Would a GroßDeutschland be feasible with another Chancellor?

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Gukpard, Oct 11, 2018.

  1. Gukpard We came so close...

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2015
    Location:
    São Paulo, Brazil.
    Bismarck is the father of the realpolitik and was notoriously against the idea of the great germany, dissuading the kaiser from Annexing Bohemia on the Austro-Prussian war, going against the annexation of elssas lothringen on the franco prussian war, positioning himself against the dreadnought race against the UK. Let's say that he falls from a horse and decides to not join politics or something like that, and someone like Von Moltke becomes the chancellor of the German Empire, could the greater germany be formed? I'm not asking if it is likely, but if it is feasible, and this great germany does not need all the territories, for example, they can crush austria on the austro prussian war and annex Austria, creating Germany on the process and not having Alsace lorraine.
     
  2. Max Sinister Retired Myriad Club Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2004
    Location:
    The Chaos TL
    If someone else but Bismarck became Prussian chancellor, it's more probable that there's no German unification at all.
     
  3. stevej713 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2018
    I personally don't believe that individuals have that much influence on the course of history. If Bismarck was never chancellor, I daresay there would still be a Germany today. Its path to unification might have been vastly different, but I don't think German unification depended on Bismarck.
     
  4. Max Sinister Retired Myriad Club Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2004
    Location:
    The Chaos TL
    The thing is, the other powers might object to a powerhouse forming in the center of Europe. Bismarck kept Britain, Russia and Italy friendly enough to fight off Austria and France. Not everyone could have done that.
     
  5. ArchimedesCircle Maker of Empires, Breaker of Nations

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2015
    Without Bismarck i'd think that Germany would still form- but it might not be as big as OTL. I could definitely see Bavaria remaining independent or possibly even acting as the Prussia equivalent and heading a South German Federation. Schleswig and Holstein might stay Danish, and Alsace Lorraine would stay French. If things go really bad for Prussia, you might see Westphalia, the Rhineland, Hannover and Saxony split off, either on their own or by outside powers, but that needs a huge Prussia-screw. The only area where Prussia under a less experienced Chancellor might expand would likely be in its colonies, which could become more of a priority without Bismarck around.
     
    AnonymousSauce and Lenwe like this.
  6. Mikestone8 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2010
    Location:
    Peterborough, UK.
    They would still have fewer quarrels with Prussia than with each other.

    If Prussia had wanted to annex all of Austria, the case would be otherwise, but even Wilhelm I and Moltke did not advocate this. The King wanted Saxony and strips of Bohemia nd Moravia, while Moltke wanted a victory parade through Vienna. None of this would overturn the balance of power or cause any panic in neutral capitals.
     
  7. FillyofDelphi Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2017
    To address the GroßDeutschland question directly...

    The issue is: who is motivated to establish such a "Greater Germany"? Not Prussia; it would result in her being too small a fish in her own self-made pond to be worth it, and abandon the conservative, Junker power structure and dominant cultural position to the point nobody who's realistically going to be in charge would actively pursue such a policy. Austria isen't either: again, she'd have to make major concessions to Liberalism, lose power, and likely have to give up the non-German parts of the Empire. And so long as both these Powers aren't hamstrung and are resistant to German Unification they can and will prevent it. So, I suppose the answer is technically yes: Grobdeutchland could occur following Austria getting beaten down on (Probably by Russia and Italy) if Prussia ends up getting an incompitent and vacilating Minister-President in charge during a period of Pan-Germanist sentiment triggering a political crisis of Republican/Liberal revolutions in several minor states (ah la 30 or 48) and utterly flubbing it up to the point you lose the Rhineland to Republican seperatists. Then, you could end up with a "Third Germany" Republic/Liberal Constitutional Monarchy that's more powerful than the surviving elements of the Habsburg and Hohenzollern domains and will eventually pull them into its orbit.
     
    Kirook likes this.
  8. Max Sinister Retired Myriad Club Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2004
    Location:
    The Chaos TL
    In "Decades of Darkness", Jared has the Netherlands stay part of a renewed Holy Roman Empire. Here we have three powers with three emperors (Austria, Prussia, Netherlands) instead of a dualism where nobody is happy if he isn't the boss and every equilibrium is too shaky.
     
    NiGHTS and Nivek like this.
  9. oofo Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2014
    The thing that really made the Greater German solution impossible was that it could only happen if the Habsburgs wanted it to. Their conditions were that 1. They get to rule Germany
    2. All Habsburg territory is included in Germany (Hungary, Galicia, Croatia, etc.)

    Lots of German nationalists were fine with 1, but absolutely none of them would agree to 2. It’s this reason that the Frankfurt Parliament went with Kleindeustchland.

    The Prussians annexing all of German Austria (with Bohemia) is impossible. Prussia would be insane to even try it. It would start a European crisis. Furthermore, Wilhelm I was an old school legitimist. He would never agree to annexing Austria, the Habsburgs’ central possession for centuries and one the Prussians had no claim to.

    Only way for a Grossdeutschland is to have Austria collapse in 1848-1849.
     
    Istariol, Evil Crusader and Zagan like this.
  10. Nivek Resident Videogame Expert

    Joined:
    May 4, 2009
    Location:
    Santa Marta,Magdalena,Colombia
    That was not great germany but great Austria proposal , the proposal of great germany was to detach hungary as an independent kingdom in personal union.
     
    Mako-Tochan likes this.
  11. FillyofDelphi Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2017
    ... I think that's the point. If Austria is weak enough that they'd be willing to grant absolute autonomy to the non-German parts of the Empire they are, by definition, too weak to enforce a greater Germany
     
    Julio92 and Istariol like this.
  12. isabella Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2012
    I think we can have an Austrian led Great Germany without an Austrian collapse if Metternich decide to resolve the Hungarian problem persuading the Emperor Ferdinand to abdicate to that crown in favour of his nephew Maximilian, then to abdicate to everything else in favour of Franz Joseph (who will be free to accept the German Crown)
     
    TimTurner and oberdada like this.
  13. Mako-Tochan Genderfluid Bosnia, apparently ?

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2018
    Location:
    Alsace
    A solution would be to create an "Austrosphere" that includes Hapsburg ruled Germany (Germany + Slovenia + Czechia at least) ; Hungary ; maybe Illyria ; a Union of the Italian Hapsburg Kingdom.

    All of them would be led by either the same person OR to have a different Hapsburg on every throne. The goal is to have the smallest number of weak-enough-to-be-obedient states plus Germany.
     
    Nivek likes this.
  14. FillyofDelphi Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2017
    Getting Ferdinand to keep a consistant policy on anything in 48' would require he be in a much better mental state, which means the Empire won't have been in the tyranical aimless drift that made it such a tinderbox as to produce anything like out timeline's crisis. Not to mention, the Archdutchess Sophia; even then standing so far above her generation of Habsburgs that her contemporaries called her "The only man at court" wouldent tolerate her son giving up half the Empire (not to mention, you run into the issue of the status of Croatia and Transylvania)... and she has the army leadership on her side
     
    Nivek likes this.
  15. isabella Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2012
    Well Ferdinand would simply need to follow instructions as he often was doing (no way he was really ruling the Austrian Empire with his kind of health) and Sophia well she can get onboard with this definitive solution for the Hungary problem (who her son has not yet inherited) if that would mean who her second son would have a crown of his own (and her eldest recognized as over ruler of all Germany)
     
  16. DominusNovus Humbled by Fate

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2004
    Not my area of expertise, but would a Habsburg-ruled Germany, in personal union with the non-German parts of the Austrian empire, be something that could work?
     
  17. FillyofDelphi Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2017
    Except the issue is FAR more complicated than that. The status of Croatia and Transylvania; who both have Austrian Loyalists in power in 48' and are legally distinct from Hungary proper though still part of the Lands of the Crown of St. Stephen (You though post-67' Austria was complicated? Try looking before the Habsburgs made the unitary state) are just the broadest level problems. Now you've suddenly given the minorities this idea that independence under a dynastic scion is something achievable and they're entitled to... and sent a message to any actually politically ambitious Augsburg who crops up that Vienna isen't the only possible prize. There's also the geopolitical message you send by willingly handing off half the Empire without so much as a token resistance: who's going to take Austria seriously now? And if you take the Frankfurt gutter crown how much power does the monarch really get? So many questions and pitfalls...
     
  18. isabella Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2012
    Well Croatia and Transylvania would stay as part of the main Habsburg Empire and Hungary will not have full autonomy as would be a separate Kingdom but still under the authority of Vienna (aka internal autonomy but forced to respond to Vienna in matter of military and foreign politics)
     
  19. FillyofDelphi Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2017
    This makes no sense. You don't even have a common monarch and, through it, any methoid for appointing responsable common ministries. Max isen't a "King" in any meaningful sense. Oh, and your policy on Transylvania runs counter to the rebel demands, as does the restrictions on military matters.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/12_points_of_the_Hungarian_Revolutionaries_of_1848

    You need to meet these.