WI: Charles August, Crown Prince of Sweden, survives?

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by GauchoBadger, Jun 11, 2019.

  1. GauchoBadger Gang Weeder (in a society)

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    What if Charles August of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg had not died in a horse riding accident in 1810, thus securing his position as crown prince of Sweden and butterflying away the adoption of French general Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte as heir?
    Considering that Charles August was Danish by origin, what would this mean for Danish-Swedish relations? Could there be a pan-Scandinavian personal union down the line? What about the Norwegian question?
     
    Yanez de Gomera likes this.
  2. GauchoBadger Gang Weeder (in a society)

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    Bump.
    Could a different person on the throne butterfly away Sweden's entry into the Napoleonic Wars on the side of the coalitions?
     
  3. Kellan Sullivan Well-Known Member

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    Since Karl August was unable to have kids it essentially predicts another succession crisis down the road
     
  4. Mikestone8 Well-Known Member

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    Once on the throne he would presumably name another Augustenburg as his heir- possibly the one who, OTL, would later claim Schleswig-Holstein. Could make a significant difference in 1864 and after.
     
  5. Kellan Sullivan Well-Known Member

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    This is very true.

    It could be interesting to see what effect Bernadotte remaining in France has though. Sure, he and Napoléon didn't get on, with Nap dismissing him as a "second-rate general with too high an opinion of himself" (ironically, probably what Bernadotte likewise thought of Napoléon), and he was sacked mid-Wagram. Napoléon also said of him "Bernadotte hesitates at nothing [in battle]".
    But when someone at St. Helena accused Bernadotte of treason, Napoléon responded "When he went to Sweden, he became a Swede. I can accuse him of ingratitude but not treason." (this was in line with Napoléon's own advice to his siblings when giving them thrones "conform to the customs of the country. Do not say "we do this better in Paris".")
    Bernadotte joined the Coalition at the end of the Napoleonic Wars because it was in Swedish interests to so (Prussia, Russia and Britain would all have gladly taken something from them had they remained neutral or sided with the French and lost) - and Napoléon understood this, since when Napoléon released Bernadotte from French service, he asked Bernadotte to swear to never take up arms against France. Bernadotte told him that he could not swear something if it was against the interests of the country he was now chosen to be responsible for. Napoléon didn't push the point (unlike with Louis in Holland, where Napoléon had given him the crown, Bernadotte was chosen by the Swedes).
     
  6. Jürgen Well-Known Member

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    Jul 16, 2016
    It would make a major difference before, if Frederick Christian of Augustenburg father may not marry his mother (A Danish countess) if he’s heir to Swedish throne, and even if he still do, Frederik Christian would be raised differently as Swedish heir, and we would likely see him being elected as Danish heir.
     
  7. alexmilman Well-Known Member

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    Apr 24, 2018
    Indeed. Even after he was sacked, Bernadotte successfully led the French troops during the Walcheren Campaign. Did not get “thank you” note from Nappy afterwards but the point remains that as long as he was French he was ready to service France against its enemies. Probably could be useful in 1813 - 14 as the only (AFAIK) marshal with a proven record of organization and administration: at Walcheren he managed to make an ad hot assembly of the retirees, National Guards and fresh recruits into an effective fighting force within weeks.

    BTW, story about his dismissal in the middle of Wagram is a legend: Nappy dismissed him after the battle because he was pissed off with Bernadotte’s Order of the Day to his IX corps in which he praised the Saxons for their bravery in contradiction to the imperial bulletin (the Saxons remembered this and at Leipzig went over to the Bernadotte’s Army of the North). BTW, after Walcheren Napoleon was planning to put Bernadotte in charge of an army in Catalonia and after he refused appointed him a governor of Rome.