French Demographics in a 1st Empire victory scenario.

Oct 2015
1,120
California
#1
France has historically been the largest nation in Europe population-wise. As long as it held that advantage it was to remain a dominant military power on the continent. But as the 19th century came France's population growth stagnated in relation to the rest of Europe especially compared to Germany. In the case in which the Napoleonic Wars end with Napoleon victorious, would France still undergo a demographic collapse, or would Napoleon and his successors realize this problem and take certain measures to ensure this didn't happen?
 
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pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
9,247
#2
France has historically been the largest nation in Europe population-wise. As long as it held that advantage it was to remain a dominant military power on the continent. But as the 19th century came France's population growth stagnated in relation to the rest of Europe especially compared to Germany. In the case in which the Napoleonic Wars end with Napoleon victorious, would France still undergo a demographic collapse, or would Napoleon and his successors realize this problem and take certain measures to ensure this didn't happen?
Like what? the reasons for population growth are not easy to determine at the time. The reason I've seen put forward for slower French population growth was the size of peasant holdings and inheritance laws. Social engineering is difficult and has unforeseen consequences. Many regimes have tried to foster large families. I cannot recall any really successful ones.
 
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Oct 2015
1,120
California
#3
Like what? the reasons for population growth are not easy to determine at the time. The reason I've seen put forward for slower French population growth was the size of peasant holdings and inheritance laws. Social engineering is difficult and has unforeseen consequences. Many regimes have tried to foster large families. I cannot recall any really successful ones.
Were the Napoleonic Wars partly the reason for the French population collapse in the 19th century?
 
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pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
9,247
#4
Were the Napoleonic Wars partly the reason for the French population collapse in the 19th century?
I would say not overly. But that a pretty uneducated opinion. really Vague memories of stuff I read talked about socologiocal changes coming out of the French revolution. Basiclaly what I remenber is teh French peasantry were properous (relatively) and if they had more children the divsiuon of land would make their children less prosperous so they did nothave many children. But agaisn vague memories of stuff I read a long time ago. So grain of salt.
 
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stevev

Ad Honorem
Apr 2017
3,322
Las Vegas, NV USA
#5
I don't know exactly why Germany surpassed France in population growth but it went hand in hand with German industrialization and urbanization after unification. France remained Europe's largest country in land area outside of Russia. I'm not sure about Austria-Hungary taken as a whole. However after Paris it had much fewer large cities compared to Germany. South of the Loire France remains largely rural to the present day. The unification of many states over time (considering the growth of Prussia) may have created a healthy diversity of talent in the sciences and technology. There's no doubt of Germany's dominance in this area after unification.
 
May 2017
1,008
France
#6
The demografic conséquences of the napoleonic wars are difficult to evaluate.In a side ,it is sure that the losses o the armies of the Revolution and of the Empire have deeply shoked the french demografy:two millions of death.And we must not forget that the presence in all europe of hundreds thousands of men coming for France has provoked the fall of the french natality,even if those men came back alives,seven years after…..In another way,the french army has left in it back thousands of young children,who have partially compensed the losses of populations caused by the armies:death of wars,and death of hillness.But France must recognize that its troops have certainly provoked the death of 3 millions of europeans.
 
Oct 2015
1,120
California
#7
Maybe its all the reasons everyone stated. The abolition of Salic Law, lack of industrialization in the post Napoleonic period and of course the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars? In terms of Salic Law, the people that would have been most affected by it were the land owning aristocracy which was a tiny portion of the French population anyway. I can understand if the fertility rate dropped only for this segment of the population, but the fertility drop ran across all social classes of the French population.

Anyway, would this population decline still occur in a Napoleonic victory? In this case France has its 1812 borders going into the second half of the 19th century and with it, the industrial rich German territories like the Ruhr. Would a post war industrialization and a post Napoleonic war baby boom in France occur?

The French state was the largest pre-modern and early modern state in Europe, and it would remain so, as long as Germany remained fragmented. Once Germany unites, it becomes problematic for France because a unified Germany is richer and will always outcompete France in birthrate and the economy. A Napoleonic victory scenario would ensure Germany remains fragmented atleast for a little while longer. In retrospect maybe Napoleon made a mistake in abolishing the HRE, because in doing so he removed a buffer serving as a Franco-Austrian, Russian buffer, which was crucial to the balance of power.
 
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stevev

Ad Honorem
Apr 2017
3,322
Las Vegas, NV USA
#8
The French state was the largest pre-modern and early modern state in Europe, and it would remain so, as long as Germany remained fragmented. Once Germany unites, it becomes problematic for France because a unified Germany is richer and will always outcompete France in birthrate and the economy. A Napoleonic victory scenario would ensure Germany remains fragmented atleast for a little while longer.
Would it? It's a long time between 1815 and 1870. Napoleon I wasn't going to live much past the actual death on St Helena and he left no viable heirs. Napoleon III founded the 2nd Empire and while he revived at least the appearance of French power in the world, he could not stop German unification. There's no reason to think any likely French leader could in 1870.
 
Oct 2015
1,120
California
#10
Would it? It's a long time between 1815 and 1870. Napoleon I wasn't going to live much past the actual death on St Helena and he left no viable heirs. Napoleon III founded the 2nd Empire and while he revived at least the appearance of French power in the world, he could not stop German unification. There's no reason to think any likely French leader could in 1870.
In this scenario there was no St/ Helena exile or an Elba exile because Napoleon won. Maybe he doesn;t invade Russia, or maybe he gains a marginal victory in which he leaves Russia before the onset of winter and leaves it with an intact grand armee, or he gains a decisive battle early in the campaign forcing Alexander to capitulate and renew the Tilsit treaty. It doesn't mattter,. but the scenario is he wins. There is no Napoleon III atleast as we know it because I would imagine the succession when Napoleon dies would pass to his son Napoleon Francois, when he dies the succession passes to his son, whoever he may have been in which case its a different Napoleon III. But you are right Napoleon will still die right around the same time as in our time line in 1821. Upon his death his son is crowned emperor.

How his successors will manage the empire however, is another matter, but let's assume they govern it relatively well, they're peaceful rulers, relations with Britain normalizes and a form of entente cordiale eventually develops. The 19th century ushers in a long era of peace on the continent known as Pax Gallica or something.