American Revolution fails, when is Europe's next great war?

Let's say the American Revolution fails with no foreign involvement (perhaps Saratoga is a British victory) and the colonies stay under Britain's tightened thumb. The French Revolution is most likely butterflied or at least delayed, but prior to the American Revolution, Britain was not in a great place diplomatically. So this begs the question, when would the next big war break out in Europe? Would France try to avenge the Seven Years War?
 
Considering that Europe was having major wars every half a century or so, I'd imagine another big war would come around the early 19th Century.
 
Considering that Europe was having major wars every half a century or so, I'd imagine another big war would come around the early 19th Century.
So about on time then. 1792 is a bit early but not a lot.

Regardless, I think such a situation favors the French-Austrian (maybe spanish??) Bloc compared to otl. With more time and not immediately accrewing impossible debt, XVI is in a much better position and can build allies at court, hopefully reforming the economy more than he could otl and more stably than the revolutionaries.

Not only this, but Britain wont be able to field the entire army- the americans may or may not take a chance to revolt again, but until that becomes clear, britain can't take the gamble.

finally, unlike OTL, I dont think Britain is well off diplomatically. the French revolution was the best thing that ever happened to perfidious albion's reputation, but I don't think the dutch republic or spain favored them over france at the time.
 
There is a possible revolution in Ireland in 1798.
Even this had some contributing threads from the American Revolutionary War and French Revolution though.

Consider an unconventional alternative- Perhaps France and Britain do *not* have to be on opposite sides for the next war. Perhaps, for example, they can be on the same side, opposing the later Polish partitions by the eastern powers. I think that Vergennes or Choiseul or another of the late 18th century French Ministers was actually advocating for prioritizing containment of Russia over containment of Britain.
 
I think France and Spain would be rightfully spooked with all those British soldiers keeping an eye on the rebels in the British Americas... Lest they get bored and turn their eye to the French or Spanish Americas. So there's the next conflict brewing.

Then off course there is the uprising- some even say revolution- in Haiti. Right now, the whole of Europe is pretty much united in NOT hindering the French in dealing with their uppity slaves because 1) no nation can claim the moral high ground there and 2) no one really wants the idea that slaves can build a nation all by themselves to take hold.... It might spread to their own 'holdings'. Still, if one other nation is p....ed enough about those French colonials and starts helping the rebels slaves, you have a pan-European conflict right there.
 
Perhaps this is too analogous to OTL, but a set of German Revolutionary Wars in the former HRE to overthrow the countless princes, bishoprics etc. and replace them with one republic might be a thing.

On the anti-revolutionary side: the Kingdom of France, the Dutch Republic, the Austrian Empire, the PLC (as a Russian puppet), Russia and Denmark-Norway.

On the revolutionary side: the Danish Republic, the Bohemian Republic, the Swiss Republic, the Republic of France etc .
Not really realistic.
 
Last edited:
Perhaps this is too analogous to OTL, but a set of German Revolutionary Wars in the former HRE to overthrow the countless princes, bishoprics etc. and replace them with one republic might be a thing.

On the anti-revolutionary side: the Kingdom of France, the Dutch Republic, the Austrian Empire, the PLC (as a Russian puppet), Russia and Denmark-Norway.

On the revolutionary side: the Danish Republic, the Bohemian Republic, the Swiss Republic, the Republic of France etc .
Not really realistic.
Was there really any pan-Germanist movements pre-Napoleon? I know the HRE tried mediatization and cutting down the German states from 300 to 39, but I'm not sure if that'd be butterflied by an absent French revolution.
 
Was there really any pan-Germanist movements pre-Napoleon? I know the HRE tried mediatization and cutting down the German states from 300 to 39, but I'm not sure if that'd be butterflied by an absent French revolution.
Not that I know of.
 
I think France and Spain would be rightfully spooked with all those British soldiers keeping an eye on the rebels in the British Americas... Lest they get bored and turn their eye to the French or Spanish Americas. So there's the next conflict brewing.

Then off course there is the uprising- some even say revolution- in Haiti. Right now, the whole of Europe is pretty much united in NOT hindering the French in dealing with their uppity slaves because 1) no nation can claim the moral high ground there and 2) no one really wants the idea that slaves can build a nation all by themselves to take hold.... It might spread to their own 'holdings'. Still, if one other nation is p....ed enough about those French colonials and starts helping the rebels slaves, you have a pan-European conflict right there.
Wasn't that sparked by the French Revolution occuring in the first place?
 
Wasn't that sparked by the French Revolution occuring in the first place?
Yes. Everyone got excited about news coming out of Europe, which led to rumors thst slavery was going to be abolished, which led to rumors that it was abolished, which led to rumors that the masters were concealing the information, which led to revolt.

And then things spiraled.
 
Yeah, it's almost like without the American Revolution, nothing else ever happens in history, ever, because people are out of ideas. :openedeyewink:
Europe might have an entirely different set of revolutionary wars, and industrialization regardless is going to bring radical ideologies into existence, and even with just absolutist monarchies, a world-war equivalent or even just a 1 vs 1 great power conflict will destroy the old order
 
Yeah, it's almost like without the American Revolution, nothing else ever happens in history, ever, because people are out of ideas. :openedeyewink:
No, but it absolutely did galvanize later revolutionary movements, including the Patriots in the Netherlabds whose suppression by Prussia exposed France’s financial fragility to the world.

That said, Haiti was kind of a mess just waiting to happen. You can’t have 90% of a population brutally enslaved and not expect some kind of issue. The question is whether France that’s not busy with its own affairs can put them down.
And how long France’s utterly shit financial state can be remedied. Another major European war is not going to help that situation.
 
No, but it absolutely did galvanize later revolutionary movements, including the Patriots in the Netherlabds whose suppression by Prussia exposed France’s financial fragility to the world.

That said, Haiti was kind of a mess just waiting to happen. You can’t have 90% of a population brutally enslaved and not expect some kind of issue. The question is whether France that’s not busy with its own affairs can put them down.
And how long France’s utterly shit financial state can be remedied. Another major European war is not going to help that situation.
But it's not like Haiti's situation just reached that point during the lead up to the revolt. It had been that way for a century and half. It took the utter destabilization that was the French revolution and the particular situation of the French Revolutionary Wars and the associated ganging up on France for it to even happen.
 
Yeah, it's almost like without the American Revolution, nothing else ever happens in history, ever, because people are out of ideas. :openedeyewink:
The problem is that the French Revolutionary/Nap Wars completed changed European dynamics. It isn't that wars and stuff won't happen. It's that there's no obvious cause of war on the horizon. So, while a cause can be conjured up in fiction, it's hard to predict in real life when/where/why the cause would have happened. (yeah, I know the smiley face means your post was in jest/sarcasm)

That said, Spain and France were itching to recover standing in the world status rank, and territorial/trade revanche after losing 7YW. The ARW served up a prime opportunity for both to get involved. France had previously declined to get involved in Spain's Falkland crisis a few years earlier. France had a history of forgetting about Spain's interests, while pressuring Spain to help them out when needed. That continued on in the Nap Wars. So, I doubt France would join up with Spain on any Spanish oriented crisis. Otherwise, the Nootka Crisis would present a good opportunity. By then, though, Carlos III (who really hated Britain) is dead, so some of the eagerness for revanche is gone. If the stars align, maybe Spain could get France to pressure Britain and spark a war.

Bavarian succession crisis is another obvious opportunity. I don't think France is interested in helping Austria get more powerful, and without French support, Austria caved pretty quickly, OTL. Same would happen in TTL without French support. Unless the ARW is butterflied into a minor affair, Britain probably would not get too involved in the crisis, unless it spirals out of control.

Spain had a dustup with Portugal in 1777 timeframe. Portugal was mad Britain didn't come to their aid, but Britain was occupied with the ARW. Perhaps, if the ARW was minimized, Britain might see fit to help Portugal, and the thing blows up. Just as France was only a one way friend to Spain, so, too, did Britain tend to ignore Portugal in their time of need, so as long as Spain/Portugal kept it colonial, I doubt Britain gets involved.

Other than that, the FR/Nap Wars usurped everything, so future causes are hard to see. And the ARW may have usurped the dynamics that might have led to something in the 80's.
 
I know I said it before, but France's most implacable foe was the exponential function. (So too it was for many other states.) Therefore, a financial crisis would likely spark another revolution or civil war in France, certainly before 1800.

In the case where the American Rebellion is suppressed, expect a more sustained Great Siege of Gibraltar. This might obviate any savings that France gained from supporting the ARW and cause a financial crisis in a similar time frame to our own, with the calling of a States General by Louis etc.

If the financial crisis is delayed (not avoided, see above,) then the King would probably not convene a States General and just raise taxes on everyone; for instance, equalizing the gabelle salt tax everywhere to Parisian levels. This would make the formerly exempt regions such as Brittany rebel against the King and spark off an even bloodier French Civil War.
 
In the case where the American Rebellion is suppressed, expect a more sustained Great Siege of Gibraltar. This might obviate any savings that France gained from supporting the ARW and cause a financial crisis in a similar time frame to our own, with the calling of a States General by Louis etc.
I'm not following you. If France is supporting ARW as OTL, where do you get savings? If France is supporting ARW at a covert level, Spain/France do not go to war with Britain, and there is no Great Siege of Gibraltar. IF we're talking an alt great war, we can make no predictions, since we don't know the scenario.
 
Top