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A Tale of Common Things

Discussion in 'Never Ending Stories' started by Crezth, Sep 30, 2013.

  1. Immaculate

    Immaculate unerring

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    EDIT: removed.
     
  2. ChineseWarlord

    ChineseWarlord Prince

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    Why should you care?
    From Paraguay
    To Chile


    Paraguay accepts your defensive alliance offer.
     
  3. Grandkhan

    Grandkhan Telvanni Master Wizard

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    Chuquisaca Declaration:

    A Declaration of Intent to Intervene in the Peruvian Civil War


    The ongoing conflict between the legitimate President of Peru, Luis José de Orbegoso, and the usurper General Salaverry is a threat to the stability and balance of South America and cannot be allowed to continue. Salaverry's usurpation of legitimate authority is a threat to the security and stability of all South American nations, and the usurper must be deposed.

    Thus, Bolivia declares its intent to intervene in the Peruvian Civil War on behalf of President Orbegoso, in order to preserve legitimacy and stability in Peru. We make this declaration of intent public in the interests of good faith, as we have no intention of usurping balance of power in South America.

    We publicly declare that we have no intention of annexing territory from Peru, upsetting the Balance of Power, or damaging the stability or integrity of Peru in any way - our only intention is the restoration of the Rightful President Orbegoso and the removal of destabilising elements in South America.

    Signed, General Andrés de Santa Cruz, President of the Republic of Bolivia
     
  4. Masada

    Masada Koi-san!

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    The British Government has provided no such assurances to the Prussian Government. The British Government would also like to think that our position has been quite clear for a while now.
     
  5. ork75

    ork75 Prince

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    ...what civil war? I never sent a Freire expedition, unless the game begins after that has already taken place. The civil war only started after the War of the Peru-Bolivia Confederation (or so Wikipedia leads me to believe).
     
  6. SouthernKing

    SouthernKing crickety cricket

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    Deva Loka
  7. Masada

    Masada Koi-san!

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    The British Government would like to announce that it intends to launch 150 steamers in 1836. There is nothing to fear from this development. That is all.
     
  8. Crezth

    Crezth 話說天下大勢分久必合合久必分

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    Just an announcement that work on the update has begun in earnest. We will still accept some late orders as long as they are sent soon however we are aiming for a weekend update.
     
  9. Arrow Gamer

    Arrow Gamer America's Dictator

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    Sorry, I'm going to be dropping. I honestly don't have the time nor the interest for something this large and complicated, plus I was looking forward to a Belgian war and had no idea so much support would spring up against me. While it sounds petty to quit over an IC setback, that;s how I feel and I'm not going to discount that.

    Moreover, I am not anywhere near the caliber of play many in this are. I may well rejoin in a smaller capacity, but for now I will stop playing. Sorry for the inconvenience.
     
  10. Nivyi

    Nivyi Chieftain

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    a house
    How do you want the orders to look like?
     
  11. Gem Hound

    Gem Hound Mercenary

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    I didn't know that either, I improvised using order-set up for a normal NES, though I still winged it. Try this:
    Stats
    Spending
    Army Orders
    Political Orders
    Society Orders
    Royalty Orders
     
  12. Tsoate

    Tsoate Prince

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    It concerns me people are talking of orders now.. after the deadline!
     
  13. ork75

    ork75 Prince

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    The Bolivian act of "intervention" on the side of a president who has abandoned his capital, his people, and his country is no less than a flagrant offense on Peruvian independence and can only be considered an act of war.

    The people of Peru and President-General Salaverry shall never surrender until every one of the traitorous, invading scum are either dead or running, bloodied, from the soil of the Peruvian state.

    ¡Viva Peru! ¡Viva Salaverry!
     
  14. Masada

    Masada Koi-san!

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    Just some thoughts. HM Government isn't all that interested in entering into alliances in exchange for economic concessions. On the other hand, British firms are very interested in economic concessions and are quite capable of lobbying the HM Government to protect property. So if one wanted to safeguard a particularly vulnerable bit of land full of useful stuff, one could offer generous concessions to British firms as a form of insurance. It wouldn't be infallible of course but one can hope, no?
     
  15. Immaculate

    Immaculate unerring

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    Siete Leyes; More Hamlet then MacBeth


    December 3rd, 1835, Mexico City,

    I feel I am on a mission, something beautiful and significant, something that will make Mexico great. I do God’s holy work. I can feel his hand in my mind, in my heart, lifting me up. My thoughts race and I barely sleep. I have so many ideas. The deputies and senators of Congreso General bicker incessantly, vapid infantile chattering that achieves little except exacerbate my contempt for them. They are beneath me. Tucked into my saddle are the Siete Leyes; I must decide if I will add my signature or not. None of those fools can decide our nation’s fate; to leave it to them would be a mistake history would never forgive. But first I must clear these racing thoughts, bring clarity and focus to my superior intellect.

    Father Rodriguez told me that these thoughts, this creativity and drive, my not needing sleep or often, food, is the work of God. God guides me. My Plan de Cuernavaca strengthened God’s work in Mexico, saved us from the liberal folly of Valentín Gómez Farías. I do the work of god; I am his chosen servant. But God’s influence is too great for mortal minds, even mine. When my thoughts race and fall upon one another like this the cure is anything except divine. That’s when I visit her.

    She is an Indian, a Huichol, but despite this, or perhaps because of it, I almost, or maybe I do, love her. Certainly she understands me so much more than Inés, who, though my wife and mother of my four children, doesn’t understand the great burden and responsibility God had given me. She was baptized Anna but her cousins call her Yauxali. I spur my horse harder; these racing thoughts, this overabundance of intellectual energy can only be reined in by balancing it; Mind and body- I need to bring them together. I need to rut my beautiful Anna like the wildest of animals.

    ***​

    December 5th, 1835, A Countryside Home,

    I totter from the bed, the bottle of Tequila sloshing chaotically in my hand. I have thought of little beyond the golden skin, the hungry lips, the perfumed sweat of my beautiful Anna, of the pleasures between the sheets for two nights. I try to count the bottles but give up after seven. I know I will do God’s work now. I have given myself wholly to the cardinal sin of adultery but God will not hold it against me; the lesser laws are for lesser men. I am not them and God will judge me on the balance he keeps for Napoléon, myself and other great men. When I return to the city the clarity I will bring will shock and amaze congress, the clergy, and even the peasants.

    I stumble once, falling to a knee but catching myself on Anna’s armoire. My hand touches the wool rug and even it feels wet from the humidity. I smile; the bottle remains unspilled. I drink another generous mouthful- I have long ceased to feel the tequila’s burn.

    I have cared for Anna for almost two years now; the small home is beautifully furnished and warm running water comes from the taps. I drag myself to the sink and stare into the mirror.


    My face is unexpectedly mundane

    My face is unexpectedly mundane, human. Somehow I had expected to see something akin to an angel. What mundane man, mere human could perform as I have for the last 50 hours? I stare longer and the image swims in and out of focus- too much drink, too little sleep. When was the last time I ate?

    Suddenly the mirror and the wall beyond fall from me. In its place the ceiling races from behind me to in front of me. The mirror is falling, falling. But it doesn’t hit the ground; it remains fixed to the wall. Suddenly the ground behind me falls up and strikes me in the back.

    Darkness.

    ***​

    Anna tells me I slept for almost eighteen hours. I feel empty. God’s hand is gone. My soul is empty. I am human. I am a sinner. What could I have been thinking? I peer into the morning landscape beyond the window. Rain is falling, though it brings no relief from the heat. I look around the room, seeing it with fresh eyes. Anna, or her servant, has cleaned the room. The bottles are gone. Even the sheets are clean. There is water by the bed in a pewter pitcher. I drink from it directly, not bothering to use the beautiful glasses I had bought her last Christmas, which she had set nearby on a tray.

    I hear my horse whinnying in the stable and feel lonely, overwhelmed. Slowly I get up and go to my satchel. I pull the Seven Laws from it, staring blankly at the space awaiting my signature. I feel like tears could roll down my cheek. Mexico, all of Mexico awaits me and if I make the wrong decision it will bleed yet again. There has been so much blood already.

    Gentle footsteps behind me. I turn and Anna stands there in a sheer white dress, her slim silhouette outlined through the sun behind, the sheerness of the fabric doing nothing to hide its lines. I think maybe she wore this when I arrived two days ago but when the mania comes over me the little things sometimes go unnoticed. Now… I stare. I thought I would feel ashamed, guilty, as I sometimes do, but I do not. I love her. I hold out my arms and she comes to me.

    “Will you sign it?” Her voice is as gentle as the raindrops outside.

    I say nothing. Not thinking. Not feeling. Just being. She doesn’t hurry me. Finally I shrug.

    “We can help you. There is a way for you to find the answers you want.”

    I look at her, expecting more but she says nothing. Instead she goes to her jewelry box and pulls out a medallion. St. Christopher carrying the baby Jesus in silver. She kisses it and hands it to me.

    I look to her and she waits.

    I kiss the medallion.

    “Now you must go on a journey,” she says.

    ***​

    December 9th, 1835, Somewhere West of Mexico City,

    We scramble the last tens of feet without grace, raising dust and sending sleeping birds fleeing into the night sky. We are in a thin canyon, the night sky is radiant with stars. The walls of the canyon are dark shadows. Somewhere a creek is running. Anna takes my hand and leads me further.

    The darkness has passed somewhat. I lie in neither God’s nor Satan’s hands. Anna tells me this good, that I must be ready to ‘make room’. I smell campfire smoke but do not feel scared.

    “Yauxali,” someone calls, a foreign sounding noise from beyond the darkness.

    We round a bend in the canyon, and as the wall gives way I see the entrance to a small cave. We bend low to get in and I see an old man, a Huichol indian like Anna squatting by the fire. He is working a pestle and mortar; he breaks up some cactus.

    Beyond him the cave is a shrine. This is a place for La Flaca. The peasants swear she heals them, guides their ancestors' whispers. Father Rodriguez calls it paganism, remnants of the old faiths.


    But the icon is no statue; it is a skeleton dressed in a wedding gown and adorned in gold and silver. It wears a crown and sits atop a throne

    I look closely at the saintly icon, suspicious, having only rarely seen statues dedicated to the unofficial Santa Muerte. But the icon is no statue; it is a skeleton dressed in a wedding gown and adorned in gold and silver. It wears a crown and sits atop a throne.

    The man looks to me and I notice that he has no eyelids. Wait… that isn’t right. Rather his eyelids are tattooed with images of eyes. He sees me staring, “The white lady sees everything.”

    I nod, swallowing. Anna seems at ease and squats by the fire. I am reminded again that, despite her baptism, her past is very different indeed from mine.

    “You come seeking answers.”

    I nod again.

    He passes me the bowl and motions for me to drink. I recognize the plants.

    Peyote.

    I drink.

    ***


    I will not sign the laws.
     
  16. ChineseWarlord

    ChineseWarlord Prince

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    Immaculate do you mean 1835?
     
  17. Crezth

    Crezth 話說天下大勢分久必合合久必分

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    Eighteen Thirty-Six

    This year, in Europe…

    The rise of the Napoleonic Empire brought sweeping changes across Europe. Although the anti-French coalitions had long striven for an end to Napoleon’s reign of terror, the concept of peace eluded the great powers of Europe as none could agree on what peace looked like. The great powers, unable to see eye-to-eye, could only stand and watch as Napoleon wrought his havoc upon Europe.

    With the final downfall of Napoleon, the Concert of Europe was the phoenix that rose from the ashes of a dazed and frightened Europe. To ensure that the peace would not be jeopardized by one man’s megalomaniacal dreams of power, the greatest powers of Europe - Great Britain, Russia, Austria, France, and Prussia - committed to the dream of a Europe where disputes were solved with concordance. And so, a new age had dawned: it is now 1836, and the Great Powers are in accord.

    The Berlin Declaration Controversy

    Evidently, it was not to last. The Austrian Empire caused great controversy early in 1836 with its proposed Berlin Declaration: a concordat between Austria, the United Kingdom, and Prussia, affirming the status of Spain, the German Confederation, and the Ottoman Empire. Mostly a formality, the declaration nevertheless came under fire by Russian and French representatives for excluding them. Specifically, Russia objected to the nature of the declaration as seemingly at odds with the Holy Alliance. After a brief confrontation, a new declaration was signed on June 6th - the Potsdam Declaration - which was identical to the previous declaration with one important exception: it would now include Russia and the Kingdom of France—and not, as had existed by then, the French Second Republic.

    France

    By the middle of the year, France had once again experienced a sudden and unexpected change in government. On the heels of an ill-advised intervention against the Carlists in Spain, several military units mutinied and the basis of Louis-Philippe’s mandate began to crumble. A triumphant Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte, heir to the House of Bonaparte, marched at the head of defecting National Guard units, and stormed Paris on April 10th, sending Louis-Philippe into exile. The new Napoleon appointed himself as First Consul and organized a Second Consulate, with Jean-de-Dieu Soult and Hugues-Bernard Maret as co-consuls.

    Soult, the famed Marshal of the French Empire, was a man whose politics were expedient: whichever way the wind blew, he threw his sail up behind it. With Louis-Napoleon seizing power, the choice was obvious: he would once again serve a Bonaparte. Maret was a valued statesman in the old French Empire, and an old devotee of Napoleon and Jacobinism - an ideal co-consul for a new republic. Thus was the French Second Republic born - a development the rest of Europe treated with shocked dismay.

    Domestically, the new Napoleon enjoyed a significant amount of popular support. Nostalgia for the days of Bonaparte, coupled with skillfully playing the Bourbonists and Legitimistes off of each other, cinched Louis’s position in short order, the courts in Paris all neatly falling into line. However, the Orleanists faced a crisis with the fall of their beloved monarchy, and Louis’ odd Socialist-Republican agenda is bound to spark conflict with his reactionary base in the future. France stood at a crossroads: would she embrace democracy with open arms, and submit to the will of the people? Or, was she to turn once again to the firm guidance of dictatorial leadership? The decision was Louis-Napoleon’s to make, Soult and Maret lacking any particular convictions or desire to go against the heir of the Bonaparte tradition.

    Russia

    Russia’s year, though unmistakably characterized by the Berlin Declaration fiasco, was nevertheless busy in many other ways. In foreign affairs, Russia forced its way into the Potsdam Declaration and affirmed the independence of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies - drawing fire from the Catholic Pope for attempting to interfere in the business of Italy. But the crown prince of Russia, Tsesarivich Alexander, caused a stir in much of continental Europe by going on an international tour. The countries of Germany, Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands, and Belgium all welcomed the Tsesarivich warmly. London, however, seemed unaware the Tsesarivich was even coming, as last-minute welcomes were hastily prepared. The tour did much to improve the image of the Tsesarivich abroad, and pro-Russian sentiments in all courts - except the United Kingdom’s - have never been higher.


    The Russian diplomat Karl Nesselrode in his younger years.

    The Tsar also had ambitious plans for the domestic situation of Russia. Reviewing the history of Russian agriculture, the Tsar concluded that the necessity for a larger strategic grain reserve was apparent. The Tsar ordered that the grain reserves be increased, and that grain subsidies be instituted which would provide grain to urban poor. A popular proposal among aristocrats and urban poor alike, as the aristocrats were guaranteed a market for their grain, and the urban poor were guaranteed not to go hungry.

    But the new policies didn’t stop there: the Tsar controversially dissolved the Polish Congress in favor of a new “Governate of West Vistula,” fully accountable to Moscow and with a complete elimination of all types of Polish iconography. The response was to be expected: Poles were all but up in arms at this change, but aside from minor riots, there were no major revolts. Still, rebellious sentiments are stirring among the Polish population, and the Russian garrison is on high alert.

    The United Kingdom

    The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland - seat of the British Empire, upon which the sun never sets - greeted the year of 1836 with as much hopeful determination and vigor as ever before. Parliament has been busy this year, and the foreign office busier still.

    Parliament passed a number of different legislations this year with a number of different aims. Primary among these acts was the Bank Charter Act, to end the issuance of non-Bank of England banknotes; the Endowments Act, to charter the creation of an institute of polytechnics; the Naval Improvement Acts, which all at once endowed a modern naval academy, ordered the construction of five new ocean-going steamships, and a board of development tasked with awarding anyone who can solve the problem of longitudes; a New Zealand Act, which recognized the rights of the Maori indigenous; a Railroads Act, which commissioned a committee on railroads; and an Expansion of the Census Act, which expanded the scope of the census.

    But perhaps most ambitious of all of Parliament’s many doings was the Income Tax Act, which featured a dramatic reworking of the tax code - specifically, an elimination of many taxes deemed “irresponsible” in their scope or execution, most notorious among these the Windows Tax, which taxed windows. In the place of these taxes, an income tax was introduced, which taxed only aggregate income. Since this was such a dramatic reform, Parliament was at first opposed - the Window Tax is not just a tax on windows, it is a tax on people who own too many windows. Such arguments did not hold water over time, and Britain managed to push the act through - though at a general reduction in the nominal tax level. Initial estimations demonstrate that the efficiency of the new system has done a much-overburdened British administrative edifice some good.

    British prestige also received a much-welcomed boost as the Treaty of Amity and Friendship was signed between East India Corporation officials and the Qing Empire. British naval operations in east Asia have been improved by the presence of a friendly and exploitable port in Hong Kong, as the EIC have moved in and began making the harbors fit for a sea base.

    Switzerland

    The federal union upon which the Swiss state was built—at least, since the end of the Helvetic Republic—had become tenuous, with intra-canton coalitions having more real political power than the Diet. The reactionary forces that have worked to restore the ancien régime within the Swiss Confederation since the fall of Napoleon faced increasing opposition from the liberal cantons. This had all culminated in minor armed conflict along ideological and sectarian lines, with liberal Protestants against conservative Catholics. Swiss politics was tinged with hostility all around, and many feared that more violence may yet erupt: a fear not as distant as they hoped.

    It was unsurprising then that the endowment of a Swiss university was remarkably scandalous: funded federally yet given a blatantly liberal bourgeois mandate to focus on business and politics, the ideological and moral outrage compounded by disagreements on its exorbitant expense. With that and other such moves to flaunt and strengthen federal power—argued as necessary evils by a nominally conservative Diet—have been met with contempt and apprehension not only from the conservative elite and the clergy in particular, but also the Italian and French cantons who wished to preserve as much of their autonomy from the more numerous Germans as possible.

    As though anticipating armed revolt, the Diet also spent a great deal on the reform and reorganization of the cantonal armies along more explicitly federal lines, increasing federal control and oversight of Swiss arms. In practice, however, the federal government could have expected that only the liberal cantons pledge their support as it continued to aggravate the conservatives, who felt increasingly alienated and betrayed. Despite past defeats, the conservative cantons have rallied together once more; the year ended with the country operating with practically two Diets, and civil war seemed to be more inevitability than mere possibility.

    Prussia

    In Prussia, two important events dominated the year: the Berlin Declaration fiasco, and the visit of Tsesarivich Alexander. Prusso-Russian relations remained undiminished on the whole thanks to Prussia’s warm reception of the young Tsesarivich, and despite the fumbling of the Berlin Declaration. Prussian courts were relieved to see that Russia, evidently, bore no ill will towards their German allies. In the midst of all of this diplomatic happenings, on the domestic front King Wilhelm was eagerly arranging an industrial development program that he took great pride in, with generous subsidies going to firms that produce machine parts and other industrial goods.

    Greece

    Greece had what, at first, appeared to be a promising year. King Otto ordered the construction of a fine, modern, weatherproofed road all around Greece with the help of his Bavarian connections. This project turned out to be immensely popular as jobs aplenty were created, which the idle militia leapt upon at the first opportunity. Still, King Otto felt as if he wasn’t doing enough for his beloved people. In late August, he began drawing up a constitution for Greece that would formalize a liberal democratic institution “in its birthplace.” The liberal cause was invigorated by this promise, and fully backed King Otto in these efforts - however, the entrenched Bavarian interests were alarmed at this proposal, and threatened to withdraw support for the roads project if these policies were not reversed.

    Otto was unfazed - his commitment to the constitution would not be shaken. In short order, the central support for his mandate crumbled, with liberals swiftly moving into the vacuum. Bavarian interests have clamored and urged the Bavarian government to do something about King Otto’s constitution, and Bavarian firms have already withdrawn their support in the form of materiel and expertise for Otto’s ambitious roads project. Otto now has the challenge of finding new firms to take up the task of supporting his roads project, as well as continuing to find funding for it, and quelling the dissent generated by the Bavarian faction - including the ever-present risk of a coup from the Bavarian soldiers that compose the bulk of his professional army. Nevertheless, the first elections are scheduled for January of next year, and the Greek population is eager to express support for Otto’s new direction.

    Denmark

    Denmark’s year was marked by political conflict. First on the agenda of the ruling Joachim Faction was an increase in the general tax rate, something they attempted to manage “quietly.” Liberals cried foul of this enhancement of the tax rate, granting them some support from the population, but unfortunately not enough to make a dent in the power base of the conservatives. The increased association of the liberals with the common rabble has worried the government some, as many begin to wonder if the Danish nationalists will find allies in the government. These concerns were only exacerbated with the Potsdam Declaration, which, in affirming the status quo of the German Confederation, promised an end to the international question of the fate of Slesvig-Holstein. Danish nationalists were outraged at this as they demanded that the government take steps to sever the two parts of the duchy, in blatant contravention of the declaration. For the time being, the government has remained quiet on the issue - but the inopportune timing of the Potsdam Declaration in conjunction with the higher tax rate means that the government will have to do something, or else risk riots and possible rebellion.

    The Ottoman Empire

    The government of the Ottoman Empire experienced great change this year with the Sultan’s bold Edict of Aynalikavak: an enormous package of political reforms that many in the empire claim will mark the dawn of a new era. Principle among these reforms is the pronouncement that all men, no matter their religion or ethnicity, are to be considered as equals under Ottoman law; and furthermore, the Sultan’s decisions will henceforth be advised from a Council of State comprising individuals pulled from a diverse cross-section of the population. Although the Sultan’s proposal was hotly contested by Islam exceptionalists in his court, the recent elimination of the Janissaries did much to discredit them - it is clear that the Sultan’s power is absolute. Pro-westerners, and pro-Austrians, lauded the Edict as a “vital step towards the kind of behavior necessary for a multicultural empire.”

    As Ottoman liberals pat themselves on the back, however, Serbian nationalists remain unsatisfied. Fearing that the Edict would end the cause of Serbian nationalism, Serbian nationalist leaders sparked a revolt in Ottoman-controlled Serbia. Upwards of 5000 Serbs rose up and overran the local garrison. However, the Turkish army, pleased with generous endowments granted by the Sultan as part of his ongoing army expansion program, was quick to act and return the favor. With uncharacteristic efficiency, the Serbs were put down and the ringleaders executed - a terrible blow against the cause of Serbian nationalism.

    (924 Ottoman casualties; 1,069 Serbian nationalists killed)

    Serbia

    Serbia’s year was partly defined by the actions of Serb nationalists in the Ottoman Empire. After the Ottomans crushed a Serb revolt just south of the border, Serbians were up in arms just north of it demanding vengeance for their lost brothers-in-arms. The Serbian government has yet to issue a statement on the state of Serbs abroad, but instead focused its efforts this year on a railroads commission to look into the viability of installing railroads throughout Serbia. The result was less than palatable: not only would the railroads be extremely expensive, the reports said, but any kind of advantage these over-heavy metal horseless carriages could provide could not possibly offset the cost of operation - unfortunate news for a government that seemed keen on implementing new technologies.

    Spain

    Spain continued to be rocked by war in 1836 as the Carlist rebellion raged on, and the Loyalist cause was hurt when the French Foreign Legion was suddenly withdrawn in the wake of revolution at home. Realizing there was no end in sight, the Spanish government quickly moved to alleviate the financial situation that was bad and growing worse by the year. Huge war taxes were raised and levied, and the distress of the Spanish people has never been greater. In response to the ongoing war and the higher taxes, many Spanish have begun simply picking up and moving away - mostly to Mexico, where a concentrated effort on the part of the government there to accept new immigrants from Spain has made the former colony seem quite appealing.

    As for the war, it raged on. A series of small battles throughout the north half of Spain were no doubt indicative of the Carlist disorganization in the wake of 1835’s disastrous campaigns, as the Loyalists scored victory after victory against the Carlists in minor skirmishes. However, the main action of the year occurred in the south of Spain, near Algeciras. In April, Loyalist forces lead by Ramon Maria Narvaez were ordered south to attempt to intercept Miguel Gomez Damas’s forces as he attempted to consolidate Carlist control in Andalucia. Damas’s forces, based in Ronda, were aware of this redeployment and sought to head off the Loyalists by immediately departing for Algeciras. Moving quickly, the Loyalists caught up with the Carlists and forced an engagement on April 30th - however, it was anything but decisive. The Loyalist attack petered out in the mid-afternoon, giving the Carlists time to retreat into the city. The Loyalist forces regrouped and prepared to siege Algeciras as more reinforcements from the north were promises.


    First Battle of Algeciras

    By May 10th, it was clear to Damas that the Loyalists were waiting for reinforcements. He attempted to have his forces escape the city, but the Loyalist general Narvaez anticipated this move and moved to intercept. The Loyalists took as many casualties as they incurred but were nevertheless successful in keeping the numerically inferior Carlists penned in Algeciras. A few days later, reinforcements arrived, and the Loyalists set in for a summer siege. By July 11th, it was clear to Damas that he could not hold out much longer - so he settled for a daring midnight attack when the Loyalists least expected it. That evening, the Carlist forces attempted to break the siege in an attack on the Loyalist position - however, what remained of the 12,000-strong Carlist force was no match for the 20,000 Loyalists, and the Carlists were smashed and the city taken in short order. The remainder of the army - all 10,460 troops - surrendered the next morning.

    This victory - and others throughout the north - did much to increase the legitimacy of the liberal cause, and couldn’t have been more convenient as a royal betrothal between Isabella of Spain and Franz Joseph of Austria fell through in planning. As the details of the betrothal became clear to the general populace, the uproar of Europe was audible across the entire world. Amidst worry that a Habsburg would inherit both the Austrian Empire and the Kingdom of Spain, Isabella’s regency quickly discarded the betrothal, claiming the entire thing was Austria’s idea. What would have been a disastrous political faux pas was, mercifully, mitigated thanks to the successes of brave Loyalist soldiers in the field.

    (13,878 Loyalist casualties; 11,887 Carlist casualties and 10,460 Carlists captured)

    Treaty of Venice

    Amidst little fanfare, Austria signed the Treaty of Venice with the countries of Modena, Parma, and Tuscany, pledging non-aggression and assuring Austria would come to defense of any of the small Italian states in the event of outside aggression. The move was heavily opposed by the Pope, the Piedmontese, and the Sicilians alike as Austria attempting to expand its unlawful control over Italy. Austria, meanwhile, claims the treaty a “necessity,” and points out that the Kingdom of Two Sicilies herself has no qualms signing treaties with other countries, and to criticize Modena, Parma, and Tuscany for the same is a blatant double-standard.

    Austria

    The diplomatic situation in Austria was nothing short of hectic from the signing of the Berlin Declaration, later scrapped and rechristened as the Potsdam Declaration: Austrian representatives continued to suffer the criticisms of a variety of opponents in French and Russian courts for introducing so many destabilizing elements into European politics. With the proposed Spanish marriage, the Treaty of Venice, and the Potsdam Declaration, Austrian diplomats had a lot to answer for.

    The only saving grace in all this was, perhaps, the systematic exclusion of the Second French Republic. Russia’s only international ally in the Berlin Declaration outrage was France, which - now being under the control of a second Napoleon - had anything but prestige to its name. In this, Austria’s zealous assertion of the declaration could not be argued. But Russo-Austrian relations suffered nevertheless, and some in both courts have begun to wonder if the Holy Alliance was a big mistake.

    At home, the Austrian government ambitiously invested in the growth of her industry. A major industrial park was commissioned, in addition to factories, expanded iron mines, and smelting complexes: it was all part of a big plan to create a completely integrated machine parts manufacturing operation. With the construction being handled by entirely Austrian firms, and investment from outside sources increasing, Austria can claim success in at least one area this year.


    Austria's ambitious new industrial parks include new factories such as this

    Two Sicilies

    The Kingdom of Two Sicilies signed alliances with the Empires of both Austria and Russia this year, enjoying guarantees of independence from both even as each country continued to row about the Potsdam Declaration. On the domestic front, Frenchman and rail entrepreneur Armand Bayard was hired to analyze the possibility of a railway connecting Naples and Portici. His response detailed a steep cost: it would cost 18 million pounds to build the railway using French technology. The Kingdom of Two Sicilies has yet to give a response, although many in the government argue that the cost of the railway is too great for the government to shoulder, and another opportunity should be sought.

    Sweden

    The Swedish government’s main achievement in 1836 was the commissioning of an investigation into the state of Swedish agriculture. Swedish agricultural experts toured Sweden and produced a report on the state of Swedish agriculture. They advertised an expansion of agricultural work into previously unexplored areas, such as the many wetlands whose ecosystems could be valuable if cultivated. They also reported that the Swedish land reforms programs of the past several decades were very successful - Swedish farmers were producing crop yields per acre that matched with the best of Denmark’s, and despite the harsh Swedish climate were still capable of providing Sweden with much of its own food needs. The experts concluded their report by saying that the one thing Swedish farmers could really use is widespread access to new agricultural technology.

    Portugal

    Portugal’s quiet year was nevertheless excited by the promise and subsequent enforcement of an outlawing of slavery. The latest in a line of many European nations to cast off slavery, Portuguese authorities claimed it was “about time” and many pro-abolition factions throughout Portugal cheered the news heartily.

    Saxony

    The King of Saxony decided that idle hands do the devil’s work this year as he engaged in no shortage of grand outings, despite the political turmoil all around his petty kingdom. Of all the countries that welcomed the Tsesarivich of Russia, no country’s welcome was grander than Saxony’s - the King personally presided over a large procession in Dresden in honor of the visiting Russian prince, and the King loudly proclaimed the friendship of Saxony with that of the Russian Empire. Representatives of Saxony were also present at the signing of the Potsdam Declaration, where they affirmed Saxony’s neutrality between all the great powers.

    The King of Saxony also seems to be something of an Italophile, as he traveled to Rome in July to hear mass from the Pope and to see Trajan’s Column, and other sights of the Eternal City. In more cultural works, the King personally commissioned a symphony to be written by the composer Robert Schumann, centered around the life of St. Elizabeth, Queen of Thuringia.

    The Papacy

    Tragedy struck the papacy this year with the sudden death of Pope Gregory XVI on October 30th, taken before his time by heart failure. Many grieving Catholics lined the streets of Rome and other great cities across Europe to mourn the loss of God’s representative on earth. In the meantime, the Papacy has initiated the efforts associated with selecting the new Pope.

    ...
     
  18. Crezth

    Crezth 話說天下大勢分久必合合久必分

    Joined:
    May 26, 2006
    Messages:
    10,421
    Location:
    北京皇城
    This year, in the New World…

    The United States of Central America

    It is perhaps unfortunate that what is most necessary for any well-meaning liberal revolution is broad support for its liberal ideals, which can be attained by a number of ways; none of which, however, include alienating the great masses of illiterate, superstitious, rural people that make up what would be a politically conscious constituency of an affluent republic. A testament to their tenacity, Central American Liberals have gone against the grain not once but twice: first in rejecting the Conservative electoral victory in 1825 and installing their own man as President of the Federation; then, with igniting a three-year civil war to depose the selfsame man they had installed when they realized he wasn't quite as Liberal as they had hoped.

    In the half-decade that has been liberal rule since, the imposition of a new order—patterned after godless, Liberal and Enlightenment ideals and backed with the force of arms—has caused great scandal not only among the aristocratic elite and their clerical cohorts, but also among the impoverished, god-fearing peasants who don't quite understand why they should go along with things that will neither benefit them greatly nor spare them the pains of Purgatory.

    However, much like his counterpart in Mexico, the liberal General Morazán seems to have been struck with a change of heart. Despite the many hard-won victories for the Liberal movement both during and since the civil war, he backed down on enforcing the laws that had caused much chagrin among the peasants and priests. In El Salvador, first to revolt against the Conservatives but a decade ago, an unwritten recognition of the old fueros was creeping in and soldiers and priests felt that they could once again act with customary impunity, though they had little space to enjoy these renewed privileges with the outbreak of cholera in the region.

    Along with these compromises with the conservatives came the empowerment of the states of the Federation, which have had the liberal bourgeoisie in power since the civil war; they were greatly disturbed by the General's direction to say the least, though it brought some faint hopes to their rural and Conservative constituents. As the year closed it had become apparent that tensions between Liberals and Conservatives had become even more pronounced, and that General Morazán had strayed from his ideals to maintain a very dangerous balancing act.

    Chile

    In Chile, Jose Joaquin Prieto was reelected in a landslide victory - leading some of his opponents to conclude that the election was stolen. For the most part, these concerns have been waved off as Prieto got down to the business of governing. Government funds were generously appropriated to the port of Valparaiso, where an expansion project for the harbor is well-underway. Multiple government prizes for new merchantmen were announced, leading many Chileans to begin considering a career in high seas merchantry. Meanwhile, military spending has been expanded, and Chile opened bids for foreign experts to come in and train the officership.

    Argentina

    The unclaimed wilds of Patagonia played host to new inhabitants this year as Argentinian colonists struck out across the region, opening up new settlements with generous land endowments following a declaration by Argentina that the entire region of Patagonia belongs only to Argentina. Settlers have already begun spreading across Patagonia even as some Chilean citizens, many of whom had already settled in Patagonia, despite being outside of Chilean jurisdiction, protest the expansion.

    Paraguay

    Supreme Dictator Rodriguez de Francia of Paraguay ended his reign as Supreme Dictator this year with the formal institution of a democratic government. However, this did little to alleviate the concerns of his liberal opponents, as he continued to win the presidential election in a landslide victory. Now merely a President, Rodriguez de Francia’s legitimacy has been greatly validated by his steps towards democratization.

    Bolivia and Peru

    Bolivia’s year was off to an inauspicious start with the sudden signing of the Chuquisaca Declaration - a declaration that guaranteed Orbegoso’s position as President of Peru, against Salaverry’s de facto position as its dictator. President Andres de Santa Cruz of Bolivia raised an army some 14,000 strong, and marched into Peru on April 9th.

    The Peruvian response was immediate. Realizing that the Bolivian army was now much larger than Peru’s, Salaverry took to the field to raise an army of his own - 13,000 strong, with the task upon them of defending Lima and other key cities against Bolivian attack.

    The Bolivian army made it first to Arequipa and then Cusco without much fanfare, where they linked up with Orbegoso’s forces that had already taken the city - numbering 6,000 strong - and prepared to move out. It was only after leaving Cusco that the fact Salaverry had an army of his own was made apparent. As Santa Cruz’s army made its way through the mountain passes, led by friends of Orbegoso, the Peruvian superiority in cavalry made itself clear. Wherever Santa Cruz went, Peruvian cavalry were hot on his heel, vanishing as soon as the damage was done. Supply lines were clearly strained, and Santa Cruz knew he had to find and force an engagement.

    An engagement did happen, but not on his terms. On the evening of June 30th, near Abanca, Santa Cruz sent his cavalry and a small detachment of infantry to circle back and help the latest supply caravan link up without trouble. Santa Cruz was anticipating, based on the behavior of the Peruvian cavalry, that they would be no further than 15 miles. Once he had pinned the cavalry, he reasoned, he would know Salaverry’s position and could attack. In this, he was right; however, he had sorely underestimated the strength of the Peruvian cavalry. Over 4,000 Peruvian horses thundered across the mountain pass towards the lightly guarded caravan - a nerve-wracking sight, but the Bolivians kept their cool. The Bolivians were forced to retreat after an unfavorable exchange of fire, and upon reaching the rest of Santa Cruz’s army, told all.

    Now was the chance to strike. Santa Cruz doubled back with great haste, where, sure enough, he found the bulk of Salaverry’s army. Taking Salaverry by surprise, Santa Cruz attacked immediately. After a few hours of being unable to take the advantage, the Bolivian attack let off, and the Peruvians retreated. It was evident that the Peruvian strategy of harassing Bolivian supply lines had paid off, but Santa Cruz’s army was still intact. However, Lima was still hundreds of miles away.


    The Battle of Abanca

    Accepting the repulsion of the Peruvian forces for what it was worth, Santa Cruz continued on to Abanca where he aimed to regroup. For the next several months, he used Orbegoso’s connections to solidify his relations with southern Peru - large parts of which turned out to be amenable to the aims of Santa Cruz in, ostensibly, restoring Orbegoso to power. Hitting the road once again, Santa Cruz’s army made it to Ayacucho before the winter weather forced him to slow his advance in late November, their offensive slowed by the continued harrying attacks of Peruvian cavalry - diminished as they were in intensity since the Battle of Abanca. Lima is now only 300 miles away, and Orbegoso’s forces are swelling with every settlement or city reached by sympathetic volunteers. But ever from just beyond sight, Salaverry’s forces are watching and waiting for the perfect time to strike.

    (5962 Bolivian casualties, 3127 Peruvian casualties; Orbegoso’s forces are added to Bolivia’s stats)

    Brazil

    In the midst of widespread strife and rebellion, Brazil’s government was nevertheless committed to maintaining the Empire. The Lord Regent quickly issued the “Declaration of the General Normalcy,” which granted temporary emergency powers to the Regency until the rebellions were quelled. Claiming that the interests of the aristocracy were most endangered by the rebellions, the Lord Regent placed himself squarely on the side of the elite - and at odds with the masses of Brazil.

    A would-be rebellion in Rio Grande do Sol was quashed before it happened, as an elite outfit of nonviolent civil guard - reporting directly to the regent - found and arrested the leaders of the rebellion before they could make their move. The Brazilian army - bolstered by an enormous expansion of the reserves - moved in shortly afterwards, ending any chance on the part of the Riograndense people to organize and rebel. For the time being, it seems, the Lord Regent is calling the shots.

    Mexico

    In Mexico, the unthinkable happened: the uppity white immigrants of the province of Tejas won their independence. They did not do so with blood and steel, but through negotiation. Rather than march his troops into Texas, Santa Anna dispatched emissaries with the promise of peace. After a week of deliberation, the Treaty of San Antonio was drawn up and ratified. In short, this treaty granted Texas its independence, a bold move by Santa Anna. During Santa Anna’s absence from Mexico City, his government was in shambles - dissident factions roared with fury at the capitulation to the Texan rebels, who were so few in number that it was a sham that Santa Anna, a decorated general, could not or would not do the simple task of putting them down. But when Santa Anna rode back into Mexico City, he quickly put an end to all speculation. He proclaimed a need to end the bloodshed and bring Mexico into an enlightened period: bloodthirsty revolutionary Texans had no place in the new republic. With a renewed and vigorous respect for the institutions of democracy in Mexico, Santa Anna set to work rebuilding. He slashed military spending and shifted much of those funds to supporting the immigration of escaped or displaced slaves, Tejanos, and Spanish expatriates fleeing their civil war. He also organized a system of adaptive tariffs and low-interest loans to help new businesses get started, and encouraged free exports of Mexican goods to anywhere that would take them. Relations with the new republic of Texas were good as the border guards amiably conducted the business of handling resettlement on both sides of the border. Relations with the natives were also good, as Mexican authorities in the north pursued an attitude of detente that worked much better than expected. Truly, it seemed like Mexico’s government had weathered the storm of an inopportune capitulation.

    However, the good times came to an end when the supply of British credit became strained. As the biggest British banks began betting against Mexico, the Mexican government found that it had to tighten its purse strings, putting a slight damper in their plans. For the most part, Prussian banks took up the slack as an increasing number of Prussian exports found their way into the Mexican economy, but nevertheless Mexican businessmen urge the government to make amends with the United Kingdom.


    Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, leader of the Mexicans and giver of freedom to the Texans

    Texas

    In Texas, it was the best of times and the worst of times. On the one hand, Texas won its independence with barely a single shot fired. It was considered a great victory for a time, and the new Texan government quickly organized and began setting to work. Elections were held and the popular Lorenzo de Zavala was elected President of the young republic. Relying on extensive lines of American and French credit, the Texan government took out an enormous loan to fund its ambitious plans. With several times its GDP wrapped up in debt, Texas’ financial situation is precarious - but presently, the balancing act appears to be working out for them.

    One of the most curious occurrences in post-independence Texas was a large population - some 2,000 - of Texans emigrating from Texas to California, Mexico. Thanks to a stipulation in the Treaty of San Antonio, the Mexican border guards had no authority to stop this exodus. Questions regarding this move posed by Mexican authorities to Texan government officials were treated with apparent bemusement, as nobody seemed to know how or why the group had moved, other than that they were allegedly “seeking greener pastures.”

    The United States of America

    The United States of America experienced scandal this year following the unexpected decision of President Andrew Jackson to run for a third term in office, in blatant disregard for the great George Washington’s precedent. Though this provided the Whigs with all the more reason to cry afoul of “King Jackson” running amok, the Democrats did not seem to care: Jackson was their man. In retort, Whig hopeful Hugh White - at the urging of the Whigs who dared not attempt their new strategy of running four candidates against Andrew Jackson - withdrew from the race, and William Henry Harrison was essentially unopposed as the Whig candidate. Nevertheless, on the back of his unrelenting popularity, Jackson was reelected by an overwhelming amount. William Henry Harrison, regrettably, died a week after the results were in.

    Aside from running for president, Jackson’s year was busy with the task of governing. He slashed tariffs and cut federal expenditures significantly as he circulated federal money into the states in the form of awards, devolving a number of administrative tasks as he did. His most significant move, however, came in December as he pushed through an executive order termed an “Act on Coinage.” In the name of quashing speculatory practices, the executive order assured only gold would be used to purchase government land. Jackson was lauded for this act as many in his cabinet believe it will end the devaluation of paper currency.

    In more US fiscal news, the Second Bank of the United States, having failed to secure recharter, has become a private corporation pending its liquidation.
     
  19. Crezth

    Crezth 話說天下大勢分久必合合久必分

    Joined:
    May 26, 2006
    Messages:
    10,421
    Location:
    北京皇城
    This year, in Asia…

    Oman

    In the Arabian Sea, Omani authorities have begun curbing the efforts of pirates in the region with renewed vigor following the construction of two new frigates in the European style. Omani ships have continued attacking pirates and, with the new frigates at the head of their fleets, have been successful in disarming a great many pirates - taking their ships and reclaiming treasure..

    (Oman gains 7 Junks, £5000)


    One of Oman's new frigates.

    Persia

    Conflict was rife throughout southern Persia as Omani efforts against the pirates heated up. Claiming that the Omani navy was bullying Persian trader vessels and exercising undue authority in Bandar Abbas and beyond, Persian citizens have petitioned the tribes and, indirectly, the Shah himself to intervene and do something about the Omani trade hegemony. As the Persian government has simultaneously been pushing for an expansion of the role of Persian merchants in the Muslim world, conflict with Oman was inevitable. The Shah has not yet issued a statement, however the merchant guilds of Persia have claimed that their capabilities are restricted “until something is done about Oman.” Some Persians have even gone so far as to rally for an attack on Bandar Abbas, but much to the Shah’s relief the tribal leaders have done much to quell the dissent of the crowds short a disastrous attempt to storm the Omani trade posts. Omani authorities have been completely silent on the issue - an insinuation that suggests they do not think the Shah will dare attempt to disrupt the status quo.

    The Sikh Empire

    The state of Panjab - the Sikh Empire - surprised all her neighbors this year with a sudden invasion of the principality of Sindh, with the aim unmistakably being conquest - no doubt with intentions of acquiring land on the coast. The invasion, launched in early May, consisted of a Panjabi invasion force about 18,000 strong. In response, the harrowed state of Sindh marshalled as many volunteers as they could to drive out the heathens. Many Muslims answered the call to arms, and it is said that as many as 40,000 militia composed the Sindhi army at its height.

    The Sikh force split into two armies, driving first on Hyderabad and then making for Karachi. On the whole, the campaign lasted a gruelling four months; though at first the Sikh army demonstrated its value in a smashing victory at the Sindhi capital of Kharipur, driving back the remainder of the army turned out to be a trying task. By October at last, the Emir of Sindh was killed in battle, and the rest of his soldiers either fled or laid down arms. With the Sikh banners flying high over Karachi, it was a great victory - although not one obtained without great cost.

    Despite this wanton aggression, the many principalities of India applauded the Sikhs for smashing the Muslim armies and deposing the Emir, as in the aftermath of governance Sikh forces were quick to install Hindu governors to replace the Muslim authority. British authorities have yet to comment on the invasion, but the overwhelming support the Sikhs have seen from the Indian princes may prove useful for improving the image of the Sikhs in the eyes of the British.

    (6,836 Sikh casualties, 27,589 Sindhi casualties; 9,706 Sindhi forces surrendered or fled)

    The Qing Empire

    The Empire of the Great Qing was, by its own account, the mightiest nation under heaven, a superlative found unwarranted by the beginning of the 19th century. The invincible armies that had defeated the Ming and the Mongol hordes struggled to suppress the so-called White Lotus Rebellion, taking eight long years to defeat unruly peasants—whereas in the same amount of time, they were able to defeat half the nation during the Kangxi emperor's reign. While that and later uprisings were ultimately quelled, there was to be no rest for the Qing as problem after problem presented themselves with greater frequency and intensity than before. The trade in opium was but one of these problems, but it proved to be among the most difficult.

    Despite repeated imperial decrees prohibiting the use of the drug since 1799, the trade in opium remained highly lucrative. It was even rumored that the emperor himself smoked the drug, and it was undeniable that many state officials did. Social problems arising from widespread addiction and official hypocrisy only served to exacerbate economic ones: whereas silver once flowed into China for all its highly sought-after goods, the demand for opium has seen to its depletion at an alarming rates. Something had to be done, and the Daoguang emperor thought he had found a "creative" solution starting in the Treaty of Amity and Friendship as proposed by the British East India Company.

    British opium was to be bought by the Qing government wholesale, which it would then resell to Chinese merchants who would then have a contractual obligation to return a share of the profits with the government. Partially to solve the problem of silver, half the expenditure was paid for in levied goods—primarily tea and porcelain—and merchants were directed to sell the opium not just domestically in southern China but also abroad, namely to Korea for Korean silver. In addition, the Qing government was to give extraterritorial rights to agents of the British East India Company and to lease warehouses and various other facilities in Hong Kong.

    In order to appease hardliners against the continued importation of opium on moral grounds, the Daoguang emperor decreed that opium users should only ever make one purchase or else be shipped to a forced labor camp in Manchuria; to enforce said decree, he established the Bureau for the Preservation of Honor, Culture, Peace, and Order, a secret policing organization to be embedded within established local government units and within the opium trade itself. This "compromise" proved to be very expensive—and the imperial treasury took another blow, still reeling from the massive purchase of opium from the Company and their licensed merchants.

    While the emperor might have had high hopes for his venture into opium, the attendant costs of record-keeping, the government-imposed price floor, and the surprising effectiveness of the opium secret police had all made it extremely undesirable for any merchant to conduct further business with the government. Nonetheless, the retail monopoly on opium turned a small profit, bordering on breaking even (but only if the expense of the opium secret police were disregarded). The semi-legalization of opium emboldened the illicit growers in the unruly mountain provinces, and cheaper, higher quality domestic opium thrived against whatever overpriced imports the government was hawking—the legitimate purchase of which was liable to get you hauled off to the Manchurian "Laogai camp."

    As noted, the opium secret police had surprising success however limited, made possible by the efforts of the dedicated, upright men at its helm. Given the scope of their task however, it was impossible to avoid corruption and coercion getting in their way, especially in remote provinces and city slums where unscrupulous magistrates or criminal organizations could foil or even subvert its agents' efforts, agents who were shady enough characters to begin with. Through the Bureau's efforts, the Manchurian "Laogai camp" was filled with tens of thousands of opium addicts mainly though there was a significant number of innocent men as well, aggravating dissatisfaction with the Qing government.


    Hong Kong's new tenants moving in: the grand British warships dwarf the Qing ships and now all but clog Hong Kong's harbor

    Korea

    The tiny peninsula of Korea had an interesting year as their giant neighbor grappled with the question of the Opium trade. The Chinese capitulation severely damaged the prestige of the Qing faction in the Korean government, allowing opponents of the Qing to pounce: the small and mostly inconsequential Westernizers were effective in convincing the court that the Qing was openly hostile to Korean interests and, most of all, incapable of asserting its dominion - after all, the strange westerners forced capitulation without a single shot fired. This lead to cautious feelers being sent to an eager East India Company, which immediately attempted to open trade with Korea. These efforts were only assisted by the attempts of Qing officials to offload large quantities of opium in the Korean markets, as well as suspicious patronization of Western-sympathizers in the government. Perhaps anticipating retaliation, a reformation of the military was also in order. Most irregulars were oriented into a proper military edifice, with the rest being dismissed. Now a tenuous balancing act between the encroaching Western interests and the entrenched Qing interests has turned Korea into a political battleground.

    Viet Nam

    The proud and ancient country of Viet Nam caused trouble in Cambodia as a concentrated effort went underway to eradicate the Khmer identity in the region. Key locations were renamed with Vietnamese names, and ancient Wats were destroyed as part of an effort of cultural cleansing.

    The Cambodians, though ostensibly vassals of the Vietnamese, were nevertheless infuriated. A brief rebellion was quickly quelled by Vietnamese troops who were on site, and following the non-cooperation of the Cambodian government, the Vietnamese government announced its intentions to annex Cambodia, effective immediately. Some elements in the puppet government remained and facilitated in the annexation, more loyal to their paychecks than their countrymen; but many others deserted their posts and fled into the countryside, where they are, allegedly, rallying resistance movements to throw out the Vietnamese.

    An expensive process, annexation has put great financial strain upon the Vietnamese coffers. Needing to borrow money, Viet Nam turned to the Great Qing. Qing officials worked out a deal: Viet Nam will get the silver it needs, if it agrees to let Qing opium in without consequence. The Dai Viet is now faced with a choice: permit Qing to offload its opium, completely unsupervised; or abandon the annexation effort.

    Japan

    The mysterious but normally placid island of Japan experienced a new kind of disaster in 1836. With the 1834 fire in Edo, and the 1835 Sanriku earthquake, and an ongoing and horribly mismanaged famine, to say Japan was in dire straits would be a reckless understatement. But so long as the shogun ruled, Japan could at least say that its political mandate was stable. It was not to last, however: on May 15, 1836, during the Kanda festival in Edo, Tokugawa Ienari and his bodyguard were found dead - assassinated, by the looks of it. The first ever political killing of a shogun, chaos erupted immediately, and it was several weeks until Tokugawa Ieyoshi established himself as shogun. But the damage was done: factions that were already unsatisfied with the rule of the shogun saw the opportunity to make plays.

    Amidst the chaos, the tozama (外様、”outsider”) daimyo - daimyo that had historically been disenfranchised by the Tokugawa shogunate, partly via the shogunate’s policy of isolation - had begun making bids to a silent Emperor to weigh in on affairs. Meanwhile, the suffering of the people continued unabated: Oshio Heihachiro lead a rebellion in Osaka that lead to the burning of over a third of the city, and numerous ikki rebellions (一揆, "riot") occurred in short order. Ieyoshi’s response was brutal: despite the promise of reforms, he implemented harsh crackdowns and punitively imposed increasing obligations on the daimyo - pushing yet more into the camp of the tozama - now the tozama and sympathetic daimyo had effectively formed a coalition of interest, which became known as renritsu (連立、”coalition”), with the apparent goal of taking down the Tokugawa shogunate.

    By late July, the situation between the renritsu - who wisely played their intentions close to the vest - and the bakufu (幕府、”shogunate”) became sufficiently confused that each side started to take notice of the coming storm. As the bakufu continued crackdowns on the ikki and rising brigandry, continually enhancing their fortifications and the readiness of the samurai and ashigaru, the tozama began coalescing into a coherent force, which came to be known as the renritsu (連立、”coalition”). In short order, the “leader” of the otherwise widely diverse tozama faction was made clear - Date Yo****aka of the Date clan. Tensions continued to rise as the renritsu continued to undermine the bakufu, and the bakufu continued to strengthen its base.

    ---

    Diplomacy

    To: Siam
    From: Cambodian Rebels


    Help! Oh mighty and wise lords of the ephemeral Siamese Kingdom, we beseech you to intervene and do something about our cruel Viet overlords. They have dissolved our government and resolved to destroy every last vestige of our cultural heritage. If you wish to see the wats of old stand proud, then please: help us drive the Viet out!

    And now, 1837 begins…

    Spoiler Map, 1837 :


    ---

    OOC NOTES:

    The following players, due to no orders, have been dropped:

    Thlayli, from France
    theDright, from Belgium
    Arrow, from the Netherlands
    Nivyi, from Venezuela

    Additionally, OwenGlyndwr is moving from Saxony to play France.

    Everyone: Please remember to also send your orders to flyingchicken.

    You may now post.
     
  20. ChineseWarlord

    ChineseWarlord Prince

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2012
    Messages:
    478
    Location:
    Why should you care?
    Wow. Honestly surprised that my transition to democracy did not cause a ruckus. Well, good for Paraguay I suppose. Great update!
     

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