1. We have added a Gift Upgrades feature that allows you to gift an account upgrade to another member, just in time for the holiday season. You can see the gift option when going to the Account Upgrades screen, or on any user profile screen.
    Dismiss Notice

Alternate History Thread V

Discussion in 'Never Ending Stories' started by Dachs, May 30, 2009.

  1. Karalysia

    Karalysia Chieftain

    Joined:
    May 29, 2009
    Messages:
    8,438
    It may suprise you to know that the Mongols did not go to war at the drop of the hat or for frivlous reason. Genghis Khan sent at least two embassies to the Kwharzemian Shah, and had both of them insulted and/or killed before he was angered enough to crush them.

    The war between the Timurids and Ottomans was preceded by a series of letters exchanged between Bayezid and Timur exchanging insults, plus the Karaman calling for Timurid help before Timur marched into Anatolia.

    The Mongols were not simplistic barbarians bent on destruction. They were empire builders and the longevity of their successor states bears testament to that fact.
     
  2. Yui108

    Yui108 Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2007
    Messages:
    2,590
    Location:
    Chicago
    Thanks Spyrllino I'll change the Nejd. And Karalysia, that's basically what I'm thinking.
     
  3. spryllino

    spryllino Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2010
    Messages:
    3,150
    Location:
    England
    Yes, the Mongols might not have been completely savage, but I still think that they would not have failed to attack Jerusalem or Byzantium sooner or later. To an extent, they were empire builders, but to an extent, they were plunderers. After all, they did sack Baghdad mercilessly. Even as empire builders, they would not have gone amiss to conquer the Levant.

    Furthermore, Timur was sometime later, and quite different. His state was a sedentary Persia.

    I think I'll shut up now: I'm out of my depth.
     
  4. Karalysia

    Karalysia Chieftain

    Joined:
    May 29, 2009
    Messages:
    8,438
    On the basis of what exactly? The Mongols had no problem with vassals. The Ilkhanate vassalized the Georgians, the Golden Horde had vassals of the Rus states. The sack of Baghadad was during the inttial invasion phase of the Mongol conquest and the Caliph also resisted and refused overtures for surrender. So Baghdad was made an example of, which BTW angered the Mongols that had converted to Islam including if I'm not mistaken the Khan of either Chagati or the Golden Horde.

    He was actually quite a bit worse. Timur was more of a plunderer. He didn't stay in India, or Anatolia he burnt cities, looted them, and carted away artisans and craftsmen to Samarkqand.
     
  5. spryllino

    spryllino Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2010
    Messages:
    3,150
    Location:
    England
    The Georgians were mountain people, not easily conquerable anyway, and not wealthy enough to worry about.
    The Russians were out of the way. The Golden Horde would have had a hard job destroying their principalities and then getting their industries working again.

    Jerusalem is a Holy City with enourmous prestige and wealth, fairly near the Ilkhanid heartland. Unlike the Russian cities, it was not operated by a mercantile oligarchy, and would not have fallen apart on full incorporation into the Ilkhanid empire.

    Really, I find it hard to believe that the Ilkhanids would actally make alliances with all their neighbours, all of whom were potential victims for fruitful expansion, in order to be able to make war on the Golden Horde, where plunder was less and political rewards were fewer.
     
  6. Karalysia

    Karalysia Chieftain

    Joined:
    May 29, 2009
    Messages:
    8,438
    Have you told the Georgians that?

    Spoiler :


    Not that out of the way. And what industries?

    You'll have to take that up with the Ilkhanate and Golden Horde Khans respectively, because in OTL they made war on each other on more than one occasion until eventually the Timurids under Timur defeated Tokthaymesh and burned Sarari.
     
  7. spryllino

    spryllino Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2010
    Messages:
    3,150
    Location:
    England
    The ability to build an empire doesn't show that you're worth conquering.

    Pretty out of the way: why attack Russia when you can attack Europe? Metalworking mostly.

    Yes, but they didn't make that their only serious war, did they?
     
  8. Masada

    Masada Koi-san!

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2005
    Messages:
    12,509
    Location:
    Osaka
    Something about anchoring your flank.

    Why antagonize everyone around you when you don't have to?

    What does that have to do with anything?

    How are you going to attack Europe? Russia is at least geographically plausible and doesn't the have whole issue of Constantinople and the Hellespont to get around. To even reach Europe proper you need to:

    (A) Secure Asia Minor;
    (B) Secure passage across the Hellespont;
    (C) Take Constantinople;
    (D) Push through Bulgaria;
    (E) Then the Kingdom of Hungary; and
    (F) then if you can achieve all of that, which is really a tall order: You've made it into Europe proper.

    Because if you can't make it past Hungary you might as well have taken Russia.

    That's what subject people are for.

    What is that supposed to mean?

    What possible gain is there in them doing that?

    Eastern Asia Minor wasn't particularly wealthy at the time and Jerusalem would cause them no end of problems if they did sack it and both were less wealthy than Egypt.

    Because sacking Jerusalem would antagonize everyone including the very people you will rely on to cement your rule i.e. the Copts.

    The Mongols did in OTL..
     
  9. spryllino

    spryllino Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2010
    Messages:
    3,150
    Location:
    England
    That's why it was logical to make the Georgians vassals.

    To get plunder.

    If the Mongols attack a mercantile republic and depose the leaders, I theorise that the economy of the republic is far more likely to collapse than if it had not been a mercantile republic.

    I was talking about attacking Europe through Ukraine.

    Yes. That's what I was saying. The Mongols vassalised the Russian principalities, as long as they were obedient, rather than raiding them, because they gave more tribute that way, because of their industries such as metalworking.

    I concede here that I don't really know what I'm talking about. I could try to explain, but I'd probably fail dismally, and so I won't bother. My point is, in brief, that the powerful Mongols were surrounded by wealthy and relatively weak cities, and I don't think that any empire in that sort of position would have passed by the chance to plunder them.
     
  10. Thlayli

    Thlayli Le Pétit Prince

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2005
    Messages:
    10,536
    Location:
    In the desert
    They would if they were co-religionists who at least nominally respected their authority. See Genghis Khan's relations with Persia before they spurned them.
     
  11. spryllino

    spryllino Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2010
    Messages:
    3,150
    Location:
    England
    Is this what you mean? If so, it hardly illustrates that Genghis Khan was ever trying to do anything except make money. The Shah here was not Genghis Khan's co-religionist either. Besides, Genghis Khan had plenty of other wealthy nations to attack, like China.
     
  12. Thlayli

    Thlayli Le Pétit Prince

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2005
    Messages:
    10,536
    Location:
    In the desert
    You're essentially arguing, however, that the Mongols will raid Christian states that pose little military threat, just because they can offer plunder.

    Any far-sighted Mongolian ruler would realize that the trade to be had from alliance with the Crusader states, and therefore, with the Italian city-states backing them, would be far more profitable than simply rolling them over. And no Christian Mongol ruler in his right mind would sack Jerusalem.
     
  13. spryllino

    spryllino Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2010
    Messages:
    3,150
    Location:
    England
    Yes, that's what I'm arguing. I'd say that a far-sighted Ilkhanid ruler would see that, in the long run, they can get at least as much trade going by conquering the Crusader states (not to mention the immediate bonus in the form of plunder). These states' economies shouldn't collapse as soon as the Mongols take over (especially given that they're not mercantile oligarchies like many of the Russian states), and could thrive perfectly well in the new political environment, providing plenty of tax to the Ilkhanids.

    The Italian mercantile states, equally, will happily trade with a Mongol-controlled Levant; in any case, if Genoa pulls out of trade in the region, Venice steps in, and vice versa. The potential for this sort of trade is shown by the Genoan trading privileges, ATL and OTL alike, in the Muslim empires of the Ottomans and the Golden Horde. However, the Italians should have even fewer scruples, given that they would be trading with an empire of Christian Mongols.

    In addition, in response to your edit, I see your point, but I'd say that they could justify sacking Jerusalem if they wanted to, perhaps avoiding particularly holy bits, and the Ilkhan could use this to show to the Great Khan that he was not being, in Yui's terms, "radicalized". If they didn't sack Jerusalem, they could still sack the rest of the Kingdom of Jerusalem and the ports such as Acre, Antioch, and Tripolis.
     
  14. Thlayli

    Thlayli Le Pétit Prince

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2005
    Messages:
    10,536
    Location:
    In the desert
    I disagree with you significantly, because the alliance was PLANNED in OTL, but you seem set in your ways, so I'm not even going to bother.
     
  15. spryllino

    spryllino Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2010
    Messages:
    3,150
    Location:
    England
    It was? As I said, I clearly don't really know what I'm talking about. I'll look it up.
     
  16. Karalysia

    Karalysia Chieftain

    Joined:
    May 29, 2009
    Messages:
    8,438
    Do you have any idea how many wars the Ottomans fought against Venice?
     
  17. spryllino

    spryllino Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2010
    Messages:
    3,150
    Location:
    England
    The Genoese had plenty of trading priliveges. I know that the Venetians were a lot more hostile, and fought many wars with the Ottomans. I was talking about the Genoese there. The Venetians, though, secured privileges too of various sorts at various points.
     
  18. spryllino

    spryllino Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2010
    Messages:
    3,150
    Location:
    England
    Having half-read the Wikipedia article, I think that you're probably right to a greater extent than I thought. I never knew that the alliance was projected OTL. I still think, though, that, on the one hand, the non-existence of the Mameluke state renders the alliance less useful for the Mongols than in OTL, while, on the other hand, Mongol power, contrary to OTL where it did not control Syria, envelops the Levant, which means that control of the coast would be of great economic and strategic benefit to the Ilkhanate.
     
  19. Masada

    Masada Koi-san!

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2005
    Messages:
    12,509
    Location:
    Osaka
    Then why is it logical to sack Jerusalem?

    Because it isn't! The income from Egypt for a year alone would account for more in monetary terms than sacking Jerusalem and just about every other city in easy reach. Not to the mention very real political and religious implications of sacking Jerusalem.

    The Mongols had a history of working quite happily with local authorities. They didn't tend to rule directly -- they merely appended a further level of government over the top and were content to collect the revenue through those intermediaries.

    That still makes little to no sense.

    So why say it?

    Good..

    Name those cities, then. And what gain is there in sacking your own captive tax base?

    I'll go further: any far-sighted Mongolian ruler would simply cut out the risk of military adventurism and have them pay tribute. It's easier for everyone involved and doesn't run the risk of completely and utterly surrounding yourself with enemies for little or no gain besides the immediate: "LULZ IMMA A BARBARIAN I NEED MA GOLD"

    It fits with the "LULZ IMMA A BARBARIAN I NEED MA GOLD" argument.

    Why would you do that? Other than the "LULZ IMMA A BARBARIAN I NEED MA GOLD" argument. And even a partial sacking isn't going to palatable for anyone involved.

    And there you have it folks: the cardinal sin.
    That doesn't make much sense. If the Mongols are already having trouble holding their conquests and are still in the progress of cementing the necessary institutions to run it, why in the name of hell would you compound your problems by making every conceivable player in the game your enemy? When in doubt: "LULZ IMMA A BARBARIAN I NEED MA GOLD" seems to fit.
     
  20. spryllino

    spryllino Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2010
    Messages:
    3,150
    Location:
    England
    Because Jerusalem is richer than Georgia.

    True, but conquering Egypt, then sacking the Crusader states, and then taxing them directly, would bring in more money still.

    Yes, but, as I said, in a Russian state, that's not tremendously likely to work if you've just deposed/imprisoned/killed the ruling élite of the city. Therefore it makes sense for the Mongols to vassalise such states. On the other hand, in the Levant, conquering the cities works perfectly, because the cities aren't ruled by mercantile oligarchies. The Mongols can work with the merchantry much more easily as the merchants are not also the politicians and magistrates.

    The Golden Horde was attacking Europe through the Ukraine all the time. I never meant that the Ilkhanids should attack Europe through the Ukraine.

    Acre, Tripolis, Antioch, Jerusalem, Trebizond, Jaffa, Mecca, Medina. Some of these were actually sacked ATL, which makes a lot of sense in my opinion.

    You don't really appear to be taking my argument seriously, and Wikipedia's better than nothing at all.

    It doesn't precisely cement your institutions to have partially autonomous, quite weak, and somewhat resentful kingdoms barring the way between you and your richest province.
     

Share This Page