What was the "point of no return" for the Habsburg realm (and other defunct states)?

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by SavoyTruffle, Jul 10, 2019.

  1. SavoyTruffle I am the modren man

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    As the tin says. Something I like about allohistorical scenarios is speculating on the survival of polities that, well, didn't. For instance, the Habsburg monarchy lasted centuries in Central Europe (compared to a measly two centuries in Spain), but underwent reversals in the 19th century and ceased to exist as a notably entity shortly after WWI.

    So, what was the point where it was all over for them? Francis I's death leaving the throne in the hands of an ill-suited heir? The Spring of Nations ending Metternich's luck? The accession of Franz Joseph, a stubborn rock in a rapidly changing world? The death of his heir Rudolf? Or was it the assassination of Franz Ferdinand, which lit the bonfire of the world?

    (Other countries like Alexander's empire are welcome to be discussed as well).
     
  2. Tonifranz Well-Known Member

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    Jan 7, 2013
    When the Spring Offensive in 1918 failed.

    I am of the opinion that only defeat in WWI lead to disintegration. And then, only in the last stages. Victory for the Central Powers would do wonders for its existence.
     
  3. SavoyTruffle I am the modren man

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    Fair, but a ton of CP victory scenarios (which tbf tend to be Germany focused) have the Habsburg realm balkanizing and the German parts join Grossdeutschland.
     
  4. Tonifranz Well-Known Member

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    Jan 7, 2013
    YEs, but it could also survive. The question is about a point of no return. After the failure of the Spring Offensive, nothing could save the Habsburg realm. With a CP victory, it could survive.
     
  5. Aqua817 Eternally Exhausted

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    This all goes back to AH.com's notorious overestimation of the Austrian Empire's instability. Honestly, with a few changes as late as 1900 or so, you could have a powerful Austria having to pull the "dead weight" of a Germany in turmoil and a decaying Ottoman empire and win.
     
  6. kasumigenx Well-Known Member

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    We could have a stable Austrian Empire if Sissi lived.
     
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  7. Grand Prince Paul II. Xenophobic Russian Agent, pro-Europa

    What changes?
     
  8. dandan_noodles Well-Known Member

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    Aug 13, 2015
    The compromise of 1867 badly weakened the monarchy, as it made military expenditure and census taking captive to the agreement of the Hungarians; as a result, the army would eventually go in WWI undermanned and undergunned compared to their main rivals.
     
  9. Vanity 6 Well-Known Member

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    Dec 30, 2013
    Yes. This. The spontaneous implosion of Austria in 1848, 1866, in a CP victory (?!) are not realistic scenarios. The Monarchy was an entrenched part of the European balance of power and was not predisposed to disintegration. In a CP victory Germany would have still needed its ally in peacetime. So yes CP defeat in 1918 is the point of no return.