Conclave on the Great Italian Wars, 1519
Agenda: Conquest of the Italian City-States during the Renaissance
“War should be the only study of a prince. He should consider peace only as a breathing-time, which gives him the leisure to contrive, and furnishes as ability to execute military plans.”
- Niccolo Machiavelli
The prince-electors are to vote. The Holy Roman Emperor is to be declared. At present, Charles I commands the Spanish Kingdoms and the Low Countries. His election as Emperor would form a Habsburg ring around France. This possibility escalates the already existing personal rivalry between Charles I and Francis I of France. Feudal monarchies are on the brink of a lethal war as they each relentlessly claim a fat slice of (pizza) Europe.
Military prowess, however, is not the only dimension this committee will comprise. Maintaining diplomatic relations is key to ensuring long-lasting power, especially in a volatile political environment like Europe, where feudal dynasties such as the French, English, Spanish, Holy Roman and several Italian city-states are all vying for supreme power. The reason is simple, the involvement of so many powerful parties made it impossible for any single Kingdom or Empire to make significant advances without the formation of a league or alliance against it.
The battleground of Italy, blessed with natural resources and situated in the heart of European trade, meets all the conditions for a cultural explosion. Societal revivification is at the pinnacle, manifesting itself in the form of vast advancements in arts, theology, science and technology. The people are yearning for factual evidence in a manner that not only sparks drastic changes throughout the religious and political spheres but also threatens their core principles. This, together with the political tensions, puts the Papacy in a precarious position. Delegates must navigate through the intricate layers of the Renaissance partnered with militaristic conflicts and diplomatic ties.
Delegates, this is exactly where we find ourselves today: at the precipice of an all-consuming Armageddon that threatens European civilization. Who will end up on top? Only time and your actions will tell. The future of your dynasties is at stake.
Letter from the Director
It is my privilege to welcome you to the 25th session of the Cathedral Model United Nations, and to a specialised committee unlike anything you have witnessed before.
On 3rd May 1519, reeling from the demise of its previous Emperor, Maximillian I, the mighty Holy Roman Empire has been tasked with electing its new Monarch. With candidates including Francis I of France and Charles V, King of the Netherlands and Spain, this election promises to revolutionise Europe at a critical moment in history. At the centre of this conflict lies the Italian Peninsula. Blessed with wealth and knowledge due to the ongoing Renaissance, the several Italian City-States have proven incredibly desirable to the monarchies of Europe who believe that possession of these states is representative of European domination. This has led to numerous wars and alliances over the past two decades with the Pope playing a considerable role in the developments. The influence and support of Pope Leo X promises religious validity to its recipient as well as the might of the Papal States. As the events of this committee unfold, the conquest of Italian City-States will be a violent yet diplomatic struggle which will challenge delegates like never before.
I have always been obsessed with pursuing the unconventional, and this committee will be no different. It will be unmatched in its intensity, competition, and creativity. Every few minutes, some radical crisis or the other will be thrown your way, distinguishing enemies from allies will become increasingly difficult and your ability to think on your feet will be of the utmost importance. I urge delegates to research thoroughly and constantly contemplate the next move to further their interests instead of idly sitting in committee and blankly responding to crises. Your lobbying skills will be pushed to their limits as you will be forced to constantly replace your allies while the fate of your people hangs in the balance. Thus, I advise you to be as well prepared as possible.
Lastly, a bit about myself – I am currently studying the ISC curriculum in the 12th grade of The Cathedral and John Connon School, Mumbai. My academic interests include Physics and Computer Science but I am also interested in Economics and Politics. As far as extracurricular activities are concerned, I primarily employ my time participating in MUNs and debates but also frequently find myself on the basketball or squash courts. Although several of my ingenious remarks have been met with face palms and concerned looks, I take pride in my sense of humour and am somewhat of a meme connoisseur (quality memes will be sincerely appreciated). Therefore, feel free to approach me with your best memes, lamest jokes, the latest Formula 1 updates, a random TV show you binged in the middle of the night or just to initiate a conversation.
This will be my fourth CMUN and my second as a member of the Secretariat. I have been attending MUNs since the 8th grade and they have been critical in my growth as a speaker, my ability to socialise and the way I carry myself. Whether it be Mumbai, Kolkata, Delhi, Kathmandu, or Boston, each MUN has contributed to my personal development, instilling confidence, passion, and a desire for more. While I had the opportunity to interact with students from all over the world, these MUNs also allowed me to bond with my peers as we travelled together, explored the city and hotel we were staying in, shared rooms, stories, and even obscure ways to compromise one of Hitler’s generals (The teachers won’t allow me to tell this story, sorry).
“If I have learned anything about Namay Modi in my many, many years of knowing him, the one thing I can say with full confidence is that there is no one like him. He is one of the most insane people I know, yet at the same time one of the most rational people to approach. Namay is always on the verge of death by demotivation and exhaustion, yet at the same time one of the most passionate and motivated people when it comes down to it. He is the only person I know who can exude chaotic and calming energy simultaneously, all without missing a beat. But these vastly contrasting qualities are what make Namay one of the most talented, intelligent, successful, and amazing MUNers I know. If you want to get on his good side, I recommend watching any grossly disturbing television show that Netflix has to offer, because trust me he has watched them all, or listening to a few Eminem songs. However, the best way to his heart (other than edgy memes) is through any extremely radical action taken in committee. The delegates of this committee should be very excited (and a little scared) to have the powerhouse that is Namay Modi as their Director.”
-Saisha Saxena, Director, Sengoku Jidai: The Confederation of Clans
I would like to conclude by saying that although this committee is going to be incredibly rigorous and entertaining, I also hope to get to interact with everyone and that we can take a few moments to realise why, even during these unprecedented times, we tirelessly pursue our mutual passion for Model UN.
Conclave on the Great Italian Wars, 1519