Para Hacer Grande a España de Nuevo – A Victoria 2 AAR

Para Hacer Grande La España de Nuevo

“Para Hacer Grande La España de Nuevo.”

De la Introducción de Mi Testamento Político Sobre la Corona y España para Mi Hijo , Carlos María Isidro Benito de Borbón y Borbón-Parma, publicado en 1910.

"To Make Spain Great Again."

From the Introduction of My Political Testament on the Crown and Spain for My Son , Carlos María Isidro Benito de Borbón y Borbón-Parma, published in 1910.

This is a Victoria 2 AAR for a playthrough for the Grand Campaign as Spain. It’ll be updated as interesting 19th Century things happen. There will be a a few selections from Carlos’ apocrypha political testament for his son I quoted from up there, amongst other fun Victorian happenings. Thanks to @easytarget at the Victoria 2 threat for inspiring me with his Ottoman AAR.



After the disasters which befell Spain during the Napoleonic Wars, the return to the throne of the personally rapacious and conservative, yet vacillating and malleable Fernando VII to the throne led to the loss of the vast majority of Spain’s overseas empire in 1819-1821, which exacerbated the chronic financial woes of Spain to a crisis. Fernando was ousted by a military coup after the loss of New Granada (Bolivar’s Revolution) in 1820 and Spain was governed by progressive Liberals for three years.


They decided to resort to the international money lenders to revert the economic meltdown Spain was facing. They turned to Paris, and particularly London, where many liberals (many of them Freemasons) had fled on Fernando VII’s return in 1814. In London and Paris, the liberals ruling Spain engaged in negotiations with the financiers Nathan Rothschild and James Rothschild. They bailed out the Spanish liberal regime, with the assent of the British Government, ostensibly due to the regime’s professed Liberal policies, but with a the real goal of securing previous debts dating back to loans granted to the Spanish government (in exile) during the Napoleonic Wars.
The election of a radical liberal government in 1823 further destabilized Spain. The army, whose liberal leanings had brought the government to power, began to waver when the Spanish economy failed to improve, and in 1823, a mutiny in Madrid had to be suppressed. The Jesuits, who had been banned by Carlos III in the 18th century, only to be rehabilitated by Fernando VII after his restoration, were banned again by the government. For the duration of liberal rule, Fernando (still technically head of state) lived under virtual house arrest in Madrid.

The 1823 intervention of a reactionary international alliance, the Sacred Alliance, restored Fernando VII fully on the Spanish throne. Fernando agreed to respect Liberal reforms, but the Bourbon king refused to assume the debt incurred by the 1820-1823 liberal rulers with the Rothschilds based in London and Paris. For more than a decade, the pending liberal debt became for Ferdinand VII’s negotiators a persistent sticking point with these financiers during talks for new loan requests.

So, the state of affairs in Spain remained paralyzed and unstable as Fernando managed to alienate both the Liberal and Traditionalist political classes in Spain. His health rapidly became an issue, and a succession crisis now loomed as Spain, which used Salic Law (exclusive male primogeniture) for Royal Succession, and Fernando had two daughters.

In 1830 he proclaimed the Pragmatic Sanction, securing the throne for his daughter, Isabella ( an infant, with a younger sister “in the oven”) on whom Moderate Liberals and Progressives pinned their hopes for possible future reform, encouraged in these hopes (disingenuously) by the Queen (and likely regent) Maria Christina, interested in preserving her personal position and wealth.

The Pragmatic Sanction disinherited the King’s younger brother, Carlos María Isidro Benito de Borbón y Borbón-Parma, Infante of Spain and Principe de Asturia (until the Sanction) and Count of Molina. The clerical party (called in Spanish ‘Apostólicos’) continued to support the rights of Carlos to the throne. They considered the Pragmatic Sanction not only impractical but also illegal. They intrigued in favor of Carlos, but he himself would do no more than assert his rights in words. His wife and her sister, Maria Teresa (1793–1874), the princess of Beira, on the other hand, were actively engaged in intrigues with the apostólicos. In March 1833, Ferdinand authorized Carlos to go to Portugal with his wife and sister-in-law. The ‘authorization’ was in fact an order to remove Carlos and his adherents from Spain.

In April 1833, Ferdinand called upon Carlos to take an oath of allegiance to Isabella as Princess of Asturias, the title traditionally used by the first in line to the throne. In respectful but firm terms, Carlos refused. He had no personal desire for the throne, but he was adamant that he could not renounce what he considered to be his God-given rights and responsibilities.


So we have Liberals coalescing around the succession of Isabel and potential Regency of Maria Christina (calling themselves Christinos). Traditionalists are coalescing around the rights of Carlos (calling themselves Carlists). Conservatives are torn. Spain is broke and defaulting on debts continually. Fernando died on 29 September 1833. In Madrid, his widow declared herself regent for their daughter. On 1 October, Carlos issued a manifesto declaring his own accession to the throne. Thus begins the Carlist War…

It is now January 1 in the Year of Our Lord 1836. The War has been raging for three years.

The Situation in Iberia

The Remnants of Empire

More to come!

Excellent, more people to play Victoria 2 so that I don’t have to. Looking forward to seeing what you do!

I feel the same way. On the one hand, these AARs make me want to play Vicky 2 again, but on the other it’s been so long since I’ve played it that I’m not sure I’m up to relearn the game again. So vicariously playing it through @easytarget and @Navaronegun it is.

Interesting, so this starts right from the outset with rebels in the north.

You certainly get thrust right into the thick of it with Spain in Victoria 2, with or without HPM active, with the Carlist civil war right there on your doorstep from day one. Although, it appears the Spanish Philippines has been all but forgotten in showing the remnants of the once glorious empire.

You’re correct - I was still working out screengrab kinks, but the Capitanía General de Filipinas still exists.

Another highlight is that Ceuta and Melilla are Still in our posession; possibly important jumping off points for expansion in North Africa later.

However more on that later. Some really momentous decisions have to be made immediately upon game start. I’ll deal with those tomorrow and then come back soon with the next real entry. I was going to do a “State of Spain” entry next, but the decisions really need to be dealt with and related before I go on much further - they have long term reprecussions and pop up on day one. No rest por España as things begin!

Ooh goodie!

I mean those are still in Spain’s possession!

Looking forward to 1898 and how you’ll deal with that (or whatever the crisis is in your play through).

January 2 in the Year of Our Lord 1836

“España debe escapar de este jardín de senderos que se bifurcan.”

“Spain must escape this garden of forking paths.”

“Your Grandfather and Uncle both treated a holy duty and responsibility for the future and well-being of the Patria as if it were merely a noble’s patrimony, as an estate held in absence in Granada. This estate was neglected and given to the management of an incompetent playboy as overseer who squandered its assets for pleasure. Later it was mortgaged at high interest; first to a Corsican parvenu and then when he had met his end to some merchants in Cádiz; all with the goal of paying the upkeep for a grand lifestyle in the city.

This must end. I determined that it must end. I would never disobey the will of God and contradict my own father or betray my brother. But as this squalid state of affairs threatened to continue, against the laws of God and España, and Maria Christina prepared a new round of mortgages and sales of what she saw as her country properties another betrayal of holy responsibility to God, Patria and España, I could not, and did not, have to stand idly by. España must escape this garden of forking paths which lead her into increasing division; faction against faction and interest against interest; mortgaging the Patria so the court and its hangers on at the moment can enjoy another year of careless fiesta while España careens from crisis to crisis. So I acted. And when the command of Maria Christina’s army gained a taste of what their future would hold under the selfish, ever-changing whims of her court and approached me, I discussed with them what the Comunión de La Patria would entail.

Dios: The Catholic Faith is a cornerstone of España and must be politically active in its defense. The sovereignty of El Rey is a holy pact, a Comunión of responsibility between El Rey and La Patria both, sworn before Dios.

Patria: La Comunión sees the Patria as the nesting of communities (municipal, regional, España) united under one King.

Rey: Sovereignty is vested on the king, both legitimate in blood and in deeds. But this power is limited by the doctrine of the Church and the Laws and Usages of the Kingdom, and through a series of Councils, traditional Cortes and state-independent intermediate bodies guided and informed by the Fueros. The King must also be the Defender of the Poor and Keeper of Justice and steer the progress and prosperity of the Patria.

Fueros: Stipulating the desires of the regions of Navarra, the Basque provinces, Catalonia, Aragon and the other historical kingdoms of España, a degree of regional autonomy and traditions unique to España and vital to the happiness and heritage of its localities, as well as the stability of the Patria, will be found in the preservation of the Fueros, which were rights granted to these provinces by the Crown in the Middle Ages and which have evolved over time.

After General Zumalacárregui’s victory at Bilbao, Maria Christina’s Commander approached me on January 2, 1836 regarding terms and the future of España if they backed my cause. I assured amnesty and a respect for all views, Liberal or Conservative, couched and guided by the principles of La Comunión. And thus, my son, we truly assumed the holy burden that is our responsibility and duty under Dios.”

De la Introducción de Mi Testamento Político Sobre la Corona y España para Mi Hijo , Carlos María Isidro Benito de Borbón y Borbón-Parma, El Rey de España , publicado en 1910. Traducido por el Profesor N. A. Varonegun, 2020.

Gameplay “Its been one freaking day, man!”

So, as I began playing, my Vicky 2 instincts kicked in. Immediately, before letting the clock run, I balanced the budget, slashing all expenses on Military, Social Spending, Education, Admin, you name it, and raising taxes and Tariffs. Spain by default was running a deficit of 500 pounds a month. Unsustainable! Best to get that under control and get a handle on things before changing things later. Otherwise we’d be in debt up to our eyeballs in no time at all. The Conservatives were running the Government in a Constitutional Monarchy (HM’s Government) with a VERY large voting majority. Any changes or reforms would be a long way off. So having done that I pondered my options.

I had contemplated merely letting the Carlists win – letting them make their way to Madrid and using the army to follow them and regain provinces they controlled, maintaining the economy and state coffers, but not chewing up the Army (which would be ridiculously underfunded while fighting them due to the financial situation) and then likely letting Carlos win (the Rebels control Madrid for a Year), and gain the flexibility Absolutism would allow politically in terms of building Spanish Industry and enacting reforms to get Spain under control and moving into the 19th Century. Though that would likely lose a year plus and keep Spain in a decline and paralyzed waiting for that to happen, let alone the 25 prestige loss that would entail.

And then this happened on January 2:

With this effect if you choose Maria Christina’s Regency:

So. Option Maria Christina creates Reactionary and Conservative Hubs in the Galicia region (two Provinces) and four other provinces north of Madrid as well as the province of Sevilla in the South. As well, the Provinces of Bilbao, Pamplona, Teruel, Gerona, Lerida and Tarragona will all be Carlist Sympathy provinces, and unhappy with Resource Gain and Immigration penalties…until 1936 (!?!?!). Also, the Catalan and Basque Provinces will all gain militancy and consciousness and become 30% more reactionary. And you get an Unflinching Military leader. Yay. Some Liberal win…I’m sure a lotta reforms and technical advancement will result from that mess. I foresee a HM’s Government that can never get anything done domestically or abroad and stays a basket-case….

And choosing Carlos gives this effect:

Option Carlos creates Reactionary and Conservative Hubs in the Galicia region (two Provinces) and four other provinces north of Madrid as well as the province of Sevilla in the South – Just like Option Maria Christina. Spain becomes an Absolute Monarchy, Spain and all cores are converted to Carlist Spain. All Political Reforms are defaulted to damn-near Tsarist-levels of lockdown; no voting, State Press only, no meetings, etc. All pops in the whole country become 30% more Reactionary (more sweeping than Option Maria Christina) but ALL pops lose 8 militancy country-wide. And five provinces in the South (it was six with Option Maria Christina) become “Christino Sympathy” provinces and wanna immigrate, have Resource Gain penalties, etc…until…1936 (!?!?!?). As well those pops get 30% more Liberal and gain 8 Militancy (cancelling the 8 loss above). Oh and you get a General.

So breaking it all down, I think the flexibility you get from Option Carlos regarding selecting governments and making the reforms and policy choices you think best outweighs Option Maria Christina. You get fewer permanently butthurt provinces until 1936. And an overall reduction of militancy by 8. I made my choice.

¡Viva El Rey Carlos V y La Comunión Nacional! ¡Dios, Rey, Patria, y Fueros!


So this happened as a result…

25 Prestige loss (oh well, would have happened regardless). “Befuddlement” nationally hurting research for a year. More polarization in Militancy Liberals getting more, Conservatives and Reactionary getting less, Anarcho-Liberals getting more (there really aren’t any right now). The Two Sicilies wanna be best buds because of blood ties to the crown, and Morocco, Portugal, France and Great Britain (neighbors bc Gibraltar) all get Reactionary Pop militancy increases sparked by the Carlist success. Well, this should be interesting.

More to come, hopefully after more time than just one freaking day.

Yeah, the flexibility choice does seem like the right one. Not sure if it’s HPM or the base game that does this but I’ve found when these sorts of decisions come up there’s often a hit on prestige that often looks to be unavoidable.

The great powers threatening to push me out of the top 8 are doing it primarily off of higher prestige than mine because every hit I take like this is greater than any action I have available to increase it.

Ok, so here’s a question: Is Spain at the start in the Great Powers category or is one of the goals in playing them to get them there?

They start at 8. Based upon the absurd financial circus Siuation, instability and awkward state regarding government and voting ideologies, woeful industrial status snd low techs, they’ll be outta the top 10 quicker than you can say “Reconquista.” Maybe outta the top 20. No matter what you choose or try to do.

I don’t think the engine supported permanent modifiers, at least from script, so expiry at the end date is used instead. EU4 still has some of that.

Yeah, but it also keeps (January 1, 1936 not December 31, 1935) them if you then converted your file into a HOI 2 (3?..I forget) file and kept on grooving through the end of your alternate history’s 1950 or whatnot as the negative mods translated from Vicky conditions into into HOI-ish things. So if you kept going your Spanish Civil War would look…different…if you had one.

Having said that my plethora of exclamation points and questions marks were in reaction to the damn permanence of the split, game-wise. The whole damn game, someone is gonna be pouting and a thorn in your side, no matter what.

By the way, more on this…later. Immediate stuff first. Let me just say that:

1.) Until the US ends its Civil War, the Monroe Doctrine is a nice idea on paper.

2.) Can you say “La Nueva Reconquista?” I can; it just rolls off my tongue.

January 1 in the Year of Our Lord 1847

“Se necesitaba la Década del Silencio para sembrar los campos que habían dejado estériles durante tanto tiempo.”

“The Decade of Silence was needed to sow the fields that had been left barren for so long.”

“I decided upon the Decade of Silence; España would make no foreign contracts, being codial but making no commitments. España would focus upon her own development and the education of her people. España would look to establishing stability at home, defeating both revolution and the selfish interests of the Christinos, both of whom I knew would oppose this course and threaten violence, which I would meet with the righteous force of the Patria.

However, I knew that when la Década ended I would begin to both engage in reforms and expansion; beginning the process of restoring España to her proper place in the world.”

De la Introducción de Mi Testamento Político Sobre la Corona y España para Mi Hijo , Carlos María Isidro Benito de Borbón y Borbón-Parma, publicado en 1910. Traducido por el Profesor N. A. Varonegun, 2020.

Gameplay “All about stability”.

Its just been very quiet, but productive overall, and instability and revolts seem to be falling off. The following messages came fast and furious over the first 8 years:

32 “Christino Sympathies” events.

Malaga x2

Almiera x2

Ciudad Real x4

Toledo x3

Alicante x2

Cadiz x3

Murcia x2


Valencia x3

Albacete x2


Cuenca x2


Huelva x2



29 “Christiano Cell Discovered”

Cordoba x2

Ciudad Real x5

Toledo x3


Cadiz x2

Cartagena x2

Alicante x2

Malaga x2

Albacete x2

Valencia x2








The “Sympathies” events don’t stack and increase the levels above and beyond the base levels present in the modifier. Some of the provinces were already base “Christino Sympathy” provinces as a result of the Carlist War decision on January 2, 1836.

The “Cell Discovered” event removes the “Christino Sympathy” status modifier of a province and decreases its militancy by 5. I can’t tell, but choosing reforms that increase Suppression Points, and not using Suppression points seems to increase the frequency of finding Christino Cells.

Unfortunately an increase in Militancy in a province increases it amongst Jacobins as well.

I had 5 Christino uprisings in ten year, none of them requiring more than the regular army, 2 of them very serious.

I had 3 Jacobin Uprisings, 2 of which required mobilization. Those were the near-run things.

Having said that, all of them have been falling off in frequency and size. None in that last few years.

Basque and Catalan Separatism exist as movements and possible rebellions, but never rise above zero in possibilities; the Carlist choice seems to tamp those down. The same goes for possible slave rebellions in Cuba and Puerto Rico.

As a side note, I am pretty sure if you make the “Christino” choice on January 2, 1836, you’ll see the same internal instability events, but as “Carlist Sympathizers” and “Carlist Cell Found”.


All the above drove my approach to the budget for the Quiet Decade. After balancing the budget in June 1836, I slowly increased Military Spending and stockpiles to maximum. Then slowly increased Education and Admin to maximum. Taxes as low as possible, Tariffs doing the heavy lifting.


Rifles, Financials and Culture that grant educational bonuses were the priorities, though I took a side tour to Medicine as well. Rifles so the Army is more effective at killing rebels. Education I’ll speak to later. Financials to give me room for State Capitalism improvements and Medicine to get in position for a higher life rating for Colonization later.

Reforms and Decisions

Not many. Anything that would increase Suppression Points was the order of the day. Trade Policy was constantly Mercantilism.

Foreign Policy

None. Declined an Austrian alliance early. No one messes with me. I don’t mess with them. Despite everything, I’ve hung on to rank 8 and Great Power Status. Only recently have I felt that I can spare the standing Army overseas. So many things will happen in 1847, now that the decade has ended.

We’ll begin the process of taking Morocco.

Begin selected reforms over the next ten years – first abolishing Slavery, then Education reforms, (when Literacy is at 25%, its at 20%-ish now) and possibly social welfare stuff. Method? Appointing the Liberals as the year ends, let the Upper House reset, make the decision, then remove them/dissolve the house before any Constitutional nonsense starts (I need the ability to choose the ruling party at will) putting the Communion Carlista (Reactionaries) back in charge for State Capitalism reasons. Then we’ll see where we stand in 10 years.

Deep breath, lets see what happens… At least it won’t be just an uneventful, naval-gazing ten years with nothing much to report.

I max military spending except at points where it’s a financial crisis, but I’ve not done much on stockpiles, what does this affect?

haha, you’ll get no arguement from me on this decision after my entanglements that produced little and dragged me into a wider war

That’s nice as you’ve managed to preserve the ability to sphere. I’m in 7th with Ottomans and always feel like I’m on the edge of getting kicked out.

From the Vicky 2 wiki:

  • Spending on Land units: The funding level directly correlates with the maximum organization brigades have: thus funding at 50% will limit unit organization to 50% of their maximum possible organization.
  • Spending on Naval units: The funding level directly correlates with the maximum organization ships have: thus funding at 50% will limit unit organization to 50% of their maximum possible organization. It is impossible to fund navies at less than 30% of their full spending.
  • Spending on constructions: This is money spent to buy the goods necessary for the construction of railroads, forts, naval bases and government built factories.

Money being spent on clipper and steamer convoys to maintain overseas holdings is also shown, listed as Overseas Maintenance.

It is really expensive, as you are acquiring goods, when available, daily. You need to carefully, oh so gradually, move those up.

Yeah, I mean during wars I fund the military full bore. The part I’ve not been putting money into is the stockpile setting under I believe it’s markets.

This (trade menu):

Versus this, budget menu:

Yes, that is what I was referring to.

Ok, cool. But any idea what impact the other one has? Perhaps it’s tied to mobilization speed?