3 months later, the world has changed. The so-called European War of Democracy has ended in the downfall of several dynasties of Europe.
Titles of Gustavus Adolphus:
Emperor of United States of Europe (German and Austrian territories)
King of Italy (w/ Republic of Venice)
King of Poland (along with some Baltic territories)
King of Sweden (w/ Finland)
High King of Union of Kalmar (Denmark-Norway and Iceland)
Emperor of Britannia
King of Scotland
King of Ireland
King of Spain (w/ Portugal)
Members of Gustav's Alliance: (Vassals, Protectorates, allied powers, etc.)
King Wallenstein, King of Bohemia and Ukraine
Louis XIII, King of France and Navarre
King Don Fernando, King of the Netherlands (w/ Belgium and Luxembourg)
King Charles I Louis (Karl Ludwig), King of England
Louis de Geer, Governor-general of Essen
Duke Henri of Rohan, Leader of the Swiss Confederation
Janusz Radziwill, King of Lithuania
Czar Mikhail, Ruler of Russia (Muscovy)
Shah Safi, Ruler of Safavid Persia (Iran and other parts of the Middle East)
Shah Jahan, Ruler of the Mughal Empire (India, parts of Bangladesh, and parts of Pakistan)
Other Major Powers:
Murad IV, Tyrant of the Ottoman Empire
Tokugawa Iemitsu, Shogun of Japan
Zhu Youjian (Chongzhen Emperor), Emperor of the Ming Dynasty, for now
Hong Taiji, Emperor of the Qing Dynasty, also known as the Manchurian Empire
Injo of Joseon, King of Joseon Korea (Former Ruler Gwanghaegun or Prince Gwanghae was overthrown but still alive)
The war will be written in the annals of history would be considered the most glorious, the largest, and the least bloody war humankind will face for a thousand years! Seriously, less than 30, 000 people died during the two-week war!
Scholars would be debating for months the impact, the justification, and the moral significance, of a war involving multiple nations, multiple dynasties, and the people and powerful technologies they brought!
Names such as the War of God's Wrath, War of the American Heresy, War of Swedish Domination, War of Vasa dominance, and Fifteen Year War of European Unification are circulating around the empire! Adapting to the changes will take a considerable amount of patience and politics so that the USE will live.
With the territorial changes in Europe, Emperor Gustavus Adolphus has acquired too much territory for him to administer. To placate the millions of new denizens under his rule, Gustav appointed several King level vassals to oversee the new kingdoms:
King Louis of France kept his position. The king is nothing more than a puppet ruler, who just relay the orders from somebody else. (Previously it was Cardinal Richelieu, now it is Mike Stearns) The former prime minister is sent to prison for instigating the war against the USE.
The King of Spain, however, will not receive the same treatment. Gustavus makes himself King of Spain and transfers all Italian territories to his Italian Kingdom.
Keeping up with his promise, Gustav appoints Don Fernando as king of the newly created Kingdom of the Netherlands.
With the execution of Charles I of England and the disinheritance of his son, Charles II, of the English throne, his nephew Charles I Louis (now Charles II Louis) has become the king of England. He is doing well in spreading American ideals in the country. Most people are not sorry for their dead king, as reading the up-timers books on English history proved in their minds that the new king would be a better replacement.
While Gustav took the throne of Poland and all its territories, he let Janusz become King of the newly established kingdom of Lithuania. To establish relations with Muscovy/Russia, the new king gave up all the territories that Russia lost to the commonwealth. Janusz has done well in modernizing the new state.
King Wallenstein acquired the state of Ukraine once the Ukrainians rebelled and place him as their new ruler. Despite Mike Stearns proposition to give him, a small patch of land from Poland and Lithuania to connect his new holdings Wallenstein refused. He is happy with the way things are going. With the support of leaders such as Bohdan Khmelnytsky, Wallenstein is the de facto leader of the Cossack groups. Many leave their bandit ways to enlist in his army for fame and fortune!
Somewhere in the Crimean Khanate:
"It is good to be free!" said a Cossack traveler from the new Bohemian state of Ukraine
"Cheers to you comrade!" said a Crimean Cossack as they enjoy their drinks at the local tavern
Much celebrating has gone by for the Cossacks. For a long time many of them were under the cruel rule of the Polish, but no more for the USE has brought freedom and prosperity for the horse-riding tribes.
"What brings you here my friend?" asked the Crimean
"I've been assigned to hire some brigands for the Bohemian king." He finishes the mug of ale in his hand
"Ah hiring some more of our comrades to fight for the German king eh!" He gives a smug face "But sorry, as vassals of the Ottoman Empire we cannot let ourselves become… as the Americans say…"
"Have conflicting interest?"
"Yeah! Those Americans have a phrase for everything! And you my friend, wouldn't dare to do anything that would get me killed!" Said with a sarcastic tone as he gives his friend a pat on the back
"Besides, you haven't forgotten that it's not us Cossacks but the Tartars whom rule the khanate!"
The Tartars and Cossacks are two of the many ethnic groups that lived in Eastern Europe. In fighting for themselves or for other nations, these two groups have shed each other's blood throughout the area for a long time. In this period, the Crimean Tartars are still subjects of the Ottomans while most of the Cossack groups supported the Muscovites, aka the Russians.
"Well, if only someone could convince them just to defect to Wallenstein's side?" The visitor said in a suspicious tone
Gasped the Crimean, "You haven't… no!"
"Yup, those Americans did it again!" he said just as they embrace
No matter how the enemies of the up-timers portray them in the negative light, most down-timers believed that they are people sent back in time. Time travelers have their advantages, especially the denizens of Grantville. Keeping their information secret, Mike Stearns has coerced people such as Don Fernando of Spain, by giving them bits of pieces of history important to them. The Native American tribes, the Lithuanian magnates, and the Imperial nobles are some of the groups that have pledge their loyalty out of fear of their historical demise.
"So… can I join?"
In the Kremlin…
"In what state is the condition of our country?" Said by Czar Mikhail to his council.
"It is going well; several of the Cossack and Tatar tribes east of Muscovy have cemented their loyalty to Mother Russia." Said by Patriarch Filaret, and father of the czar. "Roads have been established to connect these isolated villages to our great empire!"
Most of the council nod in the agreement
Seeking to ascend themselves ahead of up-time (year 2000) Russia, the Muscovites have implemented a series of annexations and vassalages of the various tribes living with the territories of modern day Russia. With the use of bribery and system of alliances, the Tsardom has expanded dramatically east much faster than in the original timeline.
Next, Danny Mason said, "We are seeing progress at the Military Engineering-Technical University right here in Moscow. Over forty engineers are now ready to serve in the Russian army."
With the probability that St. Petersburg will not exist in this time, (as the territory is under the control of Sweden under Gustavus Adolphus) it was decided that the capitol, Moscow, would be a great location for both the Moscow State Mining University and Military Engineering-Technical University. While the Russian government and up-time financiers, such as the Mason family, complete the construction of both the universities, temporary areas are established to train the first new wave of engineers.
The Mason family have acquainted themselves with the Russians very well. In exchange for their services, the Masons receive the privileges of hiring Russian mercenaries and the backing of the Muscovite government.
Again, most of the council nodded in agreement.
"Ahem, my lord, aren't you forgetting something." Fedor Ivanovich Sheremetev
The Tsar tries his best to remember what his cousin is trying to remind him off to no avail. All he could do is give a shrug of his face, saying no.
(Sigh) said Fedor, "Your majesty, may I remind you that the expansion of Russia's borders, the massive constructions happening right here in Moscow, along with the rapid growth of our military comes at the expense of reducing the number of serfs farming the land."
The statement raises eyebrows across the room.
"May I remind you Tsar, and you Masons, that for over centuries we the lords of Russia have used our serfs to maintain the land and produce a steady supply of food that would last through the winter."
The silence continues
"I speak for the majority of the nobility when I say that we are concerned that by reducing the number of serfs farming the land, we might experience a food shortage just as were entering the winter season." Fedor ends his statement
Just then, laughter can be heard from Danny Mason
"You know, you really have a good talent." He said
"And what is that?" asked Fedor
He replies, "You're good at blowing things out of proportion! Nothing you've said holds any ground." He points his finger at Fedor
"First off, we've only used a total of two thousand serfs towards all of our various projects. Between the refugees coming from the west and the up-timer workers harvesting the fields, Muscovy would have its winter supply of food by the end of the week. Proving once and for all that your worries are without any sound." He said much to Fedor's anger
Fedor slams his hands on the table, hard. He then rises up and shouts at Danny, "Who are you to say to me, a noble in the Tsardom of Russia, that I am completely and utterly paranoid!"
"A fool," said by D. Mason
"What DID you…" Fedor is interrupted
"Nothing more than a fool who does not realize the warnings given to him and letting history repeat itself." Danny said much to the anger of the Russian council members besides the Czar.
"The sad and avoidable demise of Tsarist Russia. Only this time, it would come sooner than you think." Tsar Mikhail nodded in agreement, much to the confusion of Fedor
"The United States of Europe has eliminated almost all other Great Powers in this world. Now it stands the most powerful nation, empowered by a nationalistic people, armed with up-time weaponry, and fueled by the endless wealth of its American citizens. The only nations that could oppose them are the Ottomans, the Persians, the Mughal Empire, the Manchurians, and finally us."
The Tsar speaks, "Once the USE is done assimilating the defeated nations, it WILL sets its eyes towards more conquests. Right now, Russia and the Ottoman Empire are the only nations that share a border with the USE."
"They have sympathizers everywhere. Cossack and Peasant rebels could instigate rebellions and even overthrow the Tsar in a heartbeat. The 40 000 Russian army is no match for what the USE has. One HUNDRED thousand USE/Swedish soldiers supported by airplanes, tanks, APCs, along with twenty thousand from Bohemia and Lithuania. The war would be over in a week."
"However, it doesn't have to be that way." Said the Tsar
"The Masons have given us their full handed support! Our nation's glory and prosperity has been handed to us by the Masons! Therefore, I have decided to make the Masons members of the Russian nobility!" The Czar ended his speech much to the surprise of the council
"We Masons have developed a plan that would launch Russia into the limelight! No longer would we be seen as a backward third-rate country but as the undisputed ruler of Eurasia!"
"What plan is this!"
"Simple, the Tsar and Emperor Gustavus of the USE have signed an agreement, a treaty that cements Russia's alliance to the USE."
"Using this alliance, a joint USE-Russian army will invade the Ottoman Empire, ending the Muslim threat once and for all!" Danny ended his speech much to the applause of the entire council. Even Fedor is amazed by the rhetoric employed by the American, whose still in his twenties!
(Talking to himself) "Murad's dream will come crushing down on him!"