Alternate History

Expansionnistes (French Trafalgar, British Waterloo)

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Expansionnistes was a loose political federation of center-right leaning candidates, and later an official party, during the reigns of Emperors Napoleon II, Philip Joseph and Napoleon III, before merging with old Conservateurs to become the new right wing Front National in 1869. They promoted overseas colonial expansion, a strong military and alliances with both the United States, Russia and Austria-Hungary. In domestic affairs, they favored a high tariff, increased Imperial powers and a centralization of the government.

The only Prime Minister elected under the Expansionnistes label was Jacques Laffitte (1830-1834, 1836-1839), while they usually held steady at about 20% of the seats in the Imperial Assembly through their entire length of time. However, they exercised their most important influence through the many coalition governments that existed between the 1840s to 1860s, supporting which ever party offered them the chance to push for their goals, and pulling the plug on the coalition whenever they threatened the positions they held dear.

After the defeat of the First Global War, the Expansionnistes, for the first time since the early 1830s dropped below 10% of the seats in the Imperial Assembly in the elections of 1859, but regained some strength over the next decade. However, as the collapse of the British and German alliance in the 1860s thrust France in the unfamiliar position of having no alliance seemingly allied against them, the Expansionnistes call for a strong army hurt them in the interim. By 1867, with many moderate/center members leaving to form the Front Centre, the party was in negotiations with the Conservateurs to unify, which resulted in the 1869 Front National creation.

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