Quick Alternate Histories: A Franco-German Empire
So, what is my first Quick Alternate History? I believe there could have been a lasting Franco-German empire during the 19th century.
Napoleon rose to power during the turmoil of the First French Republic, transforming France into an empire within a few years' time. There were a great number of wars waged against France over the time of Napoleon's command, going from the War of the First Coalition all the way to the War of the Seventh Coalition. France, of course, was at the apex of its political and military might, and fought variously against all of the great powers of Europe during this period, defeating the first through fifth coalitions. Some argue Napoleon's empire could only survive as long as there was constant war. I, however, disagree: I believe a lasting peace could have existed following the end of the Fourth Coalition and the signing of the Treaties of Tilsit in July 1807.
By the time of the signings at Tilsit, France had soundly defeated Austria, Prussia, and Russia on multiple occasions, cowing them into reluctant alliances. The Low Countries and most of Germany had either become part of the French Empire or satellite states under its aegis, and the Spanish and Italians were allies. At this point, only Britain remained intact as a powerful enemy of France, so Napoleon attempted to wage economic war against it through his Continental System. Seeking to enforce the continental blockade, Napoleon invaded Portugal in 1807, facing British and Portuguese reprisals thereafter. The Emperor then sparked rebellion and chaos in Spain in 1808 when French troops overthrew the government, turning the Spanish against them and starting many years of guerilla war there.
|highly detailed map of Napoleonic possessions|
and satellites in and around Germany
Think about a Franco-German Empire in the early 19th century. There would have been no Pax Britannica, no Franco-Prussian War, no Prussian-led creation of a German nation, no Great War or World War II as we know them. The history of the modern world would have looked entirely different.
(Note that in the future I will make these posts more "quick." This one went a little long. Please leave a comment about what you think!)