This is a profile page for the Prussian Protectorate and its related states as a part of Principia Moderni II (Map Game). It is controlled by Kunarian. The main of the page is information on the Prussian Protectorate, previous and successor states may have their own small sections or even their own linked pages.
Prior to the founding of the protectorate by the nobles Prussia had been in a long period of economic downturn and technological recession. In 1727 it had lost a war to Lithuania, in which its military had been effectively crushed by the Lithuanian and the Prussians had been forced to use an alliance with Russia as their only defence. For years Prussia fell into decay, with common people fearing another invasion despite the Russian alliance. However in 1741, there was a change of ruler in Lithuania and they changed from building up military on Prussia's border to attempting to influence them in Lithuania's favour.
In the years 1741-1745, Lithuania sent agents into Prussia with the aim of trying to bring them around to Lithuania, these came in the form of priests who attempted to convert people, spies who spread positive news about Lithuania and envoys to the government. They only stopped after a small rebellion in 1746 when a village in the south east hung several Lithuanians in response to them offering bribes to locals and proceeded to gather support. In 1748 the government finally sent an army south however the rebellion disbanded before any conflict took place. While the crisis was ended, the effects were still felt, many eastern Prussians had fled west into the cities leaving whole swaths of land unused. Lithuania had fallen silent since 1746 and many feared what would come next. On top of this putting down the rebellion had almost emptied the national coffers.
The border population continued to flee west towards the cities. As Lithuania went unchecked, public finances dried up and the government fell inactive public anger grew. Refugees from the east felt that due to the placid nature of the ruling class they had been forced out of their homes and into poverty in the cities. Junkers feared that they would lose their land should the status quo continue, many made petitions and ultimatums to the government in the years 1747-1752. The final straw came when what was left of the military unofficially disbanded after being unpaid for a year in late 1752. In 1753 a small group of powerful nobles came together and began organising to seize control of Prussia.
Founding of the protectorate
In 1754 the nobles rose up against the government supported by local landed lords in the 1st Königsberg uprising. Backed by mercenaries and militias they managed to seize the city with little bloodshed. After the city had been taken the nobles deposed the old government calling it corrupt and incompetent in dealing with Lithuania's advances and began organising for a civil war. However as the news of the uprising spread many people showed their support for the nobles and the Junkers overwhelmingly ignored calls to arms by loyalists. The next move was to spread news of an offer to all the Junkers of Prussia, of wealth and influence in government in return for their military support and loyalty, most Junkers immediately replied addressing the nobles as the Adligenrat or noble's council and the loyalists as rebels.
They went to work straight away, clearing out loyalist strongholds and forcing recognition of the Adligenrat. By winter Prussia was largely under the noble's control and the new government was made official and inaugurated with the Adligenrat at its head, establishing the Prussian Protectorate. In November the Adligenrat elected Albert Heinrich von Felsberg to be Herr aus Prūsa (form of lord protector) to rule Prussia with their consent. Using their personal wealth they started to reorganise the remains of the old government, a large amount of money was also put into hiring mercenaries to reinforce the Prusso-Lithuanian border. Taking it upon himself to forge new diplomatic links for Prussia, Albert wrote letters to Russia, Bavaria and Saxony asking each for an alliance and a trade deal.
In 1755, there was no reply, so Albert wrote again, this time focusing on gaining alliances with the three nations. Additionally to gain their attention he requested that Prussia be allowed to join the Greater Germanic Union. This led to a reply from a Bavarian diplomat stating that while they were dealing with trouble in the west they would be unable to answer the request for alliance however the request to join the Germanic Union would be considered after deliberation with Saxony and Brandenburg. Negotiations began and while Brandenburg objected and Bavaria abstained, the Saxon ambassador turned the situation around and argued for the integration of Prussia into the Union. Eventually an offer was made demanding that Prussia, should it wish to join, must join the Germanic Church and consider becoming a protectorate of Brandenburg.
Albert met with the Adligenrat to discuss the matter and eventually they approved a reply. Prussia declared that it would make provisions over the years following its joining to become a part of the Germanic Church, that it would allow unrestricted access to all its lands and ports to the member states of the Germanic Union and that it would consider the offer of becoming a protectorate of Brandenburg. After much deliberation between the three Germany's, Prussia was finally accepted via a 2-1 vote in its favour.
Throughout the year of 1755, the Adligenrat met twice to discuss the establishment of basic laws. In March 1755 they passed the Gesetz der eins Fünfzehntel (Law of one-Fifteenths) which was a base tax on goods produced similar to papal taxes in Prussia at the time. In June 1755 they passed the Gesetz zur Verteidigung des Protektorats (Law for the Defence of the Protectorate) which made provisions for the recruitment, training and arming of a Prussian standing army. Although failed to make any further laws due to the negotiations on Prussia's membership of the Greater Germanic Union.
The Junkers of Prussia became largely responsible for enforcing the new Prussian laws, ensuring taxation took place and picking recruits to send off to the Nawan Protektorat Armee's camp for training. Junkers also were awarded the positions of officers within the new military, the size of which was only planned to be 5,000 men. Recruits were mainly taken from the ranks of refugees and youths, the army quickly earned the nickname of the Arme-Leute-Armee (pauper's army) due to the little to no pay for the common soldiers, although basic food, clothes and equipment was provided to the rank and file for free. The cities remained overcrowded and unhealthy however the re-instilled optimism of the new government encouraged some into action. While a small amount returned to the farms in the east others tried to develop trades within the city, despite these small actions, the economy of Prussia lifted slightly for the first time in several years because of them.
In 1756, a nobleman made a point to the Adligenrat about the lack of industrialisation, pointing to the advances across its borders to the west and east. Lacking proper industrial capacity or any forms of modern government programs available in other neighbouring states, the Adligenrat met to try and deal with the problem. During the meeting they agreed to declare Prussia a nation of religious freedom for those pursuing the sciences and to fund said pursuits via the Gesetz zur Religionsfreiheit in der wissenschaftlichen Streben and Gesetz der Zuschüssen in Wissenschaftlichen Streben. Importantly the wording of these laws undermined papal authority in the nation, ambiguously referring to the state religion simply as that, and not mentioning any particular practices pertaining to Roman Catholicism. In the debates, Markus Amsel, an Adligenrat noble declared his plans to annex the Roman Catholic church's legislative power into the Adligenrat and says that "Prussia must move towards a true Catholic system instead of a papal system".
During 1756, the new tax law began to see reasonable revenue and helped fund government expenditure, despite this the main source of funding for the Protectorate came from the wealth of the nobles. Urbanisation had also indirectly been started as the many eastern refugees create a cheap labour source that artisans and Jukners begin to use to increase their output, continuing the rise of economic activity. While employment rose in Königsberg, a new draft of 5000 men for the Nawan Protektorat Armee was made. A thousand men were sent west to assist in the war while the rest stayed as a reserve force in case of a breakthrough by Strellok's (who was then referred to as the 'False Emperor') main force.
A revolutionary discovery was made in Königsberg in 1757 as a local clockmaker called Peter Jaeger invented Königsberg steel (the first modern use of steel), after years of experimenting in secret he had perfected the process and with the cheap labour in the city began producing it in small quantities. His work was noticed by a Junker who had purchased cutlery off of him and noted its incredible hardness, he wrote a letter to the Adligenrat and sent a knife with the letter, impressing all of the nobles present at its reading. Quickly funding was given and an order was made to supply the Nawan Protektorat Armee with steel bayonets. However continuing money problems led to Markus Amsel proposing the Gesetz in Zurückhaltung der Päpstlichen Einkommen, a law for the annexation of papal forms of income, while heavily debated, it was narrowly passed. Hoping to bring the government back together another law on taxing ships passing through ports is passed.
In the War of the Ursurper, the 1000 Prussian troops met up with a small Brandenburg and Saxon detachment just before the minor battle of Hohenach. A forward force of Strellok's army arrived and a skirmish occurred with the Prussian forces composing the right flank. Despite the more experienced Rhinelander troops, the larger German Union army managed to outgun them and with the assistance of the fresh Prussian troops they won a crushing victory. The Prussian forces continued to assist in counter-offensive maneuvers and another 1000 men were sent west.
1758 saw heavy investment into industry as military recruitment fell, Königsberg Steel moved towards heavy production as the government funded the expansion of Peter Jaeger's workforce. The first factory in Prussia is planned and begins construction on the outskirts of Königsberg hoping to massively increase production and give Prussia a powerful trade good. Offers to sell Königsberg Steel to its allies in the War of the Usurper were made and orders came in quick and fast, largely from German states. The Bavarian Ministry of Commerce paid a huge sum for great amounts of Königsberg Steel, the order for which was so large that it took two years to fill. Before long most German bayonets were made with Königsberg Steel.
The Adligenrat set about completely sealing up the gap in the government's finances so that they did not have to fill it. Many options for tax were looked at although because the Adligenrat wanted a simple high revenue tax instead of having to legislate for more smaller taxes, they passed a law called the Gesetz für die Bereitstellung von Grundsteuer, which angered many Junkers. This made nobles and Junkers openly show they were uncomfortable with the Adligenrat's unchallenged rule for the first time, a noble even requested a place in the legislature but was refused. Continuing the modernisation of the nation, the Adligenrat passes a law on education including the establishment of protectorate schools (state schools) and providing assistance so that poorer children may attend. The law passes unoppposed.
The government also made its first direct moves to convert the largely catholic population to the Germanic Church, preachers were paid to stand in busy areas and try to influence the religious make-up of the capital. Meanwhile the 2000 Prussian forces fighting against Strellok rallied towards Saxon forces in Anhalt, joining up to assist in offensives in the next year.
The German question
The 'German question' began as the 'Prussian question' referring first to a conflict of interests over Lithuania between Prussia and Brandenburg and the possible responses of the Greater Germanic Union, it only later developed into the German question as the situation brought about a questioning of the Union's authority, noted by the rising nationalism in Bavaria. In 1759, the continuing industrial expansion in Konigberg provided increasing trade and even attracted the attention of the Welsh Trade Company who offered a trade deal which was quickly accepted. In response the Adligenrat suggested that a Welsh ambassador visit the nation for a few years to explore further diplomatic possibilities, this offer was accepted and Neirin Hughes was sent to lead a consulate in Königsberg.
The work of the Adligenrat finally led to taxes covering government expenses although Junkers began demanding elections for the Adligenrat. The first protectorate schools opened in this year taking large swaths of Königsberg children and teaching about the sciences, mathematics and literature as well as discretely indoctrinating them into the Germanic Church. Militaristicly, things started to heat up on the home front, intelligence was received about the rekindling of nationalist and anti-Prussian tendencies in Lithuania, in response the 8000 remaining troops of the Nawan Protektorat Armee were stationed to the Prusso-Lithuanian border and small wooden offensive forts were established in preparation for possible conflict. In the west the King-Duke of Saxony wrote a letter of thanks to Albert Heinrich von Felsberg concerning the 2000 Prussian troops and their recent exploits with the Saxon forces in Anhalt.
The next year the Königsberg factory finished outside the capital and boosted the economy hugely, Königsberg Steel was mass produced in the factory along with large quantities of iron. Steel became an important trade product and a small trade fleet was sent west looking to sell it, offers were made to various nations, such as France however they were largely unsuccessful. A Junker petitioned for the establishment of elections to the Adligenrat and was backed by influential nobles hoping to gain power within the government. Meanwhile Neirin Hughs, the Welsh ambassador was shown around Königsberg and met with several important government members.
Prussian troops in the west were largely idle as Strelloks armies and empire fell apart, they were stationed in Anhalt waiting for Bavarian reinforcements in order to completely reclaim the territory. During this, the protectorate declared war on Lithuania hoping to reclaim its lost eastern territories where Prussians still largely resided. The war was short, the 8000 Prussian troops charged across the border supported by a large mercenary force and secured key border settlements. The Lithuanians attempted a counterattack, aiming to push through the Prussian centre and towards Königsberg. However, the forces were delayed by the better trained Protectorate troops and eventually encircled and routed. While the victory was crushing and little Lithuanian forces still existed, the Protectorate military concluded it could only successfully occupy a small amount of non-Prussian land. This became the Lithuanian Protectorate in 1761, and was ruled by Lukas Dorn von Raistpilis as the Herr aus Laītawa with a military government.
(begin exports, have more rows between Junkers and Nobles and the Adligenrat over elections. More spread for the Germanic Church, more education. Bavaria controlling my Prussian troops for the Anhalt assault. End of the war against Lithuania and more touring for the Welsh ambassador. I'll probably fill in details in 1762.
Another small trade fleet is sent west, this time landing in both the Netherlands and France, there an ambassador asks for an alliance of both countries and offers a trade deal as well. The first trade fleet comes around into the Mediterranean, making port across Italia. Meanwhile, the Adligenrat meets after recent pressures from Junkers and Nobles to discuss the idea of elections. By now the Germanic church is becoming the majority religion in and around Königsberg although the rural Catholic and Orthodox population are keen to resist further religious changes. Education of the populace continues. The remaining Prussian troops that fought Strellok return home and are hailed as heroes. Despite the Prussian Lithuanian war having ended in 1761, the Prussians have only just secured the new eastern border completely. Meanwhile the tour for the Welsh consulate is almost over, and apparently the ambassador will be sent home with both an offer of an alliance to Wales and another gift.
The trade fleets continue to trade to and from France and the Netherlands and the Mediterranean respectively. The Adligenrat announces that it will work to establish a Junkerrat to quell the rebellious Junkers, although some Nobles and Junkers still feel that the Adligenrat has too much power. Eastern Orthodox is now the largest religion after the annexation of the eastern Prussians, western Catholics and Germanics feel threatened by this and the leading Noble in Heilsberg starts to speak out against allowing the eastern Prussians to remain Orthodox and the conversion to the Germanic Church. Education of the populace continues. A new draft to the Nawan Protektorat Armee is made of 10,000 men, doubling the military's current size. The Welsh ambassador returns home with the secret of Königsberg Steel, although the technology is seven years old compared to increasingly bettering Prussian techniques, Wales and Prussia are now the only two nations that know the secret of mass produced steel
Another ambassador is sent to France to ask for an alliance (defensive pact more of) from the trade fleets while trade increases greatly with western Europe. Mediterranean trade continues. The Adligenrat passes a law on the Junkerrat after much debate and one failure to pass, elections for the Junkerrat will occur next year. Religious tensions rise, Hielsberg becomes the centre for Catholic matters in Prussia while Memelburg and Tilsit share importance to Prussian Orthodoxy. Education of the populace continues. The 10,000 men draft finishes its training and the Army is divided into four groups each assigned to a key city. A second factory, this time for iron production, is beginning construction outside Memelburg, making use of its population and close proximity to the sea. Many think that should Prussian development continue at this pace the nation may begin truly industrialising like its neighbours in as little as twenty years.)
The Adligenrat 17 nobles
Laws of the Adligenrat:
- Gesetz der eins Fünfzehntel, March 1755 - 14 Jā, 2 Ni
- (Law of one-Fifteenth) made provisions for a tax similar to the papal taxes being collected in Prussia
- Gesetz zur Verteidigung des Protektorats, June 1755 - 15 Jā, 0 Ni
- (Law for the Defence of the Protectorate) made provisions for the recruitment, training and arming of a Prussian standing army
- Gesetz zur Religionsfreiheit in der Wissenschaftlichen Streben, February 1756 - 13 Jā, 4 Ni
- (Law for Religious Freedom in Scientific Pursuit) gave people religious freedom as long as they were working in the pursuit of scientific advancement
- Gesetz der Zuschüssen in Wissenschaftlichen Streben, February 1756 - 14 Jā, 1 Ni
- (Law of Grants in Scientific Pursuit) gave funds to those in the pursuit of scientific advancement
- Gesetz in Zurückhaltung der Päpstlichen Einkommen, April 1757 - 10 Jā, 7 Ni
- (Law in Restraint of Papal Income) annexed all forms of papal income to the Prussian state
- Gesetz für die Bereitstellung von Versandsteuer, May 1757 - 12 Jā, 3 Ni
- (Law for the Provision of Shipping Tax) established a tax on ships passing through Prussian ports
- Gesetz für die Bereitstellung von Grundsteuer, May 1758 - 13 Jā, 2 Ni
- (Law for the Provision of Property Taxes) established a tax on property owned by invididuals
- Gesetz der Bildung, June 1758 - 15 Jā, 0 Ni
- (Law of Education) established general education standards along with protectorate schools and education provision for the poor
Prussia's natural resources:
- A good supply of coal, particularly in the west
- Being exploited to a small degree (3)
- A large supply of sulphur
- Being exploited to a minimal degree (1)
- A small supply of copper
- Being exploited to a small degree (3)
- A large supply of timber from the expansive forests
- Being exploited to a reasonable degree (6)
- A small supply of salt
- Being exploited to a minimal degree (1)
- A good supply of amber
- Being exploited to a minimal degree (1)
- A large amount of arable land
- Being exploited to a reasonable degree (6)