Sunday, January 12, 2014

Stu Plays Civ: 1312 AD - 1776 AD

(This is the final post in a series of posts about a Civ IV file wherein I tried to recreate the British Empire. The previous posts can be viewed here, here, here and here.

The Chronicles of the Kings of Britain, Part V

From the reign of Queen Elizabeth I of the British Empire (1534-1603 AD)

The British Empire had been at peace for over two hundred years when we were placed upon the throne. They were quiet years, spent developing the economies of the colonies, pacifying India, and slowly absorbing Australia through diplomacy. The Chinese colony of Tianjin in Australia was sold to the House of Lancaster for money to use against the Mongolians. The Spanish gave the realm Colonia Australia del Sur upon the marriage of our predecessor Mary and Philip I of Spain. The only remaining foreign colonies in Australia were the Arabian and Malian colonies, which we continue to offer to purchase from the current owners.

However, this peace masked tensions. The liberal democratic order, though invented by the British, was perfected abroad. As of late, the groanings of the British people grew louder and louder. The Liberal-aligned House of York and the Conservative-aligned House of Lancaster kept fighting it out for control of Parliament and therefore the succession. The Yorkists appealed to the people, promising to reform the peerages, weaken the House of Lords and abolish the property qualification for voting that our ancestors had used to restrict the franchise to the rich. The Lancastrians appealed to the gentry and the rich, often resorting to tricks like rotten boroughs. Their Parliaments were Parliaments of money, and they maintained the stagnant social order. It could have been worse, though - for all their politicking, it's not like the Yorks and Lancasters ever did battle, after all.

The final victors of that long period of electoral struggle were our ancestors, the Tudors - a minor faction of the Lancasters settled on as compromise candidates. The first Tudors extended the franchise to the middle classes, the burghers that were now scattered and prosperous throughout the Empire. However, that act led to widespread and enduring support of those same burghers for the Tories, which the Tudors were associated with.

The Tudors are not the only thing associated with the Tories. Peace is also a Tory value, and to that end the Tory Parliaments of the past 200 years have given us peace. Combined with their preference for high tariffs to build up domestic industry, first applied to the Home Territories alone and then expanded to the rest of the Empire, it makes for a period already called "The Era of Splendid Isolation" by our historians.

But most importantly associated with the Tories is the Catholicism that the landed gentry maintain, in variance with the monarchy and the great mass of people. This Catholicism has French roots; the majority of the gentry have roots in William I's reign and came over from Brittany and Normandy. Brittany has, unlike the rest of the United Kingdom, maintained its Catholicism, and the religious feeling there is so great that we have no choice but to tolerate it, though the established church be the Celtic Orthodox.

For it would be religious issues that would bring an end to the Splendid Isolation.

The first problem was my father Henry VIII, as he was the first one to truly upset the established order. I don't wish to speak ill of him, but history already remembers him as... unkind to his many wives, to say the least. There was a succession crisis in France, and being a distant relative he was offered the throne there, provided that he not unite the thrones in his lifetime (his descendants, however, could) and convert to Catholicism.

We believe the offer was made as France sought staunch Catholic allies against the new Lutheran and Calvinist sects, which in short order swept the Holy Roman Empire and Scandinavia. (In this matter, they were greatly satisfied - Henry VIII inveighed against the Lutheran heresy so spectacularly that the Pope declared him "Defender of the Faith.") The French Estates-General likely also thought it could come to dominate any arrangement that brought it within the British Empire; it had lost its colony in the Congo to the Mameluke Dynasty of Egypt and now only held Madagascar and probably wanted to gain trade with our many far-flung colonies.

But in any case, Henry VIII accepted the offer, granting establishment to the Catholic Church but continuing to tolerate the Celtic Orthodox Church, which decamped from Canterbury to the Sistine Chapel in Edinburgh. However, he had difficulties getting his wife to bear him a male heir, and sought a divorce from the Pope. The divorce was granted, but when the second marriage likewise failed to bear him a son, the Pope granted no divorce.

As a result, he chose to maintain the establishment of the Catholic faith but declare himself its supreme head, a precarious position meant to maintain his hold on both Britain and France, but one popular in neither. The people of Britain, who are and were majority-Celtic Orthodox, chafed as he tightened his rule against dissent. Normally free speech was abrogated, and the Tories circled around him, defending their great Catholic hope against the British people. Henry VIII banned the Liberal Party, which is around where we entered the scene.

One of our nurses was a Liberal agent, and spirited us away to Australia, in those days under Liberal control and which had successfully resisted Henry's decree against the Liberals. We were proclaimed the "Infant Queen of Britain" and the British First Fleet, anchored in Sydney Harbour, swore allegiance, as did the Australian Infantry regiments and the New Zealand infantry regiments. (Given the changed allegiances of their military, New Zealand's Tories had to acquiesce.) Upon a declaration of complete religious tolerance, a sepoy mutiny wracked India, and the sepoys proclaimed allegiance to us. The British East India Company quickly pardoned the sepoys and also swore allegiance, reckoning that a policy of religious tolerance would ease their business ventures.

With India and Australia under our control, and Britain, France and Canada barely under Henry VIII's, he could scarcely mount an attack to retake his lost colonies; nor could we mount an invasion of the rest of the empire with the resources of India and Australia, though we had the majority of the British military behind us. Thus began a queer period of disunion of the crowns, even as a single Parliament ruled the whole of the Empire (in theory).

Henry VIII eventually had a son, and sent him to the less-restive France for his education, hoping he would be safe from the unruly mob. Instead, Edward VIII chose for his retinue French Huguenots, and when Henry VIII died the realm became briefly Protestant. However, the Catholics abhorred this even more, and so Edward VIII was poisoned by his sister Mary in 1551 AD, who was then proclaimed by a Tory Parliament to be Queen of the United Kingdom.

She then wed Philip I of Spain, who gave her Colonia del Australia Sur as a wedding gift, allowing her to station troops on Australia that held no allegiance to us. She executed the Patriarch of Edinburgh and the Lutheran Archbishop of Canterbury, as well as hundreds of notable leaders of both the Celtic Orthodox and Protestant churches in the islands. With this occasion, Ireland rose up. The situation was headed towards outright civil war, so in 1554 AD we landed in Dublin and proclaimed there our rule. The rest of Ireland hastened to swear fealty, and Queen Mary was increasingly isolated.

She was forced to resurrect some of the old social programs that had been in place under the wartime Liberal Parliament that oversaw the conquest of India, just to retain the begrudging acceptance of Tory-controlled Great Britain and Canada. Finally, however, she died of a feminine complaint in 1558, and it was with no small relief that the Tory Parliament accepted defeat and offered to recognize our reign.

With our assumption of the rule of the whole of the British Empire, we immediately reinstated the old religious settlement of Celtic Orthodoxy and toleration of all other faiths and sects. We dissolved the Long Parliament of Queen Mary and we called a new one, declaring that anyone, male or female, who was at least of eighteen years of age may lawfully vote for their local member of Parliament. Thus ended the troublesome question of the caste system; we joined our neighbors in emancipating our people from inequality. The people returned a Liberal Parliament by wide majorities, who vowed to support our programs. The Spanish, whose romantic advances we denied, became enemies to the Crown, and bitter ones at that.

Meanwhile, Russia was expanding and making enemies. As our forebears expected when they sowed the seeds for this war two hundred years ago in Transoxiana, the itch to expand, and the itch of their neighbors to stop them, proved too great to not scratch. Ivan III, commonly called Ivan the Terrible, declared war on the Golden Horde and Persia in 1540 AD. When the ambassadors of Persia and China denounced his actions together to his face at court, he declared war on them too. Persia requested the assistance of the Sultanate of Aceh and the Ottoman Empire, which both granted it and declared war in 1542 AD. The Holy Roman Empire, which had through marriage conquered the whole of Scandinavia, saw its chance to seize territory and declared in 1544 AD. For the first time since the inception of the British Raj, all Asia was at war.

Ivan The Terrible's War began to be wound down in 1586 AD at the Versailles Conference. All participants to the war were invited, and the French, Germans and Chinese took the lead in negotiating with Russia. However, they wanted less punitive terms than the other powers: Germany felt her eastern borders secure with several allies behind her only able to attack Russia from that direction, and only wanted territory; France was only involved for Germany's sake, and China welcomed a weakened Mongolia now turned to defending itself against Russia instead of trying to re-conquer China. The Treaty of Versailles thus recognized Russian gains from Siberia to Kamchatka.

However, the other powers in the anti-Russian coalition demurred. The Ottoman Empire and Mali, being Muslim states, refused to stop fighting until the Islamic Khanate of Sibir was restored to Muslim rule, either through independence or conquest. Islamic Persia, to whose defense the coalition powers sprang, concurred with that goal and also hung on for its life as Russian raids would occasionally manage to sack Bukhara or Samarkand before they retook the cities (such being the vagaries of cavalry warfare). The Golden Horde refused to lay down arms because Russia now owned much of their former territory.

As Russia, France, Germany and China signed the Treaty of Versailles, Mongolia and Persia's representatives stormed out, joined by Turkey and Mali. A wedge, a large wedge, was now driven between the anti-Russian coalition, as the non-Muslim and non-Mongol states downed their arms and the Muslims and Mongols fought on. The Mongols came to slowly adopt Islam and Persian culture, and the Persian Ilkhanate stressed its Mongol origins. The two states became much more close, and this Muslim-Mongol culture was increasingly adopted in Turkey and Mali by war veterans. This rump coalition now referred to itself as the Sibir Coalition, for their goal to drive Russia back beyond Sibir.

A wedge was also driven between the Muslim world. The Sibir Coalition resented the Muslim states that had sat on the sidelines. The Mameluke Empire, being the master of half of Africa, was especially loathed, as it was believed their intervention would have been decisive. Invective was not spared on the Sultans of Aden, Muscat and Mecca, tied more closely to the British than their fellow Muslims.

We realized that it was not a given that this wedge would endure, and also that we shared an interest with Russia in preventing the stronger union of the Muslim world. Mameluke intervention would have been decisive, and should the next jihad be declared against an "infidel" state that conquered a Muslim state - like perhaps the Sultanate of Delhi - they might actually prevail. Not just in India, not just in Arabia, but possibly even South Africa.

So it was decided - while the Sibir Coalition was distracted fighting Russia, the Muslim capability to conquer India and Arabia had to be dealt with for all time. King Ceawlin's War must be renewed, a thousand years later, against a Muslim kingdom instead of a Greek one. And if possible, the most far-flung member of the Sibir Coalition, Mali, must be defeated too. In 1588 AD we declared war.

The southern front was the most promising. Beira, a Portuguese colony abandoned to the Mamelukes, was the first reclaimed by our forces, and we promised to restore it to the heirs of Portugal; namely the united Spanish crown. (Though they are troublesome and growing increasingly aggressive, we hope diplomatic overtures such as this will keep relations with them peaceful.) This handover was accomplished after the conquest of Dar es Salaam in 1598 AD.

We sacked the Mameluke fortress city of Mussumba in 1596 AD, in another daring cavalry raid against all odds by the Royal Zealander Regiment. Mussumba was razed to the ground to prevent its further military domination of the area, though Luanda will be handed over to the French. We founded the city of Salisbury in Rhodesia, and the town and territory were named for two of the cavalry officers that first entered Mussumba.

The war on the northern front bogged down not far from the Suez Canal. The Muslims of Egypt, roused by their leaders, attacked the Army of the Nile in suicidal waves. Bereft of modern technology, they bombarded our forces with homemade catapults from behind the city walls of every major town and village. However, finally, in 1600 AD, with our health declining, we received word that Cairo had fallen. We took heart from this - with Cairo ours, the rest of the Mameluke Empire should pass into our control; it is only a matter of time.

As for the people of Cairo... should every Mameluke citadel provide such spirited resistance to our forces, the country will never be ours. Therefore, we have authorized the Army of the Nile to execute every civilian that can be identified as a resister, but to otherwise treat the population with the utmost kindness and deference. The Liberals, who would have denounced this behaviour as a war crime in times past, are safely in government, where they can do no harm on this issue. We expect that, hearing about our treatment of Cairo, the other cities will capitulate with much less resistance, and such resistance as presents itself will be according to the laws of war, and dealt with fairly on that basis.

We are rightly proud of our accomplishments. We inherited an empire rent asunder, and navigated the tides of profane fortune to reunite it, govern it with and for the sake of our subjects, and established it even stronger and larger than it ever has been. It will remain to our descendants to finish the conquest of Egypt and wider Africa, and to oversee the partitioning of the Mameluke Empire. I suspect our bard, William Shakespeare, will have occasion to write many other plays along the lines of The Zealander Regiment and An Englishman In Alexandria even after our passing.

From the reign of King James of the British Empire (1603 AD - 1625 AD)

We received the word of our succession as we sat in the royal box at the Globe Theatre, watching a production of King Beorhtric. Elizabeth had finally died, and Parliament granted us the throne.

Queen Elizabeth's War continued, though she did not. We saw it as our duty to bring it to a successful conclusion, in order to do honor to her memory. The people disagreed, and war riots reached an unprecedented level. In Canada, in Guiana, in India, and even my own Scotland did they riot. We increased spending on jails to deal with the rioters, but the Liberals that continued to control Parliament demanded more social spending, as well as spending on modern-day "panem et circensem" in the form of public theatres and colosseums, and even a make-work project carving the faces of Queen Elizabeth, Edward III Longshanks, William I and Ceawlin - all monarchs that chose to expand the British Empire - into the side of Khyber Pass.

After the fall of Cairo, it was like a great dam broke, and our troops came washing through, sweeping away the remnants of the ancien regime. The hinterlands of Egypt, hearing that we made the guerrillas of Cairo dig their own graves before our soldiers shot them for target practice, have been cowed upon the Army of the Nile's arrival in their towns. Bad news travels faster than good, it seems, and so our troops' reputations are downright villainous. After they have occupied a town for a few weeks and the locals discover they are secure in their persons and property, things settle down some. But Elizabeth's actions in Cairo seem to have worked, bloody though they be.

The Army of Southern Africa, having burned Mussumba to the ground, has a similarly frightful reputation, but has been possessed of it for longer. Perhaps this explains their relative ease in conquering territory.

Finally, though, the Army of the Nile and the Army of Southern Africa reached the final redoubt of the Mameluke Empire - Khartoum. Holed up in the chief city of the Sudan, they fought bitterly, but were nonetheless overcome in the final balance. In 1618 AD, Khartoum fell, and the last of the Mamelukes surrendered to our custody. We were the masters of Egypt, and Egypt's colonial empire in Africa.

From the reigns of Kings Charles and William of Orange of the British Empire (1625 AD - 1714 AD)

The conquest of the Mameluke Empire assured us that our Empire could not be threatened by pan-Muslim unity. However, it has helped stir that pan-Muslim unity, and we are now the only power that shares a border with every single Muslim power. We therefore endeavour to weaken the threat of that unity by preemptively eliminating one front of that potential war: Mali. If our African possessions are secure from attack, they will be a sure base to reinforce Asia. Therefore, we must divide Mali like the Americans and Spanish divided Peru, and declared war in 1640 AD.

We cited as reason for our declaration the Malinese colony of Niani in Australia. After literally centuries of diplomacy, they not only have not sold the colony to us, but have encouraged the Arabian colony of New Damascus to unite in an anti-British federation. And indeed, it is our hope, our esperance, to obtain Niani for our efforts, as well as parts of Malinese territory in Africa.

The initial engagements were close affairs. HMS St. Andrew sunk a Malinese destroyer within sight of the port of Walvis Bay, and the submarine HMS Trident attacked a Malinese destroyer off the South Australian coast and then HMS Britannia dealt the finishing blow. Our troops marched overland and conquered Marrakesh, and made our way towards Dakar, Tripoli, Walvis Bay, Niani and Kuka. Our forces are advancing on all fronts, the Royal Navy is ruling the waves, and we shall accomplish our partitioning of Africa handily at this rate.

The capture of Niani occurred in 1650, as the 13th Australian Infantry overpowered the 4th Hizb al-Janoubiya and accepted its surrender. With that, the Malinese colony of al-Janoubiya was no more; there was only Australia. The colonial government was immediately staffed with loyal subjects of the Crown, and al-Janoubiya Governorate was divided between the colonies of South Australia and Western Australia. Niani was renamed "Esperance" after the famous "Esperance Speech" of the War Liberal Lord Halifax, hoping for the British union of all Australia.

This left only the independent city of Dimasq, which hurried to sign a protectorate agreement with us after equivocating to see which side won the war. The protectorate agreement gave us troop basing rights, and in the event that the sheikh failed to produce a male heir, the city would become British territory.

Meanwhile, Walvis Bay fell. The city, having been founded and still largely populated by German traders and fishermen, was eager to accept the rule of a European power. They quickly organized a colonial government, and began negotiations to unify Cape Colony, Transvaal, Natal, and the Orange Free State into a greater Union of South Africa. Stronger inter-colony organization can only reduce the strain on Imperial resources, and so is highly encouraged by the Crown.

We decided to hand over much of Malinese territory to European powers. Tripoli was reunited with the Western Roman Empire, and the rest of the Malinese Empire in Africa was handed over to the French, to put them on equal footing to the rest of the European powers. With the fall of Timbuktu, the war was over.

With that, we decided the Empire could rest victorious. The turmoil of the Elizabethan Era will not be repeated; the Empire is united behind the democratic program of the War Liberals, although a real challenge to the consensus has been raised at long last - not by the Tories, but the Peace Liberals. This splinter faction denounced the Anglo-Malinese War, and then teamed up with socialist labour activists to push their message. After the war, the Peace Liberals changed their name to the Labour Party.

This new Labour Party quickly stole the wind out of War Liberal (well, now just Liberal) sails. They won control of the Imperial Parliament and quickly made some constitutional changes to the Empire. We were concerned at first, but upon further reflection these reforms continue on the wartime colonial reforms, so we gave them our assent. The various colonies of Australia and South Africa had united in wartime, and in many places our colonies were no longer mere colonies, but great nations in their own right. The recent war was waged on land completely by a competent Australian Army in the Pacific theatre, and largely fought in Africa by local soldiers drawn from South Africa, the various Arabic protectorates and colonies, and British Morocco.

Labour redeployed the Imperial troops to Britain proper, after noticing the timeworn defenses of the home islands. The scope of the Imperial Parliament was decreased to defence, common economic regulations and the taxation necessary to maintain them, and new Parliaments were created as colony groupings were made Dominions. A new Dominion of Canada now had a Canadian Parliament voting funding for a Canadian Army; the Dominions of South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, India (even though it was properly styled the "Indian Empire," it functioned as a Dominion), Morocco, and Amazonia were likewise created. As self-governing nations of the British Empire, they felt considerable autonomy, but shared a common Imperial Parliament through which war, trade and pensions were organized.

Moreover, the Labour diplomatic agenda came to fruition. Dedicated to peace, they proposed an entity to be called the "United Nations," wherein nations could resolve their differences in peace. Given the balance of largely European forces throughout the world, most other nations considered it a useful idea, and Edinburgh - the seat of the most predominant branch of Christianity, Celtic Orthodoxy, as well as a safe Labour seat - was chosen to be the headquarters. The Treaty of Inverness was signed in 1678 AD, establishing the United Nations in Edinburgh and voting in Henry Montagu, Earl of Manchester and the wartime Liberal Prime Minister, as the first Secretary General.

The United Nations proved its worth in 1704, when our government was able to sponsor a Security Council resolution banning slavery worldwide, and it acheived unanimous consent there and in the General Assembly. After that, a resolution was proposed uniting the world's currencies. The Earth pound is now the global currency, and the International Monetary Fund, which regulates the currency, is headquartered in Edinburgh and Geneva.

Our final diplomatic success in this period was inheriting the Arabic colony of Dimasq upon the sheikh's death in 1713. The resident ambassador in Dimasq upon the sheikh's death was Lord Perth, who immediately proclaimed the colony united with the state of Western Australia. Lord Perth's long and expertly played diplomatic game in Dimasq begat him a further reward when we renamed the city to honor him.

From the reign of King George III of the British Empire (1752 AD - 1820 AD)

We began our reign with two suns in the Australian desert.

The Uluru Testing Range, near Alice Springs, witnessed the first fissile reaction in human history. Scientists believe that it is this same sort of reaction that makes the sun hot. Our spies in Aceh reported that it set off seismographs there, and we embarked on a crash nuclear arms stockpiling program. We created 10 multi-warhead missiles while everyone else was still unsure if nuclear weapons were feasible, although towards the end, foreign intelligence agencies had gathered something important was happening in the British Empire, and had gotten wind of the basic idea.

We then moved our stockpiles into hiding... mostly, this was refitted castles. We invested in historical preservation, and under the guise of protecting historical monuments we were able to build whole launch complexes underground, with the silos under old castle towers, rigged so their ceilings would pivot away in the event of a launch. We also created items more specifically intended as silos. We knew that the world would be watching, but that they would only be watching for certain things, and they wouldn't fully know what to look for.

We then preempted growing debate about a potential British arsenal by announcing that we had one, but would voluntarily relinquish it provided the whole rest of the world signed a Comprehensive Nuclear Weapons Treaty banning them and providing for mechanisms for the ban's enforcement. We invited the world to review our nuclear weapons mounted in their silos... not the real ones in the castles, of course, but the ones we built for display. We offered terms so stringent upon us and all future nuclear states that the world was amazed at our magnanimity, and signed before we regained our sanity.

We now have the only nuclear arsenal on Earth, and safeguards to prevent anyone else from getting one. Should we ever use them in wartime, the results would be... terrible for us, to say the least. But if we need them, they are there.

In 1776 AD, a vote was held in the United Nations General Assembly. Germany and France were preparing for war, signing treaties with nearby nations. The Roman Empire signed a treaty with Germany, with Germany promising them lost Byzantium if the Ottomans were to enter for the French, as their treaty dictated. Russia and France shored up ties, as did Japan. Germany promised Spain the French colonies in Africa if they entered on their side.

This web of entangling alliances threatened to rip the whole world asunder. We insisted, with our Labour-headed national unity government, to stay out of it all. We had defensive pacts with both Russia and America, but that would be irrelevant if Russia declared an offensive war. For allies, we did not need foreigners; we had allies aplenty throughout the Empire. Should Britain be imperilled, Canada, Australia, Amazonia, South Africa, New Zealand, India, Arabia, Egypt, and Kenya would rush to her aid. Or so spoke the Prime Minister, the Tory member for South Norwich, Lord Nelson.

At that, a brilliant senior diplomat in the French government, Monsieur Talleyrand, had the oddest idea: putting a vote of annexation into the British Empire to the United Nations. The United Nations wasn't built to handle anything like this, and due to an oversight in the wording, the legal instrument to resolve this proposal would be a population-weighted vote in the General Assembly.

Talleyrand, representing a democratic polity that valued its independence, knew that every single other nation on Earth would vote against this proposal, including his. However, he calculated that even if only the British Empire voted for the proposal, it would still pass, as Britain has over 60% of the world's population. The vote was formally held in 1776 AD - the year that all the nations of the world declared their dependence on the British Crown. And as soon as that came to pass, whichever alliance failed to accept the results would then find itself at war with the other side, as well as Britain.

So Britain ended up conquering the world - not through weapons, but through diplomacy, and it was a Frenchman's idea to save the world from the horrors of some great war. The United Nations' name has been changed to the Commonwealth of Nations, we have been acknowledged as its head and our issue will lay claim to the title, and the governments of all the nations of the world are now our devolved subjects. Earth is united, and the British system of liberal parliamentary democracy is taking root in each country.

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