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What if France had won the Franco-Prussian War?

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  • What if France had won the Franco-Prussian War?

    Seeing as this is only my second post I hope you guys will be gentle.

    Back on topic, what kind of Europe would have emerged if France had defeated Prussia instead of the other way around? I even thought of a hypothetical outcome, with France establishing a sphere of influence over the southern German states, preventing complete German unification. Maybe even have Denmark and Austria join in hoping to avenge their earlier defeats at the hands of the Prussians.

    I'm sorry if this topic has been discussed before, but I would still like to see everyone's opinion on the issue.
    Fun Fact of the Day - You burn more calories sleeping than you do watching television. -

  • #2
    Seeing as this is only my second post I hope you guys will be gentle
    Nice white linen suit, young cowboy
    "Ask not what your country can do for you"

    Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

    you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

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    • #3
      Big second step too, to start with a thread That bodes well.

      Full scope of your alternative is mind boggling. 1870 has not been called the starting year of modern times for nothing.
      I try to think some aspects over. With your outcome there will continue to be a power vacuum in Central Europe. Times as we have witnessed since 1648 will continue. I wonder however if the socio-economic drive which Germany witnessed would not be harnessed somehow, by Prussia in another attempt or perhaps by another German power.
      As a rule both in science as well as in politics: vacuums somehow always get filled. The Central European vacuum would be too: in the West likely by France under Napoleon III, in the East by Czarist Russia, not being checked by Prussia/Germany as they historically were.
      I'm speculating wildly now but there might have been an Western power bloc with France at the helm vs an Eastern one under Russian leadership in Europe instead of the Franco-Russian Alliance vs the Triple Alliance. Your guess would be as good as mine what would happen to Austria-Hungary, the German states, Italy.
      Last edited by Colonel Sennef; 15 Aug 08, 16:01.
      BoRG

      You may not be interested in War, but War is interested in You - Leon Trotski, June 1919.

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      • #4
        Russian Court was close to France.

        Defeat of Prussia in 1870 does not remove them from the political happenings in Europe. Just as the real defeat of France did not totally remove them but only reduced thier influence.
        "Ask not what your country can do for you"

        Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

        you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Half Pint View Post
          Russian Court was close to France.

          Defeat of Prussia in 1870 does not remove them from the political happenings in Europe. Just as the real defeat of France did not totally remove them but only reduced thier influence.
          Well obviously not, but it does damper any Prussian hopes of a more "peaceful" unification process with the remanining German principalities.

          It could also cause the German states that had already been unified to denounce Prussian dominance. My guess would be that some sort of civil war would have broken out between Prussia and the southern German states sometime in the late 1870s or 1880s with probable intervention from the other European powers (specifically France).
          Fun Fact of the Day - You burn more calories sleeping than you do watching television. -

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          • #6
            the southern German States? Which ones? Wurttemberg is the home of the Hollenzollerns or in other words home of the King of Prussia. That pretty much leave Bavaria
            "Ask not what your country can do for you"

            Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

            you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Half Pint View Post
              the southern German States? Which ones? Wurttemberg is the home of the Hollenzollerns or in other words home of the King of Prussia. That pretty much leave Bavaria
              Wasn't Wurttemberg historically antagonistic against Prussia, I mean didn't they side with the Austrians against them. Irregardless wouldn't Prussian defeat have left the southern German states with their independence, maybe something that they would've fought to preserve?
              Fun Fact of the Day - You burn more calories sleeping than you do watching television. -

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              • #8
                Originally posted by lk_sidestep View Post
                Wasn't Wurttemberg historically antagonistic against Prussia, I mean didn't they side with the Austrians against them. Irregardless wouldn't Prussian defeat have left the southern German states with their independence, maybe something that they would've fought to preserve?
                They were independent. Bavaria still claims a special place with in Germany as being the Free State of Bavaria. Forget not that the alliance with in Europe and with in Germany changed often
                "Ask not what your country can do for you"

                Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

                you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Half Pint View Post
                  They were independent. Bavaria still claims a special place with in Germany as being the Free State of Bavaria. Forget not that the alliance with in Europe and with in Germany changed often
                  Were they still independent when they joined the German Reich?

                  What I'm trying to say is that French victroy would've prevented the historic unfication of the Northern German Confederation with the German states south of the Main River who would've fallen under a French sphere of influence. Thus Prussia would aggresively seek to bring them into the fold which would've have prompted a quasi-civil war between the Germans with the French intervening on behalf of the southern German states.

                  btw thanks for the tip
                  Fun Fact of the Day - You burn more calories sleeping than you do watching television. -

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by lk_sidestep View Post
                    Were they still independent when they joined the German Reich?

                    Think of your home state, Is it really independent? Much the same with the German States of the time. Bavaria and the Austrians had more than one dust up between them. Both were/are Catholic, which plays a big roll in European/German/France history. By 1870 imo the German people were acting more and more as Germans and less, not much, as the different states. I tend to think that any forum of a civil war was very mote. Napoleon III was no way close to the leader of the real deal, who had left a very bad taste in the Germans mouth. This was a time of the German peoples (Austria) uniting
                    What I'm trying to say is that French victroy would've prevented the historic unfication of the Northern German Confederation with the German states south of the Main River who would've fallen under a French sphere of influence. Thus Prussia would aggresively seek to bring them into the fold which would've have prompted a quasi-civil war between the Germans with the French intervening on behalf of the southern German states.

                    btw thanks for the tip
                    That at one time was one of my favorites My older sister litterly slapped it out of me
                    Last edited by Half Pint John; 15 Aug 08, 18:42.
                    "Ask not what your country can do for you"

                    Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

                    you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Half Pint View Post
                      That at one time was one of my favorites My older sister litterly slapped it out of me
                      Ah, I see what you're getting at.

                      If I can ask, what do you think would've come out of a French intervention, lets say that Napoleon III refused to allow the German unification to happen and decided to take action by invading and occupying the states of Wurtemburg, Hesse, Baden and Bavaria?
                      Fun Fact of the Day - You burn more calories sleeping than you do watching television. -

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by lk_sidestep View Post
                        Ah, I see what you're getting at.

                        If I can ask, what do you think would've come out of a French intervention, lets say that Napoleon III refused to allow the German unification to happen and decided to take action by invading and occupying the states of Wurtemburg, Hesse, Baden and Bavaria?

                        I don't think he had the were with all to pull it off. Not politically and not militarily. Hessian was part of Prussia at that time IIRC. Wurtemburg had some of the best units in the German/Prussian Army in 1870. Bravaria was much the same. Oversimplification France Nappy III would have gotten their asssss handed to them before their socks dried out after crossing the Rhine.
                        "Ask not what your country can do for you"

                        Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

                        you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          France might have had a chance if they had stuck with Marshal Niel's plan to attack into the Prussian Rhineland,such an attack would have forced the Germans to respond to this rather than being able to be on the offensive as often. Alittle background on Niel:Minister of war 1867-1869,implemented reforms in the French army,including adoption of the Chassepot rifle,that were abandoned upon his death in '69.
                          If the art of war were nothing but the art of avoiding risks,glory would become the prey of mediocre minds. Napoleon

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                          • #14
                            If the French had won the war, Prussia would not of been unified by Bismarck, and basicaly there would have been no World War I.
                            'where da potato at?'
                            The Irishman said during the 1845 potato famine

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by MajorSharpe View Post
                              If the French had won the war, Prussia would not of been unified by Bismarck, and basicaly there would have been no World War I.
                              This was the sort of response I was aiming for.

                              So, if Germany wouldn't have been united then would France have remained the dominant land power in Europe through the 19th century and into the 20th century?
                              Fun Fact of the Day - You burn more calories sleeping than you do watching television. -

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