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Dowries

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Deacon
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Dowries

Post by Deacon on Tue Apr 09, 2013 8:29 pm


I'm curious what the history of dowries in game are. I'm aware that historically in period they were common, but since the alliances created would last the life of the marriage I wonder if the real world example works given the treaty rules as they exist in-game? Who would want to pay a dowry to gain an alliance that by the rules can't extend beyond 3 years?

I'm curious what other people's game experiences and thoughts are.

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Re: Dowries

Post by Stuart Bailey on Wed Apr 10, 2013 12:05 am

The classic dowry situation at the start of Glori du Roi games which players in G9 for instance may wish to use is the dowry of Maria Theresa of Spain the 1st wife of Louis XIV.

Pre the start of the game Louis has used his brides "rights" as his "legal justification" to annex Franche Comte and large chunks of the Spanish Netherlands. In game a French player could use it as justification to finish the job or other players could challenge this "illegal seizure".

I think but please not treat this as fact that Maria Theresa was actually promised various "revenues" to pay her costs in France. A "Bourbon view" would consider this as ownership which she could leave to her heirs while a "Hapsburg view" would say that Maria Theresa is dec'd, has no costs and so the "revenues" (tax income) return to the Crown of Spain.

This marriage also forms the basis for the French claim to the Throne of Spain in 1700. Slight problem was that the marriage treaty and later Royal wills excluded Maria Theresa and her heirs from any claim to the Throne of Spain. Louis XIV answer to this was to say it was invalid because he had not recieved her full dowry. It has to be admitted that what Louis considered to be Maria Theresa full dowry was somewhat flexible.

In G7 the French agreed to a Hapsburg Spain provided Spain paid the outstanding 8M still owed on the dowry. Quite how the then French Player decided he was owed 8M on his dec'd Queen's dowry is a mystery but with RKL it may well be based on an historic French claim. Spain/Flanders are still paying off this debt at 200,000 a year.


The other really interesting dowry also involves a Maria Theresa but a very unhistoric one from G2. Following a change of Govt in Austria it was declared in the paper that the ex Emperor had gone mad, converted to Islam, abdicated and fled into exile.

Using this small fact the Rumelians decided her must have fled to their territory and offered "hospitality" to the exile. The GM keeping ex Emperor's well away from the Rumelian Propaganda Machine then placed the ex Emperor's final place of exile as deep in the Mountains of Persia from where he could not be drawn even when his daughter was born as a result of said "hospitality". Maria Theresa was then adopted by the Leyerbey of Rumelia as a way of winding up the "usurpers" in Austria.

Many years later Prussia and Rumelia finally destroyed the Austrian Empire.......The King of Prussia became Holy Roman Emperor and helped himself to Silesia, The exiled Protestant Rakoczi were restored by Ottoman Lances to the Throne of Hungary-Bohemia and Maria-Theresa Kruppa was crowned Archduchess of Austria.

Having ordered central Europe to his liking the Leyerbey returned to his blood feud with his true foe......the Janissary Corp. Further distraction saw wars in Italy, Venice burnt to the ground and the Bey ending up in control of Milan.

Finally in a effort to free Rumelia of Catholic Crusade's lead by France and get a clear shot at the Janissary corp Maria Theresa Kruppa Archduchess of Austria & Duchess of Milan was bethrothed to the Emperor's brother. With Milan & the Arch Duchy of Austria as a Dowry.

The Emperor and his brother got the dowry, the Layerbey finally got a clear run at the Janissary corp and slaughtered or exiled almost all of them with their Mamluke Allies. But sadly the GM ruined the grand wedding when he had Maria Theresa convert to Catholicism and flee to a Nunnery rather than marry the Emperor's brother which leaves three questions:

1) Whats wrong with the Emperor's brother?

2) Why did Maria Theresa convert to RC? Esp after the Pope had attempted to have her killed?

3) How did she find a Roman Catholic Nunnery in Austria? They all should have been burnt down or taxed out of existance.
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one grain of grain
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Re: Dowries

Post by one grain of grain on Wed Apr 10, 2013 4:32 am

lol! Enjoyed your reply Stuart very informative on historic and in game dowries as well as entertaining.

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Re: Dowries

Post by Stuart Bailey on Thu Apr 11, 2013 10:54 pm


I like inter-state weddings which add a historic level of complexity to inter-state relations but for some reason you very rarely seem to see them "in game"......dowry or no dowry.

An exception seems to be Hungary in G2 (Hi Mark) who's King is wed to the Holy Roman Emperor's sister, A brother married the Empress of Russia and another sister or perhaps it was the wife's sister wed the ruler of Transylvania.

Not sure if new Hungarian rulers are happy about all these weddings or not but it certainly gives them something to think about. At one stage a new Hungarian Govt was planning to ally with the French & Sweden against the Emperor.

One of the things which caused a re-think was when it was pointed out that stabbing your own brother in law in the back might not go down very well with one's own wife and family.

Other minor concerns was the fact that while a 100% Protestant Diet might not object to a divorce they were not that keen on an alliance with Catholic France and its Papist allies in Western Germany against a Protestant hero.

The Diet and the Military also did not like the idea of a two front war......one front would have been against a very annoyed ex Brother-in-Law out to take revenge for a slighted sister. The other against the Ottomans.

Taking all things into consideration the King finally decided that the Queen had a point.

The start of this post said what is the point of paying a large dowry etc if treaties only last three years? The treaty may only last three years but weddings last a lot longer and are are likely to effect players long after the three years.

As for how it effects "Honour" I suspect attacking relatives is very bad and abandoning them is also bad even if no actual treaty exists. So while the Prussian wedding may have cramped the G2 King of Hungary's foreign policy is the Emperor going to attack his Kid sister - No or at least not while his mother still lives. Is he going to allow anyone else to attack her?
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MarkTurner26
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Re: Dowries

Post by MarkTurner26 on Fri Apr 12, 2013 9:39 am

Not to mention that I have two children in G2, Crown Prince Ferenc Wilhelm Rakozci and a daughter Maria.

But to have the Kaiser as my brother in law, the Emperor of Russia as my brother (I wasnt aware of Princess Melliandras relationship to my wife) gives a certain twist to the tale. Personally its quite helpful.
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Re: Dowries

Post by Deacon on Fri Apr 12, 2013 3:51 pm


Your point about the honour impact is a good and interesting one. Perhaps not as strong as a treaty, but does create some echo of the real world inter-state marriage. Certainly one would hope there would be some impact that would last the duration of the marriage.


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Re: Dowries

Post by Stuart Bailey on Sat Apr 13, 2013 9:21 pm

Deacon wrote:
Your point about the honour impact is a good and interesting one. Perhaps not as strong as a treaty, but does create some echo of the real world inter-state marriage. Certainly one would hope there would be some impact that would last the duration of the marriage.



I sometimes wonder if the fact that players come from strongly established and fairly secular Nation States mean's that their play is dominated by the interest's of their "national" position and less by family/dynastic interest's and religious interest's than is historic?

By 1700 some positions like England, France, UDP are clearly Nation States but other positions such as the Ottoman Empire and the Hapsburgs holdings in central and Eastern Europe are not Nation States and are based on older idea's of Loyalty to a dynasty. While other positions like Spain & Sweden are sort of 50/50

But even with very established Nation States like France under Louis XIV and England under William III the period offers examples of what looks like National interest being sacrificed to religious & dynastic interests.

I think what I am trying to say is that for many positions breeding heirs and a good marriage should be just as important (if not more) than a Military campaign for instance.

This type of play can also have in-game benefits for example in G7 the Austrian player will freely say that with its zero colonies and 3 galley Navy Austria is a somewhat limited power. What is somewhat more worrying for his possible foes is that he is the head of the House of Hapsburg & has had his 2nd son installed as King of Spain, a daughter who may be wed to the Elector of Bavaria, and other relatives and in-laws in Flanders, Milan & Naples.

If the player had gone "Spain" nothing to do with me and a Bourbon ruled in Madrid a Ottoman with war on his mind might still want a couple of non aggression pacts in place before marching up the Danube. But he would not be so worried about having to deal with an all out attack on the Eastern Med and relief armies marching to save Vienna.

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Re: Dowries

Post by Deacon on Sun Apr 14, 2013 12:34 am


I think part of the problem is that the nature of the game is only an imperfect simulation of history. There are obviously good reasons for limited treaties, but it distorts the historical context. Ditto marriages. Historically, they would create long term alliances (typically, anyway), but in-game, the positions can't be completely bound by such for the same reasons you can't do long term treaties.

So as a consequence, you have to play positions more as nation states, looking for immediate return, because the game doesn't really support the longer term view. In addition, even if it did support the very long term view, the only in-game currency to reward that long term view is honour. Most of us would rather have real and immediate rewards instead of a few points of honour, I think.

Not mind, that I am suggesting that these decisions are wrong. I think playability of a game must trump accuracy, else you have a beautiful game that nobody wants to play :-). But I can't help wishing there was a way to have both here...

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