Barons' War

Barons' War
Date23 July 1796 - 2 October 1802
Location
Thraysian Empire
Result
  • Baronial success
  • End of the Palaiologan Dynasty
  • A Presidency elected by the Senate becomes Thraysia's defacto ruler
Belligerents
  • Thraysia Statist Forces
Commanders and leaders
  • Thraysia Georgios I Kanatos
  • Thraysia Paraskevas Andratos
  • Thraysia Nestoras Antonou
  • Thraysia Martinianus Ypsilanti
  • Thraysia Bogomir Volansky
  • LihnidosVardana Konstantina I
  • Thraysia Nikephoros III Palaiologas
  • Thraysia Florentius Palaiologas
  • Thraysia Basilius Ooryphas
  • Thraysia Regino Lascaris

The Barons' War was a conflict between the Baron and Statist factions of Thraysia over a succession dispute between Georgios I and Nikephoros III. The Barons sought to establish a decentralized monarchy with more power among their class, while the Statists desired an autocracy.

Background

With the Epanalávete from 1624 to 1749, the Thraysian Empire was restored and had successfully reconquered much of its former territory. The first Emperor, Theodosius V, established the Empire as an autocracy through a rigid bureaucracy to govern the newly-found Empire, and a secret police force known as the Αυτοκρατορική Αστυνομία or "Imperial Police." While the initial half of his reign was relatively benevolent, it would increasingly become cruel and tyrannical. He was known to strongly weaponize the Imperial Police to abuse local rulers and subjects who invoked any trace of disagreement or question. This made him a fairly unpopular ruler that led to several rebellions towards the end of his reign. His reign established a great degree of absolutism that would characterize the Thraysian monarchy. Under later Emperors, Thraysia continued its rapid expansion. However, issues of over-extension and absolutism with disregard for local autonomy had built up a great deal of internal unrest. Many local rulers and nobles were deposed by the Emperor and replaced by bureaucrats from Konstantinopolis. This was most destabilizing towards ethnic minority communities. As rebellions and riots ensued, several Emperors granted more local autonomy to handle unrest. This resulted in a steady decline of the imperial bureaucracy, and the rise in power of a gentry class known as the Barons. The latter rulers of the Palaiologan dynasty would face frequent conflicts with the Barons as a consequence of decentralization.

Under the rule of the Caliphate, ruralization and urban decay was rampant. By the time of the Empire's restoration, Thraysia was noticeably behind the powers in western Belisaria. Despite conservative concerns of adopting "barbarian customs," many Thraysians realized that they would have to adopt some reforms from the west. Inspired by his visits in the west and his education in (insert country), Emperor David II introduced many westernizing reforms under the belief that western Belisarian customs were superior in many respects to old Thraysian traditions. This included westernizing social and cultural reforms. This marked a shift in Thraysian culture in several aspects, from fashion, art, social mores, religion, etc. These changes were more prevalent among the Barons, while the commoners retained a more traditional Thraysian flavor.

Nikephoros II attempted to reverse many social reforms by David II. Additionally, he carried a strong desire to subjugate the increasingly powerful Baron class of Thraysia to increase the sole rule of the Emperor and strengthen a loyal bureaucracy. He made extensive use of the Imperial Police to harass his political opponents. In response, many powerful Barons plotted a conspiracy to assassinate the Emperor. While the first attempt was unsuccessful, the 2nd attempt successfully assassinated Nikephoros II. In his place, an influential Baron was placed into the throne, titling himself Georgios I and establishing the Kanatos dynasty over Thraysia.

The War

Nikephoros II's enraged son, Nikephoros III, claimed himself to be the Emperor of Thraysia and had initiated a Civil War to seize the throne. Many commoners in Konstantinopolis enthusiastically joined his call to arms. A war emerged between those loyal to the Barons, and those loyal to Nikephoros III whom were known as "statists." The war not only reflected political tensions between an absolute ruler and an oligarchy, but also had a class and cultural divide with a westernized class of Barons against commoners who held on to more aspects of traditional Thraysian society.

Most ethnic minority groups were supportive of the Baronial forces, believing that the Baron-dominated government would respect their local autonomy more so than the statists loyal to Nikephoros III.

See also