On Fri, 6 Oct 2017 06:09:16 -0700 (PDT), jerry kraus
Post by jerry kraus
Well, other than Napoleon Brandy, I'm not really sure what the impact would be, which is why I'm asking the question. We still have the French Revolution, of course, but, is there an earlier return of the Monarchy? Napoleon certainly was effective at times in supporting the Revolution against its Royalist opponents. Would other comparably brilliant generals have come forward to conquer Italy and much of Europe? Quite possibly. Would they have been as arrogant as Napoleon, and provoked as much enmity with the other great powers, particularly Russia? Yes, very likely.
If you have not read the first appendix to Tolstoy's War and Peace do
read it. It's the ultimate presentation of the "anti-Great Man theory
of world history" and claims history is all about major forces and not
at all about individuals.
Given the plot of War and Peace obviously Napoleon is one of the
primary subjects of his essay.
For sure there are major forces in world history but I do strongly
think individuals have an impact.
For instance the French Revolution didn't really have a leader after
Robespierre until Napoleon and someone would have taken the helm.
Whether this someone had European wide imperial designs (i.e.
establishing Kings and Dukes and lesser nobility as Napoleon did) or
more explicitly democratic probably determines whether there's a
continent wide war.
I would argue Napoleon was an inevitable result of the French
Revolution but not the only possible outcome.
[On the other hand, I would argue that given the Great Depression an
extreme government in Germany was likely and the Naziism without
Hitler is a "horse of a totally different color". I can envision
someone like Stresemann or his ilk to play the FDR role in Germany -
and don't forget that by American standards FDR was extremely radical
- but that this certainly does not result in a *WW2 with German at the
center of it.
Such a scenario probably leaves the Soviets with their 1920 boundaries
since while Stalin was highly opportunistic he was not inherently that
A Europe without Bonaparte probably means a French government in
financial collapse and may or may not mean a return to the monarchy.
This is good news for Great Powers who are financially stronger -
probably good things for Britain, Austria and Russia in that order. My
guess is that an Austrian attempt to dominate Italy in that era is a
plausible casus belli for a war in the same but non-Napoleonic period.
No doubt others can come up with equally good flashpoints.