WI: Franz Joseph dies shortly before the 1848 revolutions.

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Monter, Sep 9, 2019.

  1. Monter Well-Known Member

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    Pretty straightforward, around 1847 and 1848 the young Archduke Franzl catches a nasty cold and never recovers, dying just before the mass demonstrations engulf Vienna in March. So instead of him, Ferdinand either remains Emperor or is succeed by the 16 year old Maximilian (OTL Emperor of Mexico). What short and long terms consequences for Austria?
     
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  2. Richter von Manthofen Gnome Fighter Ace

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    As it was "mainly" the (Habsburg) family that suggested that Ferdinand steps down and a "new Generation" takes over, there are multiple possibilities.

    A) Ferdinand stays in power - at least temporarily - as the Person of the Kaiser is not essentially to the further Course of the counter Revolution I assume the OTL history will not Change in the short run. Ist interesting that Ferdinand - once he stepped down - proved to be an excellent Administrator of his private property. I assume that Ferdinand will probably a bit less counter revoultionary than his nephew. Leading to a token parliament instead of returning to absolute absolutism ;). The first test would be Ferdinands reaction to the Crimean War (FJ managed to antagonize Russia while not pleaseing Britain and France...). Here is assume that he (relying on the fact that he is an able Administrator) won't set up the 300.000 strong army FJ sent to Russias border, so the A-H economy does not suffer (which led to a delay of necessary changes to army Equipment) as OTL and Russia is maybe less antagonized. Which in turn would lead to the A-H army a bit better prepared to the following wars. FJ himself took command in the 1859 war against Sardinia and France - Ferdinand certainly won't do that - so ist possible that the war goes a bit better for A-H (especially if modernisations Long overdue and pushed back by the lack of funds - see above) will be done. Lets assume the Habsburgs manage to retain Milan and the other Habsburg states in Italy survive (i.e. no Italian unification for the next few years - or more?). This probably chnages also teh GErman unification (Milan was among the richest provinces).

    B) Franz Karl (Brother of Ferdinand) takes over - honestly one worse Option - more interested in culture than something else - I assume A-H goes down basically the same way as OTL - Maximilian will take over in 1878 (if he dies as OTL). This allows a more mature man to follow an Emperor (mid forties) Max had no sense for economy, (needless to say as in line for the Empire he won't go to Mexico), but is more liberal - difficult to say how old he will get …

    C) Maxx takes over - is declared as an adult - well Max as Young Emperor might be intersting - could do the same blunders as his brother, but likely is even more inclined for a liberal constitution - might save the Empire in the comon years (much like what I described under Ferdinand)

    I would like to see a TL modelled after A- IMHO one interesting Option (if one Looks a bit over his bad OTL Image and sees what he could achieve privately)
     
  3. Monter Well-Known Member

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    I was thinking more on this, just threw Max because he's pretty popular over here, although Ferdinand had some competence as a private estate owner he was never able (or never allowed) to properly run the Empire so he would probably end up in a Wilhelm I like situation in the limited parliament and council of state running the country, would people like Schwarzenberg be okay with it?
     
  4. Nivek Resident Videogame Expert

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    This is for the best, Fernindand would keep the hereditary lands and not loss the ultra profitable padanians ones

    Max was popular as he was an amazing viceroy for veneto-lombardia, here that is gone and the so vaunted liberal he is not friend yet, hate him a lot ...so we could see a more competent FJ and more charismatic in maximiliam here
     
  5. Mikestone8 Well-Known Member

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    Would there even be an 1859 war?

    Iirc, until Austria went over to the offensive by its ultimatum to Sardinia, there was every possibility that the Powers might insist on a conference, in which Napoleon III would find himself isolated.

    There's a famous story that just before the outbreak of war, FJ consulted with old Prince Metternich (in retirement since 1848). Metternich advised "Above all, no ultimatum." and FJ sheepishly had to tell him. "It was sent his morning." Maybe Ferdinand wouldn't have sent it.
     
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  6. Richter von Manthofen Gnome Fighter Ace

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    I somehow assume that a war be it 1859 or earlier (not much) /later is inevitable.

    I think that Italy will be unified ultimately - the Question will be the ruling Family - Savoia, Habsburg or "third Party" - In a Habsburg wank this easily could be Leopold II of Tuscany… loyal to the "older" klien...
     
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  7. isabella Well-Known Member

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    A Kingdom of Italy composed by North Italy maybe with the Papal States reduces at only Lazio) is very probable. A fully united Italy like OTL is in no way a certainty as at this point Two Sicilies are a fully independent state with a very long history of their own fully separated by the rest of Italy and while the Two Sicilies live the Papal States also will survive.

    An Habsburg Kingdom of Italy led by Leopold II will not take more than the lands who I said and without the OTL circumstances Two Sicilies will stay independent (as their fall was caused by a lot of back luck in an almost ASB way)
     
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  8. Mikestone8 Well-Known Member

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    Why must it not be much later?

    If Austria and Russia are not estranged, the Tsar will oppose French support for "the revolution" as he will see it, and his brother-in-law, Prince Regent Wilhelm, will more than likely make a third.

    There would be sympathy for the Italians in Britain, but the Crimean shambles had left Brits distinctly leery about foreign entanglements, so that even the most jingoistic John Bulls were keen to stay neutral in 1859. So France would be entirely alone. And that situation could persist for quite a while.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2019 at 2:12 PM
  9. Grey Wolf Writer, Poet, Publisher, Cat-sitter

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    Franz Josef's father would take over, surely?
     
  10. Monter Well-Known Member

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    Dunno, Franz Karl never showed any interest in ruling, to the point FJ considered himself Ferdinand's heir even before the Revolution.
     
  11. Grey Wolf Writer, Poet, Publisher, Cat-sitter

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    With Franz Josef dead and the empire on the point of collapse you don't give the crown to a 16 year old. Well, that's my opinion. Franz Josef as an 18 year old would be seen as scarily young but just about an adult, at the time. Ok, sexually maybe a 16 year old is an adult (Rudolph's girlfriend a few decades later) and that is fine, but I can't see the other archdukes, generals etc, accepting a relatively unknown 16 year old as emperor
     
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  12. isabella Well-Known Member

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    Either Ferdinand stay Emperor of Franz Karl become Emperor. Here Sofia will not be so inclined to push her husband to abdicate in favor of their 16 years son who likely was not prepared to rule the Empire one day when she can be the Empress and rule Vienna in name/place of her husband.
    I would go with Ferdinand abdicated and Franz Karl becoming Emperor with Sofia ruling/doing all the work
     
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  13. Richter von Manthofen Gnome Fighter Ace

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    meant to say not much earlier (I can't see something happen before the Crimean war of TTL is over)
     
  14. Richter von Manthofen Gnome Fighter Ace

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    Thats wrongly assuming "our modern" "Concept of the age of consent. At the Time (in A-H) you would be considered to be an adult only with your 24st Birthday. When Ferdinand abdicated Franz Joseph had to be declared an adult (Fürst Schwarzenberg proclaimed that) - it would be no problem to declare Max an adult if Need to be...
     
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  15. Mikestone8 Well-Known Member

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    No reason at all for it to happen earlier. And w/o the ultimatum to Piedmont it most likely won't happen even in1859.

    No war then means no Prussian mobilisation, so the King isn't so set on reforming the army. So probably no clash with the Landtag and no Bismarck in 1862. Nappy III probably tied up I Mexico for the next few years, assuming he can find another candidate for Emperor. The Duke of Augustenberg gets Schleswig-Holsten, and Prussia is content with Lauenburg. If an unreformed Prussian army has made heavier weather than OTL of the Danish War, the Bizzy may still come to power, but has missed his best chance to pick a fight with Austria - which may be too dangerous anyway if Austro-Russian relations are better than OTL So the European status quo may hold until the Near East blows up in 1878. Then - who knows?
     
  16. isabella Well-Known Member

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    Only Archduchess Sofia will not bully her husband to renounce to the crown in favour of the too young and not ready Maximilian unlike OTL so either Ferdinand will remain Emperor or he will abdicate with his brother Franz Karl as successor
     
  17. Mikestone8 Well-Known Member

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    They'd actually be giving it to Archduke Albrecht, who by Habsburg Family Law would be Regent until Max was twenty. That might suit all concerned, since it wouls alow time fpr Albercht to do the hangings and Max to grant a general amnesty later. Good cop and bad cop.
     
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  18. Kapellan23 Member

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    The Habsburgs continue to be an ally of Russia, as before. Austria survives after the Great War and possibly unites Germany after the defeat of the Hohenzollern.