Fate of Non-German Hapsburg Lands in Großdeutsche Germany?

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Kaiser Chris, Jul 5, 2019.

  1. Kaiser Chris Emperor of the United States, Protector of Mexico

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    In a scenario where Austria is high favorable to German unification, with it accepting leadership of a united Germany at the Frankfurt Assembly, what would then happen to the non-German lands under Emperor Ferdinand and later Franz Joseph. While an Austrian-led Germany can be acceptable at the time since the German states were leaning towards rule by Vienna and even the King of Prussia Frederick Wilhelm favored this position, the German people did not want any non-Germans in their lands.

    Let's say that the Hapsburgs place leadership of a unified Germany as their number one position, would they easily be willing to let go of their non-German lands? If the non-German lands let go, how does it play out? Does Hungary get the rest of the former Empire with Prince Maximilian accepted as the new King of Hungary? Are the Italian lands given independence, therefore moving them to an increasingly unified Italy? Is Bohemia considered acceptable enough to be German? What about the Polish lands?

    Personally in my theory, I believe that if Franz Joseph were to let go of the non-German lands, this scenario would play out:

    • Hungary is given independence with Croatia and Transylvania. Maximilian is proclaimed King of Hungary and Hungary signs a close alliance with Germany to tie the two dynastic states together.
    • Lombardy-Venetia is made an independent kingdom under a Hapsburg ruler. Lombardy-Venetia joins a federal Kingdom of Italy under Pope Pius IX since the Hapsburgs easily giving up Italy does not lead to war.
    • Bohemia would probably be included in the German Empire due to historical associations of Bohemia in the HRE. There might be a revolution, but a pan-German army can easily defeat it.
    • With Poland, unless Franz Joseph is willing to cause a severe downgrade of relations with Russia by making an independent Galicia, then Galicia is either made part of Hungary or part of the German Empire under the same exemption that Prussia received with their Polish lands OTL.
    What's your opinions on the fate of non-German Austria? An easy transition to separation or revolution?
     
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  2. Tibi088 Well-Known Member

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    Why not have another Habsburg ruler in Italy intead of the pope?

    I agree with the rest with Galicia being the real problem. Maybe Hungary - Maria Theresia originally annexed the territory as Queen of Hungary and in the 18th century the Hungarian nobility brought it up more than once in the pairlament that the territory should be part of Hungary according to that. However this claim was dropped in the 19th century especially as nationalism spread.
     
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  3. isabella Well-Known Member

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    Lombardy and Veneto will be given to another Archduke(s) and Italy will be ruled by either the new Duke of Milan or most likely the GrandDuke of Tuscany...
    Hungary will go to Archduke Maximilian, who will be married to some German princess (Duchess Elizabeth in Bavaria would be a very good choice), Bohemia will stay in the Empire and Galicia will go to either Hungary or Austria. Trieste will remain part of Austria (as renouncing to their main port would be a folly) and likely also Dalmatia.
     
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  4. Analytical Engine Monarchist Collectivist Federalist

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    Dominion status. The Emperor remains King of Hungary with an autonomous kingdom of Croatia* and King of Galicia. Possibly Lombardy-Venetia is made into another dominion. Austria-Bohemia(-Lombardy-Venetia) becomes part of Germany.



    *Now incorporating Dalmatia
     
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  5. NiGHTS BMC-14

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    Is there a way to keep Italy divided in this scenario?
     
  6. Analytical Engine Monarchist Collectivist Federalist

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    Prussia doesn't support them for some reason?
     
  7. NiGHTS BMC-14

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    I was thinking more along the lines of Austria either annexing more Italian territory ( under the idea of re-establishing HRE territory, in a justification that's similar to the reason for keeping non-German Bohemia), or just vassalizing northern Italy, at least, and keeping it from unifying with the rest. After all, with Russia to the east and France to the West, it would be good to at least have some more room down south, if possible, especially with the opportunity to have Mediterranean access.

    Also, is there a way Switzerland could be included as well? It has both the historical and ethnic justification going for it, but what would be needed to have Switzerland get onboard with this pan germanism thing?
     
  8. Kaiser Chris Emperor of the United States, Protector of Mexico

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    The reason the Pope would be ruling Italy was because at the time the Italian people and politicians were enamoured with the idea of Neo-Gulphism, where a united Italy would be ruled as a confederate kingdom by the Pope. Initially Pope Pius accepted, but refused to wear the crown because he didn't want to go to war with Catholic Austria. If Austria makes their intentions to create Greater Germany known early, then there might not be a war of Italian Independence if Austria lets go of Lombardy-Venetia early. This would have Pius still be the prime candidate for Italian unification. If not Pius, then it would go to the King of Sardinia because the people of Italy would never accept another Hapsburg after having Lombardy and Venetia be oppressed by a hapsburg for decades, not to mention the time spent under Hapsburg Spain. The Hapsburgs have no concrete ties to the peninsula like Hungary, it would be far better in the long run to just let Lombardy-Venetia go and create an ally with Italy against France or Russia.

    Are you sure Galicia was originally annexed to be incorporated into Hungary? Galicia was always dominated by direct German rule and there were significant German minorities in their lands. While I can see Hungary demanding Galicia, in the long run it would only add to their ethnic issues with the Magyars becoming proprotionally smaller and adding two (Polish and Ruthenian) potential ethnic enemies in their kingdom. Either way, Galicia has to go to either Austria or Hungary, unless for some reason Russia would tolerate this independent state that lays claims to major industrial territories under their control.

    Would the people of Hungary accept this sort of Canadian like situation? I would think that anything less than full independence may lead to a revolution in '49 under Kossuth and the other nationalistic Magyars. How would the German people react in this situation?

    While Bohemia has always been a major core of the HRE, Northern Italy doesn't keep the same weight to it, especially since it left in the early 16th century. Having Czechs, Poles, and Slovenes in a German Empire would already be too much for Germany. Having Italians would be completely unacceptable to the German people. Italy would also never accept it since one way or another they were going to unify in a couple of decades, and while Italy doesn't have to go full Irredentist, having Northern Italy under German control is an absolute no for Italy. If Lombardy-Venetia doesn't get independence, then there is going to be war. The best case scenario for the Hapsburgs is to at least have Lombardy-Venetia be ruled by a Hapsburg King in the new federal Italy.

    I can accept Slovenia being a part of Germany because there is no Slovene identity and Realpolitik for a Mediterranean port, but Italy? That's a no.

    Switzerland would be way overextension and not only would it be oppossed by the rest of Europe, no one in Germany and Switzerland besides the most zealous Pan-Germans would want the land. For centuries, Switzerland has formed a unique identity separate from Germany, and even during its time in the HRE it was always a sort of other compared to the more core states. Switzerland is also a Republic, and there's no reason why the Swiss leaders would want to willingly submit to a conservative catholic monarchy.
     
  9. NiGHTS BMC-14

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    Considering the scale if this unification, war is bound to happen as France won't just let a big danger to itself form unimpeded. Switzerland is an acceptable loss as it's probably more trouble than it's worth, though I think the argument about it being unique is kind of moot as all the German states were unique prior to being brought in. Still probably not worth the trouble though, that I can see. Unless a Hapsburg Lombardy means a puppet/allied Italy, I can't see why having a Hapsburg on the throne would really change things. Of course, future wars could always lead to a change to either of these things.

    I made a thread on a very similar premise, so it could be useful to you. Though overall, it "ended" with the "agreement" that a German unification bof this scale would lead to war, that Russia and the Ottomans may stick their nose in it, and that should Germany win this war, Poland and Croatia will have a chance for independence as allies of this new German Empire. Probably Hungary as well.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2019
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  10. rfmcdonald Well-Known Member

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    Even a plausible Grossdeutschland, one that sees Austria brings only the lands of Czechs and Slovenes into the greater Germany and sees the other Hapsburg realms spun off as satellites, this will create a Greater Germany with numerous large and important ethnic minorities. An Austrian unit, extending from northern Bohemia south to Carniola and the Littoral, would be perilously close to having a non-German majority.
     
  11. NiGHTS BMC-14

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    Couldn't they just teach everyone standard German and call it a day? Some Italian "dialects" are closer to Spanish than standard Italian, and yet they are still considered Italian. France had a bunch of minorities who ended up being assimilated into speaking French and considering themselves French. Why can't the same be true for Germany? They just have to lighten up on who's a German, and it could probably work. Be more accepting of minorities and why would they want to rebel?
     
  12. rfmcdonald Well-Known Member

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    The Czechs and even the Slovenes, like the Poles, had distinctive national identities quite separate from that of Germany, with languages that they still speak and very active political/social movements aiming to promote their group interests. Unlike, say, the Sorbs, they did not have an ambiguous potentially German identity.
     
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  13. isabella Well-Known Member

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    Absolutely wrong. The OTL Italian unification was owed mostly to luck and is in no way inevitable (truly is more likely to not happen than happening, specially in the OTL way). Italian irredentist were few and without much power (really if had not happened OTL Italian unification would be considered ASB) plus the King of Sardinia was more French than Italian while the Habsburg GranDuke of Tuscany was a fully Italian ruler who would be a much better candidate than Savoy as ruler of the Italian Confederation. Savoy has no claim to the leadership of the confederation as the real candidates for the role are: GranDuke of Tuscany (if an Habsburg is needed and Lombardy and Venetia are given to him), King of Two Sicilies (ruler of the bigger, richer and most powerful Kingdom in Italy) or the Pope.
    You need to remember who after the fall of the Roman Empire Italy was never united (only the South was under the same ruler or sometimes split between the continent and the island of Sicily).
     
  14. Tibi088 Well-Known Member

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    The Habsburg have a tendency not really caring about what the rabble wants. And at least some of the italian nationalit would support it because it does give them the dreamed of unified Italy.

    I was initially surprised as well but when you think about it makes sense. What was the highest title of Maria Theresia? Queen of Hungary. She was also one of the few Habsburg rulers of Hungary who had a really good relation with the Hungarian nobility and who was pretty popular in Hungary. But I didnt read the treaty - I heard it from a professor in a seminar in university so if you want to be completly sure you should check the document.



    They would accept it. See the original demands of the hungarian pairlaiment in 1848 april. They are milder than dominion status. Also things have turned to violence nearly a year before Hungary made a declaration of independence. Without it coming to blows I dont see that happening.
     
  15. rfmcdonald Well-Known Member

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    I do suspect that Grossdeutschland might have to let Russia take Galicia, if only to avoid the spectre of another Polish state forming.
     
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  16. The Gunslinger NQLA agent

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    Wasn't the Dalmatian Coast in Union with the Austrian crown? Would the new German state be keen on keeping it?
     
  17. rfmcdonald Well-Known Member

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    Certainly the idea of having some Adriatic, hence Mediterranean, coast might appeal. I suspect that Dalmatia was be too far removed, and an exclave besides. Hungary or Italy?
     
  18. NiGHTS BMC-14

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    Having Croatia as an ally from which Germany could have bases would be very useful. Although, something should probably be done about how narrow the Adriatic sea is. It would be simple for Britain or even Italy to block the German Mediterranean fleet there.
    Wouldn't allowing a Polish State to form be a good thing, since it would act as an outlet for Polish nationalists? Instead of trying to carve a state from German territories, the Polish people who truly want their own state, could just go to the one formed from Russian territory and Galicia. And since this Poland was liberated from Russia, it could be a close German ally, for both liberating the nation from Russia, and for forming an alliance to protect it from Russian encroachment.
     
  19. BellaGerant Well-Known Member

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    Revanchism is a rather dangerous thing. Just because the nationalists get an outlet for a state of their own doesn't preclude the possibility that they'll eventually do a heel turn and agitate for more of their historic lands, especially given enough time and military power. For example, Serbians had their nation. That didn't stop them from seeking to gain other lands in the Balkans that either 1. historically belonged to Serbian nations in the past or 2. had large Slavic populations.

    Not to mention the Russian part of the partition was nowhere near as prosperous as the German part, so it's not like everyone will be willing to abandon everything to go to an overcrowded, (comparatively) underdeveloped region. But the large Polish presence would be a potential threat to German control, both as a source of tensions/casus belli and as a (real or imagined, it doesn't matter to Berlin) 5th column.

    Plus, having the shared goal of keeping Poland off the map helped smooth relations between the neighbors (part of the rationale for the League of the Three Emperors, presumably).
     
  20. rfmcdonald Well-Known Member

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    Quite frankly, Galicia might be the compensation that Russia would demand for not getting involved. Letting this huge Germany form is not likely as is.