If there's no French Revolution and subsequent wars, are Italy and Germany still going to get unified?

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
20,217
SoCal
#1
If there's no French Revolution and subsequent wars (specifically French Revolutionary Wars and Napoleonic Wars), are Italy and Germany still going to get unified?

FTR, I was thinking of Louis XVI deciding not to engage in a flight to Varennes together with his family but rather remain in Paris and agree to whatever the French parliament would have demanded. That way, he might have actually had an opportunity to save his rule as opposed to being overthrown and executed.
 
Mar 2016
1,210
Australia
#2
No, definitely not. Though ideas of nationalism still existed among the upper-class intellectuals in these societies, they didn't have much traction with the lower-classes, who are the ones that are primarily responsible for the unifications in the 1860s-70s. There's a world of difference between what some upper-class intellectuals discuss among themselves in their houses and parties while their country is at peace, and the attitudes of the bulk of society when their country is occupied by a foreign power stuck in perpetual war. The extreme affects of the decades of war left its mark, and was like nothing these countries had seen before (or least, Germany hadn't experienced since the 30 Years War). As soon as the revolutionaries and later Napoleon started creating their own little "sister republics" in the 1790s, they showed these people that it was entirely possible to live in your own country and have at least a small degree of political representation, rather than just being another part of some foreign empire (even though most of these republics just ended up being short-lived satellite states for the French). What seemed like a distant and unlikely fantasy very suddenly turned into a reality overnight when the French armies marched in and threw out the Austrian garrisons.
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
20,217
SoCal
#3
No, definitely not. Though ideas of nationalism still existed among the upper-class intellectuals in these societies, they didn't have much traction with the lower-classes, who are the ones that are primarily responsible for the unifications in the 1860s-70s. There's a world of difference between what some upper-class intellectuals discuss among themselves in their houses and parties while their country is at peace, and the attitudes of the bulk of society when their country is occupied by a foreign power stuck in perpetual war. The extreme affects of the decades of war left its mark, and was like nothing these countries had seen before (or least, Germany hadn't experienced since the 30 Years War). As soon as the revolutionaries and later Napoleon started creating their own little "sister republics" in the 1790s, they showed these people that it was entirely possible to live in your own country and have at least a small degree of political representation, rather than just being another part of some foreign empire (even though most of these republics just ended up being short-lived satellite states for the French). What seemed like a distant and unlikely fantasy very suddenly turned into a reality overnight when the French armies marched in and threw out the Austrian garrisons.
It's interesting because the French didn't really have a united Italy in mind, though. Napoleon did create a proto-Germany with his Confederation of the Rhine, but there was nothing comparable to Italy. Thus, what motivated Italians to seek one state rather than several independent states but simply with more rights and freedom for the ordinary people living there?
 
Mar 2016
1,210
Australia
#4
It's interesting because the French didn't really have a united Italy in mind, though. Napoleon did create a proto-Germany with his Confederation of the Rhine, but there was nothing comparable to Italy. Thus, what motivated Italians to seek one state rather than several independent states but simply with more rights and freedom for the ordinary people living there?
In a way Napoleon did establish a semi-national state in Italy though, with the Kingdom of Italy (granted it was first ruled by him directly and then later by his son-in-law) which comprised much of Northern Italy and part of Central Italy. Eugene had a relatively large amount of autonomy when it came to ruling his Italian state (compared to other provinces of the French Empire ruled directly by Paris), and he even managed to win a few disputes with Napoleon over how the country should be run, since he was more in-touch with the Italian locals. He tried to tailor official French policy so it was more compatible with Italian cultural norms - this is in direct contrast to Napoleon, who cared nothing for cultural sensibilities and imposed Imperial French uniformity everywhere else. Many of the later Italian nationalists and intellectuals would emerge from what was this short-lived Kingdom of Italy, and many actively wanted to reinstituted the reforms the French, and specifically Eugene, had introduced.

As for why the Italians gravitated towards a single large state, I'd say there was an element of pragmatism. A large country cannot be as easily conquered or dominated by neighbours (either the French or the Austrians) as a bunch of smaller, independent states could be. This was the primary motivation in the 15th and 16th centuries for men like Machiavelli and Cesare Borgia to hold ambitions of a united Italy, centuries before it would become a reality. There's also the basic tenet of nationalism which is essentially: "your people belong in their own country"; if the French and Spanish had their own countries which encompassed all the unique regional variants of these cultures, why not the Italians too? There was a time where those countries were just as disunified and scattered as the Italians were.
 
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pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
9,277
#5
Inon, who cared nothing for cultural sensibilities and imposed Imperial French uniformity everywhere else. Many of the later Italian nationalists and intellectuals would emerge from what was this short-lived Kingdom of Italy, and many actively wanted to reinstituted the reforms the French, and specifically Eugene, had introduced.
reforms such as?
 
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Jun 2017
2,895
Connecticut
#6
Almost certainly not, technically without Napoleon destroying the HRE "Germany" was already unified. There wouldn't be a German identity but Germany existed in technicality until 1806 and Germany needed to die to be restored. If HRE exists there's discussion about German unification because it never stopped existing.

Napoleon killing the HRE or "First Empire" was necessary for a neo or second German Empire under Prussian control. No French revolution means no Napoleon no Napoleon means this never occurs and given how non dynamic territorial changes were for most of the 2nd millenium AD was in Europe doubtful another train of events happens that destroys the HRE. The window would be open for the Hapsburgs to control more of Germany but besides stopping Prussian unification(Prussians weren't even Germans though Brandenburg and Prussia over time became the same thing) but the same sort of unification wouldn't be possible because Napoleon's simplifying the HRE was necessary for unification to occur under ANY faction.

With Italy I'd go so far as to say it'd be even less likely. Napoleon III's France was instrumental in Italian independence(and he doesn't exist for obvious reasons) and see no reason to think the Bourbon's have a reason to try and build up Sardina instead of continuing to control parts of northern Italy themselves. While Sardina's core provinces and potential to be the number one Italian power still exists, Napoleon went into Italy and whack a moled the Italian city state eco system and created the environment that made Italian unification possible same as German. The most noteworthy example is Venice still exists as an independent Italian power. In our timeline Sardina really was just dealing with the Austrians and Garibaldi and the French were helping them unify, that's a pretty unique scenario that's hard to imagine happening the same if things go different especially if there's several competing Italian factions.
 
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pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
9,277
#7
Nationalism was always going to be a force and unification of some kind was fiairly evitable, though exact forms and bourdaries are anotehr matter,

The concept of Napoloen as the enlightenment on horseback is deeply flawed. The Liberal/reform/nationalist/bourgensiois/centralist forces were at play across Europe and many significnat reforms predated the French Revolution. Educated elites were pushing for similar reforms and often making some headway.

The Holy Roman Empire was not Germany.

Sure the exact form the new national sates was heavily influcnced by such a upheaval as the Napoleonic wars. But the forces at work would have come out in some form anyway,
 
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