anything that breaks serfdom has my approval, though I don't know enough about the situation in sweden otl to comment on the rest.
 
Sarthaka: This will be a very slow timeline

Also Sarthaka: Updates twice within 24 hours :p

In all seriousness, I enjoyed this start. Further integraton of the Baltic provinces fits right in with the wave of integration that happened in most of Europe right around 1700, though it's surprising Russia didn't jump on the opportunity to intervene.

As for the marriages, I feel like trying to negotiate marriages with France and England at the same time without the other knowing would both be difficult and potentially diplomatically dangerous if the other side found out and felt betrayed. But I guess the logic is that if Sweden marries into one side the other will actually be more keen to get in on Sweden's good side to balance it out? What did Prince Charles think about his father picking a bride for him, did he have any say in it?

Regarding Prince Charles' (he's not Charles XII yet) education, I'm not sure how much he realistically can be swayed from his otl personality. He showed signs of military obsession from very early on, and only has a few years left until he's an adult. But I guess it's more about opening him up a little to diplomacy rather than changing him entirely.

any predictions?
Given the introductory quotes, I doubt there'll be anything even resembling a great northern war.

Also I suspect Hedvig Sofia will remarry upon Duke Frederick's death, perhaps their marriage will be childless in this atl.
 
In all seriousness, I enjoyed this start. Further integraton of the Baltic provinces fits right in with the wave of integration that happened in most of Europe right around 1700, though it's surprising Russia didn't jump on the opportunity to intervene.
Russia is doing other things.....in the South. That should be hint enough ;).
As for the marriages, I feel like trying to negotiate marriages with France and England at the same time without the other knowing would both be difficult and potentially diplomatically dangerous if the other side found out and felt betrayed. But I guess the logic is that if Sweden marries into one side the other will actually be more keen to get in on Sweden's good side to balance it out? What did Prince Charles think about his father picking a bride for him, did he have any say in it?
Louis XIV was otl aware that the English were also trying to negotiate a marriage in 1695 and he wasn't rankled by the idea, so that's what I am basing it off of.
Regarding Prince Charles' (he's not Charles XII yet) education, I'm not sure how much he realistically can be swayed from his otl personality. He showed signs of military obsession from very early on, and only has a few years left until he's an adult. But I guess it's more about opening him up a little to diplomacy rather than changing him entirely.
Yup, loosening him just enough for being a little diplomatic, and slightly reined in by his future wife.
Given the introductory quotes, I doubt there'll be anything even resembling a great northern war.
At the moment, no.
 
Liking the update so far. Question was William duke of Gloucester born without his otl infirmity?
He is born with, and though he struggles with it his whole life, I intend to have a change that will lead to better doctors identifying his meningitis so that he survives the difficulties.
 
***

Chapter 2
The Baltic Rebellion
(1699 – 1701)


“We will accept the disenfranchisement of our God-given rights no longer!”
Wolter III von Buxhoededen


“Estonia and Livonia must be brought up to par with the rest of the Realm.”
Charles XI of Sweden


View attachment 709004
Map of the Swedish Empire under Charles XI
(From Wikipedia)

Known as the Great Reduction in Swedish History, Charles XI was renowned throughout Sweden for his domestic policy, which curtailed the powers of the nobility significantly whilst bringing about the advancement of the bourgeoisie and peasantry estates in Sweden. Charles XI’s wife had been lenient on the victims of the Great Reduction, but Charles XI, who was more used to dealing with troublesome and uppity nobles of the realm, had no such qualms about reducing the relative power of the Swedish Nobility and aristocracy. Not only did this garner much-needed money for the Swedish Realm, but it also reduced the near independent fiefs of the nobility and made the nobility dependent on state goodwill, whilst also making the King more popular with the common people in the nation. But whilst Sweden proper and Finland, alongside with Ingria and Pomerania had taken the Great Reductions staying down grudgingly, the nobility from Estonia and Livonia were furious and made their displeasure known when several nobles fled Sweden and into either Poland and Russia – the most famous example being Johann Patkul, a Baltic German noble from Livonia who had committed treason due to his actions against the Great Reduction.

But where the nobility had been drastically reduced under the reign of Charles XI in Estonia and Livonia, they still managed to retain several powers, including the right to hold serfs from the common population, despite Charles XI’s attempts to implement the Finno-Swedish model of emancipation. Alongside serfdom came several economic privileges and influence that the nobility still had the right to utilize and exercise of their own will. This created drastic contrasts, with serfs from Estonia and Livonia fleeing the region into Finland and Sweden to gain their independence whilst the nobility of the region continued on with the rather dastardly practice. Charles XI’s wife, Ulrika, had asked Charles XI on her deathbed to be lenient with the Estonian and Livonian nobility, and to let the practice of serfdom die on its own – and Charles XI had submitted to his late wife’s request - but by early 1699, King Charles XI had enough of the entire situation, with the Estonian and Livonian nobility using serfdom to exploit loopholes in their restrictions, which were creating a lot of monetary issues and problems for the Swedish Crown.


View attachment 709005
The Swedish Riksdag
The National Legislature

After signing his deals with the English and French monarchs regarding the future marriages between the Swedish Royal Family with the House of Oldenburg-Stuart and Bourbon, Charles XI recalled the Swedish Riksdag (The Riksdag of 1699-1701) and demanded that the Reductions that were completed in Sweden and Finland be completed in Estonia and Livonia as well, with serfdom abolished in the two regions. [1] The Land Marshal, Nils Gripenhielm was skeptical of the idea, pointing out that “His Majesty the King is asking for too much, lest we infringe upon the traditional rights of the Estonian and Livonian Nobility – which will surely lead to rebellion.” Though his words would prove to be prophetic, the President of the Clergy, Olof Svebilius, Chairman of the Bourgeoisie Gustaf Holmstrom, and Chairman of the Peasantry Nils Andersson all disagreed with the Land Marshal. Svebilius, in his moral right as Archbishop of Uppsala, called for the abolition of Serfdom throughout the Swedish Realm, whilst Andersson and Holmstrom, representing their estates, were eager to see the nobility curtailed further.

Needless to say, the Swedish Nobility was not enthusiastic about the idea. In particular, the Livonian Nobility, which still resembled a more feudal style of governance than an actual early modern one reacted violently. Jürgen von Farensbach was so distressed by the idea that he declared that the King “had abandoned all rights of the Nobility to which we had acceded to the Swedish Crown.” This sentiment was clearly shared by other families from Estonia and Livonia, with Wolter III von Buxhoeveden and Magnus Gustav von Mengden all reacting similarly and violently. The Grand Marshal of the Livonian Knights, Leonhard Gustav von Budberg also reacted in tandem with his Baltic peers and warned Charles XI that any implementation of Charles XI’s plans could see a general uprising in the Swedish Baltic Provinces. Charles XI, showing a small amount of stubbornness that had clearly been inherited by his son later on, refused to back down, and as was typical of Carolean Autocracy, he bypassed the Swedish Nobility, and through the support of the Clergy, Bourgeoisie and Peasantry managed to declare Serfdom abolished in Estonia and Livonia and carried out another reduction in the regions, with the lands confiscated from the nobility handed over to the newly freed serfs to begin their lives anew.


View attachment 709008
Wolter III von Buxhoeveden



It seems that “Wolter III” von Buxhoveden lived a very long and very successful life and, quite possibly, was a longest-living person ever. The last of the awards shown on his portrait, Russian order of St. George 2nd class, he received in 27 April 1808. Needless to say that he is wearing an uniform of the Russian full general of the reign of Alexander I and all his awards are Russian, Polish and Prussian. It is not quite clear to me what forced him to change his name from “Wolter III” to Friedrich Wilhelm. 😂😂😂
 
It seems that “Wolter III” von Buxhoveden lived a very long and very successful life and, quite possibly, was a longest-living person ever. The last of the awards shown on his portrait, Russian order of St. George 2nd class, he received in 27 April 1808. Needless to say that he is wearing an uniform of the Russian full general of the reign of Alexander I and all his awards are Russian, Polish and Prussian. It is not quite clear to me what forced him to change his name from “Wolter III” to Friedrich Wilhelm. 😂😂😂
It's the picture associated with him in Latvian Wikipedia, though it may be a mistake, as Wikipedia is infamous for.
 
It's the picture associated with him in Latvian Wikipedia, though it may be a mistake, as Wikipedia is infamous for.
It is a portrait of Friedrich Wilhelm Graf von Buxhoevden
Simply could not be anybody from the XVII century: you can compare his uniform with the costumes of Charles XI’s time and, if anything, it is very easy to identify the awards (of which Sweden had none at that time). The oldest of them, St.Andrew (the blue ribbon), was established by Peter I in 1698 and the rest are even more recent. I know that wiki is lapse-prone but not know that it can be that bad.
 
It is a portrait of Friedrich Wilhelm Graf von Buxhoevden
Simply could not be anybody from the XVII century: you can compare his uniform with the costumes of Charles XI’s time and, if anything, it is very easy to identify the awards (of which Sweden had none at that time). The oldest of them, St.Andrew (the blue ribbon), was established by Peter I in 1698 and the rest are even more recent. I know that wiki is lapse-prone but not know that it can be that bad.
Ah thanks, will edit the picture accordingly.
 
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