DBWI No Reign of King Louis XVII: The Sun King Come Again

It was a sane measure that would be followed by almost all monarchs in the world. Opening their own palace meant that they are vulnerable to assassination/attacks, Louis XVII closing the Palace to most people is understandably unpopular, but as the Republican Assassination of Queen Victoria of Britain has shown everyone, that some sane security measures are indeed required.
Plus the fact that King Frederick Wilhelm IV of Prussia was held hostage in his palace by Revolutionaries until he signed a Constitution alarmed King Louis. I'm sure it must have brought back bad memories when he and his family were forcefully kept prisoner by a mob at the Tuileries Palace.

The assassination of Queen Victoria was a huge event that set off shockwaves in Europe. It paralyzed the British government and created chaos in British politics. Louis XVII ever the opportunist used the opportunity to strengthen his own expansionist ambitions in the wake of his adversaries misfortune.

OOC: there might be more struggle of power behind the scene, considering he's THE frickin Napoleon. At least this time he knew when to call it quits with grace, of all things
OOC: Good point actually. I feel like a delayed regency might happen due to the fragile state of Louis' constitution and mental health.
 
The assassination of Queen Victoria was a huge event that set off shockwaves in Europe. It paralyzed the British government and created chaos in British politics.
And resulted in a Tory backlash to the Chartists and other "radicals" under Regent Ernest Augustus, which did not end well for him when Queen Victoria II came of age due to her resentment of her uncle, resulting in the Second Glorious Revolution.
 
Do you see another government pursuing such radical (for the time) policies. How do you see a Parliamentarh France develop assuming it developed the same way Britain did? Would it be stable, or would it be shaky with the King and Parliament fighting each other?
Of course, the Parliamentary settlement in Britain ended up collapsing in 1920 after the Brits lost the Second Great War- and the Empire- to the Bourbon-Romanov Alliance. It wouldn't be fair to suggest that this was only because Britain had become a "Crowned Republic" after the Second Glorious Revolution, but the fact remains that Britain didn't have the kind of welfare system that was popular on the Continent. Any Constitutional Monarchy is going to be dominated by the bourgeoisie in the long run, and, well, we all know what Marx said about them selling the rope that will hang them. I genuinely can't see there being a Communist Revolution in France like there was in Britain.
 
I genuinely can't see there being a Communist Revolution in France like there was in Britain.
Ah yes, the Cynicism doctrine that was widespread in Franch nobility and those who emulate them like Japan and Korea.

The Kings and Nobles shall keep the peasants and common folks economically well-off, happy, and able to have optimism for their future under the Monarchy, because it will make any support of Republicanism threaten the security of their future. And appeasing the masses to a point ultimately serve the cynical selfish interest of the Nobility in the long run. The hardest thing to do is giving them economic and societal freedom but at the same time stomping on any notions of more political freedom.
 
Of course if it wasn’t for France there wouldn’t have been the British Restoration in 1963. There were celebrations in streets when the Communist Regime came crashing down, with the Royals of Britannia restored to near absolute control over the affairs of government we have never been better off, the eternal friendship between France and Britannia while amusing considering our history as rivals is none the less well deserved.
 
Ah yes, the Cynicism doctrine that was widespread in Franch nobility and those who emulate them like Japan and Korea.

The Kings and Nobles shall keep the peasants and common folks economically well-off, happy, and able to have optimism for their future under the Monarchy, because it will make any support of Republicanism threaten the security of their future. And appeasing the masses to a point ultimately serve the cynical selfish interest of the Nobility in the long run. The hardest thing to do is giving them economic and societal freedom but at the same time stomping on any notions of more political freedom.
It is ironic, Monarchist ideology implicitly accepts a Marxist materialist analysis of reality in the methods it uses to keep control of the people. I wouldn't call it Cynical (as I recall that description of it was coined by Mark Twain in A Connecticutt Yankee in King Louis' Court, probably the most prominent American neo-Jacobin) but rather Materialist, believing that people are motivated by material conditions rather than ideas. At the end of the day this wasn't true of the British ruling class; from Macaulay to Lloyd George British liberals believed that the answer to revolutionary activity was education, to enlighten the proles as to how great the system was.
 
OOC: Why you all call Louis' first minister by his first name? ITTL he probably would be known as marquis Bonaparte not Napoleon.
 
Do you see Napoleon if he stayed a Republican, managing to take command of the Republican army? Imagine if he whipped a Republican Grand Armee instead of the Royalist one.
Well, considering his own brother, Joseph Bonaparte, being the one who led the lenghty last stand of Republican Revolutionary government together with Marquis De Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson (the Anglo-American Scum who apparently masterminded French Revolution), Napoleon, who is a much better tactician (but also more cautious one), might be the one who really pull the true potential of said "Revolutionary Spirit".

It was a sad day when first minister Napoleon ended up facing his own brother in chain and asked his brother to swear allegiance back to the Royalty and he could live comfortably back in Corsica, but Joseph spat on his face while loudly proclaimed "Vive Le Revolution". Napoleon apparently did not sleep for weeks after being forced to essentially signed the execution order of his brother.

OOC: Why you all call Louis' first minister by his first name? ITTL he probably would be known as marquis Bonaparte not Napoleon.
OOC: That. The "Bonaparte" family name has been now tainted with his brother being unashamedly Republican Revolutionary. :biggrin:
 
Thomas Jefferson (the Anglo-American Scum who apparently masterminded French Revolution),
Which is why the Federalists under Adams and Hamilton dominated American politics due to the Democratic-Republicans shooting themselves in the foot for most of the 19th Century.
 
Some French historians make the analogy of the Temple prison to the Fronde that Louis XIV also suffered in his youth. These two events forged the future character of monarch
I think that without Louis XVII Republican France (if it survives) could not have kept its position in Europe because it is no longer in step with the other monarchies. About the French Republic I think it would have continued its phase of civil war but with the much weaker royalists without the figure of Louis XVII.
The different revolutionary factions would have massacred each other and would have given a very unstable state which could at any time lose against the Coalition. It is very likely that the military will try to get their hands on it and if Napoleon remains a Republican he could very well take control of it. It is often forgotten that Napoleon, in addition to being a great military man, was also a political anima
Beyond that it is difficult to imagine the evolution of this potential military junta depending also on its victory over the European monarchies, which can easily be achieved with Napoleon. It would be interesting to imagine revolutionary ideas spreading in Europ in the begining of the XIXcentury.
I wonder about the situation in Italy. How would it evolve? Do you think that republican France could keep the Val d'Aost as Louis XVIII did?
 
And resulted in a Tory backlash to the Chartists and other "radicals" under Regent Ernest Augustus, which did not end well for him when Queen Victoria II came of age due to her resentment of her uncle, resulting in the Second Glorious Revolution.
It was a beneficial thing for France when he died. Since with the ousting of Ernest Augustus back to Hanover, Britain was cut off from German affairs which allowed France to extend its influence in Central Europe.

resulting in the Second Glorious Revolution.
It would be a huge misnomer to label it as it being somehow Glorious, since the first one led to England having a stable Parliamentary system which brought about a Golden Age in in the 18th century. This "Revolution" was nothing more than a coup against the regency of Ernest Augustus. And it wasn't like Queen Victoria II was a particularity skilled monarch either. Most of her family had been killed in the Bombing of Liverpool Cathedral and Westminster Palace by the English Jacobins. This traumatized her, and combined with being excluded from the halls of power by Ernest Augustus for years, she didn't have the best preparation to become an effective monarch. Her tutoring was meant to keep her weak and dependent on her minsters and regents so they could rule through her as a figurehead. This all came to a head in the later Communist Revolution of Britain under her son King James III.

Of course, the Parliamentary settlement in Britain ended up collapsing in 1920 after the Brits lost the Second Great War- and the Empire- to the Bourbon-Romanov Alliance. It wouldn't be fair to suggest that this was only because Britain had become a "Crowned Republic" after the Second Glorious Revolution, but the fact remains that Britain didn't have the kind of welfare system that was popular on the Continent. Any Constitutional Monarchy is going to be dominated by the bourgeoisie in the long run, and, well, we all know what Marx said about them selling the rope that will hang them. I genuinely can't see there being a Communist Revolution in France like there was in Britain.
OOC: So it fell similar to how the Orleanist July Monarchy fell right?

Though the Portuguese Commonwealth did quite well for itself in the 19th Century. The liberal ideas of Pedro IV led to him drafting a Constitution which federalize the Empire. Though this was somewhat needed as Brazil started to become more developed and wealthy than the Portuguese mainland itself. His son Dom Pedro V and II was a very popular with the common people. He helped increase literacy and worked to abolish slavery near the end of his reign. He was arguably Portugal and Brazil’s greatest statesman, so much so that Louis XVII was willing to marry off his only daughter Princess Marie-Antionette to him.


I genuinely can't see there being a Communist Revolution in France like there was in Britain.
Neither can I, but history is filled with all these seemingly improbable moments. No one would have predicted in 1789 that an armed band of peasants would storm the Royal Palace and murder the King and Queen breaking the over 1,000 year long tradition of French monarchy going back to King Clovis the Great of the Franks.

Who knows maybe if the monarchy was never restored, France might have been under a sort of Commmunist type ideology. Some of the more radical elements like the Jacobins have been described by historians to be Proto-Communists/Syndicalists. Some of them called for things like the eradication of the Church that was attempted in Britain (State enforces Atheism and persecution of organized religion) and the short lived French Republic (Cult of the Supreme Being). Other ideas like the abolition of private property led to many chateaus and historic buildings burned in France. In France for example this inspired Louis to patron a wave of Neo-Gothic and Neo-Classical Architecture as part of his propaganda and as a symbol of French culture and tradition being maintained and protected by the monarchy. A similar thing occurred in Britain after the Restoration of the monarchy.

It is ironic, Monarchist ideology implicitly accepts a Marxist materialist analysis of reality in the methods it uses to keep control of the people. I wouldn't call it Cynical (as I recall that description of it was coined by Mark Twain in A Connecticutt Yankee in King Louis' Court, probably the most prominent American neo-Jacobin) but rather Materialist, believing that people are motivated by material conditions rather than ideas.
Twain’s perspective here is pretty skewed and quite biased against the monarchy. Since this practice goes back to Louis XIV where he distributed free bread to the poor during famine. This was expanded to other social programs for the elderly and military servicemen and their families later on during Louis XVII’s reign. While he sees it as “bread and circuses to distract the masses from their problems,” for someone like Louis XVII who was a devout Catholic it stemmed from the concept of distributism. He believed in the idea of the King and Church working to improve the living standards and conditions of his subjects as a father would his children. I guess the term “autocratic paternalism” would apply here. This concept also goes back to the Romans who maintained a grain dole in Rome and later Constantinople. This helped stimulate economic activity in the ancient world as the urban had more disposable income with their basic food needs met.

Louis XVII who was an avid reader even as his body started to fail him in his 100’s and enjoyed the book. Where his forebears would have simply banned the book, Louis simply added it to his library and wrote an open letter to Twain in the French press where he wrote a critique and review of the book. Though this had the effect of boosting sales and King Louis later sent Twain and invitation to his court to be a "Yankee in King Louis' Court."

At the end of the day this wasn't true of the British ruling class; from Macaulay to Lloyd George British liberals believed that the answer to revolutionary activity was education, to enlighten the proles as to how great the system was.
The problem with the British Ruling class was that they failed in helping increase the living standards for the poor and working class of Britain. When the Industrial revolution came to Britain, the poor labor conditions led to resentment which boiled over during the reign of Queen Victoria I and later Queen Victoria II. The Bombings of Liverpool and Westminster Palace took out a huge portion of heads of the British Government and the Royal family. Victoria II and her sister only escaped by being being in France as part of a Royal Embassy at the time.

Could something like this happen in France? I mean the Revolutionaries dared to execute the King after all.

Ah yes, the Cynicism doctrine that was widespread in Franch nobility and those who emulate them like Japan and Korea.

The Kings and Nobles shall keep the peasants and common folks economically well-off, happy, and able to have optimism for their future under the Monarchy, because it will make any support of Republicanism threaten the security of their future. And appeasing the masses to a point ultimately serve the cynical selfish interest of the Nobility in the long run. The hardest thing to do is giving them economic and societal freedom but at the same time stomping on any notions of more political freedom.
Though to be fair the only example of Republics that worked in our own history were the Italian Republics that fuctioned as city-states. They were highly oligarchical by design and were eventually overshadowed by larger Kingdoms around it. The American Republic for example is hardly a beacon of stability. Today its one of the poorest states in the Americas with its fractious political system hampering effective governance. The Republic of the United Provinces La-Plata also fractured into various competing realms most of which was later annexed by Brazil. This nearly triggered war between Portugal and Spain which threatened to bring in France and Britain due to their pre-existing alliances.

Though Louis later introduced reforms midway into his reign where he issued a French Bill of Rights and presented it as stemming from his own Royal Powers to present himself as a paragon of the Enlightenment continuing with Louis XIV's style of politics as if the Revolution never occurred. Louis was very good at co-opting Revolutionary policies for his own ends to help increase his own prestige and popularity. One instance of this was the liquidation of the French nobility and the declaration of the abolition of feudalism by the Revolutionaries. Louis used this to keep the nobles pliant and subservient to himself. As a result any land grants to nobles were present as gifts by the Crown, or as non-hereditary titles as a rewards for "distinguished service" to the Crown. Where Louis XVI encountered noble opposition to many of his planned reforms, Louis XVII by contrast was able to fast-track his reforms due to the nobility being unified around him, and him re-orienting the monarchy around the masses especially the peasants at Vendee who were lauded as saviors of France.

OOC: the lack of the Louisiana purchase meant and end to its economic boom around 1810's. The colossal failure of the French Revolution and the butterfly effect of the American Republic not stabilizing led to the idea of Republics being tainted. Though Constitutionalism and the idea of a restricted monarchy was still espoused in some liberal circles. Brazil in this world is a successful Constitutionally Monarchy though it falls somewhere in the middle between British Constitutional monarchy and French style Absolutism. Prussian Constitutionalism is somewhat in between the Bismarckian model and the Frankfurt model due to the Liberal Revolutionaries entrapping the Prussian King in his palace until he agreed to their demands for a Constitution.

The coup of military strongmen Andrew Jackson for example occurred many times in American history. While under the autocratic vision of Louis XVII, Louisiania and later Quebec were transformed into large and wealthy provinces of France. The city of New Orleans for example, rivals many large cities within mainland France itself.

The Spanish Empire after the reforms of King Carlos VI were implemented, developed into large and wealthy regions that led to a second Golden Age for Spain when industrialization came about. Spain which was a joke at the beginning of the 19th century, became a major Great Power in the mid/late 19th century. Though its only second to France due to France's sheer population and industrial might after the acquisition of the Rhineland, and later expansion into the Levant and North Africa.

OOC: Why you all call Louis' first minister by his first name? ITTL he probably would be known as marquis Bonaparte not Napoleon.
OOC: I didn't think of it that like that. Its just that when everyone mentions Napoleon, they think of his first name.

Well, considering his own brother, Joseph Bonaparte, being the one who led the lenghty last stand of Republican Revolutionary government together with Marquis De Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson (the Anglo-American Scum who apparently masterminded French Revolution), Napoleon, who is a much better tactician (but also more cautious one), might be the one who really pull the true potential of said "Revolutionary Spirit".
OOC: I think you have the wrong Bonaparte here. I think you mean Lucien Bonaparte right? Lucien in otl was the devout Republican who quarreled with Napoleon. He later immigrated to the UK and later to the US. The UK used him in propaganda pieces as the only good "Bonaparte." Napoleon's brother Joseph was actually quite pragmatic and flexible much like Napoleon was, and was a key figure in Napoleon's government. Though even Lucien finally reconciled with his brother and supported him after Napoleon returned from exile.

Though while Lucien was captured, the treacherous Marquis and Jefferson escaped back to the US. This would contribute to Louis sending the French fleet some years later along with a massive French Army to demand that they be extradited to France to face trial. Of course the American refused. Though Louis was enraged and saw it as a betrayal from the nation which his father helped gain independence by bankrupting France. When Jefferson was elected President Louis sent a fleet along with a large French army to enforce debt repayment. Of course Jefferson being Jefferson reneged on that deal. Louis then unleashed the full might of the French navy on the fledgling republic. France bombarded the country relentlessly along with the Spanish who invaded the country. Spain was also angry that it didn't pay its debts. Louis then unleashed Napoleon on the Americans which saw White House razed along with the Treasury seized. France then captured Jefferson and had him sent to France where he was tried and executed as an enemy of the state. Honestly this along with the US's structural problem of the Articles of Confederation doomed it to become a failed state as it never really recovered after this.

It was a sad day when first minister Napoleon ended up facing his own brother in chain and asked his brother to swear allegiance back to the Royalty and he could live comfortably back in Corsica, but Joseph spat on his face while loudly proclaimed "Vive Le Revolution". Napoleon apparently did not sleep for weeks after being forced to essentially signed the execution order of his brother.
Napoleon didn't sign the execution order though. Louis out of gratitude for Napoleon's service to France, signed and issue the order himself. Though this caused a rupture in the House of Bonaparte. Napoleon fell into a depression after this and the once irreligious general turned to Church and the army to sate his feelings of guilt. Honestly had Lucien escaped, and not been executed its likely that Napoleon might not have resigned as regent and gone into a self-imposed exile for a year.

Which is why the Federalists under Adams and Hamilton dominated American politics due to the Democratic-Republicans shooting themselves in the foot for most of the 19th Century.
Alexander Hamilton was arguably the greatest statesman the Republic ever had since Washington. He was the one who managed to rescue it from the brink. Though this was at the cost of essentially becoming subservient to British economic interests for many years. Had he not died prematurely of pneumonia, its likely that he could have stabilized the nation.

Some French historians make the analogy of the Temple prison to the Fronde that Louis XIV also suffered in his youth. These two events forged the future character of monarch
I think that without Louis XVII Republican France (if it survives) could not have kept its position in Europe because it is no longer in step with the other monarchies. About the French Republic I think it would have continued its phase of civil war but with the much weaker royalists without the figure of Louis XVII.
Supposing the Republicans managed to eek out a victory in this scenario what would the political situation of this Republic look like? The government was hardly stable and France's financial situation which was started the whole Revolution was still not fixed. Could France have been under a military dictatorship? A big factor to the Royalist victory was the fact that the King Louis XVII was freed. He was a rallying figure for all the various Royalist groups that were gathering forces in the countryside. Before that, the Royalist Uprisings against the Republican Regime was loosely tied together and scattered without proper leadership or a unified commander. In otl Marquis Bonaparte defected and managed to lead the Royalists into victory. This was what allowed him to essentially declare himself the regent of the young King. Though this position was officially handed to the King's Uncle Louis-Stanislas Comte de Provence. Napoleon remained as chief minister and was also given the additional title of Generalissimo making him functionally for all intents and purposes, the chief power behind the throne. Some historians compare him to Albrecht von Wallenstein who wrestled great power and influence in the Habsburg Court during the 30 Years War. Albrecht wrestled great power and influence in the state. So much so that the Holy Roman Emperor had him assassinated. Though Napoleon unlike von Wallenstein knew when to quit and chose wisely to subordinate himself to the will of Louis XVII.

While Napoleon was a genius in both military and administrative affairs, Louis XVII was King arguably cut in the cloth of the Sun King and Louis XI "the Universal Spider" who started the centralization of France. The trauma from his imprisonment certainly shaped him. In the Temple Tower he was relentlessly beaten, and when he cried the guards mocked him. These events transformed him into a hard man unwilling to show weakness to others. While this made him seem cold and distant in public, in private he was quite warm and approachable especially to his family members. Though he began to soften up in his later years after his daughter Maria-Thersa was born. Plus he gained a genuine sense of compassion for the rural peasantry who helped restore him to his throne. And because of his fragile state and years of powerlessness under the regency he turned to books. He was also was kept aware of the political situation by his uncles who wanted to counter the dangerous amounts of power that Marquis Bonaparte had accumulated.

It is very likely that the military will try to get their hands on it and if Napoleon remains a Republican he could very well take control of it. It is often forgotten that Napoleon, in addition to being a great military man, was also a political anima
That's true. The Corsican was a political chameleon. In the course of his long and illustrious career he transformed from a Corsican Nationalist to an ardent Republican only to become the man who coordinated the Royalist Restoration as the uprisings in Vendee and Tolouse gained more traction. He also helped balance the budget for the first time in many decades and reworked the administration system.

Beyond that it is difficult to imagine the evolution of this potential military junta depending also on its victory over the European monarchies, which can easily be achieved with Napoleon. It would be interesting to imagine revolutionary ideas spreading in Europ in the begining of the XIXcentury.
Napoleon unchained by the constraints of the House of Bourbon and the rallying point of the orphaned King Louis XVII might have gone for the French Throne himself founding a new Royal Dynasty. Its not as this hasn't happened before in French history or other European Kingdoms. Louis XVII's heir-apparent at the time was his uncle Louis-Stanislas the Count of Provence. While he was intelligent and critical in serving as a counterweight to Marquis and later Generalissimo Bonaparte. Though do you see Napoleon crowning himself Emperor as a means to create a separate political continuity from the French Kings? Though how exactly would this title inflation work? France doesn't really have a historical precedent for the Imperial title unless you count Charlemagne, but he was the first Holy Roman Emperor.

Though Napoleon staying true to his Revolutionary ideals of his youth is an interesting alternate history scenario. Maybe he might stabilize the Republic. Though I don't know how this will work since he was not a man who seems like he would willingly give up power.

It would be interesting to imagine revolutionary ideas spreading in Europ in the begining of the XIXcentury.
I wonder about the situation in Italy. How would it evolve? Do you think that republican France could keep the Val d'Aost as Louis XVIII did?
I mean Napoleon likely would have created puppet states after gaining the Rhine for France. These puppet Republics would essentially be French satellites subservient to French interests. Though in the long run I don't know how successful this would be. The French Revolution emphasized French Nationalism, and these ideals might have spread to Italy and later into the German states which would have threatened French hegemony. France with Napoleon at the helm ousted the Austrians from Italy and conquered Northern Italy up to Tuscany which he made as a part of the French Crown giving the Crown of the Medieval Kingdom of Italy to Louis XVII.
 
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