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A timeline of events from 1600-1699 in the Caesar of Rome.
The War Rages On
The Seventy Years' War continued to plague Europe. In England, the succession crisis came to a close. After years of conflict between the two English claimants, Henry X and Isabella Tudor, Isabella died in 1601 without issue, the last member of the House of Tudor. Henry began to regain support from his people, especially after signing a treaty that recognized Calvinism in England and granted Calvinist citizens numerous rights.
In France, due to the lack of available troops, Francis III and King Henry signed a truce, and Francis relinquished his claim to the English throne. Meanwhile, the monarchy continued to rapidly suppress the Reformist movements and fronts in the country, which were becoming less and less successful as time went on. The focus soon shifted more towards the Spanish, who were said to be supporting the Reformists in order to replace their Church, hinder their country's progress, and take down the French crown, claims that historians believe had little merit. Many of France's clashes occurred on the Franco-Spanish border, however fighting also occurred in Italy over the sovereignty of Milan, Naples, and the territory of Spanish Latium.
In Spain, King Philip III had to use many of his resources to help his brother Henry in England secure his crown. This did not help Spain's efforts in France, and it also proved to be detrimental to their territories in Italy. Many Roman bishops were calling for the independence from Spain, of which they had been the territory for little less than a century. The Pope himself felt that he was a "vassal" of another nation, swearing fealty to a King, and feared that this was one of the major causes of the Reformation in Europe. As such, the Swiss Guards took the opportunity to remove the Spanish court and nobles from Latium. The Pope, ironically, received help from France, but others were very much against the actions the Pope took. While in a battle for independence, very little blood was shed in the conflict.
In the north, Reformist and Catholic lands in the Holy Roman Empire were often at war with one another, with some seeking independence from the Empire and some seeking the recognition of their religions. Brandenburg found itself to be one of the major powers in the Empire bent on religious toleration, however it was also at war with several Catholic nations nearby, notably Poland and Austria. The Duchy of Prussia had revolts of its own, seeking to be independent from Poland and to enter the Holy Roman Empire, but the duchy was once again subjugated by Poland. Many smaller states in the Holy Roman Empire were in a state of war with their neighbors over the right to choose their states' religion, often ending in chaos; over a third of these states had their populations reduced by half.
Eventually, near the end of the war, the intervention of the Scandinavian nations helped to bring victories to the Reformist territories. Denmark aided the Netherlands in their fight against Spain and England and their attempts to be independent, as well as aiding minor principalities and bishoprics. Sweden, meanwhile, aided Brandenburg and its neighboring states, grabbing various victories and truces in the process. The two states secured their presence over many northern states, which later led to their relinquishment.
In the east, the Ottoman Empire had taken advantage of the situation in Europe and began attacks on Venice, Hungary, and later Poland and Russia. The Venetian holdings near Anatolia did not do well, and many were captured within years; Hungary also proved to be an easy opponent, and the Ottomans made some territorial gain near the Croatian territory. Poland, having not being involved in major conflict because of its religious tolerance, helped to defend other states from the Ottoman attacks. Russia, meanwhile, was facing a crisis of its own, and the Ottomans used the advantage to sack major cities and gain land in the Crimea.
Farewell to Arms
Finally, in 1642, the dust in Europe settled on a bloody and torn continent. The final shots were fired, and the nations began the task of restoring peace. Most of Germany was devastated from constant warfare and the outbreak of diseases, with entire populations wiped out in certain villages. In Prague, the capital of Bohemia, delegates from all over Europe were gathered to discuss matters of faith and territorial changes. The Ottoman Empire and Russia were not included in the signing of the treaty, as they had previously established other treaties prior to the end of the war.
With the ratification of the treaty, the Reformist faiths (including Lutheranism and Calvinism) were recognized by the Holy Roman Empire and several other European nations. Most territories in the Empire recognized status quo ante bellum and borders were restored, with a few exceptions. Bavaria would gain the Upper Palatinate; Sweden would gain Ingria and Pomerania; and the Swiss Confederation, Latium, Naples, and the English Netherlands are removed from the Empire.
Elsewhere in Europe, the Ottoman Empire was able to conquer the Venetian holds in the Aegean Sea, including the Duchy of the Archipelago and Cyprus. Prussia was again subjugated in Poland-Lithuania as a duchy. Russia, meanwhile, was slowly recovering from its troubles internally and externally, having changed its imperial dynasty and lost several chunks of land to Sweden and the Ottoman Empire. With the peace agreements, the war was over, and Europe could set down its arms and rebuild what had been broken... for the time being.
The Sun Never Sets in the East
In Japan, the Oda clan had completed the task of reuniting Japan into one state after years of warfare. Oda Nobutada, being a skilled samurai who fought in battle with his father, is said to have gained an upper hand against opposing tribes using European technologies from Spanish missionaries. Eventually, the Oda clan began focusing on territories outside the Japanese isles. The Japanese did not want to get involved in Formosa, as the island was being fought over by Spain and the Netherlands in the midst of a religious and imperialistic conflict. Instead, the Oda clan considered a certain peninsula across the sea...
In the early 1610s, war was declared on the nation of Joseon, a tributary state of the Ming Dynasty of China, and later declared war on China itself. The intent was clear: to conquer the entire peninsula, and if successful, to subjugate the Ming Dynasty as well. Oda is believed to have motivation for the war from his late father, who was not able to do the task himself. It was a bold move, and a nearly impossible task, one which would put the new technologies and the new ruling Japanese dynasty to the test.
Japan's capability was not to be undermined, however. There were a large number of idle samurais and soldiers in the newly unified Japan; the nobility believed they could be used to not only fight the opposing forces, but also to help put down any threat of civil disorder they had in mainland Japan after rival clans were defeated by Oda. Thus started the fighting in 1612; Japan's first assaults were in the port cities of Suncheon and Sacheon, with the intent to use the ports to control flow of ships to and from Japan to allow for more soldiers if necessary. The victors then found their way to Seoul, a major city in Joseon, which they were able to capture and use as a base for further attacks north.
The war was long and complicated, with three separate waves of attacks that led to the victories in several major Korean and Chinese cities, however ultimately led to the retreat of the Japanese soldiers back to the ports they obtained early in the war. In the final peace treaty, the Chinese and Korean leaders agreed to a truce and ceded the ports of Busan, Suncheon, and several others to stop further invasions. While the Oda clan was not terribly satisfied, they would accept the offers, throw down their arms, reestablish relations with Korea and China, and began a new and important rule over lands in Korea.
Presence in the Pacific
Bloom in Borealia
In the aftermath of the War of the English Succession that divided Catholics and Reformists over the two monarchs, King Henry X's reign saw reforms and laws enacted to help reunite the nation despite the religious divide. Several Members of Parliament (many of them Calvinist) proposed establishing an English colony in the New World for Calvinists and other Reformist groups, as the English colonies at the time were very much pro-Catholic with Catholic majorities. Henry approved the colony, named Maryland after his niece, Maria of Habsburg. The colony was established in OTL Louisiana on the Mississippi River.
With the establishment of the colony in 1632, hundreds of settlers from England and from Catholic-majority settlements in Borealia flocked to the colony as a way to live a fulfillful life in a land that would completely accept them. However, several Catholic colonies followed England's lead, and allowed citizens it had previously persecuted to live freely under the eyes of the law.
Farther north, the Spanish colony of Chequesta had a slowly growing population. While they did not find much gold, the Spanish settlers were excited by the discovery of cotton fields for clothing and textiles, as well as tobacco fields. The settlement began in OTL Florida, but was expanding in OTL Virginia as well.
A bit farther north, settlers from the colony of New France were rapidly exploring the lands and rivers around their settlements, beginning to reach several of the Great Lakes. With this exploration came conflict with native Borealians; one notable conflict was that with the Five Nations of the Iroquois, a powerful band of five united nations under one leader who vehemently opposed the French expansions and the spread of Christianity. Their differences often led to armed conflict. However, France did keep friendly relations with several tribes in the region, benefiting from the fur trading business.
In mid-eastern Borealia, the newest colony of the New World was by the Netherlands, called New Netherland, started to establish the United Republic as a colonial empire across the globe. While it had begun settlements in Africa and India, the settlers were eager to begin trade in Borealia with the reports of precious metals, furs, and very fertile land. The colony grew in the OTL Delaware River, around New Amsterdam. The settlers were mostly of the Reformist faiths, but the leaders promised religious freedom for its settlers. Using the outposts in Africa, slaves were a part of daily life.
In the far north, Denmark–Norway was expanding its territory past Greenland, and claiming most of the islands in the Arctic Sea (the OTL Canadian Arctic Archipelago), and beginning to settle into mainland Borealia to get in on the fur trading business. The far northern settlements at this point were fairly small, however the island of Beomark (OTL Newfoundland) saw a rapidly growing population, somewhat dependent on trade with other natives. The island often saw minor conflicts with French settlers across the sea over trade rights and expansion, however they were ultimately resolved.
An Adventure in Antillia
In northern Antillia, Spain was expanding its profitable colony of New Granada in the OTL Colombia region. The colony was growing rapidly, more so than its northern counterpart, Chequesta, mostly because of the abundance of natural resources. New Granada was also the primary source of transfer of raw materials from a former empire and important protectorate, Tahuatinsuyu.
The Spanish Empire, despite its wealth, was not prepared to militarily subjugate an entire nation that was resistant to its diseases, had access to its weapons, and dramatically outnumbered the Spanish colonists. The religious war in Europe also meant a large war debt and large loss of troops, and they were not prepared to fight another war. Plus, a relatively large population of the natives had successfully been converted to Christianity, so having to fight these fellow Christians was not preferable.
Instead, the Spanish established free trade agreements with the native nation, and the introduction of Spanish jurisprudence to counter the "blasphemous" laws that allowed rituals like human sacrifice. The Sapa Inca still acted as the leader of the nation, but was subject to the Spanish monarch and often had less power than the representative viceroys. Many Incan Christian converts were brought to Europe to be displayed to nobility as a way to prove that the "savages" were willing to convert, and several ambassadors were known.
Time for the Turks
The Ottoman Empire was making a come-back after the previous century, having restored its military and developing a navy with the help of the French. The war in Europe between the Catholics and the Reformists was a way to gain some of the territories it had previously lost, and to gain new ones. The benefit to the war was that the Reformist faiths, in the Sultan's eyes, were very similar to that of Islam: they detested idols, prayed to only one God, and fought against the Papacy. While Reformist nations did not take up arms to defend the Ottomans (as they were seen by the majority as heretics), the Reformist-allied Kingdom of France supported the Ottomans' efforts against Spain and sent some financial support, albeit minor. Some Reformists in nearby nations like Poland and Hungary, where their faiths were not universally accepted, fled to the Ottomans to practice their religions freer.
The war also saw an interest in continuing the expansion of the Empire. Several pieces of land were carved from Hungary, Venice, Poland, and Russia; Russia, specifically, lost land near the Crimea and the Caucasus. With the Empire likely unable to expand much further without retaliation, especially with Europe beginning to stabilize its forces, the Ottomans instead began looking away from Europe and more towards Asia and Africa. Clashes with the Safavid dynasty ended mostly with truces rather than victories, but the Ottomans were determined to gain ground in Persia, as well as Mesopotamia and the Caucasus.
The Mostly-Serine Republic
The Republic of Venice had, for centuries, been an economic and trading power in Europe; however, this began to change with the discovery of the New World, filled with countless riches, with which the Venetians could not compete. The future of the economic power was in question, and the Seventy Years' War did not help the matter. Venice was entangled in yet another war with the Ottoman Empire, in which two of its major holdings were conquered: the Archipelago, and the island of Cyprus.
However, the island of Morea was safe. The island had been in the hands of the Venetians for a little over two centuries, since the First Ottoman-Venetian War, where it became a Venetian protectorate. Since then, the island had sheltered the dethroned royal family of the late Byzantine Empire, as well as became a safe haven for Greeks wanting to leave the Ottoman Empire. Despite having Venetian laws and customs, the citizens were overwhelmingly of Greek origin, and many Europeans considered it to be the first Greek state since the Byzantine's demise.
The Venetians were not safe from warfare for long. By the late 17th century, the Ottoman Empire once again declared war on Venice. The Venetians were quick to establish forts at the Morean border to protect the island, however the same could not be said for the island of Candia (Crete); the island was more or less vulnerable to attacks by sea, and in 1672, the Ottomans took hold of the island. Venetian presence in the Mediterranean was dwindling, and with their economy at a decline, the Venetians could not afford to let another attack occur on their lands. They, along with many nations in Europe, needed a way to stop the invasive Turkish armies...
Surprise for the Shah
A century prior, France shocked Europe by making a political alliance with the "heretic" Ottoman Empire. Now, Europe was becoming desperate, wanting to ensure the Ottomans did not gain more territory in Europe than they already had, especially after the Empire's military successes during the Seventy Years' War. This was proving to be a challenge, however; Russia seemed to have been withering in the east, losing several territories to the Ottomans from almost collapsing as a nation. The eastern European nations did not seem much of a threat, either. North Africa was mostly controlled by the Ottomans (save for some pirates), and the remainder of Arabia farther away from the Empire were either nomads, tribal, or were small naval kingdoms that were no match for the Ottomans.
So it was only natural that Europe's last hope was Persia, controlled by the Safavid dynasty, a Shiite Islamic nation with a long, rich history, whose military and influence was beginning to decline compared to the Ottomans. While the Persians did in fact fight the Ottomans around the same time as the war in Europe, their war did not end in large territorial gains, and the Europeans were not able to give their support to the Persians. After the war, however, many were willing to "make a deal with the Devil" and introduce alliances with the Persians. England in particular met with several representatives of the Persian Shah, and on several occasions offered to send military generals to train and modernize their armies.
As time went on, European nations found this alliance to be in their best interest. They would now have a powerful ally to help stop their mutual enemy, the Ottoman Empire. They also had an ally in Asia to keep check on Russia, a nation that was appearing to make a comeback in Europe. More importantly, nations like England now had an ally that could be of use against the Mughal Empire in India that was showing signs of decline.
Vive la France
France and the United Provinces were allies since the 1560s, with the first break outs of the revolution and the Declaration of Independence from Spain (and later England). A century later, the alliance was still strong, despite France's growing territorial ambitions. The one thing that helped to keep the knot tied, despite any tensions, was one underlying problem, lying between the two states: the English Netherlands.
England inherited the lands from Spain after the marriage of the Spanish and English monarchs, and the birth of two viable sons who could inherit the kingdoms separately, splitting some of Spain's possessions. The English and the Dutch were at each other heads since the bloody Dutch War of Independence, where the King Henry X of England fought to keep the Netherlands as a rightful English territory. The United Provinces prevailed, in the end, but their feuds did not end there. The Provinces were rapidly expanding their powers in the seas and in the New World, while England was already a successful colonial power, exporting many precious metals and goods.
While France was indeed seen as a threat to the nation, they feared England as a neighbor was likely much worse. Many in the Provinces believed that England did not truly recognize the Dutch nation, and that they were still under English sovereignty. The colonial wars between the two nations overseas did not help the view of England, and slogans such as "Beter een bloeiende bloem dan een longeren leeuw" (English: "Better a blooming flower than a lunging lion") were used commonly.
In 1670, a year that would rock northeastern Europe, France and the Dutch Republic declared war on England, beginning immediate attacks on the English Netherlands and Luxembourg. The appropriate leaders had plans to split the lands between the two, considering geography and linguistics in their plans. However, despite many European nations resenting the English in the European mainland, it was, they found, an excellent way to keep the balance of power in the continent: to check the power of both the French and Netherlands. As such, nations like Spain, Austria, and several smaller entities of the Holy Roman Empire helped to defended the English Lower Countries from the invasive French and Dutch forces, thereby bringing Europe back into another war.
England sent as many of its ships and men as it could to fight off the invaders, which would prove to be a problem as the war was on two fronts. England gained the support from Spain and Portugal, both of which wanted to keep the balance of power in Europe and across the world. England gained some ground as France would now have to fight off Spanish and Portuguese ships as well, but the Franco-Dutch invasions on the border proved worthy enough to eventually reach the capital and force local nobles to surrender.
Within a few years of war in the English Channel, in the Netherlands, and around the world, the great powers of Europe agreed to a truce. France and the Netherlands were granted key pieces of land, but ultimately England's forces were enough to defend the territory from being completely conquered. England also ceded small islands in Caribbea to the two nations. Spain and Portugal gained some lands from Dutch Guinea, while the Netherlands made gains in the Pacific.
Cam Ye O'er Frae France?
While France and England became entangled in yet another war in the European mainland, many Scottish citizens were displeased with the governance of their nation. France and Scotland entered personal union little more than a century prior, through marriage with the French royal family. Every year since the marriage between King Francis of France and Queen Mary of Scotland, their royal heirs kept the governance of both France and Scotland in Paris, several hundred miles away. Along with the religious dissent growing, many sought to replace the French king sitting on their throne with his younger son, Charles.
This was especially notable when France (and by association, Scotland) declared war on England, with battles raging in the Lower Nations. The Scots were not keen on being ruled by a king they would never see, having to fight a war they did not want, during a time of peace and recovery from a devastating religious war. After the war, with his time running short in his life, declared his eldest son Francis the King of France, with Charles the King of Scotland, thereby severing the personal union for good.
(more to come)
Return of Russia
Things were going from bad to worse in Russia. After a horrible succession crisis that plagued the nation with false tsars and caused widespread disease, famine, and revolts, Russia managed to get back on its feet under a new leader from a new dynasty: the Romanovs. They were eager to return Russia to her former glory, before the crisis and the later embarrassing defeats by the Turkish forces in the south, resulting in the secession of several pieces of land. Now, they were back to assert their power.
This was not so easy, however. Denmark and Sweden were becoming noteworthy powers in the north, known for their endeavors in the Seventy Years' War: helping defend Reformism in the Holy Roman Empire, repelling invasions of Prussia and Livonia, and gaining considerable amounts of territory in the process. Sweden gained land from Russia as well, cutting off their access to the Baltic Sea. The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth was also going to be in the way of this; the Polish attempted to create a personal union with Russia in the middle of their troubles, which almost succeeded. The only way for Russia to become a major power in the region again was to get these two powers to their knees, which would end up proving to be a tremendous disaster.
God Save the Economy
England and Spain were putting themselves in a predicament. Investing in the New World was certainly promising; the influx of gold and silver were overwhelming, and the two nations were predicting untold riches. Spain was getting its gold primarily from Tahuatinsuyu, while England was getting its silver from the Meshic colonies, and gold from the newly-discovered OTL California coast. While many thought that the import of this gold to Europe was good for the Spanish and English economies, this was far from the truth.
With the import of these materials, these two nations were shown to have been buying more commodities from other nations rather than producing their own. This meant that the two were behind other nations in terms of business and technological development, as they would rely on others for their services. The riches also caused great inflation in the two nations' economies, which eventually spread throughout Europe.
The wars in Europe did not help either. With a total-war mentality in the Seventy Years' War, several nations were putting all of their resources into defeating their enemies. England was on the verge of bankruptcy, being in the midst of a civil war between a Catholic and Reformist monarch, as well as retaining their new possessions in mainland Europe. Spain, having to face a war against France, in Italy, and in several overseas possessions, also had to invest time, money, and soldiers into England's conflicts, which was not helping their situation either. The expensive war over the fate of the English Netherlands did not help much either, and almost resulted in the total loss of their only mainland territory.
Sure, Spain and England had the gold and silver deposits to pay off some of these debts, and their trade with overseas nations was beneficial as well. But it would not be enough as more conflicts were springing up in Europe and abroad. It would also not help to stop Spain and England becoming nations of consumerism, rather than being primarily about industrialism. As time would tell, England and Spain were slowing down behind the other nations in Europe.
Divine Wrong of Kings
The advent of Reformism brought a new idea into the minds of many Europeans: could a monarch really be chosen by God himself? Could a king be considered above the law, not accountable for his actions or decisions because he was chosen by God? Was a king infallible, as the Catholic Pope was said to be? They were questions that affected more than just Reformists, but also Catholics as well.
(more to come)
Spark of Science
| Preceded by:|
|Caesar of Rome sectional timeline|
1600 – 1699
| Succeeded by:|