The Let's Play Archive

Al Andalus Paradox Mega-LP

by Hashim

Part 81: World of 1836

Victoria 2

Chapter 1 - World of 1836

The world of 1836 is one full of hope and promise, with the suicide of Sahim Tirruni and the consequent Peace of Cádiz heralding the dawn of a new age - one that will see the formation and clash of nation-states, one that will witness the rise of liberalism and nationalism, and one that will inevitably be decided by the horrifying totality of war.

A hundred years still lay before us, however, and its possibilities are many and boundless. The world of 1836 is largely dominated by monarchy, with the forces of revolution ultimately quashed by Almoravid Morocco during the Tirruni Wars, but that doesn’t mean its liberal ideals have been eradicated. Not by a long shot.

Starting at the centre of the world, the Iberian peninsula is steeped in history and tradition, rich with culture and religion. First coming to prominence under the legendary Jizrunid kings of old, Iberia became the capital of a world empire by the 1500s, spearheading the colonisation of the new world whilst simultaneously unifying the peninsula under one flag. Unfortunately for the Jizrunids, this golden age did not last very long before giving way to a disastrous civil war era, from which the Majlis emerged triumphant to reunify al-Andalus. The Tirruni Wars quickly followed, however, and despite a strong showing the Andalusi were technically on the losing side of the conflict, and were consequently forced to adopt monarchism once again.

This is where Raed Zulfiqar comes into the picture. A national hero and beloved icon, Raed had served al-Andalus as commander and vizier for decades, leading the nation in battles against the Mahdists, Berbers and Tirruni, and emerging triumphant more often than not. For his extensive services (and because he was the most powerful man in the country), Raed was offered the crown of al-Andalus, which he accepted only reluctantly.

And with that, al-Andalus stands on the brink of a new golden age, as they seek to reunify Iberia and stake their claim as a great power.

We cannot count ourselves amongst the Great Powers just yet, however. Our celebrated achievements, disciplined armies and vast industrial potential will propel us into those lofty ranks before long, but at the moment the Great Powers largely consist of the victors of the Tirruni Wars, along with the Celtic Empire and Scandinavia-Novgorod, as well as the rising powers of Ibriz in the west and Japan in the east.

And to our immediate south, we have the first of the great powers and our bitter arch-rivals: the Almoravid Sultanate of Morocco, led by the old and decrepit Sultan Yahya V.

The Almoravids were the world’s undisputed superpower just a decade ago, with an impressive navy guarding a vast colonial empire that stretched from Gharbia to India to Melanesia. Much has changed since then, however - with their hard-won victory in the Tirruni Wars leaving them exhausted and bankrupt, and their perceived invincibility shattered by the Andalusi Sack of Marrakesh and the Great Gharbian Revolt.

Morocco is now facing a gruelling war in the new world and a potential uprising in India, and to make matters worse, they’re also being challenged by the rising great powers of France, Hannover and Russia. The next few years will be very important for the Berbers, as they struggle to either maintain their position as a great power, or suffer a collapse of their worldwide empire.

The Andalusi and Berbers have been bitter rivals for centuries now, and conflict will likely erupt between them before long, but we also have other potential enemies to worry about further north.

First up is the Kingdom of France, ruled by Queen Julianna Roman and her parliament, who’ve managed to bring almost the entirety of England and Wales under their control over the past few years. They enter 1836 as the paragon of constitutionalism in Europe, and a great power in their own right, with a large population and strong industrial base placing them in the perfect position to dominate Western Europe.

Their primary rivals in doing that, predictably, will be the Kingdom of Hannover. Under the leadership of King August-Wilhelm, the Hanoverians have supplanted Bavaria to become the dominant German state, and now have disturbing ambitions of unifying all Germans under one flag.

If Germany is ever to unify, however, they’re going to need the Rhine - currently controlled by the Rhine Confederacy, which lies firmly within the French sphere of influence. War between the French and Hanoverians is thus inevitable, with the question now being when such a conflict will break out, rather than if.

And Hannover will have more than just the French to worry about, as the Russian Empire looms large to their east.

Proclaimed by Tsarina Dobroslava Rurikid after the long, devastating War of Russian Leadership, the Russian Empire has emerged as one of the largest and strongest nations in the world. They now seek to expel Novgorod-Scandinavia from Russia, solidify their position in the Balkans, and counter any notions of German unification to their west. If they play their cards right, the next century could well be a Russian one.

With the three strongest powers of Europe covered, we can move northward, where the Empire of Scandinavia-Novgorod stretches. Ruled by the Russian ‘Roman’ dynasty, Novgorod was forced to abandon almost all their Russian territories after their devastating losses to Smolensk, with only Novgorod itself still under their control. And this certainly won’t be the end of their conflict, as Russia seeks to seize the strategic city of Novgorod and the densely-populated Baltic coastline.

Scandinavia will have to proceed very diplomatically if they’re to maintain their possessions, one misstep and the Russian Empire will undoubtedly come crashing down on them.

Across the North Sea, we have the Celtic Empire, led by the ó Kildares - a dynasty that stretches back to the Middle Ages. Similarly to Novgorod, the Celts have suffered defeat after defeat in recent years, forced to relinquish their ancient claims to England and Wales in humiliating peace treaties. The Celtic Empire is now in steep decline, and unless serious reforms are undertaken very soon, they’ll find themselves nothing but a minor power before very long.

And pushing further south, we have the neighbouring powers of Provence and Bavaria. Both fell to Tirruni’s early conquests, both had vast territories restored to them during the Congress of Cádiz, and both have the potential to become great powers in their own right - if they can fend off the ambitions of the congress powers.

That won’t be the only hurdle they face, however, with the age of nationalism also fast approaching. With it, the Italians under their rule will undoubtedly become unruly, desperate for a nation of their own. Revolt and revolution is on the way, and the map of Italy will likely be redrawn countless times over the next century.

Finally, we reach the Emirate of Palermo, a middling power that has managed to ride out the waves of revolution and war intact. Palermo has been ruled by the Jizrunid dynasty for centuries now, so they were rightly incensed when it was announced that Raed Zulfiqar would become the new Sultan of al-Andalus, appealing to Morocco in a futile attempt to see their claims recognised.

Al Andalus swiftly shut down any notions of a Jizrunid Restoration, but there are few who believe that this will truly spell the end of their ambitions.

Across the Adriatic, we come to the Cathari Balkan Peninsula, which is dominated by three newly-rivalled powers. The Kingdoms of Hungary and Greece both suffered greatly during the Tirruni Wars, with the former sending hundreds of thousands to die at the hand of Sahim Tirruni, and the latter fighting a devastating guerrilla war against the invading Berber armies.

Both were promised vast territories as compensation for their losses, but both were spurned in the Congress of Cádiz, where the great powers decided to ignore their claims in favour of a restored Kingdom of Serbia - all done in the name of ‘peace and stability’, of course.

These unresolved issues and disputed claims will not be forgotten, however, with further conflict in the Balkans now an inevitability.

With Europe covered, we can move southward, to the vast deserts and dense jungles of Africa. Exploration missions along the coastline have already been launched by several European powers, interested in acquiring prestigious colonies, and with every passing day the technological gulf between native and foreign powers grows larger.

And best demonstrating this rift are the kingdoms that stretch across West Africa, all of which are already far behind Europe and North Africa in technology. Their only safeguard at the moment is in Morocco, who are their partners in the slave trade, but it is becoming increasingly important that these nations launch modernisation programs of their own - or else face destruction at the hand of imperialism.

Further east, we have the Crusader Kingdom of Egypt and the Ethiopian Empire, old enemies and ardent rivals. A religious divide intensifies the rivalry between the two powers, as the vast majority of Ethiopia and Somalia are aligned with the Coptic Church, whilst the Apanoub dynasty of Egypt hold faith with their personal form of Catholicism.

In terms of territory, the Egyptians have managed to bring vast tracts of the Sudan under their rule (mostly for slaving reasons), but they also have other rivalries to worry about, contending with the Berbers over Libya and with the Armenians over the Levant. To add to that, Muslim tensions are on the rise throughout their empire, as rebellions and revolts become increasingly frequent.

Moving on to the Levant, the region has been carved up by the Congress of Cádiz, which established two new countries as buffer states between Egypt and Armenia. At the same time, the Vali Emirate struggles to maintain despotic rule over the Shiite Arabs, the Khwarezmian Empire is desperately trying to modernise in the east, and Hejaz looks to turn their zealous warmachine northward.

The two new countries established in the Levant are the Kingdom of Outremer in the south, and the Emirate of Syria in the north. Influence wars are already being waged in these newfound countries, however, as the Egyptians install an Apanoub prince to rule Outremer in their name whilst the Armenians quickly draw Syria into their sphere of influence.

And north of that, we come to the Vakhtani Caliphate, which is increasingly referred to as simply Armenia. The Armenians had struggled with countless invasions over the past fifteen years, and were consequently forced to relinquish Thrace and Syria, but they’ve managed to weather through those dark days otherwise intact.

Reconstruction efforts are already underway in Anatolia, but the region is devastated and the population is rebellious, so the Vakhtani Caliph will have to proceed patiently if he’s to retain his crown and sceptre.

The Vakhtani Caliphate borders Georgia and Azerbaijan to their west, and the Vali Emirate to the south. The Vali are a Kurdish dynasty hailing from the Zagros Mountains, who managed to gradually absorb the feuding principalities dotting Mesopotamia over the past few centuries, and now enter 1836 as the suzerains of Kurdistan and Iraq.

To the south, legitimate contenders to the caliphate have emerged in the form of Hejaz, which launched a series of invasions to unify Arabia over the past two decades. Now, the Shiite Sharifs of Mecca only have to squash the remnants of Yemen and Oman, and once all of Arabia is under their control, they can turn their attention to the oppressed Arabs to their north.

Across the Persian Gulf, meanwhile, we have the Khwarezmian Empire. A string of brutal Turkish conquests in the 1600s saw the Persian Farzadid Empire collapse spectacularly, but the region was gradually reunified by the Khwarezmians over the next few centuries, eventually declaring themselves the Khwarezm-Shahs.

Pushing east and across the great Indus River, the Indian subcontinent lies richer and more divided than ever. The Berbers have already established a powerful base in the southern half of the subcontinent, and a dozen Hindu kingdoms battle for dominance in the northwest, but the only real threat to Morocco’s colonial ambitions is in the Cedi Empire to the northeast.

The Cedi dynasty preside over a vast but stagnant empire that stretches across Orissa and Bengal, but unless they begin modernisation efforts very soon, it won’t be long before all of India falls to the Berber Raj.

Indochina is largely dominated by native kingdoms, with Buddhists prevailing in the north and Jainists in the south. Morocco has gradually been expanding their Indonesian possessions in recent years, however, absorbing the petty states in Papua and western Java with little opposition.

And despite Morocco’s headstart, the region’s rich resources and weak kingdoms may well turn it into a battlefield of great powers, with several European nations waiting for the opportune moment before pouncing.

And moving further north, we come to the divided landscape of China, once called the Land of a Thousand Emperors. Now, only five remain: the native Guang, Song and Wu and Qi dynasties, and the foreign Mongols. All of them lay claim to the Mandate of Heaven, but the southern empires will have to unite through diplomacy or force if they’re going to present a significant challenge to the Mongols, who stretch across the entirety of northern China.

These five rivals are not the only powers struggling for dominance in China, however, as another player enters the fray from the east: the Republic of Japan, having overthrown their Manchu overlords in a bloody revolution, look greedily to the rich resources and dense cities of Manchuria and China. After suffering under foreign rule for so long, the Japanese are determined to make the next century theirs, convinced that their ultimate fate is to become the masters of East Asia.

Across the width of the Pacific Ocean, meanwhile, we come to the two continents of Gharbia. The northern continent is largely dominated by a struggle between two powers: the Revolutionary Republic of Ibriz, and the Kingdom of New England. Countless issues divide these vehement rivals - including religion, ideology and their stance on slavery. Both are thus determined to become the dominant power in North Gharbia, making conflict between them unavoidable.

And a third power that can cause trouble in the region is Morocco, who directly administer several large islands in the Caribbean, islands that already occupy the attentions of the sabre-rattling politicians in Ibriz.

And Neimni Sund finds itself sandwiched between them all, an unenviable position to be in. Albionoria and Anbaila are better placed further north, but even they’ve been contemplating unification, desperate to stave off any potential invasions from Ibriz and New England.

Whatever happens, there is little doubt that these three plucky Irish successor states are in for a difficult century.

To the south, meanwhile, the rich and diverse continent of South Gharbia has become a ravaged battlefield.

New France and New Occitania (renamed Occidental Republic) have already wrested themselves free from their overlords in the old world, but the former Berber colonies of Imjir, Walidrar and Nuquril are still embroiled in a taxing independence war against Almoravid Morocco - a war that is already being called the Great Gharbian Revolt.

Meanwhile, a smaller conflict is brewing between the Charca Empire and the Incan Republic (renamed the Andean Republic), with the two states bitterly divided along ideological lines. These are the only native powers left in the western continent, but as tensions continue to climb, war between them becomes more likely every day. Conflict will break out sooner or later, with both now determined to become the sole native power in the Andes.

With that, we can finally come back to the Iberian peninsula and Al Andalus.

Iberia is currently divided between three powers: the Sultanate of al-Andalus, the Kingdom of León-Castille and the Emirate of Qattalun. The latter two were established by the Congress of Cádiz, but the Andalusi refuse to recognise them and instead lay claim to the entirety of Iberia, making relations between the three neighbours very heated indeed.

Unfortunately for the Andalusi, however, nothing can be done about it - not yet, at least. The Congress of Cádiz also established temporary truces between the congress powers, so any act of outright aggression will be met with harsh repercussions.

With the political situation across Europe and North Africa still very frail, it’s imperative for our modern country to have strong leadership. The soon-to-be-crowned Sultan Raed is the head of state, of course, but much of the power still rests with the hereditary assembly of al-Andalus: the Majlis al-Shura. So as 1836 begins, Raed summons the Majlis to form a new government, with three parties currently jostling for influence…

First we have the Royalists, who are largely made up of the old nobles and clergymen whose ancestors once ruled al-Andalus with an iron fist. Now, they advocate for further empowerment of the Majlis and the Sultan, and are ardently opposed to any liberal movements. They also demand that the army be given first priority in all matters, and are determined to see al-Andalus return to its maximum historical borders in Europe.

Second, we have the Moderates, who are made up of the various petty nobles and politicians who strived to establish a stable balance of power during the Congress of Cádiz. They advocate for peace between the great powers via a defensive alliance that will stretch across Europe, and are devoted to the internal development of al-Andalus through the construction of factories, railroads etc. Industry cannot flourish where there is war, of course, so they are vehemently opposed to aggressive warfare.

Third, we have the Imperialists, a party founded by the authors of the Constitution of al-Andalus. Their long-term agenda is to steer the nation onto a more democratic path, but they are also determined to see al-Andalus retake its rightful place as a great power - and the best way to do that, they insist, is by rebuilding their colonial empire. The age of new imperialism is fast approaching, and they’re determined to be at the forefront of it.

The world of 1836 is dominated by old rivalries, full of new opportunities, bright with hopeful ideals and foreshadowed by the spectre of world war. It is anything but stable, and once the dust settles on another century, the world may well be unrecognisable to those who made it possible.


World map, with the government and state religion of each country labelled:

Religion doesn’t matter in vic2 though, so in future state of the world updates, I’ll replace it with country ideology instead.

Culture map (province majorities):

There are a ton of minorities as well, but it’s impossible to show them all on one map. If you wanna know the specifics, just ask.

Military ranks:

Industry ranks:

Prestige ranks:

Population ranks:

Population density mapmode:

Red=more dense, green=less dense.

Largest economies:

Slaveholding countries:

Countries with most slaves:

Countries with most soldiers: