What would be the Socio-economic and Geopolitical Consequences of a French HRE and a Royal Germany?

Depending on the pod, what sort of internal political and societal developments would occur that would make a French HRE a possibility? How would a Royal Germany function with the Franks now holding the Imperial Crown and hegemony over Western Christendom? I know holding Burgundy would probably be necessary to gain control over Italy, and Lotharingia would probably have to be taken due to the significance of Aachen and the Rhineland to the Caroligian and Frankish heritage. Would the County of Barcelona/Aragon evolve into some Iberian analogue to otl's Bohemia? How would a more "Romance speaking" empire function and develop due to the closer cultural links between the Italo-Romans and the Frankish, and Occitan people within Francia itself? Would Germany seek to expand into the East, like in otl where the Wends and Poles were much like in otl?

How would centralization work assuming the Emperor was from the House of Capet and followed a strategy similar to otl? Could the late Carolingians have pulled off something similar? Would this "French HRE" be taken more seriously by the East as a successor to the Western Roman Empire due to it encompassing more of the de-jure territory of the old Empire of the West? How would Latin and the Romance languages develop with a large part of the Romance speaking world united under a single polity? Where would the capital be of such a state? Would it be in Aachen, the old Carolingian capital, Paris like what happened with the Capetians, or even Lyons to be closer to Italy?

How would the relationship between the pope and the Emperor develop here? Historically the Frankish Kings had quite warm relations and mutual cooperation with the Holy See. Didn't Frankish Kings also have some sort of religious significance to their throne? How would this affect the nature of the position of Emperor?

How would a Royal Germany develop in this scenario? Would they centralize much like France did? What would become of Iberia now that its closer to the sway of the Emperor. Could something akin to a Crusade be used by the Emperor to deal with troublesome nobles and serve as a means to expand his authority and overall demesne?
 
Would this "French HRE" be taken more seriously by the East as a successor to the Western Roman Empire due to it encompassing more of the de-jure territory of the old Empire of the West?
From what i understand, its not that Byzantium didn't take an east francia HRE seriously, its that they saw it as having designs on its balkan territory. They might be more friendly with a west francia HRE because although it would still have interests in Italy and Sicily, its prime attention is probably on Spain than in the east. In fact they may ally against a Kingdom of Germany not unlike france did with the ottomans otl


How would the relationship between the pope and the Emperor develop here? Historically the Frankish Kings had quite warm relations and mutual cooperation with the Holy See. Didn't Frankish Kings also have some sort of religious significance to their throne? How would this affect the nature of the position of Emperor
@John7755 يوحنا is more apt to answer that than most i think
 
Could Italian and french start to merge?
In the middleages? No certainly not. In those days and even in the early modern period, people generaly spoke their own dialect not some common language, like French. Also the common language (just used by the upper class in a more academic way) in the middleages would have been Latin and not Frech.
 
In the middleages? No certainly not. In those days and even in the early modern period, people generaly spoke their own dialect not some common language, like French. Also the common language (just used by the upper class in a more academic way) in the middleages would have been Latin and not Frech.
True but how do you think the development of the local vernacular tongues would develop over the centuries with an overall more culturally, or at least linguistically related nobility and common people? How would German develop here?
 
Occitan would be the common language instead.
Why Occitan? Otl France various other dialects. There was the Franco-Provençal, Arpitan, Parisian, etc. Then there’s the issue of Italy which would probably be major population center and also a secondary cultural influence on this alternate HRE.
 
@piratedude

Yes, I agree completely that the reason for poor Eastern Imperial relations to that of the East Franks/HRE, had almost entirely to do with the conflict between the two in influences across the Balkans. When there was not disputes between the two, the realms were perfectly happy to intermarry and trade. Furthermore, the nominal EE vassal in Venice was essentially unmolested by the Empire, especially when relations were good between the two realms. Even during the height of the Crisis of the Schism, Gregory VII had little issue with the notion of an alliance between the Eastern Empire, France and the Empire against the varied Islamic realms, in his famous letter to Count William I of Burgundy, he mentions taking an army under Papal mandate to Constantinople and destroying the Saljuqs who according to Gregory VII were near overrunning the city. Indeed, the EE was long past the idea of it being the sole power on earth and prior to its anti-Frankish/Latin bigotry. I have no doubt that more prudent and crafty Roman officials knew well that good relations with the Holy See and thus to the powers of Frankish Europe, was essential in the new world they resided.

Regarding the Capet House and the Holy See, their relation depended. Often dismissed, is that the the Papacy had better relations with nobility in the lands of the West Franks than they did with the literal monarch. In the case of Alexander II, Gregory VII and Urban II the French monarchs were impediments to Papal aspirations, whilst the nobility of France and Germany were their allies more often than not and also their vehicles for expansion. Alexander II and Gregory VII were preferential to a very particular type of noble too, namely the strong magnates of West Francia and of the Frankish nobility in the Rhineland and Lorraine. Regardless, the royalty of Paris did not have an exceptionally stellar relation with the Holy See until the Holy See displayed great successes in the First Crusade and also in its relation with the Normans in Sicily. In other words, the French royals of Paris, were quick to recognize the rising star in European geopolitics. Furthermore, the brazen displays of feudal authority by Alexander II, Gregory VII and Urban II to request military aid from royal vassals across the kingdom of the Franks, might have gone far in perturbing the French royalty and hence leading to their more submissive tone. In contrast, the HRE, much more belligerent, strong and more thoroughly royalist, was willing to counter the Papacy thoroughly even if that meant constant disunity internally.

Regarding the general question, one issue is that the West Frank realm does not even have a border with Italy until the Albigensian Crusade.... The so-called Burgundian sector of the Middle Frank Partition, is under the Empire during the majority of the reigns of the heirs of Hugues of Paris. Assuming that he is able to take these lands, the goal afterward, I cannot imagine it being assertion of Italian lands as the poster might wish, but instead, a push to subjugate the East Franks and most importantly the Rhineland. The Rhineland in particular is crucial for the idea of both Frankdom that the Capet fostered and also of the Roman Empire due to the influence of Charles I. The East Franks will need thus lose their western lands and either be subjugated or reduced to secondary status and rendered a virtual vassal of sorts. In otl, the Holy Roman Empire as late as the reign of Sigismund of Luxembourg, asserted itself as the overlord to the West Franks, but this was rarely surfaced due to Imperial issues internally and the mutually beneficial relationship between the French monarchy in Paris and that of the Empire.

As long as the French under the Capet, did not attempt to conquer all of its perceived Frankdom and remain relatively quiet across the border, they in turn would not have vassalage enforced over them by the Empire. This would spare Europe bloody wars and also affirm the correct hierarchy. The Holy See had a major role in reverting this situation and also in rebuilding a certain expansionist universalism based around the Merovingian and Frankish claims across Germany. This was made evident in Papal praises and the Paris University, wherein the Papacy under Innocent III built a peculiarly pro-French ideology that led to the rise of French supremacists if you will in the university that came to influence later French policy away from peaceful submission to the Empire, towards outright denial of its status and inverting France as the supreme entity in Europe.

Anyway, to reiterate, the French with the Imperial power, will rather than attempt to build its power in Italy, will seek to assert its authority over the Rhineland and also demand concessions from what remains of the East Franks in Saxony and Bavaria. The Empire will rely on the same major clerics, Mainz, Rheims, Cologne, Trier and Paris. Further, the French monarchy will pave the way for future Papal supremacist notions by re-affirming the Donation of Pepin and then the inevitable infusion of the Frankish Imperial Clerical tradition, will lead to the return of a Papacy with serious power and thus this Papacy will challenge this new empire if it attempts to overstep its boundaries. Anything else can be written in.

I do not feel though that the French will be more Latinized than otl, as they will need to more than the East Franks in otl, to subdue the Rhineland and hence assert itself as the true heir of both Frankdom and of Rome. Their job is harder as they control less critical lands than otl than the East Franks.
 
Why Occitan? Otl France various other dialects. There was the Franco-Provençal, Arpitan, Parisian, etc. Then there’s the issue of Italy which would probably be major population center and also a secondary cultural influence on this alternate HRE.
Occitan was the prestige language of Italy and Spain back in the High Medieval, Arpitans were also influenced by Occitan speakers as well so the Occitan language will just enforce the cohesion between Gaul and Italy.
 
True but how do you think the development of the local vernacular tongues would develop over the centuries with an overall more culturally, or at least linguistically related nobility and common people?
There wasn't even a standardised form of French until the 1870s IOTL.

France had three different Romance languages within its borders during the Middle Ages*. Now it would have some more - including Gallo-Italic, Venetian and Italo-Dalmatian dialects.




*meanwhile, Spain had double that IOTL. French and Italian are distinctive enough that they could both survive within the Franco-Italian *HRE - after all, both Castilian/Spanish and Catalan coexist within Spain today.

How would German develop here?
That's hard to say. It also depends on what you mean by "German".
 
Regarding the general question, one issue is that the West Frank realm does not even have a border with Italy until the Albigensian Crusade.... The so-called Burgundian sector of the Middle Frank Partition, is under the Empire during the majority of the reigns of the heirs of Hugues of Paris. Assuming that he is able to take these lands, the goal afterward, I cannot imagine it being assertion of Italian lands as the poster might wish, but instead, a push to subjugate the East Franks and most importantly the Rhineland. The Rhineland in particular is crucial for the idea of both Frankdom that the Capet fostered and also of the Roman Empire due to the influence of Charles I. The East Franks will need thus lose their western lands and either be subjugated or reduced to secondary status and rendered a virtual vassal of sorts. In otl, the Holy Roman Empire as late as the reign of Sigismund of Luxembourg, asserted itself as the overlord to the West Franks, but this was rarely surfaced due to Imperial issues internally and the mutually beneficial relationship between the French monarchy in Paris and that of the Empire.
Ah I see.
But what of the alternate West Frankish Empire here? I could see them gaining the crown of Lotharingia with nominal suzzerainty of East Francia. Kaiser Otto I was able to do something similar with West Francia with how he was able to assert his influence in the West Francian Electoral process. I could see the Frankish Emperors do something similar with East Francia eventually pulling away from the Emperor's orbit as its focused on internal issues while East Francia expands eastwards towards the pagan wends/slavic tribes.

Anyway, to reiterate, the French with the Imperial power, will rather than attempt to build its power in Italy, will seek to assert its authority over the Rhineland and also demand concessions from what remains of the East Franks in Saxony and Bavaria. The Empire will rely on the same major clerics, Mainz, Rheims, Cologne, Trier and Paris. Further, the French monarchy will pave the way for future Papal supremacist notions by re-affirming the Donation of Pepin and then the inevitable infusion of the Frankish Imperial Clerical tradition, will lead to the return of a Papacy with serious power and thus this Papacy will challenge this new empire if it attempts to overstep its boundaries. Anything else can be written in.
Well this depends on the status of the Papacy and the Frankish Emperor. In otl the Pope was only able to really move against the otl Emperor when a power vacuum formed with the child Heinrich IV on the throne. Plus the investiture controversy also arose as part of an ongoing reform movement against the widespread corruption going on within the papacy and the church hierarchy. Plus didn't the Frankish Kings going back to the Merovingians have some sort of religious significance attached to their position? How would this affect Papal relations?

I do not feel though that the French will be more Latinized than otl, as they will need to more than the East Franks in otl, to subdue the Rhineland and hence assert itself as the true heir of both Frankdom and of Rome. Their job is harder as they control less critical lands than otl than the East Franks.
Though this all depends on the pod. If Charles the bald lives longer you could see the Imperial Crown fused with the West Francian Crown.
 
Ah I see.
But what of the alternate West Frankish Empire here? I could see them gaining the crown of Lotharingia with nominal suzzerainty of East Francia. Kaiser Otto I was able to do something similar with West Francia with how he was able to assert his influence in the West Francian Electoral process. I could see the Frankish Emperors do something similar with East Francia eventually pulling away from the Emperor's orbit as its focused on internal issues while East Francia expands eastwards towards the pagan wends/slavic tribes.
I think that this is perfectly reasonable. The Frankish empire could even give their official support to the expansions east and hence lessen tension between the two as the East is focused on expansion, whilst the West and Middle is focused on internal politics and views the east as its great shield and expanding sword. In otl, this is how the Merovingians treated their eastern vassals, so this is perfectly reasonable. In otl, this was not totally not part of the general situation in Europe either; French clerics, thinkers and officials such as Bernard of Clairvaux had much to say on the Frankish (using this as a broad word for 'German-French') on the expansions against the Wends. Bernard of Clairvaux even goes so far as to say along the lines of:

'Convert them and assimilate them (referring to Frankish mores of culture that were syncretic indeed with Catholic missionary intent). If they do not convert, exterminate them and populate the land with our people/race. Erase their existence and fight to destroy them wherever they are...'

This displays in my view, an overlooked mentality in Frankish Europe. Namely a division of duties, wherein Bernard of Clairvaux sees it as perfectly fine that the German magnates whom he sees as part of a wider Frankish cultural continuum to forego any ideal of Middle Eastern crusade and instead focus upon being the eastern sword of the expanding Frankish world. Bernard of Clairvaux was only reiterating what was becoming the general policy of the Holy See. While the Holy See was very responsive to petitions, it seems that the Holy See was more than willing to place these expansions as equal to the Crusades in other lands, reckoning that different lands had different priorities and expansion was good in any case no matter whence it came. Innocent III placed for instance the following Crusade locations as co-equal to the crusade of the 4th Crusade or the 5th crusade.

-The Crusades waging in Iberia
-The Northern Crusades across the Baltic
-The Albigensian Crusades
-Wars to protect existing Catholic powers, including that of the Holy See itself, say against Otto IV. Innocent III offered the same indulgences to those who fought on behalf of the Papacy against the Empire as they did to those who embarked on a crusade to capture Jerusalem or Egypt.

Anyway, to not be more long winded, I see it as likely that what you describe develops.


Well this depends on the status of the Papacy and the Frankish Emperor. In otl the Pope was only able to really move against the otl Emperor when a power vacuum formed with the child Heinrich IV on the throne. Plus the investiture controversy also arose as part of an ongoing reform movement against the widespread corruption going on within the papacy and the church hierarchy. Plus didn't the Frankish Kings going back to the Merovingians have some sort of religious significance attached to their position? How would this affect Papal relations?

I disagree. My view is that the Papacy returned to claims of and greater assertion of dominance due to Henry III, not in spite of him. Gregory VII for instance describes Henry III in his message to Solomon King of Hungary, as the ideal king who is submissive to the Papacy and holy in his acts, 'he carried the golden lance and knew from whom his power derived.' Henry III unknowingly infused the Papacy which had been riddled with Roman baronial dilution to its propaganda, with a distinctly Frankish notion of power dynamics and of clerical roles. The infusion of this is what led to the Reform Papacy and the empowerment of the Papacy, which reinterpreted the past centuries as one of Papal supreme power over Europe and really, as the ritual monarchs over all the Franks and by extension all Christians.

Gregory VII in his 27 Affirmations, makes interesting claims that remind us of this interpretation. Such as 'The Pope is possessing a truly unique title' or affirmation number 9. This implies that the monarchs of Europe are copies of lesser nobles and crowns, which gain their glitter via Papal infusion as the possessor of royal integrity in its unique title. Whilst in the time of Gregory VII, this is mostly big talk and not enough force to back up, it is pertinent for how the Papacy and the Holy See developed a coherent and consistent ideology and propaganda not from within itself in the city of Rome, but directly from a reinterpretation of the life of Henry III and his predecessors, the Ottonians, Charles I and the Merovingians.

So if you want to deny the Papacy of its power, it may be best to not nominate a relative or assert anything in Italy regarding the Papacy, that is if you wish to avoid the Reform Papacy. You may not want to. The benefit of an alliance between a Pope like Innocent III and a Frankish emperor, could move mountains in the geopolitical sense and would fulfill the dreams of both sides if they were willing to come to certain compromises, which I feel is totally reasonable. The Papacy if anything was reasonable and perhaps too merciful such as in the case of Henry IV at Canossa (Gregory VII should have rejected his visit, imprisoned him and then marched as normal to Germany and proceeded to assist in the election process of a new king; Gregory VII however was a merciful man and he took his role as a forgiver of sins a bit to literally; not to mention, Gregory VII seems to have not been as fearsome as his successors, despite having the same ideology).

Oh and if we include Charles II, then of course anything is possible. However I assumed we were not going this far back.

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To discuss briefly the Papal position on the Merovingians and their relation to the Capet.... The Papacy seems to have assumed from years 1049-1260 or so that the Merovingians end during the reign of Childeric III was the end of a legitimately independent Frankish monarchy. All subsequent Frankish monarchs derived their legitimacy from the Papacy. So, the Capet may have at times attempted to consecrate a sacred kingdom, they were nonetheless not seen as so by official Papal propaganda.
 
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@John7755 يوحنا
I can imagine this as a potential map of this. What do you think?


-The Crusades waging in Iberia
-The Northern Crusades across the Baltic
-The Albigensian Crusades
-Wars to protect existing Catholic powers, including that of the Holy See itself, say against Otto IV. Innocent III offered the same indulgences to those who fought on behalf of the Papacy against the Empire as they did to those who embarked on a crusade to capture Jerusalem or Egypt.
I agree with you here about this. I could see what become Aragon becoming tied more to Francia as a nominal vassal of sorts.

I think that this is perfectly reasonable. The Frankish empire could even give their official support to the expansions east and hence lessen tension between the two as the East is focused on expansion, whilst the West and Middle is focused on internal politics and views the east as its great shield and expanding sword. In otl, this is how the Merovingians treated their eastern vassals, so this is perfectly reasonable. In otl, this was not totally not part of the general situation in Europe either; French clerics, thinkers and officials such as Bernard of Clairvaux had much to say on the Frankish (using this as a broad word for 'German-French') on the expansions against the Wends. Bernard of Clairvaux even goes so far as to say along the lines of:
When do you see the conflict arising with East Francia potentially asserting its independence from the Emperor much like how the French Kings did in otl?

Where do you see the capital of the Western Empire being? Would it be Paris, Lyon, Milan, Reims ?

Oh and if we include Charles II, then of course anything is possible. However I assumed we were not going this far back.
By Charles II you mean Charles the Bald right? Do you think Charles the Bald could have secured the Imperial Crown within West Francia potentially making some sort of arrangement with Louis the German?
 
Come to think of it - what happens with Bohemia ITTL?

Does it remain independent? Does Bohemia become part of the Kingdom of Germany, with Moravia remaining independent? Does Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia end up part of Germany, along with the Wendish lands?
 
There wasn't even a standardised form of French until the 1870s IOTL.

What? French has been a standardized language since at least the XVII century when the Académie française was founded and really, even earlier than that there were accepted conventions in spelling and grammar emerging. Modern readers can read Molière with little difficulty.
 
What? French has been a standardized language since at least the XVII century when the Académie française was founded and really, even earlier than that there were accepted conventions in spelling and grammar emerging.
Apologies, I must have conflated two things.

At any rate, Parisian French - aka what we today consider to be "French" French - was very much a minority (even in northern France) until well into the 19th century. The various French dialects were much more divergent from Parisian French than they are now.

The point I made my previous post remains, though: the various Romance languages and dialects can coexist for a long time.
 
Apologies, I must have conflated two things.

At any rate, Parisian French - aka what we today consider to be "French" French - was very much a minority (even in northern France) until well into the 19th century. The various French dialects were much more divergent from Parisian French than they are now.

The point I made my previous post remains, though: the various Romance languages and dialects can coexist for a long time.
While Occitan/Catalan and Northern Italian are more clear and intelligible with each other.
 
While Occitan/Catalan and Northern Italian are more clear and intelligible with each other.
Technically they are Gallo-Italic. They, like Occitano-Romance, are a part of the Gallo-Romance group.

Potentially, there might be some kind of pan-Gallo-Romance language. But I don't know how popular that would end up being.
 
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