What if Austria retains Belgium?

Following the Napoleonic wars, Austria parted with Belgium in favor for having a territorially contiguous territory with Lombardy-Venetia. And this would require a complete 180 on the Austrian goals when they went into the negotiations as they did not want to border France but with security guarantees.
IOTL Lombardy-Venetia proved quite a headache for Austria. Yes, it was a wealthy area and Metternich wanted to use it as a key for a Italian confederation but all the taxes extracted were used to police and govern the territory. Belgium on the other hand was wealthy, had a similar population (4.5m vs 4m) and with its burgeoning industrialization, Austria could have had a counterpart to Prussias Silesia.
Would the Belgians revolt against the Austrians as they did against Dutch rule? OTL Belgium revolted against the Dutch in large part because the Dutch were imposing themselves onto Belgians especially in terms of religion, language and representation. The Austrians were fellow catholics and had already lots of experience in managing a realm with different people groups. The Habsburgs having a seperate agreement in regards to governing Belgium would imo not be that much of a stretch.
How would Austria retaining Belgium alter the Austro-Prussian rivalry? As Belgium was wealthy and quickly industrializing it would certainly aid Austria to meet Prussia on a more equal footing though Belgium still lacks compared to the Prussian Rhineland. Would France ITTL be more willing to intervene in a Austro-Prussian conflict in the hopes of finally gaining Belgium? What would Britains policy in regards to Belgium look like given they spent centuries trying to keep both the Germans and the French out of Belgium. Would this result in Britain not going into splendid isolation and rather commit to an alliance with Austria? How would the 48 revolutions affect Austrian Belgium? Who would win TTL Austro-Prussian war? If Prussia still wins and founds Germany would it include Belgium? If Austria wins, can it found Germany? What would be the implications of Austria winning on France? What would be the impact on the Congo? While the colonization of the Congo was Leopolds brainchild and Austria only dabbled very little in the whole overseas colonization game, would the Beglian elite lobby for colonization just as it did a century earlier with the Ostend company?
 
The Belgians/Southern Netherlands had already revolted against the Austrians once before (admittedly inspired by the French Revolution). Would the Habsurgs be able to prevent it from happening again?

Belgian conservatives were already in favour of becoming part of Austria again. And compared to Belgium under French rule, they might prefer Austrian rule instead. Austrian policy towards constituents such as Bohemia in the 19th century might give us a clue on how they would treat Belgium and whether or not it would revolt. But if it comes to a rebellion, OTL the German confederation did have a collective defense treaty which aimed to defend members against French attacks but also from internal rebellions. It would be quite ironic if Prussia was the one to crush a Belgian revolt thereby occupying Austrias most valuable province once again.
 
I wonder whether Belgium remaining within the Austrian Empire would lead to Belgium developing a German identity? Perhaps also leading to the Netherlands adopting a Pan-German identity in addition to their national identity? Or is it more likely that Belgium not being independent would lead the Francophile population to adopt a French identity? Seeing that the Belgians did break away from the Netherlands, might they have been more content with being a part of France? If not polarizing Belgium further between Dutch, German and French national identities?
 
. Yes, it was a wealthy area and Metternich wanted to use it as a key for a Italian confederation but all the taxes extracted were used to police and govern the territory. Belgium on the other hand was wealthy, had a similar population (4.5m vs 4m) and with its burgeoning industrialization,
given that Metternich refused the offer of Belgium at the Congress of Vienna because it was too difficult to get to (see the general Habsburg problem of ruling it for the previous 200 years), you'd need either for him to agree. Or you'd need Emperor Franz to agree to let the Duke of Teschen accept the offer of the throne. Only way I see this happening is in a situation where they really have no other choice.

That's for how to let the Habsburgs keeping it. Then there's the problem of both Great Britain and France. Britain wanted the Dutch to have it all. Talleyrand proposed a partition of it with the Dutch. It was suggested as compensation for Prussia, Saxony, Bavaria and, for some reason, Prince von Thurn und Taxis. That none of them wanted it, and the Belgians didn't particularly want them either, was partially the reason it wound up the way it did.
 
If the Netherlands aren't going to get Belgium, there's a good chance that Britain will give them back some more colonial land as a result. Maybe they will return Ceylon or something
 
I wonder whether Belgium remaining within the Austrian Empire would lead to Belgium developing a German identity? Perhaps also leading to the Netherlands adopting a Pan-German identity in addition to their national identity? Or is it more likely that Belgium not being independent would lead the Francophile population to adopt a French identity? Seeing that the Belgians did break away from the Netherlands, might they have been more content with being a part of France? If not polarizing Belgium further between Dutch, German and French national identities?
Belgium did not have a German identity since the late Middleages. For example when Mary of Burgundy married the Austrian Maximilian in the 15th century he was seen as a foreigner. Someone who could not even speak the local language. This was true for both the Walloon as well as the Flemish people. If Austria would have gotten Belgium both groups would have resented any Austrian attempts to introduce any Germanification.
If the Netherlands aren't going to get Belgium, there's a good chance that Britain will give them back some more colonial land as a result. Maybe they will return Ceylon or something
Maybe, but certainly not Ceylon. There were negotiations over the status of the Dutch colonies at the end of the Napoleonic wars. At that point Ceylon was mentioned, but the British said that it had already been decided (I think in the treaty of Amiens, but it could even be earlier) that Ceylon was British. If the Netherlands would get any colonies they lost OTL it would only be the Cape and/or Guyana. Most likely just Guyana, I think the Cape was way to strategic for the British to give up.



Btw if we are talking about a Austrian Belgium it is important to realise, there was no Belgium at that time. With that I mean is that the borders would still be undetermined and not simply follow the lines of the current day borders. For example a significant part of what is now Belgium was never part of the Austrian Netherlands, like for example the former Bishropic of Liege. What would have happened to it. Another quetion is what would have happened to Luxemburg. OTL it was more or less shared between the Dutch and the Prussians (well it was a bit more complicated). A similar arrangement would never have happened with Prussia and Austria. What would have happened to Limburg, which was basicly a mess, partly Dutch, partly Austrian, partly Prussian, partly independend. In short the borders of an Austrian "Belgium" would be very different than Belgium.

If you want my opinion (and you are going to get it wether you want it or not) I think that all of Dutch and Belgium Limburg are going to end up Dutch, Luxemburg will go to Prussia the rest of Liege will be devided between Prussia and Austria and perhaps part around the borders will go to the Netherlands.
 
Could younger Habsburg be placed on a Belgian throne derived from the Austrian Netherlands setting up a new state?
 
I like the idea of the Duke of Teschen being made King of the Belgians. That would make for an interesting POD for a future WW1. How would a Habsburg King feel about the Germans wanting to use his country as a road, with the support of the senior Habsburgs in Vienna?
 
Could younger Habsburg be placed on a Belgian throne derived from the Austrian Netherlands setting up a new state?
I like the idea of the Duke of Teschen being made King of the Belgians. That would make for an interesting POD for a future WW1. How would a Habsburg King feel about the Germans wanting to use his country as a road, with the support of the senior Habsburgs in Vienna?
It was proposed but Emperor Franz distrusted his brother
 
Luxemburg will go to Prussia the rest of Liege will be devided between Prussia and Austria and perhaps part around the borders will go to the Netherlands.
In early 1814 all of the allies, Prussia included, assumed that the region as a whole would be returned to Austria as it was their hereditary right. Prussia didn't get an opportunity to meddle or lay claim to the duchy until the Austrians announced they had no interest whatsoever and formally gave up the territory in favor of the Dutch as part of the Treaty of Chaumont.

They leveraged concerns over the Dutch's ability to hold the fortress of Luxembourg against the French, the seperation of Luxembourg along with the remainder of the southern Netherlands from the German sphere (as they were former HRE lands), ongoing disputes with William of Orange himself over his hereditary lands in Nassau as well as William's claim to the Rhineland, etc.
So in the end Luxembourg became its own seperate entity, officially given to William I as compensation for his heredetary lands in Nassau. Ruled by him in personal union with the UKotNL, a part of the German Confederation, and garissoned by a Prussian force of 6000 (in practise 4000) men.

With the Habsburgs taking it back, even if under a cadet line, none of that happens. At most Prussia would be able to annex the easternmost parts of the duchy as historically. I see no reason why they would be given anything more than that.
edit: removed a parenthesis
 
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In early 1814 all of the allies, Prussia included, assumed that the region as a whole would be returned to Austria as it was their hereditary right. Prussia didn't get an opportunity to meddle or lay claim to the duchy until the Austrians announced they had no interest whatsoever and formally gave up the territory in favor of the Dutch as part of the Treaty of Chaumont.

They leveraged concerns over the Dutch's ability to hold the fortress of Luxembourg against the French, the seperation of Luxembourg (along with the remainder of the southern netherlands from the German sphere (as they were former HRE lands), ongoing disputes with William of Orange himself over his hereditary lands in Nassau as well as William's claim to the Rhineland, etc.
So in the end Luxembourg became its own seperate entity, officially given to William I as compensation for his heredetary lands in Nassau. Ruled by him in personal union with the UKotNL, a part of the German Confederation, and garissoned by a Prussian force of 6000 (in practise 4000) men.

With the Habsburgs taking it back, even if under a cadet line, none of that happens. At most Prussia would be able to annex the easternmost parts of the duchy as historically. I see no reason why they would be given anything more than that.​
So, then, would Nassau's borders be modified to give William Orange-Nassau back?
 
So, then, would Nassau's borders be modified to give William Orange-Nassau back?
In 1814 most of the former Orange-Nassau lands were part of the Grand Duchy of Berg (the weird appendage in its southeastern part) while only a few former exclaves south of the Lahn river were part of the Duchy of Nassau. If William hadn't been given the Southern Netherlands they'd most likely just have given him the lands that had been annexed by Berg while leaving the Duchy of Nassau as is.​
 
So, then, would Nassau's borders be modified to give William Orange-Nassau back?
No chance for Orange, that was French since a while.

Nassau also seems unlikely. It's far off and irrelevant. Getting pieces of Gelre, East Frisia, or such, in exchange for Nassau, would seem more likely - those had been to various extents part of the Dutch Republic.

But of course, with Austria in Belgium, the whole logic of Vienna is upside down. The historical result was all about balance, yes, but also about making the direct neighbours of France able to stand up to France before the rest of Europe cared. Austria certainly is able to stand up to France for long enough, if it wants to/cares to. So why be particularly generous to the Dutch? Give some more of Lombardia to Savoy, rest independent/minor states, figure out how to make Austria able to defend Belgium (they had never been able to or asked to before), and leave the Dutch Kingdom as a minor power on the periphery of Germany.
 
If the Netherlands aren't going to get Belgium, there's a good chance that Britain will give them back some more colonial land as a result. Maybe they will return Ceylon or something
Not Ceylon too profitable, may be the Cape, just a stop over station with not much to exploid
 
Would an Habsburg Belgium encourage an alliance between Britain and the Habsburg Monarchy?
To defend the territory against France British or Prussian support might be necessary.

If Austria only controls Venetia, it might habe less power in Italy. However less Italian territories requires fewer force to control.

If Austria fails to efficiently administer the area and makes decisions against local economic interests we could see a revolution against them in an alt-1830 or alt-1848 revolution.

However if Austria grants a high degree of autonomy and efficient administration it could highly benefit from taxes and industrialization. Maybe a cadet branch might survive there in the longterm.
 
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