Napoleon dies shortly before the start of the 1812 Russian campaign

Futurist

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May 2014
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What if Napoleon would have died shortly before the start of the 1812 Russian campaign? In this scenario, he would be succeeded by his baby son Napoleon II--though obviously with a regent. I'm unsure as to whom the regent would actually be. Perhaps Napoleon II's mother Marie Louise of Austria? Anyway, how would a France that is being led by someone other than Napoleon starting from 1812 have subsequently fared? For instance, does the Russian campaign get cancelled? Does the new French regime seek some kind of modus vivendi with their neighbors--and, if so, do they actually succeed? Are France's neighbors actually going to be willing to negotiate with France in this scenario or is the change of leadership in France only going to make them enthusiastic about destroying the entire French Napoleonic regime--with them feeling that Napoleon's death is going to severely hurt the Bonapartist cause due to the loss of a brilliant general?

Personally, I think that 1812 was a great time for France's new leadership in this scenario to try seeking peace and some kind of modus vivendi instead of continuing to wage war. However, I'm unsure if the new French leadership in this scenario would have actually been smart enough to see this--even with the loss of a great general due to Napoleon's early death in this scenario.

Anyway, what are your thoughts on this?
 

pugsville

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Oct 2010
9,634
What if Napoleon would have died shortly before the start of the 1812 Russian campaign? In this scenario, he would be succeeded by his baby son Napoleon II--though obviously with a regent. I'm unsure as to whom the regent would actually be. Perhaps Napoleon II's mother Marie Louise of Austria? Anyway, how would a France that is being led by someone other than Napoleon starting from 1812 have subsequently fared? For instance, does the Russian campaign get cancelled? Does the new French regime seek some kind of modus vivendi with their neighbors--and, if so, do they actually succeed? Are France's neighbors actually going to be willing to negotiate with France in this scenario or is the change of leadership in France only going to make them enthusiastic about destroying the entire French Napoleonic regime--with them feeling that Napoleon's death is going to severely hurt the Bonapartist cause due to the loss of a brilliant general?

Personally, I think that 1812 was a great time for France's new leadership in this scenario to try seeking peace and some kind of modus vivendi instead of continuing to wage war. However, I'm unsure if the new French leadership in this scenario would have actually been smart enough to see this--even with the loss of a great general due to Napoleon's early death in this scenario.

Anyway, what are your thoughts on this?
The Russians would invade almost immediately. France would be confused and divided. Jermone, Murat would go their own way. War continues in Iberia. The Empire fails apart like rotten fruit.
 
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Futurist

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The Russians would invade almost immediately. France would be confused and divided. Jermone, Murat would go their own way. War continues in Iberia. The Empire fails apart like rotten fruit.
Does France still get the same borders as it did in 1815 in real life?
 

MAGolding

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Aug 2015
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In October 1812 Claude Franciois de Malet attempted a coup against Napoleon, claiming that Napoleon died in Russia.

This coup d'état caused the anger of Napoleon I because it exposed the weakness of allegiance to the Bonaparte family as a dynasty: nobody had had the idea to shout, "Napoleon died! Long Live Napoleon II!"[3] On the other hand, the coup attempt was in fact thwarted.
Claude François de Malet - Wikipedia

So if Napoleon had actually died during the invasion of Russia, or soon before, would the King of Rome have been proclaimed Emperor Napoleon II, or would his constitutional right to the throne have been ignored just as much as it was during Malet's coup attempt?

If Napoleon I died before the birth of his only legitimate son, Napoleon II (20 March 1811-22 July 1832) things might have been even more confusing. If Marie Louise was pregnant the government could have established a regency until the baby was born and continued the g regency if the child was a boy, but the lack of enthusiasm for Napoleon II during Malet's coup attempt makes one wonder how many French leaders would have been in favor of that.

If Napoleon died while Marie Louise wasn't pregnant yet, so before June 1810, the heir to the throne would have been Joseph Bonaparte (1768-1844), former King of Naples (1806-1808), and present King of Spain and the Indias (1808-1813. I don't know how Joseph occupying the Spanish throne would have affected his claim to the French throne, nor how enthusiastic the varius French officials and politicians would have been for Joseph as the new emperor.
 

Futurist

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May 2014
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In October 1812 Claude Franciois de Malet attempted a coup against Napoleon, claiming that Napoleon died in Russia.

Claude François de Malet - Wikipedia

So if Napoleon had actually died during the invasion of Russia, or soon before, would the King of Rome have been proclaimed Emperor Napoleon II, or would his constitutional right to the throne have been ignored just as much as it was during Malet's coup attempt?

If Napoleon I died before the birth of his only legitimate son, Napoleon II (20 March 1811-22 July 1832) things might have been even more confusing. If Marie Louise was pregnant the government could have established a regency until the baby was born and continued the g regency if the child was a boy, but the lack of enthusiasm for Napoleon II during Malet's coup attempt makes one wonder how many French leaders would have been in favor of that.

If Napoleon died while Marie Louise wasn't pregnant yet, so before June 1810, the heir to the throne would have been Joseph Bonaparte (1768-1844), former King of Naples (1806-1808), and present King of Spain and the Indias (1808-1813. I don't know how Joseph occupying the Spanish throne would have affected his claim to the French throne, nor how enthusiastic the varius French officials and politicians would have been for Joseph as the new emperor.
Do you think that the other French generals would have preferred to be led by Malet or by a member of the Bonaparte family, though?
 

MAGolding

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Aug 2015
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Do you think that the other French generals would have preferred to be led by Malet or by a member of the Bonaparte family, though?
I don't know what the other French generals, politicians, and officials would have wanted, or what type of power struggles, intrigues, or elections might or might not have happened. Possibly other members might be more informed about internal French affairs in this era.
 
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