I'm pretty sure Woltairre was asking if I had an update planned for today on account of the US Midterm elections held yesterday and since today is a Wednesday, the day upon which I usually post updates. Suffice to say, I don't have a new update ready yet.:oops:
correct that what I was saying and I was half joking too at the same time with this :openedeyewink: emoji.
 
I'm pretty sure Woltairre was asking if I had an update planned for today on account of the US Midterm elections held yesterday and since today is a Wednesday, the day upon which I usually post updates. Suffice to say, I don't have a new update ready yet.:oops:
Aaa yes i forgot you usually post updates on Wednesday...damn you nursing school and your crazy hours
 
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Part 63: L'Aiglon
Part 63: L’Aiglon

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The Bloodless Coup of Napoleon Franz

The Provisional Government of the Second French Republic was a troubled institution right from the start with adversaries, rivals, opponents, and opportunists lining up to take its place. Mere moments after the deposition of the July Monarchy and the declaration of the Republic, cracks began to emerge in the new government as several Socialists and Fourierists began issuing demands to their more moderate partners. They called for the establishment of universal suffrage for all male citizens and the creation of national workshops to provide work for the unemployed. They demanded the abolition of the nobility and peerages in France as well as the abolition of slavery across the Empire. They wanted the freedom to assemble and the rights of the press to be respected and protected by the government. Finally, they desired an end to the war in Belgium and they wanted free and fair democratic elections.

The Provisional Government would immediately agree to several of these initiatives, namely universal suffrage for all male citizens, the right to assemble, and the freedom of the press. However, many members of the Provisional Government deemed national workshops to be a temporary solution, rather than a long-term answer to France’s economic woes. Moreover, they were incredibly expensive and given the financial requirements of the ongoing war they were rejected out of hand by more conservative members of the Government.[1] They also disagreed over the war, namely what terms they desired for peace and how far they were willing to go to achieve those terms. And while they would agree to hold elections, they would disagree on their timing. Many of the Liberal Monarchists and Moderates supported snap elections before the end of August, while many of the Socialists and Radical Republicans like the activists Louis Blanc and Louis Auguste Blanqui wanted them to be delayed until the people could be properly educated in republican principles and manners.

The moderates would eventually compromise with the Socialists, agreeing to hold the elections in a month’s time on the 25th of September, but no later as the ongoing crises plaguing France demanded the attention of proper government, not a temporary Assembly. These decisions by the Provisional Government would not sit well with everyone however, as conservatives and liberals alike viewed it as going too far or not far enough respectively. Soon unrest would begin to stir up across the countryside once more with both sides moving to oppose the new Government. The biggest threat initially would come from the newly deposed King Ferdinand-Philippe and his many supporters across the country.

Despite its faults and failures, the House of Orleans remained a prestigious and relatively popular family that had earned the loyalty and respect of many Frenchmen. Their support among the burgeoning French middle class and merchant class was especially strong. They also drew a great deal of their support from the military as a number of Generals and Admirals continued to pledge their loyalty to the deposed July Monarchy rather than the newly installed Provisional Government. Fears of civil war and instability plagued France for the next few days until word reached Paris in early September of King Ferdinand-Philippe’s decision to depart into exile for the good of all France. The deposition of the last Orléanist King would not stop the rising tension in France as debate over the fate of his former supporters would sadly split the Moderates and the Radicals once again.

Many Socialists and Republicans demanded harsh punishments for those that had supported the ousted House of Orleans, while others such as Alphonse de Lamartine called for leniency and reconciliation. The matter was made worse by the approaching National Election which was unfortunately marred with allegations of corruption and voter suppression on all sides of the aisle. When the results returned a massive victory for the Républicains modérés (Moderate Republicans) under Alphonse de Lamartine, Émile Ollivier, and Francois Arago, it came as no surprise that many Démocrate-socialistes (Democratic Socialists) viewed these results with suspicion and soon took to the streets demanding a new election.

The Socialists were quickly joined by disgruntled laborers and workers who demanded higher wages and improved working conditions in their work environments, moreover they demanded collective bargaining and unionization. Negotiations with the workers would quickly break down, leading to strikes and protests throughout Paris as neither side showed any signs of compromise. With the war in Belgium ongoing and the country still in a state of economic recession, the French Government could ill-afford a prolonged demonstration by its craftsmen and laborers and applied greater pressure on the organizers to end the strike. Nevertheless, the demonstrations would continue for another six days before the newly elected government finally sent in the troops to break up the strike. Unfortunately, several men and women were killed in the scuffle, prompting a revolt by the workers and their socialist allies.

Violence would soon consume all of Paris with demonstrators even marching on the Palais Bourbons, fighting their way past the guards, and even ransacking the Chamber of Deputies. Hundreds were killed in the fighting, with several deputies being counted among the dead, most Ministers and deputies would escape however, and reorganize the government outside the city at the Palace of Versailles. With much of the capital under their control, the Democratic Socialists declared the establishment of their own rival government, the Socialist Republic of France (République socialiste de France), and demanded the surrender of the Moderate Republican Government. The Moderates would only be saved from being toppled themselves by the timely support of the National Guard and its commander General Louis-Eugene Cavaignac.

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General Louis-Eugene Cavaignac

General Cavaignac’s men had originally mustered to aid the Armee du Nord in the ongoing war in Belgium. However with the uprising of the Socialists and Workers in early October these orders were rescinded leaving the General and his men in position around Paris at the time of the riots. Moving quickly, Cavaignac quickly moved against the rebels at the The Hôtel de Ville, the Palais Bourbon, and the Place de la Bastille. The Rebels fought bravely and vigorously, having erected barricades throughout the city forcing the Guardsmen to fight for every inch and every street. However against the superior might of the French Army they stood little chance, with the Legislature building falling to the Guard by nightfall on the 5th and the Place de la Bastille capitulating on the 6th. Unrest would continue for several more days, but by the 8th of October, the rebellion was effectively over as the leaders of the Socialist Republic of France surrendered en masse to General Cavaignac. The Provisional Government had been saved, but only at a great cost as several thousand Parisians had been killed in the fighting and the legitimacy of the Republic was thoroughly shaken in the eyes of the people.[2]

The victory by Cavaignac would greatly enhance his portfolio within the Republican Government, rising from a simple General de Division before the August Revolution to Minister of War after the October Uprising. Moreover, he would leverage his newfound influence to gain emergency powers and declare martial law across Paris, leading to the imprisonment of renowned Socialists and Royalists alike in the name of national security. With his soldiers walking the streets of Paris, General Cavaignac achieved de facto supremacy over the embattled Second Republic, becoming Dictator of France in all but name - although his authority outside of Paris was tenuous at best and not existent at worst.

General Cavaignac's short time as dictator of France would see several important developments, namely the abolition of hereditary peerages and the abolition of the Senate. He would also do away with imprisonment for debt, working hours were reduced from 14 hours per day to 12, slavery was abolished throughout the French colonial Empire, and the Army, Navy, and National Guard were opened to all male citizens of France above the age of 16. Unfortunately, Cavaignac would also crack down on the Democratic Socialists and Conservatives, restricting newspapers, imprisoning political opponents, and maintaining martial law well after the present crisis in Paris had passed despite his promises to the contrary. His most famous, or rather infamous decision regarded the ongoing war in Belgium, which had continued unabated in the weeks since King Ferdinand-Philippe's deposition in August.

Following the failure of the July Peace Conference, the War in Belgium had slowly, but surely turned against the French as the political situation in Paris drew men and resources away. Soldiers initially bound for the front in Flanders, were instead sent to Paris or Lyon or Caen to put down revolts by anti-Republican forces, General Cavaignac’s men being one such example. The October Uprising by the Socialists and factory workers in early October, crippled the French munitions industry as thousands of skilled laborers lay dead and dozens of factories had been thoroughly pillaged in the fighting, requiring months of repair before they could begin manufacturing weapons and munitions once again. The instability of the Government was also reflected in their orders to the Armee du Nord, which fluctuated by the day as new ministers and administrators took office.

The transfer of administrative power from the Orléanists to the Provisional Government, and then later the Cavaignac Government, was not a smooth process either as various conservatives and Orléanists officials were purged from the state’s massive bureaucracy, while liberals were elevated and promoted to fill these new vacancies. This change in management was also felt in the French military, with various officers of suspect loyalty being reassigned to dead end posts in Algeria or the Americas, while others were pressured into early retirements. Even though the total number of effected officers was relatively low, with only a few dozen being significantly affected, it would have a disproportional effect on the Armee du Nord as its commander Marshal Thomas Robert Bugeaud and several other high-ranking officers were subjected to intense reviews by the new Republican Government.

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Thomas Robert Bugeaud, Duc d’Isly and Marshal of France


Overall, the duc d’Isly’s command in Belgium had been largely successful; much of the country was under French/Walloon control and they had achieved several important victories over their Prussian and Dutch adversaries. However, his talented leadership betrayed an overly cautious approach that had allowed the enemy to escape his grasp on several occasions, needlessly prolonging the war. He had also refrained from enacting harsh reprisals upon the native Flemings in the vain hope of reconciling them with the Walloons, despite continued partisan activity on their part against him. Most damning of all however, D’Isly had been a vocal supporter of the July Monarchy prior to the revolution and remained sympathetic to them even after their deposition, making his loyalty to the new Republic suspect at best. Ultimately, General Cavaignac decided that the duc d’Isly was to be relieved of his post and forced into retirement, bringing an end to his impressive military career.

The duc d’Isly’s chief lieutenant, the duc de Nemours Prince Louis of Orleans was similarly forced out of the army by the new Republican Government as were his three younger brothers, bringing an abrupt end to their military careers as well. Other officers in the Armee du Nord who had openly professed loyalty to the deposed monarchy, such as 4th Corps’ General Changarnier were reassigned to other theaters, while the much maligned General Magnan of 2nd Corps was relieved of his command for his failures at Antwerp back in early June. However, the unrest and instability of the new Government would unfortunately leave these positions unfilled for weeks on end, effectively leaving the Armee du Nord leaderless and rudderless until mid-October when General Cavaignac began appointing replacements to these vacant posts.

In recognition of his valor at Tienen, General Jacques Leroy de Saint Arnaud was elevated to General de Corps, replacing General Magnan as 2nd Corps’ commander. General Auguste Regnaud de Saint Jean d’Angely was similarly promoted to General de Corps and assumed command of 4th Corps in place of General Changarnier. Finally, General Christophe Leon Louis Juchault de Lamoricière, a close confidant and ally of General Cavaignac, was given command of the Armee du Nord in place of the now retired Marshal Bugeaud. General de Lamoricière had been a member of Marshal Bugeaud’s staff both in Algeria and in Belgium, providing novel stratagems to counter the Dutch and Prussian forces. Unfortunately, for General Lamoricière he would take command of an army which had been much reduced over the past few months as attrition and desertion had reducing the Armee du Nord from 132,000 men at the end of June to little more than 98,000 men at the start of November.

Added to this were the continuous skirmishes with Fleming insurgents and Prussian Jaegers who racked up a staggering body count against French scouts numbering in the hundreds and thousands. The unrest at home and the disruption of supplies and pay would also dampen morale for the French forces unfortunately as men were called away to put down uprisings and rebellions in France. In comparison the joint Dutch-Fleming-Prussian Army had increased mildly from 76,000 in June to 84,000 thanks to nationalistic fervor by the Germans. General Lamoricière’s appointment would help in some areas, as his talents as a charismatic leader reinvigorated the troops for the campaigning season ahead. His skills as a battlefield commander would unfortunately leave much to be desired in the disastrous Fall Campaign.

Although the French offensive in the Fall of 1848 began on a good note with a pair of victories over Dutch forces at Mechelen and Willebroek on the 5th and 6th of November respectively, Lamoricière’s attempts to cross the Nete and Ruppel rivers were bloodily rebuffed by the Allied Army near Boom, Rumst, and Duffel in rapid succession. Unable to make much progress against the entrenched Prussian and Dutch forces across the River, Lamoriciere split his force in two, leaving Saint Arnaud and Vaillant behind at Walem and Ruisbroek, while the rest of the Army moved to the East, taking the lightly defended town of Lier on the 9th before turning Northwest towards Antwerp the following day. The march north from Lier was immediately countered by Prussian and Dutch skirmishers who pestered the French army for hours on end. Still, resistance proved to be surprisingly light leading Lamoricière to believe he had succeeded in drawing Prussian and Dutch attention to the South.

However, as he approached the commune of Boechout, he began encountering more and more adversaries in his path. Still confident of victory, Lamoricière continued to push forward only to find the entire Prussian Army encamped before him ready to do battle. Prince Wilhelm had only learned of the French maneuver around their flank the night prior and had been forced to march through the night to counter it. With Lamoricier and the French cornered, Prince Wilhelm and the Prussians began their attack, viciously assaulting the unprepared French. Sporadic fighting would take place throughout the day, but by nightfall, the French were in retreat and the Prussians were hot on their tail, picking off stragglers and inflicting thousands of casualties at the cost of a few hundred of their own.

With Lamoriciere cornered at Boechout, the Dutch carried out their own attack against Saint Arnaud and Vaillant at Walem. The battle was fierce as both sides fought for control of the frigid river. The French would manage to hold their ground against their Dutch adversaries well into the night, however, when it became clear that Lamoricière had been defeated and the Prussians were marching against them, Vaillant and Saint Arnaud withdrew southward to Brussels. Invigorated by their string of victories, the Allies went on the offensive once more, with the Dutch striking first towards Ghent and West Flanders while the Prussians chased the haggard Frenchmen to Brussels which was placed under siege by the end of November. It is at this point that we must turn our attention to the activities of Napoleon Franz (Napoleon II).

Napoleon Franz had resided in London for much of the past 8 years, becoming somewhat of a frequent subject of gossip and rumors in the British press. In stark contrast to the disdain and ridicule that his father had endured years ago, Napoleon Franz was praised as a gentleman, a forward thinker, a patron of the arts, and a protector of the people among many other accolades. He would even appear in public with Queen Victoria on occasion at Buckingham palace, as she had become quite fascinated by the French Prince. Salacious rumors would even contend that the two were secretly lovers and that Napoleon Franz had fathered some of Victoria’s children, although these have been thoroughly debunked by most contemporary sources. However, despite presenting himself as an aloof nobleman to British society, Napoleon Franz was a very serious man who constantly kept an eye on the goings on in France for several years thanks to his network of supporters and friends within the French Government.

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Napoleon Franz meeting with Queen Victoria

Napoleon wrote political theses defining Bonapartism as its own political ideology espousing liberalism and imperialism together as one. He penned letters to his supporters in France enabling him to stay well versed in the day to day events in the country and he meticulously planned for his eventual return to France. He stockpiled guns and horded cash, he met with French expats and merchants who were dissatisfied with the present system in France. He also met with British ministers, such as Lord Melbourne, Sir Robert Peel, and Viscount Palmerston among others who provided Napoleon Franz with clandestine support for his efforts against the French Government. However, the greatest boon to his cause would be the War in Belgium between France and Prussia.

Despite initially bolstering support for the hated House of Orleans, fortune quickly shifted against the July Monarchy and they were soon toppled by republicans and socialists. The succeeding Provisional Government similarly began with a great deal of support and admiration among the people, yet it quickly betrayed that trust with their incompetent and corrupt rule. Choosing to strike while the iron was still hot, Napoleon Franz and a few hundred of his closest supporters departed from Britain and set sail for France on the 24th of November, just days after the fall of Bruges to the Dutch and the beginning of the siege of Brussels.

French patrols and Dutch privateers would force the Bonapartists to wade ashore at the small fishing town of Mers-les-Bains along the Picard coast. Wasting no time, Napoleon Franz and his followers immediately set to work ginning up support among the receptive populace. His men handed out coats, hats, and gloves for the homeless, and they distributed food for the hungry, they provided alms for the poor and medicine for the sick, repeating this act of philanthropy in every village they pasted through on the road to Paris. Napoleon Franz’ efforts were not entirely altruistic however, as he openly pronounced his intentions to seek the throne as his father had before him and called upon the people of France to aid him. Promising liberal reforms, an end to the war, and the hated war taxes and conscription policies that came with it, Napoleon Franz’s company quickly swelled from 300 men to nearly 1,000 by the end of the day and within a week’s time, it had risen to more than 2,000 men.

His landing at Mers-les-Bains did not go entirely unnoticed by the Government of General Cavaignac who immediately dispatched General Armand D’Allonville with 4,000 troops to arrest the Bonaparte Prince if possible or kill him if he could not. Setting out from Paris, D’Allonville would succeed in tracking Napoleon Franz and his followers to the city of Amiens on the 2nd of December where his cavalrymen cornered the former King of Rome and his followers. With muskets raised and bayonets fixed, it appeared as if this was the end of Napoleon Franz, he would die a sad death on the road to Paris, with his ambitions unfulfilled and his promises unkept. In a show of defiance, Napoleon Franz beckoned his followers to lower their weapons before marching before the assembled host. Throwing open his coat as if inviting a shot through his heart, he began to speak of liberty, order, and victory, all things his father had provided for France and all things he would give to France as well if given the chance to do so.[3] Impressed by his rousing words as well as his immense bravery, General D’Allonville and his men knelt before Napoleon Franz, hailing him as their Emperor.

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Napoleon Franz receiving the "surrender" of General D'Allonville


Although evidence suggests that D’Allonville’s defection had been preordained thanks to correspondence between him and prominent Bonapartists such as the duc de Persigney and the duc de Morny, it is unknown if he himself was an ardent support of the House of Bonaparte or if his conversion to Napoleon's cause had been spontaneous as various romanticists claim. Nevertheless, his support would prove crucial in the days ahead as the embattled Republican Government sent army after army against Napoleon Franz in a desperate attempt to stop him. Following D’Allonville’s betrayal, Cavaignac and the Republican Government were forced to call upon General Magnan to confront Napoleon II. However, like General D’Allonville before him, General Magnan would side with the Bonapartists swelling the Emperor’s ranks from roughly 9,000 men to nearly 25,000 by the 10th of December. They were later joined by General Aimable Pélissier and General Rémi Joseph Isidore Exelmans and another 10,000 to 20,000 men in the ensuing days.

The final blow to General Cavaignac’s government came from the people of Paris themselves who had grown tired of Cavaignac’s harsh regime. His resistance was also hindered by members of his own government, such as Emile Oliver, Alphonse Henri d'Hautpoul, Eugene Chevandier de Valdrome, and others who delayed and obstructed Cavaignac’s attempts to raise troops and send them against Napoleon. With the people and army against him, Cavaignac was forced to surrender as Napoleon II and his army of supporters reached the outskirts of Paris on the 20th of December before throngs of cheering people. Despite the appeals of his supporters to take the throne by force, Napoleon Franz refused to do so without the support of the French people and announced his intent to put the measure to a vote scheduled for the following Spring.

With Paris subjugated, Napoleon II, immediately moved to fulfill his greatest promise to the people of France, the promise of peace. Riding hard for the Belgian border, Napoleon II, General d’Allonville and 10,000 men came to the aid of the besieged Armee du Nord. Rather than show gratitude or joy at Napoleon Franz’s presence, General Lamoricière resisted his attempts to take command of the Army and threatened to imprison Prince Bonaparte for treason against the French Republic. His threats were quickly proven to be hollow as General Saint Arnaud, General Vaillant, and General d’Angely quickly sided with Napoleon, forcing Lamoricière to surrender himself to Napoleon Franz. In a show of unity and magnanimity, Napoleon would quickly pardon Lamoricière for his brashness and commend him for his loyalty to France.

With the army now pledged to him, Napoleon hastily moved to counter the Prussian and Dutch army encamped outside Brussels. Encouraged by his presence, the French soldiers would vigorously fight off the Dutch and Prussian soldiers under the watchful gaze of their Emperor. Snowfall and sloppy roads would aid the Allied Army against the attack of the reinvigorated Frenchmen, but as the day grinded on they began to succumb to the greater numbers, the greater morale, and the greater firepower of the French army. Finally around mid-afternoon, the Prussian and Dutch soldiers began to break ranks and flee north, the siege of Brussels was ended and with it the war. Rather than give chase after the broken Allied Army, Napoleon dispatched an envoy to the Prussian camp requesting a ceasefire and the holding of a peace conference to bring an end to the war.

Despite his desire to continue the war, Prince Wilhelm recognized the perilousness of his present situation. Prussia was on the brink of revolution, the Netherlands was on the verge of bankruptcy, and the Allied Army was broken beyond recovery. While France was also hemorrhaging men and resources as a result of the war and could not continue on like this forever, they still held a superior position and superior numbers. Moreover, Napoleon II offered generous peace terms, which met most of Prussia's aims. Ultimately, the call for peace would prevail over the lingering war hawks and a time and place was established for the ensuing peace conference. Meeting in London on the 28th of January, representatives of Britain, France, Flanders, the Netherlands, Prussia, and Wallonia gathered to determine the fate of Belgium. The items of debate ranged from territorial aggrandizement to reparations, but in truth these matters were resolved quickly and the debate lasted little more than three days.

The Treaty of London, February 1st 1849:
  • The Treaty of Antwerpen between the Provinces of Flanders and the Kingdom of the Netherlands shall be recognized by all parties present to the ongoing deliberations. Henceforth, the regions of West Flanders, East Flanders, Antwerpen, and Limburg shall be considered subject territories of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
  • The Treaty of Berlin between the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Kingdom of Prussia shall be recognized by all parties present to the ongoing deliberations. The municipality of Neutral Moresnet is henceforth ceded to the Kingdom of Prussia and all Dutch claims to the region shall be forfeited. The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg shall be ceded in part to the Kingdom of Prussia, with the Francophone municipalities in the west of the province being split from the Germanic speaking communities in the East.
  • The remaining provinces of Belgium, Hainut, Brabant, Namur, Liege, and Eastern Luxembourg shall hold in three months' time, a referendum to determine their fate, either choosing to continue as an independent country or to join a neighboring state.
  • All prisoners shall be released immediately without payment of bail or ra,nsom and all territory occupied by the parties involved, apart from the regions specified above, shall be returned without ransom.
  • With the signing of this treaty, peaceful relations shall be restored between the Nations of Belgium, Britain, France, the Netherlands, and Prussia.

The Second Belgian War of Independence came to a close on the 1st of February 1849. Nearly 100,000 men would lose their lives in this conflict, with another 60,000 to 80,000 suffering from debilitating injuries for the remainder of their lives. The result of the war was far from conclusive either as no one side could really claim to be the victor. Although the Netherlands certainly gained territory in the War, they had fallen short of the total reconquest of the Southern Provinces envisioned in April. Moreover, their victory was a pyhrric victory as they had effectively bankrupted themselves in the process and the territory they had won had been thoroughly devastated in the fighting. Prussia had also won territory in the war, and while it was certainly rich and plentiful land, the cost needed to receive it was much too high with nearly half of all casualties suffered in the war being Prussian.

The French for their part would initially receive little recompense for their great suffering in the war, aside from some mild reparations and renewed access to Dutch and Prussian markets. However, in the May Referendum on Belgian Independence, four provinces of the much reduced Kingdom of Belgium (Hainut, Namur, Liege, and Arlon) voted to join with France. The vote in Brabant was highly contested however, with rampant reports of wrongdoing on taking place both sides. The worst allegations came from Brussels where many thousands of Flemish refugees who had fled the city during the war, were barred from returning to the city after the conflict, providing the Walloon populace with a slight advantage over their Fleming neighbors. Ultimately, the region was split in two, with the North of the province electing to join the Netherlands and the South choosing to unite with France. The true victor of the Second Belgian War of Independence however, were the liberals of Europe who took advantage of the chaos and carnage of the war to depose the July Monarchy in France, to unite Flanders with the Netherlands and Wallonia with France. They would bring about revolutionary changes to the German Confederacy and the Italian Peninsula, and they would bring about the demise of one of Europe's greatest powers.

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The State of the Low Countries after the Second Belgian War of Independence
The Netherlands - Orange (Dutch gains outlined in dark orange)
France - Blue (French gains outlined in dark blue)
Prussia - Grey (Prussian gains outlined in dark grey)
Hannover - Pink
Next Time: Kaiserreich
Author's note: Now that I'm finally done with France, its time to give some much needed attention to the primary topic of this timeline, Greece!

[1] The Provisional Government did succeed in implementing National Workshops which would employ thousands of Frenchmen until they were closed by the Conservative dominated National Assembly, an act which helped spark the June Days Uprising. Here the financial strain of the War in Belgium prohibits the French Government from establishing National Workshops.

[2] Over 10,000 Parisians were killed in the OTL June Days Uprising and is likely around that number ITTL as well as General Cavaignac was certainly not averse to killing.

[3] This is more or less a recreation of Napoleon’s own return to France in 1815, where he ripped open his coat and said “If any of you will shoot his Emperor, here I am.” The date is also important as it coincides with Napoleon’s Coronation as Emperor in 1805 and his victory at Austerlitz in 1806.
 
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Happy to see the Netherlands restored to their rightful borders and Prussia gaining Luxembourg. However, I wonder if this will ultimately be detrimental to the Prussians/Germans in the long run, as it is possible that the France of Napoleon II might not be as easy to defeat 22 years down the line as Napoleon III was.

and they would bring about the demise of one of Europe's greatest powers.
Well, this sounds like bad news for the Austrians (I doubt it would be Britain, Prussia, or Russia). I wonder whether or not the Prussians will take advantage of the collapse of the Austrian Empire to incorporate the German states earlier than in OTL.
 
Happy to see the Netherlands restored to their rightful borders and Prussia gaining Luxembourg. However, I wonder if this will ultimately be detrimental to the Prussians/Germans in the long run, as it is possible that the France of Napoleon II might not be as easy to defeat 22 years down the line as Napoleon III was.


Well, this sounds like bad news for the Austrians (I doubt it would be Britain, Prussia, or Russia). I wonder whether or not the Prussians will take advantage of the collapse of the Austrian Empire to incorporate the German states earlier than in OTL.
With any luck for Greece, it would be Bye Bye Osmanoglu
 
Happy to see the Netherlands restored to their rightful borders and Prussia gaining Luxembourg. However, I wonder if this will ultimately be detrimental to the Prussians/Germans in the long run, as it is possible that the France of Napoleon II might not be as easy to defeat 22 years down the line as Napoleon III was.


Well, this sounds like bad news for the Austrians (I doubt it would be Britain, Prussia, or Russia). I wonder whether or not the Prussians will take advantage of the collapse of the Austrian Empire to incorporate the German states earlier than in OTL.

Well, nothing says that German unification NEEDS a war with France. I'm wondering if the liberals don't offer the Prussians King the throne in this TL and he either accepts, for the popular Prince Wilhelm accepts in his stead and forces his father into abdication.

Also, let me just say it:

Vive l'Napoleon

Vive l'eaglet!!!
 
Well, nothing says that German unification NEEDS a war with France. I'm wondering if the liberals don't offer the Prussians King the throne in this TL and he either accepts, for the popular Prince Wilhelm accepts in his stead and forces his father into abdication.

Who says German unification requires a king? He did insinuate that liberal revolutionaries would be the agents of this mystery European power's demise (presumably Austria), so perhaps the revolutionaries are successful in replacing the German Confederation with a federal republic, and the Prussian monarchy either gets deposed or Prussia gets truncated to just the contiguous Eastern provinces...
 
Well, nothing says that German unification NEEDS a war with France. I'm wondering if the liberals don't offer the Prussians King the throne in this TL and he either accepts, for the popular Prince Wilhelm accepts in his stead and forces his father into abdication.

Also, let me just say it:

Vive l'Napoleon

Vive l'eaglet!!!

Who says German unification requires a king? He did insinuate that liberal revolutionaries would be the agents of this mystery European power's demise (presumably Austria), so perhaps the revolutionaries are successful in replacing the German Confederation with a federal republic, and the Prussian monarchy either gets deposed or Prussia gets truncated to just the contiguous Eastern provinces...

Who to say we can't have in the end a Franco-German Alliance? (And I say keep the King and thus the German Monarchy. They get the last laugh while the Hapsburg are sent to the ash bin of history. )
 
Well i was going to study...but with the new update it seem more appropriate to once more indulge myself in 19th century althistory what if scenarios in my head...thank you earl marshal you just saved me from studying pressure ulsers and the finer aspects of handling sterilized equipment
 
Who to say we can't have in the end a Franco-German Alliance? (And I say keep the King and thus the German Monarchy. They get the last laugh while the Hapsburg are sent to the ash bin of history. )

My one issue with that is that the Hohenzollern king talking over a state the size of Kleindeutschland + Cisleithania would be such a shock to the European balance of power that it is certain to invite Lion and Bear interference, likely in concert.
 
@Earl Marshal

While I think most of the update is laudable, you should take a look at these articles. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Province_of_Brabant https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francization_of_Brussels

Brabant, and certainly Brussel would likely vote to remain Dutch. It was primarily dutch speaking until the 20th century. Only the southern part is majority french-speaking. Hence, a split of the land to conform to the language border would be more likely.
Belgium_province_Brabant.png
 
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While I think most of the update is laudable, you should take a look at these articles. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Province_of_Brabant https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francization_of_Brussels

Brabant, and certainly Brussel would likely vote to remain Dutch. It was primarily dutch speaking until the 20th century. Only the southern part is majority french-speaking. Hence, a split of the land to conform to the language border would be more likely.

I'm not sure that the Brabant would vote to join the Netherlands, first the clergy is still really important and would call to join France, secondly the capital don't speak french but the elite speak French and would call to vote France same for the liberal, third France tried at least in the end of war to treat flemish with respect or Netherland besieged Brussel until Napoleon Franz saved them so he would be considered as savior (and he know how to make a campaign and be see popular he put an end in the war let people decide to vote for their future, ...).

Netherlands are also not really loved for their reign before the war, France allow the universal suffrage making it more popular. Also, French is considered as a language (socially superior by some flemish) so even if they speak flemish they wanted that their children would be educated in France, especially in Brussel, these guys would surely support France even if they speak Flemish.

Brabant OTL was the first to rebel against feudalism and conservatism they dislike it more than the other region. Brussel being the capital would likely be more legalist they profited of the new country by being the capital or Netherland put an end in the country they surely dislike the country, Louvain (an important Brabant and a little in the east of Bruxelles was also pro-french if I remember). Many could hate Belgium and the regime but France is perceived as a savior that come to save them twice. Napoleon could also rig the referendum with the support of Brabant Elite.
 
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Marching up to the troops sent to arrest you, daring them to shoot you, and then giving a big speech- Napoleon Jnr has been stealing moves from dad.
 
Well I am somewhat surprised that a very reasonable peace was achieved in the end -at the expense of Belgium however. France came out really well in all accounts - a more Liberal 2nd Empire on the rise and Wallonia was surely a great result.

I wonder which great power would "see its demise" *strong suspicions on Austria*
 
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