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THE POLITICS OF EUROPE

GREAT BRITAIN

Ruled by the great Victoria, Britain's is the largest Empire in the world. At home, technical innovation is thriving, bringing about increased power for the self-styled Steam Lords.

FRANCE

Currently ruled by the mighty Emperor Napoleon III, France has been quiet in recent years. It is a military power to be reckoned with, mostly thanks to the remarkably scientific work of the Prime Minister, Jules Verne. His awesome Verne Cannons (cannons of such power they can bombard targets as distant as Japan) mean that any potential aggressor would have to be very sure of himself before he took on this country - as Prussia found out, to its cost, a few years ago, when a misguided attack on France resulted in the bombardment of Berlin, and a hasty retreat by the invaders. The Verne cannon were destroyed by a freak meteor storm, though: how long it will take to rebuild them, who can say?

PRUSSIA

The recent expansion of this country has been mostly due to the military genius of the late General von Moltke - it now rules many African colonies, much of what was once the Ottoman Empire, and has spread its influence over much of Europe (although at the expense of gaining several political enemies). Unfortunately, these foreign success not been matched at home, where the country has been in turmoil for many years - a communist uprising caused a bloody civil war, whose wounds have yet to heal, and the death of the famous Bismarck left a political vacuum that saw General von Moltke and the, previously Bavarian, Baron Brodenbach vying for power. With the death of Moltke, Brodenbach - the self-styled 'Velvet Chancellor' - is completely in power - but at what cost? The country is unstable, and without Moltke's military genius the future looks uncertain.

WILLHELMSLAND - formerly The Netherlands

Renamed after conquest by Prussia, Willhelmsland remains an occupied country. However, the people are unhappy, and numerous revolts have broken out - previously violently crushed by the Prussian army. With Amsterdam recently having been stolen (it now lies at the bottom of the Mediterranean), fuelling the people's feeling of humiliation and abuse, it seems that this country needs a leader prepared to step forward and take on the might of the Prussian occupiers.

BAVARIA

This small, but significant, country has been recently troubled by political upheaval - the death of King Ludwig III, followed by his brother Prince Otto, left no immediate succession. However, the late Otto's wife, Queen Irena, has stepped forward to act as Regent until the young son of Otto comes of age.

HUNGARY

Previously ruled by the Austrian Empire, Hungary recently came alight with a peasant rebellion - lead by the fanatical rebel Toldi. Despite Austria's many attempts to crush the revolt, much of Hungary is still occupied by the rebels. However, the country's economy and infrastructure has been smashed by the recent wars, and with the death of the rebels previous ally Von Moltke, the future of the rebellion looks doubtful.

AUSTRIA

Recently humiliated on the battlefield by Prussia, and the rebellion in Hungary, Austria has lost much pride. Its army is still large, but technologically out-dated. A change of direction is required if this country is to thrive in the future.

RUSSIA

Ruled by Tsar Alexander II, Russia has been a 'sleeping giant' for some years. The Tsar seems reluctant to commit himself militarily to any offensive actions, despite recent provocation by both France and Prussia. A recent peace treaty signed with France looks unlikely to last, and a number of military squabbles with Prussia are known to have irritated the Tsar.

ITALY

Italy is a patchwork of principalities and city-states, most notable among them being the Papal States and the city of Florence, owned by the Medici family. If the Italian people could ever be persuaded to see themselves as one nation, they would be among the strongest and wealthiest powers in Europe.

SPAIN

Decadent and effete, the Spanish monarchy has ruled its people with a firm hand for many centuries, and the nation often gives the impression of still being stuck in the Middle Ages. Since losing its extensive colonies in South America, Spain has played little part on the European political stage.

SWEDEN

A large and peaceful power on the northern fringe of Europe, Sweden controls all of the Scandinavian peninsula but has historically warred with Russia over Finland.



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