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Napoleon was one of the world's most famous generals to ever walk the earth. He was a military, a political leader, and emperor for France. His left a remarkable legacy that would have never been forgotten.
He was known for his achievements such as his cooperation in the French Revolution, his ability to end the chaos caused by the Reign of Terror, and the Napoleonic and Metric Codes he established. His conquests of Europe also gave Napoleon a lasting legacy, which would lead to events such as Italian and German unification, 1848 Revolutions, and so much more.
During the Napoleonic Wars, Napoleon conquered most of Europe. His military inteliigence gave him victories everywhere, conquering lands from Spain to Germany. He faced many enemies from Russia, Prussia, Austria, and Britain, who would stop at nothing to destroy him.
Sadly, Napoleon made two mistakes. The first mistake was the invasion of Spain. Ironically, Spain was one of Napoleon's allies, yet he wanted control of it. This proved disastorous for the French, as the Spaniards fought braverly against the French and put a strain on the army. The second mistake was the invasion of Russia. When Russia began to threaten France, Napoleon invaded it to counteract the threat. However, winter came during his journey, and Napoleon had to turn back, causing a chain of events that would lead to his defeat.
However, two PODs of this TL would erase the mistakes Napoleon made that led to his defeat and downfall. If you want to know two questions, here they are: what if Napoleon didn't invade Spain? And what if he didn't do the same to Russia?
On February 23, 1808, Napoleon was thinking and thinking in his study room in Paris. His mind was filled with so much from the war. He is thinking about the numerous problems that threaten his ambitions. There are several enemies he has to worry about. There's Britain. Her army is powerful enough to control her mighty empire, yet it is no powerful than France's Grand Armee. Yet they have their Royal Navy, the strongest and proudest navy in the world. Their victories against the French and Spanish fleets in Trafalgar and the Spanish Armada in the English Channel. So far, it will be impossible to ever get pass that navy, leaving any idea to invade Britain out of the question. There's Austria, who has proved to be a thorn in France's side even before the 19th Century. Austria and France have a long history of hostility and rivarly, something they cannot seem to ignore. Austria's army is also powerful, yet they proved to be not as powerful as France's Grand Armee itself. There's Russia, who's size makes it a giant. It is probably Russia who ight be the hardest to tackle down due to its size and its huge population. Napoleon was thinking of ways to expand his power.
There so many other nations against Napoleon, but those are the three he needed to be worried about. There are two more problems he needed to face. First one is the failed Continental System, as it has meant to give Britain's economy a powerful blow. Instead, it was France who took the blow since Britain had a stronger counter blockade. Illegal smuggling of goods from Britain is also a problem, and even his family is disagreeing on the plan. The second problem is the numerous wars from the coalition. So far, France has fought against four coalitions yet the nations, especially Austria and Britain, are no where in giving in. The third problem was Britain, who often led the coalition against Napoleon. Since the 100 Years War, both Britain and France had a longhistory of rivarly, but the Seven Years War humiliated France and benefited Britain. Britain will always make sure Napoleon doesn't get his way, but Napoleon won't let Britain be in his way either.
So much went around and around Napoleon's head. If he can't get a solution right away, his hardest efforts would just crumble into pieces. What would he do? He could invade Spain. That's it! Brilliant! But here's where everything changes (this right here people is the POD!). After a while, Napoleon scratched that. He can't invade his own ally! It be treacherous and unacceptable. Any invasion would not be worth the value. So instead, Napoleon thought an age-old plan Ferdinand and Isabella did when they were uniting Spain: marriage.On February 28th, Napoleon began to arrange a marriage between maria Luisa of Spain (she is not ruler, Ferdinand VII is) and Joseph, Napoleon's brother. He told the King of Spain that this meant to unite both the Kingdoms of Spain and France, an age old idea Louis XIV tried to do but gailed. Ferdinand VII approved the marriage an on May 2nd, 1808, the marriage began. Outside the Spanish royal palace in Madrid, people were cheering and celebrating, as the marriage was about to unite both countries forever. As Joseph and Isabella cam closer, so did the chance for French and Spanish unity. Finally, after Joseph kissed his bride it was official: France and Spain became truly allies.
Behind the scenes, Fernand VII and Napoleon discussed a possible union between the two states in an order to revive the possibilities of a Franco-Spanish Union. However, Fernand forced Napoleon to toss away the idea considering that he would not give up most of his power (if they came from the same royal family he would consider that). Thus Napoleon failed the goal, but the marriage would strike a powerful bond between the two states.
Finally, it was over. Napoleon was rejoiced and relieved. His method of marriage was one of the most brilliant things he has ever thought of in his mind. Without war, without conquest, or even without bloodshed, he made a brilliant milestone: uniting France and Spain together without uniting them into a country. Now who would stand a chance against Napoleon now (other than Britain obviously)?
On June 14 1809, Napoleon was excited as he as always been after every military victory. He was the Gloriette in Vienna, where the Treaty of Schonbrunn was about to be signed. You see, Napoleon has once again triumphed, defeating the mighty power of the Fifth Coalition as well as the country of Austria, who was brutally punished under the feet of Napoleon. She was force to give up Salzburg to Bavaria, West Galicia to the Duchy of Warsaw, the Tarnopol district to Russia, and Trieste and Croatia south of the Sava River to France (also known as the Illyrian provinces).
Later on July 15th, Napoleon was once again victorious. Prussia was now at the knees of the greatest military commander of Europe, forcing to pay France 50 million Francs, hand Brandenberg to the Confederation of the Rhine, and end all hostilities with France.
However, peace as we know it, would not last for long. Deep into the land of Russia, the only word that its ruler, Alexander I, is thinking about is suspicion. The land gains earned by Napoleon from Austria caused worry amongst the Russians, who suspect he might be up to an invasion of Russia. They begin to prepare an army to take on the French. Napoleon would not be pleased of this!
On November 1st, Napoleon was quietly thinking in his study room. Russia as become the greatest problem to his plans since the Fifth Coalition. He knew that the Russian invasion would do no good for him. Napoleon must find a way to counter this problem before everything tumbles.
He's got it! War! But this is where things change again. On second thought, he scratches the idea. Russia is too big to invade. To make matters worse, it would take a long time before Napoleon can reach the Russian heartland, meaning that it would be winter by the time he gets there, meaning his army would not survive, allowing the rest of Europe to finish him off once and for all. Also, Russia is so enormous. It would be too much to handle.
Instead, Napoleon used the olive branch. On December 22nd, Napoleon and Russia sign the St. Petersburg Accords, which settle the issues between both countries that led to the tensions. Napoleon organized it to ensure Russia would be satisfied. Much to his relief, Alexander I accepts the terms, preventing any possibility of war, and also, allowing Napoleon to gain a strong, yet reluctant ally.
What Happens Next?
The two PODs have caused a shift in history. Without a unworthy war on Spain or Russia, Napoleon wouldn't have to carry the burden that would lead to his defeat in OTL. France now stands strong, and nothing could stop her. The question is: what happens next?
Read the TL to find out!