Would a surviving Napoleonic Empire have eventually sought to expand outside of Europe?

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
14,371
SoCal
#1
Would a surviving Napoleonic Empire (you could try achieving this by having Napoleon avoid invading Russia in 1812, manage to hold onto his empire until his death, and then have his successor reach some sort of accommodation with the other European Great Powers) have eventually sought to expand outside of Europe?

For instance, could we still eventually see a French invasion of Algeria in this TL? Also, which other non-European territories would a surviving Napoleonic Empire have been interested in?
 

stevev

Ad Honorem
Apr 2017
2,791
Las Vegas, NV USA
#2
Do the British still defeat France at Trafalgar? If so, I see France as accepting British dominance of the high seas. They might take Algeria and later expand their presence in interior West Africa. However British sea power would limit French expansion elsewhere. That's not to say there would be no expansion (French Polynesia) as long as it doesn't threaten British interests.
 
Likes: Futurist

Rodger

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
5,379
US
#4
Not to the new world. After all, Napoleon sold his vast holdings there. Without a dominant navy, the western hemisphere was not a possible place of expansion for Napoleon.
 
Likes: Futurist
Feb 2019
80
Serbia
#7
That was done before he came to power, no?
Yes, he came to power after he returned from Egypt, however after the Peace of Amiens during the year of peace in 1802 he did send fleets to Haiti, Louisiana and had ambitions for Egypt and the Levant, so it's fully possible if he negotiated peace with Britain or the settlement at Amiens lasted by some miracle he might've been able to expand France overseas.

Do the British still defeat France at Trafalgar? If so, I see France as accepting British dominance of the high seas. They might take Algeria and later expand their presence in interior West Africa. However British sea power would limit French expansion elsewhere. That's not to say there would be no expansion (French Polynesia) as long as it doesn't threaten British interests.
Maybe, but after Trafalgar Napoleon started to rebuild his fleet and by 1811 had 80 Sips of the Line with another 35 under construction, if his ship building programme was more successful and if later naval disasters such as Santo Domingo, Basque Roads, Lissa and others didn't happen he might've been able to come back even if he lost Trafalgar in this scenario.

Another question is what if Villeneuve didn't retreat after Cape Finisterre and continued to Ireland and later the Dover Strait, would he have been able to successfully contest the undefended strait and get Napoleon's army to invade Britain.
 

stevev

Ad Honorem
Apr 2017
2,791
Las Vegas, NV USA
#8
rseas.

Maybe, but after Trafalgar Napoleon started to rebuild his fleet and by 1811 had 80 Sips of the Line with another 35 under construction, if his ship building programme was more successful and if later naval disasters such as Santo Domingo, Basque Roads, Lissa and others didn't happen he might've been able to come back even if he lost Trafalgar in this scenario.

Of course, many futures are possible but I think Britain would have done every thing it could to maintain naval superiority by at least 50% (which they did over Imperial Germany). To the extent they could, they might use blockades of material and possibly raids on shipyards to interfere with a French naval buildup.
 
Last edited:
Feb 2019
80
Serbia
#9
Of course, many futures are possible but I think Britain would have done every thing it could to maintain naval superiority by at least 50% (which they did over Imperial Germany). To the extend they could, they might use blockades of material and possibly raids on shipyards to interfere with a French naval buildup.
Well they did exactly that historically during the wars with Napoleon and it was effective, so probably yes, they would probably still do it.
 

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