Crown of AragonTimeline: The Once and Never Kings
OTL equivalent: Crown of Aragon
Location of Aragon and its territories in green.
|Official languages||Aragonese, Catalan, Neapolitan Italian|
|Regional Languages||Occitan, French|
|Government||Federal Composite Monarchy|
|-||County of Aragon established as independent kingdom||1035|
|-||Union of Kingdom of Aragon and County of Barcelona||1162|
The Crown of Aragon, or simply Aragon, though not to be confused with Lesser Aragon, is a large Federal composite monarchy spanning much of the western Mediterranean. To the West it borders Castile and Granada to the north it borders numerous member states of Francia, while its territory of Naples borders the Papal States.
Aragon is famously (or infamously, depending on your home country) a nominal member of both Francia and the Holy Roman Empire, the result of opportunistic deal-making and inheritance. The County of Toulouse and the Kingdom of Naples are electorates in both empires respectively.
Founded as a Carolingian feudal county in the ninth century, Aragon became a vassal of the Kingdom of Pamplona (later Navarre). Ramiro I would win Aragons independence around 1035. The marriage of Queen Petronilla of Aragon and Count Berenguer IV of Barcelona put those two states into a dynastic union, and they would be united in 1162.
Aragon would join in various wars against the ever-retreating Al Andalus, and would create the Kingdom of Valencia as another possession out of territory gained from it. Over the years, it grew weary of the growing confidence of Castile, but had an equally concerned ally in Leon. But when Leon was inherited by Castile, and it turned its gaze back to Granada, Aragon decided a weak Muslim state was a better option for controlling Gibraltar than a powerful, potentially hostile, Castile. It was that reasoning that lead Aragon to intervene on Granadas side in the First Granadan War. Its victory would sap the momentum out of Castiles steamroll.
It would inherit the Duchy of Athens in 1381, thanks to Byzantium's lax policy of marriage concerning its Despotates. A subsequent war would see its one-time Greek territory lost, thanks in part to the distance of the war zone from Aragon proper. The episode would cause Byzantium to reform its policies regard its Despotates' privileges.
Aragon would become an opportunist in the frequent wars between the Holy Roman Empire and Francia, bettering its position within both organizations. First, it offered Austria its assistance in the Second Francian-Imperial War, in return for Naples joining the Empire as an electorate. Austria would be forced to appoint a Lutheran elector to keep the electors an odd number, but it was accepted. Aragon would also be given the vacant County of Toulouse, a Francian electorate, in return for entering the Third Francian-Imperial War.
With most of its land populated by a staunchly pro-Catholic peasantry, the Aragonese lands would be relatively calm during the Reformation, remaining a majority Catholic state (though a few Lutheran communities would spring up in northwest Toulouse). Despite this, it joined the Forty Years War on the side of the Protestants, seeing a chance to undermine the authority of both Francia and the HRE. It territory would remain unchanged, though its status as a nominal member of both empires would be confirmed in the 1658 Peace of Hamburg.
Its distractions in Europe would keep it from exploiting the New World immediately. However, it would establish a series of forts in Antillia in the late fifteenth century. These forts would expand in territorial size, and would be organized as the colony of New Sicily in 1602.
In the first half of the nineteenth century, revolutionary fervor began sweeping across Southern Europe, to which Aragon was not immune. Though insurgencies would be stamped down in then Iberian and Francian possessions, those in the Italian peninsula proved better organized, and waged a campaign against Aragonese forces. These were supported by the recently established Tuscan (later Italian) Republic, whose leader Napoleone di Buonaparte seeked to undermine royalist authority.
But in 1856, a company of Italian dragoons crossed into Naples and kidnapped a local nobleman, Gian d'Medici, believing him to be part of a Medici restoration plot. Gian d'Medici was later executed after a secret trial. The incident, involving one of Naples more popular nobles, solidified opposition to the Neapolitan revolutionaries, many of whom later fled to the Italian Republic.
Aragon then signed on as a leading member of the Third Coalition against Napoleone. In the ensuing war, Aragon's armies were resoundingly beaten multiple times. First, Naples fell, where Napoleone installed Neapolitan revolutionary leaders as governors. Napoleone then conquered Sicily in a lightning strike. After ravaging southern Francia, Aragon itself was invaded, and fell after a three week campaign.
King Charles V first fled to Majorca, and later Granada. But after Napoleone invaded there, Charles fled to New Sicily. Aragon's Iberian lands were combined with Castile and Granada to form the "Kingdom of Spain", held in personal union with Napoleones Italian Empire. Royalist Resistance was always strong, and Aragonese conscripts in the Spanish army were described as either fervent supporters of the new regime, or completely unwilling to help their conquerors. At the Battle of Bisanz, with Napoleones defeat inevitable, the Aragonese defected and turned against the Italian and Spanish armies.
After Napoleones ultimate defeat and capture, Charles V returned to jubilant cheers of the citizens. The restored Aragonese government recognized that the military needed modernizing, and society needed streamlining. Some Napoleonic reforms, such as weakening of the aristocracy, were kept, allowing more oppritunities to be made available to the citizenry.
Aragon would clash with the Hafsids of North Africa on several occasions, trying to solidify its control over the western Mediterranean. But three wars and a covertly supported Christian revolt only left its coffers empty. It has been conducting a military buildup in recent years, and have been softening ties with Egypt, leading some to believe it's preparing for another war with the Hafsids.
Each component of the Crown of Aragon has its own parliament, though their abilities are somewhat limited, and are all subservient to the central parliament in Zaragoza.
The Monarch retains a number of powers, though the past few have begun the process of transferring many those powers to the Prime Minister.
Naples, as a member of the Holy Roman Empire sends a delegation to the Imperial Diet in Frankfurt. Toulouse, Catalonia, Andorra, and Roussillon, as members of Francia, send another delegation to the Francian parliament in Tours. Both delegations are often instructed to obstruct legislation that could possible form a more united policy in either entity.