Eidgenossenschaft, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Accidentally Reform the HRE

Author: Discix
Published: 2017-03-28, edited: 2017-03-28

Part of the campaign:

Greater Switzerland (CoE)

Grüezi mitenand, und wilkommen in der Eidgenossenschaft! From swampy Kiel to cosmopolitan Rom, and from the mines of Schlesien to the valleys of Lothringen, the Swiss Confederation reigns supreme over Mitteleuropa.

[Expansion of this size would be patently impossible in vanilla Vic2, but this was made possible because Concert of Europe allows Conquest CB on any civilized nation
Swiss political and economic hegemony could be felt far beyond the Confederation's own borers, with much of Central and Eastern Europe falling under its sway.

[I ignored the sphereling game for most of the run, but since I had way too much influence stocked up by the end game, I decided to sphere as much as I could. The traditional powers of France, Prussia, and Austria were absolutely destroyed by constant warfare and rebellion, and thus couldn't put up much of a fight. One thing to note here is that Two Sicilies used to be a GP for much of the game, but it was depopulated during WWI and fell under sway of a resurgent Fascist France.]
While the original cantons of the Swiss heartland were predominantly German-speaking, over a century of conquest has led to the inclusion of a significant minority of Francophones and Italians, not to mention the expansion of the Confederation to include the vast majority of Germans. Smaller minorities of Czechs, Slovaks, Slovenes, Poles, Hungarians, Croats, Walloons, and Catalans are present, but do not enjoy the same degree of political enfranchisement as the aforementioned cultures. Due to free-transit agreements throughout the Confederation, demographic movements have allowed the formation of cultural enclaves in cities throughout the Empire (such as the German "Mailander" community of Milan, or the Italian "Francoforti" of Frankfurt am Main).

[While neither the Germans, Italians, nor French assimilate due to all three being accepted cultures, some POPs change cultures when they promote or demote due to over-representation of certain cultures in certain professions, i.e. most Craftsmen being Germans, most Clerks being French, and most Capitalists being Italian. Since Craftsmen are the most numerous, significant German minorities can be found in Italy, particularly in Milan, where they comprise ~25% of the cities nearly 2 million-pop population.

Also of note, following the loss of their German provinces, Austria seems to have gone overdrive with the assimilation, hence the large German pockets in Croatia and Hungary.]
Milan is the largest urban region in the Confederation, with a population of approximately 7.4 million people (1.85 million POPs). Other notable centres include Rome, Turin, Munich, Vienna, Stettin, and Berlin. Prague is notable for hosting the single largest disenfranchised community (the Czechs) and the only major urban center to not be of one the three dominant Swiss cultures.
Just over 100 million Eidgenossen identify as Germans, with diminishing quantities of Francophones, Italians, and other cultures thereafter. While the majority of German-speakers profess one Protestant denomination or another (in addition to a significant Huguenot population in Romandy), the sheer quantity of Italians and Francophones coupled with the predominantly Catholic German South has led to a religious plurality in favor of the Mother Church.

The Confederation's strong military ethos has led to the formation of a Swiss armed forces over 2.5 million men strong, with 600,000 active duty personnel and an additional 2.4 million irregulars in reserve, by far the largest and best equipped in all of Europe. Despite emerging victorious from both World Wars, weariness and shock from the sheer loss of life has led to an upsurge in pacifist/anti-war sentiment.
While certainly considered "liberal" by the standards of many of the Confederation's authoritarian neighbors, the so-called "Liberal Democrats" were in truth far less insistent on political reform than their ideological comrades abroad. Throughout the 19th century, Switzerland has maintained mostly Conservative governments under the Catholic Conservatives, with a noticeable exception in the 1880s-90s when, in the wake of serious labor unrest and armed revolt, the Socialists took power and rushed through significant reform that placated the masses.
Swiss industry is capable of manufacturing almost any product on the planet, and each day, millions of diligent Switzers toil to ensure that the global economy keeps running.
[Just a showcase of some neighboring countries of note. Here we see the Kingdom of Catalunya, which was backed by the UK during a crisis. Crises work kinda strange in CoE, with the new nation taking the entire state, not just the province it has a core on, hence the weird borders. The Crisis also removes old cores on the area, hence why Catalunya was so successful in assimilating the local French into Catalan culture.]
Rule Helvetia, Helvetia rules the waves! Formed after the first World War, in response to the Sicilian blockade and occupation of Corsica and Sardinia, the Swiss Navy is one of the finest in the world, boasting 20 dreadnoughts, 40 cruisers, and 30 steam transports.

[A bit of a curiosity, but it should be noted that Switzerland actually gets localisation for its dreadnoughts (it's covered by the tooltip, but the first ship is named 'Wilhelm Tell'), which is a bit odd, considering how Switzerland rarely ever gets access to the sea, much less a level 5 port.]
[Here we see all that remains of mighty Austria, a rump state that is little more than a cute little ball of seething hatred. The German portions were annexed in a series of wars (the Vienna area alone needed 100 warscore), one of which also saw the transfer of Slovakia to the PLC. Croatia, Servia and Hungary were released when rebels pounced upon the weakened Austrian state, and if the game had gone on any longer, Bosnia would have been released from Turkey too.]
[The "Unite the Nation" wargoal apparently does not cover Posen or Preussen, hence why I begrudgingly permitted Prussia to live (though in all fairness I was strapped for infamy anyways). A bit of dramatic irony, I think, that a regime ruled by the actual Nazis would have its capital in Danzig.

The PLC is also really neat because I had very little to do with its formation. Poland starts off as a puppet to Russia, but gains some of its eastern lands and Lithuania when it revolts against its overlord. I imagine Russia was probably dealing with some Central Asian war or massive revolt, hence why Poland managed to succeed. I only allied it once it became a GP , and they proved an invaluable ally when fighting the Prussians/Austrians, and an even more valuable buffer when annexing the German minors allied to Russia.]
[Here we see the People's Republic of Turkey, the product of about three decades of rebels flip-flopping between Presidential Bourgeois, and Proletarian Dictatorships. They also seem to have formed a pseudo-Warsaw Pact with the PLC, who is the only other major Communist nation. Syria and Kurdistan are notable for being primitive nations yet democracies (products of crises); the former is particularly important in that its release was the impetus for the first World War between the US/Switzerland/Russia/Mexico against France/Netherlands/Austria/Turkey/Two Sicilies. Following the war, America was generous enough to give me some sweet states in France while for itself, it took...]
[...some worthless Saharan provinces. Not complaining, though. Do note the Sicilian Egypt, whose cotton and manpower rocketed Sicily to GP status.]
[Weird curiosity, but it looks like Spain managed to hang on to its Peruvian colony, which is highly irregular (Spain suffers from constant revolts and independence wars until 1830). Brazil also made some conquests in Paraguay, and, by the end-game, managed to displace Sicily as a Great Power.]
Switzerland is by far the largest economy on the planet, with a GDP that nearly exceeds the next two competitors combined. Due to the complete absence of any African or Asian colonies, Switzerland also boasts a high GDP per capita, though it is beaten out by smaller nations like Nieuw Zeeland, Vlaanderen, and Sverige.
Alcoholic beverages are the most significant portion of Switzerland's GDP, followed by radio and fancy clothes. Due to the vast selection of resources and goods available to the Confederation, very few items need to be imported. Coal, grain, and wool are all present in the Confederation, but foreign trade allows for even greater industrial output by importing raw goods. Oil is unique in that it is one of the few things that Switzerland cannot produce on its own, and thus must import from Mexican Tejas; this good is vital to the continued success of the Swiss war machine, which depends on oil for fuel for armor and airplanes.
[Switzerland can into the sea! Switzerlake no more!]

Next chapter:

Game: Victoria 2

Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary Administrative Divisions of the Swiss Confederation

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