A timeline of events from 1500-1599 in the Caesar of Rome.
A Whole New World
The news of the New World captivated many in Europe, especially a handful of lords and kings. England and Portugal were the first ones to establish ports and colonies on the coasts of the newly discovered lands, in OTL Caribbean and Mexico, and Brazil, respectively. England traded and established ports in Mayan territory, originally in Cancun, where the lesser-lethal virus Variola minor infected a large majority of the native population with smallpox. While devastating many people at first, the surviving populations found themselves immune to the harsher Variola major virus.
Most of the English settlers at the time were either priests or traders, with several soldiers to defend the settlements from raids. The English explored the lands rather quickly, however did not aim to conquer lands where there was no necessity. The settlers were focused on exploring the lands and spreading Christianity, and noting where large amounts of golds and other resources were available. The settlers traveled as south as Ecuador, where they almost reached the capital of the Inca Empire, had it not been for a shortage of horses, causing a retreat.
Much of Portuguese colonization in South America was the same, except for the fact that they could expand into the New World with less worries since they were not bound by any treaties limiting their expansion. Spain was not able to colonize just yet, as they were in the middle of a war on two fronts: one with the Ottomans, and one with the Granadans, both of which did not seem to be going anywhere just yet.
France sent numerous explorers to survey the land in Borealia, and settlements were nominally developed in the St. Lawrence River and the Acadian region, expanding mainly southwards, but often northwards to profit from the fur business.
When the war finished years later, the Spanish were exited to explore the world, both New and Old. A crew was sent from Sanlucar de Barrameda to circumnavigate the globe, through Panama, to the coast of Ecuador, through the Pacific, unto the Philippines, Cambodia, Malacca, and through the Indian Ocean around Africa back to Spain. The exploration was the stepping stone towards colonies in the continents of Antillia and Borealia, as well as the establishment of territories in Khmer and the Philippines.
Eventually, in northern Europe, King Christian of Denmark was interested in the new colonial settlements made in the new world, and considered sending sailors to explore the ancient settlements in Greenland, and realized that the far north of the new continent had not been yet explored by any other nation. Using this as an advantage, and hoping that the voyage would be a financial advantage, the King issued two ships through the northern Atlantic to reclaim the lands their ancestors once discovered.
Liberation of Naples
In 1502, a coalition of French and Spanish fleets were able to infiltrate the Ottoman line of defense on the shores of Rome. After days of battle, many of the Ottoman troops defending the city were either massacred or were forced to retreat. By March, the troops managed to capture general and former Grand Vizier Hersekzade Ahmed Pasha. The Archbasilica of St. John Lateran, which housed the Patriarch of Rome, was captured, and the Patriarch, Pope Lorenzo I was forced to abdicate his position. He quietly returned to his home of Tuscany without trial or questioning. Within the month, the entire city of Rome was recaptured by Christian troops, and the Sultan was officially no longer the Caesar of Rome.
The city of Rome was then used in the war as a sort of military base rather than a spiritual one. With reinforcement from the island of Sicily, the Spanish troops made it their mission to drive all Ottoman soldiers out of the peninsula, and to convict any traitors. Spain and France first drove out any Turkish soldiers on the eastern shore of the territory, while assistance from Hungary helped to liberate lands on the west coast.
Within less than a decade, the support from the successor Ottoman Sultan was not enough to withstand the attacks. Many soldiers were captured and put on trial; many generals were executed, and a handful of soldiers converted to Christianity. By 1514, a peace treaty was ratified by Spain, France, and Hungary, and agreed to by the Sultan and Grand Vizier, stating that all Turkish soldiers and civilians in Naples and Italy would must leave and return to their home country. The fulfillment of the treaty was completed within two years.
Redrawing the Map
With the signing of the Treaty of Rome, the last of the Turkish armies in Italy were expelled, and the peninsula was liberated. The Treaty, however, did not bring about a status quo ante bellum. In the south, the centuries-old Papal States became defunct; it was succeeded by the territory of Latium, with the western portions being united into the Spanish kingdom of Naples, as well as Venice and Tuscany. Venice gained Ferrara, Bologna, Romagne, and gained official influence in Mantova and Modena. Tuscany gained the Duchy of Urbino as well as Perugia. Through treaties and agreements, Naples later joined the Holy Roman Empire with the help of Spain.
In the north, after minor clashes and an official agreement with Spain during the war, France gained influence in Savoy and Milan, the latter of which Louis XII had claims through lineage. The agreement to France's influence in Milan was also a way to ensure Louis did not try to exert his claim on Naples as well, to which he also had rights. However, Spain also had claims to Milan, and many in the Spanish courts were prepared to get it back.
Attempt at Peace
With the major victory over the Muslims, both in Europe and in Spain (see Granada War), many nations were glad to see their enemies beginning to fall. Many noblemen believed that with such a victory, Christians across Europe should join forces together instead of putting their armies against one another. Soon after the signing of the Treaty of Rome, in November of 1514, England proposed the Treaty of London in order to establish a non-aggression pact between major European nations. Many also saw it as an agreement to cooperate against the Ottoman Empire's growth in the Balkans and to bring it to its knees once and for all.
Two weeks before Christmas 1514, the official signatories of the Treaty were France, England, the Holy Roman Empire, Spain, Burgundy, the Netherlands, Austria, and Hungary, and was celebrated across many towns in Europe. However, the threat of war was looming on the horizon, as a new conflict was brewing...
With the expulsion of the remaining Turks in Italy, Spain was able to successfully reclaim its Neapolitan territory, as well as expanding into the now-defunct Papal States. The Spanish took control over Rome and began the transformation of the St. Peter's Basilica (turned into a mosque at the hands of Mehmed II) back into a church. King Ferdinand II planned to restore the Papacy by removing the Ottoman "puppet Pope" and ensuring a conclave to elect a new Pope, which elected Francisco de Remolins in late 1514.
However, the Papacy in Avignon was not prepared to step down. Pope Paschal II supported the legitimacy of the Avignon papacy, as did the Louis XII. Some cardinals claimed that the Roman papacy was illegitimate due to the transformation of the Basilica into a Muslim mosque, the prior support for the Ottomans, and the nepotistic assignment of a Florentine Pope. Many French noblemen also did not want to swear allegiance to a Pope under the suzerainty of the Spanish.
As such, Europe was again torn between two Popes in Europe: one in Avignon, and one in Spain, both of which were seen to be under the control of two major empires. This split forced many to choose sides, often based on alliances and politics. France, Milan, Savoy, Navarre, Genoa, and Scotland chose to recognize the papacy in Avignon, while Spain (including Naples), Siena, Florence, England, Austria, and the majority of the Holy Roman Empire recognized the pope in Rome.
In 1517, a man named Martin Luther authored the The Ninety-Five Theses and placed them on the doors of a Church. He, like many others at the time, were not pleased with many values and policies of the Catholic Church, especially due to the increasing cases of nepotism, simony, usury, pluralism, and indulgences. Another major factor in the publication of the theses was the fact that Europe was in dispute over the validity of two Popes. Luther also wrote, years later, that the attack and conquest of Rome by the Muslim Turkish armies was a sign from God that the Christians were steering from the true faith, and Luther could no longer practice the Catholic faith.
In the Holy Roman Empire, the Reformation began to spread across states mostly centered in the North. The major faiths that began to spread there were Lutheranism and Calvinism. However, these new beliefs did not go well with the Emperors. With the election of Charles V as Emperor, as well as the ruler of Spain, Naples, and Latium, Charles decided to reunite the Papacy into the Empire, which had left centuries earlier. Because of this, many noblemen found it necessary for all citizens of the Empire to be of the Catholic faith. Whether or not Charles brought the Papacy into the Empire in an attempt to curb the growth of Reformism is still debated by historians today.
Whatever the case, the Reformist leaders would not back down. The two major faiths grew support from many in northern Germany, and gained more momentum with the conversion of the Scandinavian nations, Sweden and Denmark-Norway. Various rebellions, by both peasants and often nobles, took place during the course of the century, but were again and again put down by the Catholic powers and the Emperors. With no diets or edicts formally recognizing any of the Reformist religions, uneasiness began to plague the Empire. Several calls were made to execute the Reformist leaders, including Martin himself, in hopes to stop any further spread, however the Emperors did not go through with it as to avoid total religious war between the states.
In England, the Reformation was a growing ideology among many citizens. However, it did not become the religion of the country like in OTL just yet. King Henry VIII was an ally of Spain, and chose to recognize Rome as the official location of the Papacy. He also married Catherine of Aragon a few years prior, and tried desperately to have conceive male heir. Nearly one year after a miscarriage of a baby girl, in 1511 Catherine gave birth to a boy, Henry, Duke of Cornwall. The baby boy had a serious illness when young and nearly died; however, he survived infancy and lived through adulthood in this timeline. The two also managed to conceive a baby girl, Mary, Princess of Wales (who died without issue due to fertility complications). Henry VIII was pleased, and despite having an affair, grew to love his wife fondly. England would remain Catholic... for now.
A Clash of Kings
Despite an agreement between European powers not to wage war on one another, the tension between France and Spain grew to a boiling point. The Holy Roman Empire was in need of a successor, and Maximilian I supported Charles, King of Spain, and Francis put himself forward as an alternate candidate. Rome supported Charles, as did the majority of the Empire, and Charles was subsequently elected. Along with his ascension, Charles declared France's claims to Milan invalid, on the basis that it was a part of the HRE as well as a rightful Spanish claim. The Kingdom of Navarre, being allied with France for decades, was also being attacked in order to be annexed into Castile. The clash of Kings inevitably began in 1522, and Italy was again engulfed in another war.
By 1525, Milan was almost entirely under the control of French forces, thanks in part to the Venetians, who would not let Spanish forces pass their lands. Meanwhile, many of the soldiers in the Low Countries were retreating, and the war was going nowhere in Navarre. In an attempt to get more ground on Spain, Francis sent an envoy to none other than the Ottoman Empire, in an attempt to have a joint French-Venetian-Ottoman attack on Naples. The Sultan was shocked that a powerful Christian nation like France would seek an alliance with a Muslim empire, but agreed to the alliance. King France sent a message to King Charles, telling him to end the war in a truce or else they risked another five-decade long war in Italy. Charles reluctantly agreed; the terms of the treaty were very much a status quo, however Milan was given French protection while Navarre was given Spanish protection.
The word of peace was not as evident as the word that a Christian nation allied with a Muslim one. Francis defended his alliance as a political matter and not a religious one, and the Pope in Avignon was indifferent to the alliance. The Pope in Rome called the alliance "unholy" and "a heretic act". Charles was concerned that the Turks could once again attack at any moment, and would have to spare soldiers in Italy that could have been used in Germany against Reformist rebellions.
The Empire Strikes Back
In the Ottoman Empire, things were not going as planned. After a devastating defeat in the Italian peninsula, not only was the army was reduced significantly, but Mehmed's dream of conquering the Old Rome was dead (however, the title remained with successors in the Empire). The image of the Ottoman Empire had also changed; Church bells were ringing in Italy as well as in some Christian communities in the Balkans after news that the Turks were vanquished, and Selim I would not tolerate it.
With what they had remaining, Sultan Selim I managed to finally conquer the Mamluks in 1518, a significant victory for the Empire. Years later, the Ottomans thought of another way to regain their power in Europe: through Hungary. His successor, Suleiman I, helped to regrow the army and led his people through Hungary in the Battle of Szeged in 1530.
However, his invasion turned out to be a failure. Due to Hungary's involvement in the Italian War, the Black Army received enough financial aid from the crown to remain intact, and Hungary's army was much better prepared when the Sultan arrived. Suleiman's men were overrun by the Hungarian troops, and the Hungarians win the battle. To ensure more victories against the Turks, an army was sent from Spanish Naples. Subsequent invasions by the Sultan were to no avail, and the Ottomans were again forced to retreat from Christian territory with the signing of another treaty. King Louis II of Hungary managed to survive the ordeal unscathed, and continued to rule his country during a time of attacks.
The Emperor's New Faith
With yet another war over in Europe, the Spanish conquistadors were ready to continue their growth in the New World, specifically in the Inca Empire or "Tahuatinsuyu." In OTL, the smallpox epidemic wreaked havoc on the native populations due to the inability to gain immunity with the harsher form of the virus. However, the English settlers decades prior unknowingly gave the natives the milder form of the virus, and thus after a while the populations were immune to the harsher form.
As such, the Sapa Incas Huayna Capac and his son Ninan Cuyochi were not killed from the disease and clearly established their heirs, and a Civil War did not ensue. Later, in the late 1530s, Spanish missionaries and troops arrived in the OTL Colombia region establishing permanent settlements, naming the colony "New Granada." Eventually, the settlers discovered and expanded into Tahuatinsuyu, starting clashes between colonists and the local warriors.
In 1541, Spanish soldiers and missionaries reached the capital city, Cusco, and fought their way to the Emperor, Waskar Inca. Once in custody, it is believed that the Spanish gave the Emperor the option to convert to Christianity or die, threatening to kill the royal family as well. Historians do not know the validity of this, but whatever the case, the Sapa Inca converted to Christianity, and was able to keep his Empire in tact. He was baptized as Sebastian Emmanuel Hanan soon after, the first convert in Antillia. He would remain the leader of the Inca Empire, however the Empire would be subordinate to Spanish laws and free to trade natural resources like gold.
The Trouble with England
Henry IX of England married Princes (Infanta) Maria of Portugal, son of Manuel I of Portugal and sister of King John III on 12 April 1531 (she originally died within days of her birth in OTL). Henry VIII and John III of Portugal established the marriage, and many believe this was in order to ensure the relations between England and Portugal did not sour in the midst of a colonial "race" in the Americas. In one years' time, Maria gave birth to Anne, and later Isabella, as well as a stillbirth boy named Robert. The two did not conceive a male heir, and Henry VIII tried to convince his son to try to get his marriage annulled or have her killed, however Henry IX, as a devout Catholic, would do nothing of the sort.
After Henry VIII's death in 1547, Henry IX became the new king. Henry's reign did not come without its controversies; in a time of Reformation in northern Europe, Henry was known to try and execute many local preachers of new faiths, mostly Calvinism. In an attempt to defeat the Reformist movement, the King was helping the movement grow. In 1530, it is estimated that less than 2% of the population were Reformists (Calvinists, Lutherans). By 1560, near the end of his reign, more than 20% of the population declared themselves Reformists.
When Anne came to be queen at the death of Henry IX in 1561, things did not improve. Anne married Philip II of Spain several years prior, and was having trouble conceiving an heir. This was mostly due to the fact that, once Anne became queen, she and her husband would rarely meet in person. Some in English Parliament were against the royal marriage between the two monarchs, since, if they produced a male heir, he would inherit the lands from both the English and Spanish kingdoms, causing a Hapsburg dynasty in England. Many citizens, mostly Reformists, were also against the marriage, since both Anne and Philip were very pro-Catholic, and Philip was known to crack down on many Reformers in Spain and Germany. Alas, Anne gave birth to a healthy baby boy in 1565, whom she would name her heir to the English throne, on the onslaught of a conflict brewing in Europe. She would also give birth to another son, Philip, three years later.
The Rising Sun
On the other side of the world, a man named Oda Nobunaga was enjoying victory after victory in the Japanese isles. He was initiating the unification of Japan during the period of the Warring States. By 1580, his influence had grown from a small clan to more than half the island of Honshu. He was steadily gaining power, however rival clans got in the way of his work.
At the same time, Spain was continuing its missions in the Far East to spread Christianity to the people there. In Japan, however, many of the citizens were strongly against the spread of the religion, and many noblemen thought that the spread of the "foreign religion" was a guise in order to infiltrate the country and successfully colonize it (like they had done in the Inca Empire). Meanwhile Oda, despite being a devout atheist, was a staunch supporter of Christianity in Japan, and was pleased to see the establishment of the first Christian Church in Tokyo.
This would come to his advantage it seems, because in 1582, a Christian companion of his overheard of a plot to ambush the leader. Oda was warned at once, and soldiers were prepared to fend off the attack. Oda was saved from a forced suicide, and in order to consolidate his power, he declared the land to be a Shogunate under his rule, which he would eventually pass onto his son. Being open to European technologies and ideas, Oda successfully united the empire and helped it to avoid isolation. Decades later, Nobunaga's son Nobutada would seek to expand the Empire outside of just the isles: he had his sights on a peninsula across the sea...
Prelude to War
The European continent was suffering with tension from which it would not recover. Many Catholic nations at this time were cracking down on Reformist believers, as a threat to both their faith and their country. This was especially true in France, where many villages and towns were growing to have a Huguenot majority. While peace remained in the Kingdom for some time, it was the introduction of the Church of France in 1549 by Henry II that began to cause dissent among some citizens.
This Church was founded on the basis of Gallicanism, wherein the monarchy's power is independent of the Pope's power, while the Church is under joint control of the Pope and the monarch. In this case, the Pope resided in Avignon, which was from then on technically a territory of France rather than under French protection. The Church was also founded on the belief of divine right of Kings, something Reformists were very against.
For the last several decades, the Scottish monarchy found itself recognizing the Avignonese claim to the Papacy, which many believe was due to the ancient Scottish-French alliance. In order to keep the recognition of "French Catholicism" in Scotland, Henry had his son Francis II betrothed to the Mary, Queen of Scots, the oldest surviving female and heir to the throne. He would also send many of his troops to Scotland to ensure that Calvinism would be stomped out. Little did the French nobles know that Catholic-Reformist clashes in France would begin soon.
Seventy Years' War
- Further reading: Seventy Years' War
A majority of historians agree that the war began in 1572, after years of civil war in France, when the French monarchy declared war on Spain for invading its lands, believing the Spanish were trying to weaken the French state and claim territory under the guise of religion. Spain then declared war on France, and many of its allies followed suit. However, with the declaration of war soon came the declaration of independence of the northern provinces of the Lower Countries, the United Provinces, as a Reformist state. The Spanish were against this declaration, and sent troops to suppress any rebellions. As a result of the violence, a wave of unrest in Germany and soon Europe began as citizens and countries sought to have their faiths recognized and accepted.
In England, this unrest turned explosive as Reformist extremists assassinated Queen Anne I and the majority of the members of Parliament in what became known as the Massacre at Westminster, after decades of targeted attacks on Reformist populations. This attack led to a succession crisis in England, between Anne's Catholic son Henry X, her Calvinist sister Isabella Tudor, and for some time King Francis III of France and Scotland (who had claims through his three-times great grandfather), engulfing England in warfare.
In eastern Europe, the Ottoman Empire thought the war to be the perfect opportunity to regain its title as a great power by declaring war on Hungary and later Venice. Soon, Poland and Russia became involved, trying to again resist the Muslim invasions in Europe. However, these nations faced their own internal problems, including financial troubles and religious conflict. Eventually, the Ottomans would gain some more ground in Europe by the end of the war.
The war in Europe eventually spread to colonies and territories in the New World as well. At this time, only a few territories were established, by England, Spain, France, and Denmark, and the majority of the continent was still inhabited by hundreds of Native Borealian indigenous tribes. Many of these tribes, especially those bordered by colonists, had come in contact with smallpox, however the death rate was lower than OTL as a less-fatal form of the virus infected the populations first, and the natives began to gain immunity. Numerous tribes also began to trade with and gain more knowledge from the Europeans, in return for precious metals and furs.
With the outbreak of war in Europe, and an almost total war mentality bestowed by the mother countries, the colonies began to feel the pinch. When native revolts broke out, many of the colonies had to depend on their own weaponry and manpower, as their home countries could not afford to spare men and money.
In some English colonies, an almost three-way war was formed: the Catholic, the Reformist, and the local polytheistic natives clashed, often with devastating results. One of the causes was the lack of response from the English nobles to establish a purely Reformist (Calvinist) state in the New World. The fact that a civil war was occurring in England between two (or three) monarchs also did not help the situation. As such, colonists in the English settlements would form religious divides between towns.
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|Caesar of Rome sectional timeline|
1500 – 1599
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