Extension of Rome?

Dan Howard

Ad Honorem
Aug 2014
4,581
Australia
#21
But it is incorrect to describe Prussia or Austria as ever being part of the "French Empire". Even when they were allies of Napoleon they were rebuilding their forces, planning for possible future wars against Napoleon when and if the situation seemed favorable.
How is this any different to Roman provinces plotting and gathering forces to break away from the rule of Rome? Or Roman generals plotting and gathering forces to try and take the throne? Prussia and Austria were most definitely part of the French Empire. So was Italy. Spain has always been recalcitrant right back to the time of the Republic; Rome always had a tenuous hold on it. If Spain is to be considered part of the Roman Empire then it must also be considered part of the French Empire. Its government and resources were controlled by France.
 
Last edited:
Feb 2019
686
Serbia
#22
In European civilization there can be only one empire, THE EMPIRE, the Roman Empire including its various forms such as the 'Byzantine" and Holy Roman Empires.

In European civilization other states which called themselves empires were not empires but "empires" in quotes, inferiums instead of imperiums. States which never officially called themselves empires but which were or are informally called empires are even more "empires" and even less empires. Groups of colonial possessions were not empires but should be called by other terms such as "colonialisms", "thallassocracies", etc.

In Non European cultures there were many states which are often described as empires, and a few, a very few, of those alleged "empires", could count as non European "Empire equivalents". Such states would include the Persian realm under the Achaemenid Dynasty, and to a lesser degree under the Arsacid and Sassanid Dynasties, and to a lesser degree under the Safavid, Qajar, and Pahlavi Dynasties; various, though probably not all, Islamic Caliphates; the Maryan realm, the Mughal realm, and other, though not all, of the Indian states that have been called "empires"; and the Chinese "empire", or various "empires" of various separate Chinese dynasties; and the Inca "empire". And possibly there were a few other nonEuropean "empires" that count as "Empire equivalents".
I don't understand, what was the ''sole empire'' before Rome? If Rome is the only ''real'' (Whatever that means at this point.) empire in European history then it's pointless to even discuss as the only answer to this thread is Byzantium and after it maybe Trebizond. If other heirs to Rome such as the Ottomans, Russia and the Holy Roman Empire are ''real'' empires then it kind of defeats the point of having a ''sole'' empire.

And I say that either direct control or legally subordinate status as vassals, tributaries, client states, etc. is necessary to make such states part of a larger state, whether that larger state is an empire or not.
And Naples, Spain, Italy, Duchy of Warsaw, Confederation of the Rhine etc. were what?

The other members of the NATO Alliance are not part of any hypothetical "American Empire", no matter how useful their NATO membership may be to the USA.

The other members of the Warsaw Pact were not part of any hypothetical "Soviet Empire", no matter how useful their Warsaw Pact membership may have been to the USSR.

The other members of the German Confederation were never part of the Empire of Austria, no matter how useful being the president of it was to the Austrian Emperor.

The members of the Confederation of the Rhine were not part of the "French Empire", however useful being the Protector of the Confederation of the Rhine was to Napoleon.
Effectively a non-comparison. The German Confederation or NATO were not client states of Austria/U.S. and didn't depend on them. The CoR and its members were effectively clients of France, no matter if they plotted against them or not.

Independent states which Napoleon persuaded and pressured to follow his continental System for a while were not part of the "French Empire".
This can be said for the Ottoman Empire, Russia,Sweden and maybe Austria, but less so. Prussia was occupied after 1806 and would remain occupied until they payed war reparations, they also had their army reduced and lost half their territory. They were, for all intents and purposes, subjugated by France. Something worth noting was that Prussia actually payed reparations by 1812 but remained occupied regardless. Austria was effectively neutralised after Wagram and Sweden, while integrating the Continental System, violated it (So did France itself.) and while declaring war on Britain, they never fired a shot against them and even helped them. The Ottoman Empire and Russia were not vassals in this sense. Clients such as Naples, Italy, Warsaw etc. were puppet states.

But it is incorrect to describe Prussia or Austria as ever being part of the "French Empire". Even when they were allies of Napoleon they were rebuilding their forces, planning for possible future wars against Napoleon when and if the situation seemed favorable.
And the Irish revolted against Britain several times, does not mean Ireland was not part of the British Empire. Same goes for any other rebellion or conspiracy that ever occurred in any empire. It might not be entirely accurate to describe Austria as subjugated but still, see above for Prussia.

The Italian Republic and the Kingdom of Italy were never part of the "French Empire", even though their president and later king was Napoleon I, the same man who ruled the so called "French Empire". If two independent states have the same sovereign in a personal union, that does not make one of the states a part of the other.
Except Italy was not really an ''independent state''. It was a client of France. Personal union does not make 2 states a part of each other but Italy was more than a personal union.

By the same logic that claims that the Kingdom of Italy was part of the the so called "French Empire", all of the Spanish Kingdoms would have been part of the Holy Roman Empire from 1519 to 1556. And all of the Spanish kings includes the gigantic ""Kingdom of the Indias, the Islands and Mainland in the Ocean sea", which certainly vastly increased the size of the Holy Roman Empire.
Neither relevant to the discussion nor is a proper comparison. Spain was not a dependency of the Holy Roman Empire or vice-versa in a way that Italy was a client of France.

And of course Napoleon was never the monarch of the allied Kingdom of Naples, that ruled half of the Italian Peninsula, making the Kingdom of Naples even less, if that was possible, part of the so called "French Empire". So a rather minor part of Italy was part of the so called "French Empire".
His brother was, and after him was his marshal who was also married to his sister. Murat tried to be more independent than Joseph and in 1813 severed ties with Napoleon in an attempt to keep his own throne but until then he was a client of France. If the argument is that it doesn't count just because it was a client state and not directly owned by France then fair enough, but I don't see why that should disqualify it.
 
Mar 2016
1,199
Australia
#23
Prussia and Austria were most definitely part of the French Empire
This is completely false. By what measure can you even justify this? Just because they were beaten by France and made - very temporarily - too weak to fight back doesn't mean they were part of the French Empire. They did not adhere to French civil law, they were not governed by French administrators, and their army remained under the control of the native government (despite having somewhat ineffective restrictions put on their numbers). They were at best forced allies, and even then they almost never contributed any meaningful military assistance to France. Even following Prussia's crushing defeat in 1806-7 the country was still independent, which caused Napoleon no shortage of wariness and uncertainty in the build-up to and beginning of the 1809 war against Austria, where the Prussians were repeatedly asked to aid Austria and some people high up in the army attempted unsuccessfully to get Prussia involved.
 

MAGolding

Ad Honorem
Aug 2015
2,842
Chalfont, Pennsylvania
#24
This is completely false. By what measure can you even justify this? Just because they were beaten by France and made - very temporarily - too weak to fight back doesn't mean they were part of the French Empire. They did not adhere to French civil law, they were not governed by French administrators, and their army remained under the control of the native government (despite having somewhat ineffective restrictions put on their numbers). They were at best forced allies, and even then they almost never contributed any meaningful military assistance to France. Even following Prussia's crushing defeat in 1806-7 the country was still independent, which caused Napoleon no shortage of wariness and uncertainty in the build-up to and beginning of the 1809 war against Austria, where the Prussians were repeatedly asked to aid Austria and some people high up in the army attempted unsuccessfully to get Prussia involved.
i agree with you almost entirely. But I think that you might overstate it a tiny little bit when saying that Prussia and Austria almost never contributed any military assistance to France. The Prussian and Austrian contingents in 1812 probably faithfully a carried out heir orders from Napoleon - during 1812.

I imagine that Schwartzenburg's orders from Francis I in 1812 would have been to preserve his contingent as well as he could while also performing the military duties given by Napoleon effectively, to demonstrate to Napoleon and Alexander I the military power of Austria and make them eager to keep or get Austria on their sides and offer the best terms.
 

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