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-Prethread- NCNESIOT: Blackened Skies

Discussion in 'Imperium OffTopicum' started by Nuka-sama, Dec 8, 2015.

  1. Ahigin

    Ahigin Emperor

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    It's explained in the PDF user guide. Training is being improved via various field exercises, boot camps, firing fields, etc., plus a strong Leadership stat. Weapons get improved directly via getting a stronger industrial capacity (i.e., improvement of your equipment production techniques) or purchasing better arms directly from the world market.
     
  2. Grandkhan

    Grandkhan Telvanni Master Wizard

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    Keen/10.

    As for preference, my only one is the raiders of Zacatecas. Because honestly they sound awesome and come on, I'm basically Los Banditos and I'd get to live out my dreams of writing a western in a NES. Plus I'm kind of interested in the kind of structure that a successful anarchist bandit state would look like.
     
  3. Crezth

    Crezth 話說天下大勢分久必合合久必分

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    Absolutely. Money is by default re-invested directly into the economy as part of a non-banking mechanic that just boosts the growth you get that turn, like building Wealth in civilization. If you wanted to invest that money directly into a certain sector of the economy, or to achieve a particular end, just specify that: "Put all remaining EP into developing new oil drilling techniques." Or whatev's.

    Implement policy (as Ahigin suggests) to this effect. You can make it simple or specific, but just sit down and ask yourself: "If I was leader of this nation, what kinds of things would I change to improve Army Training?" Don't be afraid to come to "obvious" conclusions, like firing corrupt officials or pouring more money into drill academies. The point is to own the solution, and to think about it critically in terms of the resources you know you have access to and the opportunities that might come your way.

    I support this 100%.
     
  4. Tolina

    Tolina trust the pillars with your s e c r e t s

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    I really, really hope there won't be a Fuel resource here...
     
  5. Decamper

    Decamper ..!

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    That pdf has stirred my loins.

    Interested in any of the Mexican factions. In order, I guess it would be:

    Empire of Mexico
    Mexican Republic
    Mayan Kingdom

    I'll give more thoughts later.
     
  6. J.K. Stockholme

    J.K. Stockholme Right Opposition

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    I am extremely happy about this venture and quite excited.
     
  7. Tolina

    Tolina trust the pillars with your s e c r e t s

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    I can't wait for our robot overlords to take over and play games.
     
  8. christos200

    christos200 Never tell me the odds

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    Not wanting to rush or anything, but when shall it start or at least when shall we learn which nation we shall play as? :D
     
  9. Nuka-sama

    Nuka-sama :)

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    I'd like to have a few more backgrounds up so that people have a better idea of what they're getting themselves into. I had some personal business come up this past week, but I'm hoping to have most backgrounds up this week :)
     
  10. JohannaK

    JohannaK Careless Whisperer

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    What about the history? Moar history pls.
     
  11. Nuka-sama

    Nuka-sama :)

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    That is coming as well ;)
     
  12. Nuka-sama

    Nuka-sama :)

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    Woo, put history part 4 up! And now, enjoy a piece on the Mexican civil war!

    -----------

    When first becoming independent, many in Mexico thought their nation was equal, if not more powerful, than the United States, but the humiliating defeat in the Mexican-American War put that notion to rest. After losing a third of its territory, Mexico slid into decades of civil unrest, seeing governments ran by meglomaniac dictators and criminals. It would be in 1886 that the United States, having recovered from the Third Anglo-American War and looking to provoke a fourth, intervened, nominally on behalf of border towns that had been raided by Mexican revolutionaries.

    This intervention culminated in an American puppet regime taking power in Mexico City. Initially, this regime was virtually indistinguishable from some of the more corrupt previous regimes, with the lighter skinned Mexicans of European descent holding power over the darker skinned mestizo and Indian populations. Protestant preachers did set up churches in major cities, but there was overall very little change to Mexico’s way of life. However, after the American victory in the Fourth Anglo-American war in 1896, the Americans began ramping up the pressure on Mexico. Institutions that could threaten American authority were harassed, and in particular the Americans targeted the Catholic Church and the political parties that had previously existed before the American takeover. Churches were required to disavow the Papacy to continue services, and political parties aside from the Prosperidados (Prosperity Party) were unable to field candidates in the show elections the Americans put on.

    By 1900, Mexico had become a heavily taxed society under martial law. The Mexican elite that had initially been supportive of the American intervention had chafed under the anti-Catholic policies, and only the most devoted sycophants (those who had converted to Protestantism) actually had any loyalty to the United States. The Mexican Army was incredibly disloyal, only joining to alleviate their own poverty and often were willing to steal from the peasantry. It was in the midst of the Fifth Anglo-American War though that Mexican elites saw a golden opportunity. Though the United States had seized the initiative at sea, American casualties were mounting in Ontario. British intelligence sought to create a rising in Mexico that could help distract the Americans from Canada, and offered to provide weaponry. However, Mexican elites knew that even though the Americans were distracted, they would still be able to have the troops to spare to destroy Mexico. Instead, the elites used the negotiations as leverage. After some tense negotiations, the Treaty of Veracruz between Mexico and the United States would allow Mexico autonomy in its internal affairs, including allowing the Mexican church to reestablish ties with the Vatican (and have no penalty for choosing Catholicism as their religion) and Mexican elites would be exempted from taxes and in exchange, Mexican troops would fight on the American side in Canada.

    After the Fifth Anglo-American War, the United States kept its word and Mexico entered a period of revival. While American influences could still be felt, this generation felt it was truly Mexican. As the Mexican identity grew though and the United States no longer united Mexicans in hatred, the class distinctions that had so often tore Mexico apart rose up once more. In Oaxaca, agricultural workers began a strike that later spread throughout the country. Agustin Juarez, an influential labor leader who lost an arm in Canada, would organize unions and further strikes, initially keeping the demonstrations peaceful. However, when strikers in Mexico City were fired upon, Juarez organized the peasantry into soldier battalions. After several years of conflict, a peace agreement was reached where workers and peasants would be allowed to freely organize and that elections would be open to candidates outside of the Prosperidados.

    Though the United States had agreed to non-interference in internal Mexican affairs, the American ambassador bluntly told the elites that if Juarez’s new Popular Front (dominated by Socialists) won the Mexican election of 1918, the Treaty of Veracruz would no longer be honored. The Mexican candidate, Generalissimo Jose Moreno, while a war hero, greatly lacked for charisma. However, a third candidate, Marco Antonio Riviera, had also entered into the race with the Liberty party (Libertadios) . Charming, intelligent, a charismatic speaker, and able to rekindle nationalist embers in the peasantry, Riviera displaced Moreno to go neck and neck with Juarez. Seeing that Moreno had no hope of winning a free election, and still reeling from Juarez’s rebellion, the elites left Moreno and offered to throw their weight behind Antonio, if he agreed to continue certain conservative policies. With the financial backing of the elites and the open Church support, Antonio was able to win a close election, becoming the first candidate not from the Prosperidados to win in decades.

    As President though, Riviera saw that there was little that he could do. While his Libertadidos party had won the Presidency, they had done poorly in the Senate elections. The Senate was heavily divided between the seats won by the Popular Front and the seats that were essentially bought by the Prosperidados. Riviera felt the path to success for Mexico was the breaking of the elites and the redistribution of lands among peasants and workers, breaking the power of the unions and leftist parties. Riviera impressively played the elites, the peasantry, the Army and the Church against one another, simultaneously promising land reform, reestablishment of the aristocracy, loosened restrictions on business, and expansionism into Central America. With the Senate in a deadlock, Riviera was able to use the chaos of the revolution in the USCA to take dictatorial powers for two years. With some hoping that Riviera would soon declare himself emperor and crush the socialists, and others hoping that Riviera would give desperately needed land reform and break the elites, Riviera ultimately disappointed everyone by passing some limited land reforms, imprisoning top union and Popular Front officials, and tried further consolidating his power. However, with Juarez in chains and seeing the leftists reeling, the elites decided they had no further use for him, and using the many soldiers still loyal to the elites, overthrew President Riviera in a coup and Generalissimo Moreno took power as dictator.

    However, Riviera had anticipated that this might happen, and using his most loyal commander, Ignacio Reyes, Riviera had Juarez freed who then immediately went south to launch a revolution against the Moreno regime. Meanwhile, Riviera himself was able to flee to Havana and then to the United States, watching as Moreno and Juarez fought in a vicious civil war and soliciting aid from various American magnates and government officials (including what some say was a legendary affair between him and his mistress in New Orleans, the wealthy heiress Selene DuMont). The American Secret Service and its rival branch, the OSI, saw Riviera as someone who could keep Mexico divided internally between the elites and the peasantry, and as someone who was willing to stand against the Catholic Church, making Riviera as an ideal president of Mexico after the Civil War. Working with both groups, Riviera gained access to funding, equipment, and recruits, but the United States refused to allow them to march, waiting for “the right opportunity”. It was Reyes, the faithful servant once more, that would come to his aid by burning the American border town of Blackwater. With the American public outraged and not desiring to put American lives on the line, the OSI and Secret Service allowed Riviera to march into Mexico, and after a year of warfare, captured Mexico City and ended the Moreno regime. However, this was not the end of the Civil War. Not only did the Oaxaca Commune not falter in the wake of Riviera’s army, but many of the generals that Moreno had set up to help keep order around Mexico refused to follow Riviera’s commands and have gone rogue, or even hostile. Now in 1930, Mexico’s civil war is in a free for all, and while it is still unclear who will win, it IS clear that the biggest loser continues to be the Mexican people.

    Of the various factions that are fighting in the civil war, perhaps the most predictable are the State of Sonora and the State of the Rio Grande, led by Colonel Juan Castillo and Colonel Raul Allende respectively. They are the most typical of warlords, and are virtually indistinguishable. One likes American blonde women, one likes American redheaded women. One is a puppet of the OSI, the other is the puppet of the Secret Service. One prefers to violate his enemy’s women in front of said enemy, the other prefers to kill said enemy and then violate his women. Neither of them know that the United States Army is prepared to overrun their petty rump states at a moment’s notice. Virtually indistinguishable. Their main use to the Americans is ensuring that refugees don’t flood into the United States and to help fight the Raiders of the Zacartes, and when they are not doing that, they often like to fight against one another. Both Castillo and Allende would be lying if they said they did not have dreams of conquering the Presidential palace, but unfortunately the reality is that it is extremely unlikely either of them will. A sad thought, but one that is easily alleviated by champagne, money, and prostitutes. For the people though, they generally live in fear that they may end up on the wrong side of a gun for whatever reason, and in Sonora and the Rio Grande, they don’t dig deep graves.

    For the Raiders of Zacartes, their tale is one of hardship and perseverance. Ignacio Reyes, a prominent cavalry captain in the war in Canada, he became the number two to President Riviera and was trusted with the most delicate of tasks, becoming a legend throughout Mexico. His most daring attack, the burning of Blackwater, was allegedly orchestrated under orders from Riviera in order to force the United States to allow the intervention. Reyes had stayed loyal to Riviera even after his ousting, having led a partisan group against Moreno, and had anticipated a great reward when Riviera returned at last. However, instead Riviera declared Reyes an outlaw, responsible for the Blackwater, likely trying to ensure that Reyes could not blackmail him. Reyes was able to escape and he and his troops now fight for a new cause…”The Cause”. Calling his followers “Reyistas”, Reyes was influenced by anarchist literature, breaking down the old society and building up the new, promising that in this new society that every man can be a King. Reyes and his Raiders spend their time alternatively fighting the Rio Grande, Sonora, and the Mexican Republic, having an alliance with Oaxaca and an uneasy truce with the Imperials. When not fighting, Reyes has been recruiting women for “The Cause” and for his own “Cause” as well; Reyes recently read the books of a popular eugenics advocate, and is convinced that he is the pinnacle of human genetics. He has taken it upon himself to father as many children as he possibly can, with 39 being born in 1929, all to different, consenting adult women. Quick moving, well led, and with more female combatants than any other army in the world, Reyes feels that with Oaxaca’s help, his old comrade Marco Antonio can be brought down, and from there...well anything is possible from there...

    Those living in the Mexican Republic under President Riviera do have it a bit better than their brethren in the north. Riviera has felt the first and most important part of showing himself as the rightful leader of Mexico was to restore “normal” order, and has succeeded remarkably in the cities he controls, and even recently held elections. Supported mostly by practical liberals and nationalists who can overlook some of Riviera’s more questionable decisions, the Republic is seen as the only hope of a Mexico that is both free and that would not cause the United States reason to invade.

    In the West, Cesar Castro, the legendary “Arctic Fox” (named for both his white hair and for irony of establishing himself not in Canada but in the Pacific) once saw Riviera as a potential emperor of Mexico. Castro, like Riviera, was a descendant from the families of the old aristocracy, saw that Riviera had the charisma and the popular appeal that the conservative elements so desperately needed. Castro had become incredibly excited when Riviera had himself declared dictator, feeling that the restoration of the old Mexican Empire was at hand. However, Riviera betrayed Castro’s hopes, and Castro was ingloriously exiled from Mexico City, keeping order in the Western provinces on behalf of the Moreno government. However, with Moreno’s death and Riviera’s return, Castro has decided to take his fate into his own hands, declaring himself to be the new Emperor of Mexico. He has already won some light victories against the Republic, but he knows that Republican troops have been distracted by the intense fighting in the South. Castro knows he plays third fiddle to Oaxaca and Mexico City, but with the sponsorship of the Catholic church and the coffers of the elites, Castro’s army has more than meets the eye.

    Perhaps the most serious threat to Riviera, Agustin Juarez’s Oaxaca Commune, derogatively called the Sandalistas, holds the hopes and dreams of the most impoverished people of Mexico. Long oppressed on the farms, the rancheros, and the factories, they have risen up, completely controlling the southern region, save for Yucatan. However, their influence extends into other factions as well, having eyes and ears in the form of farmers, maids, and even soldiers. This influence would be their greatest asset, were it not for the significant help being received from the Democratic Republic of Central America, despite minor ideological differences. Juarez continues leading troops behind enemy lines, causing chaos and confusion for the Republican forces. While they are still in the fight, the situation in 1930 is certainly a step back from where they were two years ago, miles away from Mexico City. However, Juarez is confident that the longer the war goes, his army will become stronger and Riviera’s will grow weaker. Juarez is content to defend for now, though ensuring his assets are ready to seize an opportunity as needed.

    The last of the fighters of Mexico is the “Emergency State of Veracruz”. An effort by US Naval Intelligence to annoy both the SS and OSI, Veracruz is an openly Protestant state and is practicing a policy of segregation, separating non whites from whites. This state exists solely to protect the few Mexicans that had converted to Protestantism and to protect Americans who had been living in Mexico before. Led by John Walker, a converted Mexican, the regime is not actively seeking to win the war, and is instead being used as leverage against the other Mexican factions as needed. Its army is made of 10,000 US Marines “on leave”, and some lighter skinned Mexicans who supported the old regime. However, most of the population detests the regime and their American masters, and would leave if not for the fact that reprisals against families who leave are incredibly severe…

    Ah but there is one more faction that we have forgotten! Deep in the jungles of the Yucatan, you will hear the soft beat of drums,. Curious, you find a clearing and gaze upon a crowd, surrounding a glorious pyramid made of stone. Chanting and shouting, the people cheer as a man, no, a GOD, ascends atop the pyramid. There is a second man, kneeling, and with a stab of the knife, his heart is in the hands of the God, who, to continued cheers and pleadings, eats the dying man’s heart and gives off a triumphant roar as they head off to battle. Wide eyed and blood thirsty after snorting a mythic powder, the men fight fanatically and desperately under the God’s leadership. He is Quetzalcoatl on Earth, destroying all who stand in his way of birthing a new Mayan Empire. The village is captured, and he looks into each of his captives eyes. Soldier, slave, or sacrifice. These are the only three professions in his empire. And as he touches each one and hands down his ruling, no matter what it is, the people are thankful, so thankful, that the mighty Quetzalcoatl has blessed them. He has fought and beaten the Central Americans and the Sandalistas. Will anyone else try entering his domain? Or is it time for the rest of Mexico to return to the old Gods, to the realm of the Mayan Empire?
     
  13. Tolina

    Tolina trust the pillars with your s e c r e t s

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    Nicely done. Almost tempted to join as the general that likes redheaded women...
     
  14. JohannaK

    JohannaK Careless Whisperer

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    God, those party names. Properidados? Libertadios? In English it translates roughly as 'Prosperitees' and 'Libertees', and those fall short of how awful they sound in Spanish.

    For the love of God, always ask native speakers before naming things in other languages. :(

    I am also not sure Quetzalcoatl is a Mayan god. Otherwise, nice piece.
     
  15. Grandkhan

    Grandkhan Telvanni Master Wizard

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    I like the Raiders (not sure where or what Zacartes is - a typo for Zacatecas?) Even more now. Anarchist eugenenicist Banditos are great.
     
  16. tobiisagoodboy

    tobiisagoodboy Prince

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    Noob alert.
    I'm interested,too, but I'm shocked that some people already want to take away my favourite nation In HOI *bad nuke no juicy roumanian oil for you*.

    My preferred nation would roumania since I think that they have potential
    * waits for Hungary to collapse and asks Turkey to splitt bulgaria *, esspecially their, at this time, massive oil reserves cann be used increase wealth and influence *wanna buy oil germoney ?".

    My second pick would be turkey , because tasty oil is in close range.
    And last pic would Italy *hello Ethiopia*
     
  17. Nuka-sama

    Nuka-sama :)

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    @GK, yes it was a typo gomen ><

    @Johanna, I did actually :p they're like red dead redemption style though I'm open to new names.

    I didn't see your second question; the idea behind the Mayans is the guy actually knows very little about the Mayans, and actually confused many Mayan and Aztec practices together! :D
     
  18. Nuka-sama

    Nuka-sama :)

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    APPARENTLY, there is a character limit on individual posts, so enjoy this latest piece on the history :)

    -----

    Moved to the fp!
     
  19. JohannaK

    JohannaK Careless Whisperer

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    Well, that is why people usually reserve several posts. You can ask a mod to add another post for you in the second place.
     
  20. Nuka-sama

    Nuka-sama :)

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    The United Republics of Austria-Bohemia
    Spoiler :
    The defeat of Austria in the Austro-Prussian war ended the Habsburg ambitions of being the leaders of Germany, and though the humiliation of the defeat stung, many felt that Austria was still not yet spent as a Great Power. The Hungarian compromise had ensured that one of the most prominent domains of the Habsburgs would stand with Austria, and there were opportunities still for the empire to expand, specifically south into the Balkans. With the Ottoman Empire crumbling, Austria-Hungary sought to expand into the former empire. However, the large presence of Slavs in the Austro-Hungarian empire irritated Austria-Hungary&#8217;s ally Russia. While initially willing to put the issue on ice due to German diplomatic pressure, Austria-Hungary&#8217;s unwillingness to withdraw from the Balkans and Russia&#8217;s continued pressure led to the devastating Russo-Austrian war. While Austrian and Hungarian soldiers performed well, the other minority units were completely untrusted, and many of them rebelled, forcing Germany to eventually intervene to preserve the Empire. This, combined with Franz Josef I&#8217;s death and the ascendancy of the weaker Otto I, led Austria-Hungary to become a de facto puppet state. Germany would help preserve the empire though, as Austria recovered from the war. It seemed as if Austria-Hungary was on the road to recovery, but the decision of Germany to intervene in the French revolution and renewed Russian participation in the Balkans strained Austrian and German resources. As Germany itself broke out into civil war, a combined Russian and Serbian assault on the empire sounded its death knell.

    Augustus Lippler, a prominent Anarcho-Capitalist and one of the wealthiest men in the empire, had several Austrian military units on his payroll. With those soldiers, Lippler instigated a coup against the Habsburg monarchy in 1916, with German units having completely withdrawn in order to fight their own civil war. With Serbia having overrun the Balkans and the Hungarians struggling to fight in Galicia, Lippler negotiated a secret treaty with the Russian Tsar, offering to recognize both Russian and Serbian gains if Russia agreed to non intervention Bohemia. With the Germans and Hungarians both offering stiff resistance, and with most countries refusing Russia loans and capital, the Tsar decided to accept, leaving the Czechs to fight for their own independence.

    Bohemia, long a prominent region of the Austrian Empire, had its own nationalist sentiments in its Czech population. The Free Czech Army, led by Evard Masaryk, had been involved in a guerilla war against German and Austrian troops, and felt they were on the verge of independence. They had control of the countryside, and were in position to besiege Prague. However, the Russian agreement with Austria ended the supply line that was desperately needed, and this, combined with incoming anti-Communist German refugees and after some territorial rearrangements, Italian assistance, the Free Czech Army had been pushed back though not beaten. Knowing that long term it would be unsustainable to destroy the Czechs or exile them, Lippler opted to co-opt them. Having bribed the Czech&#8217;s second in command, Masaryk was killed and replaced with Jan Kubis, an excellent commander. Though a nationalist, Kubis felt that with the current military situation of Czech troops without supplies or modern equipment, a state where Czechs would have equal rights with Germans would be, in this situation, a good enough settlement. Aside from the Sudetenland and other German majority areas, and Prague which was a Special Administration Zone, the Free Czech Army, renamed into the Czech Union Guard, would administer the Czech majority regions of Bohemia without interference from Vienna.

    The union that has resulted could barely be called a union at all. The United Republics of Austria and Bohemia is a loose coalition government mostly backed by Austrian corporate and banking interests. The government itself is very weak and for the most part concerns itself simply with defending its borders. Lippler has ran show elections where he has been the only candidate, but individual rights are actually very well preserved. Austria proper is a very rich, highly developed region, and Bohemia is rapidly catching up, and the ideology of Anarcho-Capitalism dominates as prosperity increases. Vienna and Prague are choice destinations for French and German expatriates, the cities becoming the new cultural centers of Europe.

    That being said, the Union is showing cracks. Socialists are agitating for increased government protections for the increasingly marginalized workers, with more extreme members calling for joining Austria with the Union of German Worker Republics. Hardline Czech nationalists fear that the continued prosperity of the Union and increased intermingling of Germans and Czechs hase diminished the appetites for nationhood. Conservatives, particularly those close with the Catholic Church and the old aristocracy, with to place the Habsburg Emperor of Hungary back on the throne, and though the Austrian Fascist party (The German Union of Fascists) is small, their politically charged rhetoric of destroying German communism is appealing to both the German migrant population and those disillusioned by traditional nationalism and imperialism.

    For now though, the Union is "stable" and wealthy, and Lippler has survived 15 years of machinations against him. So long as the union remains prosperous, he will as well. But if not, Lippler is an astute enough politician to note which way the wind is blowing...


    The Empire of Hungary

    Spoiler :
    Following the defeat of the Austrians in the Austro-Russian War, the Hungarian nobles were more empowered than ever to renegotiate their union under Austria. With Russia still posing a threat to both Hungarian territory in Galicia and Austrian in the Balkans though, it was agreed that both Hungary and Austria had mutual foreign policy, military, and economic interests. The union was renegotiated as a partner of equals, and Hungary existed de facto as an independent nation within the empire. The death of Franz Josef I and the ascendency of Otto I, who curried favor with Hungarian nobles, greatly improved the relations with the Habsburgs and the Hungarians, and when the Austrians revolted against the monarchy, the Habsburgs found a welcoming home in Hungary. Though many members of the Habsburg family had died, the third son of Otto, Prince Wilhelm, survived and made his way to Hungary where he was offered the crown of Saint Stephen. Determined to ingratiate himself to the Hungarian nobility, Wilhelm Magyarized his name, married the daughter of a prominent Hungarian nobleman, and was declared Emperor Vilmos I.

    Hungary is a mostly agrarian economy, with some factory cities providing the majority of the nation&#8217;s industrial output. Everything in Hungary is done through the aristocracy, and they tend to dislike change. However, Hungary&#8217;s infrastructure is poor, its military weak, and its air force nonexistent. On her borders are nations all eager to dive into Hungary, to take what they can from what they see as a dying state, and Hungary finds itself without powerful friends. Still, despite this desperate situation, Hungary finds itself full of hope, confident that when the time for war comes, her neighbors will fall one after another, giving rise to an empire dominating Central Europe, with Hungary, not Austria, as its center. Is this ambition possible? Or will Hungarians return to being a subject people once more?


    The Kingdom of Italy-

    Spoiler :
    The dreams of Italian unification were at last completed in the 1850s, with the dynastic victory of the House of Savoy over its rivals. Many felt that Italy now was in position to become a Great Power, at the expense of both Austria and the Ottoman Empire. Italians themselves dreamed of an empire in Africa and domination of the Mediterranean. However, the dreams of an Italian Empire were sadly not to be.

    While Italy considered itself to be a great power, it was simply not in the league of the powers of Germany, Britain and France. Italian interest in growing their empire in Tunisia and the Balkans were routinely blocked by the other great powers, and Italy was unable to drive a wedge between the outside powers. At the Berlin Conference, Italy was given considerations in East Africa, but its failure to take Ethiopia caused a major blow to its international prestige.

    Leading up to the time of the Second Franco-Prussian War, Italy felt isolated diplomatically, and was unwilling to join with the alliance between Austria and Germany, nor with France, nor with Russia. It was felt that Italy could gain influence at the negotiating table, taking their historical role as a mercenary to the power with the best offer.

    Instead though, Italy chose neither side to fight with. When the fighting at last broke out, Italy&#8217;s Liberal Party, a left of center party, had many politicians who were sympathetic to the French cause, held Parliament and opted to stay neutral between the two powers. However, nationalists were not to be denied. With the advent of the Fifth Anglo-American War, and the continued onslaught in France, Italy found the ripe Ottoman Empire without protectors. Italy declared war on the Ottomans in late 1908, winning several easy naval victories. Libya, Cyprus, and the Aegean islands were easily taken, and in 1909, Italy pressed its luck further, with landings in Albania and near Constantinople. It was on land going against an equal force where Italy saw its first problems in the war. During the entire campaign, Italian troops were chronically undersupplied, and Ottoman naval mines and coastal defense guns kept Italian warships at bay from providing artillery support. During the Constantinople Campaign, which lasted two years in total, resulted in 138,000 casualties for the Italians and ultimately forced the war to end on terms less than ideal for Italy upon the surrender of several Italian divisions. In the end, Italy gained Cyprus, Crete, Albania, and the Aegean Islands, but the dreams of conquering southern Turkey and Palestine would remain that: dreams.

    After the victory in the Italo-Ottoman War, Italian politics saw a dramatic shift rightwards. The Liberal Party was severely discredited due to a socialist rising in Milan, and saw the Conservative Party win major victories in 1914, and has maintained a solid 16 years of unbroken Conservative rule since. In particular, nationalists and traditionalists have found an Italy much more to their liking, and as a whole, the nation has been moving rightwards with the ascent of King Umberto III in 1922. Like his father, Umberto has shown a particular ruthlessness when it comes to expanding Italian territory, and it was Umberto who as crown prince helped mastermind the plot to help Italy against the Czechs in exchange for territorial considerations. Umberto has worked closely with his Prime Minister, Gianfranco di Abruzzo, in his work to expand Italy and royal prerogative. Abruzzo has been supportive for the most part though, as he has become incredibly worried that the Conservative Party has grown complacent.

    Italy is not yet a great power. While it may be one of the world&#8217;s stronger nations, it is a league behind Britain, France, Germany, America, and Russia still. Abruzzo knows that Italy must expand its industry and secure more raw resources to ensure that Italy will no longer be on the outside looking in. With Umberto looking to take an active role in government, Abruzzo may have a way to circumvent a parliament concerned with rocking the boat. However, Italy&#8217;s internal peace and freedom from extremism is in a balance held between republicans and monarchists. So long as Italy can continue expanding its borders and keeping both sides in check though, Italy may very well be in a position where it can at last ascend into the ranks of the true elite.



    The Netherlands

    Spoiler :
    One of the most powerful colonial empires of the 19th century, third to only France and Britain, would end not with a bang, but with a whimper. Following their defeat to the United States in Japan, the Netherlands saw a major drop in international prestige, and a sense of loss at home, Japan being one of the longest standing Dutch enterprises. The Dutch saw itself lag behind not just the great powers, but even their neighbor Belgium, and during the Long Depression the Dutch economy flatlined, never truly recovering. Amsterdam had once been the center of economic life in Europe, but the Depression diminished the city greatly, its beautiful buildings falling into disrepair. The Dutch were able to receive Nambia at the Berlin conference, a prize they discovered held little economic value, especially compared to the Congo awarded to Belgium.

    It was in the midst of this malaise that had affected Dutch public life for thirty years that Marianne, daughter of King William IV, would come to the throne as the first Dutch Queen in 1881. For her entire reign, Marianne worked tirelessly for the Dutch people, and was able to attract assistance from Germany and the United Kingdom to help invigorate the Dutch economy. GDP increased, and unemployment was halved, dropping below 10% for the first time in decades, and the economic well being of the nation survived the Panic of 96.

    Marianne&#8217;s death in 1902 allowed for her son to ascend as William V. From his mother, William had gained a deep love for the Netherlands, but from his father, the Prince Ludwig of Hesse, he gained the notion that the Dutch did not just need economic recovery; they needed a military victory to feel whole once more. With the Germans going to war with France in what was being called at the time the Second Franco-Prussian War and casualties mounting, Germany wanted to bypass Belgium who refused to allow German soldiers through their territory. The ascendency of William gave Germany a new opportunity though; if an incident between the Netherlands and Belgium were to come to blows, Germany could use it as a pretext for an invasion of Belgium. This scheme found a willing ear with William, who saw that the war could not just give him a victory for the Netherlands, and also with the Prime Minister, who saw the possibility of reinvigorating the economy with wartime loans from Germany. Seeing the situation as a win-win, the Dutch government ordered mobilization.

    Along with his father and ministers, William vastly underestimated the desire for the Dutch to go to war. The mobilization order incited riots throughout the Netherlands, forcing the government to backtrack on its war plans. However, this would not be enough to stop the people, who were now demanding a radical restructuring of the Dutch economy and political scene. They demanded that the King include permanent representatives from major labor unions in his cabinet, and for a major wealth redistribution plan to come along with some socialist style labor laws. William and the Prime Minister both refused, and the Prime Minister sent the soldiers against the protestors. However, many soldiers refused to fire upon the protestors and instead joined with them, demanding the government&#8217;s resignation. The rioters took control of Amsterdam, and declared that the Netherlands was now a republic, with the Communists and Jacobins locked in a power struggle for dominance in the new republic. Initially William sought to gain German intervention, and the Germans succeeded initially until their own revolution and civil war.

    However, as the United States and the United Kingdom ended their own war, the United Kingdom was once more willing to intervene on the continent. Seeing the entirety of Western Europe falling to Communism was something that the United Kingdom, even after losing Canada, was not willing to allow. A British Expeditionary Force of 54,000 veterans landed and defeated the rebel forces, most of whom had outdated equipment and virtually no training, with relative ease.

    Dutch republicans had initially made common cause with the leftists in their bid to stop the war of aggression with Belgium but at this point saw that their association with the leftists would cause the British to see them as enemies. As British forces advanced on Amsterdam, a bitter debate consumed the Freemen Party, the largest of the Jacobin groups as they debated on their course of action. The party was split; many of the Freemen had come from middle class families, and did not mix well with the leftists who were mostly from the working class. Many of the Freemen also were pro capitalist, and though they agreed with the leftists on the policy of anti militarism, the similarities ended there. However, many others felt that this was betrayal of fellow Dutchmen, and argued that even with the rivalry between the two factions, the Dutch people had the right to choose between the Freemen and the leftists in a fair election,

    The Freemen voted, which barely passed, agreed to break ties with the leftists, and though there were some defections most of the party stood by the result of the vote. The republican militias would support the British in the fight against the leftists and then against the Ruhr. These actions were hoped to demonstrate to Britain that the Netherlands could be trusted, and many felt that the British would treat them as an independent ally. Unfortunately, this would not be the case, as Britain forced Dutch acquiescence on a number of political issues, including giving Australasia a mandate of twenty-five years over Indonesia.

    Today in 1930, the Netherlands is a republic, holding elections but there are restrictions on political liberties. The press is censored for any pro-Communist or anti-British articles, and public meetings can be restricted. Protests are generally illegal. Unions are generally allowed to organize but on a smaller scale than before. The parties that are dominant in Dutch elections are the Freemen Party, which advocates for antimilitarism, republicanism and a more anarcho-liberal policy in line with what Austria-Bohemia has, the Conservative party which is more nationalist and seeks to restore the Dutch monarchy, as well as seeing more regulation on industry than what the Freemen would like, and the Christian Democrats party, a party that generally is more for market regulation and friendlier terms with unions, and is opposed to the monarchy. The Freeman Party is currently dominant, winning both the first election in 1924 and the second in 1928. However, both the Christian Democrats and Conservatives have blocked some of the more extreme measures of their platform. Overall, the economy has done fairly well, and though there is an unpopular tax aimed at helping shoulder the cost of the British garrison, there is some appreciation that the British did help rebuild the country after the revolution.

    Those outside the current system, the socialists, fascists, and anarchists, are generally marginalized with encouragement from Britain. The Dutch fascist party in 1928 actually got 11% of the vote, but a recent corruption scandal landed several MPs in jail, including the party&#8217;s founder. The fascists however have been invigorated recently by the possibility of Tom Black winning the elections in 1931 though, and hope for that to increase their own chances in 1932.


    Spain

    Spoiler :

    Midway through the 19th century, the last vestiges of Spanish Empire in the Americas was lost to the growing power of the United States, with only the Philippines remaining in the empire. Even that possession would be lost by the end of the Fifth Anglo American War. These humiliations, combined with the declining Spanish economy, forced the end of the struggling Spanish monarchy. The new Spanish republic, established in 1918, was initially dominated though by the classes that had reigned during the monarchy. The old aristocracy and the clergy, backed with the military, pursued a conservative agenda, despite the liberal and socialist nature of the revolts that established the republic. Initially, this agenda held popular support due to the church&#8217;s influence, but the failure for working conditions and the economy to improve would cause the Spanish General Strike of 1925, which caused the collapse of the Republic and the establishment of the Second Spanish Republic. The first election saw the rise of a Popular Front with a broad base of support from Liberals, Democratic Socialists, and Communists, as well as support from the disenfranchised Basque and Catalan minorities. However, already the Popular Front has already ran into difficulties. Manuel Zamora, the Liberal Spanish President, has found that his Communist coalition partners have been blocking his attempts at land and labor reforms, declaring that they are petty and do not go far enough to relieve the plight of the masses. Pessimists feel that the Communists are hoping to provoke an outright revolution as they weaken the Republic. Major strikes have been called every year since 1927, frustrating the capitalists and landowners. Churches have also seen an uptick in arson by Communist hardliners, infuriating Spanish conservatives. Meanwhile, riots in Barcelona have rocked the city, as they continue to demand independence. The Generals of the Army have seen the situation as unacceptable, and some officers are openly speaking of a coup. As the 1930 elections come closer, it seems that Spain is inching closer and closer to civil war, as there is likely no coalition that can govern Spain at this point. Will the Republic be able to survive? Can the Jacobins find anyone to stand with them? Or will fascists, monarchists, and communists destroy the young republic in their quest for power?

     

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