International Politics.   Posted by The GM.Group: 0
The GM
 GM, 9 posts
Fri 1 Jul 2011
at 09:12
International Politics
The major players on the world stage are England, France, Spain, The Dutch Republic, Portugal, Austria and the Ottoman Empire. Few of these are firm friends, but neither are they necessarily sworn enemies at this time. The 1660s are a time of international intrigue and rapidly shifting alliances. Portugal has perhaps the closest ties with England, as Charles' wife is Portuguese. France may be second, as the two kings are cousins (Not that that stopped WW1). Despite Charles having lived there very recently, the Dutch Republic's stranglehold on maritime trade is a thorn in England's side and will result in wars for mastery of the seas. Around this time, for example, New Amsterdam is captured and re-branded New York.

England is struggling to remain a major power, impoverished and hamstrung by its recent civil war, but it has colonies in the Caribbean, America, Africa, India and the Orient.

France has emerged from its internal tug of war between king and cardinal and the strong new king, Louis XIV is consolidating his kingdom and empire whilst contemplating building a palace at Versailles.

Spain is perhaps still the strongest world power, but not strong enough to invade its european neighbours. It has extensive and lucrative colonies in the Americas but little to the east.

The Dutch Republic is master of the seas, having taken over when the English and Spanish armadas fought each other to a standstill a century ago. Most of their colonies are in Africa and the east, but they have holdings in the New World too.

Portugal is past its prime, a nation in decline, but still holds Brazil from Spanish control and has many colonies in the east.

Austria is a landlocked nation with no naval power but a very strong army. It is at permanent war with the Ottoman Empire and prevents the Turks from entering Western Europe. There are strong family ties between Austria and Spain.

The Ottoman Empire is at its height. The Muslim power has never looked back since the end of the crusades. It has taken over most of the middle east and north Africa, it has beaten back the armies of Vlad Drakul, and is knocking on the doors of Vienna. The Hapsburg Austrians, hereditary masters of the Holy Roman Empire are hard pressed to keep them out, and Ottoman ships, the so-called Barbary Pirates, sail from north African ports to raid the coasts of western Europe even as far as England and Ireland in search of loot and white slaves.

Other nations are unlikely to play a large role in the game (unless the PCs choose otherwise). Denmark and Sweden are more interested in vying with each other for baltic trade, Germany doesn't yet exist, being a patchwork of hundreds of independent city states (fictional Ruritania for example), Poland is divided between watching Sweden, Russia and the Ottomans, and Venice is in decline and is also facing the Ottoman incursion. The influence of China and Japan is local to the Far East.

Although the Anglo-Dutch war involves ship battles in the North Sea, most of the clashes between the European powers are proxy affairs fought at a safe distance frrom the mother lands, in the east and west indies, where islands change hands almost as quickly as coins.

This message was last edited by the GM at 09:12, Fri 01 July 2011.