God is a Frenchman

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Anaxagoras, Feb 13, 2006.

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  1. Anaxagoras Vox clamantis in deserto Banned

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    The Dominion was generally on the defensive during the conflict. There was no prospect of their actually gaining any territory.

    And don't forget. At the peace negotiations, the British sat down with perhaps the greatest diplomatic mastermind in history facing them from the other side of the table.
     
  2. Wendell Wendell

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    Indeed, it is.
     
  3. luakel All You Need Is Cash

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    OK. But if the density of the Dominion is increasing, then I wouldn't be suprised if they end up getting some more land to expand to when the next war happens, or perhaps they will buy some land from France.
     
  4. Anaxagoras Vox clamantis in deserto Banned

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    We'll see. But I doubt the French will be disposed to sell any of their land, and the population of New France is growing rapidly (now due more to a high birth-rate than outside immigration).

    In truth, the leadership of the Dominion is less concerned with expanding westward than in developing the land they have. A huge amount of financial capital was lost on quixotic westward expansion schemes in the aftermath of the two failed wars with the French, and this gave the very idea of westward expansion a bad name. Something of a Dutch mentality has developed- using the land they have in the most efficient way possible.
     
  5. Anaxagoras Vox clamantis in deserto Banned

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    1810:
    In yet another move which surprised all observers, Louis XVII announced that his new Prime Minister would be a young administrator named Rene Malraux, who was only thirty-seven. Malraux was a prominent Reformist who had come to the King’s attention for a series of essays he had written on economic and political organization.

    Louis XVII has emerged as a monarch who maintains a rather debauched and fun-loving court, but who is also fascinated by science and Enlightenment philosophy- “France’s answer to Charles II” according to some British observers. In asking an astonished Malraux to become Prime Minister, Louis XVII essentially tells him that he will supervise the internal reform of French government and the French financial system, but shall have no voice in foreign affairs.

    Although he keeps his own counsel on the subject, the King’s long-term plan is to distract the Conservative faction with spreading French power and influence, while allowing the Reformists the time and resources they need to restructure French society along rational principles.

    In Canton, the French merchant community has become firmly established after years of struggle. Although they are still officially barred from exporting goods into the country, a thriving black market exists. Specifically, the Chinese have developed taste for French wine. To assist in their Asian trade, French forces seize control of several ports and harbors along the Vietnamese coast, establishing French garrisons there.

    New Edinburgh has now become a hub for British merchants attempting to gain access to the Chinese trade themselves. But in Canton, the French hire thugs to attack the few Englishmen or Scotsmen who are somehow able to establish themselves as merchants.

    1811:
    Quietly, Malraux holds a series of meetings with Talleyrand, retired for several years to a Bordeaux chateau. Talleyrand sees the promise in the young man and agrees to advise him on how to deal with difficult political matters.

    Under Malraux’s leadership, a comprehensive series of reforms in enacted in the French taxation system. King Louis XVII is told that the nobility and the Church will have to be taxed, although at a much lower rate than the bourgeoisie and the peasantry. The alternative is eventual financial chaos and political turmoil.

    As he is digesting this possibility, the king is delighted with the birth of a baby boy, who is given the name Henri. This news is very disturbing to the rest of Europe, since the heir to the throne of France also has a strong claim to the throne of Spain.

    In the Balkans, there is considerable unrest among the Greeks and Slavic subject peoples under Ottoman rule. The recent conflicts with Austria and Russia have greatly weakened Turkish strength and many nationalists have begun agitating for autonomy, and some for complete independence.

    Horatio Nelson dies as a result of fall from his horse. He is buried in St. Paul’s Cathedral.

    1812:
    King Louis XVII brings Talleyrand back into the fold, appointing him as Foreign Minister once again. The king’s goal remains the same: distract the conservatives and reactionaries with foreign adventures while supporting Malraux’s plan for comprehensive domestic reforms.

    At the same time, King Louis XVII announces a massive plan for the reconstruction of the city of Paris. Work on a wide variety of public monuments, parks and massive fountains commences, doing much to beautify the city and providing work to the unemployed. Similar programs are launched in other French cities.

    In Britain, many merchant interests are angered at the increasing competition from imported manufactured goods from the Dominion of America. For the time being, however, the issue is a minor one, since the goods are expensive to import and are generally inferior in quality to goods produced in Britain.

    At the same time, French textiles are beginning to better compete with British textiles in the European market. French industrial technology is catching up with that of Britain, and the production of cotton in French India is overtaking that of the Dominion of America. Furthermore, New France is beginning to establish a cotton-growing business in the regions under their control south of the Ohio River.

    1813:
    Following Talleyrand’s suggestion, the French begin placing restrictions of the activities of Dutch merchants in their Asian territories. The Dutch retaliate by barring French traders from their territories. The Conservative faction of the French court is outraged and the issue is a major topic for the newspapers.

    Behind the scenes, Malraux and his advisors draw up a plan for a system of local elected representatives, which would be responsible for the administration of towns and small regions. This would replace the established system of appointed such administrators directly from Paris. This is bound to outrage the conservative faction, which relies upon such appointments as part of its patronage system.

    Many members of the Conservative faction confront Louis XVII, demanding that he dismiss Malraux, who they claim is trying to “destroy” France. The king stands by his man, however.

    In Russia, the increasingly autocratic czarist court ponders its long-term options. With Austria weak and France the dominant power in Germany, attention again focuses on the Balkans, where nationalist agitation is increasing.

    1814:
    When the Netherlands refuses a French demand that its ships be allowed to victual at Cape Town, a French army enters the Duchy of Flanders, violating earlier Franco-Dutch agreements. Rather than cave in, however, the Dutch man their border fortresses and call upon Britain for aid.

    Britain announces that it will come to the support of the Dutch if the French attack, although opposition politicians and newspapers call the Dutch “foolish” for creating the Cape Town controversy and playing into the hands of French reactionaries.

    On August 1, the French army crosses the border into the Netherlands. Contrary to expectations, many of the Dutch fortresses fall rather quickly, or are quickly cordoned off from fast-moving French columns. Dutch efforts to break the dikes and flood the countryside, which had proven so effective a century earlier, are mostly unsuccessful.

    The British declare war on France, although the opposition sarcastically wonders how long this “absurd series of wars” can continue. Although not obligated by treaty to do so, since France is the aggressor, the Holy Alliance declares war on both powers.

    Talleyrand states clearly to King Louis XVII that this must be a knockout conflict; so long as both Britain and France are so powerful, the series of wars will never end. At the same time, the reforms of Malraux must be vigorously pursued.

    Both the British and French fleets are evenly matched, although the quality of the French ships are somewhat better. For the first several months of the conflict, a number of large naval battles are fought in the English Channel, as the British attempt to send reinforcements and supplies to the Dutch and the French attempt to stop them. Although neither side can gain a clear advantage, the flow of British help to the Dutch is small.

    1815:
    Attempting to regain their losses from the last war and seeing the possibility of forming a grand coalition against the French, Austria declares war on the Holy Alliance, bringing with it a small number of allied German states who detest the French and hope to end French influence in Germany. Austrian armies mass for attacks into both Germany and Italy.

    Russia mobilizes its armies but bides its time, wanting to see which side has the advantage before declaring its intentions.

    In North America, the pattern of raiding on the periphery of its other’s territory resumes. The Dominion of America mobilizes its armies, which somewhat outnumber the regular French forces in New France.

    As in the last war, a French expedition from India lands off western Australia an easily captures the undefended colony of New Edinburgh. Dutch-controlled Ceylon is similarly occupied, and French raids are mounted against Dutch trading posts in the East Indies.

    In the Netherlands, the front stabilizes as Dutch resistance grows fierce. The French reluctantly adopt a strategy of attrition and slowly ground their way forward throughout the year, relying on artillery and sheer weight of numbers to make progress.

    Malraux successfully pushes through his new taxation policy, over the opposition of the Conservative faction. Nobility and clergy are not required to pay taxes. While it is declared to be a unique wartime necessity, both Malraux and King Louis XVII intend for it to remain in place after the end of hostilities, t secure French finances and check the power of the Church and the nobility.

    1816:
    Although no Cork-like decisive naval battle has taken place, both sides have suffered heavy losses in a series of small engagements. Between the two, however, the British have had greater difficulty replacing their losses. The Royal Navy having been unable to repeat their dramatic successes of the previous war, the French adopt of policy of direct blockade of the British Isles. Rather than simply attempting to block British assistance to the Dutch, the French now intend to strangle the British Isles themselves into submission.

    As the costs of war continue to rise, Whig politicians in Britain adopt a policy of outright opposition to the war. They continually ask why the British should be risking so much for the Dutch, a people often seen as little more than threats to British trade.

    Austrian armies in Italy and Germany are blocked in their attempts to invade the territory of the Holy Alliance states, although the French do not have the resources to drive them back while engaged with the Netherlands.

    In North America, a French naval expedition penetrates Chesapeake Bay and lands an army of 10,000 men in Maryland. The Dominion forces are panic-stricken and rush reinforcements to defend Philadelphia, abandoning a protected offensive against Canada while doing so. The French successfully occupy Baltimore and make raids into Virginia, while making no immediate move on Philadelphia.

    In response to a request for further assistance from the Dominion Parliament, the British state that they must husband their resources to protect against a potential French attack on England itself. Despite the logic of their argument, the Americans are enraged at being left to their fate.

    In October after a long siege, Amsterdam falls to the French. Rotterdam continues to hold out, but only just. The Dutch government relocates to the northern part of the country and pledges that it will continue the fight, although few are convinced that they will last very long.

    The Royal Navy risks a major operation to reinforce Rotterdam and thus mount a counter offensive to recaptured Amsterdam. The French navy intercepts them at the Battle of Dover Strait. Although both sides suffer significant damage, the British fleet is compelled to abandon the operation and return home. While not the decisive engagement that the Battle of Cork was, it was a clear victory for the French and thus a political disaster for the British Tory government.

    Russia, convinced by the capture of Amsterdam and Baltimore that the French have the upper hand, announces that it is joining the war on the side of the Holy Alliance. A few weeks later, the Russian army launches an offensive against Austria.

    1817:
    The French blockade of Britain is becoming increasingly effective and the British face economic meltdown. After a no-confidence vote results in the fall of the Tory leadership, the Whig Party takes power and enters into negotiations with the Holy Alliance. Talleyrand moves to immediately isolate Britain, the Netherlands and Austria from one another, declaring that the Holy Alliance will only sign a separate treaty with each individual nation and will not treat with them as a coalition. This time in a position of supreme strength, Talleyrand is able to do whatever he pleases.

    On March 13, the Treaty of Dunkirk is signed. Its provisions include:
    • Western Australia being transferred to French authority.
    • Restrictions being placed on the military and naval forces of the Dominion of America and a regularization of its borders.
    • British and Dominion traders being barred from exporting manufactured goods to French and Spanish colonies.
    • Certain rights for Irish Catholics are to be protected.
    Talleyrand is pressured by many to insist upon restrictions for British naval power, but he demurs from this approach, worried that it will keep the British from signing the treaty. In any case, he believes that with the economic disparity increasingly favoring the French, the British will no longer be able to keep up with French naval power in any event.

    The Whigs sign the treaty, which in turn outrages the Tories. Political turmoil erupts in Britain and there is rioting in several cities and towns. In particular, the provisions for Irish Catholics cause immense controversy (as Talleyrand expected and wanted).

    In June, after Rotterdam finally falls to the French, the Dutch are forced to sign a humiliating treaty themselves. The Treaty of Munster declares:
    • Cape Town, Ceylon, and the Dutch East Indies are transferred to France.
    • The Duchy of Flanders will again become an integral part of France and no military restriction shall be placed upon it.
    • The Dutch will enter no alliance with any power other than France.
    Despite the obvious fact that this treaty will make the Netherlands little more than a puppet of France, the Dutch have little choice but to sign it. France controls their entire territory and many state that the Dutch were lucky to avoid being annexed by the France outright.

    In fall, following a series of defeats at the hands of both the Russians and the French, the Austrian sign treaties with both power that provide for border readjustments in Russian favor. All Austrian influence in Italy is ended and the peninsula becomes little more than a French satellite. In Germany, Austrian influence is similarly destroyed, with the states west of the Elbe coming entirely within the French orbit and those east of the Elbe falling under Russian influence.

    By the end of 1817, France now stands undisputedly as the greatest power in the world, although many are beginning to cast worrying eyes towards the Russian Empire.
     
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  6. G.Bone lurks

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    .....grr......

    A pox upon the French - just to give the Brits a break -

    ....grr....

    Hope the Dominion can survive...
     
  7. Anaxagoras Vox clamantis in deserto Banned

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    I would, G.Bone. But don't forget the title of the thread.
     
  8. Faeelin Lord of Ten Thousand Years

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    The French are, to judge by their OTL relationship with the Natives, going to get along the best with them.

    But this relationship was dependent on New France's role as a fur depot. When the furs run out, as they did in OTL....

    For that matter, if you are getting a higher population in New France, we have more tension with the Natives as well.

    That said, the French legally saw all the natives as French subjects, with the rights and duties that went along with it.
     
  9. Anaxagoras Vox clamantis in deserto Banned

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    New France considers Native Americans in their territory to be French subjects and attempts to deal with "associated tribes" in roughly the same manner as the government in Paris might deal with the local administration of a particular region. In practice, there is little interference with the internal affairs of Indian tribes and a much greater amount of intermarriage between Indians and Europeans than is the case in the Dominion of America.

    Tribes which reject French rule lose their "associated" status and are either ignored (mostly) or treated as rebellious subjects (if they make trouble).

    In general, the relationship between the French and the Native Americans is not as good as it was in OTL (where there were relativel few Frenchmen in North America), but much better than relations with the British and Americans.

    I have not gone into much detail on this subject, so will perhaps provide a more thorough write-up when I get the chance.
     
  10. Anaxagoras Vox clamantis in deserto Banned

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    1818:
    France’s power has been tremendously augmented by its success in the War of 1813 (known in some quarters of “Talleyrand’s War”). It now controls a vast territorial empire, encompassing most of North America, all of southern Africa, everything that counted in India, all of Australia, as well as all the valuable trading posts in Asia. No power has ever controlled so much territory, and it was truthfully said that the sun never set on the French Empire.

    In Europe also, France’s power is immense. The armies of Britain, the Netherlands and Austria have proven unable to stop the French tide. The Netherlands, indeed, has been reduced to little more than a French puppet state, and Austria meekly sits between the giants of France and Russia.

    Although Italy is still divided into a number of small states, all of them are tied to France through the Holy Alliance. A French garrison sits in Rome, ostensibly to protect the Pope but in reality to protect French interests. There is much discussion over whether the peninsula might be reorganized into a “Kingdom of Italy” under French control, perhaps even with Louis XVII himself taking the crown.

    Germany, similarly divided into small states, is also under de facto French control, Austrian power having been decisively eliminated. The Catholic states have been tied to France through the Holy Alliance and many cities in southern Germany boast French garrisons. The Protestant states have signed individual treaties with the Holy Alliance and are increasingly looked upon as French puppets. As with Italy, there is much discussion over how to politically simplify matters in Germany.

    Spain, France’s “partner” in the Holy Alliance, is increasingly looked upon as simply a part of France, particularly as the heir to the French throne is also the heir to the Spanish throne. Observers throughout Europe openly wonder how soon it would be before the two nations are joined into a single kingdom, as England and Scotland had been in 1707.

    Only Russia appears entirely free from French domination, although many say that this is only because Russia has been lucky enough to avoid conflict with France. Their power in Europe, their increasingly aggressive colonization efforts on the West Coast of North America and desire for influence over China seem to portend a future conflict with the French.

    Talleyrand is astute enough to know that overweening French domination cannot be enforced by strength of arms alone but has to be tied together through political means that are palatable to the people of Europe. He also knows that he is now an old man and perhaps not long for the world, and that a general European arrangement will have to be found that would not be dependent upon him for its longevity.

    Within France itself, Malraux and the Reformists have taken advantage of the war to push through reforms they saw as essential. The cost of the war had required the taxation of the nobility and the clergy (had the Pope wanted to object to the latter, he would have been dissuaded by the French garrison in his city). Although these taxes were considerably lower than the taxes on the middle class and the peasantry, an important psychological barrier had been broken.

    Similarly, the internal administration of the country had been largely streamlined and made more efficient. Corruption and nepotism had been curtailed, although certainly not rooted out altogether. The beginnings of an effective civil service, with promotion based on merit, had been introduced. As time passes, these reforms would spread beyond France into the colonial administration as well.

    In Britain, the results of the war have created a general feeling of resentment and disappointment, particularly as they seem to have lost the war even though they had not suffered any severe defeat (the Battle of Dover Strait having been a tactical draw). At the same time, the expansion of French power makes the prospect of another war seemingly nonsensical. In general, the mood among the British is one of isolationism and wishing to devote their energies towards economic and social progress rather than overt involvement in foreign affairs. A similar mood prevails in the Dominion of America.
     
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  11. G.Bone lurks

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    grrr.....

    God is a Frenchman it seems...

    grr....
     
  12. fhaessig Member

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    Interesting. I suppose Vauban's old proposal has been unearthed and seriously discussed in the previous years.

    You're very right about the psychological barrier.

    It also has an other very important effect. Now the nobility has to find way to make their fortune pay fot itself to pay for those taxes. That means investment, not jus buying land or castles and keeping them fallow. This will free huge amount of capital, especially in conjuction with the other change below.


    This means the 'Paulette' has finally been abolished. That was the selling of offices and a tax to make them hereditary - with nobility patents -. Abolishing it was contemplated a lot of time under the late french monarchy but always postponed due to financial pressure. Abandonning the system means the old office holders have to be compensated somehow, so it's likely to be costly in the short run but worthwile in the medium to long run.

    The worst effects of the Paulette was that it leached a lot of money out of the bourgeoisie and sucked their most energetic members out of productive occupations into paper-shuffling. Removing it will free a lot of Capital and energy looking for a place to go.

    I say both of the above change will get a long way to jump-start the industialisation of France. As will the annexion of the second place to industrialise OTL and the links with the Dutch. I think that, as early as 1825-30, Britain will have a sharp competition as the most industrialised country in the world, at least on a total output basis ( per capita, I think they will still lead ).

    Please continue; It's a very good TL, and it's nice to see France doing good for once.
     
  13. Gladi Serial killer

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    While it very nice to see France not being trashed and based at least once on these boards- I am starting to notice the sun is, in fact, green. Hopefully it seem you are going to take france down a peg or two in near future.

    Great wok!
     
  14. TheLoneAmigo get those kids off my lawn

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    Don't listen to all the France-bashers. God is a Frenchman.
     
  15. Wendell Wendell

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    I'd've expected the Dominion to decide that it's had enough of British wars....
     
  16. fhaessig Member

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    Well there was the restitution war of 1802-1804, which France lost rather decisively on the ground, though it managed to avoid suffering too many loses on the treaty table due to Talleyrand's negociation.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2006
  17. Gladi Serial killer

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    Well that war was part of green sun tooo for me. It seems to me that French in this TL has already by far surpassed British of OTL, and they are after-all island utopia...
     
  18. corourke Member Donor

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    I'm enjoying this a lot.
     
  19. Anaxagoras Vox clamantis in deserto Banned

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    1819:
    Talleyrand announces his retirement from politics, pleading old age. He moves permanently to his château in Bordeaux, where he can enjoy his wine and revel in his art collection. Historians would eventually credit him with playing the most important role in raising France to its preeminent position.

    In the Dominion of America, two major political factions have gradually evolved into organized political parties. The Whig Party believes that the Dominion should become completely independent of the British Parliament, even in matters of foreign policy and defense, while the Tory Party wishes to maintain the status quo. Both have ties to their respectively named parties in Britain. Only a few despised radicals wish to break the ties with the British monarchy. The Whigs rather wish for a system to emerge similar to that which existed between Scotland and England between 1603 and 1707- two countries sharing the same monarch.

    In New France, the government dispatches a large force of French regular troops on a punitive expedition against the Teton Sioux tribe, which has been raiding French settlements west of the Mississippi River and attacked boats moving up and down the Missouri. Due to the nomadic nature of the tribe, however, the expedition accomplishes little.

    Wishing to increase its power and territory but wary of causing a conflict with France, the Russian Empire launches the first in a series of campaigns designed to bring the Islamic regions of Central Asia under its control.

    1820:
    With the war now behind him, King Louis XVII is increasingly open in his preference for the Reform faction over the Conservatives. As a sign of this, he orders the body of Voltaire transferred to the Pantheon in Paris, where it is taken in a celebratory procession of citizens (much to the dismay of the Conservatives and the Church).

    The program of domestic reforms (which Louis terms the “rebuilding of France”) continues. Press censorship is relaxed, though not done away with completely. Administrative reforms continue and corruption is punished more effectively. Louis also forms a committee of Reformist civil servants to publish a systematic review of the French legal system and recommendations for its improvement.

    In Spain, however, the royal court is completely dominated by Conservatives, who look upon the liberalization of their ally France with dismay. When riots and other disturbances break out in Spanish colonies in the New World, they are put down with military force, despite French pressure to exercise restraint and moderation.

    As it is devoting fewer resources to military spending, Britain is able to substantially lower taxes across the board. As a result, the economy enjoys a substantial upswing. Exports of manufactured goods to Europe and the Dominion of America increase.

    Pondicherry, the capital of French India, has emerged as the world’s most busy seaport. Virtually all the products of the Subcontinent are exported to Europe and America through the city. Furthermore, the former Dutch colonies which are now under French control transfer their exports to Europe-bound ships in Pondicherry rather than export them directly, as do the French vessels involved in the China trade.

    French control of India is increasingly strong, and many an increasing number of rajas are coming to the throne after having been educated in French schools. However, in northern India, the powerful state of the Sikh looks upon French domination of the Subcontinent with unease and has begun to import European rifles and artillery on a wide scale, as well as hiring European mercenaries to train its army.
     
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  20. Anaxagoras Vox clamantis in deserto Banned

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    1821:
    Authorities in New France begin establishing a series of permanent trading posts along the length of the Missouri River. In order to avoid offending Indian sensibilities, these are purposefully kept quite small, although they are all protected by small detachments of French soldiers. Conflict with the Teton Sioux continues.

    Continuing the policy of distracting the attention of the Conservative Faction by foreign adventures so as to continue his radical program of reforms, King Louis XVII hits upon the idea of a campaign against Algeria. There was little need for pretext, as pirates had often used Algeria as a base to attack European ships. Preparations for a campaign the following year are undertaken.

    Low-level guerrilla resistance to Ottoman rule in the Balkans continues, especially in Greece.

    The great French scientist Antoine Lavosier dies at the age of seventy-eight. During the last few decades of his life, he had made fundamental discoveries in chemistry. In tribute to his achievement, the French Academy of Sciences launches a well-funded program to “use his discoveries for the practical benefit of the French nation.” The program is specifically designed to raise French industrial techniques to the same level as those in Britain.

    1822:
    French troops land in Algeria and began the long, laborious process of reducing the country to French control.. It would take a number of years, as Muslim resistance is fierce. King Louis XVII achieved his aim, however, as the attention of the Conservative faction was focused on the Algerian conquest and many leading Conservatives join the army to fight.

    Although their rule over Algeria has long been a barely legal fiction, the Ottoman Empire protests to France about the technical violation of their sovereignty. In response to the possibility that the Turks will dispatch arms and possibly men to Algeria, the French began providing financial and logistical support to the disorganized Christian rebels in the Balkans and in Greece.

    The Russian Empire takes note of the French preoccupation in Algeria and wonders if this will reduce its overall military strength. The Russians begin to press Sweden for an “adjustment” of their border, a move the French view with alarm.

    In the Dominion of America, the Whig Party gains seats in parliamentary elections but control of parliament remains in the hands of the Tories. Out of 176 seats, the Tories control 97 and the Whigs 79.

    1823:
    In London, the Whig orator and political philosopher David Campbell makes a tremendous speech in Parliament, later reprinted as a pamphlet entitled “Britain is Not Part of Europe.” The speech argued that, in view of the losses in the recent conflicts and due to Britain’s geographic isolation, the country should adopt an isolationist foreign policy and concern itself mainly with trade and industry. Numerous references to the Scottish Enlightenment philosophers are scattered throughout the speech.

    French forces continue their campaign in Algeria. Russian forces continue their campaign in Central Asia.

    In India, a military mission from the Russian Empire arrives to train the Sikh army in European tactics. At the same time, large shipments of European weapons, especially artillery, are delivered by the Russians to the Sikhs.

    France pressures Austria to accede to the Holy Alliance. Austria resists, knowing that such a course of action would cause them to fall completely under French control.

    An agreement is reached between French authorities and the Afrikaners of Cape Town, allowing the Afrikaners to maintain their African servants in de facto slavery conditions so long as they support the French.

    In Asia, French wine is becoming an increasingly valuable commodity in the China trade, doing much to reverse the trade imbalance between China and France. With several ports in Indochina under their control, the French are considering seizing direct control over Formosa or some other strategic location to allow them better access to the China market.
     
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