WI: Kingdom of Germany becomes an Empire after the fall of Constantinople (No HRE)

As discussed in a previous thread, in an eventual alt-scenario where the Kingdom of Germany (based on the former East Francia) does not get involved in the Italian affairs and the Holy Roman Empire is not revived/created, it makes difficult that the Kingdom could become later a legitimate Empire without the Roman investiture.

So well, let's explore a different option: the Kingdom of Germany avoids any involvement in Italy (maybe France could do it instead?) and got focused on its expansion to the East (Pomerania, Prussia, the Baltic etc.) and maybe also to the Danube valley. Let's also assume that the formal Schism East vs West of 1054 is skipped and the Crusades do not happen as IOTL (something that could happen if the Papacy is more politically isolated, as ITTL there is no HRE and such).

Then, by the 12-13th centuries, Byzantium is getting gradually occupied by an alt-Turkic Empire and seeks help from the West (but no Crusades to Jerusalem etc. just help against the Turkic advances in the Balkan-Aegean area). The Kingdom of Germany is eventually getting involved (as the main military power in the West/Central Europe) but Constantinople finally falls to the Turks at some point (maybe earlier than IOTL).

As the sole Roman Empire has disappeared, now Germany (or any other country) could adopt the title of 'Empire' in the same way Russia did it IOTL (by claiming inheritance of the symbol/spirit of the defunct Roman/Byzantine Empire) and I don't think the Pope could avoid it at this point (specially when no Roman title had been ever restored in the West). There is also the possibility that the last Byzantine Empire could grant it to the King of Germany in the same way he did IOTL to the Kings of Spain, even if they never used it as it was already void.
 
The best way for this to occur in my mind is to have Otto I the Great be defeated or killed by the Hungarians at Lechfeld in 955. If Otto survives, his political position is extremely damaged; chances are that he would not conquer Italy, and as such, the HRE does not form (personally, I take the view the HRE that started with Otto and lasted until Napoleon, while a successor with clear political continuity, to not be the same state as the Carolington Empire of Charlemagne.) Without his father's victories to build upon, Otto II's reign is far more unstable than OTL, and as such, may be overthrown in the War of the Three Henries. From then on, it's all butterflies.
 
Note that OTL the Russian Empire was named through a series rather than a single act.
First was the claim of Tsardom by Ivan IV Grand Prince of Moscow, a grandson of a Palaiologina.
Then this Tsardom slowly gained dominance over other orthodox states.
Only with the expansion and the "Europeanisation" of the Tsardom of All Russia(s) did Imperium (etc) get adopted.

So yes, in a world absent the HRE I could see a German High Kingdom using Caesardom arise, with said Caesar title clearly below Augustus. Then later with the ERE gone and noone in Italy claiming WRE Augustus is adopted.

Interesting to note that OTL the German dialects actually adopted the lesser title Caesar (Kaisar) as the word for Emperor rather than Augustus (Sebastos) or even Imperator (Autokrator). Or even Basileus.
 
So yes, in a world absent the HRE I could see a German High Kingdom using Caesardom arise, with said Caesar title clearly below Augustus. Then later with the ERE gone and noone in Italy claiming WRE Augustus is adopted.
Do you think that a Kingdom/Empire of Germany more disconnected from Italian affairs and more focused on Ostsiedlung may get his core shifted to the East, like setting the capital permanently at i.e. Königsberg, at some point? A more populated East, with earlier and greater urbanization and so?
 
Do you think that a Kingdom/Empire of Germany more disconnected from Italian affairs and more focused on Ostsiedlung may get his core shifted to the East, like setting the capital permanently at i.e. Königsberg, at some point? A more populated East, with earlier and greater urbanization and so?
Possibly. It'd probably need the Lorraines and Arles to remain detached.
And a strong political connection to Bohemia/Poland would help.
An analogy could be how Mercia went from a kingdom of marches to the dominant kingdom south of the Humber.
Perhaps a strong Kingdom of Lorraine/Lotharingia but at peace with the Kingdom of East Francia under Saxon dominance would have the latter focusing East (Bavaria would probably also look South, and Franconia is in the west on this scenario).
 
Possibly. It'd probably need the Lorraines and Arles to remain detached.
And a strong political connection to Bohemia/Poland would help.
An analogy could be how Mercia went from a kingdom of marches to the dominant kingdom south of the Humber.
Perhaps a strong Kingdom of Lorraine/Lotharingia but at peace with the Kingdom of East Francia under Saxon dominance would have the latter focusing East (Bavaria would probably also look South, and Franconia is in the west on this scenario).
I think that in this case both Bohemia (including Moravia) and Silesia would be annexed at an earlier stage and further Germanized, with the Czechs remaining as a minority like the Sorbs todays. The same for the westernmost regions of Greater Poland, so I think this alt-Poland would be 'pushed' to the East and to the South way further than IOTL.

I also think that the Baltic states would be more directly ruled from Germany and Lithuania would not join Poland, because the vicinity of the German core would be too disruptive for that. If the capital is moved to Königsberg, there would be also more direct clash with Sweden and Denmark for the hegemony in the Baltic Sea.

Regarding Arles, I think that some part would form a sort of buffer state with France. Lorraine could be divided in several buffers like IOTL Luxembourg, but it would depend on the balances of power with the time. It is quite uncertain for me how this development would impact the Low Countries, as they might become more peripheral, underdeveloped and underpopulated than IOTL.
 

Azum

Donor
Assuming WFrancia intervenes in Italy and forms HRE, it would still decentralize via Pope vs. Emperor intrigue. I doubt the Capets would be anymore willing to hand over supreme power than OTL HREmperors.

If this happens AltGermany is in a pretty good spot, HRE would fight among itself which is what kept it from dominating Europe and unlike France which couldnt expand in the other direction - Germany has still mostly tribal Slavs to the east.

I dont doubt that atleast culturally(unless they completly fail in spreading theirs) the size would be atleast Modern day Germany, Austria, Poland, Czechia, Slovakia and the Baltics.

Or it can completly fail to (slowly) centralize and die to aristocratic infighting
 
I dont doubt that atleast culturally(unless they completly fail in spreading theirs) the size would be atleast Modern day Germany, Austria, Poland, Czechia, Slovakia and the Baltics.

Or it can completly fail to (slowly) centralize
and die to aristocratic infighting
I think it should be a combination of effective centralization (not drifting into the later HRE mess of Kleinstaaterei) and polycentrism: probably, as discussed, the core migth shift to the East, but other political-economical centres in the West (Rhine) and South (maybe Vienna) might be kept in order to ensure cohesion and development in key regions.
 
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