Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Riots and sortitions

Barcelona, 14th October 1713

Both news arrived almost simultaneously in Barcelona, and simultaneously spread throughout the Principality too, with the expansive force of gunpowder --with not less explosive consequences.

News came from Vienna first --overtime and to some extent unexpected to many: Lady Elisenda Folc de Cardona had been formally crowned as Princess by Archduke Charles and later was summoned to Versailles, where the Legate Marquis of Vilana was already waiting for her. Visible results of a complex sequence of negotiations carried out at Monte-Cristo, Rastatt and Versailles had just begun to be publicly known now, like a delicate piece of tatting parsimoniously unfolded face to one's eyes.

And news came from Madrid too, for Philip d'Anjou's queen consort, Marie-Louise of Savoy, who was affectionately known as "La Saboyana" by her subjects, had died the week before at an early age of just 25 years old, victim of a deadly illness. No one in Catalonia openly rejoiced, because even there was kept a fond memories of that pretty, extroverted girl who had become Queen of Spain a few years ago --but to no one escaped that such mournful event would have hit hard their enemies' morale, particularly that one of king Philip V.

Under influence of both combined news there were great celebrations everywhere in the Principality. Sadly, at some places there were incidents and riots too, with damages to properties of signified botiflers. But the most significant event would happen in Lleida city, under Two Crowns troops occupation since 1707. An euphoric, exalted crowd assaulted the City Council and the local militia battleflag was raised from a balcony mast. After this, the arsenal locks were forced and the armed crowd rushed against the Two Crowns garrison, who had to flee up to the fortress overlooking the town.

Revolt had broken out in Lleida.

Some in Barcelona managed to take the news pretty more calmly and thoughtfully, however. The internal situation had taken a dramatic turn, and they ought to respond with bold and fast measures. It was necessary for them to perform now. After a long secret meeting of representatives belonging to the Busca popular party, their leader Rafael Casanova went straightly to the City Council --conveniently followed by a good number of his most loyal supporters-- and demanded an interview with Major Manuel Flix.

--This city needs a new goverment. Sortition must be called for, right now! --he claimed.

Intimidated, Major Flix agreed; he had no other chance anyway for, had it not been for the war, the elections process would have been called for long ago. The sortition date was set to November 1st.


Mosqueter Vidal said...

We propose two variables for your scene of Lleida's riot.

1. Meanwhile the battle of Prats de Rei lasted (1711), aproximatly 600 cerverins were exiling themselves in Lleida. There were whole families, but many men in arms. They arrived in Lleida with their Coronela's flag (militia's flag), and more importantly, with cerverines authorities.
2. The militia of Lleida was disarmed and disbanded after the Bourbon assault in 1707. For several months, the city had no more than 300 residents. By 1713, much of the population consisted of exiled cerverins, fanatic supporters of Bourbon cause.

I'm telling you if you want to reflect this division among neighbors to increase the arguments may have in their favor the Bourbon garrison and add even more suspense elements.

Soldadets said...

Hi, Mosqueter Vidal!

Thanks for this useful suggestion.

I cannot apply it in a strictly historical way, because in our own campign game Cervera town raised its Coronela militia against king Philip's troops and were crushed by them.

However, your suggestion allows me placing some pro-Bourbon civilians in game too. As you said, this would allow a wider uncertainty on results...

And it even gives to me some supplementary storyboard ideas!