TL: A Different Louis XVI

Can anyone recommend names for the following:

  • A French minister de la marine and minister de la guerre who would be keen to build up the French flotte (and how this would be achieved, or are the 1780s with no French involvement in the WoAI too ASB?)
  • A native Neapolitan minister to succeed Tanucci? Or is Acton slated to fill that post?
  • A progressive-minded Portuguese in the mold of Pombal to fall in with the Prince of Brazil's clique.
Thank you
 
1785


The years opening sees the return of the volunteer French troops who fought in the War of the American Independence. Although Louis XVI did not support the war, the idea appealed to many who wished to ‘win their spurs’ over the pond. Besides, when has there been a dust-up that the English and the French don’t want to beat themselves bloody?


Now while some, like the Marquis de Lafayette return to Paris to cheers of admiration, others, like a certain Vicomte Alexandre François de Beauharnais, returns to face a law-suit. The plaintiff? His wife, Martinique-born Marie Rose Tascher de la Pagerie. The charge? Alexandre and Rose have been married since 1779. But despite having both been born on the island, the Vicomte and Vicomtesse are different people. Alexandre at the time of his marriage was a worldly, dashing young cavalry officer, with a good education and a mistress ten years older than he (who also just happens to be a) Rose’s cousin; and b) married), while Rose was a plump, barely literate girl from the provinces, who doesn’t seem to have learned anything in her four years of being educated at a convent in Fort Royal, when married to a man originally intended for her sister, Marie Françoise.

However, six weeks after meeting her husband to be, Alexandre and Rose were married. Despite Rose discovering shortly after the wedding that Alexandre’s mistress, Laure Girardin de Montgérald, was pregnant with Alexandre’s bastard (who would be born later that year), the marriage produced three children, Eugène Bernard (b.1781) and Hortense Louise (b.1783), with a miscarriage in between.

Except that Laure has convinced Alexandre that Hortense cannot possibly be his, since the little girl was born prematurely, and at the time of Hortense’s supposed conception, Alexandre was off fighting with his regiment. Rose, on the other hand, is vehemently denying any and all charges of infidelity.

Now, normally, the affairs of such marginal figures wouldn’t be of any note. Save for one not so insignificant detail. Rose’s younger sister, Marie Françoise ‘Manette’ de la Tascher de Pagerie is married to Louis François, Chevalier de Vaureal, bastard son of the Prince de Conti and his mistress, the dancer from the Paris opera, La Coraline (Marie Anne Veronèse).


Arriving at the Sorbonne from Toulouse, is seventeen year old Lazarine, Joachim Murat (b.1767) a theology student on a scholarship from that city’s university with a commendation by Toulouse’s archbishop, Étienne Loménie de Brienne. Murat is a reluctant son of the church, having originally wanted to enter the army, however, a few ear boxes from his innkeeper father, some tears from his mother and several admonitions from the parish priest in his home town of La Bastide, the boy submitted to his parents’ will.

For now, Murat will simply be serving as a priest in the archdiocese, however, greater and grander things are in store for him. Things that will bring this lowly provincial bourgeois to attention of the king of France and his Holiness themselves.


However, another French cleric, Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord, the young Abbé Commenditaire de Saint-Denis, currently agent général du clergé de France is at the moment the cleric of the hour. While his appointment to the commendatory-abbacy is nepotistic – his uncle is the archbishop of Rheims who crowned the king and queen a decade ago – his abilities at defusing the anger of the lower clergy against a ‘don gratuit’ of 15 million livres to the king, through means of carrot-and-stick, show that he is someone who as much as what he benefits from nepotism, he works just as well under his own steam.

Talleyrand’s associations in the private sphere are also useful: since he befriends Honoré Gabriel de Riqueti, comte de Mirabeau and the finance minister, Alexandre de Calonne. Calonne has been Turgot’s successor since the older man’s death in 1781.

Turgot is regarded by some as the high-water mark of French 18th century finance reform, since he took a state that was millions of livres in debt, and through prudential management of French finances, and curbing of royal expenditures, Turgot oversaw a recovery of French fiscal health.

However, Calonne, despite being no comte d’Aulnes (Turgot’s elevated title since 1778), continues with the previous minister’s reforms.

The gabelle (salt tax) and the tax on tobacco have been levelled across the board since Calonne took over, thanks to Turgot’s overhaul of the tax system. Another reform that the new minister has overseen is that of the revitalization of free trade methods, by the abolition of internal customs duties.

The king has stood by Calonne with this one, and one way of improving trade and communications through the kingdom of France and Navarre, is by improving first, and then expanding the system of roads between Paris and the provinces.

Although, it is Calonne’s most recent reform that has made Talleyrand the man of the hour: sale of French ecclesiastical property. Talleyrand has acquired a working knowledge of finances, real estate and diplomacy, particularly with regard to the church, since during the compilation of the report for the don gratuity, the young Abbé has become aware of the vast wealth that the church is sitting on.

The king is, unlike with previous financial reforms, rather hesitant to sign off on this. Louis is a man of the enlightened mold, and having read Rousseau, Diderot and several other encyclopedistes, but at the same time, he does not hold the title of ‘Most Christian’ king of France for nothing.

And until late in the year, Louis XVI dithers on the matter. Until Talleyrand, through the archbishop of Toulouse, one of the queen’s men, suggests a gradual reform, rather than an immediate one (as proposed by Calonne). Selling off of land and property currently not being used by the church, but having been willed to her by dying parishioners. And then gradually progressing from that to further land reforms.

Just before the queen’s birthday, the king signs into effect the loi pour la vente de moindre biens ecclésiastiques français (Law for the Sale of Lesser French Church Properties).
 
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1785

Late in the year Madame gives birth to her second daughter, Marie Élisabeth Stéphanie Françoise, entitled Mademoiselle de Normandie. And while Monsieur is simply happy that his wife and the baby are both healthy, what troubles his parents – as well as his godmother, the queen – is the little duc de Normandie – during the winter of 1784/1785, Normandie fell ill with pneumonia. And while he recovered, the little duc is far from being the best example of a healthy child around. His spine is growing crooked and he has sporadic fainting spells, but, still, as an example of the adage ‘where there is life, there’s hope’, the royals continue trying to believe that Normandie will be fine.


In other French-related news, off in Lisbon, the Princess of Brasil gives birth to her third (but second surviving) son, christened Pedro José Luiz Francisco Xavier and created duque de Viseu. The Queen is chosen as the child’s godmother, sort of as a peace offering to mend fences between the Brasils and the monarch. Naturally, Maria I, is thrilled at this, and in her own way, writes to her sister, the Infanta Maria Ana Francisca, about ‘how good it is that my children have come home to me’.


But staying in sunny Iberia, now that D. João is moving further and further down in the Portuguese succession, Spain is seriously reconsidering the match between their own Infanta Carlota and the former second-(now-fourth)-in-line to the throne. Naturally, there are those in Madrid who would prefer one of the Prince of the Asturias’ younger daughters for one of José’s sons, but despite listening attentively when his mother and the ambassadors broach the subject, the prince of Brasil doesn’t give an answer either way.


However, Spain is also looking at the birth of the first child of the duke of Peñafiel and his Portuguese wife – christened Pedro Carlos after his two grandfathers, and from birth styled as Infante of Spain. Carlos III has been turning over Aranda’s memorandum in his mind, and could see the merit of this – especially since the court in Madrid would not have to support multiple royal households (the king, the prince and princess of the Asturias’ establishment, the duke of Peñafiel and his two younger brothers).

But the die is cast as far as the Portuguese alliance is concerned, since it is late in spring when the Infanta Carlota is sent over the border to marry her Portuguese husband. The marquise de Sérent, one of two French ladies who had accompanied the Princess of Brasil on her marriage, Charlotte Ferdinande de Choiseul, writes a rather unflattering pen portrait of D. João: ‘he [João] is short and stocky, suspicious of everyone and everything, jealous of his authority but incapable of making it respected. He is dominated by the fathers [that is, priests] and can act only under the duress of fear’.

The princess of Brasil, on the other hand, sees that João is, and writes in a letter to her sister-in-law in Paris, ‘to me, he seemed to have greater sensitivity and strength of character than was generally attributed to him by both friends and opponents. He was placed in new circumstances by which he was tested, bowing before them with patience; if incited, he acted with vigor and promptness’.

Needless to say, the Princess of Brasil takes an interest in the newly-arrived little infant (Carlota’s only ten years old) in much the same way Antoinette took an interest in the motherless French princesses on her arrival, or the late, grand Princesse de Conti took care of the queen of Portugal’s mother when she was shipped to France for her abortive marriage to Louis XV.
 
2000px-Grand_Union_Flag.svg.png


TTL's flag of the Sovereign and Independent Kingdom of Appalachia, known as the 'Grand Union' flag.
 
Can anyone recommend names for the following:

  • A French minister de la marine and minister de la guerre who would be keen to build up the French flotte (and how this would be achieved, or are the 1780s with no French involvement in the WoAI too ASB?)
  • A native Neapolitan minister to succeed Tanucci? Or is Acton slated to fill that post?
  • A progressive-minded Portuguese in the mold of Pombal to fall in with the Prince of Brazil's clique.
Thank you

Still looking for a Secretary of the Navy for France at this point? Any suggestions. And I'm thinking of France climbing on board the Russian attack against Turkey/Ottoman Empire - as suggested in this thread.
 
Well, OTL, the gentleman in charge was Charles de la Croix, Marquis de Castres. But at the same time, what I can find on him, seems that he was more of a soldier put in charge of the Navy - his previous record was all military engagements from what I can make out. Castres did however, simplify the navy's hierarchy and it's recruitment practices, which would make him a good candidate for the job, probably, despite his naval inexperience. Since the quote attributed to him "Je voudrais dormir plus vite" about reading every shred of paper sent to him as part of his ministerial job, seems to imply he was a man who was either extremely lazy (and merely scanned the documents, rather than "read" or "understood" them) or extremely dedicated (he reads this "boring" stuff so that he can reward himself afterwards by gonig to sleep)
 
Still looking for a Secretary of the Navy for France at this point? Any suggestions. And I'm thinking of France climbing on board the Russian attack against Turkey/Ottoman Empire - as suggested in this thread.

Also, about a Russian ambassador, wikipedia states that Ivan Baryatinskiy was ambassador to Versailles from 1773-1785. Would this be affected by the fact that Ekaterina II isn't on the throne in Russia? I can't find enough info on him to find out if he was a "new" man (one of Ekaterina's supporters) or someone who would've supported Pyotr.
 
Maybe one of the Amirals de France of the time ?

That would be a good idea: except that the only Grand Amiral de France was the duc de Penthièvre - who seems to have only got the title for the fact that his father was minister de la marine under the Regent - since I can't find sources that say Penthièvre ever even saw the sea, much less walked the deck of a ship. The Comte d'Estaing was promoted to the post in 1792, and he was most recently veteran of the French battles in the West Indies and the ARW. However, due to the fact that he was strongly criticised by his subordinates at court, he was out of favor for most of the decade. The comte de Grasse, OTOH, actually defeated the British most notably at Chesapeake. Other options would be:

- Louis Guillouet, Comte d'Orvilliers (who's frigging born in 1708, plus who's been a recluse since e1783 when his wife died),
- Pierre André de Suffren, Comte de Saint Tropez, bailli de Suffren
- Luc Urbain de Bouëxic, comte de Guichen (more scientific knowledge than any of his English contemporaries and opponents. But as a commander in war he was notable chiefly for his skill in directing the orderly movements of a fleet, and seems to have been satisfied with formal operations, which were possibly elegant but could lead to no substantial result)
-Louis-Antoine, Comte de Bougainville

Would anyone care to offer an opinion as to who should occupy the post?
 
And once the Peace of Rotterdam is signed, the Americans set to work on setting rules in place for their royal family, spearheaded by the newly appointed Prime Minister, Sir Benjamin Franklin. The House Laws for the new Columbian royal family contain several key points:

· The kingdom of Appalachia is never to be held in personal union with any other crown.

· No member of the Appalachian royal house may marry without consent of parliament

· No member of the Appalachian royal house may marry a native-born Appalachian.


Why?

· The heir to the Appalachian throne is to be entitled the ‘Prince of Roanoke’, with the style of ‘His Royal Highness’, while all other princes of the house bear simply ‘Highness’.

· The eldest daughter of the king of Appalachia shall bear the title ‘Princess Royal’

· Any member of the royal family who marries without receiving the consent of parliament shall be considered to have forfeited their place in the line of succession.

· By marriage to a foreign prince, any Appalachian princess will be considered to have renounced her succession rights to the crown
So basically,it's okay if a princess married a foreign commoner but not a native man or a foreign prince?
· In lieu of a male heir, the Princess Royal may succeed to the throne, but the succession of Appalachia is to be strictly through the male line.
So basically,if a princess accedes to the throne and she has children,her children wouldn't be able to inherit the throne?
 
Why?
So basically,it's okay if a princess married a foreign commoner but not a native man or a foreign prince?
So basically,if a princess accedes to the throne and she has children,her children wouldn't be able to inherit the throne?

Excuse me if my succession was a bit hazy. The idea is not shocking. Many of the "new" monarchies formed in the 19c actually included such clauses that marriage to a native excluded the person from the throne. A princess may not marry an American simply because the more ambitious families would know that they could simply marry royal and with the right tweaks, ensure that they end up as king-consort or such. So this is an incentive not to do this.

As to the male line of succession, I'm not to clued up, but AFAIK as I know, when the Princess Royal accedes, her husband would be the founder of a "new" male line, from which all succeeding monarchs must descend.
 
That would be a good idea: except that the only Grand Amiral de France was the duc de Penthièvre - who seems to have only got the title for the fact that his father was minister de la marine under the Regent - since I can't find sources that say Penthièvre ever even saw the sea, much less walked the deck of a ship. The Comte d'Estaing was promoted to the post in 1792, and he was most recently veteran of the French battles in the West Indies and the ARW. However, due to the fact that he was strongly criticised by his subordinates at court, he was out of favor for most of the decade. The comte de Grasse, OTOH, actually defeated the British most notably at Chesapeake. Other options would be:

- Louis Guillouet, Comte d'Orvilliers (who's frigging born in 1708, plus who's been a recluse since e1783 when his wife died),
- Pierre André de Suffren, Comte de Saint Tropez, bailli de Suffren
- Luc Urbain de Bouëxic, comte de Guichen (more scientific knowledge than any of his English contemporaries and opponents. But as a commander in war he was notable chiefly for his skill in directing the orderly movements of a fleet, and seems to have been satisfied with formal operations, which were possibly elegant but could lead to no substantial result)
-Louis-Antoine, Comte de Bougainville

Would anyone care to offer an opinion as to who should occupy the post?

In my opinion, the Minister to the Navy must be a person with some experience in battle but more importantly extensive theoretical knowledge. He is not required to direct the fleet, he is required to make sure it can be used in a battle.
D'Estaing or de Guichen IMO.
 
Excuse me if my succession was a bit hazy. The idea is not shocking. Many of the "new" monarchies formed in the 19c actually included such clauses that marriage to a native excluded the person from the throne. A princess may not marry an American simply because the more ambitious families would know that they could simply marry royal and with the right tweaks, ensure that they end up as king-consort or such. So this is an incentive not to do this.

As to the male line of succession, I'm not to clued up, but AFAIK as I know, when the Princess Royal accedes, her husband would be the founder of a "new" male line, from which all succeeding monarchs must descend.
So a king cannot marry a native?

A believe a lot of the rules in the 19th century was against so-called 'morganatic marriages' because it was seen as below the royal family to marry someone not 'equal' to them.The British royal family never practiced that and I don't believe the Appalachians believe such as thing as 'morganatic marriage' either.

As for the third point,if the husband of the Queen fathers children and then remarries when the Queen dies and then fathers more children,the succession would go to the paternal relatives of the Queen if the Queen's line eventually died out.Another thing is suppose that a King only has one daughter,is she supposed to marry a foreign commoner if she wants to become Queen?
 
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So a king cannot marry a native?

Yup.

A believe a lot of the rules in the 19th century was against so-called 'morganatic marriages' because it was seen as below the royal family to marry someone not 'equal' to them.The British royal family never practiced that and I don't believe the Appalachians believe such as thing as 'morganatic marriage' either.

Actually, the Royal Marriages Act of OTL was the closest thing to a prohibition of morganatic marriages in the British royal family.

As for the third point,if the husband of the Queen fathers children and then remarries when the Queen dies and then fathers more children,the succession would go to the paternal relatives of the Queen if the Queen's line eventually died out.Another thing is suppose that a King only has one daughter,is she supposed to marry a foreign commoner if she wants to become Queen?

As to the marriage of the Princess Royal (if in a similar situation to Charlotte of Wales/Victoria) she'll marry a younger son of a foreign monarch. If she is never heiress apparent and the throne ends up coming to her out of the clouds (a la Electress Sophia/Queen Anne) she'll either be forced to relocate to America and marry someone of the Parliament's choosing, or if already married, nominate a second/younger son to serve as regent until she dies (if she doesn't/can't move across the pond), whereupon the younger son succeeds (sort of like Prince Alfred to Coburg or Ferdinand I to Romania). However, if sonny refuses to take up residence over the Atlantic, then they move on to the next heir (think of it sorta like the Act of Settlement's antipapist clause - you wanna be king of the USA you need to live here, not interested? Next please!)

As to the king-consort remarrying see Ferdinand II of Portugal remarrying to Else forget her last name, or Maria Cristina de Borbon, Queen of Spain's remarrying to Munoz or Caroline of Naples, duchesse de Berri to Prince Lucchesi-Palli. Their kids, despite being related to the royal family (Isabel II, Henri V or Pedro V), have no claims on the throne.
 
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In my opinion, the Minister to the Navy must be a person with some experience in battle but more importantly extensive theoretical knowledge. He is not required to direct the fleet, he is required to make sure it can be used in a battle.
D'Estaing or de Guichen IMO.

So, how's this sound? De Guichen first, due to him being born in 1712, and then if no one else has come up, when he leaves office - either because he resigns or dies - d'Estaing succeeds him?
 
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