Part 17: Holland Part 4: 1499-1569Holland Part 4: 1499-1569
England's reconquest of Picardie is making them more bold, and they call us into many wars against France over the next several decades.
But while those wars rage, are explorers are out charting unexplored territory and opening up new areas where we can colonize and trade.
The French armies are pushed back, but their king is a talented general and causes us to suffer terrible casualties whenever we encounter him.
Our troops have superior morale due to our maxed Free Subjects, the Military Drill idea, and our tech lead in Land units. Whenever we can do so safely, routed enemy armies are chased down and destroyed.
A new general is commissioned to reduce the advantage of the French king. Paul Tasman has 4 shock, which is fairly respectable. He's put in command of our primary army.
After crashing unsuccessfully into Dutch lands over and over again, the English make enough progress in other areas to force terms on the French. Calais is ceded to England along with all of the former English holdings in southern France.
Just after the war ends we achieve land tech 18. This will give us a decisive advantage over every other nation in Europe for years. Our colonists take their first steps in the Caribbean as well by colonizing part of Haiti.
With Brabant and Gelre both integrated into our territory now, The Netherlands is looking pretty healthy. Our vassals include Liege and Hainaut to our south and Oldenburg to our northeast. With England's French holdings to our southwest as well, our borders are fairly well insulated.
By around 1515, the Reformed faith makes its appearance. Reformed is a good religion for both trading and colonial nations. I change The Netherlands' state religion to Reformed through the religious tab and we take a large stability hit along with a giant pile of ducats. Even with religious decisions, our missionary growth rate is terribly low due to our innovation slider. This means it will be hard to forcibly convert all of our provinces quickly the traditional way. However, high innovation and bad relations with the papal states will make reformation events sweep through our country frequently and convert most of our provinces for us.
I notice one of the French provinces has converted itself to Reformed, so I use our spies to incite religious zealots. You can use spies to cause religious revolts in provinces where the local religion does not match the state religion. This group of rebels didn't get much of a chance to cause trouble though. France had a large army nearby and pacified them before they could even occupy a single province.
Another war with France, and another set of demands from England. England is slowly chipping away at them.
England gains cores their Scottish provinces and declares the nation of Great Britain.
Portugal managed to find itself in control of Hamburg. The Holy Roman Emperor declared war to retrieve unlawfully held imperial territory, and soon Great Britain and The Netherlands were drawn into the conflict. While we were away fighting in northern Germany, Bohemian troops spilled over inside our borders.
Our armies quickly return from the front and engage the Bohrmian armies. They can do little against our superior land technology.
Bohemia's seemingly endless struggle against our armies saps their manpower and burdens them with heavy war exhaustion.
Our colonists continue to seize new territories for us even during all of these ongoing wars. I've decided to primarily work on a strong presence in North America this time.
Yet another war with France, and once again some fierce fighting erupts around the border that we share with each other.
France is facing some significant pressure during this war. England and Holland move in from the north, a second front by England fights inland from the southwest, and an opportunistic Venice invades from the southeast.
Great Britain gains more provinces in southern France, and they demand that some small powers be released as sovereign states.
Portugal has been busy with Castille over the years, too. By the 1550's they've managed to create some ridiculous borders.
And in the late 1560's, something happens that takes me by surprise. Great Britain cancels our alliance and then insults us down to -70 relations with them. I'm not really sure why. I attempted to salvage the alliance by increasing our relations with gifts and marriage, but they wouldn't even consider it. Instead, I turned to our enemy for the past 60 years and they are thrilled to have us as an ally. Any further wars we're in will likely be to undo all the progress we helped Great Britain make in France.
The World in 1469
At this point, we have a huge number of colonies in North America and the Caribbean. Our provinces in Europe are well fortified, rich, and full of useful structures. We passed the point of being a small, weak nation that required special attention a long time ago. The Netherlands could easily at this point move into southeast Asia, fight Britain for their colonies, try to play HRE politics, or really do anything within reason. I'm considering ending the Holland updates here, since The Netherlands is operating just like any other mid to strong nation by now. It may be time to start a new game and cover a new topic.