The Imperialist War Timeline is a timeline that commences in 1751, in the aftermath of the War of the Austrian Succession. First witnessing a series of alliances being constructed amongst various powers, the actual war itself will ultimately ensue. This timeline is purely fictional, for modern technology is in use, although the political landscape is 18th-century type.
Europe in 1751Edit
In the aftermath of the War of the Austrian Succession, which had lead to the province of Silesia falling into Prussian possession, confirming the Kingdom of Prussia under Frederick II as a new great power of Europe, great tensions existed amongst the various European nations. Austria, under her embittered Empress, Maria Theresa, was determined to avenge her losses at the hands of Prussia and recover Silesia. Empress Theresa also wished to do away with Frederick himself, who was a constant pain in her backside and whom she loathed personally. As such, Austria and France, who had long been traditional enemies, begin courting favor with each other. The Austrian envoy in the French capital, Prince de Liegne, held constant meetings with the French King, Louis XV, and his Royal Council of advisers and ministers. By the end of the year, the two countries had signed a treaty of commerce.
Worried by the Austrian dealings with France, Great Britain began vastly expanding her military forces. The British Parliament passed the Military Expenditures Act of 1751, which allocated 4 billion Pound Sterling to build 50 new submarines, 30 destroyers, and 3 aircraft carriers. The Royal Marines was doubled in size, while the Territorial Army received the new brands of rifles and automatic machine guns. The British also issued a reserve draft, ordering 500,000 men to undergo emergency training. The British Foreign Secretary, Lord Newcastle, sent a dispatch to the Austrian Government advising them to proceed "with caution".
King Frederick II of Prussia, in the meantime, was engaged in domestic reform projects. One of his long-held ambitions was to implement a new legal code for the Prussian judicial system. In June, Frederick engaged 50 legal experts, 30 paralegals, and a team of attorneys and judges to make preparations for a new code and to review the legal system. They based their plans off British, French, and Roman models. By the end of the year, the Allegreches Fredericus was nearly complete.
The Russian Empress Elizabeth suffered a major stroke. For a long time, she had massive eating habits and cared little for her health. Although the Empress managed to recover, the Russian courtiers despaired for her life. Elizabeth then acknowledged Alexandra, the only child of the late Peter II, as her heiress apparent, since she was beyond childbearing age.
In this year, great upheaval took place as Austria did what Britain feared. Negotiations between Prince de Ligne and Louis XV picked up speed, and on 8 February, the Treaty of Versailles was signed between the two former rival nations. Under the terms of the Treaty, the French Kingdom and the Austro-Hungarian Empire were committed to provide each other "unbridled and untrammeled assistance and aid" against any enemy in times of war. The treaty stated that any "hostile power in Germany or Italy", indirectly referring to Prussia and Venice, two of Austria's longtime enemies, as well as the Grand Principality of Hanover, aligned to the United Kingdom by personal union and military arrangements, would be dealt with swiftly and quickly. France committed herself to providing annual subsidies to the Austrian Government, to the tune of 15 billion Francs a year. In turn, the French would be allowed to station troops in Westphalia, a ally of Austria. After the treaty was signed, both France and Austria implemented vast military expansion programs. Empress Maria Theresa and her Council of State issued a series of edicts and directives that ordered for the implementation of wide-scale conscription and the revitalization of the Austrian air force. Nearly 700,000 men were called up to Imperial service. Austria also signed the Treaty of Dresden with Saxony and Bavaria, promising those German kingdoms aid in case of Prussian attack. In the meantime, France conscripted 1.5 million men and stationed a considerable naval force of destroyers and cruisers at Calais, barely twenty miles distant from Dover, England.
As a result of the Treaty of Versailles, an alarmed Britain terminated her alliance with Austria and began negotiations with Frederick of Prussia. The British ambassador to Berlin, Sir Charles Hanbury Williams, held meetings with the Prussian foreign minister, Prince Henry of Mecklenburg. After a few weeks of negotiations, the United Kingdom and Prussia agreed to the Treaty of Berlin on 1 April. By this treaty, Britain agreed to provide a subsidy of 2.6 billion Pound sterling annually to the Prussians, and in exchange, the Prussians agreed to protect Hanover from attack by enemies and "preserve the peace of Germany". This would allow Britain to dedicate her army towards eventual campaigns against French colonies in the Americas, Africa, India, and the Pacific. Britain thereafter increased military spending, conscripting 700,000 Americans from the British Atlantic Colonies into the British Army of North America, dispatching 50,000 British troops to Minorca, and conscripting 80,000 Indians into the British Army of India. The British also stationed a considerable naval force at Portsmouth and Dover, while strengthening fortifications on the southern coasts of England and Ireland. Also by the end of the year, the British ambassador in Venice, Sir Robert Flutcher, had been instructed by Foreign Secretary Newcastle to open negotiations with the Doge.
In Russia, the Empress Elizabeth died on 17 November after five weeks of extreme agony, and was succeeded to the throne by Alexandra, who became Alexandra I of Russia. An intelligent and educated woman, determined to strengthen Russia's position against the Prussians and Ottomans, and also to dominate Poland, Alexandra began rearming the Russian military, introducing conscription and appointing Prince Vladimir Apraskin as the new Russian Chief of Staff. Apraskin introduced reforms to discipline and began laying out plans for future war against Prussia. Also Russia began negotiations with Austria and France on an anti-Prussian alliance.
In this year, Europe moved ever closer towards war. Sir Robert Flutcher, the British ambassador in Venice, successfully concluded his mission on the matter of an alliance. On 9 January, the Treaty of Venice was signed by the Ambassador with Francesco Loredan, the Doge of Venice. The Treaty was ratified by the Venetian Senate the followimg day and by George II, the King of Great Britain, on 12 January. By the terms of the treaty, the Serene Republic of Venice allowed the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland to station a naval squadron at Trieste, in order to conduct naval operations against Austria in the Adriatic Sea. In turn, Great Britain agreed to provide a subsidy of 5 billion Pound Sterling per year to the Doge and the Senate and to dispatch military advisers. Both countries agreed they would make no peace with any opposing power without the other's consent. With this treaty ratified, the United Kingdom had gained another ally. The treaty alarmed France and Austria, however. This now urged them towards alliance with Russia. Empress Alexandra had dispatched an ambassador, Nikita Panin, to Vienna, in order to negotiate a military alliance against Prussia. After some months of negotiations, the Treaty of Vienna was signed by Russia, Austria, and France on 19 May. By the terms of this treaty, all three powers agreed to provide "the utmost military support" to each other and to insure "the protection of our common interests in Germany, Italy, and Poland". In a secret attachment, they also agreed to launch coordinated offensives against Prussia in time of war, to seize Hanover, to attack Venice, and to exclude the British from the continent.
The new alliance amongst the three major land powers of Europe threw the British Parliament into an uproar, which further intensified its efforts of military preparation. A further 300,000 men throughout the British Isles were called up into military service. The British established a considerable naval squadron at Trieste, as was their right under the Treaty of Venice, provided considerable finanical subsidies to Prussia and Venice, and began negotiations with the Ottoman Empire and Sweden. The British ambassador in Constantinople, Sir Thomas Hawthrone, held meetings with the Sultan and the Grand Vizier, pointing to the threat of Russia and stating that this threat must be exterminated. The Ottomans, who had grown detached from the French, and who did indeed view the Russians as a threat, readily agreed to treaty with Great Britain. The Treaty of Constantinople, signed on 29 December, established an military alliance between Great Britain and the Ottoman Empire, insured British finanical subsidies to the Porte, and granted Great Britain military control of Cyprus, for use as a naval base against the Russians and Austrians. This treaty was followed by another triumph with Sweden. Sweden, who desired to recover Ingria, Karelia, Estonia, and Latvia, and viewed the British as a useful ally, agreed to the Treaty of Stockholm on 31 December, providing for the typical subsidies and a military alliance. The British agreements with Sweden and the Ottoman Empire worrried Russia and Austria, as now in times of war they would face enemies on further flanks. To compensate for this, the two countries announced on 21 December for plans of increased military conscription and mobilization.
In order to complete its circle of alliances on the Continent, Britain opened negotiations with its longtime ally, the Netherlands, over a military alliance against France. The British ambassador in Amsterdam, Sir Thomas Beufort, held discussions with the Dutch Queen, Willhemina, and her Prime Minister, Jan de Waat. After a few months of negotiations and discussions, the Treaty of Amsterdam was signed between the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on 29 March. By this treaty, the United Kingdom and Holland agreed to assist each other "with all military aid" against agressors in time of war. Great Britain agreed to provide a subsidy and a army of 125,000 men to Holland for defense against France, and in exchange, Holland agreeed to make no peace with any land power of Europe "without consulting our dear ally" and allowed the Royal Navy to use Dutch bases in the East Indies, as bases of operation against the French forces of Polynesia.
This treaty alarmed France, which now intiated negotiations with Spain over the matter of an alliance. The Comte Dubois, the French ambassador in Madrid, signed the Treaty of Madrid with Charles III of Spain on 29 May. By this treaty, France and Spain agreed to a military alliance, in order to defend their colonies in the Americas against the onslaught of an enemy. In a secret provision, the two countries agreed to cooperate in expelling the British from Minorca, Malta, Morocco, and Gibraltar, and to in time launch a joint invasion of the British Isles. The British of course, were alarmed by the annoucement of the public agreement, and having, by their spies, learned of the contents and intentions of the secret pact, they instigated a further military buildup. The British garrisons on Minorcas and Gibraltar were bolstered, while an expansion programme for the Royal Navy was approved by the Parliament and further defensive fortifications were constructed on the southern coast of England.