Centralised Germany vs Decentralised France

At least before the mid-20th century, Germany was a pluricentric nation, with various regional centers competing with each other culturally, industrially, intellectually and politically. Meanwhile, France had centralising tendencies ever-since the Hundred Years War, with the nation's cultural, industrial, intellectual and political activities mainly centered around Paris and the Ile-de-France.

And how would European history be different if things go the other way round?
 
Well first and foremost Germany will be dominant as hell, unless strong coalitions of French and Italian states ally with the Danes and Poles. Such grand coalitions are unlikely to happen in the period, and even when they do, they don't last.
 
Well first and foremost Germany will be dominant as hell, unless strong coalitions of French and Italian states ally with the Danes and Poles. Such grand coalitions are unlikely to happen in the period, and even when they do, they don't last.

1) The Slavs could put a check on them. (?)

2) How about the French and the Italians incorporated into a single nation state to meet the German Challenge? Did the Italian language differ more from OTL Standard French than OTL Langue d'oc?
 
Hrvatswikiw has a point. A unified Germany depending on the pod will be dominant as hell.

You butterflied away 500 years of European history, if the battleground for supremacy is unififed much earlier.


1) The Slavs could put a check on them. (?)
That is a possible outcome. PLC anyone?

2) How about the French and the Italians incorporated into a single nation state to meet the German Challenge?
Germany needed a lot of time to get it shit against France together.
 
Hrvatswikiw has a point. A unified Germany depending on the pod will be dominant as hell.

You butterflied away 500 years of European history, if the battleground for supremacy is unififed much earlier.


That is a possible outcome. PLC anyone?

Germany needed a lot of time to get it shit against France together.


Not the PLC but the Union between Poland and Bohemia at the end of the 13th Century being successful.
 
Hrvatswikiw has a point. A unified Germany depending on the pod will be dominant as hell.

No more so and probably less so than France. What people fail to understand was just how big and populous France was at this time in European history. The entire population of the HRE (including North Italy) did not match the population of a united Kingdom of France, in fact it loses by quite a bit.

Decentralized France is the bigger deal here.
 
No more so and probably less so than France. What people fail to understand was just how big and populous France was at this time in European history. The entire population of the HRE (including North Italy) did not match the population of a united Kingdom of France, in fact it loses by quite a bit.

Decentralized France is the bigger deal here.
Good point, but wouldnt the reasons for the bigger population apply to an earlier unified German state too?

Lets say Germany unifies in this form:

Central_Europe,_919-1125.jpg


What would be a realistic population?
 
Hmmmm... depending on the time (let's say high middle ages, 12th century), you're looking at around 14 million, maybe less. France, meanwhile, will still have about 18 million, maybe more.
 
Hmmmm... depending on the time (let's say high middle ages, 12th century), you're looking at around 14 million, maybe less. France, meanwhile, will still have about 18 million, maybe more.

Does your calculation includes the reason for France bigger population? I dont know them exactly, but lets say it was the earlier unification. Now in this scenario it is vice versa. Germany is unified, France is not. So my conclusion is that:

1.) France will have less population, because of the fragmentation.

2.) Germany will have an ever bigger population advantage than France OTL, just because it encloses a larger area.
 
Does your calculation includes the reason for France bigger population? I dont know them exactly, but lets say it was the earlier unification. Now in this scenario it is vice versa. Germany is unified, France is not. So my conclusion is that:

1.) France will have less population, because of the fragmentation.

2.) Germany will have an ever bigger population advantage than France OTL, just because it encloses a larger area.

The higher population of France really just has to do with how fertile the area is for farming. ITTL, the region of 'France' will still have more population, but the Kingdom of France may not. Germany will certainly be more powerful than such a decentralized Kingdom, and population isn't everything, but France is just too strong a region for medieval times.
 
The higher population of France really just has to do with how fertile the area is for farming.
I cant think of a reason why the area of medieval times France is more fertile than the area of our hypothetical unified Germany.

ITTL, the region of 'France' will still have more population, but the Kingdom of France may not.
Thats a contradiction to your own argument. Considering the lower population of OTL HRE.

Germany will certainly be more powerful than such a decentralized Kingdom, and population isn't everything, but France is just too strong a region for medieval times.
But for a long time population was the force multiplier.

Hey, our discussion is going in circles. Depending on the reasons for France bigger population, I cant see a good explanation why our earlier unified Germany dont have the same advantages as OTL France.
 
I cant think of a reason why the area of medieval times France is more fertile than the area of our hypothetical unified Germany.

Because it has a different climate, different soil, different agriculture, etc etc. With the technology available in the medieval ages, France always has the higher population capacity.
 
Because it has a different climate, different soil, different agriculture, etc etc. With the technology available in the medieval ages, France always has the higher population capacity.
We are still talking about areas which are on the same continent and have the same climate, same soil and pretty sure the same agriculture, or do we?
 
We are still talking about areas which are on the same continent and have the same climate, same soil and pretty sure the same agriculture, or do we?

There are actually rather significant differences between average temperatures between those countries.

Paris 12.5
Bordeux 13.8
Marseille 15.5

Frankfurt 10.6
Berlin 9.73
Munich 9.70

Using my own country as an example, the average daily mean in Helsinki is 5.90C while it's in my hometown just 2.66C. Even though difference doesn't really look that big, it's enough that a growing season is weeks longer in Southern Finland thus making it much better suited for agriculture. Someone more knowledge able about German and French agriculture could probably point out similar differences between those countries.
 
Hence when the potato was introduced to Europe, population in Germany, among other places, skyrocketed. Which I would presume would still happen, meaning Germany would likely get more powerful over time, while if France unifies in the 19th century, it likely won't pose the same threat united Germany did OTL.
 
Hence when the potato was introduced to Europe, population in Germany, among other places, skyrocketed. Which I would presume would still happen, meaning Germany would likely get more powerful over time, while if France unifies in the 19th century, it likely won't pose the same threat united Germany did OTL.

The main reason Germany became powerful in the 19th century, besides unification,was because of industrialization. German lands had coal which gave it a huge advantage over France when the Industrial Revolution began, leading to a population spurt, and rise of urban centers in Germany in the 19th century while France stagnated. Before the Industrial Revolution, the most important economic sector was agriculture which gave France a huge advantage because it had fertile lands.

For France to become centralized and powerful in 19th century, they need to get their hands on Belgium which has great industrial areas.
 
The main reason Germany became powerful in the 19th century, besides unification,was because of industrialization. German lands had coal which gave it a huge advantage over France when the Industrial Revolution began, leading to a population spurt, and rise of urban centers in Germany in the 19th century while France stagnated. Before the Industrial Revolution, the most important economic sector was agriculture which gave France a huge advantage because it had fertile lands.

For France to become centralized and powerful in 19th century, they need to get their hands on Belgium which has great industrial areas.

Is industrialization a cause of population booms or more of an effect? There were agrarian societies (such as Russia and Italy) that also experienced tremendous population growth during this time as well.

In any event, France was (and is) the epitome of a centralized country. Paris has always been far larger than any other French city.
 
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There are actually rather significant differences between average temperatures between those countries.

Paris 12.5
Bordeux 13.8
Marseille 15.5

Frankfurt 10.6
Berlin 9.73
Munich 9.70

Using my own country as an example, the average daily mean in Helsinki is 5.90C while it's in my hometown just 2.66C. Even though difference doesn't really look that big, it's enough that a growing season is weeks longer in Southern Finland thus making it much better suited for agriculture. Someone more knowledge able about German and French agriculture could probably point out similar differences between those countries.
Well, that makes sense to me. Thanks.

So a disunited France with more population, against a unified Germany with less, at first.
 
Is industrialization a cause of population booms or more of an effect? There were agrarian societies (such as Russia and Italy) that also experienced tremendous population growth during this time as well.

Yes. The Industrial Revolution enabled increased and more efficient production of everything including agriculture meaning it can support more population growth. There are statistics showing human population growth exploded around the time of 1750 onwards. The Industrial Revolution was in full swing by that time.

Normally, agrarian societies like Russia and China encourage population growth too because demands on labour are great. France is a special case of an agrarian society that led to stunted population growth because of laws favouring division of lands to children leading to less incentive to have children.

In any event, France was (and is) the epitome of a centralized country. Paris has always been far larger than any other French city.

Yes, but this topic is proposing a decentralized France. The way I can think to to accomplish that is by knocking off Philip II of France who started the ball rolling on centralization.
 
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