Thanks a lot Daniel, that's it.
Merchenland is ruled by a 'Prince', and it's monarchy imposes heavy taxes on the populace to support its growing military. One of the first nations to modernize and expand the army to the new standards technology has allowed, Merchenland's people are poor but happy, and, as the royal motto reads "A man who has pride in his country is no poorer than the Prince himself." With a traditional of fanatical nationalism, Merchenland rarely makes alliances with any nations except those it deems 'military' enough to aid it. However, those who have made alliances with it have found that it will be a loyal and fearsome ally.
Merchenland's army is, as aforesaid, quite modern. With their new machine gun variants and their armies of elite Grenadiers, they have been able to expand from just one unimportant territory to a whole nation, having conquered three other larger empires to do so. The key to this is Merchenland's constantly revolutionary ideas. Often these resilient northerners are the first to come up with an innovation or battle tactic. This means that anything they might lack in numbers, etc. is soon evened out by superb training and excellent morale, as well as clever generals who are quick to try anything that will win a battle, no matter how unconventional.
Do we have tanks yet, or is this earlier?