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View Full Version : WI Louis XVI successfully escaped France??


Sgt Detritus
November 6th, 2007, 10:30 AM
Would this have any effect on the future of the Revolution??

V-J
November 6th, 2007, 10:39 AM
If you're talking about the Flight to Varennes, then probably not. The Dauphin would be alive, though, which would have potential implications along the line when/if he became King.

Fabilius
November 6th, 2007, 10:44 AM
Well it might have a psychological impact on the population. I imagine the severed proved to them once and for all that they had really conquered the kingdom.

With the king living in Austria, there is always, in a way a shadow cabinet for the opposition.

myrioad
November 6th, 2007, 11:38 AM
Even if he escapes that doesn't mean he will be able to do that much. For one thing he doesn't have finances to bulid an army up to retake the country. The nly way he would be able to do that is to convince the king of Austria that this upstart republic is a threat and give economical trades to move Austria into action.

Faeelin
November 6th, 2007, 01:26 PM
Well it might have a psychological impact on the population. I imagine the severed proved to them once and for all that they had really conquered the kingdom.

With the king living in Austria, there is always, in a way a shadow cabinet for the opposition.

I wonder if this could hurt the royalsits. It's one thing to wish for the king's return after killing him; it's another when the king is actively encouraging the Austrians to conquer France.

V-J
November 6th, 2007, 02:41 PM
Louis didn't actually intend to immediately flee to the Austrian Netherlands, IIRC; he just wanted to get out of Paris in order to establish himself away from the pressures of 'the mob' and the Parisian bourgeoisie. So you could have had a slightly more ordered and 'legitimate' civil war than historically.

I don't think that Austria would have been any more a factor than it was historically; the King was already the Emperor's brother in law. After early 1792 the royalist and 'foreign' interest merged anyway, since France was at war with most of Europe and it's own domestic royalists, who were fighting for what was essentially the same cause.

freodhoric
November 6th, 2007, 03:48 PM
Accoding to WikiPedia, he was trying to get to Montmedy, in Lorraine.

Even if he escapes that doesn't mean he will be able to do that much. For one thing he doesn't have finances to bulid an army up to retake the country. The nly way he would be able to do that is to convince the king of Austria that this upstart republic is a threat and give economical trades to move Austria into action.
There never was a king of Austria. It went from Archduchy to Empire under Francis II in 1804.

1790-1792, Leopold II was Archduke of Austria, Holy Roman Emperor, Grand Duke of Tuscany, King of Bohemia, and King of Hungary. He was also Marie Antoinette's brother and the guy who put down the Brabant Revolution.

OTL, he didn't help France because Russia was ready to expand (Poland and Ottoman Empire) when Austrian and Prussian attentions were elsewhere.

If Loius XVI had escaped, i think the various royalist revolts would have been stronger, especially the Vendee Rebellion(1793-1796). Maybe Vendee could have been the spark for something bigger.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:French_counter-revolutionaries

Don_Giorgio
November 6th, 2007, 04:18 PM
WI he escaped in England??? He would have been much more secure there...

wannis
November 6th, 2007, 05:12 PM
I wonder if this could hurt the royalsits. It's one thing to wish for the king's return after killing him; it's another when the king is actively encouraging the Austrians to conquer France.

I agree with this. Apart from that, there may not have been a big effect - I'd imagine he would have fled to Austria; not counting any butterflies, the scenario would probably have played out as IOTL first, with the French revolutionary army and later Napoleon going on a rampage through Europe. When Napoleon beats Austria, Louis XVI probably would have had to flee to England.
The difference would be in the period after Napoleon is beaten - Louis XVI would be restored, and then there would be a dauphin to inherit instead of two of Louis XVI's brothers without (IIRC) surviving male issue. Perhaps Louis XVI would be in the same mold as his brothers ("forgotten nothing, learnt nothing"), but maybe the dauphin could have made a difference if surrounded by more enlightened people.

Ace Venom
November 6th, 2007, 06:18 PM
With Louis XVI dead, the throne was up for grabs for someone like Napoleon. Without the legitimate king and heir dead, Napoleon would have no claim to the throne. He could take it, but with Louis XVI alive and well in another country, there would be some doubts to Napoleon's legitimacy. He would probably see this and not bother to declare himself Emperor of France.

wannis
November 6th, 2007, 07:05 PM
With Louis XVI dead, the throne was up for grabs for someone like Napoleon. Without the legitimate king and heir dead, Napoleon would have no claim to the throne. He could take it, but with Louis XVI alive and well in another country, there would be some doubts to Napoleon's legitimacy. He would probably see this and not bother to declare himself Emperor of France.

Louis XVI's brothers were as legitimate in the eyes of the royalists and the anti-French coalition as a surviving Louis XVI and dauphin wold have been, while Napoleon and France didn't care a jot (except using them as scarecrows). And Napoleon going for Emperor meant that he started something new that wouldn't become entangled with questions about legitimacy of inheritance and was palatable to (at least part of the) revolutionary establishment precisely because it wasn't the restauration of traditional kingship. So I doubt whether Louis XVI escaping would have changed anything.