So I've seen this asked a dozen or so times on this thread, but what if we had France be the HRE and Germany be the Royal state IOTL. Let's say, in the 843 Treaty of Verdun, Middle Francia is given Flanders and Switzerland but West Francia is given Burgundy and Provence. In the Partition of Middle Francia a couple years later, East Francia gets Friesland, Flanders, and land up to 101.7 miles east of Cambrai as well as the land East of the Meuse while West Francia gets the west of the Meuse as well as Italy to help them keep the Imperial title. Charles the Bald is succeeded by Charles the Child, who lives past his youth ITTL while Ludwig II the German's grandson through Ludwig III survives past the age of 3 and becomes Ludwig IV. East and West Francia continue to further remain divided as both Carolingian families die out, with the Ottonians taking power in Germany while France sees a whole bunch of royal houses scrabbling for the Emperorship.

Is this a plausible PoD or what might would do to change it? How would this effect Europe Short term and long term?
 
It's certainly a possible scenario, and it brings to mind this timeline by @AsukaEMP where different inheritances and people dying at different times lead to West Francia controlling the greater part of the empire. The (western) Franks eventually push into southern Italy as well, creating three main powerbases of the empire in Francia, Italy, and the Rhineland. The commentary and analysis the author includes are helpful in understanding politics in this period as well. Broadly speaking, the rulers of Germany were "first among equals" with the other stem duchies, whereas the French rulers garnered more support from the nobility as long as they didn't mess up too badly. Thus, it wouldn't just be a matter of flipping the political situation in France and the HRE. A lot of borders and claims were only nominal due to feudalism, but the author speculated that this French HRE would have a mostly united core while the peripheral regions like Lotharingia would fragment into smaller duchies, albeit not to the same extent of the Rhineland IOTL. Eventually, with the emergence of a stronger royal power in accordance with historical trends towards state centralization, the emperors of this alt-HRE could assert their authority with far-reaching results.
 
It's certainly a possible scenario, and it brings to mind this timeline by @AsukaEMP where different inheritances and people dying at different times lead to West Francia controlling the greater part of the empire. The (western) Franks eventually push into southern Italy as well, creating three main powerbases of the empire in Francia, Italy, and the Rhineland. The commentary and analysis the author includes are helpful in understanding politics in this period as well. Broadly speaking, the rulers of Germany were "first among equals" with the other stem duchies, whereas the French rulers garnered more support from the nobility as long as they didn't mess up too badly. Thus, it wouldn't just be a matter of flipping the political situation in France and the HRE. A lot of borders and claims were only nominal due to feudalism, but the author speculated that this French HRE would have a mostly united core while the peripheral regions like Lotharingia would fragment into smaller duchies, albeit not to the same extent of the Rhineland IOTL. Eventually, with the emergence of a stronger royal power in accordance with historical trends towards state centralization, the emperors of this alt-HRE could assert their authority with far-reaching results.

Interesting and I've seen this thread around myself, but I believe, personally speaking, that the Frankish Empire here will be worse off due to combativeness with the Pope, the struggle with the Italian city states trying to be autonmous in their own right, and how all it takes is a few weak/child emperor for any potential centralization of the Empire to be halted for good.

Here's a TL I'm think.

838 - Pepin of Aquitaine lives past his OTL death

843 - An alternate Treaty of Verdun happens. Pepin gets Burgundy, Lotharingia, Friesland, and Flanders, Lothair gets Italy and Provence, Charles gets West Francia, and Louis gets East Francia + Elsass.

855 - Both Pepin and Lothair are dead w/o any children of their own and Charles and Louis decide to carve up their brother's territories how they please. East Francia gets Friesland, Flanders, Friuli, Istria, and Lotharingia East of the Meuse. West Francia gets Lotharingian West of the Meuse, Burgundy, Provence, and the rest of Italy as their empire with Charles the Bald being crowned Emperor of the Carolingian Emperor, though he and the Pope have continual conflict again and again over time. This leads to the HRE of the West going through decentralized times thanks to the Pope weakening the Emperor and there being child Emperors instead of adult emperors in succession while Germany eventually centralizes around a single Dynasty and Monarch overtime.
 
Interesting and I've seen this thread around myself, but I believe, personally speaking, that the Frankish Empire here will be worse off due to combativeness with the Pope, the struggle with the Italian city states trying to be autonmous in their own right, and how all it takes is a few weak/child emperor for any potential centralization of the Empire to be halted for good.

Here's a TL I'm think.

838 - Pepin of Aquitaine lives past his OTL death

843 - An alternate Treaty of Verdun happens. Pepin gets Burgundy, Lotharingia, Friesland, and Flanders, Lothair gets Italy and Provence, Charles gets West Francia, and Louis gets East Francia + Elsass.

855 - Both Pepin and Lothair are dead w/o any children of their own and Charles and Louis decide to carve up their brother's territories how they please. East Francia gets Friesland, Flanders, Friuli, Istria, and Lotharingia East of the Meuse. West Francia gets Lotharingian West of the Meuse, Burgundy, Provence, and the rest of Italy as their empire with Charles the Bald being crowned Emperor of the Carolingian Emperor, though he and the Pope have continual conflict again and again over time. This leads to the HRE of the West going through decentralized times thanks to the Pope weakening the Emperor and there being child Emperors instead of adult emperors in succession while Germany eventually centralizes around a single Dynasty and Monarch overtime.
I think it would be easier to have Charles the Bald never exist, with Lothair inheriting Peppin's Aquitania down the line, though the issues of a French HRE go far beyond how they would come to rule in Italy in the first place. France (as in Neustria and Aquitania) suffered from extreme feudalization with Aquitania having been a nightmare to control for both the Robertians and the Carolingian kings, though admittedly the latter had an easier time there. You'd need the king to have reliable control of both Burgundy and Italy which is far easier said than done when royal authority South of the Loire was taken merely as a suggestion at best in some periods. You would also need to screw Germany to a considerable degree as their interest in Italy far preceded the Ottonians and is founded on economic and political incentives, all while having been an arguably more coalesced kingdom at the time compared to West Francia.
All in all, I wouldn't say a French HRE is impossible, but it is significantly harder to make it survive its first decades and centuries compared to the HRE of OTL. Nonetheless, certainly going to lead to some huge butterflies, in regards to dynastic succession, religion, the political administration and makeup of the empire, and a lot more stuff. At least my two cents on this.
 
I think it would be easier to have Charles the Bald never exist, with Lothair inheriting Peppin's Aquitania down the line, though the issues of a French HRE go far beyond how they would come to rule in Italy in the first place. France (as in Neustria and Aquitania) suffered from extreme feudalization with Aquitania having been a nightmare to control for both the Robertians and the Carolingian kings, though admittedly the latter had an easier time there. You'd need the king to have reliable control of both Burgundy and Italy which is far easier said than done when royal authority South of the Loire was taken merely as a suggestion at best in some periods. You would also need to screw Germany to a considerable degree as their interest in Italy far preceded the Ottonians and is founded on economic and political incentives, all while having been an arguably more coalesced kingdom at the time compared to West Francia.
All in all, I wouldn't say a French HRE is impossible, but it is significantly harder to make it survive its first decades and centuries compared to the HRE of OTL. Nonetheless, certainly going to lead to some huge butterflies, in regards to dynastic succession, religion, the political administration and makeup of the empire, and a lot more stuff. At least my two cents on this.

Would a Burgundian Dynasty inheriting the Frankish Empire ITTL help in some way to keep it around for quite some time while the Germans are forced to focus Eastwards due to constant Magyar, Norse, Baltic, and Slavic raids?
 
Would a Burgundian Dynasty inheriting the Frankish Empire ITTL help in some way to keep it around for quite some time while the Germans are forced to focus Eastwards due to constant Magyar, Norse, Baltic, and Slavic raids?
I was honestly thinking of a more fundamental German screw, a surviving Bavarian sub-regna failing to take hold of the Italian Kingdom and/or making itself unpopular there while the remainder East Francia loses on all of Lotharingia and is embroiled in succession disputes with every other king for the first century of its existence. All of this while feuding with the Church, Denmark, Bohemia, France, and the Polabians over the lands East of the Elbe. Hungary could feasibly fall under Italian influence against Bavaria, for example, as well.
It's a bit excessive, to be sure, but Germany had a lot going for itself IOTL, it had all the means to claim to step into the Carolingian heritage, be it the relatively strong church, Lotharingia, reliable control over the most important Alpine passes and an Italy which had already experimented with Burgundian kings.

As for the idea of a Burgundian Dynasty inheriting the Frankish Empire, truth to be told, it's going to be hard to make that happen when the North and the South of France were de facto two different regions of power with their own dynamics, both having had established potentates that could and usually did form factions to oppose the king when it suits their needs. A Burgundian in Paris would take a lot of convincing when the Neustrian majores might as well elect one of their own as king; the right of inheritance was never that absolute as Charles of Lower Lorraine's attempt at the French Crown IOTL proves.
 
Hungary could feasibly fall under Italian influence against Bavaria, for example, as well.

To be honest, the biggest German-screw as far as east is involved would be no Hungary and Great Moravia coalescing into the stable state (though judging from "Pannonian legend" and Papal correspondence with Svatopluk it's name would be probably "Kingdom of Slavonia" or something like that) and if Bavarian sub-regnum is split off early enough, for example as result of succesful Carloman of Bavaria rebellion, supported by Rastislav of Moravia (who would probably get Pribina's domain in Pannonia and sovereignity over Bohemia), Moravians have more time than they did under Svatopluk to consolidate their hold on conquered lands, and once they do, they'll be one of the biggest advocates of Germany, Bavaria and Italy being split - Carlomann was unpopular in Italy, so IMHO it's not unreasonable being left on their own with only Bavaria he'd lose control of Italy to Charles the Bald and his succesors.
 
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