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Unbalance is an alternate timeline guided by the principles of the logical extrapolation of a butterfly effect. By altering a single, somewhat innocuous event, this timeline explores the vast myriad of changes that result of that difference. In Unbalance, the altered event is the Treaty of Utrecht, signed in March, 1713. In our timeline, the treaty of Utrecht was a series of individual peace treaties and accords signed between the great powers. The two greatest achievements of the Treaty of Utrecht were the division of the Spanish Empire following the War of Spanish Succession, and the end of France's territorial ambitions. In the Unbalance Timeline (UTL), the Treaty of Utrecht is much the same, save for a single key difference: France refuses to cede Newfoundland to Britain. This increases tensions between France and Britain, setting off a chain of events that is collectively known as the Unbalance Timeline.
For the meantime this Alternate History is closed, if only so that the idea can be firmly established before it is altered. Please propose any suggestions or comments in the appropriate talk pages.
The World In 1713In 1713, the great powers of Europe had just concluded the War of Spanish Succession, a war waged against the idea of unified Spanish and French Kingdoms. Fearing that a unified Bourbon kingdom would upset the balance of powers, the Holy Roman Empire, Great Britain, Portugal, the Dutch Republic, and the Duchy of Savoy, and Holy Roman Spain warred against Loyalist Spain, the Kingdom of France, and the Electorate of Bavaria for thirteen years. Phillip V, the newly recognized monarch of Spain and the proposed monarch of France, was forced to relinquish his claim to the French throne. Many of the territories of the Spanish Empire were ceded to various nations, such as the Duchy of Savoy and the Holy Roman Empire. This partitioning of the Spanish Empire in Europe was designed to perpetuate the system known in intellectual European society as the "balance of powers", an idea that was becoming more and more popular amongst the ruling class.
Another main feature of the war was an opposition to France's territorial ambitions. England, Portugal, and the Dutch Republic initially entered the war primarily to check French attempts to expand into continental Europe. Meanwhile, the North American theatre of the war, there was comparatively little combat. There were several attempts by British forces to conquer territory in New France, but this was largely an exercise in futility. The North American front of the war consisted mainly of raids and strikes that did little damage. Captured territory tended to pass from nation to nation in rapid succession. The end result changed very little of the map. The Treaty of Utrecht registered a number of changes on the map, however: most notably, France relinquished claims to Rupert's Land, around the south of Hudson Bay. However, France refused to relinquish the territories of Acadia and Newfoundland, claiming them as sovereign territory of the Kingdom of France. This slight undermined the entire treaty of Utrecht. Rather than easing the tensions between the kingdoms of France and Britain, the disagreements involved in forming the treaty only served to escalate them.
Timeline1713 - The French refuse to cede Newfoundland and Acadia in the Treaty of Utrecht, escalating tensions between the kingdoms of France and Britain. (PoD)
1716 - The Norman War kicks off as the Kingdom of Britain declares war on the Kingdom of France due to continued conflict over the ownership of the territories of Newfoundland and Acadia. Wholescale conflict begins in the Northeast of America, as British troops march on Acadia.
1719 - Britain launches a mainland offensive against France, invading Normandy. Within seven months, Britain has conquered a wide swath of territory in Northwest rance. Despite this, the French are overwhelmingly victories in the North American theatre.
1721 - The Treaty of London is signed, ending the Norman War. The northern British colonies of New England are ceded to France, but the Kingdom of Britain refuses to give up the captured territory of Normandy in an ironic parallel to the Treaty of Utrecht.
1724 - The Electorate of Saxony expands into Northwestern Europe, taking control of vast swathes of territory. With the backing of the Holy Roman Empire and the Electorate of Bavaria, few dare challenge the move. No objections are strong enough to warrant military action against the Electorate.
1729 - The French Civil War arises out of a public dissatisfaction with the poor handling of the Norman War by the French monarchy and the resulting economic backlash over lost trade and infrastructure. La République du Soleil is formed in the Northeast of the Kingdom of France. The nation is immediately recognized by the Venetian Dominion, fostering good relations between the rebel state and the Mediterranean nation. The king of France declares La République to be treasonous and commits a large portion of the French Army to reclaiming the territory.
1733 - The King of Prussia issues an ultimatum to nearby Low Countries; submit to the rule of the Imperial King of Prussia or be forced to submit by the force of it's armies. Several minor baronies and kingdoms accept this and join Prussia. Curiously, several high-placed functionaries of the various governments of these nations find themselves in positions of power or prestige in the Kingdom of Prussia. Subterfuge and treachery are suspected by all, but none of the greater nations are willing to make an issue of it, regarding the Kingdom of Prussia as only a minor threat.
1736 - The French Civil War ends with the Treaty of Château du Lac, which establishes the new border between the Kingdom of France and Soleil, with terms greatly favoring the new Republic.
1737 - The Swiss Confederation declares war on the Duchy of Savoy over tensions about the placement of the their common border, kicking off the Savoyite-Swiss War.
1738 - The Republic of Genoa signs a treaty with the Island of Corsica, formally assimilating Corsica as a confederated territory of the Republic of Genoa. In return, Genoa will provide protection and extremely favorable tax and trade rights to the island.
1740 - The Treaty of Piedmont, signed in the Duchy of Savoy, establishes a number of changes to Europe. The most important is the official recognition of La République du Soleil and the definition of the Republic's borders. Other terms include the the assignment of the isle of Sicily to the Duchy of Savoy and the isle of Sardinia to the Republic of Genoa, as well as the expansion of both the Venetian Dominion and the Grand Duchy of Tuscany. It also ends the Savoyite-Swiss war, establishing a defined border for the two nations.
1744 - Sensing weakness in the Kingdom of France's ability to enforce it's rule, the territory of Acadia declares it's independence from the Kingdom of France, establishing La République de l'Acadie in North America. This is met with immediate and severe hostility from France, but the actual military response immediately following the declaration is minimal.
1747 - The Acadian Revolution ends with the Treaty of Saint-Joseph, which forces France to recognize the new Republic as a sovereign nation.
1751 - With the support of La République de l'Acadie, Plaisance, formerly known as Newfoundland, declares independence from the Kingdom of France. For once, there is no promise of military backlash from the failing nation of France, instead only a quiet cession of trade in the region of Plaisance.
1752 - Rumors of a horrific disease spreading out of Asia leads to a complete and utter shutdown of the borders of Eastern Europe in an attempt to stave off infection from the virus supposedly running rampant in Asia.
1755 - The Republic of Hungary breaks free from the Holy Roman Empire, declaring autonomy from the great nation. The Holy Roman Empire refuses to recognize the independence of the fledgling Republic, but does not immediately issue a military crackdown, mindful of the example the Kingdom of France has set and willing to remain the overarching ruler of the nation.
1759 - The territory of Transylvania secedes from the Holy Roman Empire, joining with the Republic of Hungary, lending it's power to the fledgling Republic. With the strength to now challenge the Holy Roman Empire if needed, the Republic of Hungary declares itself sovereign and free from the Holy Roman Empire. In response the Holy Roman Empire declares war on the Republic of Hungary, sparking the War of Hungarian Secession.
1762 - The Electorate of Bavaria betrays the Holy Roman Empire in a surprise offensive against the Tyrol region, joining the War of Hungarian Secession on the side of the Republic of Hungary. Hemmed in from two sides, with an ailing military force, the Holy Roman Empire loses huge swathes of territory over the next few months. Several of the more conservative Low Countries respond by pitching support, whether military or simply symbolic, behind the Holy Roman Empire.
1764 - The Electorate of Saxony and Soleil throw their support behind the Republic of Hungary. Meanwhile, the Kingdom of Prussia, a traditionalist conservative nation, offers military support to the Holy Roman Empire.
1767 - The War of Hungarian Secession is concluded with the utter defeat of the Holy Roman Empire. The former electorates of Bavaria and Saxony are freed as sovereign kingdoms, and the Empire is divided into the Kingdoms of Austria and Silesia. The borders of Europe and North America are aggressively redefined in the Treaty of Bucharest, the official end to the War of Hungarian Secession. All major nations of the area participate in it.