"Colonial Diplomacy" was a very engaging and interesting way of showing the world in the 1880's. The aspects that it closely replicated was the communication, importance of geographic location, and balance of power. What the simulation didn't and couldn't show were the inevitable factors of technological advancements, economic strength, and the scale and geography of the territories.
The communication of the late 19th century was shown in two ways: the submitting of orders and the negotiations. The delay of the military movement after the orders were given represent the delay that the armies and rulers had to face. The delay in their time was due to the long distance and the telegraph. By ...view middle of the document...
On the contrary, China was never able to capture Japanese islands.
In the simulation, the Japanese and Dutch, by controlling the surrounding waters, they were able to conquer lands and prevent other countries from attacking the home supply centers. The Chinese, Turks, and Russians didn't have much access to seas which limited their ability to spread and protect themselves. These countries had more than one front which stretched out their resources. When resources get spread out, offensive and defensive plans are difficult to carry out. Just as in real life, geography is one of the biggest factors in a country's success.
We also encountered the concept of balance of power in the simulation. This concept was seen in the 19th and early 20th century Europe. The empires of Europe wanted to expand and conquer more land, but space was limited and empires kept each other from getting too big. The triangle with Austria-Hungary, Russia and the Ottoman Empire kept each other in check when they were fighting over the Balkan Peninsula. The Napoleonic Wars were an example how one country couldn't go against everybody and be victorious. The creation of the German and Italian nations shifted and reinforced the balance of power, giving Austria-Hungary and France a stronger neighbor and a reason not to invade into Italian and German soil. Treaties furthermore solidified the balance as we saw with the Three Emperor's League and the Triple Alliance. Alliances, announced or secretive, were also a big cause on the First World War, but it still brought up two factions with nearly equal power and the balance of power was still intact.
In the simulation, diplomacy and geography served to protect the balance of power. The negotiations were necessary to keep other alliances in check. Many alliances were secretive but other were not. Since I was the head of Japan and didn’t know much about other countries, I can talk about the alliances that I formed and were formed against me in example. China and Russia were allied against Japan, but China secretly wanted to fake an alliance with us to get more out of its alliance with Russia. Being isolated, there were no alliances I could’ve made. The only agreement Japan made was a Pacific border line with the Dutch to preserve the balance of power in the Pacific. It was made for us not to fight each other, to focus our efforts on the Asian landmass, and to protect the Pacific from other intruders. In this game, there is only so much land to be gained. When the countries built more units, it was increasingly more difficult to gain territories because progressing further would result in a standoff with an enemy. The natural balance of each country was for the most part preserved. The winners of the simulation were the ones who were able to preserve the balance and did not let it be compromised.
One of the things that the simulation couldn’t mimic was the technological advances of countries at the time. Obviously, not all countries...