Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by VVD0D95, Sep 5, 2019.
Agreed, he did convert in 1689/90 did he not otl?
I could be wrong but I thought he served William III in Ireland after the Glorious Revolution so his return to Austria and conversion was after that putting it in the early 1690s. So I was thinking that he'd need to steer clear of the Williamite War.
That makes sense add on his loyal imperial service
So as far as I can tell the main candidates are Georg and Neuburg right?
I honestly think Louis of Baden is a more probable candidate than George.
Me too. And Neuburg will still be favored over him
@VVD0D95: your scenario do not work as is pretty unlikely who the Pope will deny Maria Antonia’s dispensation for marrying someone who is not her blood uncle making enemies of both Austria and Spain, then about the list of candidates for Maria Antonia:
a) the Dauphin is out of question for both Leopold and Carlos (and the Dauphin’s wishes will count exactly zero if a chance of such wedding was presented to him as Louis XIV would force his son to the altar)
b) the next elector of Bavaria here will be Joseph Clemens, former brother-in-law of Antonia (and I doubt Leopold would marry her again there)
c) you still have many Italian princes other than the Duke of Savoy who are both Catholic and rulers: Ferdinand of Tuscany, heir of the GrandDuke is likely just married (but as his bride was Maria Antonia’s sister-in-law and the contract was signed in May 1668 we can likely butterfly that). Modena and Parma also need some butterflies (as Maria Antonia would need to be free in 1694 for either without butterflies)
Maybe my favorite scenario of Gian Gastone de Medici, consort of Spain, comes in play?
Like the idea of a Maria Antonia/Gian Gastone match.
Perhaps the Medici might be able to restore soain
I like the Neuburg match better but Gian Gastone is a close second
Neuberg could be quiite good
Well I think maybe it's helpful to take a step back and consider the context of her remarriage, specifically that if Max Emanuel dies in 1689 then France is already at war with most of Europe. So Leopold would have to consider marriage in the context of war time alliances. So obviously no French matches and any match that might give some help to the Austrian side would be a plus. Then there's her succession rights to consider. Leopold would have to be careful about elevating a potential rival to the Spanish throne. Then there's etiquette/tradition in so much as Maria Antonia is an Archduchess her husband would have to be of sufficient princely rank to marry her and be able to support a sufficient household befitting the couple's rank.
That last point is my main concern with George of Hesse-Darmstadt. He was a younger son of a midling Prince and essentially lived as a condottiero. He would have serious issues supporting a household of an Archduchess. Sure you can argue he's just along for the ride, the stud horse to a Queen in waiting, but even as late as 1689 that's still hypothetical and really only a concern from the Spanish perspective while Maria Antonia is in Austria, an Archduchess and Dowager Electress. Louis of Baden is at least a Prince in his own right with a small, if recently impoverished, territory to rule. So I though he might pass muster. Certainly Leopold went out of his way to find a suitable heiress for him to marry OTL. So if you were to pick a minor Catholic prince in military service I think you'd look to Louis before George.
Philip William of Neuburg would be high enough rank and boosted by his status as the Emperor's brother in law his meager personal prospects as a younger son might be overlooked. I don't know if his sister Maria Anna marrying Charles II would be plus or minus from Leopold's perspective. OTL he seemed to have no problem using the Neuburgs as ersatz Habsburgs in international marriage politics but I wonder if his paranoia surrounding the Spanish succession would get the better of him. Maybe he'd see it as too many Neuburg eggs in the Spanish basket. Also depending on the exact timing the next eligible Neuburg son might not be Philip William but his elder brother Frederick William, though I don't think that changes the calculation much.
Jakub Louis Sobieski has some status issues and his prospects to succeed his father are not solid given the elective nature of the Polish monarchy. But I wonder if in 1689 with Europe at war that Leopold might hesitate to outright dismiss another Sobieski suit. I suppose maybe he could view the match as a way to bring John III onto the allied side in the war. And sending Maria Antonia off to Poland lessens the chances she could accede to the Spanish throne. Still I consider it unlikely but it can't be entire dismissed. Marie Casimire might be smart enough to realize that if Jakub marries Maria Antonia they could go off to claim Spain clearing the deck for her favored younger son Alexander to succeed John. If she puts her considerable ambitious energy behind the project and puts aside her traditional pro-French position to realize it then maybe, just maybe it happens.
As for the Italians, Victor Amadeus II is already married. Odoardo Farnese doesn't bring much, his family resources have been depleted by the Castro Wars so he can't contribute anything to the current war but his proximity to Spanish Italy probably means he'd be viewed as a threat to the Spanish succession. Francesco II d'Este is nominal Duke of Modena but power resides with Cesare d'Este, a cousin from the Scandiano Branch. Cesare was said to be ambitious and had orchestrated the ouster of Francesco's mother Laura Martinozzi. So maybe he could negotiate a match with Leopold though they don't have much to offer and I think Cesare's motives, to get his hooks into a piece of Spain, likely Milan, would be so transparent as to put Leopold off. There is Gian Gastone de' Medici but in 1689 he's still just a second son in a backwater state (Tuscany having fallen far from what it once was).
The only other Prince I could think of was Theodore Eustace of Sulzbach, he'd be head of the third most senior Wittelsbach branch (his branch having converted to Catholicism in 1656). With the Bavarian line teetering on the brink of extinction and branch in position to follow them being the Neuburg line which had just having absorbed the Palatinate maybe Leopold would see some advantage to elevating a Sulzbach to keep the Neuburgs from consolidating too much power in Germany.
This also raises a question about Cologne. The new Elector, Joseph Clemens, was only just installed by force of arms as Elector of Cologne over the French backed Egon von Furstenberg. So consider that the Empire is at war with France Furstenberg and the spectre of French influence in the middle Rhine loom large. Jospeh Clemens would have to abdicate at least the Electorate of Cologne in order to assume his Bavarian Electorate so some kind of pro-Imperial replacement would have to be found ASAP. There aren't really many available sons from the German princely houses, I think the only one would be Alexander Sigismund of Neuburg, Prince-Bishop of Augusburg, but that brings up the question of how much power and influence is accruing to that family. But it's either him or they'd have to put forward someone from outside one of the major princely houses which could have major effects on Imperial politics when it comes time to elect the next Emperor.
Anyways my take away for marriage prospects is probably Neuburg, Baden, Sobieski, Sulzbach and Hesse in that order. I assume Joseph Clemens resigns from the Church and marries ASAP, probably a younger Neuburg, maybe Odoardo's OTL wife, Dorothea Sophia. I think he stands a reasonable chance of saving the Bavarian line though Bavaria's ambitions are much reduced from OTL without an ecclesiastical Electorate in the family and no prospects to succeed elsewhere. The Prince-Bishopric of Cologne is probably fought over in the course of the Nine Years War but I'd wager the pro-Imperial candidate, whoever he is, wins out.
Interesting analysis, and I have to say I find myself agreeing with you, Neuburg does seem to make the most sense in terms of the connections to Leopold's wife, being her brother, and of course, probably having garnered some favour already. He'd probably be just about able to maintain the household for an Archduchess, and ensure that things run smoothly there. And of course that famed Neuberg fertility would be a boon for Spain.
I'm basing my favor of this pairing off this one bit of information:
Portugal considered him a consort material, but Grand Duke Cosimo proved himself stubborn. I don't know what happens if he is in consideration for heiress presumptive of Spain.
I wonder if his father would be more amenable to that,though would the allowance demand still be made?
At this point Neuburgs are Leopold’s great favorites and giving them more influence would help to secure his sons so he will not have too much trouble in marrying Antonia to a brother-in-law and push another already in the church as replacement for Joseph Clemens in Cologne. As the Neuburg are a junior branch of the Wittelsbach one of them would be the most logical successor for that electorate. (Four brothers of Empress Eleanor were in the church: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolfgang_George_Frederick_von_Pfalz-Neuburg who is already dead in 1689, https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ludwig_Anton_von_Pfalz-Neuburg, https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Sigismund_von_der_Pfalz-Neuburg and https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Count_Palatine_Francis_Louis_of_Neuburg)
I think who your order of candidates is pretty good.
I still think who a Medici match can happen in two ways:
a) Max Emmanuel died in 1688 during the negotiations for the match between Ferdinando and Violante so everything is postponed and in the end Ferdinando married Antonia (maybe with Gian Gastone marrying Violante)
b) Maria Antonia remarried to her uncle Carlos II of Spain (as that match, while complicated, would still be possible) while Maria Anna of Neuburg marry Joseph Clemens of Bavaria. Then King Carlos die few years later (say 1694/95) and his widow and heiress remarried for the third time with GianGastone, younger son of the GranDuke of Tuscany.
Intriguing, I must admit the idea of a Medici Spain is interesting to me
A reasonable point. I guess I would add that the Braganzas were still somewhat precariously placed. The French and the English had recognized them as legitimate monarchs, and I think by this point the Dutch as well but Spanish had made a concerted effort to prevent international recognition among Catholic Europe of their status as true Royals. The Pope for example didn't recognize them until relatively late. So their options for finding a Catholic prince were somewhat limited as the usual suspects would have been off the table. And despite this Peter still put all sorts conditions on it that Cosimo wasn't prepared, or possibly capable of meeting (granting a title and income to Gian Gastone). Then there's the fact that the Medici were seen as vaguely pro-French with Cosimo III's marriage to Marguerite Louise d'Orleans. Not a problem for Portugal but probably an issue for Leopold.
Yeah, Max Emanuel dying in 1688 may change things a bit. Also I think there's a pretty good opportunity to give him a glorious death in the siege of Belgrade where he led the charge against the Ottoman garrison. So he's struck down on the walls of Belgrade, Eugen of Savoy (his 2nd in command) rallies and takes the city, Max is seen as a great Christian martyr soldier and now Maria Antonia is up for grabs again only war has not yet broke out with France.
Fitting for the man
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