Death to the West - A Persian HPM AAR - Part 4

Author: ElvenAshwin
Published: 2017-02-06, edited: 1970-01-01

Part of the campaign:

Death to the West - A Persian HPM AAR

Previous part:

Game: Victoria 2

Death to the West - A Persian HPM AAR - Part 3

Images: 55, author: ElvenAshwin, published: 2017-02-06, edited: 1970-01-01

A Brave New World
Where we last left off, the Persian Empire had finally come to a state that could be described as modern or westernized.

The influx of foreigners and the embracing of foreign ideals and technology has led to a substantial population boom in Persia. Now that the Shah has brought us to the 19th century, the journey begins to Make Persia Great Again
With the westernization efforts completed, taxation and administrative efficiency gone way up. Western technology has greatly boosted the income of the government and the productivity of our fine nation.

Now we can afford to pay our armies enough to grow a substantial, world-class military force capable of resisting the enemy of the all states - Russia.
Typically, it is important that fledgling nations invest into promoting ideological thought, as it improves the plurality and scientific output of the nation. However, the Shah has already imported western books on similar matters and hence has kick started the discussion of ideologies in Persia.
Persia is Perfect!
Now, however, all those western books tend to paint Persia in a bad light. They make Persia out to be this backwater place, just because we have outbreaks of the Black Death every two years and sanitation is a luxury good.

So the Shah commissions a committee to begin promoting idealistic thought, to get his people to focus on what a perfect Persia would be. Then, they'd realize Persia is already perfect! Its a foolproof plan
Operation Barbarossa
It appears that the Germans are at it again, participating in the time honored tradition of invading Russia and then dying of the cold.
Real Imperialism
Now that Persia has joined the rest of the world, its imperialist machine can come into full swing. The Shah had an orgasm just thinking about it.

He considers Bukhara as a first candidate for Persianization
Fucking the Russians is top priority
But ultimately he decides that the Russians have a high chance of annexing the Khivan Khanate first, so he should grab a piece of that pie.

After all, its the Shah's job to liberate Central Asians from potential Russian oppression. Really, they ought to be grateful for our conquests
What do you mean, no?
The loyal conservatives that have advised the Shah in all his dealings refuse to build factories! They insist that the "free market" and its "invisible hand" will build factories when needed.
The Shah promptly fires them and appoints some reactionary islamists to his council. Everyone knows capitalists lack the IQ to build factories, papa Big Government needs to do it for them.
Yes... good... good
The two Great Enemies, the Ottoman Empire and Russia, are at war with one another. The British, passing through our territory, invade the Russian Caucasus. It is a bright day for Persia, because our enemies stooping lower implies us rising in the world.
The Shah explains his ideas involving annexing southern Khiva to the British, expecting them to sympathize with him. Whilst the British would enjoy a chance to fuck with Russia, they're also a tad bit worried about Persia growing too strong.

The Shah accumulates some level of international anger from this plan, but not enough for him to caree
A Powerhouse!
Persia is recognized now as a regional power. Whilst we are still not an equal to our neighbors, under the glory of the Shah we will restore the might of the Afsharids and Achaeminids.

Well probably not the latter.
The Parliament
The Shah decides that, hey, you know what? All this "lawmaking" is hard work. He instead creates a Parliament, appoints members to it (from ideology-based parties) and has them debate over potential bills and laws. Whilst he still reigns supremely and absolutely, atleast now someone else can take the blame for his oppression.
Yes, sure
The Parliament is tasked with dealing with an unruly and unhappy populace, annoyed by the influx of foreigners. They decide to grant the people the amazing right to meet in public!

Of course what they don't know is that 50% of every public gathering is made out of intelligence officials and soldiers ready to fire on anyone who dares question the Shah
Para Bellum
As the Shah continues to justify his annexation of Khivan Turkmenistan to the world, he begins to start buying weapons. Troops are rushed to the border. Persia is ready to civilize some horse people.
Civilization has arrived!
With the backing of the British and the Russians agreeing not to intervene, the Persian military moves into Khiva. Their long time ally, the Kokkand Khanate, declares war on Persia in response.
This will be fun
Of course, all this means is more blood for the Shah - our modernized army is like nothing these backwards savages have seen before.

We will march in an civilize and them - its the Persian Man's Burden.
Rightful German Lands
Alsace-Lorraine is captured by the North German Federation. With that, the German Empire is proclaimed, with Germany finally unified under one political entity. The Shah watches with interest - both him and the Germans share an inherent disgust with Russians
Pew Pew
Kokkand attempts to resist our inevitable advance north. However, their pikes and horses are no match for our cannons and pistols.
No resistance
The Khivan Khanate loses its entire force in a single battle, and our armies march north to occupy all of Turkmenistan.

Meanwhile, back at home, support for the war is at an all time low, to the Shah's surprise. Many Persians are still worried about local affairs, such as feeding their children at least once a week.
Peace? Hah
The Khan offers to surrender Turkmenistan in exchange for the withdrawal of Persian troops. We laugh - our intention is to annex pieces of Kokkand as well.

All must be saved from the Russians!
... Really?
Unfortunately, parliament informs the Shah that there is very little jingoistic attitude in Persia, and it's dropping. Where once there was fierce support for any and all war, For the Glory of the Shah, the westerners have introduced putrid ideas, such as that wars need "justification".
With that in mind, the Shah invites the Grey Khan over for dinner. The Khivans are forced north to the Aral Sea, Turkmenistan is annexed into the Persian Central Asian Territories, under a colonial governor.

The Brits applaud, for we have learned well from them
Those borders, though
The Shah hasn't been able to rest since the annexation of Turkmenistan. The purple Khan - our friend just decades ago, still holds a part of Turkmenistan. We cannot let this stand!
The Shah, ever happy to support philosophy, now turns his attention to the idea of Empiricism - the notion that experience and evidence is needed to formulate ideas. He proposes - or rather, the Scientific Committee proposes, that it will further Persian research and scientific advancement. Granted, he thought that "Empiricism" had something to do with conquering things.

He orders books to be commissioned, but this irks several Persian theologians. They argue that the notion he described isn't compatible with faithful belief.

The Shah dismisses this - Persia shall not be forced to choose between science and religion.

Also, who wants a religious flame war?
The Persian Man's Burden
In order to correct the heinous crime that is Persia's present borders, the Shah begins to discuss the proposal of the expansion of the Persian Central Asian Territories, in order to counter recent Russian proposals of annexing the Khivan Khanate as it is "too weak" to stand on its own.
The Shah ups funding to government bureaucrats, who are already living luxurious lives, in the hopes of attracting more.
Oh dear
Voting rights? VOTING RIGHTS?

The Shah flies into a rage. It appears that western thought, combined with his setting up of a western-style Parliament (though not elected) has convinced the people that perhaps voting on their parliament might be a good idea.

The Shah is disgusted - he orders a crackdown and the burning of any books or foreigners who bring up the idea.

How dare they question the god-given right of the Shah to rule! He got it when his ancestor overthrew the last set of Shahs and conquered Persia. And everyone knows Allah loves a winner.
After lengthy discussions with the British, its decided that the Russians pose enough of a threat to central asia for Persia to be granted the right to occupy it for the time being.
The Persian military begins to move into Bukhara upon the declaration of war. The Khan flees into hiding, accusing Persia of being a "big bully".
Bukharan resistance is swiftly destroyed as Persian forces begin to occupy both Bukhara and Turkmenistan.
It hurts our literacy? To Death with it!
As Persian colonial conquests continue, the Shah proposes to the Parliament, in order to calm down a population unsure of Persian imperialism, that they begin to formulate a debtor's law that deals away with systems of peonage. In particular, he isn't a fan of how it hurts the children and prevents them from getting a good Persian education that teaches kids both how to count to 7 and stab a Russian.
Parliament accepts
The Parliament's conservatives, terrified of rising militancy and potential reprisal attacks against conservative politicians, side with the liberal faction and pass the law into existence.
Over before you know it
After Turkmenia is occupied, the Shah baits out the hiding Bukharan Khan by dressing up a horse in slutty clothing. Once he is captured, he is made to agree to the terms.

The border is finally beautiful!
Hmm... China
The Shah now begins to discuss proposals with the British about granting Persia special trading rights to China. The Brits laugh it off, they point out that Persia has nowhere near the required military capacity to maintain a Chinese port or force China to their terms.
Angered by this, the Shah begins to construct a grand army, once capable of spreading Persian rule and might across the globe.

We'll still die if the Russians ever think to attack, but atleast we can oppress the Negro and Orientals.
True Persian Patriots
Persians love their country! As you see, very few of them flee for better shores. The rest of them realize that staying home and improving Persia, by joining the army one man at a time, is the best course of action.

Also they're a bit too hungry to make the journey before collapsing.
The Death of Conservativism
The conservative movement in Persia is all but dead. Instead, it has been hijacked by the religious far-right extremists, the reactionary elements in Parliament.

Nonetheless, the Shah decides who rules, and the Shah is never wrong.
Building up support
The Shah blocks any further reforms by Parliament. He believes that, by sabotaging Parliament and getting the people angry, he can blackmail them into passing social reforms such as basic education requirements. It's good to be Shahanshah!
The Shah decides its time to begin industrializing, although his focuses are still primarily on building up a strong intellectual community and boosting literacy
Of course!
The Shah receives a request, asking for the ability to set up a factory in the Central Asian Territories. Whilst such factories will effectively abuse the locals, the Shah does enjoy corporate tax money. Besides, hard work can make them better understand the Persian Way!
Hey guys, its not so bad!
Based off the encouragement of empirical thought, the Shah('s advisory committee) proposes that Persia's intellectuals begin studying Positivism. Positivism is an idea, related to empiricism, that knowledge is based off natural occurences and their properties.

It hence goes further to say that all of reality is governed by a set number of laws that can be described by humans.

By teaching this in Persian schools and intellectual circles, the Shah can then help develop the basis of the Scientific Method, inevitably improving the standard of science in the Empire.
Blackmail works
Our Glorious Shah's mastery of political strategy now has resulted in the Parliament agreeing to his basic education proposals.

Also, he threatened to execute them in public via unruly peasants if they didn't agree, which helped swing the pendulum a little.
The Basic Education Decree
The Shah proclaims the Basic Education Decree, which states that all Persian children aged 5-12 must attend a Persian school which teaches a national curriculum. This curriculum will impart essential knowledge such as fundamental math, reading and why the Persian race is superior to all else.
Deus Vult?
The Heavenly Kingdom continues to expand, posing a threat to all neighboring states should they begin to reform
It seems that they're also just about to unify China, as their troops cross into Manchuria, where members of the Qing dynasty's Royal Family have been hiding. Once Manchuria is annexed, China will be under one banner again. One Christian banner.

The Shah sighs - why can't the Chinese Muslims be this innovative and take the initiative to conquer China?
Hah, backwater savages
Thankfully for everyone else in the world, the fundamentalists and religious nutjobs in charge of the Heavenly Kingdom have kept it a backwards state incapable of putting up a fight.

Thankfully, Persia would never do that.

In other news, we beheaded three people today for accidentally making eye contact with the Shah's fourth wife.
With scientific theory now well developed in Persia, philosophers, under the instruction of the Royal Persian Scientific Committee (previously the Ministry of Sciencey Stuff), begin to think about the structure of societies, and how they maintain stability.

In particular, the latter, because the Shah needs help.

Great Idea!
The philosophers studying Functionalism come to the stunning conclusion that propaganda helps maintain social cohesion. The Shah hence enlists the help of nationalist friends to spread propaganda, closely watched over by the Persian Freedom People's Not Autocratic Friends For All Family Press Inspection Board.
Would you like a trade agreement with England?
Persia has long held extensive ties with Britain. Now that Persia is rising amongst world powers, the Shah suggests to the British that the two join in a formal alliance, in return for greater Persian support of Britain against Russia.

The Brits aren't entirely convinced yet, however.
We kinda need men to run these
The Shah puts industrialization on a hold. He is using the vast majority of his government's abilities to encourage intellectuals - there is no capacity left to encourage craftsmen to populate the factories.

It is essential, the Shah insists, the Persia set up a strong education system before we industrialize. We wouldn't want brain dead children running our sweatshops - we want children who can count.

Well, before the sickness kicks in due to coal smoke inhalation.
Filthy Russian progressives!
In other news, the Russian Empire recently occupied and annexed the remnants of the Khivan Khanate. This now makes the situation in Central Asia more urgent than ever. The Shah begins to pressure the British again into an alliance.

Furthermore, the weak, pathetic Russian Czar has been forced to switch to a constitutional monarchy, surrendering some elements of his absolutist power. Persians, however, would never do that our Glorious Shah!

Long live the Shah!
Out of the SOI
Kokkand, it appears, is no longer a Russian sphereling. This means that Russian influence in the region has been heavily curbed.

Unfortunately, Persia has a truce with the Khan, and cannot occupy his land to save him from the Russian imperialists.
With social structures studied, the RPSC begins to encourage developments in the field of Biology. In particular, they begin discussing evolution.

The clergy and the Shah are alarmed. Several clergymen demand that such talk is heretical, and deserves a good burning at the stake. The Shah, however, desperate to make Persia a global scientific hub, is forced to defend the scientists against the reactionaries, earning him several enemies.

Enemies, which are close to him and capable of... doing things.
Huh, that can't be good
The pathetic state to the south of us apparently wants to join in the Russian-bashing fun.
A bit more than a puppet
The silly Baluchi's in Makran get annexed into the British Raj.

With an annexation so close to Persia, an alarmed Shah invites Queen Victoria to dinner. Again, however, the Brits send the Indian man named Jim.
More wine?
After several bottles of wine, some opiates and occasional threats of execution, Jim and the British delegation draft the Anglo-Persian Alliance Treaty of 1869. Britain promises greater collaboration with Persia and guarantees their independence in the face of any and all external threats.
The Prime Minister approves
Whilst the British Parliament suspect us of having drugged Jim, they are overall accepting of our proposal of alliance. However, they have a condition. They do not want to be seen as associating with a backwards state... specifically referencing Persian treatement of minority slaves.
To enslave or not to enslave
The Shah tells his people that he wants to free the slaves, simply because they're "better off as other professions". In reality, many in Persia realize that he is falling deeper into the influence of the British.

Anger and resentment against the Shah grows.
In order to appease the reactionary warhawks, the Shah decides to participate in a national pasttime - oppressing Afghans. It seems, however, that the Afghans have secured Britain's protection.

Damned minorities, thinking just like us.
Literacy grows
The Shah aims for roughly 4% of his population to be involved in academia or education. The rate at which the populace is being educated is stunning, and he intends to increase it.

Whilst his extensive focus on science and education is hampering the military capacity of Persia, he argues that, with British support, a strong military is not necessary. Instead, Persia can take the time to level the playing field with the Europeans first - then crush them with industrial growth and rapid militarization.

As he put it to the Russian Czar - "We will bury you".
The Slavery Abolition Decree
After months of building up support, in early 1870 the Shah proclaims the Slavery Abolition Decree, freeing roughly 10% of Persia's population from slavery.

A new era dawns in Persia. The Shah still hates the fuck out of minorities, and we still pay them pennies and spit on them regularly, but if the Europeans like it then whatever, we suppose.
The Congress of Berlin
As the Ottoman Empire declines, European powers meet to decide the fate of the Balkans. The Shah snickers. Persia would never be such a bitch to the Europeans.

Anyway. More tea with that, Madam Smith?
Administration improving
The Shah is satisfied with the improvements in government administration, but still finds it a bit too low for his taste. In particular, it means that forced career chang- I mean, pop promotion, happens slower which prevents us from forcing farmers to become scientists.
Encouraging bureaucrats
The government begins to put out posters for bureaucrat recruitment.

"Join the government today! Your friends will hate you, but you can just steal their money and pretend they're taxes!"
The RPSC takes a break off advancing cultural fields. In order to deal with high attrition and low suppply limits plaguing Persia, as well as all those civilians dying of preventable diseases (mainly the former, though), they begin to research Medicine and encourage doctors.
The Dark Continent
Africa remains asleep. The Scramble for Africa has yet to begin, though the Shah is excited about potential Persian colonization of Africa.
Bloody minorities
Stupid minorities in Central Asia are complaining about minor grievances such as torture and wage slavery. We don't really care. Send in the troops!
The Russian Bear is coming!
Kokkand is peacefully annexed by Russia.The Khan reportedly willingly subjugated himself to avoid Persian aggression.

This is blatant Russian propaganda. Why on earth would you choose Russian dictators over Persian Dictators? A Czar over a Shah?

Persia's military is now clamoring for the Shah to annex the remainder of Bukhara. We cannot let the poor minorities in Central Asia suffer under Russian rule! It is our moral responsibility, our burden as Persia.

The Shah Wills It!
Hey Britain, you uh cool with this
The Shah, furious with Russian expansionism, decides to take matters into his own hands. He will not let Persia be afraid of or dictated around by foreign powers! The time to seize Bukhara and make a statement to Russia, is now! Hail the Shah!

He contacts the Brits and begs them to support his annexation of Bukhara, offering more concessions in exchange for their help.
Vacation time
Whilst Persian officials build up local support for the movement, the Shah takes a vacation to Europe to discuss his annexation proposals. It is the first time a Persian Shah has gone to Europe!
Expand the State
After returning home from Europe, the Shah instructs his scientists to study the notions of State and Government in Europe, and introduce them to Persia.

This way, he hopes, he can build up the nationalist and imperialistic support for Persia's ambitions
Yes. That.
The officials manage to convince Parliament that the Bukharans, are indeed, "coming for us". Parliament breaks out in laughter. Royal officials remind the Parliament that the Shah can execute them any time.

Parliament then proceeds to agree with the notion, 99-1, that we need war with Bukhara. Parliament then passed the next bill, 99-0, relating to war preparation.
Analyse things!
After more propaganda pieces discussing the role of the state are penned by our philosophers, we also get our scientists to begin discussing analysis of stuff.
Eh, sure
The Shah is a bit busy on preparations for war. He also hates capitalists more than he hates colonial subjects, so he sides with them in a dispute.
Holy mother of education
Literacy is increasing at an astounding rate - 1.2% in a year! The Shah's encouragement of science pays off.
Drop the funding
The Shah decides that, since 90% of bureaucrats are currently enjoying luxury goods, he should probably just slash their slush funds. He halves payment to bureaucrats everywhere. Now they may have to spend less than a farmer's yearly salary on every meal.

Granted, a farmer's yearly salary is roughly 3 pounds.
Integrate the minorities
The Shah is all for Afghans thinking they are part of Persia. That's the idea behind Greater Persia anyway, he supposes. He begins integrating Kandahar as a core territory of Persia.
Eh we're just slightly pissed
Thanks to the Shah's visit to European heads of state, they are really only marginally pissed about the whole Bukhara thing.
Brace thyself
Persian troops cross into the territory of the Bukhara Khanate, asking for them to be annexed into the Persian Central Asian Territories. The Khan tries to resist, for some reason.

Don't they realize we're saving them both from their backwards ways AND Russia? Heck, they should be invading us to get us to do this!
Yes! A Mission!
Publications across Persia begin proclaiming of the Shah's mission to civilize minorities everywhere. The idea is a hit
Russia is distracted
The Russians pose no threat - they are busy fighting Japs to care about us.
Qing... nationalists?
Apparently, the Qing dynasty had some strong supporters, because rebels rise against the Heavenly Kingdom to restore them to the throne
Persian occupation and victory
The last Khan left standing in the world surrenders and Persian troops storm his palace. Haha, pulling your leg. As Persian troops storm his hut.

The remainder of Central Asia not controlled by Russia is annexed into the Persian Empire.

The Age of the Steppe peoples is over. The age of Persia has begun
A Beautiful Empire
In all this time Persia has, granted, only been a fringe power. Only barely accepted as one of the big boy's club.

But as the Shah gazes upon a map of his Empire, and a map of Nader Shah's Empire he keeps memorized in his brain, he smiles.

The Persians are back.

Join us next time, as we kick off the imperialist movement in Persia! Hail the Shah!

Next chapter:

Game: Victoria 2

Death to the West - A Persian HPM AAR - Part 5

Images: 82, author: ElvenAshwin, published: 2017-02-06, edited: 1970-01-01

Check out another AAR:

Game: Other games


Images: 48, author: Gragg9, published: 2019-12-02