The Let's Play Archive

Al Andalus Paradox Mega-LP

by Hashim

Part 80: Aftermath

The Congress of Cádiz

Finale: The Closing of the Congress

The Majlis al-Shura votes overwhelmingly in favour of restoring all of Iberia to Al Andalus, thoroughly backed by their Grand Vizier and new Sultan - Raed Zulfiqar - who personally delivers an impassioned speech to the Congress urging them to recognise their claims.

This decision is seen as expansionistic and aggressive by several other congress powers, however, and Al Andalus will suffer diplomatically for it.

That said, the careful political manoeuvring of the Majlis means that Al Andalus does not stand alone, with the Russian Empire declaring its support for the motion.

Russia was the only nation to stand forward and fully commit, however, with nobody else willing to see all of Iberia united under a single power. France-England, for example, did not want another great power bordering them, and so voted to restore northern Iberia but not Qattalun. Similar sentiments were echoed by Egypt, Bavaria and Hungary, each of whom were worried about growing Andalusi influence on the world stage.

Meanwhile, the opposition to Al Andalus was spearheaded by Morocco, who insisted on granting both northern Iberia and Qattalun independence. The Kingdom of Hannover supported this motion, still bitter about Andalusi opposition to their own proposals, earlier in the Congress. And backing the two great powers was Armenia, which was sandwiched between Russia and Egypt, and was now dedicated to bettering their relations with Morocco.

The final tally comes to three votes for Option A (Russia, Al Andalus), four votes for Option B (France, Bavaria, Hungary, Egypt) and five votes for Option C (Morocco, Hannover, Armenia).

And so the declaration is made: northern Iberia will be granted independence as the Kingdom of León-Castille, and the Emirate of Qattalun will be restored. The announcement is met with jeers and anger from the Andalusi camps, but having antagonised two of the great powers, there is little that they can actually do about it now.

Despite having made little territorial gains, Al Andalus does not come away with nothing. They’ve loudly promoted and reinforced their claims on all of Iberia, with Sultan Zulfiqar himself taking to the stands and vehemently promising to see all of Iberia united before his death. The Russian Empire has already recognised them, and approval will come from other congress powers with time.

The world will not soon forget Andalusi claims, that much was certain.

On that sour note, the Congress finally comes to a close. The great powers had met with a simple mission: to establish a balance of power that would give rise to an enduring peace in Europe and the Near East. Sincere enough on the surface, perhaps, but these ideals were quickly undercut by expansionistic policies, transparent rivalries and secretive agreements between several of the great powers.

And already, experts and spectators alike are beginning to question the motives of the Congress…

In Iberia, two new nations have come into being: León-Castille and Qattalun. The borders of Qattalun were restored to their boundaries under Tirruni, but León-Castille was instead organised along ethnic lines, with the kingdom granted any territories in which Castilians formed the majority or a slight plurality.

As a result, Al Andalus has been allowed to retain several provinces with an Andalusi majority, including Majrit and Salamanqa.

Sultan Zulfiqar and the Majlis, however, see these as paltry concessions meant to placate them, and they’ve since made it clear that Al Andalus will be ardently rivalled to both León-Castille and Qattalun. Therefore, under the pretext of preserving the peace, the Moroccan Sultan has publicly guaranteed the independence of both nations, drawing them into his sphere of influence.

War will come, without a doubt, a war that promises to be a daunting and thankless struggle for both Al Andalus and Morocco.

The Partition of the Tirruni Empire, meanwhile, saw Tirruni’s conquests restored to their former owners. France was thus granted territories in northern and western Occitania, the Kingdom of Provence was restored to eastern Occitania and western Italy, and Bavarian rule was reinstated in northern and eastern Italy.

The cultural makeup of these lands has changed over the past half-century, however, and these borders have driven arbitrary lines between them. The Occitains are now divided between two states, the Italians are stuck under foreign rule, and the Swiss are left stateless. The Congress has thus turned this entire region into a hotbed of unrest and tension, with war and revolt promising to break out before long.

In the Balkans, on the other hand, the Congress has done the complete opposite. The Serbian conquests were ratified and legalised, in the interest of stability and long-term peace in the notoriously-unstable peninsula. The restored Kingdom of Serbia thus rules over a varied assortment Slovenes, Croats, Serbs, Bosnians, Albanians, Bulgarians and Greeks - all of whom are already agitating for independence - so if Serbia somehow comes out of this in one piece, it’ll be a miracle.

And in the Near East, the Congress adopted a two-state solution to the constant warring between Armenia and Egypt. The congress powers have warned both against invading these buffer states, but that simply means that the struggle for the Levant will have to continue in a different form - proxy wars.

The Emirate of Syria is dominated by Arab Muslims, but is ruled by an Armenian emir, effectively guaranteeing close co-operation between Syria and Armenia. The Kingdom of Outremer is similarly dominated by Muslims, but it’s ruled by a Christian prince from a lower branch of the Apanoub dynasty, who quickly aligns his nation closer to his cousins in Egypt.

This is the so-called Peace of Cádiz.

Liberal sympathies have been suppressed, and nationalist tensions inflamed. Peoples have been granted sovereignty in one place, and denied it in others. Outright annexations have been ratified for some, and vilified for others. The Congress of Cádiz has proven to be unstable and indecisive, with the great powers unable to agree on a single policy to establish an enduring peace, and thus collapsing into a confusing mess of empty promises and hypocritical policies.

One question remains: has the Congress truly managed to fulfil its aims and establish an enduring peace, or has it simply sown the seeds for another century of devastating war and ruinous conflict? Only time will tell.