WI: Republic of Venice accepts Napoleon's alliance offer?

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Magnum, Oct 15, 2019.

  1. Magnum Well-Known Member

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    Austria was already clearly defeated, and being useful to the victorious French might drive these to spare Venice from any sort of revolutionary subversion, or so the logic of the Serenissima Repubblica might go.

    So, they declare war on Austria, mobilize and move to block the retreat of the shattered Austrian units, in anticipation of collaboration with the French. What happens next?
     
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  2. Neoteros Dux Mediolani

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    They would survive for a few more years, and probably butterfly away Napoleon's holdings in the Balkans - that's Venice's own backyard - but their OTL fate wouldn't have been averted, since Austria would have a very good reason to annex the region, and this time Veneto wouldn't even have been granted what few shreds of autonomy it was allowed to have during Habsburg rule: Lombardy-Venetia wouldn't have become a loose union of two mostly distinct regions, but a centralized polity ruled from Milan.

    This would probably make Veneto a hotbed of federalist, republican sentiment - if OTL's 1848 Republic of Saint Mark was a moderate, unitary polity with close ties to the Provisional Government of Milan and the pro-Savoy faction, TTL's equivalent... just wouldn't. And if all else goes as in our world, Venetian nationalism could be a force as powerful as Basque, Catalan or Scottish nationalism elsewhere.
     
  3. Curtain Jerker Well-Known Member

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    Pretty much what @Neoteros said, unless this is a TL where Napoleon wins then Venice is an independent "sister republic" under a dominant France. But you'd need other butterflies than just Venice joining France to make that happen I think.
     
  4. Magnum Well-Known Member

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    How would Franco-Austrian negotiations be affected? Hell, could Napoleon use the opportunity to march on Vienna?
     
  5. Talus I of Dixie We need to wank Venice

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    I think that it wouldn't happen, if anything can be said about Venice is that they're pragmatic as hell. One time that the french start to be defeated and the venetians would just flip sides (they did it in the War of Cambrai when was a full-on coalition on Venice, isn't so hard for them). But one thing that this alliance could be even to the benefit of Venice, because would force the senate to go through reamarment and with that, go on with the reconstruction of the fleet and army. This could change the balance of power in the mediterranean as well (But i'm sure that the venetians wouldn't help Napoleon's egyptian adventure).

    Actually, if Venice makes the good decisions, the republic can get out from the Napoleonic Wars a lot stronger than before: Renewed fleet, experienced(ish) army, (maybe) new territories from the habsburgs (Trieste and Habsburg Croatia?) and increased prestige.

    But also, everything could go wrong and end up like you said as well :p
     
  6. Flavius Iulius Nepos Emperor with the support of the East

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    Would Venice really be rewarded, after siding with Napoleon, with territories from another coalition member? Especially when said member is one of the leading power at the congress of Vienna (or an alt version of it).

    Keeping its independence would probably be enough of a reward and it would make for an interesting 19th century.
     
  7. Talus I of Dixie We need to wank Venice

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    My thinking is that would be considered a fait accompli, in the same manner that Russia gained the territories around Warsaw that were before part of Prussia, or the bavarians remained with most of the territory they gained allied to Napoleon.

    I think that the eventual expelling of the french from northern italy would be made mainly by venetian forces from venetian territory. But i think that butterflies may make Napoleon's fall more like the nazis' fall, an slow and painful amount of campaigns with the french being driven off bit by bit (like OTL War of Liberation but in all fronts)
     
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  8. SealTheRealDeal Well-Known Member

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    I think a better question is if the Venetian army would even be able to manage that.
     
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  9. Flavius Iulius Nepos Emperor with the support of the East

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    I don’t know much about the Napoleonic age but I’m pretty sure Russia was the strongest continental power at the time, or believed to be so. Venice is no Russia, here Wien holds the clear advantage over the republic. You could probably argue that the same principle applied to the Austrian Netherlands could be applied to Venice and Lombardy as to create a solid block of power against future French imperialist adventure but how are you going to compensate Wien? Frankly the preservation of their independence would satiate the Venetian aristocracy, and if they really have any appetite for more land they could just wait and work alongside the other Great Powers against the Ottomans.
     
  10. Talus I of Dixie We need to wank Venice

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    Austria also held the clear advantage to Bavaria and many of the gained lands remained with Bavaria (AFAIK, the only land that Bavaria returned was Tyrol, and Tyrol was and is a core region of Austria). The regions that i see going to Venice in the situation mentioned was Trieste and something similar to the territories of the Illyrian Provinces but none of it is like a core for Austria, even less when you think that the venetians would just damn the countryside and take just the coast because is everything they need.

    So, the austrians probably wouldn't make a lot of pressure to regain these areas, if they manage (and probably would) an treaty with Venice regarding commercial rights in these territories everyone involved will just go home fine with the situation, the austrians really didn't cared too much for the adriatic ports until like, 1786 (when they established a navy, that was an coastal patrol until they got all the venetian stuff).
     
  11. M79 Well-Known Member

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    Venice sides with Napoleon initially and gains Adriatic as well as Continental territories. Her role and prestige grow stronger as she remains steadfastly loyal until late 1812 when she comes to the Allies with an offer to flip in exchange for holding onto her gains and maybe making a few more. Italy might be united earlier under Venice.
     
  12. Jackson Lennock Well-Known Member

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    Istria, Trentino, and Ragusa are the territories I can see the the Venetians retaining. Maybe even Alto Adige.

    I don't think Napoleon would be willing to give Milan to Venice - it's too big a prize to hand over. But after the War of the Fifth Coalition it may be Venice who receives the Illyrian provinces TTL.

    And what does Venice get as a prize for betraying Napoleon? Milan of course.
     
  13. Jürgen Well-Known Member

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    Venice wouldn’t keep South Tyrol, there was a good reason that Austria never entertained the idea of giving it up. It have large strategic importance.
     
  14. Talus I of Dixie We need to wank Venice

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    The best defensible position ever, and it's considered a core region of Austria, so yeah, no chance that Venice can stay with this (if she gets it in the first place, IOTL Tyrol went for Bavaria).

    It would be funny to see Napoleon's reaction to venetian treachery while he is in Russia, because the republic is well behind the french supply lines and Napoleon is far from Italy.

    And about the Milan stuff, that sounds so venetian.
     
  15. M79 Well-Known Member

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    There's a venetian blind pun in here somewhere less corny than what comes to mind
     
  16. SealTheRealDeal Well-Known Member

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    Not to mention that the population (including the Italo-Tyrolese) were massive Habsburgaboos.
     
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  17. DracoLazarus Ouroborus Cataphractus

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    Well duh
    Puns about blinds are always cornea
     
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  18. The Undead Martyr GOP Delenda Est

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    I could see Venice trading dalmatia and/or Istria for milan (being "encouraged" to do so). South Tirol is probably going back to Austria.
    In the long run Venice surviving the Napoleonic wars has interesting butterflies- perhaps Italian unification follows the German, with a federal model.
     
  19. DracoLazarus Ouroborus Cataphractus

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    Imagine if Italy unites around Venice instead of Savoy. And Savoy has to be beat up by Venice and France ulteriorly.
     
  20. Curtain Jerker Well-Known Member

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    There's no rule that says Italy has to unify of course (not that you are implying it is).

    I love the scenario where Italy stays like six or so independent states, each allied to a Great Power. Venice, Savoy, Milan, Tuscany, the Papal States, and the Two Sicilies.

    Fragmented countries/regions open up such possibilities for timelines IMO.