The Principality of Mariaveaux

Mariaveaux is a country with an interesting history, a state on a faultline of two empires, able to be devoured, but never quite digestible. It's history started as a small territory taken from France by Catholic forces during the Thirty Years War, becoming a Principality following the Treaty of Westphalia thanks to an enterprising German nobleman looking to gain both land and prestige from the coming peace. The small country itself survived on minor exports of ore and crops, as well as an increasing balance of trade, until the Napoleonic Wars of the early 19th Century. The current Prince, seemingly inheriting the cunning of his ancestors, quickly made peace with the advancing forces of Napoleon, whilst sending the nation's tiny Army to rendezvous with the Prussians… sadly leading to their utter defeat. Nevertheless, it allowed them to survive relatively intact until the treaty was signed, restoring their autonomy.

The slight incurred by French occupation and the nation's Germanic heritage had it gravitate toward Germany in the following years, at one time seriously considering becoming part of Bismarck's Empire, before a controversial decision was made for trade interests between nations and, ultimately, continued independence. At the outbreak of the First World War, however, Mariaveaux stood fast with it's father country and fought on the side of the Central Powers, giving it's comparatively tiny Army and Flying Corps over to fight on the Western Front, under German command, in 1914. By 1917, it's Army was reduced to scarcely one hundred men, and it's planes, though winning great fame and success, were being winnowed down to a small flight of bi-planes. Such comparative loss of life led to grumblings at home about continued participation in the war, which were only barely ignored until the Bolshevik revolution in Russia and the Treaty of Breat-Litovsk.

Despite the good news this meant for the Central Powers as a whole, the current Prince wisely saw that continued, willful ignorance of the loss of life on the battlefield might mean that his small Principality might go the way of the Czars. After the German Summer Offensive of 1918 stalled and failed to restart, Mariaveaux sought a separate peace treaty with the Allied Powers, and subsequently declared themselves a neutral, open nation. Practically, this affected little. German trains and logistics still ran through Mariaveaux, and German pilots overflew it's skies. The question of fighting in the nation was to be a moot point; the Armistice was signed before French troops could breach the German lines in front of it.

Politically, the early seeking of peace on paper has beneficially effects for Mariaveaux in the postwar. It was seen in the popular press as a tiny nation, bullied into war by Germany but not wishing much part in it, a view that was not argued by the nation's rulers, who were looking forward to a lack of reparations and allied loans more than they were digging up the truth of the prewar years. The nation flourished, economically, and suffered less of a depression in mid-twenties than other countries, using aid funds to rebuild and upgrade it's infrastructure. The growing tension between France and Germany, while making for a diplomatically tense time, has allowed an economic boom to start, the country catering to old, wealthy German nobility fleeing the Nazi's, Frenchman who wish to buy German goods, and Germans who wish to buy French goods, as well as reaping all the rewards of international financial transactions that went with such trade.

While not militarily powerful, it's Army is decently drilled and equipped, and its small Air Force is well-trained, with a core of old German and Mariaveaux Great War veterans, as well as top-notch aircraft purchased from the manufacturers of North America and Britain, in order to avoid angering either French or German manufacturing interests. The rising tensions between it's big neighbors, however, may mean that such happy times could come to a swift and brutal end, and it's choice in a side in any upcoming war is still in question.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License