Part 45: Venice Part 9: A New Nation (1711-1756)Venice Part 9: A New Nation (1711-1756)
Doge Erizzo oversees a series of sweeping government reforms beginning in 1711. The increasingly obsolete Venetian Trade League is disbanded, cutting out a large, unnecessary section of the bureaucracy. Venetian merchants have been trading abroad with great success for centuries, after all. Even without a League to bolster it, the amount of goods and wealth traveling through the port of Venice is impressive. Rather than funneling as much trade through Venetian ports as possible, new government policies focus on supporting Venice's merchants all around the world.
Some people just don't like change, though. The resulting instability gives rise to violent rebel uprisings in distant holdings. Venice is well prepared to defend its island holdings from any such threats though, and those distant territories are quickly pacified.
In 1714, Bavaria's ruler is crowned Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, breaking a long line of Hessen rule. This amplifies the threat that Bavaria poses even further.
Just as Venice's northern neighbor is crowned Emperor, events of even greater significance are taking place internally. Doge Erizzo meets with administrators from the northern and southern districts of the Peninsula, and together they declare a unified Maritime Republic of Italy. Bavaria should know that any attack against Venice would be an attack against all of the Italian peoples.
Inspired by Italy's success in Southeast Asia, Bohemia asks their ally to provide assistance in a colonial war against Malacca. Italy provides assistance and sends one of its far east fleets to neutralize Malacca's naval presence in the area. This paves the way for a successful Bohemian land invasion.
Malacca's entire battle fleet is destroyed at the Battle of Karimata Strait.
The 1722 offensive in Japan produces territorial gains in both western and central Honshu.
Bohemia's ambition remains strong, and in 1724 they enter into another war with Malacca. England attempts to prevent further Bohemian colonization in the east, but Italy joins the war, lending its naval dominance to the support of Bohemia's successful land army.
The unceremoniously named "8th Fleet" is actually Italy's most dangerous weapon of war in the Mediterranean. It only numbers 30 vessels, but each one is a floating fortress packed with more artillery than a typical army. Admiral Sforza Maria d'Este commands this battle fleet with a level of expertise one would only expect see from the men of a thalassocracy such as Italy.
England's fleets have recently been ravaged by Iberia during colonial conflicts, and they are unwilling to send their remaining vessels out to their doom against Italy's navy. Admiral d'Este saturates English waters with Italian warships, blockading every port on the British Isles for the duration of the war.
The Republic of Italy proclaims a universal set of rights and liberties for all of the people under its rule. This sets Italy apart from many other major powers. Italian colonies suffer from much less unrest and are on average, happier and more content than the colonies of other nations.
Progress continues to be made in Japan, albeit slowly. By 1728, all of western Honshu is under Italian control, and most of the island of Kyushu has fallen.
The Teutonic Order has been secularized and ruled over by a monarch for some time, but their dynastic decisions are just starting to pay off. The King of Champagne dies heirless, and their throne passes to the ruler of the Teutonic Order.
Doge Erizzo becomes well known for his ability to spot talent and put it to good use. A scholar from the university of Rome is invited to an advisory position to advise the Doge on economic matters.
The Archbishopric Imperial state of Gelre abandons Europe, moving its administrative centers to the new world. This positions a large Catholic theocracy deep in North America.
The islands of Southeast Asia remain firmly under Italian rule in the 1730's. The Philippines, Western Papua, and Java form the boundaries of Italian presence here. Relations with Brunei have been strained by Italy's participation in Bohemian conflicts in the area.
Finally, in 1734 the Shogunate have been disbaned by the Italy armies. (The Bastards!) The highly formalized system of war and diplomacy practiced between the Japanese Daimyos and Emperor has fallen apart after years of foreign conquest. The remaining Daimyos now face off against Italy themselves, leaving the Emperor to fend for himself.
In what may be the last significant battle between Italian and Japanese forces, General Cosimo di Ferrari destroys the Fujiwara daimyo's forces at the Battle of Shinano.
Kyoto is seized from the Emperor's hands, and Kyushu is pacified. The markets at Kyoto thrive as business returns. Valuable goods from Italian colonies pour into the city's markets and exchanges, and merchants from all across Italy flock to the exotic city.
Just after the Japanese War of 1734, Domenico Erizzo passes away. His rule will be remembered for Italian unification, sweeping government reform, and the penning of a Bill of Rights, among other things.
A new Doge is elected. Leopoldo Castagna has a likable personality, but often displays a lack of savvy in political affairs. He is a proud supporter of Italian naval might and commissions many new modern warships for Italy's overseas fleets during his term. Italy's far east fleets have essentially been where older vessels go to retire as the Mediterranean fleets are modernized, but Doge Castagna demands that they have the best.
The passing of Doge Erizzo and the continues weariness of Japanese campaigns has driven up rebel sentiments in many colonies across Italy, but the nation's progressive policies help to maintain order.
The Teutonic Order is unable to maintain their Union with Champagne, but then forms another such Union with Hesse in 1739 by pure luck. It is unlikely that they will have any more success controlling the powerful Hessen nobility, either.
In 1742, Italy's vassal of Corsica is integrated into the country. All Italians are now ruled under a unified Italian state.
Bohemia once again comes into conflict with England and calls Italy to its aid. The Italian navy sails with them to the British Isles once again.
And once again, the English navy refuses to leave port and face its enemies. As English ports are blockaded, Bohemia lands its armies on the shores of Ireland.
England cedes the majority of Ireland to Bohemia in peace settlements. Munster is annexed by the Islamic Greek Sultanate of Morea.
Not sated by their Irish conquest, the Bohemians launch an invasion of The Ottomans. Italy once again comes to their aid, blockading the Ottoman ports along The Levant and Asia Minor.
160,000 Bohemian troops pour across the Bosphorus and the Ottomans are completely unprepared to deal with such a threat.
Coinciding with Bohemia's invasion, another Italian offensive in Japan reduces the Fujiwara to just a sliver of territory.
Bohemia's invasion proceeds swiftly, and within a year they've nearly pushed through to the borders of Syria.
A peace is signed between Bohemia and The Ottomans, transferring a swath of territory including Istanbul to Bohemia.
A new Doge is elected in 1748. Cosimo di Saluzzo is a master of many fields, and a beloved leader.
Doge di Saluzzo spends his first year overseeing further reforms to Italian government. Under his leadership, a number of new laws and guidelines are created, along with a Constitution outlining both the limitations of governmental bodies and the liberties of its people.
The following year, many rejoice to the news of a Union between Bavaria and Burgundy.
It seems the old Bavarian ruling house has died out, and the throne of Bavaria has passed by succession to the king of Burgundy. Italy's largest threat has now become a puppet to one of its allies. Many years pass in peace between Italy and its neighbors. Bohemia and Italy each rest their weary populations and refrain from further offensives while Burgundy and Italy enjoy the security provided by a friendly Bavaria in central Europe.
By 1756, it becomes clear that the remainder of the century may not remain so peaceful. Plans for a final push to conquer the remainder of Japan are discussed in war councils in the Italian capital of Venice. In addition, a new wave of separatist thoughts are beginning to spread among the colonies of all nations. The next several decades will see a great deal of upheaval around the world.
The world of 1756