Plausibility Check: An even larger French colonial empire?

May 2014
16,699
SoCal
#1
Would it have been plausible for France's colonial empire in the late 19th and early 20th century to be even larger than it was in real life? If so, how exactly does one accomplish this and which additional countries/territories could have ended up becoming French colonies in this scenario?
 
Apr 2017
1,080
U.S.A.
#2
Numerous ways this could happen.
1. Britain doesn't exist or doesn't expand at all or as much.
2. Napoleon is successful in uniting Europe under French leadership.
3. Germany doesn't show interest in colonial expansion, leaving some of the territory for France.
4. China is much weaker than in real life, allowing the Europeans to partition it.
5. Napoleon doesn't sell the Louisiana territory.
6. France doesn't lose or get involved in the seven years war.
7. If France held onto their larger Indian territory instead of losing it to Britain.
8. If France built the Panama canal instead of giving up.
9. If Britain and France partitioned Siam.
10. If Belgium doesn't exist then Congo may have been (at least partly) colonized by France.

Possible areas they may expand into for these alternate realities:
1. Cameroon and Togo if Germany didn't.
2. Sudan, as they almost came into conflict with Britain over it.
3. Quebec-Mississippi region of North America if not losing/selling these territories.
4. Southern China if they were weaker.
5. Parts or all of India if Britain was weaker.
6. Various Caribbean islands that were lost to Britain in several wars.
7. Various Indian ocean islands lost to Britain in several wars.
8. Eastern Siam/Thailand.
9. Congo if Belgium didn't exist.
10. Various European territories that probably wouldn't be considered "colonial territories."
 
Likes: Futurist
May 2014
16,699
SoCal
#3
Numerous ways this could happen.
1. Britain doesn't exist or doesn't expand at all or as much.
2. Napoleon is successful in uniting Europe under French leadership.
3. Germany doesn't show interest in colonial expansion, leaving some of the territory for France.
4. China is much weaker than in real life, allowing the Europeans to partition it.
5. Napoleon doesn't sell the Louisiana territory.
6. France doesn't lose or get involved in the seven years war.
7. If France held onto their larger Indian territory instead of losing it to Britain.
8. If France built the Panama canal instead of giving up.
9. If Britain and France partitioned Siam.
10. If Belgium doesn't exist then Congo may have been (at least partly) colonized by France.
1. Yep.
2. Would Nappy have actually been interested in overseas colonies, though?
3-10. Yep. Of course, I'm not very interested in having France keep additional territories in the New World; rather, I want France to have more colonies in the Old World for the purposes of this scenario. French territorial gains in the New World might interfere with US expansion, and you know that I am a supporter of US expansion. :)

Possible areas they may expand into for these alternate realities:
1. Cameroon and Togo if Germany didn't.
2. Sudan, as they almost came into conflict with Britain over it.
3. Quebec-Mississippi region of North America if not losing/selling these territories.
4. Southern China if they were weaker.
5. Parts or all of India if Britain was weaker.
6. Various Caribbean islands that were lost to Britain in several wars.
7. Various Indian ocean islands lost to Britain in several wars.
8. Eastern Siam/Thailand.
9. Congo if Belgium didn't exist.
10. Various European territories that probably wouldn't be considered "colonial territories."
1. Yep.
2. If the French capture Sudan, are they also going to go for Ethiopia?
3-10. Yep.
 
May 2014
16,699
SoCal
#5
If Napoleon conquered Europe completely, he'd get bored and want to conquer something else.
What about his son? After all, Nappy is still likely to die from stomach cancer in 1821 and his son is only going to be 9 or 10 during this time. Is his son or whoever is going to be Regent for him until he becomes an adult actually going to be interested in continuing Nappy's expansionist policies?

Possibly, if Italy didn't get defeated by them first France may make a try for it.
What about if the Italians were still defeated by them before the French could get there?
 
Apr 2017
1,080
U.S.A.
#6
What about his son? After all, Nappy is still likely to die from stomach cancer in 1821 and his son is only going to be 9 or 10 during this time. Is his son or whoever is going to be Regent for him until he becomes an adult actually going to be interested in continuing Nappy's expansionist policies?



What about if the Italians were still defeated by them before the French could get there?
Eventually Europe would get interested in colonial expansion, it may not be till much later but it would likely happen.
In real life after Ethiopia defeated Italy the other colonial powers decided to leave them alone as it wasn't worth the effort. If France had a larger presence in the region I'd imagine they may feel the same.
 
Likes: Futurist
May 2014
16,699
SoCal
#7
Eventually Europe would get interested in colonial expansion, it may not be till much later but it would likely happen.
OK.

BTW, is Algeria still going to get directly annexed to France in this scenario?

In real life after Ethiopia defeated Italy the other colonial powers decided to leave them alone as it wasn't worth the effort. If France had a larger presence in the region I'd imagine they may feel the same.
Please keep in mind, though, that Ethiopia serves a useful strategic value to France since it would allow France to build an east-west railroad throughout Africa.
 
May 2016
5,115
Portugal
#8
9. Congo if Belgium didn't exist.
In a hypothetical scenario if Leopold wouldn’t had advanced with his Congo Free State, most (or a good part) of those territories would have gone to Portugal, if another British Ultimatum wouldn’t happen. Too many “ifs”.

Anyway Portugal had long contacts with many kings of those territories and some had even recognized Portuguese sovereignty. Congo Free State and the British Ultimatum disrupted that entire Portuguese network.
 
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Likes: Futurist
May 2014
16,699
SoCal
#9
In a hypothetical scenario if Leopold wouldn’t had advances with his Congo Free State, most (or a good part) of those territories would have gone to Portugal, if another British Ultimatum wouldn’t happen. Too many “ifs”.

Anyway Portugal had long contacts with many kings of those territories and some had even recognized Portuguese sovereignty. Congo Free State and the British Ultimatum disrupted that entire Portuguese network.
What about a four-way partition of the Belgian Congo between Portugal, Britain, Germany, and France?