Variant Rules
Historical Background

This page looks at the history of provinces on the map that require further explanation.

Atlantic Ocean - Despite its location on the variant map, one should think of the Atlantic Ocean as to the west of both East Atlantic Ocean and the Straits of Gibraltar, and thus is the only path around to the Arabian Sea.

Austria? - Some people have asked why Austria is called Austria, and not Austria-Hungary as it is in standard Diplomacy. In 1814, it was still the Austrian, or Hapsburg, Empire. It was not until 1867 that the name was changed to the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Azerbaijan - Under the Treaty of Golestan, signed after defeating Persia, Russia gained control of Azerbaijan in 1813.

Balticum - A term used in German and Scandinavian languages to refer to the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.

Bosnia - Bosnia has a mixed population of Muslims and Christians. Border wars between the Austrian and Ottoman empires flared in Bosnia during the 18th and 19th centuries. Although Bosnia was still technically part of the Ottoman Empire in 1815, the Ottoman hold on Bosnia was not strong, and that hold weakened until Bosnia was finally lost to Austria in 1878.

Caucasus - This region is composed of the Christian states of Armenia and Georgia. Along with Azerbaijan, it was gained by Russia under the Treaty of Golestan with Persia in 1813.

Christiania - Prior to 1624, the Norwegian city of Oslo was known as Oslo. Then the city burnt to the ground, and was rebuilt on the other side of the bay. The new city was named Christiania, after the Danish King Christian IV. Both names were in use until the Norwegians restored the original name of Oslo in 1924.

Corsica & Sardinia - The islands were often used as a platform for military operations in wars between French and Italian states, and it makes sense for them to be passable. Also, I will be quite interested to see how it works having an island SC in the Med.

Danubian Principalities - During the Russo-Turkish War of 1806-1812, the Ottomans attempted to rein in the Russophile rulers of the Danubian principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia. The war ended with both states still technically part of the Ottoman empire, but no effective Ottoman control. For this reason, it makes sense for these to not be part of Ottoman territory, and to be a neutral SC fought over by the two powers. A rebellion in 1821 earned further independence for the states, and they formally broke away to form Romania in 1859, with Transylvania added after World War I.
Austrian access to the mouth of the Danube was a major reason for the stasis in the Balkans in the 19th century. This was a major trading artery for the Hapsburg Empire. They could not accept Russian control of this area. Therefore, you end up with the odd result of everybody agreeing to leave this area legally under Ottoman control, to avoid Austrian-Russian conflict.

Denmark Strait - This is the name for the strait between Greenland and Iceland, both of which were formerly Danish territory.

Halogaland The more proper name for this province would be Nord-Norge, which comprises the northernmost three provinces of modern Norway, and is a sparsely populated area with an ethnic mix including the indigenous Sami, Finns, and Russians. Halogaland was an ancient kingdom mentioned often in the Norse epics, and is used today to refer to an area generally equivalent to the province of Nordland, with the provinces of Troms and Finnmark further north. However, Halogaland sounds a lot cooler than Nord-Norge, so I'm going with that, despite the minor historical inaccuracy.

Hejaz - The Hejaz is a mountainous area on the western Arabian peninsula bordering the Red Sea. It contains Mecca and Medina, and has thus been a very important area historically. During the Egyptian-Saudi War of 1811-1818, the Hejaz was already firmly under Egyptian control by 1815, and thus is included as an Egyptian home SC.

Hindustan - Hindustan (or Hindoo-stan) was the name often used by the British for India.

Ioannina - Ioannina (a.k.a. Janina) was the center of an area in modern-day Albania and northern Greece ruled by Ali Pasha, a local Albanian ruler almost entirely independent of Ottoman control. Ali is more famous for his role in works of fiction, including The Count of Monte Cristo (in which the fictional character Haydee is Ali's daughter), and Lord Byron's epic poem "Childe Harold", which draws from Byron's own experiences at Ali's court.

Krajina - Krajina is a Slavic word for "border". Within the Austrian Empire, they designated the areas bordering the Ottoman Empire as Military Krajinas. The Krajinas were permanently militarized special administrative zones that were under something similar to martial law. The three Krajinas were the Banat Krajina, near Romania (Moldavia on the map), the Slavonian Krajina (the western half of Krajina on the map, and the upper right part of modern Croatia), and the Croatian Krajina (Croatia on the map). I combined the Banat and Slavonia into one province, Krajina.

Little Russia - This was the common name for the Ukraine at this time, with Ukrainians known as "Little Russians". Naturally, the Ukrainians have never really been too keen on this.

Mesopotamia - Formally, Mesopotamia was Ottoman territory in 1815. However, it actually had been under local Mamluk (see the Ottoman Empire for a definition) control for nearly a century. In 1831, war was imminent for the Ottoman Empire with Muhammad Ali Pasha's Egyptian army. Istanbul decided that it was time to reassert control over Mesopotamia, partially to prevent it from falling into Egyptian hands. At the time, Mesopotamia was suffering from a plague and a disastrous harvest, and could not offer any resistance to the Ottoman army.

Muscat, Oman, and Aden - This coastal area of the Arabian peninsula includes modern-day Yemen, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates. This area was a center of conflict for Egyptian, Persian, and British forces, with the British eventually securing this area through a combination of military and diplomatic efforts. It might make more sense to split these provinces up, but there's already a lot of supply centers in this area, and making this one province helps to condense this battle area.

Nejd - The Nejd is the name for the desert plateau at the center of the Arabian peninsula. The Egyptian army under Ibrahim Pasha conquered this area and razed the Saudi capital of Diriyah in 1818. In terms of gameplay, I wanted to have one supply center in this area without a coast, to make it more difficult for the British, and to reflect the reality that they never were able to conquer these interior areas. Incidentally, this is the reason for including the province of Al Hasa.

Rhineland - By early 1815, it was already decided at the Congress that the many small kingdoms in the Rhineland would be awarded to Prussia. The purpose was to strengthen Prussia, and make Germania more of a counter-weight to France. I will be interested to see the impact of this 4th Prussian home SC.

Serbia - The First Serbian Uprising from 1804-13 and Second Serbian Uprising in 1815 resulted in the de facto independence of Serbia from the Ottoman Empire. This explains why it is not part of the Ottoman Empire on the map. In 1848, Serbia declared itself to be an independent Duchy of the Austrian Empire. While it made sense at the time to escape the Ottoman Empire, the Serbians grew to regret that, and became fiercely nationalistic in resisting the Austrian Empire, culminating in the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand that triggered World War I.

Turkestan - Turkestan was a name used on many maps at the time for the largely unknown region of Central Asia. West Turkestan, which roughly corresponds to modern Kazakhstan, was virtually unpopulated, and thus is not an SC. East Turkestan was host to a number of thriving minor khantates, including Bukhara, Khiva, and Kokand. As part of the Great Game, Turkestan was slowly conquered by the Russian Empire over the 19th century.

Turkey - The province of Turkey includes the small bit in Europe (i.e. Thrace).
Transylvania - Transylvania was independent from the state of Hungary within the Austrian Empire until 1867. In the standard game, it is part of Budapest. Transylvania became part of Romania in 1919.

Tunis - While technically part of the Ottoman Empire, Tunis had been de facto independent since 1705 under the Hussein dynasty.

Warsaw - The independent Duchy of Warsaw was created by Napoleon in 1807 with the Treaty of Tilsit. The Polish were strong allies of Napoleon, and were sympathetic to the republican ideals of the French Revolution. At the Congress of Vienna, Britain in particular sought to make this an independent, liberal state. Instead, Posen (the left half of the Duchy of Warsaw) was awarded to Prussia, and the reduced Duchy of Warsaw (the right half) was made a state at the Congress of Vienna. This state was commonly called "Congress Warsaw," since it was created at the Congress, and on paper was independent and republican. In reality, it was dominated by Russia, and was annexed formally by Russia in 1831. More on the Duchy of Warsaw in the profile of Tsar Alexander III.

White Russia - This was a common name for Belarus, which literally translates as White Russia (Bela = White, Rus = Russia), with Belarussians also known as White Russians