French Demographics in a 1st Empire victory scenario.

Mar 2016
1,199
Australia
#11
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.

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 the 19th century ushers in a long era of peace on the continent known as Pax Gallica or something.
There's simply no scenario where the Napoleonic Empire endures long beyond Napoleon I's death, even assuming that he somehow is victorious against his many enemies (which already was never going to happen, after 1812). Napoleon's empire only lasted as long as it did because of his sheer force of will and military greatness, and even that didn't last forever. The moment Napoleon I died (which, like Stevev said, would be around to 1821 because of his health problems), his enemies would pounce and nominal allies and subjects would rebel.
 
Oct 2015
1,120
California
#13
The moment Napoleon I died (which, like Stevev said, would be around to 1821 because of his health problems), his enemies would pounce and nominal allies and subjects would rebel.
That's only possible with an annihilated Grand Armee in Russia. Again, none of that happens in this scenario. Napoleon's enemies "pouncing" the moment he dies just isn't possible with an intact grand armee. Even without Napoleon, Russia invading Poland and marching into the lion's den isn't going to work with an intact grand armee. Let's say the Russians do invade in 1821, The grande armee meets them in Poland, the Russian army is crushed. But I can't see things getting to that because the Russians would not have "pounced" not with an intact grand armee. Napoleon dying isn't going to magically turn the Grand Armee into the French army of 1940 lol
 
Mar 2016
1,199
Australia
#14
That's only possible with an annihilated Grand Armee. Napoleon's enemies "pouncing" the moment he dies just isn't possible with an intact grand armee. Even without Napoleon, Russia invading Poland and marching into the lion's den isn't going to work with an intact grand armee. Let's say the Russians do invade in 1821, The grande armee meets them in Poland, the Russian army is crushed. But I can't see things getting to that because the Russians would not have "pounced" not with a,n intact grand armee. Napoleon dying isn't going to magically turn the Grand Armee into the French army of 1940 LOL.
The thing is, the army that Napoleon used to invade Russia in 1812 was not the same army of 1805. Most of his best troops had either already died or were fighting in Iberia. He used huge levels of fresh recruits. Even with an army of close to 700,000 he failed in Russia. Numbers were no longer ensuring total victory. And Napoleon also never won a war against a coalition as large as the one from 1813-5, where he was fighting all three major continental powers at once (Russia, Austria and Prussia); as soon as all of them ganged up on France, he lost. Even in 1813 Napoleon mustered a very large army for his German campaign, and he still lost. His enemies were constantly improving and modernising their armies, and it showed by the end.
 

stevev

Ad Honorem
Apr 2017
3,322
Las Vegas, NV USA
#15
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.
Napoleon I was unique in his abilities, but he still lost in realty. If he won, we both agree that he would not have lived much longer than he actually did. You're arguing that his heirs could have managed the French Empire as well as he did right up to 1870. I think that's a very unlikely supposition. It's much more likely that one of them would have been overthrown as Charles X and Louis Philippe actually were.

I will agree that an alliance between Britain and France against German unification might have been effective at least temporarily. But Britain's policy was to avoid continental entanglements as it had a still growing empire to manage and France, not Prussia or Germany, was her rival in Africa. Moreover, Queen Victoria would have been strongly opposed an anti-German alliance and she still had influence.
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
9,247
#16
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.
population growth leads to cities not cities to population growth. in the 18th century cities ony grew bymigration from the country side which drove population.
 

stevev

Ad Honorem
Apr 2017
3,322
Las Vegas, NV USA
#17
population growth leads to cities not cities to population growth. in the 18th century cities ony grew bymigration from the country side which drove population.
"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."

How do you read causality into this except as it might relate to unification as a cause for population growth in tandem with industrialization? In 1860 Berlin's population was about 600,000. In 1910 it was over 4 million.
 
Oct 2015
1,120
California
#18
The thing is, the army that Napoleon used to invade Russia in 1812 was not the same army of 1805. Most of his best troops had either already died or were fighting in Iberia. He used huge levels of fresh recruits. Even with an army of close to 700,000 he failed in Russia. Numbers were no longer ensuring total victory. And Napoleon also never won a war against a coalition as large as the one from 1813-5, where he was fighting all three major continental powers at once (Russia, Austria and Prussia); as soon as all of them ganged up on France, he lost. Even in 1813 Napoleon mustered a very large army for his German campaign, and he still lost. His enemies were constantly improving and modernising their armies, and it showed by the end.

Same or not, a scenario in which France doesn't lose 600,000 men in the Russian freezer is a stronger France even after the death of Napoleon. At the death of Napoleon in 1821 or 1822 in this timeline, France is in a much stronger position, Napoleon's enemies would know this, and would be more hesitant to start another war at the death of Napoleon. I just can't see any reasonable chance for his enemies starting a war upon his death. Prussia post 1807 was broken just within a hair's breath of complete dismemberment. Napoleon, or in this case his son can easily dismantle and abolish Prussia entirely. Its king Frederick William III was pretty much a puppet, broken and defeated, I don't see him risking another war if it will cost him is crown and his country. Austria is in a somewhat slightly better position than Prussia to start a war, but by itself? It wouldn't have stood a chance. Besides, technically speaking a Hapsburg now sits on the French thrown-Napoleon Francois. Bottomline without the disaster in which France loses 600,000 men in Russia, there is little incentive for Napoleon's enemies to start another war when he dies.


However, winning the war is one thing, but winning the peace is something else entirely. I think that Napoleon's successors would eventually have to stand down its nearly permanent war footing. Even if the war footing continues, and if the Napoleonic indoctrination system of otl is anything to go by, the enthusiasm for the Napoleonic wars on the part of French young men only seems to have escalated in the latter part of the 1st empire even after 20 years of almost continual warfare. And this sort of enthusiasm didn't seem to diminish the eagerness of young volunteers even during the forlorn hope of the Hundred Days. Also considering the fact that in our timeline a very green and hastily organized French army nearly defeated the allies at Leipzig in 1813 speaks volumes for their resolve even in the face of defeat. Just imagine that kind of resolve multiplied ten-fold in which the Grande armee was not decimated in Russia.
 
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pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
9,247
#20
That's only possible with an annihilated Grand Armee in Russia. Again, none of that happens in this scenario. Napoleon's enemies "pouncing" the moment he dies just isn't possible with an intact grand armee. Even without Napoleon, Russia invading Poland and marching into the lion's den isn't going to work with an intact grand armee. Let's say the Russians do invade in 1821, The grande armee meets them in Poland, the Russian army is crushed. But I can't see things getting to that because the Russians would not have "pounced" not with an intact grand armee. Napoleon dying isn't going to magically turn the Grand Armee into the French army of 1940 lol
Actually a sucessful Russian invasion of Napoleonic Germany could happen without the French disaster of 1812. The French Empire could not maintain a Grand Armee in Eastrn Germany and Poland. Once alarge Russian Amry is in Easter Europe , Prussia and Austria are likel to join. The Russian amry nparticulr had learned alot of lessons. It simply was not going to go under in battle. crushing the Russian army is just not likely. A long campaign of attritional warfare that Napoloen was ill suited to fighting is likley,

Napoloen's Empire was over centralised in his person, he did not delegate effectively, only his campaign would be resourced with ubtied coomand. Either he goes Spain and stops wellington, he governs the Empire or he fighst the Russians. Which ever one he chooses the other two start burning out of control.

Napoleon could not maintain a intact Grand Armee.
His slash and burn economic practices would have hit the wall. His economic looting of Germany was unsustainable.
 
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