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Old 01-02-2016, 05:11 AM
 
Location: Finland
24,257 posts, read 20,407,048 times
Reputation: 11103

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ummagumma View Post
Otherwise, they were just as much a colonial empire as any other country. Although they mostly treated their non-Russian population as subjects of the Empire, and not as colonials.
Except for the Grand Duchy of Finland whose subjects were legally exempt of Russian taxes, laws and conscription among other. Congress Poland had initially the same privileges but lost them after the uprisings of 1830 and 1863.
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Old 01-02-2016, 09:20 AM
 
Location: On the Great South Bay
7,426 posts, read 10,636,776 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davy-040 View Post
UK, France, Germany

How would the map of Europe look today?
Ok, it begins with one of the Danish-German wars of the 1800s. The German States take Denmark itself while the British demand Denmark's overseas territories (for protection of course!) such as Greenland and Iceland.

The Austro-Prussian war with the complete conquest of the Austrian Empire by Prussia-Germany. The Germans give Galicia to Russia as compensation but also because Bismarck does not want any more eastern Slavs in the new German Empire.

After that the Russians demand still more compensation and start licking their chops at Sweden. The British come to Sweden's rescue but with a price - Sweden gives Norway to the British. So Sweden stays independent but is under a intense 3 way competition between Germany, Russia and the British.

Watching all this, Napoleon III is under pressure to win territory and Glory for France. The Walloons are being mistreated and must be saved by being annexed to France! France takes over Belgium, Germany takes the Netherlands and Luxembourg, the British take the Dutch colonies. Because the powers cannot agree, the Swiss stay independent.


Britain
(including ALL of Ireland) - Norway, Iceland, Faroe Islands, Greenland, overseas colonies

Germany - Denmark, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Austria, Liechtenstein, Bohemia, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, possibly additional territories in the Balkans

France
- Belgium (including the future Belgian Congo) and possibly bordering areas of Italy and Spain.

Russia - Galicia and possibly additional territories in the Balkans (depends on competition with the Germans, British, French and Italians)

Italy - may be divided early by France and Austria (later Germany) but if she stays independent - Italy may move into Albania, Montenegro and possibly Serbia and Greece

Spain - stays independent - everyone remembers what the Spanish did to the French under Napoleon!

Portugal
- stays independent but will probably loose her colonies

Sweden - independent
Switzerland - independent
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Old 01-02-2016, 10:15 AM
 
Location: Finland
24,257 posts, read 20,407,048 times
Reputation: 11103
I tend to disagree. The unification of Italy was strongly supported by Napoleon III, and it would've happened in any case. Likewise the Russian Empire was on the brink of collapse in 1905. It could not hold its territories for long.
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Old 01-02-2016, 10:32 AM
 
Location: Southeast Michigan
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The major mistake of the Russians was to launch a huge invasion of Austria Hungary. If they stayed on the defensive, the Russian Empire would have survived intact. Likely with some Slavic lands taken from AH when it collapsed.

Also we're talking the late 1800s. The Revolution of 1905 had much to do with very recent social and economic developments in Russia, which would not be there in say 1885. And by 1911 the Tzar had a firm hold on the country once again.

It took three years of fighting with extremely high losses and very visible terrible leadership by Tzar and his generals to stir up things by 1917. Russian losses were enormous even by WW1 standards, with nothing to show for it.

So let's say it's 1885. Bismarck is still running Germany, and his policy has always been to maintain peace with Russia to avoid a war on two fronts. He also could not care less about AH. So I can see Germany and Russia dividing AH amongst themselves, with Germany getting Austria and perhaps Hungary, and Russia getting the Slavic lands. Then it's the race to the Balkans with an ultimate goal of Turkey, where the repeat of the war of 1877 is very likely.(Russia kicks Turkey's ass, France and Britain interfere, Germany says "Ivan you're on your own)
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Old 01-02-2016, 12:47 PM
 
Location: Finland
24,257 posts, read 20,407,048 times
Reputation: 11103
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ummagumma View Post
Also we're talking the late 1800s. The Revolution of 1905 had much to do with very recent social and economic developments in Russia, which would not be there in say 1885. And by 1911 the Tzar had a firm hold on the country once again.
I tend to disagree. The Grand Duchy was a prime example how the Russian Empire just fell apart. The Russificarion policies implemented in Finland in 1899 ultimately turned the Finns to total independence. The Russification attempts had already been implemented in Congress Poland and the Baltic Provinces, but as the priviledges given by Nicholas I in Finland were finally severely violated, the Grand Duchy descended into total anarchy and widespread terrorism including assasinations. Finland was just a small piece of the Empire, but the Czar was unable to retake control, and after the Finnish, Polish and Baltic riots of 1905, the Emperor had to stop the Russification policy.

In 1906 the Grand Duchy of Finland unanimously declared that the newly formed Parliament of Finland with universal suffrage (first in Europe to do so) is the supreme authority in Finland, giving the final veto to the Czar. While it gave the final word to the Czar, he had already lost all other authority.

When the second wave of oppression (Russification) started in 1908, Finland and Poland had already taken their course. It's independence or nothing. The Finns, who had been exempt from conscription, resisted furiously. Ultimately part of the power went to the newly created Russian Duma. Though there were conservative "autonomy-supporters", the vast majority of the Parliament decided that a complete breakoff is inevitable. The final measure which pushed us off the edge was the equality law of 1912, which gave Russian citizens in Finland the same rights Finnish citizens had. After this it was only a matter of time when the total breakoff was due.

After the February Revolution in Russia the Finnish Parliament declared Finland as an independent entity, and will not adhere to any Russian laws of any kind. Finland took control of all of the Russian military disarming them (the independent Finnish Army was disbanded in 1908). Finally on 6 December 1917 the Parliament of Finland declared total independence. Russia, France, Germany and Sweden were the first to recognise the Finnish state, on 4 January 1918.

The lesson of this is that the Finnish government took every opportunity to break off from the Russian Empire, and finally was successful. The very broken Russian Empire was never able to turn this tide. Russia was lost into some multiculturalism it could not handle. If even small Finland was able to break off, it was only a matter of time when the whole Empire will just fall apart. Thus, the Russian Empire was counting its days, even without WWI.
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