What if Napoleon had lived to age 85-90

Warning
Sorry but if we look at our society today we find that there is a much greater number of people who are over 60. To say that it the same is completely wrong when we factor health, environment and nutrition.

We simply have to look at life expectancy which slowly increased to now in the 70+ (western world).
FYI: when western world brought in old age pensions in the middle of the 20th century most used age 65 as retirement age. What is not known was that life expectancy at the time was 63.
Man , this is stupid. The reason for the depressed life expectancy WAS childhood death and infant morality. If you made it to 20 you had a great chance of hitting 70.
 

Lusitania

Donor
Man , this is stupid. The reason for the depressed life expectancy WAS childhood death and infant morality. If you made it to 20 you had a great chance of hitting 70.
Well I not stupid nor is my statement stupid. I have not said such about your statement even if I disagree with them
 
Last edited:

Lusitania

Donor
The number of people born in the 18th century that lived past 60 was few and far between. Considering the person lifestyle, environment and standard of living. As I stated for a person who was born when Napoleon was born and with his lifestyle the life expectancy is well under 60.
 
The number of people born in the 18th century that lived past 60 was few and far between. Considering the person lifestyle, environment and standard of living. As I stated for a person who was born when Napoleon was born and with his lifestyle the life expectancy is well under 60.
I mean, I understand that, but the scenario is that Napoleon lived after 80. Plus, its not unlikley for people of that era to live beyond 60 if they survived childhood
 

Lusitania

Donor
I mean, I understand that, but the scenario is that Napoleon lived after 80. Plus, its not unlikley for people of that era to live beyond 60 if they survived childhood
I did not state that it not possible. I simply stated the chances of doing that was very slim. I made a statement that only 1 million people lived to that age. Which when we take into account: child illness, child birth, malnutrition, war, environment considerations and station in life was very few.

Yes if everyone who survived childhood diseases, not a woman and did not suffer all the problems of the 19th century could of lived to old age. There are people who have longevity genes and those who lived a healthy life. Napoleon had neither of those. 99% of the people during that era did not have those genes or live a good and healthy life.
 
No France in the Crimean War means no Crimean War. France pressured it, the Ottomans acted because of French backing and it led to the occupation of the Danubian Principalities. Without that, the whole issue about the Church in the Holy Land would likely be followed in a pro-Russian manner.
Even if the French don't enter the British will the British cannot allow the Russians to have a warm Port like this Russian Empires domination of the black sea is a big No-No for British interest and they will at least enter via Naval support for the Ottomans but without taking Sebastopol the Russians could simply outwait the British.
 
Even if the French don't enter the British will the British cannot allow the Russians to have a warm Port like this Russian Empires domination of the black sea is a big No-No for British interest and they will at least enter via Naval support for the Ottomans but without taking Sebastopol the Russians could simply outwait the British.

That brings us to the problem that the French were the reason the war started. The Ottomans were rather fine with the Status Quo with Russia. The British willing to back the Ottomans does change the fact it is very very likely the war is avoided.
 
in all likelihood he returns to France sometime in 1852 to 1853 by this point he's 84 and probably isn't going to become emperor again he's just going to live in Paris.

Marshal of France is probably the title given to him is he giving any control over the military maybe but it will probably be double check by his nephew. Napoleon was good at Logistics (yes even with the invasion of Russia he did make it to Moscow as the Russians burned everything in the Custer side to the ground.)so maybe if he's allowed to improve the French logistic system or at least lay the groundwork for a better supplied and faster mobilizing French army. The franco-prussian war might be a lot different

I wonder if the Crimean War in this scenario Napoleon the first might advise Napoleon the third not to meddle with Russia and focus on building up the French military.

on a side note you can bet that Napoleon the seconds body is resumed and brought to France so by the time Napoleon dies sometime in 1859 you can bet he is buried next to his son.
If we assume that somehow Napoleon is allowed/managed to return to France in 1852/53 then, sorry to say this, your scenario is not plausible and actually the whole situation in France becomes extremely confusing:

1. Louis-Napoleon became President of France (1848) and then Emperor (in 1852) mostly because he was Napoleon's nephew and a leader of Bonapartist movement. Now, if Napoleon is still alive and in France, declaration of the Empire would be inevitably in his favor even if Louis-Napoleon can be declared heir to the throne and given some important position in the government (form of the government in this scenario is also not 100% clear due to the serious changes between 1815 and 1852). Anything lesser would make Louis-Napoleon an usurper in the eyes of his support base. Even if Napoleon already is not quite capable of ruling, the throne is his.

2. An idea of making Napoleon a marshal would be considered extremely insulting by everybody and is simply a non-starter because it makes him equal to his brother Jerome or, even worse, to the former junior officers of the Napoleonic wars (to think about it, being equal to the nincompoop like Jerome could be probably more insulting) . BTW, Napoleon personally was not very good in the logistics (see Caulaincourt's comments on the subject in his description of 1812 campaign): the annoying details usually had been left to the subordinate corps commanders most of which were not quite up to the task (except for the reasonably short campaigns in the rich areas of the Central Europe).

3. Regarding Franco-Prussian War, one of the fundamental Prussian advantages was a properly functioning General Staff which put a lot of effort into adopting the German railroad system to the needs of a future war. Napoleon during his career did not create a General Staff as an independently functioning institution for strategic planning (it seems that both in Austro-Prussian and Franco-Prussian wars there was some resistance of the field commanders to the instructions coming from the General Staff). This was Napoleon's exclusive prerogative and Bertier and his subordinates (besides being responsible for making maps and few other functions) had been passing the emperor's orders (directly or through the Emperor's "personal cabinet", aka his personal staff) down the chain of command and dealing with the operational issues. Strictly speaking, Berthier had rather confusing title of "Major general" (chief staff officer) and Chief of the General staff was one of his subordinates equal to the Chief of Quartermasters, Chief of Topographic Bureau, etc. So, unless during his staying in exile Napoleon completely rethinks his modus operandi and keeps himself up to date with all technological innovations, his contribution to reorganization of the French army would not be necessary very useful in a long run.

4. The CW was to a great degree a byproduct of NIIIs to assert himself as a powerful and military successful ruler: the points of conflict with Russia were in significant and could be resolved diplomatically (as they were after the CW). Napoleon would not have need of anything of the kind and the war is not happening.
 
Last edited:
The possibility of any person during the 19th century living past 60 was 1 in a million if not higher.
"Average life expectancy" figures can be a bit misleading. If you have a population of 2, for example, and one dies in infancy and the other lives to be 100, then you have an average life expectancy for that sample population of about 50 :)
In the 19th Cent, if a person were to survive childhood illnesses, accidental death (which was common), death from war, the risks of childbirth if you're female, and the occasional epidemic that swept through, the chances of living to a "ripe old age" were probably about as high then as now...
 
"Average life expectancy" figures can be a bit misleading. If you have a population of 2, for example, and one dies in infancy and the other lives to be 100, then you have an average life expectancy for that sample population of about 50 :)
In the 19th Cent, if a person were to survive childhood illnesses, accidental death (which was common), death from war, the risks of childbirth if you're female, and the occasional epidemic that swept through, the chances of living to a "ripe old age" were probably about as high then as now...
Not quite; there have been real and significant increases in lifespan even counting out child mortality (although epidemics and childbirth are harder to control for), see here for instance:
https://www.infoplease.com/us/health-statistics/life-expectancy-age-1850-2011
But at the same time, plenty of people were living into their 60s, 70s, and 80s. "Less then today" is not the same as "1 in a million" and it certainly isn't the same as "none." Average life expectancy at birth is heavily skewed by child mortality and at the end of the day is just an average, with many people on both sides of it.
 
If we assume that somehow Napoleon is allowed/managed to return to France in 1852/53 then, sorry to say this, your scenario is not plausible and actually the whole situation in France becomes extremely confusing:

1. Louis-Napoleon became President of France (1848) and then Emperor (in 1852) mostly because he was Napoleon's nephew and a leader of Bonapartist movement. Now, if Napoleon is still alive and in France, declaration of the Empire would be inevitably in his favor even if Louis-Napoleon can be declared heir to the throne and given some important position in the government (form of the government in this scenario is also not 100% clear due to the serious changes between 1815 and 1852). Anything lesser would make Louis-Napoleon an usurper in the eyes of his support base. Even if Napoleon already is not quite capable of ruling, the throne is his.

2. An idea of making Napoleon a marshal would be considered extremely insulting by everybody and is simply a non-starter because it makes him equal to his brother Jerome or, even worse, to the former junior officers of the Napoleonic wars (to think about it, being equal to the nincompoop like Jerome could be probably more insulting) . BTW, Napoleon personally was not very good in the logistics (see Caulaincourt's comments on the subject in his description of 1812 campaign): the annoying details usually had been left to the subordinate corps commanders most of which were not quite up to the task (except for the reasonably short campaigns in the rich areas of the Central Europe).

3. Regarding Franco-Prussian War, one of the fundamental Prussian advantages was a properly functioning General Staff which put a lot of effort into adopting the German railroad system to the needs of a future war. Napoleon during his career did not create a General Staff as an independently functioning institution for strategic planning (it seems that both in Austro-Prussian and Franco-Prussian wars there was some resistance of the field commanders to the instructions coming from the General Staff). This was Napoleon's exclusive prerogative and Bertier and his subordinates (besides being responsible for making maps and few other functions) had been passing the emperor's orders (directly or through the Emperor's "personal cabinet", aka his personal staff) down the chain of command and dealing with the operational issues. Strictly speaking, Berthier had rather confusing title of "Major general" (chief staff officer) and Chief of the General staff was one of his subordinates equal to the Chief of Quartermasters, Chief of Topographic Bureau, etc. So, unless during his staying in exile Napoleon completely rethinks his modus operandi and keeps himself up to date with all technological innovations, his contribution to reorganization of the French army would not be necessary very useful in a long run.

4. The CW was to a great degree a byproduct of NIIIs to assert himself as a powerful and military successful ruler: the points of conflict with Russia were in significant and could be resolved diplomatically (as they were after the CW). Napoleon would not have need of anything of the kind and the war is not happening.
1.Napoleon will never get back to France if he plans on becoming Emperor again so that is a fact the British will kill him. so here's a more detailed scenario if what I think happens Napoleon the first returns to France sometime in 1852 to much fanfare of the French people Napoleon talks to his nephew (the current president of France) and knowing that the rest of Europe will not tolerate his return to the throne decides to abdicate the throne to his nephew on December 2, 1852 Napoleon the first crowns his nephew and Napoleon the third emperor of France. adding a lot of legitimacy to Napoleon the third's reign kind of answers part of your response on 4

reasons why Napoleon the first would do this would be practical and returning a favor Napoleon the third is the reason why he was able to return to France and he's in his 80s he's not going to live long and his eyes and to help legitimize his nephews claim to the throne would be something he would want to do. not to mention both Napoleons probably had to promise the British he wouldn't be put back on the throne.

2.as a retired Emperor being given the title Marshall would just be an honorary position for him to spend his Twilight years which if you wanted would have real power as well. maybe a new title is put in Grand Marshal of France or something like that but he is going to be given some honorary title/real power over French military.

3.and 4. is it really that hard for Napoleon to set up a military college and planting the seeds for a better officer crops of the French military. now do I see it being as good as the German general staff hell no. but anything's better than what the french military was at the time. the reestablishment of the Imperial Guard probably does happen as well the Old Guard, Middle Guard and Young Guard are probably reformed under Napoleon before he dies. An this has a strong possibility of butterflying away the Crimean War if the French military is undergoing a major overhaul Napoleon the third might decide it's better to wait until the reforms are over. to start flexing the French military's muscles.
 
Sorry but if we look at our society today we find that there is a much greater number of people who are over 60. To say that it the same is completely wrong when we factor health, environment and nutrition.

We simply have to look at life expectancy which slowly increased to now in the 70+ (western world).
FYI: when western world brought in old age pensions in the middle of the 20th century most used age 65 as retirement age. What is not known was that life expectancy at the time was 63.
The number of people born in the 18th century that lived past 60 was few and far between. Considering the person lifestyle, environment and standard of living. As I stated for a person who was born when Napoleon was born and with his lifestyle the life expectancy is well under 60.

Just considering Napoleon’s immediate family, Joseph died age 76, Lucien 65, Louis 67, Jerome 75, their mother, Letizia Ramolino 85. All these people were born in the 18th century.

Also consider, Napoleon died of cancer, so whether he was born in the 18th, 19th or 20th century, he’d have died 51 either way, it had nothing to do with the life expectancy of the time.
 
1.Napoleon will never get back to France if he plans on becoming Emperor again so that is a fact the British will kill him. so here's a more detailed scenario if what I think happens Napoleon the first returns to France sometime in 1852 to much fanfare of the French people Napoleon talks to his nephew (the current president of France) and knowing that the rest of Europe will not tolerate his return to the throne decides to abdicate the throne to his nephew on December 2, 1852 Napoleon the first crowns his nephew and Napoleon the third emperor of France. adding a lot of legitimacy to Napoleon the third's reign kind of answers part of your response on 4

reasons why Napoleon the first would do this would be practical and returning a favor Napoleon the third is the reason why he was able to return to France and he's in his 80s he's not going to live long and his eyes and to help legitimize his nephews claim to the throne would be something he would want to do. not to mention both Napoleons probably had to promise the British he wouldn't be put back on the throne.

2.as a retired Emperor being given the title Marshall would just be an honorary position for him to spend his Twilight years which if you wanted would have real power as well. maybe a new title is put in Grand Marshal of France or something like that but he is going to be given some honorary title/real power over French military.

3.and 4. is it really that hard for Napoleon to set up a military college and planting the seeds for a better officer crops of the French military. now do I see it being as good as the German general staff hell no. but anything's better than what the french military was at the time. the reestablishment of the Imperial Guard probably does happen as well the Old Guard, Middle Guard and Young Guard are probably reformed under Napoleon before he dies. An this has a strong possibility of butterflying away the Crimean War if the French military is undergoing a major overhaul Napoleon the third might decide it's better to wait until the reforms are over. to start flexing the French military's muscles.
1. Does not make sense to the Brits because there is no guarantee that after arrival to France he is not going to change his mind.
2. If you don’t understand that making him a marshal would be highly insulting, then we have fundamentally different views.
3. Napoleon, after the decades of exile and isolation suddenly turning into an innovator is unlikely. The reestablishment of the old times Guards did not make too much sense if France is not permanently at war: they had been formed out of the soldiers who distinguished themselves during a war. In the time of a prolonged peace they would be inevitably packed based on appearance (as the Guards all over Europe). Special Military School of Saint-Cyr had been founded in 1802, L'École Militaire was founded in 1750, there were numerous artillery schools well before the Revolution so there were not too much that he could add to the existing system while remaining the same person and not understanding importance of the General Staff as an institution: the existing French army was still built based on the napoleonic experience so he would be happy without any reforms.
 
Even if the French don't enter the British will the British cannot allow the Russians to have a warm Port like this Russian Empires domination of the black sea is a big No-No for British interest and they will at least enter via Naval support for the Ottomans but without taking Sebastopol the Russians could simply outwait the British.
The Brits cared about a possibility of the Russian naval expansion into the Med (based upon the. perience of the XVIII - early XIX). Prior to the CW they had absolutely no problems with Sevastopol and the Russian dominance on the Black Sea (no strategic importance from the British point of view). The naval support for the Ottomans, if there are no European suckers ready to join the war, was meaningless: the Ottomans would be defeated on land as was happening before and after the CW. Taking into an account that by the time of CW Russian Black Sea fleet was hopelessly obsolete, the whole Sevastopol thingy was mostly a knee-jerk reaction to the destruction of the Ottoman squadron at Sinop. The only Russian Black Sea port really important from Britain was Odessa and it was a trade port heavily used by the Brits and French.
 
The possibility of any person during the 19th century living past 60 was 1 in a million if not higher.
Wow. Then roughly a quarter of my Swedish dirt farmer relatives were one in a million? I could see 100 being one in a million, but the thing is many people who make it to old ages now would have made it to a similar age hundreds of years ago. For instance, my grandmother is 97 and has never really been sick- so chances are she would have made it to at least 90 one hundred years ago.
 

Lusitania

Donor
Warning
Wow. Then roughly a quarter of my Swedish dirt farmer relatives were one in a million? I could see 100 being one in a million, but the thing is many people who make it to old ages now would have made it to a similar age hundreds of years ago. For instance, my grandmother is 97 and has never really been sick- so chances are she would have made it to at least 90 one hundred years ago.
Sorry we talking about people born in 18th century. Did not know your grandmother born then.
 
The Brits cared about a possibility of the Russian naval expansion into the Med (based upon the. perience of the XVIII - early XIX). Prior to the CW they had absolutely no problems with Sevastopol and the Russian dominance on the Black Sea (no strategic importance from the British point of view). The naval support for the Ottomans, if there are no European suckers ready to join the war, was meaningless: the Ottomans would be defeated on land as was happening before and after the CW. Taking into an account that by the time of CW Russian Black Sea fleet was hopelessly obsolete, the whole Sevastopol thingy was mostly a knee-jerk reaction to the destruction of the Ottoman squadron at Sinop. The only Russian Black Sea port really important from Britain was Odessa and it was a trade port heavily used by the Brits and French.
This is at the height of the great game between Russia and Britain. the British government was worried about Russian expansion into the East that could threaten their control over the Middle East as well as control over India prior to this war the the Crimean War that it is Russia was considered the biggest military power on Continental Europe.

So I disagree with your statement the British would have wanted to undermine Russia control of the Black Sea at every turn because once they control the Black Sea it's not that far from taking an interest in the Mediterranean.
1. Does not make sense to the Brits because there is no guarantee that after arrival to France he is not going to change his mind.
2. If you don’t understand that making him a marshal would be highly insulting, then we have fundamentally different views.
3. Napoleon, after the decades of exile and isolation suddenly turning into an innovator is unlikely. The reestablishment of the old times Guards did not make too much sense if France is not permanently at war: they had been formed out of the soldiers who distinguished themselves during a war. In the time of a prolonged peace they would be inevitably packed based on appearance (as the Guards all over Europe). Special Military School of Saint-Cyr had been founded in 1802, L'École Militaire was founded in 1750, there were numerous artillery schools well before the Revolution so there were not too much that he could add to the existing system while remaining the same person and not understanding importance of the General Staff as an institution: the existing French army was still built based on the napoleonic experience so he would be happy without any reforms.
1. The Napoleon the first is over 82 at this time so you I don't think he would want to become emperor for a few years and then die. His interest will be preserving the French monarchy with his family at the head also we haven't talked about the fact of how he would have take his son passing away before him without any children that could be a big detriment to him wanting to become emperor at all.

2. He is a former emperor that was given control over the military I don't see why he would be insulted by a title of Marshall with the pay that comes from it. And if you're hung up by a matter of Pride I think his pride is all gone by this point I think he's just happy to be home in his country working once again to make french the great military power at once was.

3. He changed the face of European conflicts we don't call it a Napoleonic era tactics for nothing you think he's sitting there thinking about how he should have won because his tactics were Flawless he's probably thinking of what he could have done differently thinking of different battle strategies sitting there questioning everything he did throughout his entire military career for the next 37 years and he's probably reading up on every new innovation in war and other matters politically in Europe and the rest of the world. (Personnel I'd love to see his thoughts on Santa Ana the Napoleon of the West defeat by Texas and then the United States of America. )So I think he could be a military innovator once again
 
Napoleon could have lived into his early 80s, though it was somewhat rarer than today, but it was not completely unheard of. If individuals lived past adolescence, they usually managed to live into their 50s and 60s and even into the 70s. Around one in thirty adult males seemed to make it to 80 in the early XIX century. Though it was mentioned before, with his brothers Joseph and Jerome living till the ages of 76 and 75. George III was born in 1738 and lived until 1820, being 81, so I imagine Napoleon making it to such an age is doable. If he were to live to 1849 to 1851, his image had been somewhat rehabilitated by that period and perhaps he is no longer seen as a threat. Additionally, if the Bourbons are overthrown as they were he might be pardoned by the British and allowed to return to Europe. He was in his 70s as he would be an old man and no longer seen as a threat, though this likely depends on the sort of government in power in France. A liberal revolution might even proclaim a republic, instead of calling Louis-Philippe (who himself lived to the age of 77) to the throne, and perhaps the Bonapartists have another shot.

On a side note, I looked at my own family tree (fortunately Portugal has detailed parish records that go back to the sixteenth century in most parishes) and I looked at the oldest male ancestors in the pre-modern era for which I have records. I have one 8th great-grandfather whom lived between 1684-1772, dying at 87, a fourth-great-grandfather living between 1801 and 1889 to the age of 87 and another fourth-great grandfather living between 1791 and 1883 until the age of 91. It seems that women, if they were able to pass age of 42 when natural child-bearing ends, without death, were more likely to make it to the age of 80.

I wanted to analyze my fifth-great-grandparents, who would be cohorts Napoleon's generation. Of these I have the complete birth records for 58 individuals. They were born between the years of 1749 and 1793 and would have roughly been the same generation as Napoleon's. They died between years 1785 and 1865 with the youngest dying at 22 in childbirth and the eldest living until the age of 87, the average age of death being 68. Only 6, or around 10% made it to their 80s, of the octogenarians, only one was male, living until the age of 81. Only four seem to have been people whom would have been part of the upper classes, and with the rest being part of the peasant class . However, one thing to note is that there was a huge upsurge in deaths between 1808 to 1812,dates coinciding with the first and second French invasions of that region of Portugal (Santarem and Leiria districts) along with the aftermath, 14 out of 58 died in that period, or nearly one-fourth, so this seems to have skewed the life expectancy down. This includes one whom was shot by French troops in October of 1810.
 
Top