Stupidest territorial acquisitions

Sep 2016
801
Georgia
#11
Basically, I don't consider France's acquisition of Alsace and Lorraine before the French Revolution to be stupid because back then there was no powerful German state who would have been greatly angered by such French moves. Had there been such a state, France's decision might have looked worse for France.
I wouldn't say so. French acquisition of Lower Alsace and Strasbourg in 1681 angered Leopold I and other European countries. One of Emperor's goals in Nine Years war was to reconquer those territories. There was also occupation of Lorraine since 1670.

Leopold actually tried to reconquer Upper Alsace, during Dutch war. Holy Roman Emperor wanted to acquire territories that were lost as the result of Thirty Years war. Lorraine was also occupied by French in 1670 and it's duke was in exile at Emperor's court. Not only Leopold failed in recapturing Upper Alsace, but also failed in restoring Lorraine. France retained Alsace, continued to occupy Lorraine and gained Freiburg instead of Philipsburg.

Next, Louis XIV annexed Lower Alsace and Strasbourg. As I said, Leopold would not forget those actions. Louis XIV also occupied other territories like Luxembourg, more cities in Spanish Netherlands and etc. Holy Roman Empire and Spain then signed Truce of Regensburg, by which all conquests stayed with Louis XIV for next 20 years. However, all of those countries joined Grand Alliance, that was formed against France by William III of Orange.

Holy Roman Empire and Spain fought in next war to acquire all territories that France took from them in last 20 years. Leopold actually managed to regain most of the territories that were lost after 1679. However, Lower Alsace and Strasbourg still remained in French hands. Emperor was angered by it and actually hesitated to make peace. He didn't want to lose those lands forever.

So, France quite clearly created more antagonism against itself by actions in Alsace, Lorraine and Spanish Netherlands.
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
15,537
SoCal
#12
Lorraine I would place in the category, because it created u necessary antagonism of the French. Alsace would have provided border protection, and with it's ethnic German population, the French might have been willing to tolerate the loss.
Yes, theoretically Germany could have limited its territorial gains to the German parts of Alsace-Lorraine:



Still, I'm not sure that this would have eliminated Franco-German tensions since even many of the ethnic Germans in Alsace-Lorraine appear to have felt French--at least in the 1870s and 1880s.

Perhaps Puerto Rico and the Philippines? Without the Philippines, i.am not surenrhr US would have gotten into a war with Japan, the US wouldn't have much interest in the Pacific outside Hawaii.
Without the Philippines, would the US have still wanted to keep an open door in China? If so, wouldn't Japan have threatened this open door policy by trying to conquer China?

And Puerto Rico has kind of been an economic drag, and I don't think the Puerto Ricans have really benefited, the he US has not helped it as much as it should.
I strongly disagree with you that Puerto Ricans have not benefited from US rule. AFAIK, Puerto Rico is one of the wealthiest territories in Latin America--something which it probably has US rule to thank for at least in part. Still, you do raise an interesting question--did the US itself actually benefit from acquiring Puerto Rico? For instance, does Puerto Rico have any strategic value for the US?

I know that Puerto Ricans score amazingly bad on academic testing:

The amazingly horrible test scores of students in Puerto Rico

Scores this low suggest that some environmental factors might be at work here, though. Anyway, though, for whatever reason, Puerto Ricans appear to be much duller than even the dullest US states--which does appear to increase the likelihood that your claim about Puerto Rico being an economic burden for the US is true.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
15,537
SoCal
#13
I wouldn't say so. French acquisition of Lower Alsace and Strasbourg in 1681 angered Leopold I and other European countries. One of Emperor's goals in Nine Years war was to reconquer those territories. There was also occupation of Lorraine since 1670.

Leopold actually tried to reconquer Upper Alsace, during Dutch war. Holy Roman Emperor wanted to acquire territories that were lost as the result of Thirty Years war. Lorraine was also occupied by French in 1670 and it's duke was in exile at Emperor's court. Not only Leopold failed in recapturing Upper Alsace, but also failed in restoring Lorraine. France retained Alsace, continued to occupy Lorraine and gained Freiburg instead of Philipsburg.

Next, Louis XIV annexed Lower Alsace and Strasbourg. As I said, Leopold would not forget those actions. Louis XIV also occupied other territories like Luxembourg, more cities in Spanish Netherlands and etc. Holy Roman Empire and Spain then signed Truce of Regensburg, by which all conquests stayed with Louis XIV for next 20 years. However, all of those countries joined Grand Alliance, that was formed against France by William III of Orange.

Holy Roman Empire and Spain fought in next war to acquire all territories that France took from them in last 20 years. Leopold actually managed to regain most of the territories that were lost after 1679. However, Lower Alsace and Strasbourg still remained in French hands. Emperor was angered by it and actually hesitated to make peace. He didn't want to lose those lands forever.

So, France quite clearly created more antagonism against itself by actions in Alsace, Lorraine and Spanish Netherlands.
Do you think that Austria would have been much friendlier with France without French expansion into Alsace and Lorraine?
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
15,537
SoCal
#14
Yeah, I would probably agree with this. It would have been nice to have Poland be allied with Russia (which is certainly possible if Russia installs some Romanov on the Polish throne), but outright annexing Poland really does sound like a stupid idea. In addition to the rebellions that you mentioned here, this territory was also virtually impossible to Russify both due to the Poles' long history of independence and due to the fact that Russia simply didn't have enough Russian settlers to Russify Poland.
And let's not forget that, by annexing Poland, Russia created a huge salient which made it very vulnerable to a Prussian-Austrian attack in any future war with those two countries!
 
Likes: sparticulous
Feb 2014
185
Miami
#15
Austria-Hungary acquisition of Bosnia. This caused animosity with Serbia that lead eventually to ww1.

Japanese acquisition of Manchuria. Maybe they should have put a leash on their military and went through trade deals for resource shortages instead of challenging usa.

Germany acquisition of central Czechoslovakia after the sudentland. Had he not been a fool and just stuck with that or went after Poland for the corridor before allied guarantees.

Sweden’s attempt to regain territory from Russia in the great northern war
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
15,537
SoCal
#16
Austria-Hungary acquisition of Bosnia. This caused animosity with Serbia that lead eventually to ww1.
To be fair, though, Serbia also wanted Vojvodina and at least the Serb-majority parts of Croatia.

Japanese acquisition of Manchuria. Maybe they should have put a leash on their military and went through trade deals for resource shortages instead of challenging usa.
Completely agreed.

Germany acquisition of central Czechoslovakia after the sudentland. Had he not been a fool and just stuck with that or went after Poland for the corridor before allied guarantees.
Completely agreed.

Sweden’s attempt to regain territory from Russia in the great northern war
Completely agreed.
 

Bart Dale

Ad Honorem
Dec 2009
7,095
#17
Yes, theoretically Germany could have limited its territorial gains to the German parts of Alsace-Lorraine:



Still, I'm not sure that this would have eliminated Franco-German tensions since even many of the ethnic Germans in Alsace-Lorraine appear to have felt French--at least in the 1870s and 1880s.



Without the Philippines, would the US have still wanted to keep an open door in China? If so, wouldn't Japan have threatened this open door policy by trying to conquer China?



I strongly disagree with you that Puerto Ricans have not benefited from US rule. AFAIK, Puerto Rico is one of the wealthiest territories in Latin America--something which it probably has US rule to thank for at least in part. Still, you do raise an interesting question--did the US itself actually benefit from acquiring Puerto Rico? For instance, does Puerto Rico have any strategic value for the US?

I know that Puerto Ricans score amazingly bad on academic testing:

The amazingly horrible test scores of students in Puerto Rico

Scores this low suggest that some environmental factors might be at work here, though. Anyway, though, for whatever reason, Puerto Ricans appear to be much duller than even the dullest US states--which does appear to increase the likelihood that your claim about Puerto Rico being an economic burden for the US is true.
Ok. I know some in the US though the Spanish America war as immoral, and. Didn't like US colonial aquistions , but I guess they were not stupid, so.I concede your point.
 
Likes: Futurist

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
15,537
SoCal
#18
Ok. I know some in the US though the Spanish America war as immoral, and. Didn't like US colonial aquistions , but I guess they were not stupid, so.I concede your point.
Yeah, I mean, I think that a simple US naval base in the Philippines would have been sufficient. Keeping the entire Philippines was stupid since it resulted in lost American lives (as a result of the Philippine insurgency against the US) but also since there would eventually be too many Filipinos for the US to integrate all of them and give all of them US citizenship.

I don't know what, if any, strategic value Puerto Rico actually has for the US, though. I would think that Guam would have more strategic value for the US due to its location in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
 

Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
4,826
Portugal
#19
The amazingly horrible test scores of students in Puerto Rico

Scores this low suggest that some environmental factors might be at work here, though. Anyway, though, for whatever reason, Puerto Ricans appear to be much duller than even the dullest US states--which does appear to increase the likelihood that your claim about Puerto Rico being an economic burden for the US is true.
Can this also be a factor of influence?

“Also, teachers at both grade levels in Puerto Rico were more likely to report that their school systems did not provide or provided only some of the materials and resources needed for mathematics instruction. In Puerto Rico, 80 percent of fourth-grade teachers and 87 percent of eighth-grade teachers reported that, compared with 28 percent at both grade levels in the United States.”

Quoted from: Fourth- and Eighth-Grade Students in Puerto Rico Fall Short in Mathematics

So basically 80% and 87% of the teachers reported that they didn’t had resources to teach, against 28% in both levels in the USA. Seems also a huge gap here.
 
Likes: Futurist

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
15,537
SoCal
#20
Can this also be a factor of influence?

“Also, teachers at both grade levels in Puerto Rico were more likely to report that their school systems did not provide or provided only some of the materials and resources needed for mathematics instruction. In Puerto Rico, 80 percent of fourth-grade teachers and 87 percent of eighth-grade teachers reported that, compared with 28 percent at both grade levels in the United States.”

Quoted from: Fourth- and Eighth-Grade Students in Puerto Rico Fall Short in Mathematics

So basically 80% and 87% of the teachers reported that they didn’t had resources to teach, against 28% in both levels in the USA. Seems also a huge gap here.
Yeah, that's also probably at least a part of the reason for Puerto Rico's underperformance. If teachers don't have the necessary materials to properly teach their students, then this can't bode very well for their students. :(
 

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