Preparing Against France
Or Russia, I’m not sure which yet. France has Alsace-Lorraine, which I need to truly form Germany, but they are powerful; far more powerful than I, at the moment. Unfortunately, my military took a good thrashing against Austria, while France came in long after I had smashed the majority of Austrian might. As such, they have a few stacks of troops, while I have only two.
Before I can worry about war against the French, however, I need to pay off the massive debts I accrued over the course of the four-year war. With some careful cuts and tax hikes, I manage to balance the books – and even expand my new-fangled rail system! The first trains of Prussia run from Berlin to Konigsberg. Capitalists soon pick up the slack, and Prussia will have a nation-wide rail system within a few years.
The current First Minister of Prussia is nothing more than a placeholder, neither successful nor particularly detrimental to the state. This is not good enough, and I manufacture a scandal by which to remove him from the office. With the death of the King in Prussia in 1840, plus the replacement of this uninteresting minister, I may be able to get this government off the ground and pass some reforms. The new First Minister is appointed; a Military Man! This is good news, I think.
This is one of the first big decisions added in the POP Demands Mod. What I choose here can have massive effects on the game.
I take pity on the decayed Ottoman Empire; it is so far reduced from what it once was – a descent I am sure will continue regardless – that I want to stave off the inevitable as long as possible. If the Ottomans fall now, it could radically alter Middle Eastern politics, something I don’t want at the moment. I’d rather have a unified Germany when the Empire finally rots to the core. Support the Empire it is!
I can also use this war as an excuse to steal Suez from Egypt. Though the Suez Canal will not be built for a very long time, I want to be the one to do it. The commercial benefits certainly won’t hurt either, nor will establishing Prussia as a colonial power.
While I wait for my armies to assemble and board their transports, news reaches the throne.
This is going to cause problems. Nationalist and suffrage movements tend to be more violent in this period, leading to more common rebellions. I cannot face Egypt, stare down France, and hunt for rebels at the same time. France will be left alone.
Speaking of rebels…
No matter; Austria will be under my rule soon enough. I need not worry about the Jacobin movement south of the border. I send a small first expedition into the Mediterranean, where they will land north of Cairo and take the city. Unfortunately, Prussia’s minuscule navy cannot ferry a large army with any speed, so the invasion of Egypt will come piecemeal.
The Oriental Crisis comes to an end, and Prussia has a choice; end our own war against Egypt, or continue our agression.
Screw it, I want Suez. WAR!
Egypt immediately offers Suez, and I take it. That was easy.
Prussia has a colony! I begin a National Focus campaign to entice German immigration into the Suez Region. It’s my own little New World (except it’s Egypt, and therefore older than Prussia. Shut up.) New trade comp[anies are established, though this causes strife among the Prussian Upper House; the Capitalists want free trade within the new colony, while the Aristocracy demands privileged, state-controlled companies hold the commercial aspects of our new holdings.
Of course I side with the Aristocrats. Normally, I like to encourage Capitalists, but free trade in so new a colony would be a disaster; there is nothing to trade! The Suez economy would collapse and not recover for decades.
Fun fact: the more control the government maintains, the more control the player has. As liberal ideas take hold and power moves into the hands of the people, the player has less and less control – which can be good, since the AI is very intelligent and can usually run the country for you – but only once you have a working economy/production model. The AI is also vastly superior at maintaining the vast and brain-numbingly complex empires of the late game, taking a huge load of stress of the player in the late game.
Speaking of liberal ideals…
The Jacobins are Anarcho-Liberalists, a violently liberal movement. The dichotomy of these hate-spewing, racist, religiously intolerant anarchists calling themselves ‘liberal’ might seem strange to a modern audience, but keep in mind that this was the beginning of the Liberalist movement. Political experimentation was all the rage; it is from this era that the very first Socialist/Communist ideas began to form, though they would not actually spread for decades more. True laissez faire capitalism quickly failed, but the wonders of free trade economies is that they are very adaptable and self-correcting; though pure libertarian economies failed, slight deviations of th form proved durable and effective.
But these guys? Fuck the Jacobins. That’s what I intend to do.
AND I DO. In a few months, all 250,000 Jacobin rebels have been killed or routed. Just as I finish with this, however, I catch wind of Russian propaganda; a drumming-up of international support for war against Austria-Hungary. Though I have every intention of subsuming Austria into Greater Germany, Russian expansionism will not be tolerated. I forge an alliance with Austria-Hungary; any Russian aggression will be met with Prussian steel and bullets! Unfortunately, Reactionary rebels have infested my southern neighbour – likely in reaction to the Anarcho-Liberal Jacobin coup. Another regime change would mean an end to our alliance and would leave Austria-Hungary open to Russian intervention. Luckily, a Military Access Agreement is met, and my armies crush the Reactionaries in Vienna, ending the rebellion there.
In fact, German Pan-Nationalists have risen all over the place! I like where this is heading! Wurttemberg joins my Sphere, and Bavaria is currently being occupied by these Pan-Nationalists. Now that all of Germany (except Austria) is in my SoI, I merely need to wait until 1850 and the State & Government technology to unlock before I can form the North German Federation – of course, by then, I might be able to form Greater Germany without the intermediary step.
All this liberal agitation and rebellion has got the Prussian people talking about a constitution and an end to the absolute monarchy. I’m tempted to agree… Voting is not yet implemented, but State-Run Unions and Naturalization of Immigrants is easing all but the most militant of liberals. The suffrage movement cannot be ignored forever.
Let’s take a look at the rest of the world, shall we?