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Author Topic: An Age of Revolutionary Republics?  (Read 811 times)

Imperium

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An Age of Revolutionary Republics?
« on: 19 May 2020, 15:33:56 »
I know Battletech is not exactly like real life, but as a fan of classical literature and history and military history, I think one of the most amazing times is by far the Republican Revolutions of the 1800s. This is when the Aristocracy really fell, and the Coalition Wars began. At the time, of the French Republic no less then SEVEN International Coalitions were formed by the Aristocracy to fight against the emergence of a new ruling order. It was clear the Feudal Lords knew what was at stake, what kind of threat a successful Republic could mean, and were willing to put aside centuries of conflict between each other to defeat them.

Do you think the same could happen in the Battletech universe, and would the House Lords react in the same way in your opinion? Of course, the problem would be how it would effect the lore forever, and likewise, it would likely require technological advancements (like how the printing press, centralized banks, gunpowder, etc, made the French Revolution possible) but we have to an extent seen signs of this with Double-Jump capable ships and the caravan style of moving Drop Ships by having Jump Ships charged and ready by Hanse Davion - imagine what could be done with this same Hanse tactic using double-jump ships! - and the rise of other non-Mech forces, which further undermines the aristocratic order. Of course you then need a powder keg, a nation pushing its people to the extreme, and wealth accumulation (powerful companies/merchants which can compete with aristocrats at some level) AND likely a rebellion breaking out in the periphery for inspiration (in the same way America inspired France) but overall it could be an epic battle of Ancien Regime vs more modern forces.

The Republic of Sphere seemed headed there, albeit Stone still had to accept the Feudal Order to a certain extent with the Senate. And likewise, seems seem more headed towards IlClan. Also the result could be boring, though the Napoleonic Wars are hardly what I would consider boring. I think the main opposition would be the fan base, which really seems against changing anything fundamentally in Battletech - which is understandable, most fans of most wargames with such extensive lore such as Warhammer, and such, seem that way. I mean AoS changed a LOT, seemingly but it more or less just recycled a lot of material and just added a different tint. Maybe, once games are too established they are just incapable of radical change?

The last big change I feel was the Clan Invasion, and after that, which I feel was the heyday of Battletech, things went into a more conservative mode. Likewise seems will be complicated by the possible emergence of Home Clan Annihilators, but I feel in the future it would be something to consider. It also would be interesting to see which players would side with the aristocracy/Ancien Regimes vs a Republic which might have to institute a "Reign of Terror" like the French Republic initially had to in order to ensure its survival (they were facing fanatical, "death before dishonor" aristocrats who were willing to die for their cause, which induced the Republic at the time to start taking whole families hostage in order to counter constant acts of treason) .

I am not sure if this topic is too heavy on historical references, if so I apologize and understand if the thread is moved or deleted, but Battletech in general makes a lot of historical references, and just like real human history, a lot of it seems to reference the idea that there are patterns. If so, I myself would love to see a Napoleonic/Revolutionary era, but perhaps I am alone in this. = )

In other words, I think the Republic of Sphere is a good idea but it really does not and cannot go fast enough. There would have to be a few more technological innovations, and the aristocracy within its borders would have to be absolutely crushed, and annihilated - cowed with terror more or less. If so however, it would be an interesting, and historically accurate end to the current feudal era that makes up for most of the Battletech universe - though what comes after would be a challenge to imagine.
« Last Edit: 19 May 2020, 15:57:28 by Imperium »
" ALL WAR, is an extension of Politics." Carl Von Clausewitz, summarizing the Napoleonic Wars

"War therefore is an act of violence intended to compel our opponent to fulfil our will." Clausewitz, Ibid.

MadCapellan

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Re: An Age of Revolutionary Republics?
« Reply #1 on: 19 May 2020, 18:58:14 »
I don't know, I'd say the co-opting of revolutionary values by an absolutist dictator who further ingratiates himself with the established blue-blooded elites & installs a counter-revolutionary aristocracy over the populace while continuing to pantomime democracy is an appropriate explanation of both Bonapartism & the Republic of the Sphere.

Imperium

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Re: An Age of Revolutionary Republics?
« Reply #2 on: 19 May 2020, 19:30:21 »
I don't know, I'd say the co-opting of revolutionary values by an absolutist dictator who further ingratiates himself with the established blue-blooded elites & installs a counter-revolutionary aristocracy over the populace while continuing to pantomime democracy is an appropriate explanation of both Bonapartism & the Republic of the Sphere.

Ah but still things can be established, like Equality before the Law, freedom of religion, the cessation of various feudal taxes/economic regulations, etc. Temporary militarization may prove necessary but I believe the expression is "freedom isn't free. " Remember, while Napoleon might have lost personally, overall feudalism was defeated by the end of it, since 15 years was enough time for the real gains in France to be realized and because everywhere he conquered, he established the Napoleonic Code, along with military reforms that made the fundamental justification for feudalism (military) pretty obsolete by making an army based more on merit then lineage.
" ALL WAR, is an extension of Politics." Carl Von Clausewitz, summarizing the Napoleonic Wars

"War therefore is an act of violence intended to compel our opponent to fulfil our will." Clausewitz, Ibid.

SteelRaven

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Re: An Age of Revolutionary Republics?
« Reply #3 on: 19 May 2020, 20:04:32 »
Society in Battletech has fallen so far backwards, there is nothing truly revolutionary but simply rediscovering old ideas older than colonialism.

Stone: "Hey, remember Senates?"

FWL: " We have a senate..."

Stone: "No, I mean one you actually listen to..."

FWL ".....Hahahahahahahahh!"

*After Dark Age*

Stone: ".... wait, the Senate did what!?"

While fans have a bad habit to gush over one personality and hate all other, no power in BTU is stable and even the best leaders are flawed. Why it continues to be a war games with some 'Peace Tech' jokes in between the major conflicts when the cities are on fire. 

 
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MadCapellan

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Re: An Age of Revolutionary Republics?
« Reply #4 on: 19 May 2020, 20:51:12 »
Ah but still things can be established, like Equality before the Law, freedom of religion, the cessation of various feudal taxes/economic regulations, etc.

Are these concepts not already largely in practice in the still aristocratic Successor States?

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Overall feudalism was defeated by the end of it, since 15 years was enough time for the real gains in France to be realized and because everywhere he conquered, he established the Napoleonic Code, along with military reforms that made the fundamental justification for feudalism (military) pretty obsolete by making an army based more on merit then lineage.

Overall monaechy remained ascendant except in France until World War I, which saw the wholesale collapse of Imperial Russia & the Central Powers royal families under the weight of their own myopia. Feudalism as a military institution had been dead since at least Frederick the Great of Prussia, if not earlier. There's no doubt that the Napoleonic Code had a strong influence on the development of European society, but to pretend they went hand-in-hand with democracy strikes me as a bit of a stretch.
« Last Edit: 19 May 2020, 21:36:41 by MadCapellan »

Imperium

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Re: An Age of Revolutionary Republics?
« Reply #5 on: 19 May 2020, 21:18:03 »
Are these concepts not already largely in practice in the still aristocratic Successor States?

Overall feudalism remained ascendant except in France until World War I, which saw the wholesale collapse of Imperial Russia & the Central Powers royal families under the weight of their own myopia. Feudalism as a military institution had been dead since at least Frederick the Great of Prussia, if not earlier. There's no doubt that the Napoleonic Code had a strong influence on the development of European society, but to pretend they went hand-in-hand with democracy strikes me as a bit of a stretch.

Well Monarchy remained, but the powers and relevance of the nobility was heavily curtailed. Likewise, free trade arose as a consequence, and by the time France was retaken by the Sixth Coalition, the Merchant Class had already become international powers (I think international trade increased ten-fold around the time of the Napoleonic Wars) and many of the armies had to modernize in order to compete with Napoleon's armies, meaning the 'raison d'etre' for the feudal order was pretty much negated. Russia was one of the places that Napoleon did not conquer, and it was, non-coincidentally, one of the most backward places by the time of the War to End All Wars.
" ALL WAR, is an extension of Politics." Carl Von Clausewitz, summarizing the Napoleonic Wars

"War therefore is an act of violence intended to compel our opponent to fulfil our will." Clausewitz, Ibid.

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Re: An Age of Revolutionary Republics?
« Reply #6 on: 19 May 2020, 21:33:42 »
Democracy Now sprang up in the Lyran Alliance in the Jihad, but was crushed pretty quick by state and noble forces.
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Re: An Age of Revolutionary Republics?
« Reply #7 on: 19 May 2020, 21:46:58 »
Well Monarchy remained, but the powers and relevance of the nobility was heavily curtailed.

That was a product of 17th & 18th century nationalism more than a product of revolutionary thought. European monarchs such as Louis XIV had already successfully subordinated local nobles into palace courtiers & replace feudal levies with regimental commissions. Feudalism aa a military institution had been dead practically since the reconquista.

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Likewise, free trade arose as a consequence, and by the time France was retaken by the Sixth Coalition, the Merchant Class had already become international powers (I think international trade increased ten-fold around the time of the Napoleonic Wars)

The English & Dutch merchant classes had already been international powers for two centuries by that point!  ;D

Not to create too much of a digession from your original post, but Stone to me is a poor man's Bonaparte, & the Bonapartes were no democrats. Does Battletech need democracy? No, democracy is terrible for war, dull in creating narratives, & wouldn't leave anyone in office long enough for them to become interesting in the fiction. Let my knights in shining 18 meter tall armor remain knights, & battle one another for glory & honor.
« Last Edit: 19 May 2020, 21:57:39 by MadCapellan »

Imperium

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Re: An Age of Revolutionary Republics?
« Reply #8 on: 20 May 2020, 01:24:07 »
Democracy Now sprang up in the Lyran Alliance in the Jihad, but was crushed pretty quick by state and noble forces.

Yes, just like many Republics in the middle ages. I think people's attitude was generally that Republics work on a small scale, and they are good in theory but bad in practice. It could even be argued that Republicanism goes against human nature, since it is natural to want to give titles and lands to one's heirs instead of society as a whole.

However, at a certain point, because of certain conditions, Republicanism did break out first in the Americas, and then in the very heart of feudal Europe which was inspired by the events of the colonies. This then made Napoleon, who was chosen to lead the military because he had a win rate of 80-90% vs. other generals with 30-40% when France was losing on all fronts. In fact, the situation became so dire in less then a year, Royalist forces outnumbered Parisian Patriots-Republican soldiers 2-1. The defense of Paris on that day was conducted by Napoleon, who saved the Republic, and made it last 15+ years after in the face of Seven International Coalitions, which could at times include a dozen kingdoms. War at this time underwent a Revolution as well, as Napoleon introduced several innovations. One was marching separately but fighting together. The second was the Corps system, in which no army was more then one day's march from reinforcements. The third, was living off the land and in bivouacs, which allowed him to take many more soldiers then otherwise (this was already to an extent in place, but Napoleon would bring it to an extreme. ). He created a National Bank, which not only funded the military, but reduced inflation from over 100% each year, to something like 0.7%! He instituted a total war policy - even old men and children could be used for the war effort by passing out pamphlets, women could make clothes for the men, workers munitions, etc. This could allow him to almost match four to twelve nations against one (in trial terms, that means he could fight 6 or 12 to 1 "trials" usually to a decisive victory and then near standstill) . And he likewise utilized an army based on merit instead of birth right. He was also employing Citizens and Patriots, fighting for their own nation and liberty as opposed to mercenary and those coerced by their Feudal Lords. To this day, military historians call it "the dawn of modern warfare. " 

My point is that the political revolution was accompanied by military revolutions which made it last a lot longer then "Democracy Now!", it was accompanied likewise by the Reign of Terror, which did effectively cow the aristocracy in France. Ironically, the Reign of Terror was paired with the idea of a "Republic of Virtue", until the author Robespierre was himself beheaded.

So it was a combination of factors, all favoring each other and giving opportunity to one another at once. Ultimately, to defeat Napoleon, even his enemies had to become more like him. They had to re-organize their armies into modern armies instead of utilizing the feudal formula. This removed the 'raison d'etre' (justification for existence) of feudalism on a martial level. Armies from then on would be Nation-State, not Lord-Vassal. This, along with multiple other changes, helped ensure the survival of the Republic for a decade and a half almost across all of Europe.

That was a product of 17th & 18th century nationalism more than a product of revolutionary thought. European monarchs such as Louis XIV had already successfully subordinated local nobles into palace courtiers & replace feudal levies with regimental commissions. Feudalism aa a military institution had been dead practically since the reconquista.

Claueswitz himself notes, at the dawn of the Napoleonic Wars, most armies were largely composed of a Noble leading mercenary forces of on average 20 to 30 thousand. These generally clashed in border, territorial disputes with not much wagered and not much gained.

By the end of the War of the Seventh Coalition, armies had grown to six-hundred to eight-hundred thousand under singular commander, and 900,000 (France) to 1,200,000 (Britain), including Reserves, overall. The very scale of warfare had changed forever in a relatively short time. This was also aimed at Capitals, nor borders, which were seen as by and large irrelevant to the specific war at hand. I believe Clausewitz compared it to people dueling with wooden swords, only to have someone with a real sword sword come in and start chopping off arms.

The English & Dutch merchant classes had already been international powers for two centuries by that point!  ;D

And both had to scale up their trade to contend with Napoleon's continental system, and both nations ended up facing financial strain because of it. In fact, many of the times England sued for peace at all was because it was near financial ruin by over-extending for war efforts. However, the real issue is how constraints on the "middle classes", merchants and industrialists were lifted. Their trade powers increased over ten-fold, and they became far more International, in part because Britain advocated international trade as a weapon against Napoleon's continental system. The Republic, by contrast, simply got rid of a lot of feudal constraints, though it is fair to note the Continental system that very much damaged his empire held constraints of its own regarding trade with England. Piracy likewise grew at this time, as did smuggling. The point was, the Middle Class and Traders gained a tremendous amount of power and rights, and that could not simply be undone, especially with so much of the nobility increasingly going into debt.

Not to create too much of a digession from your original post, but Stone to me is a poor man's Bonaparte, & the Bonapartes were no democrats. Does Battletech need democracy? No, democracy is terrible for war, dull in creating narratives, & wouldn't leave anyone in office long enough for them to become interesting in the fiction. Let my knights in shining 18 meter tall armor remain knights, & battle one another for glory & honor.

I'm not talking about democracy though, simply Republicanism. All that means, is rule with no feudal lords or monarchs. An actual Nation-State instead of a kingdom. A Republic can actually change its form of government to suit its needs, just like France did, employing both democratic and autocratic elements, while multiple critical parts of the feudal order, namely the least efficient and credible ones, are systematically reduced and then eliminated. Even after re-taking France, the Third Estate (Commoners, which includes emerging Financiers and Industrialists) had become so much more powerful and used to their rights, and war had changed to such a degree that bringing back the old order was impossible on all levels but the generally superficial. The Emperor of Prussia, for example, became little more then a figurehead by the time of Moltke the Elder, and the advent of the General Staff.

« Last Edit: 20 May 2020, 01:43:35 by Imperium »
" ALL WAR, is an extension of Politics." Carl Von Clausewitz, summarizing the Napoleonic Wars

"War therefore is an act of violence intended to compel our opponent to fulfil our will." Clausewitz, Ibid.

Charistoph

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Re: An Age of Revolutionary Republics?
« Reply #9 on: 20 May 2020, 02:19:22 »
And of course, democracy can also be held in monarchistic techniques.  After all, it is easy to be continuously elected if one is the only person on the ballot.  Meanwhile, all power is still held in such democratically elected offices.  This has happened in communist areas as well as banana republics.
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Imperium

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Re: An Age of Revolutionary Republics?
« Reply #10 on: 20 May 2020, 03:12:16 »
And of course, democracy can also be held in monarchistic techniques.  After all, it is easy to be continuously elected if one is the only person on the ballot.  Meanwhile, all power is still held in such democratically elected offices.  This has happened in communist areas as well as banana republics.

There are Democratic Monarchies aka Welcome to quaint little England. Pip pip tally ho red coats!

Every 4th of July I raise a mug and say "Take that King George!"

If I was Napoleon, I would have made the 4th a National Holiday in France and Washington a hero. After all, it shows then the universal nature of the Republic, and the French Revolution was inspired by the American Experiment. Then again, thanks to the Internet, I have far more information at my beck and call then Napoleon could ever dream of. In fact, I think one of the coolest things about "New-Cosmopolitan-Lion" (which his name kinda literally, translates too, or something to do with three colors), anyways, is how many mistresses he had. They say, he lied about them - downplaying them. One of the only political ruling men, or men in general, to do so. They say he could have had 40 or more, not as much as Genghis Khan, etc, mind you, but a LOT by European standards, especially that of a late Enlightenment Era Emperor.

To be that guy, and command an army, of five-hundred thousand or more men gathered in one-single location under your command. That must give such a sense of power and importance. Especially if they are truly loyal to you, in a Patriotic-Duty sense. "Good for my country, the Emperor of my country!" At least you know you can be far from the fighting (though back then all commanders, including Napoleon, had to be in artillery range, and several times Napoleon had people shot out beside him, including his best friend of almost a decade half removed by cannon shot, Napoleon held his upper half in his arms while he died - supposedly. ) And then have all these mistresses, that is a life.

Really the only reason he lost the war of the Sixth Coalition, which lead to his first exile, was because he lost all his cavalry in Russia. As Clausewitz writes "Without Cavalry, there is no decision after battle. " This is true. Napoleon won battle after battle in the war of the Sixth Coalition, including the largest battle in the entire series of Napoleonic Wars - hundreds of thousands on each side - but he could never follow up a victory with a cavalry raid, and that literally proved his undoing. Cavalry takes much longer to replace then infantry, and while he could raise the infantry and even to an extent the artillery to face coalition forces, he could not raise the cavalry in time and that was that. Still it took 14 nations combined, over a year to bring him down - as the war of the Sixth Coalition lasted for.

Likewise, keep in mind, Clausewitz defends Napoleon's invasion of Russia on several technical grounds i.e. the same strategy worked 52 times before, half his men died of a plague Napoleon could not predict, the Tsar burnt down his own capital (never happened before) and winter came two months early. Perhaps still arrogant and over-confident, four misfortunes in a row struck that particular campaign, while the guy who wrote the text book, followed his own text book.

Simply put, they say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Well Napoleon did the same thing, according to Clausewitz, and somehow ended up with different results. Luttwalk would appreciate it.

« Last Edit: 20 May 2020, 03:38:14 by Imperium »
" ALL WAR, is an extension of Politics." Carl Von Clausewitz, summarizing the Napoleonic Wars

"War therefore is an act of violence intended to compel our opponent to fulfil our will." Clausewitz, Ibid.

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Re: An Age of Revolutionary Republics?
« Reply #11 on: 20 May 2020, 09:16:32 »
To be that guy, and command an army, of five-hundred thousand or more men gathered in one-single location under your command. That must give such a sense of power and importance. Especially if they are truly loyal to you, in a Patriotic-Duty sense. "Good for my country, the Emperor of my country!" At least you know you can be far from the fighting (though back then all commanders, including Napoleon, had to be in artillery range, and several times Napoleon had people shot out beside him, including his best friend of almost a decade half removed by cannon shot, Napoleon held his upper half in his arms while he died - supposedly. ) And then have all these mistresses, that is a life.

i'd call it gross hubris, but potato-potahto

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Re: An Age of Revolutionary Republics?
« Reply #12 on: 20 May 2020, 11:33:34 »
I got into battletech around 3025, the clans was surprising and interesting (but ultimately kind of insane), and then I stopped paying attention because I had to get educated and get a career.  I go to Sarna to read up on lore and I feel like I am trying to learn 20th century politics of sub Saharan Africa or something.

But I think it's a shame that Battletech doesn't take more risks with lore.  The stuff after the clan invasions, like the Jihad and the HPG blackout... that is not exciting.  Comstar was always portrayed as a bit real politik with a molten core of insanity, so revisiting them over and over as villains is kind of boring.  If I wanted to get someone into the game, I would not bother with the lore, and just say, "Look, it's 100 foot tall robots pounding eachother with lasers and missiles.  Blue=Germany, Green/White=England/France, Green/Yellow=China, Red=Japan, Purple = Eastern Europe-ish, White = Cable company with heavy weapons.  Fire at will."  On the other hand, I was painting minis due to covid, and wound up on some youtube summaries of Warhammer 40k lore... I absolutely do not want Battletech to be like W40k, and I do not "like" their lore, but it is heavy metal.  Things happen that grab your attention.  It's not just a list of lowkey assassinations and battles, like reading Sarna after the clan invasion.

Which is to say, getting back to your topic, I wish Battletech had a bit more of the "multiverse" feel to it.  The universe is vast and the mainline lore is generally boring.  No one gets into battletech to read the family histories of the Davions.  The core of the game for the players is mechs.  Instead of having this linear history, another model is (again, I wouldn't want exactly this, but it's just an analogy) how D&D had a bunch of different rulesets/settings that are just the scaffolding on which to hang stories: Greyhawk, Ravenloft, Faerun, Planescape, etc.  Instead of having a linear history that constrains rulesets and tech, Battletech could easily just publish different but related settings that work from slightly different assumptions about what happens at the end of the 20th century.

For example, revolutionary republics.  Why doesn't that happen?  My 3025 fanself would say, "Well, we're talking about millions of worlds and trillions of humans. Comstar keeps a strong control over communication. To some extent, the worlds are self-governed, and there probably is lots of chaos, but the Successor Houses are too powerful and Comstar too controlling to allow revolution to foment.  That's why Comstar extremism is so dangerous --- quis custodiet ipsos custodes?"  That's kind of the setting.  How do you break that?  Well maybe, remove Comstar as Comcast: introduce new tech that piggybacks communications off jumpship networks, like an Internet of Things.  The ships are already moving, and signals can just be relayed off them; no, not like the post office, the entire network of jumpships is exploited globally to deliver info faster and more securely than any one ship could.  Suddenly anyone can cheaply communicate, and the elitism of the Successor Houses faces the problem of radicalization of their vassal lords.  Maybe names besides, Kurita/Davion/Steiner/Marik/Liao/Kerensky could get some play. 

But this will fracture the storyline?  Well, just have an alternative setting where the houses fall and the inner sphere plunges into republican states that are maybe a few systems large, where strategy means much more and the game can have more of a 4X strategy feel to it.  Comic books have different storylines; D&D has different settings; Star Trek has different timelines.

I think in the long run this kind of has to happen anyway.  Battletech has to open up the universe a bit.  It's been pretty stagnant since the clan invasion, if my Sarna research is at all correct.  Maybe I'm wrong, though.

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Re: An Age of Revolutionary Republics?
« Reply #13 on: 20 May 2020, 11:54:07 »
Claueswitz himself notes, at the dawn of the Napoleonic Wars, most armies were largely composed of a Noble leading mercenary forces of on average 20 to 30 thousand. These generally clashed in border, territorial disputes with not much wagered and not much gained.

If we consider the thrones of Austria & Spain not much to gain perhaps, but that extends from the different nature of the conflicts in that monarchs inherently respected the legitimacy of other crowns, even if they disagreed who should hold them. As for "mercenaries", that's not entirely accurate, since a regimental commission was a royal (thus national) directive to raise a unit of professional soldiers for service to the crown, rather than an independent for hire formations like the Swiss Pike formations of the Rennaissance. What we're discussing is an evolutionary process performed simultaneously across Europe, not a revolutionary Bonapartist creation.


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I'm not talking about democracy though, simply Republicanism.

Then I'm afraid I don't quite understand the distinction - all the Successor States are nations with constitutions, governing laws, & rights guaranteed a citizen. By rights all are already Republics.

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All that means, is rule with no feudal lords or monarchs.

Then Bonaparte is a terrible example, having taken the title of Emperor for himself & created over 2,000 noble titles & merged his supporters with parts of the old peerage.

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Re: An Age of Revolutionary Republics?
« Reply #14 on: 20 May 2020, 13:07:06 »
As pointed out, Nappy makes a poor example.  He basically installed himself as an old-fashioned dictator, but promoted republican concepts for the positions below himself.  Many of his changes were already in place on a small scale, and were gradually superseding the old systems, but he took them to another level or made them the official norm.

The greatest blows to the feudal system in reality were improved communications and inexpensive shipping.  Feudalism was a "necessary evil" due to the long delays in communications, requiring the delegation of authority to local officials to deal with problems until the central authority could intervene.  With near-instantaneous contact, more direct control becomes possible.  Some major blow to Comstar's monopoly on communications could lead to a far more "connected" BT universe, relegating the feudal system to the dustbin of history once again.

During the 17th and 18th centuries, road networks were being improved or constructed for the first time since Rome, allowing greater inland trade as well as coastal, leading to the rise of craftsmen and merchants producing goods for distant trade and selling them on a growing world market.  That "middle class" was not content with the constraints of peasantry, and had money.  Money is power, and that power was having profound effects throughout Europe.  Production of Jumpships in growing numbers would upset the balance of wealth/power in the BT universe as well, leading to the rise of commercial empires and money tipping the balance of power between the traditional "players".

One possible spark to set off a round of revolutions might be the improbable mix of Snow Ravens and Outworlders, whose expectations and views on life would be radically different.  Some charismatic leader offering a "new idea" (dressed up from the 19th and 20th centuries) could provide a semi-popular path to some mutually acceptable alternative form of government.  Once that becomes "news", that could lead to similar revolts and radical shifts of power on scattered worlds throughout the Inner Sphere.

The problem with the BT universe is that the original setting was somewhat internally consistent, but the increase in House forces and mass production of new high-tech equipment leads to massive changes in the dynamics, yet the setting itself doesn't reflect those changes well.  The original idea of warfare being reduced to minor raiding due to the scarcity of equipment gives way to an era where the tools of warfare are plentiful, yet the logistics and supporting infrastructure don't change with them, nor does the politics.  Either the game needs to fully embrace the idea of change over time, or else not change.  The present "half-way" thing doesn't work.

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Re: An Age of Revolutionary Republics?
« Reply #15 on: 20 May 2020, 13:21:10 »
The real world development of Battletech, the way the Successor States are set up is a call back to the space monarchs of pulp fiction like Star Wars or going back further, Flash Gordon (Insert Ming vs Max Liao joke here) While BT does take notes from history, primarily the Fall of Rome, the rise of Feudal Kingdoms and later, the Mongol Invasion, the successor states themselves can come off a little shallow until you start reading the House books where the real world building is. All the same, it's very divorced from reality and set up just to give us a excuse to have giant stomp robots shoot each other, no need to really over analyze it.     

       
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Moonsword

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Re: An Age of Revolutionary Republics?
« Reply #16 on: 21 May 2020, 12:59:14 »
===MOD NOTICE===

Okay, folks, given this is inherently about real-world political history, you don't want to get very modern.  I have no specific concerns about the French Revolution or the revolutionary movements of 1848, for instance, but if you start discussing post-WWII events, that's going to have a hammer come down.  Even something older like the Spanish Civil War is potentially iffy given the fallout from that war still has direct ramifications today and Francisco Franco (who is still dead) only passed away in the 70s.  That means you need to tread lightly in the 20th century, ladies and gentlemen.  This does not appear to currently be a problem but I am leaving this as a precautionary note.

If this topic becomes largely a discussion about historical events, as it seemed to for a while, the moderation staff may move it to Off Topic at our discretion.  We will not issue any citations - sometimes discussions just evolve in ways that they wind up better suited to another area of the boards.

Imperium

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Re: An Age of Revolutionary Republics?
« Reply #17 on: 23 May 2020, 20:14:13 »
As pointed out, Nappy makes a poor example.  He basically installed himself as an old-fashioned dictator, but promoted republican concepts for the positions below himself.  Many of his changes were already in place on a small scale, and were gradually superseding the old systems, but he took them to another level or made them the official norm.

What do you mean? He COMPLETELY OVERHAULED THE ARMY, the Political System and the Economic system. Even his critics admit France was in a state of complete chaos and losing multiple front when Napoleon took power, and the Emperor took it to even superior levels then during Royal levels or at the height of Revolution.

As the man about to be executed stated: "I came to France to bring back a King, instead I have made an Emperor. " This was stated by a man who tried to kill Napoleon before he was executed, and right before Napoleon made himself Emperor. He did, technically win the vote, but evidence suggest he STILL exaggerated it, just to win that much more (not unexpected from a guy who regularly cheated at chess. )

The greatest blows to the feudal system in reality were improved communications and inexpensive shipping.  Feudalism was a "necessary evil" due to the long delays in communications, requiring the delegation of authority to local officials to deal with problems until the central authority could intervene.  With near-instantaneous contact, more direct control becomes possible.  Some major blow to Comstar's monopoly on communications could lead to a far more "connected" BT universe, relegating the feudal system to the dustbin of history once again.

The French Revolution and Republic would have fallen in less then a year if not for Napoleon. Instead of falling in less then in a year, it lasted 15, spread across all of Europe and beyond, and altered the entire class system. Paris, almost a year after the Revolution, was surrounded by Royalist military forces, that outnumbered Republican 2-1. Napoleon lead the defense of Paris, and he not only won - by first taking artillery from the enemy in a cavalry raid, and using that captured artillery and his own, with grape-shot, against an infantry heavy force at choke-points - caused the enemy to route.

Napoleon not only won this defense. He later rose higher, and in the end, allowed France to capture ALL of Europe. Everywhere he went, the idea of the Rights of Man spread, and people did not give them up as easily as would be expected after they got used to them.

During the 17th and 18th centuries, road networks were being improved or constructed for the first time since Rome, allowing greater inland trade as well as coastal, leading to the rise of craftsmen and merchants producing goods for distant trade and selling them on a growing world market.  That "middle class" was not content with the constraints of peasantry, and had money.  Money is power, and that power was having profound effects throughout Europe.  Production of Jumpships in growing numbers would upset the balance of wealth/power in the BT universe as well, leading to the rise of commercial empires and money tipping the balance of power between the traditional "players".[/qupte]

France literally broke apart the Holy Roman Empire. In fact, Napoleon is said to have put the last nail in the coffin of the Holy Roman Empire. Are you saying that had no historical effect?

The problem with the BT universe is that the original setting was somewhat internally consistent, but the increase in House forces and mass production of new high-tech equipment leads to massive changes in the dynamics, yet the setting itself doesn't reflect those changes well.  The original idea of warfare being reduced to minor raiding due to the scarcity of equipment gives way to an era where the tools of warfare are plentiful, yet the logistics and supporting infrastructure don't change with them, nor does the politics.  Either the game needs to fully embrace the idea of change over time, or else not change.  The present "half-way" thing doesn't work.

I kinda like it all - no change, half change, extreme change, in fiction. I really liked the Jihad and the Latter-Dark Age. One of my favorite events, is when Liao loses a war for a planet, and just sends another wave of regiments. Like yeah - the Interstellar-Nation-State is still a major player in all things.
« Last Edit: 23 May 2020, 22:33:32 by Imperium »
" ALL WAR, is an extension of Politics." Carl Von Clausewitz, summarizing the Napoleonic Wars

"War therefore is an act of violence intended to compel our opponent to fulfil our will." Clausewitz, Ibid.

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Re: An Age of Revolutionary Republics?
« Reply #18 on: 23 May 2020, 20:57:14 »
What do you mean? He COMPLETELY OVERHAULED THE ARMY, the Political System and the Economic system. E

Considering the Royal Army had mostly deserted or defected, the overwhelming majority of noble & republican leaders were dead, & the economy was in tatters, that's pretty much what anyone would have had to do.

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He did, technically win the vote, but evidence suggest he STILL exaggerated it, just to win that much more (not unexpected from a guy who regularly cheated at chess. )

What better options were there? In what way does this invalidate Kovax's point?

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The French Revolution and Republic would have fallen in less then a year if not for Napoleon.
Instead, it existed in name only for a little over a decade, oh rapture.

Quote
Instead of falling in less then in a year, it lasted 15, spread across all of Europe and beyond, and altered the entire class system. Paris, almost a year after the Revolution, was surrounded by Royalist military forces, that outnumbered Republican 2-1. Napoleon lead the defense of Paris, and he not only won - by first taking artillery from the enemy in a cavalry raid, and using that captured artillery and his own, with grape-shot, against an infantry heavy force at choke-points - caused the enemy to route.

Napoleon not only won this defense. He later rose higher, and in the end, allowed France to capture ALL of Europe.

No one is questioning Napoleon's strategic military acumen. The thread was, as you proposed, about Republicanism. Surely you aren't suggesting that Napoleon owe's his military successes not to his intellect, but to democracy?

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Everywhere he went, the idea of the Rights of Man spread, and people did not give them up as easily as would be expected after they got used to them.....
France literally broke apart the Holy Roman Empire. In fact, Napoleon is said to have put the last nail in the coffin of the Holy Roman Empire. Are you saying that had no historical effect?]France literally broke apart the Holy Roman Empire. In fact, Napoleon is said to have put the last nail in the coffin of the Holy Roman Empire. Are you saying that had no historical effect?

Napoleon's bayonets didn't ghost-write for Locke, Hume, Rousseau or Voltaire. If giving a legal framework to Belgium, Italy & Poland qualifies one for greatness, how many countries now practice a variation of English Common Law?

The Holy Roman Empire as a truly functional political entity hadn't existed since before the War of Spanish Succession, & member Electorates such as Bavaria took separate sides from the Imperial Crown or ignored it's edicts without sanction. All Napoleon did was put an end to the name, that which was loyal to the crown was simply re-branded the Austrian Empire.

Imperium

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Re: An Age of Revolutionary Republics?
« Reply #19 on: 23 May 2020, 22:54:12 »
Considering the Royal Army had mostly deserted or defected, the overwhelming majority of noble & republican leaders were dead, & the economy was in tatters, that's pretty much what anyone would have had to do.

I have never read anything like most royals were dead and officers too. Do you mean in France only during the early days of the Republic? Well yeas, but a LOT of them were traitors, sending out notes like "10,000 troops will be leaving our border town tomorrow. This will leave only 15,000 left. Lend me 20k troops cousin (another duke or whatever) and I will take it!"

Yeah, that kind of treason against a vulnerable Republic will get you executed!

What better options were there? In what way does this invalidate Kovax's point?
 Instead, it existed in name only for a little over a decade, oh rapture.

A Republic can use a variety of governments: democratic, representative, autocratic.

No one is questioning Napoleon's strategic military acumen. The thread was, as you proposed, about Republicanism. Surely you aren't suggesting that Napoleon owe's his military successes not to his intellect, but to democracy?

Both. Definitely.

Napoleon's bayonets didn't ghost-write for Locke, Hume, Rousseau or Voltaire. If giving a legal framework to Belgium, Italy & Poland qualifies one for greatness, how many countries now practice a variation of English Common Law?

The majority of the civilized world-legal system is Civil Codes as established by Napoleon. Only England and its colonies is "common law. "

The Holy Roman Empire as a truly functional political entity hadn't existed since before the War of Spanish Succession, & member Electorates such as Bavaria took separate sides from the Imperial Crown or ignored it's edicts without sanction. All Napoleon did was put an end to the name, that which was loyal to the crown was simply re-branded the Austrian Empire.


It was OFFICIALLY broken up by Napoleon.
« Last Edit: 23 May 2020, 23:02:42 by Imperium »
" ALL WAR, is an extension of Politics." Carl Von Clausewitz, summarizing the Napoleonic Wars

"War therefore is an act of violence intended to compel our opponent to fulfil our will." Clausewitz, Ibid.

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Re: An Age of Revolutionary Republics?
« Reply #20 on: 23 May 2020, 23:34:55 »
Taking a step back and seeing European history as a slice of Global history, we may want to look at figure who was seen as revolutionary for a Successor State as oppose to the IS as a whole.

Teddy K. is one figure. Dragging the DC out of it's draconian ways, fighting his own people almost more than any invaders and changed the DC for the better while he was alive.

Another figure would be Hanse Davion. Successfully pulled off one of the largest offensive seen in the IS since the SL Civil War, creating a new empire, Federated Commonwealth.

Teddy K arguably made more reforms than Hanse, as the DC have always been honest been more represive though the number of Social and Estate Generals who loss of power in the former Lyran Commonwealth with the FedCom reforms was enough to sow the seeds for the FedCom Civil War.

Stone is a huge figure in universe but his state and reforms can be seen as a quick fix to a power vacuum when stability was desperately needed. Doesn't help that a chunk of the community feels that Stone and the RotS was forced on them with WKs time jump so most discussions regarding his character usually leads to follow fans just listing complaints better left for another discussion.     

Anything truly revolutionary in BT is big maybe as allot of the universe is hung on the mantle of the IS being rather draconian in spite of technological gains, making pretty things just to smash them. You will see small gains but they will be overshadowed by losses because it's a war game with few winners  outside of individual battle fields.             
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Re: An Age of Revolutionary Republics?
« Reply #21 on: 24 May 2020, 00:22:55 »
Both. Definitely.

Okay, so this is interesting. How did democracy make Napoleon more successful militarily?

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The majority of the civilized world-legal system is Civil Codes as established by Napoleon. Only England and its colonies is "common law. "

Britain's colonies were one in five people on Earth! One in three people today live in a Common Law framework. Civil Law is equally common, but everywhere it is today isn't because Napoleon brought it there, nor is it all descended from Napoleon's Codes - Denmark, Sweden, Prussia & Austria all had proper Civic Law prior to Napoleon taking control of France, & much Civil Law around the world is Germanic in origin.

Quote
It was OFFICIALLY broken up by Napoleon.

Okay, & once I finally eat that last slice of pizza in the fridge, it will officially be gone, but it hasn't been what it was for a week!  ;D
« Last Edit: 24 May 2020, 00:44:10 by MadCapellan »

Moonsword

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Re: An Age of Revolutionary Republics?
« Reply #22 on: 25 May 2020, 14:39:56 »
Welcome to Off Topic, please continue your historical discussion.

Imperium

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Re: An Age of Revolutionary Republics?
« Reply #23 on: 25 May 2020, 21:38:27 »
Okay, so this is interesting. How did democracy make Napoleon more successful militarily?

Britain's colonies were one in five people on Earth! One in three people today live in a Common Law framework. Civil Law is equally common, but everywhere it is today isn't because Napoleon brought it there, nor is it all descended from Napoleon's Codes - Denmark, Sweden, Prussia & Austria all had proper Civic Law prior to Napoleon taking control of France, & much Civil Law around the world is Germanic in origin.

Okay, & once I finally eat that last slice of pizza in the fridge, it will officially be gone, but it hasn't been what it was for a week!  ;D

Freedom is not free, or as the French said, Liberty to be maintained must be sacrificed. This was the reason why the Republic had to utilize the Reign of Terror and militarize under an Autocrat in the face of a hostile world, where nobility on all sides was trying to overthrow them 24/7. How would you have responded if not for making Napoleon Emperor?
" ALL WAR, is an extension of Politics." Carl Von Clausewitz, summarizing the Napoleonic Wars

"War therefore is an act of violence intended to compel our opponent to fulfil our will." Clausewitz, Ibid.

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Re: An Age of Revolutionary Republics?
« Reply #24 on: 25 May 2020, 22:26:05 »
Freedom is not free, or as the French said, Liberty to be maintained must be sacrificed. This was the reason why the Republic had to utilize the Reign of Terror and militarize under an Autocrat in the face of a hostile world, where nobility on all sides was trying to overthrow them 24/7. How would you have responded if not for making Napoleon Emperor?

I'm still interested in how democracy made Napoleon more successful militarily, but arguably not killing so many moderately minded democrats & aristocrats only to end up with a monarch of an off brand-name family would have been a better play for everyone involved.

Imperium

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Re: An Age of Revolutionary Republics?
« Reply #25 on: 26 May 2020, 20:51:59 »
I'm still interested in how democracy made Napoleon more successful militarily, but arguably not killing so many moderately minded democrats & aristocrats only to end up with a monarch of an off brand-name family would have been a better play for everyone involved.

Without the French Revolution and its Republican reforms Napoleon could never have risen to the rank he did nor had the influence he did. He was born into minor nobility and until the Revolution his career stagnated. That is because under the old system status was heavily determined by lineage over ability.
" ALL WAR, is an extension of Politics." Carl Von Clausewitz, summarizing the Napoleonic Wars

"War therefore is an act of violence intended to compel our opponent to fulfil our will." Clausewitz, Ibid.

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Re: An Age of Revolutionary Republics?
« Reply #26 on: 26 May 2020, 21:20:08 »
Without the French Revolution and its Republican reforms Napoleon could never have risen to the rank he did nor had the influence he did. He was born into minor nobility and until the Revolution his career stagnated. That is because under the old system status was heavily determined by lineage over ability.

Ah, okay, you're saying he profited from the chaos of the revolution to gain control, gotcha. Not really what I would see as military aptitude, but he certainly knew how to parlay his power into authority.

Imperium

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Re: An Age of Revolutionary Republics?
« Reply #27 on: 26 May 2020, 21:36:07 »
Ah, okay, you're saying he profited from the chaos of the revolution to gain control, gotcha. Not really what I would see as military aptitude, but he certainly knew how to parlay his power into authority.

Well it was a process, he didn't go right from artillery officer into Emperor. First he won several critical battles, such as the Battle for Arcole, the Siege of Toulon (where he literally had to go above the heads of incompetent superiors by writing to the committee of public safety, JUST so he could finally implement his plan which proposed putting artillery on the cliffs to bombard the ships below - which worked - note the plan was rejected by most of his previous superior for "being too simple. ) , the 13 Vendémiaire (battle for Paris, where he defeated 2 to 1 odds and saved the Capital of the Republic from Royalist forces, which would have ended the entire Revolution) and countless others. He also had become Consul, First Consul and then after an assassination attempt Emperor to help stabilize the Government. I don't think this was a power-hungry move so much as a defense of France when it faced invasion from International Coalitions - which included England, Austria, Prussia, Russia, Italy, etc - as decisions had to be made quickly. The old system had so many rules and regulations, that a law needed to have a 2/3rds vote, and then be debated, and THEN wait for 2 years (!) and then redrafted and THEN re-voted on again to be passed.
 
Before he became Emperor, in fact, enemy agents had nicknamed him "The Torrent. " Interestingly enough, a statistical analysis literally placed Napoleon as the Number 1 General of all time based on an application of statistical principles generally used to measure the performance of sports teams to military operations (not completely scientific, but interesting nonetheless). Alexander the Great came in 10th, Frederick the Great 8th, Julius Caesar was second and Napoleon came in first. His talent was apparent even before he rose to power, and his achievements were not just in the military realm. For example, he established France's National Bank and economic reforms which reduced inflation from over 1000% each year, to less then 1% (and also gave out loans to small businesses, helping to build a strong middle class), he also established the University of France, played a critical role in saving/expanding the Louvre and encouraged religious toleration.
« Last Edit: 26 May 2020, 21:43:16 by Imperium »
" ALL WAR, is an extension of Politics." Carl Von Clausewitz, summarizing the Napoleonic Wars

"War therefore is an act of violence intended to compel our opponent to fulfil our will." Clausewitz, Ibid.