Thursday, April 14, 2016

Post-war (3): 1714 Starting point

Please allow me a lighting quick review on the main challenges and troubles the Principality, and each of the countries most directly related to it, will have to face in the next months:

As for Spain, the first months of 1714 will be plentiful of challenges –a compulsory army downsizing for instance, but also a dramatical need to rebuild its naval power, crumbled down during the Succession War; not to say about restoring the Treasure Fleet route, apparently broken a couple of years ago. In the meantime, Spain will not do any step eventually worrying the European powers. Nevertheless, king Philip V's own plans in the long term include overtaking the terms of Utrecht and Rastatt treaties in two fronts: First of all, He'll secretly begin financing in France a party favourable to Himself --for he's still ambitioning to rejoin the Two Crowns under His own rule. Furthermore, under the excuse of restoring routes to America, the secret purpose under rebuilding a powerful fleet lies on using it for reverting territorial losses in the Mediterranean (not only Milan, Naples, Sicily and Sardinia as historically, but our what-if Catalonia and Majorca as well).

Regarding France, it is expected to live the last months of Louis XIV rule and the political struggle between Louis-Auguste de Bourbon and Philip d'Orléans for settling who is to perform as Regent in the age minority of Louis XV –with Philip of Spain intrigues behind. From a more practical point of view, France is exhausted after the long war, so that expense reduction measures are dramatically compulsory too: not just by means of the army reduction, but using the American colonies in a more profitable way –such as lending the whole French Louisiana in monopoly to Antoine Crozat's Compagnie de la Louisiane --an event just happened in 1712, BTW.

Not to forget, Austria: Vienna concerns in the second half of 1714 are going to focus suddenly on the escalation of tensions between Venice and the Ottoman Empire, that will eventually flow into open hostilities in December 1714. Then, a powerful Ottoman army will launch an invasion of Venetian territories in Greece. Bond to Venice by an alliance, Austria will have to take some action on the matter --an action still reluctant to take, due to being licking its own wounds yet.

And what about our Principality? First of all, it will have to start 1714 by endeavoring a substantial reduction of its army too --as formally required by king Louis XIV in a particular clause. In order to fulfill such requirement, all fictional units will be disbanded while many of the historical ones may suffer some kind of reform or merging. General Villarroel's staff will have to device a plan to minimize the effect of so a drastical reduction –whose extent has been already solo gamed by myself with quite surprising results! (it all will be explained soon, in due time). Such critical measures will of course relieve the young State asphyxiated finances, but will undoubtedly plunge the Catalan society into the issues of reabsorbing a mass of demobilized soldiers, or granting a pension to a number of war invalids. Here finances will be key too, and will require imaginative, bold solutions...

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