- Nov 2012
wasn't Algiers considered a core province of France?
"Natural Borders"? Bretons, Gascons, Normans there is plenty of Room for debate,
I hope that you understand that I think these borders are as natural for France as the Pyrenees are natural borders for Germany.
It's not my term. That's what the presented borders were referred to by expansionists/nationalists within France among higher circles during the later stages of the Ancien Regime and the 19th century.Those weren't natural borders because they included lands where the language and culture were German.
French industry and finance would be benefited by Belgium, South Netherlands, and Rhineland. Meanwhile it is possible that Westphalia would still likely go to Prussia and perhaps more of Saxony too. I'm not sure that Prussia would be stronger than France.A france with larger Borders, after the Napoleonic wars could still quite capably loose the franco-prussian war and be reduced.
Marx, Boll, and Adenauer likely wouldn't be born.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.
It took until around halfway through the 20th century for Dutch/Flemish and German/Alsatian to die out in France, though I would think the latter is due to 1871-1918. French would still be the language of the elite in this France andThat'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.
Yes Algeria was part of Metropolitan France not a standard colony.wasn't Algiers considered a core province of France?
IIRC the Revolutionary French were at first welcomed by the more liberal-minded people of Rhenish lands and it was later on during the Revolutionary/Napoleonic Wars when people were getting particularly enraged about their sons all being killed off in the wars that anti-French sentiment really started to take off. Absorbing all of the Rhineland, Flanders, and the Southern Netherlands would be difficult though I'd imagine many people would take the immigration route too.France has had during her history a very strong power of assimilation, and it is possible that the regions in question would have been thoroughly Frenchified over time. It is also possible that the population size of this region would have been too much to digest for France, even more so in the light of the beginning modern nationalism in Germany at the beginning of the 19th century.
Brussels, Antwerp, and Rhineland would make France much stronger economically. Still, historically France was industrially behind Germany not only on an overall level, but at per-capita levels too. The French may not be able to exploit the region as well and could end up just exporting more coal to other countries. That or the Germans and Flemings would contribute to increasing per-capita industry of France.We don't know what would have happened, but somehow I suspect that France would have gained less than Germany would have lost. For France, these regions were "nice to have", a welcome addition; for Germany, they were core regions that played an essential role in history. To a certain degree, that is also true for the Alsace, since that region made important contributions to German culture from medieval times until the 20th century. Even the first newspaper in German language was edited in Strassburg.
Who is to say the German and Dutch-Flemish regions would change entirely? I think it equally possible that they would heavily influence other regions of France culturally.I simply cannot imagine that inhabitants of the French Rhineland departments, if they had been retained, would have abandoned their German culture in the 19th Century, it would have been unsatisfactory for all concerned; it was all very well for someone like Napoleon to keep them under his thumb, but times were changing.
There is the nice anecdote of the Rhinelander Ludwig van Beethoven (*1770 in Bonn, on the left bank of the Rhine), who initially dedicated his "revolutionary" Symphony No. 3 to Napoleon Bonaparte ("Sinfonia grande, intitolata Bonaparte"). When Beethoven learned that Napoleon crowned himself emperor, he was so enraged that he aggressively tried to extinguish the dedication words on the title of that symphony:IIRC the Revolutionary French were at first welcomed by the more liberal-minded people of Rhenish lands and it was later on during the Revolutionary/Napoleonic Wars when people were getting particularly enraged about their sons all being killed off in the wars that anti-French sentiment really started to take off.
To be honest, Quebec is welcome to them, but we'll take British Columbia in trade.
Presumably when talking of natural frontiers, they were thinking in purely geographical terms, e.g. that France's frontiers should go up to the Rhine. In the old under monarchical rule, language and nationality were not such a big issue, it was thought quite natural that the King of France might rule German-speaking subjects, as he did in Alsace, or the King of Denmark likewise in Schleswig-Holstein. In neither case had the rulers set out to impose their own language or culture in those areas. It was only with the advance of nationalism in the 19th Century that there was felt to be a Schleswig-Holstein 'problem', or that the Germans felt justified in seizing Alsace-Lorraine because it was essentially German. If the French had kept their Rhineland conquests into the 19th Century, there would assuredly have been problems too. One hardly needs to mention the problems that developed within the Austro-Hungarian Empire!It's not my term. That's what the presented borders were referred to by expansionists/nationalists within France among higher circles during the later stages of the Ancien Regime and the 19th century.
The statehood of both France and Germany ultimately go back to the Frankish Kingdom. The similarity of Francia and France does not mean that the French are somehow more entitled to the Frankish heritage; there are as well numerous toponyms in Germany that bear witness to the Frankish heritage, e.g. the city of Frankfurt or the region of Franconia.France = Franks, the Germanic tribe who conquered Roman Gaul, and Latinized themselves, while mixing with the population.
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