This is a shortened summary of world history since the POD.
The Renaissance first brought the most luxuries to Genoa and Venice. However, the Pope disliked the liberal arts of these nations. Furthermore, they seemed to forget that the pope was truly their lord and protector. He began to make high demands that they tithe more and more. Genoa and Venice continued to grow more and more angry. Meanwhile, in France and the Holy Roman Empire people continued to dislike the pope even more. With growing support for Genoa and Venice, France delivered the Papacy a slap in the face, by invading Catalonia and Aragon. The only nations the Papacy seemed to be able to count on, were Castilla, Portugal, and the British Kingdoms. In late 1039, Genoa, Venice, and France (increasing doubtful of the Pope's legitimacy) agreed to split the Papacy and it's allies amongst themselves. The following year, Genoa and Venice marched on Rome, beginning the Holy War. The Papal States had very few defenses, and Rome quickly fell. The Pope was murdered. More angry than ever before, Castilla and Portugal formed the Holy Spanish Union, more commonly called Spain. England and Spain started a joint invasion of France. Because of their geographic position, Genoa and Venice could not help fight back Albion. And their ability to attack Spain was also severely limited. However, Genoa and Venice realized that because of their beliefs, they had one important advantage over their enemies. They were willing to ally with any nation regardless of religion or beliefs. They contacted the Fatimid "Saracen" Caliphate. The Fatimids were all very eager to see the pope gone, and never wanted the Papacy to return. The Fatimid Caliph was very eager to see the pope gone, and announced a global Jihad against the nations still loyal to the pope. As muslims pressed even deeper than they already were into Spain, more and more of the Islamic World's greatest scientists were working on developing a new weapon. Slowly, but surely they began to create a primitive musket. With this terrible new weapon, the Fatimids easily conquered Spain. France, in 1059, conquered England, and the other British Kingdoms. It renamed these territories "Albion" after the ancient poetic Roman name. Throughout the next 50 years, there were very few wars, though the alliance between Genoa and Venice began to break up. Gunpowder from Arabia and China became commonplace. Liberalism spread throughout Europe, freedom of thought became more common in the nations that had participated in the Holy War. Serfdom and all sorts of slavery were abolished in France and Spain. The Tunisia Slave Markets in the Muslim World were shut down. Bulgaria and Byzantia grew much more powerful than before. Bulgaria pushed deeper and deeper into Central Europe, while Byzantia attempted to regain the holy land from various smaller Muslim Kingdoms. Relations between the Muslim World and Western Europe increased greatly, and the Fatimids shared many of their technological achievements. This century ended the old pious order, that was symbolized by the Papacy.
As the years went on, Venice and Genoa continued to grow angry with one another. They renewed their short skirmishes over the Eastern Mediterranean and Black Seas. Only now, there was a more powerful Byzantia and Bulgaria facing them. And these nations were willing to work together to smatter the two Italian nations. Byzantia, still controlled Sicily and Naples which together held great threats to both Venice and Genoa. The would-be conflict between two Greek Nations and two Italian ones continued in a Stalemate. Meanwhile, Byzantia completed its conquest of Israel in 1109. Byzantia made sure to allow Christian Pilgrims to travel to Jerusalem, with the exception of Venetians and Genoese pilgrims. This further angered these two nations. As much as both Genoa and Venice hated these Greeks, they knew they could not defeat. This meant that Genoa and Venice would probably lose almost all of their influence. They needed to find an easier, quicker trade route. Some scientists, had been freely advocating the idea that the world was round. Many Nobles began to loudly proclaim that it would be very profitable to try it out. It would provide a quicker, and easier way to travel East, by traveling West. In 1178, both Genoa and Venice sent expeditions to head west. Five years later, the Venetian Expedition returned (the Genoese one was never heard from again) and announced that a new route to the East had been discovered. In 1184, both Venice and Genoa sent fleets to trade with what they though would be China. Both nations sent letters to the "Chinese King", however these letters were simply past off to Taino people. In a few years, Venice realized this. The strange lands that had been seen, were not Chinese Lands. This provoked even more interest in them. Where they part of India? Ziongu? Mongolia? Khmery? By 1197, both Venice and Genoa realized that these lands seemed completely different than any other lands they had seen. Venice and Genoa, went to war in 1199, over these lands. This, was the start of the First Colonial War.