republic but they were a minority and the argument was easily countered with the simple question: “is it the Republic for the people or the people for the Republic?”. [3] Plebiscite had been conducted and Prince-President became President for life. However, there were growing voices declaring that for all practical purpose France, with all its colonial possessions, the list of which kept growing, is an empire and not declaring it as such diminishes its international prestige making its president somewhat inferior to the hereditary rulers of even the second rate countries. Prince-President For Life was modestly silent on the subject. For now.

So far the French colonial empire was steadily, if not too fast, expanding. It was, of course, an open question if in each specific case a new acquisition was worthy of an effort but in 1854 New Caledonia was added and in the same year France started expansion in Senegal gradually building it up into a “model colony” with the railroad, telegraph lines, roads, schools, bridges, and systems to supply fresh water to the towns. French administration started the large-scale cultivation of Bambara groundnutsand peanuts as a commercial crop. A law had been passed allowing the natives to obtain the full French citizenship and the colony got a right to elect a Deputy to the French Parliament.

Indochina was somewhat peculiar because formally expansion into Vietnam was motivated by a need to protect the missionaries and to stop the persecution of Catholics. Not surprisingly, the the Vietnamese emperor considered the missionaries to be the agents of French influence and tried to expel them. To help him to recognize the recognize and remedy this error a naval force of fourteen gunships, carrying three thousand French and three thousand Filipino troops provided by Spain had been sent to Vietnam. In September 1858 the expeditionary force captured and occupied the port of Da Nang, and then in February 1859 moved south and captured Saigon. The Vietnamese ruler was compelled to cede three provinces to France, and to offer protection to the Catholics after which the French troops left for China with another cultural mission: the locals executed a French missionary.

Of course, the said missionary violated Chinese law by preaching Christianity in the interior (the 1844 treaty signed with France only permitted for the propagation of Christianity in the five treaty ports opened to the French) and actually already was arrested for the same violation few years earlier. There was also a strong suspicion that he was in communication with the Taiping rebels. Not that this was the first execution of a French missionary [4] and so far nobody cared. But this time the Brits already had been fighting in China, their victory was seen as inevitable and the French government desired to make its own imperial gains in China, just not to be left behind. Lord Elgin, the British High Commissioner for China commented on the French ultimatum given prior to France's entry to the war:
Gros [the French ambassador] showed me a projet de note [draft note] when I called on him some days ago. It is very long and very well written. The fact is, that he has had a much better case of quarrel than we; at least one that lends itself much better to rhetoric.”
The joined force, after some setbacks, won the decisive victory and looted and burned the Imperial Summer Palace complex [5]. The military glory was obtained and duly presented to the French public but after the rewards were distributed the government faced a question: did it worth it? The Brits got a tangible gain: Kowloon was ceded to the British owned Hong Kong. France, besides its part of 8 million taels paid to the victors [6] , got the same thing as the non-participants (Russia and the US):
  • More open ports.
  • Freedom of religion established in China
  • Legalization of the opium trade.
  • Exterritoriality of the British, French, Russian and American citizens with a right to travel but not reside anywhere in Qing Empire.
  • The Qing Empire permitted foreign vessels to navigate on the Yangtze River.
  • The four nations gained the right to station permanent diplomatic legations in Beijing and China was forbidden to use term “barbarian” in communication with the four nations.
  • The Chinese cartels had been abolished.
  • Addenda to the treaties settled China's duties and tariffs on terms advantageous to the victors
A little bit about the trade.
Now, the free travel was, of course, nice and so was a freedom of preaching. The legacies were even better and not being called a “barbarian” will be doing miracles for one’s self esteem. But, all these wonderful things aside, what was so far the most profitable item of import to China? Yes, you guessed correctly: opium. And who were the biggest importers of opium into China? Britain and …correct… Russia. Of course, it was officially forbidden in 1840 but nobody cared because this was the most profitable item. The merchants had been buying opium in Irbit or Nizhni Novgorod at the cost of 214.28 - 228.57 silver rubles per pud and selling it to the Chinese for 628.55 - 880 silver rubles per pud. A positive byproduct was readiness to sell the Russian manufactured goods for a very low price making them popular in China.

Then, who was a potential great winner from the free travel (and implied freedom of trade)? Of course, the Brits. But Russia as well: limitations of the traditional Kjakhta barter trade started being burdensome and both ability to sell the good anywhere along the Amur plus in the open ports and to buy the most thought for item, the tea, were highly important for business. The barter was a long and a cumbersome process with both sides looking for the suitable equivalents while situation was rather straightforward. Russian side wanted tea while the Chinese wanted gold and silver. For quite a while gold and silver, in any form, were in the list of items forbidden to export by the Russian government, together with the weapons, gunpowder, opium, etc. However, with the increased extraction of the Siberian gold and silver in Altai, prohibition was gradually relaxed: in 1850 it was permitted to “exchange” gold and silver as a jewelry and various items and now, with the weapons and opium already being legitimized, so was the coinage. Freedom of trade along the whole Amur allowed reasonably easy penetration of the Russian manufactured goods into Manchuria while the tea trade was gradually shifting toward the ports, especially Canton: so far, travel by ship around Africa was still faster than by land. Soon enough the British production of tea in Assam and the Russian domestic cultivation of the tea in Kuban region and Azerbaijan decreased importance of the Kjakhta tea trade even further.

back to France.
While adventures in China proved, so far, to be of a very questionable economic value, the Algeria, finally subdued by 1852, proved to be a good investment. The European population was over 100,000 by 1850 and doubled within a decade with the lands of native Algerians were being rapidly bought and farmed by the new arrivals. However, not to push the natives to the corner, European migration inland was forbidden and the native tribes inland retained their lands. [7]

In Egypt, which after the death of Mehmed Ali, Ismail and Abbas I, had been ruled by Mohamed Sa'id Pasha, France managed to retain the upper hand even if the reign of Abbas I, who did not trust any Europeans, was somewhat tricky.

Sa'id, the fourth son of Mehmed Ali, was a Francophone, educated in Paris. He conducted a number of reforms. In 1854, he established the Bank of Egypt. In the same year Egypt's first standard gauge railway was opened, between Kafr el-Zayyat on the Rosetta branch of the Nile and Alexandria. In addition, he founded the Medjidieh, a precursor to the Khedivial Mail Line. In the same 1854 the first act of concession of land for the Suez Canal was granted, to a French businessman, Ferdinand de Lesseps. The Brits opposed the idea and tried to persuade the Ottoman Empire to deny its permission but the Sultan did nothing of the kind because he understood that within the existing arrangement Sa'id could ignore his order with an impunity and, as a second but not less important reason, he was persuaded by the Russian diplomats that he will be among the winners by receiving certain percentage from the canal profits.

With Austria being weakened by the loss of Hungary, a land exchange with Sweden being successfully accomplished, and Erfurt Union being stable FWIV decided to make the next step toward reshuffling things in the HRE by creating a German Customs Union (Zollverein) [8]. Austria was excluded from the Zollverein because of its highly protected industry.

there were approximately 1800 customs barriers. Even within the Prussian state itself, there were, at the beginning of the 19th century, more than 67 local customs and tariffs, with as many customs borders. To travel from Königsberg in East Prussia to Cologne, for example, a shipment was inspected and taxed about 80 times.

There were two main Prussian goals in the development of the Zollverein: first, as a political tool to eliminate Austrian influence in Germany; second, a way to improve the economies. The Zollverein created a larger market for German-made farm and handicraft products and promoted commercial unification under fiscally sound economic parameters. While the Union sought to limit trade and commercial barriers between and among member states, it continued to uphold the protectionist barriers against outsiders. The problem for the German rulers was that by removing the custom posts they are losing their income. OTOH, there was a mighty enemy outside: the German tradesmen stood in direct conflict with the English industry. A united German Trade and Tradesmens Union demanded protection from English exports.

While the outsiders were initially supposed to be kept out, within few years Russia, Sweden and Denmark-Norway signed a free trade agreement with the Zollverein, linking the German members to the Baltic League’s market.

For most practical purposes the Hapsburg-led HRE ceased to exist and it was just a question when the formal recognition of that fact is going to happen and how it will happen.

It could be said that Britain was moving from one success to another. Mutiny in India was crushed, China was defeated, humiliated and formally opened for the British imports (big part of which, opium aside, the natives were just not buying).

British influence in Afghanistan was officially recognized by the local government. The only problem was that the said government did not have too much (if any) power outside its capital.

Establishing British control over Madagascar proved to be a long story but the process kept going.

Somewhat annoying part was that after all efforts and money spent on defeating China, Russia greatly benefited from the resulting peace treaty without spending a penny. But at home the public was excited so the money had been well spent.

[1] The term coined by the Mexicans in 1849 or earlier so, just for change, I’m not being anachronistic. 😜
[2] Practically all money OTL Russia got for Alaska had been used for purchase of the railroad equipment so why not the same for Spain?
[3] “The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath” (Mark 2:27) 😉
[4] Personally, I did not get it by two main reasons. 1st, if executed for the missionary activities, the victim is supposed to get straight to the Heaven so what’s there to retaliate for? 2nd, the law is a law and if it is broken the perpetrator must be punished or the bad precedent is established.
[5] This episode is somewhat peculiar: while there seems to be a consensus that the looting was done both by the French and British troops, at least at some places the “glory” of burning and destruction attributed exclusively to the Brits.
[6] Initially, it was 6 millions out of which France was getting 2.
[7] In OTL NIII tried to enforce the progressive reforms but they were detested both by the natives who wanted to preserve their traditional ways (an idea of forcing switch from a tribal to individual landownership was especially unpopular; Russian peasantry was not unique) and by the European settlers as well.
[8] In OTL it started in 1834 but ITTL on this issue we are behind the schedule because the HRE is still alive and the Hapsburgs had to be weakened as a prerequisite.
Well heres updated map. Also i took freedom to add New Orleans to the Spain as i dont believe that they would have sold it in Louisiana purchase.
Busy years everywhere (cont. 1).
244. Busy years everywhere (cont. 1).

“Formula for success: rise early, work hard, strike oil.”
J. Paul Getty
“Oil they would buy from anyone. From Satan.”
Christopher Buckley
Maybe fire and kerosene don't go together for a reason.”
Dannika Dark
In politics evils should be remedied not revenged.”
Napoleon III

His Majesty, Kerosene.
A little bit of a pre-history to get an idea:

Until the middle of the XIX century, all kinds of fats or luminous gas were burned for lighting. However, fats gave less light, more soot, smelled unpleasant, left a lot of sludge and clogged the lamps with deposits. Industrial production of whale rupture for lighting purposes has led to a catastrophic reduction in the number of whales.

In 1733, doctor Johann Lerche, having visited Baku oil fields, recorded observations of oil distillation: “Oil does not soon begin to burn, it is dark brown, and when it is distilled, it becomes light yellow. White oil is somewhat cloudy, but the distillation is as light as alcohol, and this oil lights up very soon.” In 1823 the Dubinin brothers built an oil distillation cube in the North Caucasus, near Mozdok, near Akki-Yurt village. This enterprise has worked for more than 20 years, supplying several hundred puds of oil distillation products per year for pharmacy and lighting purposes. Apparently, this is the first industrial oil distillation plant, information about the structure of which has survived to the present day. The resulting gasoline and fuel oil had extremely limited use. For example, gasoline was used for pharmacist and veterinary purposes, as well as as as a household solvent, and therefore large reserves were simply burned by oil owners in pits or drained into reservoirs. Fuel oil was limitedly used as a coal substitute in steam engines, as well as for the production of lubricating oils.
In 1840s - 50s various inventors have demonstrated the production of light odorless flammable liquid from coal, bitumen, or oil by heating these substances and distilling products. A number of patents were obtained.

The name "kerosene" was proposed by Canadian physicist and geologist Abraham Gesner, who in 1846 demonstrated the lighting oil obtained by heating coal that did not give soot. In 1854, the trademark "keroseine" was registered.
In 1851, the first industrial distillation plant in Britain was put into operation.

Poland. Galicia.

In 1853 in Lwow I. Lukasevich invented a safe kerosene lamp [1]. The process of transforming oil lamps into a kerosene lamp has begun[8]. It was the development of kerosene lighting in the middle of the XIX century that led to an increase in demand for oil and the development of ways of its production.

The first try of a new lamp had been made in a local hospital during an emergency operation virtually impossible by candlelight. The new lamps burned so brightly and cleanly that the hospital officials ordered several lamps plus a large supply of fuel. Lukasevich immediately recognized the business potential, registered his technique with the government, moved to the Gorlice region of Poland in 1854, and sank several wells across southern Poland over the following decade, setting up a refinery near Jasło in 1859. The oil boom started with kerosine from oil replacing kerosine from coal and, as a byproduct, pretty much killing the whaling business [2].

The oil rush started all over the map and as an immediate result, one of the poorest areas of the Kingdom of Poland, Eastern Galicia, got an unexpected boost becoming, for a while, an international factor. During the oil boom in Galicia, more than three hundred joint-stock companies related to oil production were established. This was a “classic” boom with all its characteristic features - an abundance of all kinds of adventurers, founding fever and inevitable bankruptcies. Lwow turned into a true “European” city.
Does Europe end here? No, it doesn't end here, you often feel a constant connection with her, in bookstores you can see the latest novelties from England and France, and women who come to confectionery are dressed in the latest Parisian fashion. “

Initially, oil was just collected from seeping points but the first industrial well in Galicia was drilled back in 1872 in Rungurskaya Sloboda. The main volumes of oil were extracted in the area of Drohobych and Borislavl. In 1872, a railway came to Borislav, which accelerated the oil boom. The population grew sharply turning a former village into big industrial area. In 1863, the first refinery was founded in Drohobych. Oil was processed not only by industrial enterprises, but also by local artisans. The first handicraft-oil refiner of these places was a peasant of the village of Naguevichi - someone Baitala. He managed to create a homemade "distillation unit" and get kerosene with the help of improvised means (a metal container and a rifle barrel). Despite the fact that the product was not of the highest quality, it diverged throughout Galicia, and the technology became popular throughout the region - kerosene from oil was derived even by Lwow pharmacists.

Of course, most of the local population got very little (or a big fat nothing) out of the boom but the government got extra revenues, which allowed investment into the railroads and, how without them, the monuments commemorating the glorious achievements of the past.

Initially, the seeping oil was a nuisance because it made it difficult for salt water wells to extract salt. In 1849 Samuel Kier began extracting oil from the saltwater wells on his property. Upon further examination, Kier recognized that the medicinal oil being prescribed to his wife was the same in chemistry as the oil found in his wells.[1] Kier sold his oil as a remedy and grew wealthy. Other uses for Kier's oil were explored. Eventually, he built a refinery and invented an oil-burning lamp that burned his oil with little bad odor or smoke. This could have been profitable to Kier, but he never patented his lamp. Well, in few years it was invented/reinvented elsewhere and the whole oil thing boomed into the major business area.

Annual domestic output of crude swelled from 2,000 barrels (320 m3) in 1859 to 4,000,000 barrels (640,000 m3) in 1869 and 10,000,000 barrels (1,600,000 m3) in 1873. The ongoing industrial development of Europe spurred this rapid expansion. European, and especially British, factories began importing large quantities of cheap American oil during the 1860s. By 1866, US petroleum exports far surpassed petroleum distributed to domestic markets and the value of these exports nearly doubled from $16 million in 1865 to $30 million in 1869.

Azerbaijan was different from two other cases because oil extraction and export was a big part of the local economy since at least the IX century and this was documented by the numerous travelers including Marco Polo. Peter I in 1723 demanded "1,000 puds of white oil or as much as possible, and the search for an oil consultant specialist." The typical usage was as fuel and in the therapeutical purposes.

Closer to the subject.
  • In 1834 Nikolay Voskoboynikov, Director of the Baku oil fields, invented a special distilling machine that produced kerosene from black and white oil.
  • The first oil-distilling factory on the Absheron Peninsula began operating in Balakhani.
  • In 1846 the first well had been drilled (which was the first recorded successfully drilled oil well) , well ahead of Pennsylvania.
  • In 1858-59 Vasily Kokarev, Peter Gubonin and German baron N.E. Tornow built the first factory in Surakhani, close to the Fire Worshippers' Temple. The factory was used to produce kerosene out of "kir", an asphalt-like substance.

  • In 1863 Javad Malikov built an oil-distilling factory in Baku for producing kerosene out of crude oil.
  • In 1866 Azerbaijan's first reservoir for oil storage, stocktaking and release was built near Boyuk-Shor Lake (pumping oil into reservoir lakes was terrible from the ecological perspective but people of that time tended not to care).

  • The drilling on a massive scale with Azerbaijan producing more than half of the world's supply of oil and Russia being the world’s greatest kerosine producer will start in the early 1870s but even in the early 1860s it was big and kept growing.

World-wide the oil and its products started steadily squeezing the coal from its leading position.

Back to France.
During the Consulate the French liberals were mostly in opposition to the regime. By the end of it they managed to put their “clients” into the top positions just to be disappointed because so-called “second consulate” refused to lower to carry out electoral reform and reduce the property qualification for the right to vote, then made an even more fatal mistake: inattention to the growing labor movement, which was ready to strike primarily on the bourgeoisie. The subsequent revolution of 1848 threatened to end with a socialist republic with vague illusory goals, without a capable national leader, without an idea uniting the nation. French society was still too young for full self-government and even more so for the dictatorship of the proletariat. Being used to the somewhat “patrimonial” stable government, majority of the population was looking for such a figure. In this situation, the "father" of the nation was required to be cautious and deeply understood the situation. Such a "father" was the first president of the Republic (and the first ruler in the history of France elected by universal popular vote), Oscar Bernadotte. He brought the nation a long-awaited respite and a program aimed at uniting and stabilizing society. It was promised to everyone - the bourgeoisie, the peasants, and the workers. And then - most importantly - done.
Oscar’s “target group” was the bourgeoisie, but unlike members of the Second Consulate, he understood that the well-being of this group and respect for its interests would not be lasting without the support of all social strata. For each meaningful group he had a “present”.

Oscar saw that from now on the driving force of the nation is the middle class - different subgroups of the bourgeoisie, from lawyers, doctors and shop owners to large financiers who gave loans to kings. He saved this class from the threat of a socialist coup of 1848. He saved it by an active economic program - for the first time in France, the policy of economic liberalism, the ideas of Adam Smith and Turgot and the "invisible hand of the market" were fully introduced in contrast to traditional French protectionism in the spirit of Colbert (because of which the French economy could not implement the plan to "catch up and overtake England" in more than 150 years). This program came as a shock and initially caused a lot of protests but, to everybody’s surprise, French economy proved to be quite resilient and, while the volume of imports grew, the overall French production and exports grew even more: competition proved to be quite conductive for increasing productivity and modernization of the French industries.

He also saved the peasantry, which as always suffered the most from the revolution, from unresolved economic problems and strived only for stability, to the absence of tax growth (which happened during the revolution - it is for this reason that the peasantry turned away from it, not to mention the fact that in the 1790s the main hotbeds of royalist resistance to the Republic were rural areas). After all, the revolution of 1848, aimed at a socialist coup, completely ignored the problems of the village, while the peasantry in France was still the largest class. Lowering taxes (the revolutionaries immediately slapped 45% tax on the peasants) immediately turned the peasants into Oscar’s staunch supporters.

Oscar Bernadotte also had a program (although not immediately implemented) related to the financial situation, working conditions and the rights of workers: under the influence of the works of the Socialists (Saint Simon, Owen, Blanca) and the same Smith, Prince-President understood that inattention to the material and political problems of the proletariat threatened his regime with a fall.

Finally, Prince-President gave all estates the main "gift" - universal suffrage and the right of referendum, perhaps the most valuable of the legacy of the revolution of 1848.

Regime changes in the country could confuse adherents of traditional ideas - such as liberals. A peculiar mixture of conservatism and romanticism and the inability to respond flexibly to changes in public life prevented liberals from leading the revolution of 1848 and conducting it according to a softer bourgeois-reform scenario. As a result of the revolution, the nation faced a dilemma: either a socialist republic or a new dictator on the throne. How did liberalism perceive these changes? The older generation remained in opposition but their problem was that after ineptitude demonstrated in 1848 they become very unpopular. The younger generation was not suffering from their chivalric illusions and easily came to conclusion that at the moment the regime is pretty much ideal for the country due to a proper combination of authority (“father” of the nation guaranteeing the order) and freedom, which they understood as the civil rights of all classes, including proletariat.

They managed to communicate their ideas to Prince-President and found a complete understanding. Oscar was well-aware of the importance of new social classes which came to the scene due to the universal suffrage. To start with, besides the personal qualities, by his very background he was probably the best, if not the only, person capable of getting country out of a deep crisis of 1848. While obviously benefitting from being his father’s son and from his family connection which came handy in a critical moment [3], he was much more modern in his views than his father who grew rather conservative by the end of his life. The program offering something of value to all classes was a great idea for the election and the obvious dedication to its implementation after election helped to maintain his popularity.
On a strictly personal level not only he qualified as a "people's" leader, he managed in the timely fashion to use his image of the heir of the great Consul whom France still remembered with gratitude. It also helped that other significant figures in the French politics of that time were anything but charismatic and those who tried themselves at the time of crisis, clearly failed as the leaders. Plus, at best, they were party leaders while Oscar positioned himself as a leader of the nation.

At the very beginning of his rule Oscar identified economic issues as priorities for the country and outlined the main vectors of policy in this area:
“It is necessary to increase the means of exchange for trade to flourish; for without it, industry stagnates and maintains inflated prices that hinder the development of consumption; without a prosperous industry that develops capital, agriculture remains in its infancy. All this is related to the progress of social prosperity... The agricultural sector should, along with others, enjoy the benefits of loans that provide amounts for drainage, irrigation and plowing new lands... To stimulate industrial production, it is necessary to loan capital to it at a low rate. One of the priorities facing the country is to provide it with essential transport to help industry and agriculture. Therefore, the Ministry of Public Works should address the construction of communication routes, canals, highways and railways, which should deliver fuel and fertilizers to places where they are especially needed.”

The most important measure for the development and modernization of the peasant economy was the introduction of technological innovations, machines that facilitated field work, harvesting and processing of products. In addition, special bank loans with low interest rates were opened for peasants (which made it possible for both the transition from daily labor to farming and for agricultural entrepreneurship), and agricultural workers were covered by charitable institutions - mutual aid funds: their income by 1863 amounted to more than 3 million francs compared to 2 million in 1852.

Of course, there are no magic wands (or at least they are quite rare) and there were no overnight miracles. Technological advances and profitability of agricultural trade somewhat raise the economic well-being of the village, but the process of formation of rural entrepreneurs was very slow - the village retained the traditional way of production, small homeworkers with several apprentices dominate. The "shrinking" of the village was just as slow - a small number of rural residents went to work in cities and merge with the urban proletariat. The rural population of the country remained dominant, although its percentage was gradually decreasing - from 72% in 1856 to 69% in 1866. In the late 1860s, 51% of the country's population continued to live exclusively on income from agricultural production. Actually, the very fact that the innovations made peasant’s life more comfortable became the main obstacle to the further changes. Well, but at least the peasants had been, generally, happy (and as a result supportive of the government) and this was the most important thing.

In all other areas France was developing in a high rate and, besides progress in industry and trade, the financial sector was flourishing: the main idea of the government’s policy was freedom of entrepreneurial activity, the possibility of easy income and relative stability and encouragement by the state.

All this was augmented by seemingly spectacular successes in the low risk colonial engagements which provided the public with the decorated heroes to worship and the tales about the exotic places to be told. And, of course, all types of the “souvenirs” brought from these places and then arriving on a regular basis after they were put under the French rule to be properly civilized.


Navy also was not forgotten and in 1860 the first French (and ever) ocean-going ironclad “Glorie” had been completed, immediately causing a light hysteria and a frantic rush to build one of its own (but bigger, better and whatever else) by Britain followed by the similar programs of each and every self-respected navy.


Another important thing to keep in mind was to keep the females happy. After 1860, fashionable clothes become more accessible to more people: there were department stores where you could buy clothes ready for wear, or you do it yourself with a sewing machine and a drawing. Elite women went to a haute couture house. Fashion Designer Charles Frederick Worth made the profession of sewing an international industry. And don’t forget the “accessories” (diamonds and carriages included into this category). With the fashions in the state of a constant modification the females had been permanently busy catching up with the trend and their <whoever> with gaining enough money for financing their expenses.

To sum it up, the regime was stable and the public open to the idea to make it even more stable.

[1] Nowadays the popular spiel is that he discovered the distillation method as well but this is not correct. In 1854 trademark for “kerosine” was registered by Gesner and for several years, only the North American Gas Light Company and the Downer Company (to which Gesner had granted the right) were allowed to call their lamp oil "Kerosene" in the United States. Lukasevich had been experimenting with different distillation techniques, trying to improve on Gesner's kerosene process, using oil from a local petroleum seep.
[2] Of course, the whales are not as cute as the baby seals but nonetheless… 😉
[3] Credit for a massive grain purchase from Russia in a midst of the food and financial crisis.