Kingdom of Tuscany
Tuscany was annexed by the Kingdom of Piedmont-Savoy and Sardinia
in 1860 as part of the aftermath of the Austro-Italian war of 1859 against the wishes of its population, which viewed the militancy of the Piedmontese with distrust. The ruling Grand Dukes of the House of Medici (not extinct in this timeline) went into Austrian Exile. The same war lost Austria-Hungary Lombardy, leaving only the Veneto and Istria as part of the Habsburg’s realm.
Southern Italy was seen as ‘too Greek’, and therefore not of interest to the Italian Irredentists.
With the Austrian in the Austro-Prussian war of 1866 imminent, Piemont went to war to acquire the remaining territories. Austrian victories at land and sea (at Custozza and Lissa), together with Bismarck’s desire of not transforming Austria into a mortal enemy, led to the cessation of the Veneto only, leaving hard feelings in Italy due to the Prussian “betrayal”.
Tensions stayed high between A-H and Italy and Prussia/Germany. The defeat of France took place too quickly for Italy to exploit it. The populace of the recently annexed territories was unhappy about Piedmont militancy regarding the Unification of all Italy; however, any protests were quickly quashed by the government, sometimes with military force, creating even more discontent.
The war against Serbia and subsequent Austrian Civil War seemed like a golden chance for Italy to gain even more territory from a distracted Austria-Hungary. While the Itaian Secret Service aided Serbian assassins planting a bomb to assassinate the Emperors, the Italian army should strike a few days later to take Trieste, Istria and Southern Tyrol.
The Austrian defense line at the Isonzo proved to be a strong obstacle, blocking any advance of the overambitious Italian army, which got locked into static trench warfare for which it was not prepared.
An attempt for a major amphibious landing at the Dalmatian coast to open another front was violently aborted when the Austrian battle fleet intercepted the convoy escorted by the Regia Marina, leading to one of the fiercest naval battles in history. Losses were high on both sides, with Italy loosing four of its seven dreadnoughts as well as many pre-dreadnought battleships and armoured cruisers. The biggest loss was the near-complete annihilation of the troop transports by Imperial and Royal submarines and torpedo boats striking from behind the dalmatine islands. Rumors that the operation was betrayed by a rumoured Tuscan independentist working for the naval staff who informed the Grand Duke in Vienna were never substantiated.
The resulting lack of manpower and equipment was severely felt when the Austro-German counteroffensive broke through the lines in 1916. Again, misdirection of crucial equipment from the southern part of the Italian kingdom or late approach of regiments statione dthere are always attributed to bad staff work performed by Piedmontese officers or technical difficulties with the railways. Investigations by the secret service never proved a Tuscan connection.
Aftermath of the War
The Treaty of Rome forced the discredited Piedmontese Kings of Italy into Exile (anyone wanting them ?). Piedmont and the former Habsburg possessions were annexed by Germany/Austria, with the remaining provinces of the former Kingdom of Italy forming the new Tuscan Kingdom. The new kingdom also gained the Italian colonies to keep them out of German, French and or other grasping hands. The whole city of Rome was transferred to the Holy See, with Florence becoming again the seat of crown and government.
The new Government is a constitutional monarchy, with a single-chamber parliament elected by all citizens. The Grand Duke, now styled King of Tuscany and Protector of Italians (a boast that is more bark than possible bite), chooses a Prime Minister who answers to the Parliament. The King has veto powers, which can only be overturned by a three-quarter majority in parliament.
Tuscany considers itself lively and liberal, although a large part of the population consists of practising catholics.
Irredentist ideology is waning after the disastrous end of the Kingdom of Italy, except for some diehards lacking popular support.
Trade pacts are welcome !
Relations with Germany/Austria are cordial, as Tuscany does not support any secessionist activity in former Italian territories. However, the treatment of Italians is monitored and consular support provided for Italians in need.
There are no competing claims with the Balkan Empire in Europe.
France is observed warily, as it was very interested in the northern Italian territories.
Relations with the Byzantine Empire are stable and neutral due to the former’s support for The Kingdom of Italy and support of terrorism to further the Nationalists.
Britain and Cascadia are considered as predominantly friendly nations, with no colonial disputes.
The Islands between Corsica and the Italian Mainland are also owned by me.
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