This Alternate History of Europe Timeline is a timeline, created by Calthrina950, which will explore a alternate history of Europe, and eventually, of much of the rest of the world, starting in 1430. It will possibly run for some time. I will try to be historically accurate in some areas, but will also add new events and nations such as Britain will appear on the map earlier. The Byzantine Empire will still collapse, but the Otttoman Empire would also undergo some changes.
The below is the starting map:
Cardinal Beaufort, shortly after convincing Humphrey, the Lord Protector, to end the War in France, dies. Humphrey begins a withdrawal of forces from France, but at the same time instigates plans to strengthen the English monarchy and to consolidate his own personal power. His plan consists of the following objectives:
- Reducing the power of the Parliament by rigging the elections for the House of Commons, binding the House of Lords closer to the Crown, and making the position of Speaker of both Houses subject to the control of the Crown. Also, gaining complete control of the power of the purse was a primary goal.
- Reducing the powers of the bishops and the nobles, by confiscating numerous private properties, placing restrictions on the noble's powers and influence, placing the Church within England under direct royal supervision and control, and subjecting Church doctrine to Royal influence; and
- Accumulating a lot of personal wealth for himself, in order to make himself richer and more powerful then any other noble, bishop, or person in all of the Kingdom of England.
Humphrey also has ambitions of taking the Crown for himself. He begins instigating his plans by bribing many of the voters in the elections for the Commons, issuing a royal proclamation which places obligations on the nobles, and forcing the bishops to send a report concerning their activities every year.
In Denmark, a Danish botanist modifies the three-crop system, introducing a fourth crop into the rotation. He also introduces clover, which increases soil fertility. As a result, production of every acre of land in Denmark increases, and prosperity reigns throughout the Union of Kolmar. As a result, King Eric of Pomerania retains power and becomes more powerful then ever.
With the English reducing their efforts in France, the French, although saddened by the burning of Joan of Arc, launch a massive campaign to regain their lost territories. Humphrey allows them to advance. By the end of the year, the French have annexed Burgundy and regained control of many of their northern territories. France also begins plans of subsuming Provence, Avignon, and Brittany.
In England, Humphrey, the Lord Protector, launches the second part of his plan. He has Parliament pass a law which grants the Crown greater authority over the House of Commons. Humphrey also places the revenues and monasteries of the English Church under Royal control. He also marries off the young King Henry to the eldest daughter of King James I of Scots (Scotland), Margaret. His primary reason is this: he wants to unify all of the British Isles into one united kingdom, which will eventually become a reality in the next twelve years. Humphrey also gains complete control of military revenue for the Crown, and he reduces' the nobles' control of conscription.
Meanwhile, in the North, English mercenaries, under the orders of Humphrey, establish a close alliance with both Shetland and Orkney. This alliance is more of a "dominant relationship", because England assumes control of both islands' diplomatic and military relations. Yet another foundation in the eventual establishment of Britain is laid.
The Ottoman Empire annexes Albania, which had managed to resist for a long period of time. This is the first step to a campaign which will insure Ottoman dominance in the south-eastern Balkans. The Byzantine Empire suffers a severe plague, which down-scales it's resistance towards the Ottomans and will help pave the way for it's upcoming fall.
Humphrey, the Lord Protector, continues to build up and increase his power. He has Parliament pass a law which allows the Crown to confiscate private property, especially that of the nobles, at the will for the benefit of the kingdom. Humphrey also establishes a Commission of Bishops, which becomes responsible for administering the English church day to day and maintaining control over Church doctrine. He also establishes a new military conscription system, which applies equally to merchants and nobles.
At the same time, Humphrey opens up negotiations with the Kingdom of France, in order to bring the Hundred Years' War to a end. He proposes a treaty which is lenient to both sides: England would secede to France Brittany and most of it's other remaining French territories, except Calais; the English Crown would drop it's claims to the French Crown; and both countries would have a economic alliance. The French accept, signing the Treaty. The Hundred Years' War is finally over.
The Holy Roman Emperor, Sigismund, is confirmed in his position as King of Bohemia, with the conclusion of the Hussite Wars in a Hapsburg victory. He begins a process which will eventually transform Bohemia into a major power in the Balkans, to rival the Ottoman Empire. Sigismund reorganizes the Bohemian government, places the nobles under central control, and expands Bohemia's military. He also begins building up his own personal treasury as well.
Humphrey, the Lord Protector, begins making further preparations. He arranged for King Henry VI to appoint him the lord treasurer and chief privy councilor, after his regency would end the next year, in 1437. He also gathered a base of supporters, assembled his own private army, and amassed more influence at the court. The final reform Humphrey pushed through before the end of his regency was the reorganization of the levies system, which increased England's revenues five fold.
The Khanate of the Golden Horde, in eastern Europe, begins to suffer more internal troubles. The Tatar khan fell into severe political disputes with many of his leading generals and advisers. Muscovy, still a dependency of the Tatars at this point, is becoming increasingly restless and rebellious, although remaining subordinate. To the west, Poland-Lithuania launch constant pillaging operations and raids, as does the Genoan territories in the south. This will pave the way for the disintegration of the Khanate in the 1440s.
The Ottoman Empire expands to the East, conquering many of the territories of the Turkish Emirates. This campaign is lead by Turkish Grand Vizier Ahmed Hazi, who will be destined to become one of the greatest rulers of the Ottoman Empire. Hazi encourages the Sultan to establish a temporary peace with Venice, Genoa, and the Byzantine Empire, in order to concentrate on building up the Turkish military.
In England, King Henry VI turns 18 and officially assumes power. Humphrey becomes his Chancellor and Head of the Privy Council. In Scotland, King James I dies, and his eldest daughter, Margaret, (married to Henry) ascends to the Scottish throne. Henry thus becomes King Consort of Scotland. As such, Henry and Margaret become known as the "British Monarchs", since they each had their domain which they ruled over, and that will pave the way for the upcoming unification of Britain.
The King of Portugal, Edward I establishes the Royal Academy of Navigation, influenced by the renowned Prince Henry the Navigator. This academy will become one of the greatest schools of navigation and science in all of Europe. Edward I also begins planning for a expedition to Africa, for purposes of "trade with the natives in goods and servants (slaves)".
Chancellor Humphrey persuades King Henry VI and Queen Margaret I to issue a joint royal proclamation, concerning both Scotland and England. This proclamation laid another foundation in the process of the unification of the British Isles, and laid out the following two basic objectives:
- The Kingdoms of England and Scotland were to conduct free trade with each-other, under such regulations as would be provided by the Monarchs or the Parliaments of the two Nations; the ports of both nations would be open to each-other, and subjects of one would be able to freely cross the boundary into the other nation
- Scotland would terminate it's Auld Alliance with France, instead establishing a similar diplomatic alliance with England. In this alliance, both nations would pledge to support each-other in all wars, and if one was invaded, the other would have to send troops in support of the nation attacked. Scotland and England also agreed to not sign any peace treaties or agreements deterring in interest to the other.
Humphrey also persuaded King Henry VI to exert more direct control over the Lordship of Ireland. The Irish military and parliament would both be placed under English supervision, Ireland would be divided into English-style boroughs and parishes, and the King would appoint a personal Representative in Ireland who would enforce English laws and maintain order. Again, this is another preparation step for unification.
Meanwhile on the continent, France annexed Provence and secured a agreement with the Papacy which allowed it to subsume Avignon. King Charles VII had a "French Unification" policy, which basically meant that every step would be taken to bring all of the ethnic French lands under one state. Charles VII reorganized the French government, establishing a Central Council (Le Conseil central). This Council would consist of members appointed and dismissed by the king at will. Their primary duty would be to provide advice to the king and run the day-to-day operation of France. The Council was a innovation, rapidly becoming the primary body of the French government. Charles VII also reorganized the entire nobility system, dividing France into five duchies, eight earldoms, and two viscounties.
The Ottoman Sultan Murad II dies when he falls off his horse while out on a royal hunt. In his will, he named his Grand Vizier, Hazi, his successor, instead of his son Mehmed. Hazi changes his name to Hatui, becoming Hatui I of the Ottoman Empire. He will become one of the greatest monarchs of the Ottoman Empire in it's history. Hatui I has himself coronated, the first Ottoman Sultan to being crowned in such a manner. He then begins preparing for war with Hungary in the north-west.
Scotland annexes the Lordship of the Isles, thus extending it's territory to the north-west. It receives support in this endeavor from it's southern ally and neighbor, England. Meanwhile, Humphrey has King Henry VI annex Orkney and Shetland, after having been on a diplomatic-military protectorship arrangement with those two states for a number of years. The unification of the British isles is rapidly approaching, and will change Europe in many ways.
Haci I Giray, the governor of the Crimean province, secedes from the Khanate of the Golden Horde, with the support of the Kingdom of Poland-Lithuania. Haci I establishes the Giray dynasty, and proclaims the existence of the Khanate of Crimea. He will become the most successful Crimean khan. Haci I establishes a standing army and opens relations with other European nations, including Poland-Lithuania, England, and the Ottoman Empire. He also supports the arts. The Crimean Khanate becomes the first part of the Golden Horde to split off.
Portugal launches a expedition to Africa. In this expedition, at least 20 Africans are captured and enslaved by the Portuguese expeditioners. The slaves are presented to the Portuguese royal court in Lisbon. Thus the Atlantic slave trade began. The expedition also gathered extensive information on Africa's local states, economy, resources, geography, and climate, which will prove useful to the Europeans in later years. This information is compiled in a journal, which is published across Europe. Other nations such as England begin to develop a interest for Africa as a result.
King Eric of Denmark dies, and is succeeded by his daughter, Mary. She will become renowned for her domestic reforms and promotion of the Danish economy. Queen Mary I marries Ludwig Ferdinand, a prince of the Holy Roman Empire. They will eventually have five children: Eric (born 1443), Charles (born 1445), Robert (born 1447), Ludwig (born 1449), and Joanna (born 1451). All of these children will be married into other European royal houses, including those of Britain, Muscovy, Castile, and France.
Sultan Hatui I instigates another war in the Balkans. The sultan has three primary targets: Venice, Hungary, and the Byzantine Empire. He begins his military campaigns in the region by assaulting the Byzantine Empire, which by then had shrunk to only Constantinople and a couple minor territories scattered across Anatolia and Greece. Hatui I leads these campaigns personally, and becomes known for his military prowess, his leadership, and his determination. By the end of the year, the Byzantines have lost many of their territories and are forced to become a Ottoman protectorate.
In the Holy Roman Empire, the Emperor convenes a session of the Imperial Diet. He firmly believes that every proper monarchy, state, and empire, deserves to have a general code of laws and a detailed, organized system of government, both local and central. He also believes in reducing and restricting the rights and powers of the nobles and princes. The Emperor pushes the Golden Bull of 1442 through the Diet. The Bull lays out the following:
- Amendments are made to the Golden Bull of 1356. These amendments reorganize the system of electors and set out new procedures for the election of the Emperor. The electors would be the Elector of Brandenburg, the Elector of Bavaria, the Archbishop of Cologne, the Elector of the Palatine (Rhineland), the King of Bohemia, the Elector of Hanover (a newly-created electorate), the Archbishop of Trier, and the Archbishop of Nuremberg. On the death or abdication of a emperor, the Electors would meet at either Augsburg or Madgeburg, and would vote by ballot for the candidates, who would be the applicants for the position. A candidate had to be male, over twenty years old, and hold some sort of position of nobility. He also had to be a property-owner. If no candidate received the two-thirds vote, then the Diet would choose from the top two vote-getters the Emperor. In the meantime, a Board of Imperial Councilors would operate the Empire until a new Emperor was elected.
- The Empire was to consist of four electorates, five archbishoprics, eight princely states, and five duchies. This was a much smaller amount then the almost three hundred states the Empire had before. This reduction of the number of local states also streamlined and simplified local administration. The electorates would hold the most privileges, including rights of war and diplomacy, followed by the princely states, then the duchies, and finally, the archbishoprics. The electors would be appointed by the emperor; the archbishops also by the emperor; while the princes and dukes would come to power through hereditary inheritance. Each state was to have a local assembly, a treasury, and a army, but all would be under supervision of the Emperor and the Diet.
- The Imperial Diet would consist of five hundred members, appointed by the various electors, princes, and dukes; the highest-ranking Diet members would be appointed by the Emperor. The Diet would have the power to raise and fund armies, ratify, reject, or nullify treaties, pass legislation in the Empire, supervise the affairs of the local states, and supervise the government. The Emperor could call and dismiss the Diet at will; he would also set out Diet procedures and would preside over all sessions. The Emperor's assent would be required for all pieces of legislation. He could also introduce and modify legislation at will, within certain limitations concerning taxes and levies.
- The Emperor would be the supreme military commander and monarch of the Empire. He would be advised and assisted by a Imperial Council, who would be appointed and dismissed by him at will. The Emperor would hold supreme command over all Imperial armies, and he would also be the overlord and superior of all of the electors, princes, archbishops, and dukes of the Empire, holding the power to supersede their decisions at will; the Emperor would also be in charge of the Empire's Church manners, in accordance with the rule of the Pope.
The Bull also described the organization of the military, the basic governance of foreign relations, and punishments for treason and other major crimes. It was nearly 100,000 words long, and was well-written and organized, similar to Roman governmental documents. It was the most-detailed law in Europe at the time, and one of the longest. This Bull strengthened and stabilized the conflicting government structure of the Holy Roman Empire, and, along with the Golden Bull of 1356, served as it's constitution.
Sultan Hatui I, inspired by the Golden Bull in the Holy Roman Empire, issues the General Code of Laws in the Ottoman Empire (Genel Ahlak Kanunu Osmanlı imparatorluğu'nda). The Code is almost as detailed as the Golden Bull. It describes the absolute powers and unique position of the Sultan, outlines the frame of the Ottoman Royal Court and government, organizes the Ottoman military, and establishes other matters as well, including religious and finanical matters. It also contains a list of all laws and decrees in the Ottoman Empire from 1281 to 1442. The Code comes out to 78,000 words, and will serve as the constitution of the Ottoman Empire.
The British Monarchs, Henry VI and Margaret I, have their first child, Mary. Mary is baptized at Westminster Abbey and made Duchess of York upon her birth. They will have four other children, all of them female: Catherine (born 1444), Elizabeth (born 1446), Margaret (born 1448), and Joanna (born 1451). All of their children will be married into other European royal families. Meanwhile, Humphrey, the Chancellor, begins communicating to the two Monarchs his belief that a united kingdom of the isles of Britain would be beneficial to both monarchs, as well as to England and Scotland. It will be another two years before Henry and Margaret take this idea into complete consideration.
Further internal disputes erupt in the remaining territory of the Khanate of the Golden Horde. The khan engages in a series of arguments and confrontations with many of the most powerful nobles and officials in the khanate. To the south-west, the Crimean Khanate, under the direction of Haci I, begins launching devastating raids and pillaging operations, which plunges the Golden Horde into further conflict. A ambitious Tatar man establishes a mock court at Kazan. This will eventually lead to the secession of Kazan and it's territories from the Horde.
King Henry VI and Queen Margaret I of England and Scotland finally accede to Humphrey's proposal of a unified Britain. Representatives from both nations, appointed by the two Monarchs, begin negotiations at Westminster Palace. After months of wrangling, argument, and discussion, the Delegates signed the Treaty of Union 1445 on March 19, 1445. They then submitted it to the Parliaments of England and Scotland. The English Parliament ratified the Treaty on April 3. It passed largely due to the King's considerable influence in the House of Lords. On April 18, the Scottish Parliament ratified the Treaty. On April 30, King Henry VI and Queen Margaret I jointly granted ascent to the Treaty, which came into effect on June 5. The following terms were laid out:
- Starting on 5 June, and "forever after", as stated in the Acts, the two Kingdoms of England and Scotland, including the territories in Ireland, would be unified into one kingdom, to be stiled the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. King Henry VI and Queen Margaret I would continue to reign jointly over the new United Kingdom, but after their deaths, there would only be one British monarch. The ensigns, flags, banners, and seals of the United Kingdom would be determined by the King and Queen through Royal Decree.
- The succession to the Royal Crown of Britain, would be determined by a Law of Succession, that would be issued by the Parliament of the United Kingdom after the Treaty was ratified. Until such Law was issued and passed, Succession would be regulated by the rules of Succession in the previously-existing Kingdom of England.
- The economic provisions of the Joint Royal Proclamation of 1440 would continue to remain in effect. Further modifications were made. A detailed list of taxes, regulations on commerce and trade, and regulations on the conduct of merchant and naval vessels were outlined in the Treaty. Free movement across Britain would be guaranteed for every subject, including all "currently serving servants, villagers, or workers (serfs) whereof on the estates and Farms of the Nobles of this Kingdom". This provision effectively ended the system of serfdom.
- The Parliaments of the Kingdoms of England and Scotland would be unified into one Parliament, to be titled the Parliament of the United Kingdom. The Treaty authorized for a Enumeration to be conducted of all of Britain's citizens, to be taken every ten Years, and it stated that Representation would be determined upon this Enumeration. Until the Enumeration would be made, Scotland would receive 30 MPs and 10 nobles in the Parliament, and England's representation would basically be that of it's former Parliament. The Treaty divided Britain into Parliament districts, each district to be represented by a MP.
- The militaries of Scotland and England would be unified into one organization. The Royal Navy would consist of the former Scottish and English navies, while the Royal Army would consist of the former English and Scottish armies. The Treaty laid out military command regulations, specified punishments for disorderly men, and made the Crown the supreme authority of the Military.
The Treaty also laid out matters concerning foreign relations, the powers and duties of the nobles, and manners concerning the Crown. All together, it came out to about 30,000 words. It contributed to a large part of the British constitution, which at that time was unwritten.
The Ottoman Empire, the Holy Roman Empire, and the Italian states became the first nations to recognize the existence of the new United Kingdom.
Sultan Hatui I of the Ottoman Empire continues his campaign in the Balkans. The Sultan, at the head of his army, defeated a Venice-Athenian alliance at the Battle of Corinth, one of the most decisive Ottoman victories ever. As a result of this victory, the Sultan annexed Athens and many of Venice's possessions in the southern Greek peninsula. Hatui I also began construction on a Ottoman navy, in order to more effectively resist the Venetians on sea.
The Khanate of the Golden Horde splits up even further. Kazan and Siberia secede, establishing their own khanates. The Golden Horde is thus even closer to death. With Tatar unity and authority weakening, the Russian principalities begin to exert more control over their affairs, especially the Grand Principality of Muscovy. Muscovy assumes further control over it's foreign affairs and reduces tribute to the Golden Horde. The Horde, still engulfed in civil conflict, is powerless to stop this.
In Britain, Chancellor Humphrey died from plague. Humphrey, although he never succeeded in his goal to take the Crown for himself, had left a impact on Britain. He had helped to establish the United Kingdom and had pushed through numerous reforms which strengthened the monarchy in particular and Britain in general. Humphrey is buried in Westminster Abbey, a testament to his influence and status. At about this time, however, King Henry VI begins to experience mental issues, which his doctors simply dismiss as "the humorous reactions of the mind".
Queen Mary I of the Kolmar Union (Denmark) began her domestic reforms. The queen issued a series of regulations concerning agriculture, the affairs of Denmark merchants, and the privileges of the towns. These regulations, which all together come out to about 70,000 words, greatly streamline and improve the Danish economy. Mary I further expanded the crop rotation system, established the Academy of Agriculture in Stockholm, and invited philosophers, architects, and artists from Italy and Germany. She also issued a general code of laws which compiled all the laws of Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Finland. The code set out a list of punishments and provided extensive detail on the interpretation of each law. The General Code of Laws of Denmark, as they came to be called, came out to almost 300,000 words.
In Britain, King Henry VI and Queen Margaret I jointly commissioned the Compilation of the Second Great Doomsday Book. The Book's purpose would be to compile extensive information and facts on all the nobles in the United Kingdom, as well their collective properties, numbers of servants, and amount of wealth. The Book included great information about the wealth of the merchants and the towns as well. The Crown sent out agents across Britain to gather the information for the Book. This task would take five years. All together, the Book will come out to about 470,000 words.
Hatui I of the Ottoman Empire constructs a fortress just right out of Constantinople, which is the only remaining territory of the Byzantine Empire. The Sultan clearly was planning for a siege of the ancient Byzantine city. Elsewhere, the Sultan finished construction of the Ottoman navy and used it effectively against Venice. By the end of the year, most of the Venetian possessions along the Greek and Albanian coasts were in Ottoman hands. Hatui I also prepared for a campaign to the East.
In Lisbon, the first European slave market was established. By this time, the Portuguese were intensifying and increasing the still young African slave trade. The king of Portugal himself held a number of slaves in his palace. To help maintain and facilitate this trade, Portugal established a series of slave castles, trade posts, and containment facilities along the West African coast.
Tensions increase between the Kingdom of Poland-Lithuania and the Teutonic Knights. For years, the two states had been hostile rivals, and had struggled for dominance in the south-eastern Baltic region. The Teutonics begin launching raids into Polish-Lithuanian territory, carrying off thousands of women and children as prisoners or serfs. The Poles respond accordingly, launching similar raids into Teutonic Royal Prussia.
In the Byzantine Empire, a new emperor is crowned: Constantine VI. He is to be the last emperor of the Byzantine Empire, thus ending a line which, including the Roman emperors, stretched all the way back to Augustus in 27 BC. Constantine VI is determined to defend the rump remnant of the Byzantine Empire against the Ottomans at all costs, even if it means his own death. In pursuance of this policy, he, with the assistance of Venice and Genoa, rebuilds and expands the Theodosian Walls, builds up a defense force, and stocks on food, weapons, and military supplies.
Sultan Hatui I launches his long-awaited and planned campaign into the East. The Ottoman armies advance with great coordination, speed, and movement. The Sultanates of the Turks have weakened considerably over the past several years, and are in no position to effectively resist and repulse the Ottoman forces. By the end of the year, the Empire had advanced greatly in the east, assuming control of a fifth of Anatolia. It now surrounded the Empire of Trebizond and one of the Genoan territories to the South. The Ottomans had also gained a boundary with the Kingdom of Georgia.
Astrakhan and it's surrounding territories on the mouth of the Volga secede from the Khanate of the Golden Horde, thus creating the Astrakhan Khanate. The Golden Horde renames itself the Great Horde and instigates a complete reorganization of it's military and government. Meanwhile in the Crimea, Haci I begins to establish closer ties with the Ottomans. His primary reason for doing so is to eliminate the Genoan presence on the southern Crimea.
France annexes the small principality of Andorra, thus streamlining it's boundary with Aragon.
Queen Mary I, with the overwhelming support of the people of her domains, proclaims the official existence of the Danish Empire. She is crowned as the first Danish Empress in Copenhagen. Thus another great force in Europe had appeared. The new Empress also began to arrange marriage plans for her children, in cooperation with the other Royal families concerned: Her son Eric would marry Princess Juana of Castile; her son Charles would marry Princess Catherine of Britain; her son Robert would marry Princess Marie of France; her son Ludwig would marry Princess Sophia of Poland-Lithuania; and her daughter Joanna would marry Prince Henry of the Italian kingdom of Naples.
King Henry VI and Queen Margaret I of Britain, like Queen/Empress Mary I of Denmark, also made marriage arrangements for their children: it was already provided above that Prince Charles of Denmark would eventually marry Princess Catherine of Britain; Princess Mary would marry Prince Manuel of Aragon; Princess Elizabeth would marry Prince Francis of France; Princess Margaret would marry Prince Louis of Castile; and Princess Joanna would marry Prince Henry of Portugal.
Sultan Hatui I conquered the island territories of the Knights of Saint John. The Sultan established a Ottoman naval base and port on one of these islands. The port of Mehmed would become one of the major naval bases and commerical ports in the Ottoman Empire. The Sultan also annexed the small Republic of Ragusa along the coast. The Sultan made preparations for a siege of Constantinople and also assembled a army to attack the Genoan territories on the northern Anatolian coast.
Sultan Hatui I of the Ottoman Empire finally launched the long-awaited Siege of Constantinople on 18 April. For years, this had been a chief goal of the Ottoman Empire: to wrest control of the ancient Byzantine city, in order to establish it's position as the Islamic successor to the Roman Empire. Hatui I's army of 80,000 encircled around Constantinople, which due to years of plague, civil war, and the decline of the Byzantine Empire, had a reduced population and rate of prosperity. It was now more a collection of villages then a city. Despite this, Emperor Constantine VI and his small army of 7,000 defenders fought fiercely to protect the Byzantine capital. The Emperor appealed to the Pope for assistance, but the Pope refused. Finally, after nearly a month of fighting, the Ottomans penetrated the walls, overwhelming the defenders. The Sultan himself rode into Constantinople with his forces. Constantine VI was killed while fighting to defend his city. Byzantine forces surrendered on 17 May. Thus the Byzantine Empire, after over 1,000 years in existence, with brief interruptions, had ceased to exist. The loss of Constantinople was a great blow for Christian Europe. Sultan Hatui I immediately made the city the capital of the Ottoman Empire. He began a campaign which restored the city's former splendor and glory and transformed it from Eastern Orthodox to Islamic. At the same time of the Siege of Constantinople, Ottoman forces overwhelmed the Genoan territories on the south Black Sea coast.
In Britain, King Henry VI and Queen Margaret I held a grand banquet at Westminster Palace, for many of the monarchs of Western and Central Europe. This banquet was meant to improve and strengthen Britain's relations with the nations on the continent, especially Denmark, the Holy Roman Empire, Portugal, and Aragon. Monarchs who attended the banquet included Empress Mary I of Denmark, Emperor Frederick III of the Holy Roman Empire, Alfonso V of Aragon, King Alfonso V of Portugal, King Charles VII of France, and Duke Fernando I of Genoa. The banquet was lavish and grand, and did much to promote Britain's status. At the banquet, the monarchs discussed Christianity, politics, military affairs, and concerns over the fall of Constantinople to the "heathen infidels", the term the monarchs used to refer to the Ottomans.
The Khanate of the Crimea, with considerable Ottoman support, annexed the Genoan territories on the southern Crimean peninsula, as well the small pockets of Genoan territory in south-western Russia. Shortly after the Genoan Campaigns, Khan Haci I died when he fell off his horse while out on a hunt. He was succeeded by his son Jasul Girey, who would reign until 1465. Khan Jasul would not accomplish anything worth mentioning, except to establishing a economic alliance with the Ottoman Empire.
King Henry VI of Britain experiences a severe plague. His doctors are extremely baffled. They try every poultice and concoction possible in order to reduce the effects of the plague. They also bleed the king, as was common practice at that time. Fortunately, the king survives the illness, but is severely weakened, and becomes somewhat of a invalid. He will remain in this condition until his death in 1461.
On a minor note, the Italian Kingdom of Naples annexes the small state of Benevento.
The Kingdom of Poland-Lithuania, after years of increasing and boiling tension with the Teutonic Knights, launches a war against the afore-mentioned nation. The Polish-Lithuanian army, efficiently organized and commanded, quickly sweep into the Teutonic-controlled Royal Prussian territories. Many of the Prussian natives there have become increasingly hostile towards Teutonic rule. As a result, they assist and help the invaders in every way possible. By the end of the year, the Knights have been driven out of Teutonic Prussia. Poland-Lithuania thus gains access to the Baltic Sea. Taking advantage of the situation, the Danish Empire under Mary I conquers Teutonic Estonia. The Teutonic Knights have been considerably weakened.
Sultan Hatui I of the Ottoman Empire annexes the Empire of Trebizond, on the south Black Sea coast, thus completing the destruction of the ancient Byzantine Empire. Meanwhile in Constantinople, the Sultan converts the chapel of Haga Sophia, built by Emperor Justinian I the Great during the 500s AD, into a mosque. The Sultan also constructs for himself a palace in the center of Constantinople, launches a massive construction campaign, and strengthens the defenses and fortifications of the capital city. A Ottoman naval dockyard is constructed along the coast. All the while, the Ottomans conduct a conversion campaign of the Byzantines in Constantinople.
In Britain, King Henry VI, after years of struggling with ill health and a weakened mental condition, dies on 4 July 1461, after a reign of 39 years. His wife, Queen Margaret I, becomes the sole ruler of Britain. The widowed Queen will continue to reign over Britain until her own death in 1465. Margaret I is a able and great administrator, governing the nation well. She especially leaves her mark on London. Under her watch, the city was completely rearranged. A detailed and organized street grid plan was laid out, that would become a model for numerous other cities. Under the grid, all streets in London would radiate outwards from Westminster Palace and the historical St. Paul's Cathedral. Other British cities such as Portsmouth, Reading, Dover, Birmingham, Bristol, and Edinburgh receive similar grid plans.
Sultan Hatui I's health begins to decline. The Sultan suffered a bout of severe fever early in the year which severely weakened his health. Although he was able to recuperate, he never fully recovered from the effects. The Ottoman ruler remained weak and dizzy at times, and as such, the execution of his duties became more difficult. As a result, the Sultan delegated day-to-day governance of the Ottoman Empire to his son Suleiman, who becomes Regent. Suleiman will eventually become the greatest ruler of the Ottoman Empire in it's history, and will expand the Empire considerably.
Likewise, Empress Mary I of Denmark, Emperor Frederick III of the Holy Roman Empire, King Alfonso V of Aragon, King Charles VII of France, and numerous other monarchs also begin to experience health troubles. This will severely weaken all of them, and will lead to their deaths by 1469. Thus a new era will begin, with new rulers all across Europe, that will propel it into the sixteenth century and beyond.
In the Ottoman Empire, Sultan Hatui I, after a reign of 24 years, died on 5 June from a heart attack he suffered in his personal chambers. The sultan was found dead by one of his personal servants. His son Suleiman, who since 1461 had been acting as regent, assumed the throne, becoming Suleiman I of the Ottoman Empire. The sultan's first act, which was done on his first day in power, was actually a ceremonial one: he changed his official title from the Islamic title Sultan to the Christian title Emperor, meant to confirm his position as the successor of the Byzantine and Roman Emperors. He was crowned in Adrianople, the old capital of the Ottoman Empire.
In Britain, Queen Margaret I died, after a reign of 32 years (until 1461, joint with Henry VI). Her eldest daughter, Mary, then 22 years old, became the new Queen of Britain. Mary's husband Manuel, the second-in line to the Aragonese throne, became King Consort of Britain, although he wielded no power. Queen Mary was crowned at Westminster Abbey by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Edward Cantius, who was also one of Britain's two cardinals in the Catholic Church (the other being the Archbishop of Edinburgh). Mary's reign would be marked by the expansion of the Royal Navy, domestic and economic reforms, and endeavors on the continent.
Empress Mary I of Denmark and Emperor Frederick III of the Holy Roman Empire both died at about the same time. In Denmark, Mary I was succeeded by her oldest son Eric, who became Eric II of Denmark. Eric's wife, Princess Juana of Castile, became Denmark's Empress Consort. In the Holy Roman Empire, Frederick III was succeeded by his young 6 year old son Maximilian. The Imperial Council of the Empire, established by the Golden Bull of 1442, assumed power until Maximilian would come of age.
In the Grand Principality of Muscovy, a new Grand Prince comes to power, succeeding Vasili I, who's reign had been relatively inactive and uneventful. That new prince's name is Ivan III. He will become known as Ivan III the Great, for asserting Muscovy's complete independence from the Tatars and expanding it's territory.
Emperor Suleiman I began making preparations for a campaign against the Mameluke Sultanate, which ruled over Egypt, Palestine, Syria, Lebanon, and parts of south-eastern Turkey. This had been a goal of Hatui I, who had died before he was able to carry it out. The Ottoman Emperor assembled a army of over 180,000 on the border with the Sultanate. Meanwhile, in the west, he conducted a campaign which conquered the remaining Venetian possessions on the coast of the Balkans. He also began steps which would transform the Crimean Khanate into a puppet state of the Ottomans.
Queen Mary I of Britain gives birth to her first child, Henry. She will eventually give birth to three other children: Elizabeth (born 1468), Nicholas (born 1471), and Robert (born 1473). In the meantime, the queen begins to instigate the reforms within Britain for which she will become known for. She issues a series of amendments to the Treaty of Union 1445. In these amendments, Britain is divided into thirty districts, twenty of these located on the island of Great Britain, and ten in Ireland. Each of these districts would have a royal governor, a magistrate, a local force of sheriffs, and a member of parliament. Britain's military levies system would also be divided and organized along these lines as well. This reform greatly streamlines local administration and military levies.
Grand Prince Ivan III of Muscovy refuses to pay tribute to the Tatar authorities. The Tatar khan, Akhmed, tries to send a army against the Muscovites in order to exact this tribute. However, this army is routed at the Battle of the Ugra, not far from Moscow. As a result, Muscovy was no longer a dependency of the Tatars. The Grand Prince immediately began to assume diplomatic relations with other European nations. Britain, under the rule of Mary I, is the first to send a ambassador to Moscow.
Emperor Suleiman I invaded the Mameluke Sultanate. The Mamelukes, although they had a powerful and well-organized army, were overconfident and foolish. They considered the Ottomans a small threat and did not take them seriously until it was too late. The Ottomans advanced rapidly, so rapidly that the Mamelukes could not keep up. Suleiman himself led the army of 80,000 which besieged and captured the cities of Damascus, Jerusalem, and Tyre. Finally, near the end of the year, Ottoman forces crossed the Sinai Peninsula and reached Alexandrina, Egypt. The Mamelukes were forced to surrender. The Ottoman Empire's territory had been doubled in only a year. Thus the conquest of the Mameluke Sultanate became the first of Suleiman's many great victories. Suleiman assumed various titles and positions, including that of Protector of the Cities of Mecca and Medina, and honorary Pharaoh of Egypt.
Ivan III's first wife, a Princess of Tver, died during childbirth. After her death, the Grand Prince, eager to cement his ties with the (now deceased) Byzantine Empire, married Sophia Paleogue, a niece of the last Byzantine Emperor, Constantine VI. Under Sophia's influence and guiding hand, Ivan adopted Byzantine customs, ceremonies, and symbols into the Russian royal court. One of these was the double-headed eagle, which became the coat of arms of Muscovy. Ivan also began to call himself Tsar, although this title would not be officially assumed until the reign of Ivan the Terrible.
Portugal, under it's new king Henry I, began to search for sea routes directly to Asia. 18-year old Henry I was a ambitious and energetic man, married to 16-year old Princess Joanna of Britain. He believed in expanding and strengthening Portugal's power, influence, and wealth. Henry, and the Portuguese in general, wanted to find a more direct way of trade with the Asians, since the Ottoman Empire controlled the overland Asian trade routes. So as a result the search for new routes began. This search will prove successful within the next ten years.
In Russia, Grand Prince Ivan III of Muscovy begins the expansion of his domain. He annexed the Principality of Rostov, which had already lost much of it's territory to Muscovy in the reigns of Ivan's predecessors. Ivan subordinated the Principality of Tver into a Muscovite protectorate. This would be a stepping stone for his eventual complete incorporation of Tver into Muscovy. Domestically, the Grand Prince expanded his authority over his boyars and his subjects. He created a secret police organization of knights, loyal to him only, and also issued a statue which placed the properties of the most powerful boyars under central supervision. He also continued his adoption of Byzantine customs and ideals.
King Casimir IV of Poland-Lithuania negotiated the Treaty of Warsaw with the Grand Master of the Teutonic Order, Albert the Lame. The Treaty thus confirmed Poland-Lithuania's smashing victory in the Teutonic-Polish Wars. As a result of the Treaty, the Teutonics lost Royal Prussia, which was confirmed to be in Polish possession. The remaining Teutonic territory was divided into two: the western portion became the Duchy of Prussia, while the eastern portion became the Latvian Order. Both the Latvian Order and Ducal Prussia would be under Polish suzerainty. The duke of Prussia and the Grand Master of the Latvian Order would both have to pay tribute to the king of Poland. The Treaty alarmed Ivan III in Muscovy.
Ottoman Emperor Suleiman I launched a massive siege of the still independent Kingdom of Cyprus, whom his predecessor, his father Hatui I, had failed to conquer. Suleiman's massive naval fleet of 150 ships, including 20 ships of the first class, surrounded the island kingdom and pounded it with heavy cannon bombardment. The cannon fire rocked the island's many fortresses. Once the fortresses had been weakened enough, the Emperor's troops landed on the island. The Cyprus defenders fought fiercely, but their efforts were in vain. On September 3, the King of Cyprus surrendered and the island was annexed into the Ottoman Empire. The Ottoman victory over Cyprus alarmed numerous Western European powers, including Venice, Portugal, and Genoa. King Henry I of Portugal now worked more then ever to assemble a mission to find a new trade route to Asia.
Prince Ferdinand of Aragon and Princess Isabella of Castile are married. This union will eventually see the unification of the kingdoms of Castile and Aragon into one new state: the Kingdom of Spain. Spain will become one of the world's prominent colonial powers, and for a century and more, the dominant colonial empire. In the meantime, Ferdinand and Isabella (the future Catholic Monarchs) would have to wait until the death of their predecessors, Alfonso VI (Alfonso V had died in 1466) and Henry II, in order to take power.
In France, the successor of Charles VI (who had died in 1465), Louis XI "the Prudent", began instigating a series of measures and reforms within his domain for which he will become renowned for. He continues his father's consolidation of royal authority over all the nobles, bishops, and subjects of France. Louis XI placed the properties and wealth of the nobles under royal supervision, reorganized the taxation system (which was extended to include the nobility and the clergy), and considerably reduced the authority of the parlements of France. All of these measures served to strengthen royal authority and to promote France's further unity. Louis will become one of France's most successful administrators and most popular kings.
King Henry I begins a campaign of expansion of the Portuguese territories on the North African coast. This was directly in response to the continued strengthening and expansion of the Ottoman Empire. Portuguese forces further invaded the territory of the Maranids Sultanate. Their superior numbers, well-organized tactics, and centralized military command combined to hand the Portuguese a victory over the Maranids. By the end of the year, the northern parts of the Sultanate had been annexed by Portugal and the remainder of the Maranid Sultanate was forced to become a Portuguese protectorate. This Portuguese expansion alarmed the Ottomans, who had intentions of extending their control into the rest of North Africa.
This timeline is continued in Alternate History of Europe Timeline/2.