Alternate History

Just a Bit Different

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This is an interesting timeline that diverges from ours with the premature death of Napoleon. This leads to a future in which many of the major political events of the 19th and 20th centuries still occur in some form, but with different countries and cities, different times, or different outcomes.

Point of Divergence

On 14 February 1803, at the beginning of the Napoleonic Wars, Napoleon Bonaparte, emperor and primary military strategist of the French Empire, was thrown off a horse in the Western Holy Roman Empire, breaking his second and third vertebrae in the process. He died three days later of complications arising from the accident. The Bonapartist line of succession gave the position of Emperor of the to Napoleon's brother, Joseph Bonaparte. Joseph is inept was a strategist and inexperienced as a military commander, and as the French army was not yet well-established in the conflict, the military were not able to quickly devise a new strategy, and the bulk of the French army was quickly defeated by the armies of the Third Coalition at the Battle of Offenburg. The French Empire officially surrendered to the Third Coalition on 6 June.

Immediate Effects

After the French surrendered, representatives from France, the United Kingdom, the Holy Roman Empire, the newly formed Kingdom of Italy, Sweden, and the Russian Empire convened in Bremen to negotiate the Treaty of Bremen, which would detail the reparations owed by France to the Third Coalition. Left with almost no bargaining leverage, France was forced to accept terms that fractured its territory and reduced it to a highly dependent state that covered less than half of its empirical land. In addition, the economy of this new state was greatly weakened by the $300 million Francs it is forced to pay in indemnities to the major powers.

All of the powers of the Third Coalition received land only on the European mainland, except for the Russian Empire. Instead, the Russian Empire received full control of the Louisiana Territory, the large North American territory that the French were in the process of selling to the United States. This acquisition led to the Russian Empire's prevalence in North America, and to the Cold War between the United States and Russia. Disputes over the land acquired was also the cause of World War I, the division of Paris, and World War II. These conflicts also sowed the seeds for the Eastern wars of the late 19th century, as well as the rise of Terrorism against the western world in the early 20th century.

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