Discussion:
Louis XV with brains
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Alex Milman
2017-07-20 02:33:05 UTC
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OTL Louis XV was not, of course, an idiot but he was completely unqualified for
his position: under his misrule France hit the bottom in pretty much each and
every area except for the fashions. It was destroyed economically by corruption
and by a series of useless wars in which it also lost most of its colonies.
There were some attempts of the reforms (and he even tried to tax the church
and aristocracy but gave up).

What if he was a capable and pragmatic ruler capable to understand real
situation and willing to do something to remedy at least some of the problems?

Could France avoid losing Canada?

Could France avoid losing its possessions in India?

What would be different if France did not participate in the War of Austrian
Succession and then tried to defuse situation which led to the 7YW?

Even with some of the losses could the French Revolution be prevented?
Don Phillipson
2017-07-20 12:53:02 UTC
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Post by Alex Milman
What if he was a capable and pragmatic ruler capable to understand real
situation and willing to do something to remedy at least some of the problems?
Could France avoid losing Canada?
Could France avoid losing its possessions in India?
What would be different if France did not participate in the War of Austrian
Succession and then tried to defuse situation which led to the 7YW?
Brains alone do not reconcile or integrate France's problems in the 18C:
-- Domestic finances (taxation and state spending.)
-- Foreign trade and colonies overseas.
-- Dynastic politics in Europe (evolving from feudal personal holdings
to a system of modern nonpersonal states.)

Britain was different in two respects:
--Seldom involved in dynastic competition (except by choice.)*
--Mutual interaction of overseas trade and overseas colonization.
(--Possibly also better public finances, through the Bank of England
founded 1694. I do not know enough about this.)

*One of the interesting themes in A.N. Wilson's biography Victoria
(2014) is the political function lf princely marriages throughout the
19th century, largely independent of Parliament's definition of
national policy (if and when it had any.)
--
Don Phillipson
Carlsbad Springs
(Ottawa, Canada)
Alex Milman
2017-07-20 16:48:42 UTC
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Post by Don Phillipson
Post by Alex Milman
What if he was a capable and pragmatic ruler capable to understand real
situation and willing to do something to remedy at least some of the problems?
Could France avoid losing Canada?
Could France avoid losing its possessions in India?
What would be different if France did not participate in the War of Austrian
Succession and then tried to defuse situation which led to the 7YW?
I'm aware of this but this is a headline, not an article in encyclopedia.
Post by Don Phillipson
-- Domestic finances (taxation and state spending.)
Yes, they were in a bad shape but not, yet, hopeless.
Post by Don Phillipson
-- Foreign trade and colonies overseas.
FYI, as far as the colonies were involved France was doing just fine,
especially in India until eventually things had been screwed up by a
combination of factors which could be realistically avoided.

Foreign trade was not too bad either with France pretty much holding a
monopoly on the luxury market.
Post by Don Phillipson
-- Dynastic politics in Europe (evolving from feudal personal holdings
to a system of modern nonpersonal states.)
Could be easily ignored because in OTL France got absolutely nothing but
troubles from its involvement in the War of the Austrian Succession. And
it could easily avoid the future military involvement in Europe (which in
OTL ended up as 7YW) thus having much more resources for the overseas
activities. There was nothing for France in Hapsubrg-Hohenzollern conflict.

OTOH, Britain did have a continental handicap called "Hannover".
This WIF is not about the differences of these 2 states but what could be
changed by the more competent French internal and foreign policies.
Don Phillipson
2017-07-22 21:40:41 UTC
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Post by Alex Milman
. . .
Post by Don Phillipson
-- Foreign trade and colonies overseas.
FYI, as far as the colonies were involved France was doing just fine,
especially in India until eventually things had been screwed up by a
combination of factors which could be realistically avoided.
Foreign trade was not too bad either with France pretty much holding a
monopoly on the luxury market.
"Reconcile or integrate" was the point. French trade and French
colonies were not integrated:
1. France had no policy of colonial settlement, viz. exporting
Frenchmen to build Overseas France, except for "New France"
in Canada, which grew over 150 years to a population of
60,000. British America started later but grew tenfold
larger in its first century. (The climate also helped.)
2. French legal tradition did not permit colonies to compete
economically with the mother country. Colonies were seen
solely as consumers for domestic products (except for the
sugar islands, which produced for the French market.)

The classic examples are shipbuilding and printing/publication,
welcomed in the 13 British American colonies but prohibited
in New France to protect homeland monopolies. After 100
years this generated major technological differences and
brainpower differences too between British and French America.

Proof: the 13 American colonies could produce enough
wealth and manpower and shipping to win their war of
independence (by however narrow a margin.) No one
can imagine any French colony succeeding in this, even
imagining a century of liberal government first.
--
Don Phillipson
Carlsbad Springs
(Ottawa, Canada)
Alex Milman
2017-07-22 22:39:37 UTC
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Post by Don Phillipson
Post by Alex Milman
. . .
Post by Don Phillipson
-- Foreign trade and colonies overseas.
FYI, as far as the colonies were involved France was doing just fine,
especially in India until eventually things had been screwed up by a
combination of factors which could be realistically avoided.
Foreign trade was not too bad either with France pretty much holding a
monopoly on the luxury market.
"Reconcile or integrate" was the point. French trade and French
1. France had no policy of colonial settlement, viz. exporting
Frenchmen to build Overseas France, except for "New France"
in Canada, which grew over 150 years to a population of
60,000. British America started later but grew tenfold
larger in its first century.
As I said before, most of the French Louisiana was a lost case logistically
so even the greater French presence would not make too much of a difference.
However, both Canada and Louisiana (as today's state) could be retained with
a greater French military presence.

Settlement consideration was not too relevant as far as French India was
involved. There were French settlements, French presence at the courts of
the local rulers and a mixture of the French and sepoy troops. As far as
trade was involved in the XVIII India was much more important than any
possession on American continent and France did manage to retain the important
islands on the Caribbean which, unlike most of the continental colonies, were
producing some sellable goods: the "colonies" were not profitable for the
British crown either. AFAIK, maintaining them proved to be rather expensive,
hence the attempt of taxation and the following American Revolution.
Post by Don Phillipson
(The climate also helped.)
2. French legal tradition did not permit colonies to compete
economically with the mother country.
Neither did British "tradition". The colonies were not permitted to buy
things not produced in Britain or its Caribbean colonies (hence smuggling
from the French colonies). Not that a true competition was practically
possible either in French or British case: the colonies of the XV III
were not producing items capable of competing with those produced in
"mother country".
Post by Don Phillipson
Colonies were seen
solely as consumers for domestic products (except for the
sugar islands, which produced for the French market.)
The same goes for the British colonies (and the Americans had been really
pi---d off).
Post by Don Phillipson
The classic examples are shipbuilding and printing/publication,
welcomed in the 13 British American colonies but prohibited
in New France to protect homeland monopolies.
I hope you understand that your "classic examples" were absolutely irrelevant
for the overwhelming majority of the colonies' population (both in French and
British cases).

Here are more important items:
"Subsequent English, and later British, governments continued in their efforts to tax certain goods; passing acts regulating the trade of wool, hats, and molasses. In 1733, the Molasses Act in particular was egregious to the colonists, as a significant part of colonial trade relied on the product. The taxes severely damaged the New England economy, and, as a result, the taxes were rarely paid, resulting in a surge of smuggling, bribery, piracy and intimidation of customs officials." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Revolution#1651.E2.80.931748:_Early_seeds

"New England ports especially suffered economic losses from the Sugar Act as the stricter enforcement made smuggling molasses more dangerous and risky. Also they argued that the profit margin on rum was too small to support any tax on molasses. Forced to increase their prices, many colonists feared being priced out of the market. The British West Indies, on the other hand, now had undivided access to colonial exports. With supply of molasses well exceeding demand, the islands prospered with their reduced expenses while New England ports saw revenue from their rum exports decrease." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sugar_Act#Effect_on_the_American_colonies

By depriving an average colonist of the XVIII of locally printed literature or
ability to built his own ship you deprived him of very little but when you
deprived him of rum, you HAD to expect a trouble. The British government was
interested in supporting economy of the British West Indies (were the connected
people had their plantations) and not the mainland colonies so the rosy picture
you are trying to paint is not too convincing.
The Horny Goat
2017-07-23 01:33:26 UTC
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On Sat, 22 Jul 2017 15:39:37 -0700 (PDT), Alex Milman
Post by Alex Milman
As I said before, most of the French Louisiana was a lost case logistically
so even the greater French presence would not make too much of a difference.
However, both Canada and Louisiana (as today's state) could be retained with
a greater French military presence.
As long as Britannia ruled the waves Canada and Louisiana were pretty
much guaranteed to fall eventually. For France to have a large enough
navy to hold them indefinitely would require a navy large enough to
make the French Army a favorite to cross the channel to England which
would obviously have far larger consequences than whether Louisiana or
Canada was held.
Post by Alex Milman
By depriving an average colonist of the XVIII of locally printed literature or
ability to built his own ship you deprived him of very little but when you
deprived him of rum, you HAD to expect a trouble. The British government was
interested in supporting economy of the British West Indies (were the connected
people had their plantations) and not the mainland colonies so the rosy picture
you are trying to paint is not too convincing.
As 1990s era Soviet / Russians discovered when they tried to limit
access to vodka...
Alex Milman
2017-07-23 13:16:21 UTC
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Post by The Horny Goat
On Sat, 22 Jul 2017 15:39:37 -0700 (PDT), Alex Milman
Post by Alex Milman
As I said before, most of the French Louisiana was a lost case logistically
so even the greater French presence would not make too much of a difference.
However, both Canada and Louisiana (as today's state) could be retained with
a greater French military presence.
As long as Britannia ruled the waves
Sorry, but you are a little bit confused: Britannia did not rule the waves
at the time of OTL Louis XV and even less so under conditions of this ATL
where France is paying more attention to the navy due to a lesser engagement
in the continental wars and better management.
Post by The Horny Goat
Canada and Louisiana were pretty
much guaranteed to fall eventually. For France to have a large enough
navy to hold them indefinitely would require a navy large enough to
make the French Army a favorite to cross the channel to England which
would obviously have far larger consequences than whether Louisiana or
Canada was held.
Not at all. To be on an equal footing with Britain France would simply needed
a good navy. An idea of the French conquest of England as a prerequisite of
any competition is a combination of Napoleonic dreams (by the obvious reasons,
this was a logical solution for him) and historical British paranoia. :-)

French navy was quite instrumental in defeating the Brits in the
rebelling colonies during the reign of Louis XVI and I'm not aware of the
massive French landing in England being a part of this operation (it is
quite possible that I missed something fundamental).

Retaining Quebec would be an issue of a stronger French naval presence in
the area (in OTL at the start of campaign they had 50 warships against 90
British) and perhaps a couple infantry regiments with artillery: in OTL they
initially had an advantage in that area 3,5K vs. 1.5 - 2K but the Brits were
able to bring the reinforcements so that in the Battle of the Plains of
Abraham they had 4.4K regulars against French 1.9K regulars and 1.5K colonial
militia and natives. Winning with these odds would not take a military genius.
Surely, without entanglement in the 7YW French could do much better in the
terms of troops and ships.
Post by The Horny Goat
Post by Alex Milman
By depriving an average colonist of the XVIII of locally printed literature or
ability to built his own ship you deprived him of very little but when you
deprived him of rum, you HAD to expect a trouble. The British government was
interested in supporting economy of the British West Indies (were the connected
people had their plantations) and not the mainland colonies so the rosy picture
you are trying to paint is not too convincing.
As 1990s era Soviet / Russians discovered when they tried to limit
access to vodka...
Exactly: you can do many nasty things but denying the necessities is a dangerous
idea.
The Horny Goat
2017-07-23 17:35:09 UTC
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On Sun, 23 Jul 2017 06:16:21 -0700 (PDT), Alex Milman
Post by Alex Milman
French navy was quite instrumental in defeating the Brits in the
rebelling colonies during the reign of Louis XVI and I'm not aware of the
massive French landing in England being a part of this operation (it is
quite possible that I missed something fundamental).
Yes I know the French were a huge factor at Yorktown. My point is that
that level of sea control would be needed INDEFINITELY to ensure the
safety of the French North American colonies given the British
colonies were hugely more populous and therefore more likely either to
expand beyond French abilities to match and thus dominate the
continent or conquer the French colonies outright. That's strictly
without interference from Europe.

What I was suggesting was that in order to maintain naval links to
their colonies indefinitely (which I've argued means loss of their
colonies if they can't) means control of the seas to a degree that
renders Britain open to invasion.

You do understand that in the period 1700-1770 the British population
of North America was something like 10x the French right? When things
are that out of balance conquest (economic even if not military) is
almost certain without heavy support from the mother country.

I'm suggesting that Britain had won the demographic war in North
America long before 1759.
Alex Milman
2017-07-24 16:19:00 UTC
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Post by The Horny Goat
On Sun, 23 Jul 2017 06:16:21 -0700 (PDT), Alex Milman
Post by Alex Milman
French navy was quite instrumental in defeating the Brits in the
rebelling colonies during the reign of Louis XVI and I'm not aware of the
massive French landing in England being a part of this operation (it is
quite possible that I missed something fundamental).
Yes I know the French were a huge factor at Yorktown. My point is that
that level of sea control would be needed INDEFINITELY to ensure the
safety of the French North American colonies given the British
colonies were hugely more populous and therefore more likely either to
expand beyond French abilities to match and thus dominate the
continent or conquer the French colonies outright. That's strictly
without interference from Europe.
The numbers of population are not always relevant (otherwise China and India
would rule the world) and the American attempt to invade Canada during the
Revolution ended up with a failure (and, with population of Canada being
noticeably inferior to one of the US, to the best of my knowledge it is
still an independent country).

The British colonists had been interested in the Westward expansion, because
this was pretty much a natural direction, but expansion Northwards was much
less. French government was not excessively interested in Louisiana, which was
ceded to Spain in 1762 and remained Spanish until 1800. So Louis XV could easily
sell it to the Brits (with or without the modern state of Louisiana) well
before the OTL date thus making everybody happy and probably decreasing
"pressure" in other contested points.

Then, of course, goes the part of interference from Europe. Of course, there
would be one and, without the pressures of the European continental wars,
France surely would be able to send considerable numbers of troops into the
endangered areas while spending more money on its navy.
Post by The Horny Goat
What I was suggesting was that in order to maintain naval links to
their colonies indefinitely (which I've argued means loss of their
colonies if they can't) means control of the seas to a degree that
renders Britain open to invasion.
I don't quite agree with that logic because it assumes the never-ending
British willingness and readiness for a major conflict on its own. Most of
the XVIII and a big part of the XIX the Brits had been expanding more or
less freely because the European contenders had been busy fighting each other.
If their main XVIII century opponent, France, stays clear of the continental
wars then situation changes dramatically not into the British favor. Will it
necessarily be willing to attack the French colonies when France is at peace,
has a MUCH stronger army and a decent navy (and probably has Spain as an
ally)? All this just for a questionable pleasure of getting Quebec? The Brits
by that time also had more than one vulnerable "link" (some of them more
important economically than Canada or even American colonies) and they were
not powerful enough to protect themselves everywhere.
Post by The Horny Goat
You do understand that in the period 1700-1770 the British population
of North America was something like 10x the French right? When things
are that out of balance conquest (economic even if not military) is
almost certain without heavy support from the mother country.
I don't see why exactly all these colonists will abandon whatever they were
doing and march to conquer Canada. Western expansion is a different issue
but as I stated in the 1st post of this thread, Louisiana was not sustainable
in a long run (OTOH, Spain hold it all the way to 1800) and hardly economically
important for France of the XVIII.
Post by The Horny Goat
I'm suggesting that Britain had won the demographic war in North
America long before 1759.
If anything, it lost this war miserably within years from your date.
It was possible for the Brits to hold Canada with its tiny population but
it was a matter of a very short time for the growing population of the 13
colonies to get fed up with the overseas rulers who would not (and could not)
give a damn about their interests. It was more or less OK as long as the
British government could keep spending money on these colonies and wars THEY
were interested in but as soon as the Brits started running out of money and
decided to squeeze something out of the colonies, there was a BIG problem also
known as American Revolution.
Rich Rostrom
2017-07-24 21:30:56 UTC
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Post by Alex Milman
I don't see why exactly all these colonists will
abandon whatever they were doing and march to
conquer Canada.
For one thing, to end the menace of Indian attacks
sponsored by France. Frontiersmen from Maine to
Pennsylvania lived in terror until the French were
gone. (And then, after the Revolution started, in
fear of raids sponsored by the British; thus the
enthusiasm for attacking Canada in 1812.)

The New England colonists assembled a powerful
expedition which besieged and captured Louisbourg
during the War of the Austrian Succession.
(Louisbourg was returned to France in the peace
settlement, in exchange for Madras, which highly
offended the Yankees.)
--
The real Velvet Revolution - and the would-be hijacker.

http://originalvelvetrevolution.com
Alex Milman
2017-07-24 23:05:37 UTC
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Post by Rich Rostrom
Post by Alex Milman
I don't see why exactly all these colonists will
abandon whatever they were doing and march to
conquer Canada.
For one thing, to end the menace of Indian attacks
sponsored by France.
That was a serious issue but, AFAIK, the main direction was
Westward.
Post by Rich Rostrom
Frontiersmen from Maine to
Pennsylvania lived in terror until the French were
gone. (And then, after the Revolution started, in
fear of raids sponsored by the British; thus the
enthusiasm for attacking Canada in 1812.)
Well, the Brits were THE enemy.
Post by Rich Rostrom
The New England colonists assembled a powerful
expedition which besieged and captured Louisbourg
during the War of the Austrian Succession.
1745 (Austrian Succession):
"In 1745, the governor of the Province of Massachusetts Bay, William Shirley, secured by a narrow margin the support of the Massachusetts legislature for an attack on the fortress. He and the governor of the Province of New Hampshire, Benning Wentworth, sought the support of other colonies. Connecticut provided 500 troops, New Hampshire 450, Rhode Island a ship, New York ten cannons, and Pennsylvania and New Jersey funds... The expedition set sail from Boston in stages beginning in early March 1745 with 4,200 soldiers and sailors aboard a total of 90 ships." Not too "mighty" but a lot comparing to 900 French regulars
and 900 colonial militia. Now, what would be fate of this "mighty" force if
the French sent few regular regiments? In 1747 France had 227 battalions of
line infantry, 540 men per battalions (maybe more, this number is for 1740).

1758 (7YW):
"Royal Navy fleet departed from Halifax for Louisbourg. The fleet consisted of 150 transport ships and 40 men-of-war. Housed in these ships were almost 14,000 soldiers, almost all of whom were regulars (with the exception of four companies of American rangers)." "Mighty" but the colonial contribution amounted
to 4 companies. Again, French line infantry at that time was between 172 (1750)
and 187 (1760) battalions (on average each had 630 men).

These numbers are only line infantry regiments, the Guards (6 - 7K of foot Guards plus the Swiss and appr. 2.5K horse units) and the cavalry (more than
80 regiments) are not included. Neither are various types of militia
(approximately 60K of the provincial militia only). As you understand,
it would not be too big of a task to provide at least twice of the opponent's numbers without having country exposed if France had no other wars to fight.
Post by Rich Rostrom
(Louisbourg was returned to France in the peace
settlement, in exchange for Madras, which highly
offended the Yankees.)
But which reflected the true priorities for the British crown: Madras was bringing money (at least to those who mattered) while the "colonies" just
consuming them. :-)

The problem for New France was that it was a very low priority for the
French government, the top being Caribbean. In 1781 29 battalions had been
sent to Martinique, Guadeloupe, and Santo Dominque (in addition to
19 already stationed there) while Rochambeau's corps had only 5,000 (1000 taken
from each of 4 designated regiments plus hussars and artillery). In other
words, 17.5K + 11.5K on the islands vs. 5K to help the Americans. The French
fleet that departed from Brest, was composed of 190 warships, transports and
merchantmen and made it to its destinations (so much for the almighty British
navy) but, IIRC, the French admiral was able to allocate very few months to
the naval support of the rebels - the hurricane period on the Caribbean.
The Horny Goat
2017-07-24 23:58:59 UTC
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On Mon, 24 Jul 2017 09:19:00 -0700 (PDT), Alex Milman
Post by Alex Milman
Post by The Horny Goat
I'm suggesting that Britain had won the demographic war in North
America long before 1759.
I am well aware British settlement in North America started way before
1776 or even 1759 (which every Canadian school kid would know is when
Wolfe defeated Montcalm and ended French North America.

I'm also somewhat away of the significance of the 1770 Quebec Act and
certain unpleasantness from 1775/6 - 1783. Or for that matter the
events leading up to 1812 (in North America - I'm not talking about
the Napoleonic Wars or even Russia specifically!
Post by Alex Milman
If anything, it lost this war miserably within years from your date.
It was possible for the Brits to hold Canada with its tiny population but
it was a matter of a very short time for the growing population of the 13
colonies to get fed up with the overseas rulers who would not (and could not)
give a damn about their interests. It was more or less OK as long as the
British government could keep spending money on these colonies and wars THEY
were interested in but as soon as the Brits started running out of money and
decided to squeeze something out of the colonies, there was a BIG problem also
known as American Revolution.
To be fair, the special tax regime enjoyed by the American colonists
was not stable long term.- Britain did need the money and something
like full taxation (e.g. at UK levels) was needed so the special deal
enjoyed for so long - free land on the periphery, minimal taxation had
to end one way or another eventually and secession folowing a
successful rebellion was always possible. After all in 1770 roughly
20-25% of all "Englishmen" lived in North America.

The basis for American more or less tax free status was always a bit
sketchy and I do think that if London had shown a bit of flexibility
forcible independence was by no means inevitable. This newsgroup has
had this discussion a gazillion times before so no need to elaborate.

On the other hand there's no way Britain would have tolerated more or
less unlimited non-British immigration of the sort common after the
Civil War - but then despite some Slavic immigration to western Canada
and some Asian immigration to British Columbia, Canada stayed mostly
peopled by people originating in the British Isles through 1945. (The
last 70 years have seen a different policy which has changed Canada in
much the same way that the end of the White Australia policy changed
Australia)

Assuming no American Revolution (or a successfully suppresed
Revolution) followed by Dominion status sometime 1830-1870 for what is
OTL the United States the US would be a very demographically different
place than OTL with effects that would affect the whole world most
especially the English speaking portion of it.
Gene Wirchenko
2017-07-25 06:12:48 UTC
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On Mon, 24 Jul 2017 09:19:00 -0700 (PDT), Alex Milman
<***@msn.com> wrote:

[snip]
Post by Alex Milman
The numbers of population are not always relevant (otherwise China and India
would rule the world) and the American attempt to invade Canada during the
Revolution ended up with a failure (and, with population of Canada being
noticeably inferior to one of the US, to the best of my knowledge it is
^^^^^^^^
Consider the use of another word: lower.
Post by Alex Milman
still an independent country).
[snip]

Sincerely,

Gene Wirchenko
kenney@ cix.co.uk (Kenneth Young)
2017-07-23 15:21:00 UTC
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Post by The Horny Goat
For France to have a large enough
navy to hold them indefinitely would require a navy large enough to
make the French Army a favorite to cross the channel to England
It all depends, to hold French American colonies only requires the
French have more or the same number of ships on station as the RN
regardless of overeat strength. England unlike France did not have a
large standing army and relied on the Navy to prevent invasion hence the
Channel Fleet. The RN were not markedly superior on an individual ship
basis to the pre-revolutionary French fleet. For once I find myself
agreeing with Alex.
The Horny Goat
2017-07-23 17:37:04 UTC
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Post by kenney@ cix.co.uk (Kenneth Young)
It all depends, to hold French American colonies only requires the
French have more or the same number of ships on station as the RN
regardless of overeat strength. England unlike France did not have a
large standing army and relied on the Navy to prevent invasion hence the
Channel Fleet. The RN were not markedly superior on an individual ship
basis to the pre-revolutionary French fleet. For once I find myself
agreeing with Alex.
If the Royal Navy was not "markedly superior on an individual ship
basis" how do you explain the outcome of nearly all the naval battles
1690 - 1770?

Trafalgar was certainly not the first major British naval victory.
kenney@ cix.co.uk (Kenneth Young)
2017-07-23 19:22:00 UTC
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Post by The Horny Goat
If the Royal Navy was not "markedly superior on an individual ship
basis" how do you explain the outcome of nearly all the naval
battles
1690 - 1770
Better Admirals and more willingness to take risks. And I notice you are
excluding the American Revolutionary War which was largely won by the
French navy. The French revolution effectively removed most officers with
sea experience and the RN blockade prevented the new officers and crews
getting sea time, so Napoleon's navy was a very different proposition
from the French Royal navy.
The Horny Goat
2017-07-24 00:31:42 UTC
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Post by kenney@ cix.co.uk (Kenneth Young)
Better Admirals and more willingness to take risks. And I notice you are
excluding the American Revolutionary War which was largely won by the
French navy. The French revolution effectively removed most officers with
sea experience and the RN blockade prevented the new officers and crews
getting sea time, so Napoleon's navy was a very different proposition
from the French Royal navy.
Saying the French won the American Revolution is an exaggeration. For
sure they played a decisive role at Yorktown which ended it and
equally for sure funding the American Revolution played a big role in
bringing about the French Revolution by draining the Royal Treasury
but to say 'largely won' is overstating it.

Your comments about the differences between the Royal French Navy and
the Napoleonic Navy are well taken.
Alex Milman
2017-07-24 15:22:17 UTC
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Post by The Horny Goat
Post by kenney@ cix.co.uk (Kenneth Young)
Better Admirals and more willingness to take risks. And I notice you are
excluding the American Revolutionary War which was largely won by the
French navy. The French revolution effectively removed most officers with
sea experience and the RN blockade prevented the new officers and crews
getting sea time, so Napoleon's navy was a very different proposition
from the French Royal navy.
Saying the French won the American Revolution is an exaggeration. For
sure they played a decisive role at Yorktown which ended it and
equally for sure funding the American Revolution played a big role in
bringing about the French Revolution by draining the Royal Treasury
but to say 'largely won' is overstating it.
The important point is that the Royal Navy was not able to prevent the French
naval operations, aka, was not as omnipotent as you suggested. Also, during
the War of Austrian Succession, its operations were not an uniform success,
especially those involving attacks of the land targets. Battle of Toulon was
a strategic defeat even if the Brits had more ships of the lines with more
guns. During the 7YW the Brits lost Battle of Minorca against the equal
number of French ships.

The British commanders were not uniformly more brilliant than their opponents
and regulations of the Admiralty were not always the most intelligent and
commander could be punished for breaking the line or doing something innovative
(unless it brought a noticeable success).
Post by The Horny Goat
Your comments about the differences between the Royal French Navy and
the Napoleonic Navy are well taken.
Alex Milman
2017-07-23 19:50:17 UTC
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Post by The Horny Goat
Post by kenney@ cix.co.uk (Kenneth Young)
It all depends, to hold French American colonies only requires the
French have more or the same number of ships on station as the RN
regardless of overeat strength. England unlike France did not have a
large standing army and relied on the Navy to prevent invasion hence the
Channel Fleet. The RN were not markedly superior on an individual ship
basis to the pre-revolutionary French fleet. For once I find myself
agreeing with Alex.
If the Royal Navy was not "markedly superior on an individual ship
basis" how do you explain the outcome of nearly all the naval battles
1690 - 1770?
I doubt about "nearly all" but it seems that you are missing the main point
of this ATL: France is not wasting an overwhelming portion of its resources
in the continental wars thus having a much greater ability to maintain its
navy in a proper shape while still being able to send considerable numbers
of troops into the colonies.

In OTL the British Navy at the time of the War of the Austrian was not such
a domineering force. It was driven off Toulon in 1744 by the French-Spanish
squadron, its actions against the Spanish possessions on the Caribbean were
almost an uniform failure, the French took Madras and the French and Spanish
corsairs had been quite effective in damaging the British trade.

OTL successes in North America were to a great degree the byproduct of the
unwillingness/inability of the French government to send reinforcements.
Post by The Horny Goat
Trafalgar was certainly not the first major British naval victory.
Trafalgar is absolutely irrelevant: the French Revolution damaged navy to a
much greater degree than the army, making it almost dysfunctional.
kenney@ cix.co.uk (Kenneth Young)
2017-07-24 13:39:00 UTC
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Post by The Horny Goat
how do you explain the outcome of nearly all the naval battles
1690 - 1770?
I refer you to Beachy Head, the Anglo-Dutch wars William III successful
invasion of England and the failure to stop both the Old and Young
Pretender landing in Great Britain. There is also Admiral Byng. Not
nearly so one sided as it was in the 19th Century
The Horny Goat
2017-07-24 15:47:13 UTC
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Post by kenney@ cix.co.uk (Kenneth Young)
Post by The Horny Goat
how do you explain the outcome of nearly all the naval battles
1690 - 1770?
I refer you to Beachy Head, the Anglo-Dutch wars William III successful
invasion of England and the failure to stop both the Old and Young
Pretender landing in Great Britain. There is also Admiral Byng. Not
nearly so one sided as it was in the 19th Century
Fair enough - though I did specifically choose 1690 to exclude William
of Orange (grin).

To be fair both he and the Stuarts were dynastic affairs with large
numbers of domestic supporters.

Byng on the other hand..... (and I do occasionally wonder why Cardigan
didn't receive the same fate after the charge of the Light Brigade
particularly after a better prepared charge carried the day 2-3 days
later)
Alex Milman
2017-07-24 17:43:45 UTC
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Post by The Horny Goat
Post by kenney@ cix.co.uk (Kenneth Young)
Post by The Horny Goat
how do you explain the outcome of nearly all the naval battles
1690 - 1770?
I refer you to Beachy Head, the Anglo-Dutch wars William III successful
invasion of England and the failure to stop both the Old and Young
Pretender landing in Great Britain. There is also Admiral Byng. Not
nearly so one sided as it was in the 19th Century
Fair enough - though I did specifically choose 1690 to exclude William
of Orange (grin).
To be fair both he and the Stuarts were dynastic affairs with large
numbers of domestic supporters.
Byng on the other hand.....
Byng was a typical scapegoat. He, at least, had an excuse of having the worse
ships than his opponent and for NOT doing something for which admiral Thomas
Mathews (who managed to lose with the better ships and more cannons) was
dismissed earlier, breaking the line (and instructions of the Admiralty). The
requirement to "do his utmost" of the Articles of War could be interpreted
in more than one way (in his case even "doing utmost" may not change situation
because the French already landed 15,000 soldiers while the governor of
Gibraltar refused to supply him with extra troops, etc.). If somebody was going
to question a national hero, was Nelson doing his "utmost" spending 2 years
on blockade of Malta (with the natives raising against the French who ended
up being locked in Valetta)? Surely, it could be pointed out that he refused
to cooperate with the Russian navy which was initially planning to join
(Russian admiral had a higher rank) and that Russian capture of the French-held
fortifications of Corfu demonstrated that the ships can be successfully used
supporting assault on the forts.
Post by The Horny Goat
(and I do occasionally wonder why Cardigan
didn't receive the same fate after the charge of the Light Brigade
particularly after a better prepared charge carried the day 2-3 days
later)
Because Raglan blamed Lucan for misinterpretation of the order and so
did Cardigan and Lucan' attempt to move the buck up was treated as
insubordination but in general it was to everybody's advantage to let
everybody off the hook (and decorate Lucan while relieving him of command).
Plus, unlike the Battle of Majorca, this was the case of a HERIOIC STUPIDITY,
which was well appreciated in most (or all) armies of the time (and probably
much later as well).

In general, none of these cavalry charges was of any importance as far as
conduct of the Crimea War had been involved.
The Horny Goat
2017-07-25 00:05:03 UTC
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On Mon, 24 Jul 2017 10:43:45 -0700 (PDT), Alex Milman
Post by Alex Milman
Post by The Horny Goat
(and I do occasionally wonder why Cardigan
didn't receive the same fate after the charge of the Light Brigade
particularly after a better prepared charge carried the day 2-3 days
later)
Because Raglan blamed Lucan for misinterpretation of the order and so
did Cardigan and Lucan' attempt to move the buck up was treated as
insubordination but in general it was to everybody's advantage to let
everybody off the hook (and decorate Lucan while relieving him of command).
Plus, unlike the Battle of Majorca, this was the case of a HERIOIC STUPIDITY,
which was well appreciated in most (or all) armies of the time (and probably
much later as well).
In general, none of these cavalry charges was of any importance as far as
conduct of the Crimea War had been involved.
Agreed. There's no question that Cardigan and Raglan were the
spiritual fathers of Haig some 60 years later.

As for the charge itself George Macdonald Fraser doesn't do a bad job
describing it in Flashman at the Charge if you read it as humorous
quasi-history. (I have read other works that say much the same in less
entertaining manner.)

CERTAINLY the view of the Crimean war expressed at Picadilly Circus
(the main London Crimean war memorial) and similar places gives one at
least as distorted a view of history as FatC!
Rich Rostrom
2017-07-25 22:56:15 UTC
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Post by The Horny Goat
Agreed. There's no question that Cardigan and Raglan were the
spiritual fathers of Haig some 60 years later.
Hardly. Haig was a career officer who has been
described as an expert intriguer and avoided front
line service. Lucan and Cardigan were noblemen who
bought their commissions, but did not flinch from
action.

Both, incidentally, thought the Charge (as Nolan gave
it to them) was wrong-headed, but they would not
question an order. Cardigan himself seemed to expect
to be killed.

Haig _issued_ wrong-headed orders, and insisted on
their being carried out at great cost.

OTOH, Haig was probably a better military administrator;
Cardigan's abilities were confined to drill and fancy
uniforms.
--
The real Velvet Revolution - and the would-be hijacker.

http://originalvelvetrevolution.com
Rich Rostrom
2017-07-24 21:36:50 UTC
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Post by The Horny Goat
Byng on the other hand..... (and I do occasionally
wonder why Cardigan didn't receive the same fate
after the charge of the Light Brigade particularly
after a better prepared charge carried the day 2-3
days later)
Cardigan obeyed orders to attack, which orders were
confirmed by his immediate superior Lucan. The Light
Brigade overran the Russian guns, as ordered. That
the Brigade attacked the wrong guns was not his fault,
but that of Nolan, who garbled Raglan's directions.
There was nothing to court-martial Cardigan for.

And Cardigan _led_ the charge, all the way into the
battery.
--
The real Velvet Revolution - and the would-be hijacker.

http://originalvelvetrevolution.com
kenney@ cix.co.uk (Kenneth Young)
2017-07-25 20:16:00 UTC
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Post by Rich Rostrom
Lucan. The Light
Brigade overran the Russian guns, as ordered. That
the Brigade attacked the wrong guns was not his fault,
but that of Nolan, who garbled Raglan's direction
I believe Lucan and Cardigan were brothers in law who had quarrelled
over a family inheritance and were not on speaking terms. There was a lot
of that about. Apparently Raglan got the C in C position because he was
the only Officer that was acceptable to both the French and the English.
The job killed him see a book called "The Destruction of Lord Raglan"
Rich Rostrom
2017-07-25 22:48:54 UTC
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Post by kenney@ cix.co.uk (Kenneth Young)
I believe Lucan and Cardigan were brothers in law who had quarrelled
over a family inheritance and were not on speaking terms.
Well, as Harry Flashman wrote, "They detested
each other, which was quite appropriate, as
they were both detestable."
--
The real Velvet Revolution - and the would-be hijacker.

http://originalvelvetrevolution.com
The Horny Goat
2017-07-26 16:16:15 UTC
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On Tue, 25 Jul 2017 17:48:54 -0500, Rich Rostrom
Post by Rich Rostrom
Post by kenney@ cix.co.uk (Kenneth Young)
I believe Lucan and Cardigan were brothers in law who had quarrelled
over a family inheritance and were not on speaking terms.
Well, as Harry Flashman wrote, "They detested
each other, which was quite appropriate, as
they were both detestable."
I'm NOT suggesting the Flashman books are great historical works but
one thing I liked about George MacDonald Fraser was that he was fairly
meticulous in his research and on at least a couple of occasions
Flashman footnotes got me to the library seeking specific books which
as you probably know is something I highly value.

(I have said that several times in SHWI concerning various peoples'
postings)

Ivan Shmakov
2017-07-23 18:50:29 UTC
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[...]
Post by The Horny Goat
Post by Alex Milman
By depriving an average colonist of the XVIII of locally printed
literature or ability to built his own ship you deprived him of very
little but when you deprived him of rum, you HAD to expect a
trouble. The British government was interested in supporting
economy of the British West Indies (were the connected people had
their plantations) and not the mainland colonies so the rosy picture
you are trying to paint is not too convincing.
As 1990s era Soviet / Russians discovered when they tried to limit
access to vodka...
1980s, I suppose; the latest anti-alcohol campaign there was
during 1985-1987.
--
FSF associate member #7257 58F8 0F47 53F5 2EB2 F6A5 8916 3013 B6A0 230E 334A
Alex Milman
2017-07-23 19:51:57 UTC
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Post by Ivan Shmakov
[...]
Post by The Horny Goat
Post by Alex Milman
By depriving an average colonist of the XVIII of locally printed
literature or ability to built his own ship you deprived him of very
little but when you deprived him of rum, you HAD to expect a
trouble. The British government was interested in supporting
economy of the British West Indies (were the connected people had
their plantations) and not the mainland colonies so the rosy picture
you are trying to paint is not too convincing.
As 1990s era Soviet / Russians discovered when they tried to limit
access to vodka...
1980s, I suppose; the latest anti-alcohol campaign there was
during 1985-1987.
Sure. I think that this was just a typo.
Pete Barrett
2017-07-20 17:06:13 UTC
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Post by Don Phillipson
Post by Alex Milman
What if he was a capable and pragmatic ruler capable to understand real
situation and willing to do something to remedy at least some of the problems?
Could France avoid losing Canada?
Could France avoid losing its possessions in India?
What would be different if France did not participate in the War of Austrian
Succession and then tried to defuse situation which led to the 7YW?
-- Domestic finances (taxation and state spending.)
-- Foreign trade and colonies overseas.
-- Dynastic politics in Europe (evolving from feudal personal holdings
to a system of modern nonpersonal states.)
--Seldom involved in dynastic competition (except by choice.)*
1688? 1715? 1745?
Post by Don Phillipson
--Mutual interaction of overseas trade and overseas colonization.
If so, it was more by luck than judgement. Attempts to use the American
colonies as a market for EIC tea led to a revolt!
Post by Don Phillipson
(--Possibly also better public finances, through the Bank of England
founded 1694. I do not know enough about this.)
*One of the interesting themes in A.N. Wilson's biography Victoria
(2014) is the political function lf princely marriages throughout the
19th century, largely independent of Parliament's definition of
national policy (if and when it had any.)
--
Pete BARRETT
Alex Milman
2017-07-20 18:18:20 UTC
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Post by Pete Barrett
Post by Don Phillipson
Post by Alex Milman
What if he was a capable and pragmatic ruler capable to understand real
situation and willing to do something to remedy at least some of the problems?
Could France avoid losing Canada?
Could France avoid losing its possessions in India?
What would be different if France did not participate in the War of Austrian
Succession and then tried to defuse situation which led to the 7YW?
-- Domestic finances (taxation and state spending.)
-- Foreign trade and colonies overseas.
-- Dynastic politics in Europe (evolving from feudal personal holdings
to a system of modern nonpersonal states.)
--Seldom involved in dynastic competition (except by choice.)*
1688? 1715? 1745?
As opposite to the Bourbons not being contested since 1589 so the issue was
simply irrelevant all the way to 1830 (or 1815, depending on how "competition"
is defined). :-)
Post by Pete Barrett
Post by Don Phillipson
--Mutual interaction of overseas trade and overseas colonization.
If so, it was more by luck than judgement. Attempts to use the American
colonies as a market for EIC tea led to a revolt!
You mean one that the natives here tend to call "Revolution"? :-)

The point of this ATL was that OTL British colonial domination was not
totally inevitable and to a great degree became possible because everybody
else was busy fighting the continental wars (which Britain encourages by the
subsidies).


More or less the same goes for the economy: France had quite a few things to
offer even without the colonial goods but the government was not seriously
trying to help expansion into the European markets.

For example, by the mid-XVIII Britain practically monopolized trade with
Russia both officially (by the trade treaties) and unofficially (as practically
the only merchants who bothered to organize a proper credit system). Even the
French goods had been carried mostly by the British ships. Besides objective"
mutual trade interests, it was a matter of the strategically placed bribes.

The task to sign the French-Russian trade agreement proved to be quite realistic (basically, the main issue was dumping of the French-Ottoman alliance
and assume a neutral status and the rest was the potential French surplus in
that trade, also resolved without major problems). It was done during the reign of Louis XVI. Unfortunately, it was too late for the further developments: French Revolution was coming.

But Louis XV had plenty of "openings", starting from the fact that the coup
of Empress Elizabeth had been funded by the French money.
Pete Barrett
2017-07-21 17:33:19 UTC
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Post by Alex Milman
Post by Pete Barrett
Post by Don Phillipson
Post by Alex Milman
What if he was a capable and pragmatic ruler capable to understand
real situation and willing to do something to remedy at least some of
the problems?
Could France avoid losing Canada?
Could France avoid losing its possessions in India?
What would be different if France did not participate in the War of Austrian
Succession and then tried to defuse situation which led to the 7YW?
-- Domestic finances (taxation and state spending.)
-- Foreign trade and colonies overseas.
-- Dynastic politics in Europe (evolving from feudal personal
holdings to a system of modern nonpersonal states.)
--Seldom involved in dynastic competition (except by choice.)*
1688? 1715? 1745?
As opposite to the Bourbons not being contested since 1589 so the issue
was simply irrelevant all the way to 1830 (or 1815, depending on how
"competition" is defined). :-)
Post by Pete Barrett
Post by Don Phillipson
--Mutual interaction of overseas trade and overseas colonization.
If so, it was more by luck than judgement. Attempts to use the American
colonies as a market for EIC tea led to a revolt!
You mean one that the natives here tend to call "Revolution"? :-)
My mistake! <g>
Post by Alex Milman
The point of this ATL was that OTL British colonial domination was not
totally inevitable and to a great degree became possible because everybody
else was busy fighting the continental wars (which Britain encourages by
the subsidies).
Definitely not inevitable, but Britain's only real colonial competitor was
France. Spain was exhausted, and the Dutch and Portuguese content to sit on
what they had; and the other major continental powers (Austria, Russia, and
Prussia) weren't competing for overseas colonies in the 18th century. So
British interests were well served by keeping France occupied in fighting in
Europe (I think there was only a single war from 1688 to 1815 in which
Britain and France were on the same side).

Britain also benefited by managing to come out of every war except the ARW
with more possessions than it went in with, which was something of a
diplomatic achievement, since they didn't always do that much of the
fighting!

It seems to me that the best thing for France would be a long peace (I think
you've said the same yourself), and not getting involved in the War of
Austrian Succession or the Seven Years War. They'd still be fighting Britain
in North America and India, and they'd probably still lose, but perhaps they
wouldn't lose so much. And Austria and Prussia would still be going at it
hammer and tongs over Silesia, but no one else needed to get involved.

Of course, that may not be realistic, given France's tradition of military
power, and their long land border.
Post by Alex Milman
More or less the same goes for the economy: France had quite a few things
to offer even without the colonial goods but the government was not
seriously trying to help expansion into the European markets.
For example, by the mid-XVIII Britain practically monopolized trade with
Russia both officially (by the trade treaties) and unofficially (as
practically the only merchants who bothered to organize a proper credit
system). Even the French goods had been carried mostly by the British
ships. Besides objective" mutual trade interests, it was a matter of the
strategically placed bribes.
The task to sign the French-Russian trade agreement proved to be quite
realistic (basically, the main issue was dumping of the French-Ottoman
alliance and assume a neutral status and the rest was the potential French
surplus in
that trade, also resolved without major problems). It was done during the
reign of Louis XVI. Unfortunately, it was too late for the further
developments: French Revolution was coming.
But Louis XV had plenty of "openings", starting from the fact that the
coup of Empress Elizabeth had been funded by the French money.
--
Pete BARRETT
The Horny Goat
2017-07-21 18:25:38 UTC
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Post by Pete Barrett
It seems to me that the best thing for France would be a long peace (I think
you've said the same yourself), and not getting involved in the War of
Austrian Succession or the Seven Years War. They'd still be fighting Britain
in North America and India, and they'd probably still lose, but perhaps they
wouldn't lose so much. And Austria and Prussia would still be going at it
That's a pretty good summary. In my opinion the primary factor in the
French revolution was the Crown's near bankruptcy primarily over debts
from the 7 Years War and their financial support for the American
colonists.

Obviously there were other factors but the state of the French
exchequer was huge.
Alex Milman
2017-07-21 19:44:11 UTC
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Post by Pete Barrett
Post by Alex Milman
Post by Pete Barrett
Post by Don Phillipson
Post by Alex Milman
What if he was a capable and pragmatic ruler capable to understand
real situation and willing to do something to remedy at least some of
the problems?
Could France avoid losing Canada?
Could France avoid losing its possessions in India?
What would be different if France did not participate in the War of Austrian
Succession and then tried to defuse situation which led to the 7YW?
-- Domestic finances (taxation and state spending.)
-- Foreign trade and colonies overseas.
-- Dynastic politics in Europe (evolving from feudal personal
holdings to a system of modern nonpersonal states.)
--Seldom involved in dynastic competition (except by choice.)*
1688? 1715? 1745?
As opposite to the Bourbons not being contested since 1589 so the issue
was simply irrelevant all the way to 1830 (or 1815, depending on how
"competition" is defined). :-)
Post by Pete Barrett
Post by Don Phillipson
--Mutual interaction of overseas trade and overseas colonization.
If so, it was more by luck than judgement. Attempts to use the American
colonies as a market for EIC tea led to a revolt!
You mean one that the natives here tend to call "Revolution"? :-)
My mistake! <g>
Quite understandable one, all things considering. (OTOH, "revolt is never
successful, otherwise it is named differently" - not sure if this ever was
translated to English). :-)
Post by Pete Barrett
Post by Alex Milman
The point of this ATL was that OTL British colonial domination was not
totally inevitable and to a great degree became possible because everybody
else was busy fighting the continental wars (which Britain encourages by
the subsidies).
Definitely not inevitable, but Britain's only real colonial competitor was
France. Spain was exhausted, and the Dutch and Portuguese content to sit on
what they had; and the other major continental powers (Austria, Russia, and
Prussia) weren't competing for overseas colonies in the 18th century. So
British interests were well served by keeping France occupied in fighting in
Europe (I think there was only a single war from 1688 to 1815 in which
Britain and France were on the same side).
Exactly my point. And the kings of France had been quite willing to get
engaged in the very expensive affairs which at best had been giving France
the tiny bits of a territory in Europe.

It also seems that potential value of the colonies never was fully understood
by the French monarchs (before the Revolution) and even by the entrepreneurs.
Post by Pete Barrett
Britain also benefited by managing to come out of every war except the ARW
with more possessions than it went in with, which was something of a
diplomatic achievement, since they didn't always do that much of the
fighting!
But it tended to do fighting where it really mattered and/or general exhaustion
of the continental fighters was providing a nice opportunity to negotiate
favorable conditions of peace (under appreciation of the colonies by France
was one more factor in the British favor).
Post by Pete Barrett
It seems to me that the best thing for France would be a long peace (I think
you've said the same yourself), and not getting involved in the War of
Austrian Succession or the Seven Years War. They'd still be fighting Britain
in North America and India, and they'd probably still lose, but perhaps they
wouldn't lose so much. And Austria and Prussia would still be going at it
hammer and tongs over Silesia, but no one else needed to get involved.
It seems that we agree on a general principle so let's try to go to more
detailed level.

Let's assume that (a) France is staying away from the Hapsburg-Hohenzollern
quarrels AND (b) the government manages to maintain army and navy in a
decent shape AND (c) the government demonstrates at least minimal competence
in handling the French economy.

(a) Taking into an account that in 2 consecutive wars France managed to fight
on the different sides of H-H conflict and that after the 1st war (Austrian
Succession) France gave away all conquests, it is probably not too big stretch
of truth to characterize these both wars (WAS and continental part of the 7YW)
as a political imbecility (the same goes for the Russian participation in the
7YW so the French idiocy was not something unique): of course it was very
flattering for Madame de Pompadour to receive a personal letter from
Maria Theresa but was this a valid reason for getting into the major war
that proved to be a complete disaster?

(b) In the terms of both organization and numbers French army was noticeably
superior to the British army even if it seems that in the terms of a drill
and fire discipline the Brits were somewhat ahead (it is easier to drill much
smaller numbers): this was demonstrated in the Battle of Fontenoy but the same
battle demonstrated that with a competent leadership the French could win even with the equal numbers. What was a BIG problem for the French at that time
was leadership on almost any level and things became much worse by the time
of the 7YW. The appointments had been made based upon the connections at the
Court so it was much more important to be on a good side of Madame de Pompadour
that to be a competent general. Following the old principle of fish rotting from
a head, the same problems could be traced on the lower levels. The high ranking
officers had been often given their commissions based on their connections and
not competence or experience (of which there often was none) and, as long as
these connections remained powerful, the discipline was something that happens
to other people: it was OK to leave a fighting army if an officer felt himself
offended, underappreciated, etc. On the lower levels, with a government wasting
money on court, the troops were often underpaid and lacking proper supplies
(even if on paper all necessary services existed). Could this be avoided without
intervention of the ASB's? Of course. If not up to the ideal degree but enough
to make a quality difference. More or less the same goes for the French Navy
(I know much less on this subject) but it was in a much better shape than one
France had after the Revolution and, again, things could be improved with some
determination and competence.

(c) In OTL there were some attempts to do something but IIRC they more or
less were boiling down to inventing the new ways of taxation. Even in the area
of laying hands on the Church money France was well behind Russia or Austria:
it all ended up with slightly increasing size of a "voluntary contribution".
Of course, the task of looting the Church was much easier to accomplish in
Russia (which was done by Catherine II) but as I understand France was not a
hopeless case either. Plus, an idea that the growing economy and trade are
going to increase a taxation base was seemingly not quite there, yet.

If conflict with Britain was inevitable, the most vulnerable area was one
to the West of the British settlements because the French presence there
was minimal (mostly allied Indians) and the very geography made sending
serious reinforcements very difficult.

Canada, with an adequate naval support and few extra regiments could be held.

French possessions in India just required coordination: they were under
different jurisdictions, and their heads not only were reluctant to cooperate
with each other but had different ideas on the colonial policy (from just
holding to the trade posts and all the way to the expansionism). Before things
went South, the French had been positioned quite well: besides French troops
they had sepoys (French invention) and quite a few local rulers had these
troops (led by the French officers) on their payroll. But intrigues at court,
absence of a single command and other similar issues led to the loss of almost
everything they got. Again, under a less incompetent regime most of these
issues either would not exist or would be remedied before they led to a
catastrophe.
Post by Pete Barrett
Of course, that may not be realistic, given France's tradition of military
power, and their long land border.
But during the reign of Louis XV this border almost did not change (except
for the annexation of Lorraine, which was a vassal state, anyway) and it was
not challenged by the neighbors. So the military power was wasted on nothing.
IIRC, Louis XVI did not fight any continental wars and his colonial war was
quite successful militarily (but not too much so in the terms of gaining
something for France); it was fought pretty much traditional "British style":
supply enemy of your enemy with money and weapons, perhaps allow some token
volunteer force and get directly involved only at a critical point.
kenney@ cix.co.uk (Kenneth Young)
2017-07-21 21:48:00 UTC
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Post by Alex Milman
not sure if this ever was
translated to English
I think Shakespear had something along those lines but better "Treason
never prospers, for if it does it is not treason." I have tried to find
the full quote but the shakespear quote sites I tried have lousy search
facilities.
The Horny Goat
2017-07-21 22:29:22 UTC
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Post by kenney@ cix.co.uk (Kenneth Young)
Post by Alex Milman
not sure if this ever was
translated to English
I think Shakespear had something along those lines but better "Treason
never prospers, for if it does it is not treason." I have tried to find
the full quote but the shakespear quote sites I tried have lousy search
facilities.
It's not Shakespeare but a quick search turned up John Harrington's

"Treason doth never prosper, what's the reason? For if it prosper,
none dare call it Treason."
Read more at:
https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnharing173129.html

The last phrase 'None Dare Call it Treason" was adopted for the title
of a book by John Stormer - I don't know if he was a Bircher or not
but at the very least he was a John Birch fellow traveller...
kenney@ cix.co.uk (Kenneth Young)
2017-07-22 08:40:00 UTC
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Post by The Horny Goat
t's not Shakespeare but a quick search turned up John Harrington's
Thanks
kenney@ cix.co.uk (Kenneth Young)
2017-07-22 11:12:00 UTC
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Post by Alex Milman
(I know much less on this subject) but it was in a much better
shape than one
France had after the Revolution a
It could with a competent Admiral defeat the RN as happened during the
American revolution.
Alex Milman
2017-07-22 19:45:48 UTC
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Post by kenney@ cix.co.uk (Kenneth Young)
Post by Alex Milman
(I know much less on this subject) but it was in a much better shape than one
France had after the Revolution a
It could with a competent Admiral defeat the RN as happened during the
American revolution.
IIRC, at some point the French fleet in India (based on some islands) was
successful but its commander (who was also a governor of <whatever>) was against
the expansion on mainland. So he failed to pursue his victory thus giving
the Brits a breathing space they needed. Later, he was doing pretty much
nothing to help the mainland forces. Got away with all of the above due to
the connections at court. On a mainland there also was more than one boss
(don't remember all details) and as you can guess all of them had been busy
trying to upset a colleague (one unlucky general ended up being court marshalled).
The Horny Goat
2017-07-20 18:45:51 UTC
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Post by Pete Barrett
Post by Don Phillipson
--Mutual interaction of overseas trade and overseas colonization.
If so, it was more by luck than judgement. Attempts to use the American
colonies as a market for EIC tea led to a revolt!
In fairness, the American colonists didn't have a dislike for EIC tea,
they had a dislike for being TAXED on their favorite tea. Minus the
tax America would be a tea-drinking country to this day with coffee
being marginalized.

Coffee became popular primarily due to not being taxed when tea was.

That's rather different from disliking tea for its own sake.

(When I was at the Tower of London in June 2016 the Beefeater tour
guide had a raucously funny version of this story. "See how much
trouble you folks could have avoided if your forefathers had just paid
their taxes?!?")
Alex Milman
2017-07-20 19:48:38 UTC
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Post by The Horny Goat
Post by Pete Barrett
Post by Don Phillipson
--Mutual interaction of overseas trade and overseas colonization.
If so, it was more by luck than judgement. Attempts to use the American
colonies as a market for EIC tea led to a revolt!
In fairness, the American colonists didn't have a dislike for EIC tea,
they had a dislike for being TAXED on their favorite tea. Minus the
tax America would be a tea-drinking country to this day with coffee
being marginalized.
An undisputable authority on the subject (Al Bundy from "Married with
children") thought otherwise:

"We dumped tea into the sea. Why? Because Americans don't like tea: we like
beer! .... Read my lips: no news taxes on beer!"
Post by The Horny Goat
Coffee became popular primarily due to not being taxed when tea was.
That's rather different from disliking tea for its own sake.
(When I was at the Tower of London in June 2016 the Beefeater tour
guide had a raucously funny version of this story. "See how much
trouble you folks could have avoided if your forefathers had just paid
their taxes?!?")
Well, being a government-paid parasite, he has a somewhat perverted view
on a history. "No trouble whatsoever!" :-)
The Horny Goat
2017-07-21 18:22:54 UTC
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On Thu, 20 Jul 2017 12:48:38 -0700 (PDT), Alex Milman
Post by Alex Milman
Post by The Horny Goat
(When I was at the Tower of London in June 2016 the Beefeater tour
guide had a raucously funny version of this story. "See how much
trouble you folks could have avoided if your forefathers had just paid
their taxes?!?")
Well, being a government-paid parasite, he has a somewhat perverted view
on a history. "No trouble whatsoever!" :-)
To be sure it was middle of June (i.e. peak tourist season) and while
his audience was primarily Brits there were random visitors from the
US Canada and elsewhere. He did an exceptional job ('No tips ma'am -
I'm military) and I hope his performance review ratings match the
experience we had. He did a particularly good job in the chapel at the
Tower.
Alex Milman
2017-07-21 19:50:14 UTC
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Post by The Horny Goat
On Thu, 20 Jul 2017 12:48:38 -0700 (PDT), Alex Milman
Post by Alex Milman
Post by The Horny Goat
(When I was at the Tower of London in June 2016 the Beefeater tour
guide had a raucously funny version of this story. "See how much
trouble you folks could have avoided if your forefathers had just paid
their taxes?!?")
Well, being a government-paid parasite, he has a somewhat perverted view
on a history. "No trouble whatsoever!" :-)
To be sure it was middle of June (i.e. peak tourist season) and while
his audience was primarily Brits there were random visitors from the
US Canada and elsewhere. He did an exceptional job ('No tips ma'am -
I'm military) and I hope his performance review ratings match the
experience we had. He did a particularly good job in the chapel at the
Tower.
In Boston they are doing re-inaction of a Tea Party and I must say that
a speech preceding the action (well, there is no tea in the packs thrown
overboard) is a brilliant example of how to provide necessary enthusiasm.
It was along the lines of "who is a true patriot ready for <blahblahblah> and
who is a traitorous servant of King George deserving only to be tarred,
feathered and thrown out of the town?" Even nowadays, everybody is choosing
a patriotic option (you never know how far reenactment could go). :-)
kenney@ cix.co.uk (Kenneth Young)
2017-07-20 21:36:00 UTC
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Post by The Horny Goat
In fairness, the American colonists didn't have a dislike for EIC tea,
they had a dislike for being TAXED on their favorite tea. Minus the
tax America would be a tea-drinking country to this day with coffee
being marginalized.
That is a simplification. The EIC was allowed to reclaim tax paid on tea
that was exported from Britain which meant it could sell tea cheaper than
the American smugglers could. That got combined with resentment over
other taxes imposed on America.
The Old Man
2017-07-21 18:33:28 UTC
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Post by The Horny Goat
Post by Pete Barrett
Post by Don Phillipson
--Mutual interaction of overseas trade and overseas colonization.
If so, it was more by luck than judgement. Attempts to use the American
colonies as a market for EIC tea led to a revolt!
In fairness, the American colonists didn't have a dislike for EIC tea,
they had a dislike for being TAXED on their favorite tea. Minus the
tax America would be a tea-drinking country to this day with coffee
being marginalized.
Coffee became popular primarily due to not being taxed when tea was.
That's rather different from disliking tea for its own sake.
(When I was at the Tower of London in June 2016 the Beefeater tour
guide had a raucously funny version of this story. "See how much
trouble you folks could have avoided if your forefathers had just paid
their taxes?!?")
Yeahbut, even WITH the tax, it was still cheaper than the stuff that John Hancock (and others) smuggled in. The Tea Party was set up BY Hancock to get rid of the competition.
When I was at the Tower, many years ago, our Beefeater pointed out the area where prisoners were brought in by boat, the Watergate, which was referred to in those days as the "Traitors' Gate".

Regards,
John Braungart
Alex Milman
2017-07-21 19:52:53 UTC
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Post by The Old Man
Post by The Horny Goat
Post by Pete Barrett
Post by Don Phillipson
--Mutual interaction of overseas trade and overseas colonization.
If so, it was more by luck than judgement. Attempts to use the American
colonies as a market for EIC tea led to a revolt!
In fairness, the American colonists didn't have a dislike for EIC tea,
they had a dislike for being TAXED on their favorite tea. Minus the
tax America would be a tea-drinking country to this day with coffee
being marginalized.
Coffee became popular primarily due to not being taxed when tea was.
That's rather different from disliking tea for its own sake.
(When I was at the Tower of London in June 2016 the Beefeater tour
guide had a raucously funny version of this story. "See how much
trouble you folks could have avoided if your forefathers had just paid
their taxes?!?")
Yeahbut, even WITH the tax, it was still cheaper than the stuff that John Hancock (and others) smuggled in. The Tea Party was set up BY Hancock to get rid of the competition.
Who told you that a TRUE patriotism must be associated with a commercial
loss (for a seller)? :-)
The Old Man
2017-07-21 21:49:59 UTC
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Post by Alex Milman
Who told you that a TRUE patriotism must be associated with a commercial
loss (for a seller)? :-)
Hey, it's not MY fault that he had lousy advertising....
8^P>

Regards,
John Braungart
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