What if the French Monarchy is Restored in the Early 1870s?

Futurist

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May 2014
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#1
What if this guy:

Henri, Count of Chambord - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

--chokes to death on a croissant or something like that sometime in the 1860s, thus allowing the French monarchy to be restored in the early 1870s (shortly after Napoleon III's overthrow and when monarchists had a majority of the seats in the French legislature) with this guy (who was next in line to the French throne after the Count of Chambord):

Prince Philippe, Count of Paris - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

--as the new French King and with France becoming a British-style constitutional monarchy?

How exactly, if at all, would having a completely constitutional monarch in France since the early 1870s affect the history of France since that point in time?

Thoughts on this?
 

funakison

Ad Honorem
Oct 2012
5,381
Between a rock and a hard place
#2
As you say, in 1870 the French monarchists had a majority of the seats in the French legislature and with the abdication of Napoleon III they had every intention of replacing him with another king. Prince Philippe withdrew his claim in favour of the legitimist candidate.
Philippe had the track record of a die hard democrat but then again Louis Philippe I was a one time member of the Jacobins Club and the road to hell is paved with good intent.
Let us suppose that the newly crowned king lived up to his democratic principles and delivered a constitutional monarchy. How does that change anything. The King merely rubber stamps the wishes of the republic and with the republican leanings of the Parisian people he would be well advised to do just that. Freed from the burden of real power the role of the constitutional monarch is as a figurehead, undertaking ceremonial duties. Under these conditions Philippe has to avoid scandal and keep the republican press onside and he should be OK until 1940 and uncle Adolf comes a calling.
 

Futurist

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#3
1. As you say, in 1870 the French monarchists had a majority of the seats in the French legislature and with the abdication of Napoleon III they had every intention of replacing him with another king. Prince Philippe withdrew his claim in favour of the legitimist candidate.

2. Philippe had the track record of a die hard democrat but then again Louis Philippe I was a one time member of the Jacobins Club and the road to hell is paved with good intent.

3. Let us suppose that the newly crowned king lived up to his democratic principles and delivered a constitutional monarchy.

4. How does that change anything. The King merely rubber stamps the wishes of the republic and with the republican leanings of the Parisian people he would be well advised to do just that. Freed from the burden of real power the role of the constitutional monarch is as a figurehead, undertaking ceremonial duties. Under these conditions Philippe has to avoid scandal and keep the republican press onside

5. and he should be OK until 1940 and uncle Adolf comes a calling.
1. Correct, and in this scenario, the Legitimist candidate (Henri, Count of Chambord) has already passed away due to choking to death on a piece of food sometime in the 1860s. Thus, other than for the most hardcore Legitimists (whom were probably very few in number back then), Philippe is both the Legitimist and the Orleanist candidate for the French throne in the early 1870s in this scenario.

2. Interestingly enough, didn't Philippe also serve on the Union side in the U.S. civil war? If so, then this might boost his credentials among (relatively) progressive French people due to the fact that the Union side was the anti-slavery side.

3. I don't think that he would have really had a choice in his matter unless he wanted to get overthrown soon.

4. Couldn't he (and his successors, after his death) serve as a type of unifying figure for France in this TL, though, perhaps even providing more stability to France (with its fragile political system back then)?

5. He'll be long dead by 1940, though, and in this TL, Adolf Hitler probably won't even exist due to the butterfly effect (though, depending on how exactly things go, someone similar to him might eventually come to power in Germany).
 
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Futurist

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May 2014
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#4
A couple of questions:

1. Do the French republicans try to abolish the French monarchy if they'll ever come to power in France?

2. Is having a Christian monarch going to make Algerians and France's colonial subjects even more determined to acquire independence in the long(er)-run?

3. Is a World War II-like war still occurs in this TL (which is very far from guaranteed) and the French monarchy collaborates with the Germans, would the French abolish their monarchy after the war?
 
Jun 2017
2,555
Connecticut
#5
Seems unlikely seeing as even the anti Republicans were dominated by the anti Bourbon Bonapartist's who'd proven more popular at every turn with the Second Republic being ended almost voluntarily by the voters to restore them to power. If a monarchy was restored the Bonaparte one would be the one with popular and establishment support, the Bourbon's had been overthrown and restored against the will of just about everyone, and even the more popular Citizen King had been ousted, and the Orleans line was a cadet branch of the main royal family that didn't really have a hereditary tradition or claim to the throne of France. So no given the country's history I don't think either of these were plausible candidates and at this point historically it was either a more and more constitutionally based Bonapartist regime(who were viable because of the popularity of a long dead man, though Napoleon III became popular in his own right, I don't think it's rational to think without the name Bonaparte things go the same), a Republic or maybe something like the Paris Commune.
 

Futurist

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#6
Seems unlikely seeing as even the anti Republicans were dominated by the anti Bourbon Bonapartist's who'd proven more popular at every turn with the Second Republic being ended almost voluntarily by the voters to restore them to power. If a monarchy was restored the Bonaparte one would be the one with popular and establishment support, the Bourbon's had been overthrown and restored against the will of just about everyone, and even the more popular Citizen King had been ousted, and the Orleans line was a cadet branch of the main royal family that didn't really have a hereditary tradition or claim to the throne of France. So no given the country's history I don't think either of these were plausible candidates and at this point historically it was either a more and more constitutionally based Bonapartist regime(who were viable because of the popularity of a long dead man, though Napoleon III became popular in his own right, I don't think it's rational to think without the name Bonaparte things go the same), a Republic or maybe something like the Paris Commune.
Monarchists actually did control the French parliament in the early 1870s, though. The monarchists were split between the Legitimists and the Orleanists, but if Henri, Count of Chambord dies before 1873, the Legitimists will likely support the Orleanist candidate for the French throne since he would be next in line (if one excludes the Spanish Bourbons, who renounced their rights to the French throne back in 1713).
 

Futurist

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#8
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#9
Monarchists actually did control the French parliament in the early 1870s, though. The monarchists were split between the Legitimists and the Orleanists, but if Henri, Count of Chambord dies before 1873, the Legitimists will likely support the Orleanist candidate for the French throne since he would be next in line (if one excludes the Spanish Bourbons, who renounced their rights to the French throne back in 1713).
That is interesting didn't know that. I do not see that regime sticking given France's history. The Orleanist regime either gives way to Republicans or Bonapartists. Either Orleanists or Bonapartists would be overthrown at some stage. Curious to see how a French monarchy deals with the aftermath of the Franco-Prussian War and the Commune.
 
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Futurist

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May 2014
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#10
That is interesting didn't know that. I do not see that regime sticking given France's history. The Orleanist regime either gives way to Republicans or Bonapartists. Either Orleanists or Bonapartists would be overthrown at some stage. Curious to see how a French monarchy deals with the aftermath of the Franco-Prussian War and the Commune.
I suspect that a French monarchy would deal with the aftermath of the Franco-Prussian War--including with the Paris Commune--in the same way that the French republican government did in real life.