Mafiascum plays Vicky 2 Part Två: Scandinavian Solitude

Author: Zulfy
Published: 2017-10-19, edited: 2017-10-19
The Concert of Europe seems unimpressed by our rise to power

Part of the campaign:

Mafiascum plays Vicky 2

The industrial revolution must continue if we are to compete with the rest of Europe for power, we build a sawmill in the Stockholm region.
We also begin to construct railroads across the country, though this endeavor is hampered by our lack of funds
Hesitantly, we raise taxes on the poor and cut spending on education and administration. Tariffs are raised as high as possible, which makes life for artisans extremely difficult as they can't afford materials from outside of the country due to import taxes. Many in the middle class aren't getting their needs met.
We keep a close eye on Schleswig-Holstein, due to the high proportion of germans living under the Danish dominion tensions could rise someday, and should that occur Prussia will capitalize on the situation immediately. We must be ready to defend our Danish brothers against the "army with a state".
We begin warming up to Louis Phillipe's regime in France. Our relationship isn't the best but they seem pretty neutral towards us.
We also begin to gather up a larger standing army, though our geography limits us from becoming a behemoth like the Prussians or Russians.
We formalize an alliance with the Danes. Sweden guarantees them protection from the Prussians, though secretly we fear we're not remotely prepared if the Prussians decide to invade.
We have no loans to repay, portions of the middle class continue to suffer, but our budget is doing good.
In Latin America, the Argentines expand while Mexico liberalizes.
And Costa Rica joins Nicaragua as a state free from the rule of the Federation.
The industrial revolution gives us more innovations, which make food production more productive. This should help our budget while also making some farmers move to the city in search of a factory job.
More discoveries in the arts and the field of medicine.
We decide to reform our state apparatus to appease the bureaucrats of the country. The other option appeased capitalists, but we have less of them.
Industrial inventions accelerate our advancement. We are blazing ahead of certain countries, and in a few years will be recognized as a great power.
Factories are being built in various regions.
The army continues to improve.
In Spain, Infante Carlos and his supporters overthrow his niece and set up an absolutist regime. They get to work expanding their empire in the Pacific, though reclaiming their lost colonies in the New World is still a dream unlikely to be realized.

In the USA, a debate over slavery begins to take hold.
Spain will have trouble continuing to be a great power, perhaps we'll end up replacing them on the European stage.
More agricultural innovations. More people can be fed which expands our population, less people need to work to feed them which helps our industrialization, more profits for landowners which means more revenue. This will continue, hopefully.
In South Africa there's a massacre during a skirmish between Boers and the Zulu.
Conservatism continues to dominate in the upper echelons of society. Most members of the ruling class don't favor reform.
However, liberal thought is rising among some, though it's of no consequence now.
The UK mediates between the Dutch and the Belgians, and a treaty is negotiated in which the Netherlands recognizes Belgian independence. They renounce all claims to the lower Low Countries.
More medical innovations.

We've also been able to lower tariffs, and raise military spending as well as education and administration spending. Austerity has not lasted long for us.
Our ships are not able to be constructed as we lack the resources to build them. Hopefully our recent lowering of tariffs will allow us o buy more clipper convoys from the world market, though we'll spend a bit more on them seeing as they're currently in high demand.
Chile and Peru are fighting, it seems the Peru-Bolivian Confederation has collapsed.
Yep. Bolivia has no coastline as Peru has enforced its own sovereignty. Andrés de Santa Cruz's dream is over.
The Netherlands and Portugal, two relatively small countries with a considerable colonial empire, decide an alliance is of mutual benefit to them.
Despite our overtures to the French, they're unwilling to ally us as our armed forces aren't formidable enough. They're more concerned with other matters. This complicates our foreign policy, as we have no guarantee of a solid defense against the Prussians.
Our new position in the world is a double edged sword. The Great Powers of Europe all hesitate to ally more than one great power, and all the others are already allied. However, we are now able to pursue a more global foreign policy. Perhaps we can resurrect the glory days of the Swedish Empire.
We begin our imperialistic ambitions by influencing the monarchy in Persia, a large country full of wool, iron, and other resources which we would very much like to make readily available to ourselves. Our main competition here is the British. Their neighbor to the north is no friend of theirs, due to the many battles that were fought between them and Russia in the previous century.
We take notice of an interesting event in the middle east. Muhammad Ali Pasha, ruler of an Egypt which the Ottoman empire has had only nominal control over for some time, has decided to finally end the charade and assert Egyptian independence. Not interested in seeing instability in the middle east, Russia has decided to prop up the Ottoman regime.
The upper class begins to fraternize in Gentlemen's clubs. Our options are to oppose these meetings or permit them. We permit them for now.
In the papers, some more context on the situation in the Levant and our sudden position in the Concert of Europe.
A talented Swedish soprano, Jenny Lind, becomes a star in the Opera world and raises the prestige of her nation.
Progressive thinkers bring to light the issue of debtor's prisons. We choose the option that pisses people off the least, as too much militancy could threaten to topple the monarchy. (Do we want that?)
Felt like showing an ethnic map. The nation state as you can see was not an applied concept as of yet. Here Austria is seen as a clear example of a multi-ethnic empire, ruled by German elites in Vienna.

Slavs, Germans, Italians, Arabs, Irishmen, etc., all ruled by crowns which see them contemptuously as inferior denizens. All of them capable of one day rising up and destroying this old order.

Our main concern remains preventing the german people from uniting under the Prussian crown, but at least our own state is comfortably ethnically homogeneous.
Our colony in the Caribbean becomes more suitable for our citizens.
The FRCA has collapsed, and federal authorities in Guatemala frantically attempt to unite Central America by declaring war on all the states which the union had been composed of.

But their army is in a sorry state, and victory seems unlikely.
Venezuela, their ally in the southern continent, won't intervene as they are occupied with Chilean aggression against their other ally, Peru.
The Dutch have superseded the Ottomans as a great power. The turks begin to be seen as "the Sick Man of Europe." The great powers are prepared to continue propping them up.
Landowners and capitalists vote conservatively, and we make more industrial improvements, as well as some cultural contributions which raise our standing in the eyes of the world.
As a great power we should be prepared to assert our influence anywhere. We build a naval base in our Caribbean colony.
Charles of Spain is having trouble finding allies.
A potato blight ravages our fields, many of our people flee to America or die of starvation. The state does what it can to help.

As the years go on, more and more signs appear that German nationalism is a growing current.

In East Africa, Ethiopian princes attempt to unite the fractured Abyssinian empire
A map of our relations. France likes us, but not enough to commit.
Russia takes advantage of its victories in Egypt to try to get some territorial concessions after the war. Alexandria is the site of orthodox holy places after all.

The Netherlands and Russia form a great power alliance, and the British Empire expands.
Due to the fortunate situation of the country, most people don't really care about politics.
We subsidize capitalist business ventures, as we want railroads to sprawl out across our country for the benefit of industry.
Our attempts to influence the Grand Duchy of Finland are halted by the Russians. Seeing as influence with the Finns won't get us far until they're independent, we don't care too much.
Charles of Spain has some domestic issues while Muhammad Ali surrenders.
New Zealand, the only British colony in Oceania worth mentioning, is colonized.
British and Dutch imperialism claims some victories.
Kurdish vassals of the Ottomans and the Persians rebel, though their survival doesn't seem likely.

Chile's annexation of Antofagasta has not been realized, the War of the Pacific drags on.
Compulsory education is introduced to Sweden. Our neighbors are impressed by our initiative, and our people will benefit from increased literacy.
The Brits and Yankees agree to a border treaty, as well as to halt the Atlantic slave trade.
The tax burden on the middle and lower classes is lifted slightly. Tariffs are momentarily raised to compensate.
Liberal landowners and capitalists have made a move to gain influence in parliament. 20 percent of the upper house becomes open to reform, but the majority remains conservative.
Our contribution to literature contributes to our prestige. Our Scandinavian neighbors are impressed by our standing in global politics. It´s time to make a move in favor of scandinavism.
We make our endeavor known to the world, and Denmark and Norway quickly pay lip service to it. For now it´s nothing more than some nice rhetoric. The Grand Duchy of Finland is ruled by a Russian bureaucrat, and so remains silent.
Even so, we make public our intentions that this hypothetical union will be inherently Nordic in nature. This doesn´t mean that we renounce our claims to Finland, however, just that we´ll treat them like second class citizens (didn´t someone say they were Asian?) once we get them back.
The rest of Algeria is invaded by France. Also dinosaurs.
With our budget surplus we begin funding development projects in South America. This will bring us profits once it´s over.
Texans are lazy af.
Mexico decides they like Chiapas, and procure to take it from Guatemala. Their army may not have been able to defeat those lazy Texans, but they seem to be faring much better against their Latino neighbors to the south.
The Netherlands doesn´t remain a global player for long. The resurgence of the Ottomans means that they now have more influence and they retake their spot as one of the most powerful countries in the world.
Paraguay, now a democratic republic, seems to be facing a sort of ´triple alliance´against Brazil, Chile and Ecuador. Despite the odds, they´re fighting a defensive war with a respectable army for the region, they may not do so bad.
Agitators attempt to get voting rights for people that don´t wear top hats. We let it slide.
Portugal faces civil unrest, while Luxury Furniture prices, which are always high, become even higher. We won´t be able to take advantage of this as we have no tropical wood, which is needed to produce the expensive good.
While looking for countries to influence, our eyes fall on Greece, which has territorial claims on land owned by empires too powerful to challenge.
We begin to expand our navy with new ships which we´ve been working on. Commerce raiders are more powerful than frigates, but more expensive to maintain and build. We are rich enough to do so, fortunately.
The King, known for his keen military mind, has died. A pity he was never able to show his battle prowess against Prussia. .
Our relationship with France is as great as it can get. They keep telling us that they´ll divorce Austria when the time is right, but it just doesn´t seem to be coming.
We dip our foot into spanish politics and our ambassadors immediately get defamed. We won´t bother for now, though Spain does have some natural resources which would be nice to include under our sphere of influence.
In a conflict between colonizers and colonized, we side with the colonizers. The colonized become unhappy.
Liberals in the upper house have successfully pushed for reform. But reform is gradual and slow, and we can only pick one of the ones highlighted on the screen. Ban slavery? Give the press a bit more liberty? Allow regulated labor unions? We have many possibilities.
Haiti attempts to reconquer the rebelling Dominicans, Britain tightens its grip in India, and Jews in Prussia get last names that end in -stein
Our diplomatic battles with the Russians in the baltics and in Finland have made our relationship particularly icy. We try to warm up to them just a bit.
Two west african empires go at it. A caudillo takes power in Ecuador, civil unrest in New Zealand, and negotiations with Boers in south africa.
An epidemic ravages our people. Our population will suffer, but at least we´ve made some medicinal advancements to compensate.
After the brutal Irish Famine (which the British decided to intervene in) they repeal a stupid law and finish their negotiations with the Boers.
After constant diplomatic tussles, we´ve been able to gain one non Scandinavian ally and pawn: Two Sicilies. Not very impressive but it´s something. We have also been struggling with Prussia and Austria for influence in Schleswig Holstein and with Russia in Estonia and Latvia. The Netherlands retook their position from the Ottomans, and we're getting close to including Persia into our sphere of influence.

We've avoided war so far, but that won't last forever. We'll need a stronger military alliance when the time comes, and Two Sicilies might fall to Garibaldi's Italian nationalists some day.

We are a step closer to uniting Scandinavia under our flag, but that will require us keeping our position as a Great Power, we will need to be wary.

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Images: 23, author: Romanclay, published: 2017-02-02