Imperial France & Royal Germany

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Xibalba, May 15, 2019.

  1. Xibalba Post Punk Malone

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    I'm currently working on a map which involves swapping the HRE and France around. While I established how the core of the map will look like, I still have trouble shaping the rest of the map. If we choose to ignore the POD which could make this scenario possible. How would Europe shape up?

    Some of the borders I've already decided on:

    The Saint Empire: The kingdoms of France, Arelat, Lotharingia and Italy, including the march of Verona. I can also see it having some type of tributary states or marches in Spain.

    Kingdom of Germany: Essentially the Eastern Frankish Kingdom

    I have to admit that I have no clue on how the rest of the map will look like. How will the situation be in Spain, with such a powerful neighbor to the north? What about England and Sicily, if the Norman conquest still takes place? and how would Easter Europe shape up, especially Poland/Bohemia. The year the map would be take place in would be roughly around 1066.
     
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  2. Ivan Lupo Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps Louis the German and Charles the Bald defeat their brother Lothair at Fontenoy in 841, where Lothair is killed and the surviving brothers split the empire between themselves at first, with border along the Rhine and the Western Alps, so Louis at first would actually get Italy and Pavia, while Charles gains Burgundy, Arelat and Lotharingia, but importantly, Aachen. However, their tenuous peace with one another doesn't last for too long and Charles and Louis go to war over who the real emperor is, as both would have been claiming the imperial throne. With Italy as the primary battlefield, Charles eventually defeats Louis decisively and annexes Italy under his authority, crowning himself King of Italy in Pavia and Holy Roman Emperor in Rome. From this point, the HRE would basically be established in modern France, northern Italy, and the Low Countries and face a lot of the same power sharing problems that the HRE faced in OTL. Meanwhile, Louis and his successors create a unified German kingdom that will continue to make attempts to regain Italy and lands across the Rhinee, but will mostly look to expand eastwards at the expense of the Slavic and Baltic tribes.
     
  3. funnyhat Well-Known Member

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    For France to remain an elective monarchy seems fairly easy : have the line of Capétien kings break much sooner. OTL they had an unbroken streak of fathers and sons for almost 350 years. Break it up after only a couple of generations and the royal power never becomes strong (and Philippe Auguste and Saint Louis can be butterflied away).

    Germany becoming unified like OTL France is a little tougher.
     
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  4. piratedude Pirate Lord of the Great Lakes

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    Would this mean that ITTL basically every german king gets named Ludwig, or do the 'french' still not realize they can name their kings something other than Louis?
     
  5. Droman الفينيقي

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    I've been mulling this for a while myself, but going more for broad strokes rather than rooting specifically in PODs.

    My favored thought for the German lands is that the stem duchies themselves become kingdoms, and then later down the line remerge into Germany dynastically. As independent states the expansion of Germany would be delayed somewhat, so border regions like Bohemia, Carinithia, Pomerania and others might take more time to be colonised and settled.

    Meanwhile, the Frankish Empire (for lack of a better term), would comprise of Duchies in Armorica, Flanders and Normandy, a Kingdom of France (basically the north of the country with Lothrangia as well), a Kingdom of Burgundy (losing Provence and gaining ground in Lothrangia), a Visigothic descended kingdom covering Catalonia, Provence and Toulouse and a Aquitanian-descended Basque kingdom covering Navarre and Vasconia. Northern Italy could also be thrown in as either Italy, Lombardy or Padania.

    Obviously that'd be the Tier 1 territories that would probably become akin to the Imperial Circles. You'd have to cultivate a lot more of the chivalric and monastical powers that the HRE emperors did to counteract the dukes, though, and also consider the ramifications on Britain and Hispania. My focuses there were more centered towards Celtic and Celtiberian states, so obviously I'm heading in a different direction.
     
  6. Ivan Lupo Well-Known Member

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    They might not even get any Philips ITTL, since that name didn't get introduced until the 11th century when Anne of Kiev married Henry I, since it's a Greek name. This is why I love this type of POD/AH scenario, you're pretty much extrapolating and imagining what happens next, damn near like writing original fiction in a fantasy setting.
     
  7. Mikestone8 Well-Known Member

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    Had Wilhelm I refused to be called Kaiser, and settled for being something like "King of Prussia and President of the German Union", he might have become the "German King" in common parlance even if not in strict law.
     
  8. piratedude Pirate Lord of the Great Lakes

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    That sounds a bit to liberal of him though, doesn't it?
     
  9. Emperor Constantine 21st century Monarchist

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    Simple enough; simply swap the fates of the Capetians and Ottonians/Salians. By that I mean the Capetian line fails in a few generations while the German dynasty has its own version of the Capetian miracle and continues unbroken, father-to-son, for centuries.
     
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  10. Tonifranz Well-Known Member

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    But didn't William I bear the title President of the North German Confederation in 1867-71? So it isn't out of character of him to accept being President of the German Union.
     
  11. Matteo Well-Known Member

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    You are right about the circumstances (350 years of Capetian kings having sons to succeed to them) but not necessarily about the causality between election, dynastic instability and difficulty in establishing a more centralized monarchy.

    Sweden and Bohemia had long been elective monarchy.

    France ceased electing kings with Philip II Augustus because election did not prevent the king of France becoming so powerful that it was no longer necessary for him to have his elder son elected.

    England and Castile had a quite well established tradition of usurpation of the throne at the expense of the reigning king or of the lawful heir and this dynastic instability and however they early became quite centralized monarchies.

    What made Poland-Lituania fail was the unanimous vote or veto.

    What made the HRE take such a path is still not clearly identified.
     
  12. The Professor Pontifex Collegii Vexillographiariorum

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    We should look a little at how West Francia became the HRE as this affects the Norse raids that became settlement and the Normans.
    Essentially the West Francian kings can't be too powerful before 10th. This makes gaining Italy and the imperial crown hard.

    What I'm thinking is making the division of Middle Francia less with only two surviving sons. Effectively this divides OTL kingdom of Provence between Italy and Lotharingia.
    Then we maintain TTL Lotharingia enough until after the establishment of Rollo.
    Then perhaps said king gets elected also as King of West Francia as this avoids an East West fight over Lotharingia.
    Now since the King of West and Middle Francia has most of Burgundy this allows tensions over Burgundy to prompt war that turns into a successful invasion of Italy.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2019 at 2:04 AM
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  13. Xibalba Post Punk Malone

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    This sounds like a good solution. I definitely do not want to do away the Norman Conquests, since these had a tremendous effect on Europe. With his territories in Normandy, the new Kings of England would technically be vassals. How would this complicated relationship pan out in this TL, since his suzerain would be an Emperor and not a King? Maybe it can act like this TL's version of Bohemia, although maybe Aquitaine would also make a good candidate.

    I was planning on making the Lotharingian Territories incorporated in the French Kingdom. and maybe moving the center of power from Paris toward the old imperial capital of Aachen. With this being said how would the relation be of this kingdom with the south of the region mainly Aquitaine and Toulouse?

    In Spain I would have the vassal Kingdom of Navarre-Aragon and the County of Barcelona, which would be an imperial march. Both would have made some territorial gains, but i'm not planning on giving them too much.

    I also don't know if it's realistic to make The Balearic Isles, Sardinia and Corsica part of the Empire. Maybe Either as vassals or as Imperial Marches. Could this work?

    Here's how I have the internal borders of the empire as of now.
    dfdz.png
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2019 at 9:48 AM
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  14. The Undead Martyr GOP Delenda Est

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    Looks good though you could easily include a bit more of Swabia or part of northern Croatia/Slovenia. Swabia+Upper Burgundy is really freaking important here even with the center of gravity moving towards the Rhine versus Paris- since access to Italy is the big deal that makes the empire, the empire. Expect lots of internal feudal intrigue versus the local nobles in Savoy and its environs, for that matter the Habsburgs could end up as Frankish subjects here...
    Definitely should include the Baleares and Sardinia+Corsica, those were IIRC loosely Frankish and/or HRE Fiefs OTL and would probably accept a loose imperial vassalage TTL as well in the face of Arab/Berber raids. The border will definitely be along the Rhine at minimum, probably incorporating loose suzerainty over the German states in Westphalia and Swabia since as nominal overlord and heir to the Carolingians the king has reason and justification to intervene (and won't want to allow *Germany to assert a strong control over these regions given their proximity to the Rhineland and Lorraine).

    Even more than OTL I suspect that the cities will be a royal pain in the arse- what is now Switzerland is even more important economically and politically and Italy is somewhat more distant, to say nothing of the Low Countries and the Rhineland which also saw fragmentation, or for that matter Barcelona which was a fairly prosperous urban center. Added to which that Paris, if it is no longer the royal capital, is liable to be more assertive of its liberties than they were OTL and they were famously rebellious throughout the medieval and early modern period, up to and including the Revolutionary era.
     
  15. Xibalba Post Punk Malone

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    Here's a small snippet of how the map is progressing, I'm really happy with how's it's turning out but suggestions are always welcome.

    sdfgrg.png
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: May 20, 2019 at 9:54 AM
  16. Droman الفينيقي

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    It looks really good regardless. Perhaps you might want to take consideration of 'Austrasia' and 'Neustrasia'? In OTL the terminology was used in Italy as well. Perhaps here the same could be a similar case?
     
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  17. The Professor Pontifex Collegii Vexillographiariorum

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    Unfortunately my idea won't give you those borders as Arelat won't really exist.
     
  18. Xibalba Post Punk Malone

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    How could you see Arelat be split? And do you think that Lotharingia would form a separate entity or would it drift towards France?
     
  19. The Professor Pontifex Collegii Vexillographiariorum

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    If we're using my method then TTL Kingdom of Lotharingia includes both cis and transjurane Burgundy - in fact Lotharingia might therefore keep the name Kingdom of Burgundy - while the region of Provence goes to Italy.
    Maintaining Lotharingian integrity is rather essential to it joining West Francia prior to the union taking Italy and the Imperial Crown thus it's more likely to remain a single kingdom.
    If Provence gets conquered by the union then it's unlikely to be added to Burgundy/Lotharingia.
     
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  20. piratedude Pirate Lord of the Great Lakes

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    You know the funny thing is that TTL's HRE has a better claim to being an heir to (western) rome just by virtue of its similar borders and romance languages.
     
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