Working on the new chapter! Btw, just for those who don't know, when you picture Steele's voice, picture Harry Truman. That's what I used for 1.0 videos I made.

 
POST-WAR EUROPE: EUROPA AND FRIENDS
POST-WAR EUROPE:
EUROPA AND FRIENDS
perrault.jpg

Prime Minister Fabian Perrault inspects the troops (1925)

Europa at the end of the war was not a pretty sight. Barely containing internal revolt and anarchist and Illuminist factions that threatened to make the Terror of Robespierre return. There was a very good chance that the fragile Empire could have fractured into its many parts, with likely a new republic being proclaimed. The fact that this did not occur was largely due to three things.

The first thing was the death of Napoleon IV. The monarch passed of a particularly nasty case of stomach cancer on January 21, 1914, bringing his troubled rule to an inglorious end. He had started out strong in 1890, determined to revive the empire to world dominance after the pathetic reign of his portly father, but he had ended up driving it to ruin. Through his own bullheadedness and narcissism he had bungled the war from the very start, from his decision to wage a war on multiple fronts all at the same time, he had lost a good portion of the Empire's territory, especially the entire Rheinbund. While the southern half of the industrial heartland remained in his sphere, the northern half was lost to Germania, which was now lost to civil war, and all of the North and South American colonies and satellites. But all had not failed. In the end, Viktor had lost his crown and the League of Tsars had finally buckled after a glorious breakout at Budapest. The Holy Land remained under Europan control, and the Knights of Jerusalem were heroes of the Empire. But no amount of propaganda could make anyone forget about the loss of the Bund and the Americas. The economy was in shambles. India still flew the Bonapartist banner, but the Plague had wiped out 30% of the subcontinent. A place that had seen almost no military action saw the worst Plague statistics of the entire outbreak, but it had also likely been the only thing keeping secessionist movements from starting a civil war. When the Prince of Bombay took power in Paris as Caesar Napoleon V, there were going to be some changes, that was for sure. His coronation was kept much more modest than anyone had dared dream for his predecessors, and the 25 year-old monarch would begin a period of remarkable evolution for the superstate.

funeral.jpg

Napoleon IV's casket carried before the Army (1914)

The second thing preventing civil war in Europa was the sheer exhaustion of the people. The war, Plague, and the anthrax problem had absolutely ravaged the population. Losses on the Rhinish Front paled in comparison to the Eastern Front, where millions laid buried in unmarked graves. The lack of returning sons also served to sink the economy like a rock. There were still enough men to do the needed jobs, but the truly talented and skilled laborers were killed in their masses for no discernible reason. Many of the ones who returned from the war found their previous careers meaningless and spiraled into alcoholism and absinthe-use. The horrific sights heralded a new era of art as well, termed "Revoltism," which took most of the century-old Byronic styles of the tragic hero story, lavish and detailed paintings, and Napoleonic morals and turned them on their heads. The tragic hero became the tragic buffoon, bungling and scraping his way through an empty abyss of meaningless torment in the war only to come home to country barely still standing. The graceful nudes and Romance of the painting world of the past century turned to abstract shapes and bright explosions of the color spectrum, much of which was inspired by drug usage by debilitated war veterans, or the chaotic and hellish explosions and fires of combat. The Catholic Church, formerly the most important thing by far in the lives of all Europans, was seeing a massive drop in attendance as evolutionary and atheistic beliefs took hold thanks to the Second Enlightenment, though Pope Peter II would see many return to the fold. The man who christened the term "Revoltism," Henri Napoleon Janvier, was a sergeant during the war and had served for six months during the Siege of Budapest. He came home to Lyons after the end of the war and discovered his parents and fiance had both died of the Plague. In 1918, he first displayed his now-infamous masterpiece, I Have No Mouth, Yet I Scream, which became a symbol of the entire war and the rest of the lives of many of its veterans.

scream.jpg

I Have No Mouth, Yet I Scream, by Henri Napoleon Janvier (1918)

bppsp9-dpostf-tallenge-original-imaf2gdbmqx7xmze.jpeg

Budapest, by Johann Ludwig Stein (1923)

The third thing keeping Europa in one piece was the presence of Perrault. The marshal was seen by many as a soldier's soldier, a symbol of the military who followed orders into hell but who wished things had gone differently. There were whispers that a republican plot wished to take the commander and place him in charge of a revolutionary government, but he instead had the conspirators arrested. Perrault's popularity among the men who had served and who remembered him as always ready to plunge into battle with the common troops at any time, was single-handedly supporting the Imperial system upon Napoleon IV's death. Some even desired to see Perrault take on the mantle of Caesar himself, but there was little chance of that. Instead, he desired not to tear down, but reform. On one cold morning in 1914, he laid out his plans for Napoleon V to understand. Perrault told him he could promise the loyalty of the military only if certain concerns were addressed. Immediately, Napoleon V, far more intelligent than his bellicose father, agreed, fearing a collapse of the dynasty if he did otherwise. The first matter Perrault insisted on was the granting of much more power to the Imperial Diet and the Prime Minister, while also demanding the removal of Othmar Derichs as the Prime Minister. Derichs had been one of the leading causes of the war, and his constant inflating of Napoleon IV's ego stoked the fires that had consumed the world. These demands were met. On April 2, 1914, Derichs was ousted from power by a full squad of Imperial Guardsmen, who then sent him into exile in North Africa. The Imperial Diet then assumed the powers of making war and peace, and also modified the Constitution of the Empire for the first time in decades to allow for women and all adults over the age of 21 to vote in elections. Overnight, a century-old near-absolute monarchy became a constitutional parliamentary system. Caesar still could dismiss prime ministers and could call for emergency elections, but he could no longer declare war on anyone and everyone and was no longer left to his own devices for international diplomacy. Napoleon V would become known as the "Napoleon the Figurehead" for good reason.

In 1918, Europa would hold its first full democratic elections. Perrault beat former trade minister Jean Francois Lamar in a landslide. The election going smoothly was a critical matter for the Empire, and the exceeding of expected turnout rates was a welcome surprise. All in all, for such a large nation, the voting went well and with minimal issue. Prime Minister Perrault now set about forming his government and modernizing the Empire from the ground up. Of special interest to him now was the, shall we say, unfortunate borders of the Empire. Austria-Hungary was officially still part of the nation of Europa, despite the fact that the loss of the Rheinbund made connection to Paris very... dubious... at best. Unrest in the Catholic South German nations made the matter worse, and it made very little logistical sense in general to continue pretending it was all one solid empire. Facing sad reality, a 1919 referendum was held, with the people deciding between continued membership in Europa or offering the crown to Franz Josef Hapsburg's only surviving child (and one of the few remaining pure-blooded members of that ancient dynasty) Princess Sophie, then already well advanced in age. Sophie was popular with most of the Empire, and her work with the Blue Cross, the Imperial medical services during the war, endeared her to the military. During the Siege of Budapest, she went under fire tending to the wounded despite being in her 60s and garnered herself the nickname of "Grandmother of the Army." It was no surprise when the referendum overwhelmingly swept her to power as Queen Sophie I, of the Kingdom of Austria-Hungary. She had already been managing much of the restoration work in Hungary for years, and now she was able to full take control of the situation. The black-and-gold banners of the Hapbsurgs flew in Vienna for the first time in half a century as the procession of automobiles and carriages made its way through the streets packed with jubilant onlookers. After years of pure hell, there was hope once again in Austria-Hungary. 1920 would see the adoption of the Royal Constitution and the creation of the Austro-Hungarian Royal Parliament.

austria.jpg

Royal Guardsmen stand at attention in Vienna (1925)

gendarmeriebritishzone.jpg

Royal Austro-Hungarian troops on exercises near the Italian border (1929)

edith_cowan_by_public_domain_0.jpg

Queen Sophie of Austria-Hungary

But all was not well in the east. The Illuminists hung as a menacing spectre on the horizon, ever-present and always looking for a chance to export the Revolution. This was the main reason, in fact, for why Perrault pushed hard for an Austria-Hungary referendum. He wanted a patriotic and nationalistic country to buffer the Illuminists. The people in Austria-Hungary already had proved during the war that they would gladly sacrifice life and limb if it meant holding the line. Now, to further engage parts of the old Continental Alliance, Perrault sought to create one form of currency usable in all Allied territories. This would hopefully combat inflation and, to quote Perrault, "Out of the hands of the International Yankee Jew and into the hands of a central bank." This currency would be known as the Euro and would be rolled out by 1922. Even Austria-Hungary, still very much in the Allied camp, adopted the Euro as its official currency. The currency was issued partly out of Perrault's deep-seated fear of "international Hebrew bankers" but mostly to combat the absolutely awful inflation that had been ravaging the country since 1913. Upon the Euro's successful adoption, most revolutionary activities within the Alliance ceased, although Catalonia would be granted home-rule in 1924.

The era following the end of the inflation problem saw glimmers of hope for a brighter day all across Bonapartist Europe. Even though the war and disease had decimated them, even though entire cities had been wiped out, there was now a promise of better tomorrow. Perrault was reelected in a landslide in 1920 and 1926, always positioning himself under his campaign motto of "Hope and Change." Napoleon V typically gladly supported him and in turn helped redeem the Bonaparte family in the eyes of the commoner. For the first time in human recollection, parliamentary democracy was succeeding in mainland Europe. Women were voting, massive leaps were being made in the sciences, aid was finally coming to India, North Africa, and the other remaining colonies. Powerful new aeroplanes were replacing the now antiquated aeroships, ferrying citizens all over the Empire. The Lost Generation would always be there, always nursing its deep-cut wounds from the war, but the generation after them, those too young to have served in the war, saw the world in a different light. Much in America during this era, it began to be called the Roaring 20s. People began to have parties again. Dancehalls were packed with well-dressed gentlemen and beautiful ladies, all wearing the latest fashions from designers like Lestrange and Jojo Martel. Music began to take on a rhythmic, jazzy sound, influenced by Yankee blues music that was oddly catchy to Europan teens and young adults, despite its nefarious origins.

And over it all Fabian Perrault watched in disgust. The International Jew, he thought, was digging in, and his own leniency had let it happen. The Hebrew would always find a way, he would tell Napoleon V. What was needed, he said, was action. A degree of democracy, he would say, was needed to placate the people. "But allowing foreign subversion of our beautiful European culture, to allow this fascist noise and these immodest clothes and dances, is to allow Satan himself into the heartland. We must cleanse Europa, and the Alliance, of this cunning and dastardly menace that seeks to take advantage of the shifting political landscape to strip our great Christian empire of its decency."

The elections of 1932 would be the first in which he would not run, but the aging war hero would make his opinions known. The Euro would suffer beginning in 1929, and a movement dubbing itself "Perraultists" would begin to march in the streets of France, Spain, Ireland, and Italy, lead by "supercatholic" Julius Evola and basing themselves on radical devotion to Pope Peter II. And in Austria-Hungary, the death of the Queen would see a certain hero of Budapest create a political party that would change the face of Europe forever....

Legionari-9.jpg

Perraultists on the march, 1930
 
"For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?" I think this is a proper quote to describe this chapter. Europa may have won, but at the same time the seeds of its demise have been planted.
 
I can’t help but think that Napoleon V is going to get that surrendered power back at some point, either by seizing it or being bestowed “emergency” powers. Aaaand now I’m imagining Napoleon as Palpatine in Episode II/III

Javier Javier Blanc: “In response to this direct threat to the Empire, I propose that parliament immediately gives emergency powers to....the Caesar”

Napoleon V, wearing a large black cloak because he’s cold and totally no sinister reasons: “I love democracy, I love the empire. The power you give me I will lay down when this crisis has abated. The remaining Illuminist will be hunted down and defeated! For a safe and secure SOCIETY!”
 
Last edited:
"For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?" I think this is a proper quote to describe this chapter. Europa may have won, but at the same time the seeds of its demise have been planted.

I wouldn’t say they won, they survived. They lost a good amount. The only one I think won are some of the fascist(RU, Australia and kinda Carolina) and small random nations Arabia and maybe the league of neutrality
 
And yeah, a WWII between Fascists and Monarchists on one side and Illuminists, Beutelists, and Eduists on the other is looking more and more likely.
 
Also, what's the Illuminist opinion of Europan democracy? Is it seen as good enough that they can be left alone and be allies against the far worse Fascists, or do they view the monarchy and church as deal-breakers despite the system being democratic?
 
After reading this chapter, i am 99% sure that Napoleon I is rolling in his grave and cursing his descendants' stupidity.
But seriously Napoleon IV basically lost 80% of the empire that the first two Napoleons built
 
I wouldn’t say they won, they survived. They lost a good amount. The only one I think won are some of the fascist(RU, Australia and kinda Carolina) and small random nations Arabia and maybe the league of neutrality
You could argue that Italy won too, considering the war allowed the unification of the country
 
Meanwhile in Eire:
"Listening to the Lindy Hop is a designated thought crime, to the Ministry of Welfare with you...we'll make sure you listen to true Irish Soul music"

Meanwhile in Berlin:
"C'mon pal we're dancing to the Potsdam Jazz Band, smoking some reefer joints and then hopefully getting into a threesome...let's go"
 
Napoleon I ‘The Great’
Napoleon II ‘The Magnificent’
Napoleon III ‘The Fat’
Napoleon IV ‘The Fool’
Napoleon V ‘The Puppet’
 
Actually i wonder if Austria-Hungary's indipendence will somehow influence the situation in Spain (particularly Catalonia)
 
I can’t help but think that Napoleon V is going to get that surrendered power back at some point, either by seizing it or being bestowed “emergency” powers. Aaaand now I’m imagining Napoleon as Palpatine in Episode II/III

Javier Javier Blanc: “In response to this direct threat to the Empire, I propose that parliament immediately gives emergency powers to....the Caesar”

Napoleon V, wearing a large black cloak because he’s cold and totally no sinister reasons: “I love democracy, I love the empire. The power you give me I will lay down when this crisis has abated. The remaining Illuminist will be hunted down and defeated! For a safe and secure SOCIETY!”
"THE ILLUMINISTS ARE TAKING OVER!"
 
Top