France supports the Confederacy, Britain doesn't

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Tocomocho, Nov 8, 2007.

  1. Tocomocho My other car is a steam tank.

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2006
    It is pretty usual to see threads of "Britain and France recognize the CSA", but not about one who did while the other stays out or even discuss it. Could the CSA gain independence with only help from France? Could the USA and the CSA even end up as mere proxies in the disputes between the British and French empires (assuming a success in America avoids Nappy III to go to war against Prussia)?
     
  2. Thande Toujours Phrais

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2005
    Location:
    Doncaster/Sheffield
    Interesting idea. Not sure how realistic it is, but worth a thought. I imagine any French military support of the CSA would be primarily naval, what with them already having one army in Mexico. Did the French Navy of the time significantly outclass the USN? I believe they had some of the first ironclads... (come on, ACW buffs!)
     
  3. 67th Tigers Banned

    Joined:
    May 17, 2006
    Location:
    Gent, Belgium
    Absolutely, the French Navy was FAR more powerful than the USN.

    What date were you thinking?
     
  4. Roberto FREE SUSAN O.

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2007
    Location:
    The Impenetrable Fortress of Kr'Rundor
    How about the French Army that was involved in the Mexican Civil War instead fighting in the ACW?
     
  5. Strategos' Risk Oriental Orientalist

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2004
    Location:
    Homeline
    They could always send in the Foreign Legion.
     
  6. Thande Toujours Phrais

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2005
    Location:
    Doncaster/Sheffield
    I'm not sure the French would care about the ACW if they weren't already fighting in Mexico.
     
  7. Thande Toujours Phrais

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2005
    Location:
    Doncaster/Sheffield
    Apparently the Foreign Legion only got its modern elite reputation after its actions in the Mexican Civil War around 1863, so it wouldn't have the same resonance if we're talking 1861. Originally it was only set up because the French barred foreigners from serving in its mainstream army after the revolution of 1830, and this law was retained under the Second Empire.
     
  8. numberone Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2007
    When did France start interfering w/ Mexico? If the CSA secedes earlier, the French could get involved with them instead of Mexico.
     
  9. HUCK 126th Corps of Cadets

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2007
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    I can see the French leader, "Another seccession? Geeze, these Americans just won't make up their mind will they?"
     
  10. Thande Toujours Phrais

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2005
    Location:
    Doncaster/Sheffield
    Historiography would be interesting if the CSA wins. "First the French back the American colonists against the British, then the South against the north, then Mexico against the South (perhaps)...a clear geopolitical strategy of divide and conquer..."
     
  11. Smaug Devil's Advocate

    Joined:
    May 18, 2005
    Location:
    Armpit of California
    Seems like the British would make better bedfellows for the South. I don't think that the raw materials of the South would nearly as interesting to France, as compared to England, with its fabric industries.

    Maybe you could come up with some kind of French interest in its long lost Louisiana population. Its a reach, but, hey....
     
  12. Dean_the_Young Uppity Bad Spellar

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2007
    Of course, if France were to suddenly see a chance to grab the source of Britain's raw materials, the economic advantage would be immense...
    What long-lost Louisiana population? The one that's long since been dwarfed, intermarried, and swarmed by the whites and black slaves that have settled the state and tuned New Orleans into something other than a small backwater?
     
  13. BrotherToAll Student of G.K. Chesterton

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2007
    This may be a stupid idea but would the British support the USA(indirectly of course) if they felt the French were growing to powerful in that region?
     
  14. Dean_the_Young Uppity Bad Spellar

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2007
    More relevantly, would the British stop tacitly supporting the Confederacy with ships, sailors, and supplies?
     
  15. BrotherToAll Student of G.K. Chesterton

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2007
    I guess they would because I dont think they would be very happy with the idea of the French having so much sway in North America.
     
  16. fhaessig Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2004
    Location:
    Leiden ( Netherlands )
    There's just a slight problem with the PoD.

    One of the mainstream of Napoleon III policies was never, ever, in any way, antagonise Uk. So he will only recgnise CSA if he gats at least a nod from London.
     
  17. M79 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2007
    This came very close to fruition in 1862, and I could see a wily UK playing the US and France off of each other to whittle down competitors.

    France has a larger navy but no bases for transAtlantic operations, they also will have interests in Mexico that they may try to defend. Union land army is larger and this might be the impetus they need to acquire Henry rifles as stanard firearms. In this case, they would get a serious edge on the battlefield and would try to drive out the CSA and the French at the same time. The US navy is also growing quickly and has ironclads at her disposal, which were *not* transoceanic vessels. France can send wooden vessels out but can they beat an ironclad fleet?

    CSA gets supplies and extra manpower, perhaps enticing one or two more border states to secede, but I still think that eventually the rebels fail and now the greatly enlargened US has a bone to pick with France. Bismarck sees this and Germany becomes much better friends with us, as we take Franch colonies and they march on Paris.
     
  18. BrotherToAll Student of G.K. Chesterton

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2007
    Union troops armed with a needle guns!:D (I know its silly but a man can dream cant he?) But on a serious note would Prussia provide any help at all to the Union? Because if they can help arm and train the Americans that means the Americans can kill more Frenchmen which means less French troops for Prussia to fight in the future also it means that Prussia could have a powerful pontential ally to help her in the future.
     
  19. David S Poepoe Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2004
    Location:
    El Segundo, California
    Actually the British were not affected by either the Union blockade or the Confederacy's terrible idea of withholding cotton from the world market. The previous years had been bumper crops and there were plenty of cotton in British warehouses waiting to be turned into fabric.

    Also the British were developing other cotton producing areas such as Egypt and India.

    The same can not be said about the French cloth industry which was very dependent upon American cotton - to a greater degree than the British. I believe the French linen industry did lobby Napoleon III to do something.

    Paris operating with London seems interesting and pretty unlikely - at least in regards to the American War.
     
  20. Tom_NUFC Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2007
    Location:
    Newcastle Upon Tyne, Northumbria
    I can see where you're coming from with the cotton side of things, but throughout the American Civil War, Napoleon III seemed to be keener to recognise the CSA than the British did. He was always sending telegrams to London asking them if they did not think that the time had come to recognise the Confederacy.

    So perhaps you could have a scenario where he gets impatient of waiting for Britain.