DBWI: What if Napoleon had been born on Corsica, instead of Ireland?

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by GaBeRock, Mar 18, 2019.

  1. GaBeRock Well-Known Member

    Aug 14, 2016
    The Mediterranean islands of Sardinia, Corsica, and Sicily, France's perenially rebellious headaches, have managed to be largely irrelevant to modern history. But what if the great conquerer, the oxymoronic "Republican Emperor" had been born on Corsica, rather than Ireland?

    Obviously there are the obvious knockon effects of a British empire that doesn't decide its rightful borders include brittany and normandy. But how does an italo-frenchman napoleon affect the course of world history? An early unification of italy? France making a claim on the basque and catalan regions if spain? Or even something more ridiculous, like reforming the roman empire or trying to snake france's borders all the way to the baltic sea. (I know, that would be ridiculous, even for napoleon, but still.)

    And after, how does it affect the 20th and 21st century? What sides are chosen in the War of National Unifications? Do we still see the New Carolingian Empire form? What about the Forty Year's (cold) war? Does that conflic, or one resembling it, even happen?

    Gancio The Ranter likes this.
  2. bbctol Well-Known Member

    Oct 16, 2018
    More likely than not, he dies during the Revolution? Italian nationalism and unification is too modern a concept to be plausible at the dawn of the 19th century; while Corsica may have culturally had Italian elements, any political or military career of Napoleon's would have kept him in the French power structure.

    And I'm sorry, but I just don't see how any of the French outcomes you mentioned are remotely plausible. I know alternate historians love to wank over the Great Man theory, but we're not just talking about a Napoleon born in a backwater, we're talking about someone born in a backwater of an empire that's imploding as he's reaching maturity. There is no France to "make a claim on the basque and catalan regions of spain"; the best a French-based Napoleon could hope for would be filling something like Bernadotte's role, holding on a little longer against the coalitions, dying in some alt battle of Theiningen in the 1790s. Napoleon was a great historical figure, but no one's going to "reform the roman empire" out of the world's most destructive civil war without being truly blessed by ASBs! x'D
  3. Atterdag Well-Known Member

    Jun 19, 2018
    I wonder if his famous one-on-one sword duel with the Duke of Wellington could still happen by some chance.
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  4. GaBeRock Well-Known Member

    Aug 14, 2016
    That severely underestimates france. At the time, they had a population comparable to russia's. "Great Man" theory isn't true in a posituve sense, but because France lacked a "great man" during that time period, the revolution splintered, making france an "easy" target for the british. But as the coalition wars and the eventual relocation of the Empire's capital to paris after the HRE's Great Expansion proved, France was down, but not out. Had a great leader (like, say, napoleon) been there to keep france together, paired with France's utterly bonkers revolutionary fervor, I think France's empire could have made some seriously impressive conquests.