God is a Frenchman

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

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  1. G.Bone lurks

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    God - just give England a break! Please! It's not right that France should be on Your Mind! Nooooo--

    Mayhaps You in Your Infinite Wisdom will prop up the Sikhs!

    Good stuff anyway- whole lot of stuff in a short span of time.
     
  2. fhaessig Member

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    It seems to me that France has about as much luck in this TL than Uk had OTL and Uk in this TL much more than France OTL.

    Why do you think that a TL in which luck breaks are less imbalanced than OTL ( even if the overall balance is reversed ) is so unbelievable?:confused:
     
  3. G.Bone lurks

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    I dunno - I guess I'm just an Anglophile at heart.
     
  4. Hendryk Banned

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    Huh oh, in this TL as well France is going to invade Algeria? Mmh, at least I hope it will have the sense to just make it a protectorate, like Morocco and Tunisia were in OTL, rather than annex it outright and sow the seeds of a bitter war a century or two down the line.

    This sounds good. Sikh empire! :cool:

    That's a clever way for France to deal with trade imbalance vis-à-vis China. And, I must say, much better than the distasteful method used by the British in OTL, which was to foist opium on the Chinese population at gunpoint. As an aside, I can certainly understand the prevalent Anglophilia on this forum, but, guys, let's keep in mind that the Victorian-era British engaged in drug dealing on a scale that makes present-day criminal cartels seem amateurish by comparison.
     
  5. Tizoc Freelance Debris Architect

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    Are French importing black slaves to America to work on cotton fields?
    Rather suprising statement considering that in OTL French warships compared to those of Royal Navy were:
    1. overgunned
    2. structualy weaker
    3. much less capable of coping with bad sea & weather conditions
    4. poorly ventilated

    Also, I noticed that Napoleon Bonaparte was never born in TTL.
     
  6. Keenir Banned

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    I'd heard that the OTL relationship between the French and the Native Americans was primarily due to the fact that not many French crossed the Pond.
     
  7. bill_bruno Spinning the Wheels of If

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    France has had a lot more luck

    Being both a dominant Continental power and a dominant colonial one. One of the reasons for Britain's strength was that they only had to focus on one and could rely on the superiority of their financial system to subsidize European allies.

    Also, how can Nelson not win at least one decisive victory on the 1802-04 war?
     
  8. Wendell Wendell

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    This is getting interesting....
     
  9. bill_bruno Spinning the Wheels of If

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    Like 16th century Spain

    I've been thinking, France still has considerable economic inefficiency; for instance inadequate taxation of the nobility and the Church; internal tariffs, etc. and is paying for fleets and land armies. Given that their success will probably take away any incentive for real reform; will they end up overextended and broke like Spain?
     
  10. Anaxagoras Vox clamantis in deserto Banned

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    Yes.

    I've read differently. The Royal Navy's great strengths consisted in the quality of their officer corps more than anything else. In many respects, IIRC, the French warships designs were superior.

    The POD was 1759. IOTL, Napoleon was born in 1768. I personally think that anyone FOTL who was conceived after the date of the POD would be butterflied away. As I said in another tread, if either the mother or the father so much as twitches differently in bed, they never will be born.
     
  11. Anaxagoras Vox clamantis in deserto Banned

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    What do you mean? He won several.
     
  12. Anaxagoras Vox clamantis in deserto Banned

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    I think that was a big part of it, but I also think that better French diplomacy played a key role. The French considered the Native Americans to be French subjects, rather than vermin to be exterminated. While the French ITTL have their Indian problems, they are less marked than was the case IOTL for the British and Americans largely because they simply treat them with more respect.

    It might change, though.
     
  13. Anaxagoras Vox clamantis in deserto Banned

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    1824:
    The French are encountering much stronger resistance in Algeria than they had expected. This is dramatically demonstrated when a French regiment is cut off by Muslim irregulars and, following a courageous defense, wiped out to the last man. The newspapers talk of little else for weeks, but public opinion presses for a further prosecution of the war and few voices are raised in opposition.

    In New France, continuing Teton Sioux attacks on French traders result in increased French punitive measures. The Teton Sioux work to gain allies among other Indian tribes, believing that they can drive the French back across the Mississippi River. They are largely unsuccessful in this, since other native tribes have suffered more from the Teton Sioux than from the French.

    In the east of New France, relations between the French and the Indians have been generally good but are gradually becoming more strained. The population of New France continues to boom (it is now over ten million, compared with six million in the Dominion of America), and this worries the natives. But French policy towards the Natives remains strict, and no Indian land is seized outright. The tribes are looked upon as French subjects and have recourse to the French legal system. While many Frenchmen are purchasing Indian land and establishing farms across the territory, it is done in a much more fair manner than was the case in the Dominion of America, where there are essentially no Indians any longer.

    King Charles IV of Spain dies, throwing Europe into political turmoil. Immediately, King Louis XVII puts into motion a long-expected plan, backed up by strong legal arguments. There was no male heir to the Spanish throne, Louis France immediately declares his teenage son Henri V, who is also the grandson of Charles IV, as the rightful King of Spain. He is escorted to Madrid, while French forces are visibly massed along the border with Spain to intervene if necessary.

    At the same time, Louis promises several of the wealthiest and most influential members of the Spanish aristocracy and clergy membership in the forthcoming Regency Council that shall rule Spain until Henri comes of age. Because of this, and because of the simply fact that Henry indeed has the strongest legal claim on the throne, there is little opposition. In late summer, Henri is crowned as King Henri I of Spain, knowing that when his father dies he will also succeed to the French throne.

    The governments of Europe are appalled, but in the face of French power there is little than can be done. No power is willing to fight a Second War of Spanish Succession which would likely bring them disastrous defeat. Hurriedly, Russia makes inquires to Austria and Britain on the possibility of forming a coalition against the succession, but is rebuffed. The Russian ambassador to Britain writes to St. Petersburg that the British “are wallowing so deeply in defeatism that I doubt they will ever fight a war again.”

    King Louis XVII has pulled off a spectacular fait accompli. France does not yet have complete control of Spain, as the Regency Council makes it clear that Spain will go its own way when it wishes. But many now regard the political division between France and Spain to be a mere technicality and there are repeated references to the “Franco-Spanish kingdom.”

    1825:
    Unrest in Greece erupts into a full-blown rebellion against Turkish rule. France sees the opportunity to rebuild relations with Austria and suggests a joint diplomatic approach to Turkey. The Turks scornfully reject any outside intervention and bring their army to bear in an effort to crush the Greeks.

    Russia, angered by Swedish refusal to cede any of its territory, declares war on Sweden and launches an attack into Finland. Sweden immediately appeals for aid. The British, always admiring spunky underdogs, provide a financial loan and some arms and supplies but otherwise no help is forthcoming. The French, with few interests in the Baltic and not wishing to anger the Russians, decline to get involved.

    King Henri of Spain, still under age and playing no role in Spanish politics as yet, is sent on a wide-ranging tour of Spanish colonies in the New World. No Spanish monarch has ever visited the colonies and the tour is a great success with the people, doing much to upset radical reformers and campaigners for independence.

    In France, Minister Malraux narrowly survives an assassination attempt. The would-be assassin is discovered to be a radical Catholic who was angered by a newspaper column in which Malraux had suggested that the French education system was overly-dominated by the Church.

    1826:
    Robert Patterson, a key figure in New York politics and a member of the Tory Party, is chosen as the new Viceroy of the Dominion of America. He is the first American-born subject to be chosen as Viceroy. Although he is a Tory, there is speculation that he was chosen largely due to Whig protests that all previous Viceroys had been from Britain rather than America.

    King Henri, having completed his successful tour of New Spain, arrives in New Orleans and travels up the Mississippi, Ohio and St. Lawrence Rivers to arrive in Quebec. His tour is a great success and he returns to Madrid quite pleased with himself.

    Algeria is now largely under French control, with the coastal strip now being developed an colonists arriving from France. The Muslim resistance retreats to the deserts and mountains of the south, where they continue to fight on.

    A slave uprising in Haiti is brutally put down. Slaves are continuing to be purchased in West Africa and shipped to the French sugar plantations in the West Indies and the cotton plantations of New France. Powerful economic interests depend on slave labor, but King Louis XVII finds that it greatly disturbs his conscience.

    All remaining trade barriers between France and Spain are abolished and there is talk of creating a common currency.

    Sweden, although it has fought bravely and achieved some tactical successes against the Russians, is forced to due for peace in the face of massive Russian numbers. The peace terms are hard: all of Finland is forcibly annexed to the Russian Empire.

    In India, Sikh military power continues to grow, worrying French administrators. In addition, Russian agents are gaining influence in the Persian court.
     
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  14. bill_bruno Spinning the Wheels of If

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    Wrong war

    I meant the one that ended in 1817.
     
  15. Anaxagoras Vox clamantis in deserto Banned

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    He died in a horse riding accident in 1811.
     
  16. Tizoc Freelance Debris Architect

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  17. Anaxagoras Vox clamantis in deserto Banned

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    Well, Tizoc, it's my alternate history. I say the French ships were slightly superior, and *poof* they were.
     
  18. PoorBoy Laborus Tardis

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    Interesting precedent...King Enrique I of Espana. So does that mean that the next king named Alfonso/Alphonse will be Alfonso I of Spain?

    Well, this is a good TL. Keep up the good work;)
     
  19. Anaxagoras Vox clamantis in deserto Banned

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    1827:
    The Spanish Regency Council presides over the continuing education of King Henri I. Pressure from King Louis XVII ensures a cosmopolitan and well-rounded series of tutors are provided, but the reactionary members of the Council also appoint several ultra-conservative aristocrats to keep an eye on him. These men begin exerting a strong influence on the young man.

    A Hindu kingdom which borders the Sikh state signs a treaty of mutual assistance with France, by which France pledges to come to its support if it is attacked by the Sikhs. Many in France feel that this is unwise, for they do not wish to provoke the Sikhs. The French government, however, is so concerned with European issues that the administrators of French India largely have a free hand in their dealings.

    The American Whig Party takes control of the Dominion Parliament. This results in little change, but with the Whigs also in power in Britain, there are discussions over whether to alter the constitutional relationship between Britain and America, and if so, how to do so.

    French colonization continues in Australia and New Zealand, and increasingly large numbers of settlers are moving into the Trans-Mississippi West. In South Africa, French settlers and the Afrikaners essentially hare governmental power, which suit the Afrikaners just fine so long as the French don’t attempt to interfere with the way the Afrikaners treat the natives (a system of de facto slavery).

    The Ottoman Empire uses harsh and repressive tactics to deal with the Greek rebellion against Turkish rule. The military stalemate persists, with Greek rebels holding a few towns and isolated mountain strongholds.

    1828:
    Concerned at the increasingly reactionary tone of his son’s letters, King Louis XVII recalls Henri from Madrid and asks him to remain in Paris under he turns eighteen and thus can assume the powers of kingship. To his surprise and dismay, however, his son refuses to come and remains in Madrid.

    Russia announces the signing of a treaty of alliance with Prussia, each pledging to come to the assistance of the other in the event of an attack by a third party. It is obviously directed against the French. Although Prussia has long since been reduced to the ranks of a secondary power, the French grow concerned at the idea of a Russian-lead anti-French coalition. Louis resolves to improve his relations with Britain and Austria so as to prevent them from being drawn into the Russian orbit.

    As par of the effort to woo Austria, Louis begins a coordinated effort with the Austrians to funnel money and equipment to the Greek rebels. The Turks are fully aware of this but, wary of French power, decide not to protest. Stiffened by the aid, the Greek rebels begin making progress.

    In Madrid, King Henri hosts a lavish dinner for a visiting French dignitary, Andre de Rohan. As Rohan is a strong political opponent of Malraux, this is seen as a snub to the French Reformist faction. King Louis XVII is appalled and sends a strongly-worded rebuke to his son.

    Malraux himself gives the incident little thought. Increasingly ill with a lung disease, he tries to put the final touches on the program of reforms which have been his life’s work. In the nearly twenty years he has been in office, he has practically remade the French state:
    • The French nobility and clergy now pay taxes along with the rest of the population (though not nearly as the same rate).
    • Press censorship is virtually ended, with personal attacks on the King being the only prohibited expression. French journalism is vibrant and widespread, with 57 newspapers being published in Paris alone.
    • The governmental administration has been radically overhauled and made more efficient. Sales of office have been prohibited and a professional class of civil servants created. Civil servants receive sufficient pay so as to discourage bribery. Corruption, while hardly rooted out, has been greatly reduced.
    • Under a series of technocratic finance ministers, the French economy has boomed. The rapid development of industry within France (particularly in Flanders) has become the engine of Europe, and the flow of raw materials from the colonies, such as cotton from Louisiana and India and iron ore from New France, ensures steady production.
    • Through its control of the China trade, France also dominates the import of expensive luxuries from the Far East and their re-export to other European nations.
    Malraux achieved this program only by overcoming fierce opposition from reactionaries and conservatives, largely through having Louis distract them with foreign adventures in Algeria and elsewhere. The fear which both Malraux and Louis share is that these reforms will be undone when Henri takes the throne as King of France.

    A complete translation of the Hindu holy books is published in Paris for the first time, and for weeks the intellectual salons can talk of little else.
     
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  20. Oddball realy unknown Monthly Donor

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    Nice one

    Oh yeah :D

    Way to go and keep it coming :)
     
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