France's Natural Borders

WeisSaul

Ad Honorem
Mar 2012
2,836
New Amsterdam
What if France had her so called natural borders following the Napoleonic wars? (assume the remainder of Europe is not under the French boot)

 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
9,640
"Natural Borders"? Bretons, Gascons, Normans there is plenty of Room for debate, before widespread education, mass media, transport most places in Europe were pretty regional, the Idea of Nationality was pretty lot arrival, most people Identified with there region rather than with some abstraction like "france" often speaking their own dialects. The spread of widespread Education creating national languages , national newspapers, and national conscription (often) solidified existing borders creating a shared culture manufacturing the modern Nation State.

A france with larger Borders, after the Napoleonic wars could still quite capably loose the franco-prussian war and be reduced.

After the Napoleonic wars the French Republic was a divided society, much like the Weimar republic it was a republic were the majority of parties favoured a dissolution of the existing nation but quarrelled over how it was to be done. With the Church/Royalist division all government and military appointments were political. The Foundation of the new french republic after Napoleon laid the basis of factional French politics.
 
Last edited:
May 2012
578
My parents wouldn't have got a job from the French government in Mainz, where I was born, or in Bonn, where I grew up.

I hope that you understand that I think these borders are as natural for France as the Pyrenees are natural borders for Germany.
 
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Linschoten

Ad Honoris
Aug 2010
16,214
Welsh Marches
Those weren't natural borders because they included lands where the language and culture were German.
 

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
27,206
Italy, Lago Maggiore
The pick of Monte Bianco [Mont Blanc] is still disputed between France and Italy !
 

Grimald

Ad Honorem
Nov 2011
5,908
Hercynian Forest
This scenario, calculated on today's country data, would mean that Germany loses over 27,000 km2 and almost 9 million inhabitants, that is 11% of its population and 7,6% of its area. On top of that, the area in question is of high importance for the history of Germany, with Trier as the oldest city in Germany, and Cologne as the biggest city of medieval Germany. Persons of highest importance for Germany have been born on the left bank on the Rhine, including Ludwig van Beethoven, Karl Marx, Heinrich Böll, and Konrad Adenauer.

If we transfer this scenario to the United States, this would mean that the states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New York would be awarded to Québec, and from now on would be Frenchified in every aspect. Whereas this example actually illustrates quite well the relative population loss (34 million out of 310, i.e. 11%) and historic importance of the Rhineland for Germany, it still does not fully illustrate the area loss (3,4% instead of 7,6%).

Of course, such scenarios of alternative history can be interesting, but we should not forget that besides natural geography, there is also human geography, involving such factors as language, culture, and identity.
 

Isleifson

Ad Honorem
Aug 2013
4,074
Lorraine tudesque
This scenario, calculated on today's country data, would mean that Germany loses over 27,000 km2 and almost 9 million inhabitants, that is 11% of its population and 7,6% of its area. On top of that, the area in question is of high importance for the history of Germany, with Trier as the oldest city in Germany, and Cologne as the biggest city of medieval Germany. Persons of highest importance for Germany have been born on the left bank on the Rhine, including Ludwig van Beethoven, Karl Marx, Heinrich Böll, and Konrad Adenauer.

If we transfer this scenario to the United States, this would mean that the states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New York would be awarded to Québec, and from now on would be Frenchified in every aspect. Whereas this example actually illustrates quite well the relative population loss (34 million out of 310, i.e. 11%) and historic importance of the Rhineland for Germany, it still does not fully illustrate the area loss (3,4% instead of 7,6%).

Of course, such scenarios of alternative history can be interesting, but we should not forget that besides natural geography, there is also human geography, involving such factors as language, culture, and identity.
Correct, but for the french, it doesn't matter if you are Basque, Breton or German as long you agree with the contrat social.

What is a Nation? - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
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Linschoten

Ad Honoris
Aug 2010
16,214
Welsh Marches
That's an oversimplification, if France had kept the German territories on the Rhine, for instance, it would have been awkward for the Germans who lived there if they had remained resolutely German! The problem has been resolved in Alsace through the fact that the culture there has become essentially French and use of German (as a language of culture or as a dialect in everyday life) has declined.
 
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constantine

Ad Honorem
Oct 2012
8,545
This scenario, calculated on today's country data, would mean that Germany loses over 27,000 km2 and almost 9 million inhabitants, that is 11% of its population and 7,6% of its area. On top of that, the area in question is of high importance for the history of Germany, with Trier as the oldest city in Germany, and Cologne as the biggest city of medieval Germany. Persons of highest importance for Germany have been born on the left bank on the Rhine, including Ludwig van Beethoven, Karl Marx, Heinrich Böll, and Konrad Adenauer.

If we transfer this scenario to the United States, this would mean that the states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New York would be awarded to Québec, and from now on would be Frenchified in every aspect. Whereas this example actually illustrates quite well the relative population loss (34 million out of 310, i.e. 11%) and historic importance of the Rhineland for Germany, it still does not fully illustrate the area loss (3,4% instead of 7,6%).

Of course, such scenarios of alternative history can be interesting, but we should not forget that besides natural geography, there is also human geography, involving such factors as language, culture, and identity.
To be honest, Quebec is welcome to them, but we'll take British Columbia in trade. ;)
 
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