1636: The Saxon Uprising — Snippet 54
“For pity’s sake, we’re about to launch our great campaign!” It was all Oxenstierna could not to snarl openly. “Your Grace,” he added, in an attempt to remain polite.
A pointless attempt. “I remind you again that I’m no longer a duke,” said Wilhelm Wettin stiffly. “And as for the other, I think a plot to commit treason in collusion with a hostile foreign power needs to take precedence over our domestic concerns.”
The Swedish chancellor stared down at the smaller man. For a moment, he was disoriented by a clutter of disconnected thoughts. He hadn’t foreseen this development.
We’re dealing with a matter of internal treason, you idiot, which is far more dangerous than anything else.
Maximilian is playing over his head, anyway. We can get the Oberpfalz back soon enough, once order is established.
One of the first things we’ll do once we’ve consolidated power is get rid of that “house of commons” nonsense. Can there be anything more absurd than a duke having to give up his title in order to rule?
How in God’s name did he find out?
The answer to the last question was probably the simplest. The problem with working through men like Johann Ludwig was that they wereâ€¦ well, men like Johann Ludwig. The count of Nassau-Hadamar had none of the great virtues, so why should it be surprising that he lacked the lesser ones as well? Such as being able to keep his mouth shut and refrain from bragging.
No matter. Johann Ludwig was playing over his head too. Oxenstierna had been careful not to deal with the man directly. When the time came, and Duke Maximilian of Bavaria needed to be humbled again, the count of Nassau-Hadamar’s treasonous role could be exposed and the man sent to the executioner’s block.
For the moment, there was this much greater problem of Wettin to deal with. The USE’s prime minister had been balking more and more at the necessary measures to be taken, as time went by. He’d become a nuisance to everyone, especially Oxenstierna.
Perhaps more to the point, he’d also by now thoroughly aggravated most of his own followers. The staunch ones, by his vacillations; those even more inclined toward compromise, such as the landgravine of Hesse-Kassel, by his accommodations.
So, perhaps not such a great problem after all.
He placed a hand on Wettin’s shoulder. “There’s someone you need to speak to, who is intimately familiar with the Bavarian situation. The information you’ve received, from whatever source that might be” — which you’ve refused to tell me, but he left that unsaid — “has grossly misrepresented the true state of affairs.”
Again, the prime minister nodded stiffly. “I assure you, Chancellor, that no one would be happier to be proven wrong than myself, with regard to this matter.”
“Please wait here, then, while I fetch the person. If won’t take but a moment.”
Wettin’s head inclined toward the sound of the crowd in the nearby assembly hall. No one was orating or shouting slogans, at the moment, since they were all waiting for Oxenstierna and Wettin to appear. But that large a crowd makes a lot of noise just standing around and talking to each other.
Understanding the gesture, Oxenstierna gave the prime minister’s shoulder a friendly little squeeze. “The mob can wait, Wilhelm. Reassuring you regarding this Bavarian business is more important.” And with that, he left.
As he’d promised the prime minister, he returned very quickly. Within less than a minute, in fact. For weeks, the chancellor had made sure that the Swedish soldiers who served Wettin as bodyguards were completely reliable. The two he found currently on duty just outside the prime minister’s quarters would do as well as any.
“I’m afraid I have to put you under arrest, Your Grace,” Oxenstierna announced, quietly and coldly.
Wettin stared at the two guards approaching him. At the last minute, he tried to draw the sword scabbarded to his waist. It was a valiant if pointless gesture. The sword was a ceremonial blade; capable of killing a man, to be sure, but not really well-suited to the task. The soldiers, in contrast, were armed with halberds and pistols.
They were also quite a bit larger than the prime minister and in much better physical condition. Wettin was a fairly young man, still, not even forty years of age. But he’d spent the past few years in sedentary pursuits, where these men were in their twenties and had remained physically active. It was the work of but a few seconds to subdue him.
Wettin began shouting. Curses at Oxenstierna, at the moment, but it wouldn’t be long before he began calling for help.
In all likelihood, none would come. But there was no point taking the risk.
“Gag him,” Oxenstierna commanded. “Place him for the moment in my chambers. Keep him gagged and under close watch until I return.”
That wouldn’t be for some hours, which would be most unpleasant for Wettin. Having a cloth gag in one’s mouth was a nuisance for a short time; uncomfortable, for an hour; and the cause of bleeding sores after several. But the man had made his choice, so let him live with it.
On his way to the assembly hall, Oxenstierna pondered the prime minister’s — no, the former prime minister’s — final disposition.
Executing him would be unwise. That would stiffen the resistance of such people as Amalie Elizabeth of Hesse-Kassel and Duke George of Brunswick, not to mention the man’s two brothers still in the USE. Ernst Wettin had to be replaced in Saxony anyway, of course, since he’d also proven unreliable. But he and Albrecht would remain influential in some circles regardless of the positions they currently held.
There was no way of knowing what reaction Wilhelm’s execution would elicit from his youngest brother Bernhard. But for the moment, that was another pot that Oxenstierna would just as soon leave unstirred.
And there was no need for such drastic action, anyway. Oxenstierna was not given to killing people for the sake of it. Exiling Wettin to one of the more isolated castles in Sweden — even better, Finland — would serve the chancellor’s purposes perfectly well. The former prime minister really had worn out his welcome even with his own followers. A popular pretender kept in exile always posed a potential threat. Wilhelm Wettin would not.
Legally, does Ox’s imprisonment of Wettin constitute treason? It’s essentially one senior politician abducting a senior politician from another realm held in personal union by the same head of state. While it definitely undercuts his purported legitimacy in the USE even further, it wouldn’t classify as treason unless Ox counts as a USE national in addition to his Swedish nationality. Given that the USE never defined citizenship, I’d be quite surprised if that was the case.
…in the name of the sounds of the seven bells, what does Ox think he’s doing?
Arresting Wettin? That’s going to throw all the moderates into the FoJP/CoC camp. Baner assaulting Dresden (…excuse me if I got the wrong city>.>;; ) can be excused as ‘bad communication, rogue general’, but this? Ox has no authority within the USE, especially with Gustav Adolph out of the picture.
This move makes no sense.
It looks like straightforward kidnapping of a head of government by an official of another government. Yes, both states have the same Emperor, but AFAICT neither Ox nor Wettin have any authority over each other in law. I think Ox has taken a step over the line here. It will get very interesting if Wettin escapes – and given that he is about to have several hours alone, he just might do so. :-)
@2 Peter, it is possible that he may have some help escaping. If Ox’s actions are discovered soon enough, perhaps a certain cousin of GA’s will spring him. It would make a nice diversion by which to smuggle GA out of Berlin.
It sure looks like Ox does not see that his scheme is unraveling.
Wait a minute — Ox just defecated on the air movement device alright, but it was by committing treason as mentioned in the third paragraph, then further down Duke Maximilian of Bavaria is mentioned. Something tells me the Ox made a deal to have someplace invaded — which would be all the reason needed for Mike, the CoC and everyone else to grab their campaign hats and march on dear old Ox and his buddies.
As the late (and lamented) Randall Garrett once put it,
“Now the plot begins to thicken, as it should!
It’s the thickening in plots that makes ’em good.”
@1 it’s an act of war, not treason. Sweden has just declared war on USE.
following that line of reasoning
1. USE citizens who follow Ox are committing treason
2. USE citizens who follow Swedish troops are committing treason
3. Swedish troops are an enemy occupation force in USE
The wheels have just come off. Once he escapes or is rescued the propaganda opertunities will be endless. OX has just given his own side a boot in the head.
Folks read the first few paragraphs carefully — Wettin virtually accuses Oxenstierna of colluding with Duke Maximilian to have him attack Oberpfalz. Ox’s agent was Johann Ludwig, count of Nassau-Haddamar and somehow Wettin heard about it. Since Wettin discovered his actions so easily, he doesn’t have to escape! Mike, Gretchen, etc have a darn good spy network and they’ll know exactly how it came about in no time, then Ox will be in very, very deep doo doo.
As soon as Oxenstierna shows up without Wettin, his fig leaf is gone. Any USE officers, army officers included, can consider rescuing Wettin to have priority over any orders they have received. Heading to Berlin in order to capture Wettin’s kidnappers is obviously called for.
Torstensson has sworn to uphold the constitution, is already disobeying Oxenstierna’s orders and has already thought about leading his troops against Oxenstierna. Add in the likelihood of his troops attacking Berlin without him…
More and more fun
Ox is so fixated on the nobility that he’s forgotten about the towns. The people who run them are conservative,- they dislike change and want to the maintain a traditional society, including their own privileges. Ox’s people are reactionaries.-they want to return to a (largely imaginary) past when they were in control and no one could oppose them. He’s not only given Mike a reason to oppose him, he’s given Simpson, Wood, Horn, Torstensson, Hesse-Cassel et al a reason too. Some of them may try to remain neutral anyway, but they no longer have to. And all of the fence-sitters among the Adel will look at the arrest of the Wettins as a warning to themselves.
Oxenstierna may have just killed Wilhelm, without intending to. If for any reason Wilhelm should vomit, while unattended, the gag would force it into his lungs. Even if the guards keep him ‘under close watch’, they may be too late. This would be fatal in a very short time.
Let us all hope that Eric takes the plot in a different direction.
Ox has really stepped in it. I wonder if this is going to cause a rupture among the Adel. Surely some of them can see that what Ox really has in mind is the complete subordination of the USE to the sovereignty of Sweden. Ox may well find himself embroiled in a civil war in which the odds are more deeply stacked against him than he planned if some of the Adel decide to oppose him openly once W.W. is out of the picture.
If (and I hope it’s WHEN) G2A awakens, Ox may be lucky to escape from this mess with his life. G2A may be able to so thoroughly hammer the nobility for this egregious breach of the rule of law that he can return to the state of affairs WRT the nobility that existed under his father’s rule (a state of affairs that Ox engineered to overturn in exchange for allowing G2A to rule without a regency).
@11 – B. B. Wolf 359
While Wilhelm’s death would be a tragedy, it would also be a HUGE benefit to those opposing Oxenstierna. It could certainly cause some of the nobility, such as Hesse-Kassel, to come out in completely open opposition to Ox and his most loyal followers.
From the snippet:
â€œPlease wait here, then, while I fetch the person. If wonâ€™t take but a moment.â€
“If” should be “It”.
Poot Wilhelm. I wonder if he will survive? Either he escapes or he ends up dead is my opinion. While he has too few allies, there are those who would rescue him just to spite Ox.
And I believe this IS an act of war by Sweden on the USE. I also do not believe that GA is going to recover. Especially if WW escapes. Ox will get imprisioned but a lot of his underlings will know they are in for the chopping block if he gets better. I hope Hand left someone in Berlin for such an emergency.
Tsk tsk tsk. The Mad Cow Disease has just booted Wilhelm Wettin’s popularity not quite back up to what it was, but close.
@16 tim: Don’t you mean the Mad Ox Disease?
@12 Robert H. Woodman: OTL Axel also arranged that Crown Assets could only be alienated to the nobility, NTL it hopefully didn’t happen. And the OTL 1634 Instrument of Government (written by Axel) declared Lutheranism as the –only– religion (it wasn’t as thorough as the Edict of 1686 (non-Lutheran Swedish citizens were exiled/executed and non-Lutheran foriegn national dependents must be raised Lutheran and worship must be private and in the home for non-Lutherans) or Conventicle Edict of 1726 (that outlawed even private group non-Lutheran worship)(Sweden had lost her Dominions by then)). It also minimized Dominion participation in the Riksdag as well as minimizing the two lower Estates (burghers/guilds, farmers/miners/peasants/yeoman class). Hopefully the NTL IOG has a different author and different slant.
Axel’s actions, reprehensible as they are, will not allow G2A to abrogate the concessions he was forced to give the nobilty IMO. He has colluded with an enemy power to attack an ally. He has kidnapped the head of government of an allied state. He holds his own (and allied) head of state hostage. He has unilaterally declared himself sole Regent for Kristina (for all three crowns) while G2A is unable to govern. He is fomenting a coup and civil war within an allied state. And he has possibly given orders for military forces under his command (Baner and his mercenaries) to reduce a city within an allied state (Saxony was part of the CPE and with Ernst Wettin taking up the administration –is– IMO part of the USE). None of these actions give G2A any leverage against Sweden’s Nobles (against Axel, Hell Yeah, but not the Riksdag dominated by the nobility and being acqiessed to by the Lutheran Clergy (no non-Lutherans in the Riksdag)) or his written and signed concessions. Axel has –not– committed treason (he is a citizen of Sweden and her Dominions, not the USE or Kalmar Union), but it is debatible if he has committed an ‘Act of War’ by Sweden and her Dominions against the USE. His USE followers –are– committing treason (especially with the removal of PM WW as a ‘fig leaf’, his Swedish followers are not (Baner; like Tortensson, Nils Brahe, and Horn; is –both– USE and Swedish so his actions are both treason and a possible ‘Act of War’).
Axel seems to holding his forces against the possibility of 1st and 2nd USE abandoning the siege of Poznan and joining the civil war. He seems to be dismissing the possibility of SoTF and native Oberpfalz forces standing off Bavaria or of 3rd USE (the winningest of G2A’s attack forces) entering the civil war.
And don’t forget that Brandenburg and the PLC are still actively opposed to both Sweden and her Dominions and the USE. Swedish Prussia (which contains some areas belonging to Brandenburg) and Swedish Livonia (both taken from the PLC just six years ago (by the –expired– Truce of Altmark) are vulnerable.
You know, I always thought Oxenstierna was a little smarter than to seize power this blatantly. I figured he’d arrange Wilhelm Wettin’s assassination, then ‘track down’ some poor schmucks he can label ‘CoC activists,’ who conveniently get ‘killed while attempting escape.’ Surely Oxenstierna’s read about the Reichstag Fire..? I mean, this is really not much better than the people who overthrew Wentworth in “1634: The Baltic War.”
At what point does this morph from civil war to war for independence from Sweden? Much as he likes Gustav Adolf personally, Stearns recognized burning that bridge might become necessary as early as “1633.”
@22 morgulknight: I kinda have to agree. A famous quote (which I will paraphrase) stated: that if all the couselors of Europe (including Richelieu, Mazarin, Olivares, and Oxenstierna) were on a ship heading into a political storm; the helm would be given to Oxenstierna by common consent (such was his reputation among his fellows). The USE is independent of Sweden (that’s why Axel’s dance isn’t treason), but it is not independent of G2A or the abundance of Swedes in USE positions of authority. Axel seems determined to make the USE another Estonia.
Morgulknight, in Oxenstierna’s “defense” he didn’t expect to have to deal with Wilhelm finding out about the conspiracy with Mad Max so he had to act quickly to keep Wilhelm quiet.
He had to “seize” power to prevent Wilhelm talking about the deal with Maximilian.
If Oxenstierna had time to plan something against Wilhelm, an accident or an arranged murder would have been better but Oxenstierna didn’t have time to do some thing like that.
@ # 24. Drak; I was about to say â€œThe day is youngâ€ until I noticed who wrote the entry.
Your snark collar must be slipping.
@24, but he should have just let Wettin talk about the treasonous plot! What harm does it do?
What Wilhelm Wettin knows about the deal with Maximilian doesn’t directly threaten Oxenstierna, and it can be dealt with as long as you still have a fig leaf.
Wettin’s determination to backtrack on the rest of the program while he deals with the plot just makes his tragic death by assassination even more of a loss.
Wait three days to set things up, then the speach is: “We really must deal at once with these radical internal threats, you can see that you can’t reason with them, even in the face of the treat of external invasion and internal treason the CoC radicals still weren’t willing to let Wettin deal with the problems of state, but brutally assasinated him. Clearly they are the greatest threat.”
There wasn’t any really good reason to go this far overboard just yet.
It’s an act of war, not treason (except to Gustav II, and he’s ALREADY done that). The entire point he’s overlooking is that he’s just eliminated ANY fig leaf he had, plus he’s removed any legitimate method of ordering ANYONE in the USE to do anything – regardless of the outcome Ox just lost everything.
@23 ET1swaw, Perhaps I should have been a bit clearer, and asked at what point do the USE and the Swedish Vasas go their seperate ways? Sure, the CoCs and the Ram aren’t pushing militant German nationalism yet (just unification), but how long will that last, with Swedish troops suppressing “rebellion” in German towns and cities (especially using Baner’s methods) on the orders of a Swedish nobleman, for the aggrandizement of a Swedish king?
@24 Drak: So Oxenstierna launched this conspiracy with the Bavarians without doing some fairly basic contingency planning first? He’s either badly underestimated Wettin, or has gotten way overconfident. I wonder what he’ll do when he realizes Kristina’s not meekly coming to Berlin; it might panic him into doing something even rasher and clumsier than his schemes to date.
#21 ETIswaw: Once G2A or Ulric and Kristina crush Ox and his cronies, he or they will be able to abrogate the concessions Ox extorted on G2A’s accession. If they want to. Justification is irrelevant if one has the power. See Louis XIV and the revocation of the edict of Nantes.
#26 Doug: Ox may decide to have Wettin assassinated in the future. The present snippet has him thinking it’s a bad idea. And Ox has shown no talent or interest in justifying his program so far. He despises the public, so why should he care about their opinion?
I’ve reread this passage several times, and I’ve got the feeling I’m missing a significant part of the picture. This is so out of character for Ox; I mean that it is just plain dumb on his part. If he’s going to be ruthless enough to commit treason to secure the future for the nobility (a fool’s dream, but it’s what he’s after), and since he’s already had problems with Wilhelm Wettin, it seems to me that he should be ruthless enough, intelligent enough (Ulrich’s comments to John Simpson notwithstanding), and well-planned enough to arrange for Wettin’s demise, if not now, then in the very near future.
Also, Oxenstierna should count on both Torstensson and Stearns to come after him once his treason is obvious to all. So why do I get the feeling that he has no contingency plans for this?
And where is Colonel Hand in all of this? We haven’t seen nearly enough of him.
This might lead to the German equivilant of the “Levee En Mass” that gave revolutionary France an army capable of defending ALL it’s borders at once. The days when a mercenary army can whip any number of peasants went away with the SKG. Any trained recruit can pop off an officer at 100 yards with one of those. And the Ram rebellion should have made that option clear. No “chivalry” in any fight between Ox and the CoCs. Anyone on a horse is a prime target. Artillery would be the big question, but the head of the artillery corps is Torstenson, and he is NOT going along with Ox.
It seems to me, judging not just by this book but the earlier ones as well, that Eric seems to have some trouble portraying Oxenstierna. He needs to be a villain that the good guys can plausibly overcome yet he also needs to be based on what we know of him. I know Eric can write a smart, clever, cunning and (fairly) nuanced villain if he wants. IMHO he proved it with Richelieu, who seems lightyears ahead of the current version of Axel. I don’t know, but Ox seems so impulsive and wishywashy right now.
@29 dave o
He doesn’t care about the unwashed masses yes, but he is a firm believer in aristocratic power. And however thin the facade is that Wettin is in charge, it must be upheld since I sincerely doubt that the aristocrats that Oxenstierna commands would surely balk at the notion that Germany should be reduced to a Swedish dominon. Assassinating Wettin removes that little fantasy that a German is in charge. What would then stop Oxenstierna from killing of the rest of them, Stockholm Blodbath style?
Though admittedly this bunch seems to not be the sharpest knives in the drawers and those few with any sort of farsight undoubtedly figures that the more pressing problems are the CoCs.
#32 Johan: Exactly my point. Assassinating Wettin is a bad idea. And one which Ox considered and rejected in this snippet. That’s not to say he won’t come up with the idea later. But it would still be a bad idea. See my 1st comment (#13) Ox thinks the only important political players are the nobility. In Germany, the urban patriciate are also important. They are conservative, not reactionary like Ox’s supporters. I suspect that imprisoning Wettin will lose him the support of the patriciate, or a part of it.
@29 Dave O and @30 Robert H. Woodman: Please: Johan has asked us nicely to spell Ulrik’s name correctly, NOT Ulric or Ulrich. Can’t we just assume that Johan, being Swedish himself, knows what he is talking about? I think we are lucky to have him as a commenter. Let us show him the courtesy of acceding to his very reasonable request.
@32 Johann: On further reflection, it’s entirely possible that the events of the Ram Rebellion and the aftermath of the Dreeson Incident have badly rattled Oxenstierna, so he’s moving as quickly as he thinks possible to stop things from going any further and isn’t really thinking (strategically) all that clearly at the moment; I’m reminded of the scene in “1633” when Gustav Adolf and Oxenstierna visit the Magdeburg Freedom Arches, and Gustav even then was beginning to realize Oxenstierna was not the best person to have dealing with the CoCs. As long as Gustav Adolf was still able to exercise personal authority that didn’t matter much, especially since when the Ostend War broke out the king sent his chancellor back to Stockholm. Now, though, with the king incapacitated and Oxenstierna already in Berlin, we get this mess.
I would say Oxenstierna just stuck his foot in his mouth, except that’s probably the wrong simile. Nonetheless, this was one of the most stupid of stupid moves that he could possibly have made. It’s an act of war and gives the USE military every reason it could possibly need to not stay “neutral”, provided Wettin is not held captive and incommunicado. If that happens, then Oxenstierna is technically still covered because nobody will presumably know that this is a kidnapping rather than a “rescue”.
Of course, given how this is being set up, that wheel’s going to come off too.
I dunno. I seems remarkable to say the least that one of the (widely aknowledged) premiere statesmen of his day (and effective ruler of Sweden for most of Kristina’s minority OTL) would be this dumb or do his contigency planning this poorly.
Did the Ring of Fire cost him about 20 points of his IQ for some reason?
The problem is that Oxenstierna is one of the most premiere statesmen of his day. He’s too good at it and thus is slow to adapt to such a fundamental shift as that wrought by the mere presence of the up-time Americans. His skill is working against him and causing him to make mistakes that we, the readers, can easily recognize are mistakes, but that he himself cannot.
Traditional cavalry is worse than useless against tanks, but that does not speak any less of the skill of an expert cavalryman.
#38 Except he’s showing no signs of it so far at least in this book. I’m not talking about misreading Stearns or misreading the effect of the CoCs. That is understandable.
I am talking about basic stuff like not pulling a covert Op with explosive consequences (hanging SotF out to dry against a Barvarian Invasion) without contingency plans. Sure Ox didn’t expect Wettin to find out, but he should have had a contingency plan in case he did [i]especially[/i] given the (lack of) character of his agent.
The same applies for this clumsy arrest of Wettin. Sure it was done by loyal Swedes, but soldiers (and servant) talk, and word is going to get out. Ox had plenty of time to arrange a “Reichstag Fire” to take Wettin out that way as a contingency plan.
There’s more but isn’t that enough? Again, did the ring of fire drop 20pts off of Oxenstierna’s IQ?
@39 Ian Chapman
While in no way a reasonable explanation, I’d imagine that him having to work towards a time table that he has no idea when it ends (Gustav II Adolf’s recovery) causes a lot of stress and half-measures to be made. Still, it’s not as if he’s a stranger to stressfull situations. He’s an experienced military commander and have been high statesman for almost 30 years. Court intrigues are not exactly a new concept to him.
And as a Swede I have to say that it’s an exhilarating feeling to see these giants of Swedish history portrayed in fiction, even when some of them are villains. :)
#40 Point taken. It just seems out of character for him to be making such basic mistakes given his historical competence (even or should I say especially under stress). I guess that’s my point. It’s starting to affect my WSD (Willing Suspension of Disbelief).
Perhaps a bit of perspective and putting on Ox’s shoes might be in order. The Dreeson Incident is two books back for us, but for him, the humbling of the Mecklinburg nobility is only a few months old. The CoC has an ARMY of 20,000 well equiped and moderatly trained troops. With a lot of brothers and cousins in the USE army who would proably frag any “noble” officer who ordered him to attack the CoC troops. Many of the mercenary troops he commands might desert if they believe they can get better lives in the new economic world the RoF has created. He knows he is on a short clock. The decision to prevent WW from spouting off in front of a bunch of people who would look at Ox as an occupier if WW were NOT in charge was probably the right one. The decision to not have him killed there and then will probably change, assuming he does not escape or die in the meantime.
#42 Sorry to be stubborn about this, but short clock or no, Oxenstierna, desperately needs that fig-leaf of legitamacy that William Wettin gives him. Without it, the entire house of cards quickly falls down because his Putsch becomes a naked act of aggression by Sweden against the USE, and that is the sort of thing that will get even conservative USE nobles behind Stearns and the 4JP/CoCs.
At the very least this is showing a basic and shocking lack of contingency planning that simply doesn’t mesh with the historical Oxenstierna. The best and easiest contingency would be to have WW killed and blame it on CoC radicals (which would be suprisingly easy to do).
I would recommend to all of you lamenting Ox’s inexcusable mistake to consider his assumptions. Who does he see as his advisary? What is his estimate of their reactions? What menu of options do they have as he sees it? Under what conditions would his current tactics lend themselves to his strategic goals?
I doubt Eric would write in stupidity to one of his characters that history stipulated was quite the contrary. So, he isn’t being stupid. He may be wrong with extreme gusto, but not stupid.
@30 RH Woodman, I think you are right. Let’s see if we can discover the missing part before Eric presents it through the story, shall we? I love well constructed puzzles!
Sometimes “Smart People” can do “stupid things”.
David Weber posted an article on TOR.com about a historical individual who was known to be smart but did some very stupid things.
So stupid that if that David said that if he had used that individual in a story, his readers would complained that the individual was “unrealistic”.
By the way, Eric Flint in Snerkers Only talked about the “stupid things” that smart people had done in history especially when they were reacting to major changes in the Political/Social changes happening around them.
Some of the readers of the EARC had similar complaints about Oxenstierna’s actions. [Smile]
Several posters have commented that Oxenstierna’s actions will be seen as an attack by Sweden or the Monarchy on the USE. I think, rather, that his actions will be perceived as his personal efforts to reverse the tide of democracy and restore the “proper” arrangement of nobility ruling all others. I do not think his “treason” will cause all of Europe to believe Gustav or Christina or the Swedish people are behind his moves. His brainpower notwithstanding, it seems his emotions have empowered his ego to reach beyond his capacity to guide events. King Canute is telling the ocean to stop, and it won’t.
If Oxenstiernaâ€™s intellect is overwhelmed by his emotions, it wonâ€™t be the first time on record.
#45 Some of the readers of the EARC had similar complaints about Oxenstiernaâ€™s actions.
If that is so, then you have multiple people criticizing this from multiple sources. If so, then perhaps Oxenstrierna is in fact not being characterized correctly based on history? Just saying…..
Polaris, Actually Oxensternia is being portrayed as a self-important individual who feels that the nobility deserve to rule, no matter what! He’s also being shown to be impulsive and misogynistic, all of which were historically true.
Admittedly EF has portrayed him as somewhat less careful than he might have been in real life, but remember that in this situation Oxensternia is under extreme pressure. Baner in an almost untenable situation, the CoC and the STOF not reacting according to Ox’s predictions, and Kristina is being uncooperative. On top of that he is afraid that Gustav II A might regain his facilities. He’s living in a pressure cooker and surrounded by toadies who are little more than yes-men.
#49 The problem is that he was also under a very similiar sort of pressure cooker situation after G2A died OTL and definately right after that little disaster at Nordlingen, but he never acted without fully understanding his options including his contigency plans. I am not being critical about Flint’s protrayal of Oxensternia’s personal and political positions, but the man was under a pressure cooker for much of the thirty years war after G2A died and performed ably if somewhat at times unimaginatively. Ox’s biggest problem OTL was that he wasn’t the genius that G2A was, but then again, who was? (Other than perhaps the Cardinal Infante)