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Winners and losers (A history lesson please)

 
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Winners and losers (A history lesson please) - 12/18/2015 12:52:10 PM   
typhoon

 

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The Napoleonic wars ended at Waterloo on that I think we can all agree but who were the real winners and losers of he Wars as a whole. My take on things is the victors that day England and Prussia emerged out the wars as the main beneficaries. Yet what about the Russians the Turks. How did Austria fair Was Spain already finished as a great power and what about the French themselves is not much of their modern day tradition founded on that period a good book recommendation on the subject would be great better still perhaps a brief summary of what others may think.
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RE: Winners and losers (A history lesson please) - 12/18/2015 6:59:15 PM   
Queeg


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Great Britain was the big winner by a wide margin. She had no rival on the seas, which allowed her to expand her colonial holdings and begin the industrial revolution.

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RE: Winners and losers (A history lesson please) - 12/18/2015 7:13:31 PM   
terje439


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Denmark-Norway became a big loser. Norway was ceeded from Denmark to Sweden, but without our overseas posessions (the Swedish diplomat forgot to include them in the peace treaty in 1815 (we did not simply agree to the deal made between the Swedes and the British)...).

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RE: Winners and losers (A history lesson please) - 12/18/2015 11:01:55 PM   
Gunnulf


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Spain was probably the biggest loser, with the Iberian peninsula ravaged by years of fighting it was impoverished for years to come and the scene was set for being unable to keep its south american colonies in the coming years.
At least France bounced back relatively quickly and was soon a great power again. Without much fighting on home turf while the butchers bill in losses was high, it was not mauled domestically like Spain was and before long was back at the top table, albeit never top dog again.
Russia no doubt gained prestige, some territory in Poland, Finland and Bessarabia, but still on the fringe of Europe.
Prussia had the stage set for the push towards domination of Germany, but it still look 55 years to complete and only after a further series of wars. Victory in 1815 was just a milestone on the road really. But compared to the defeats of 1806 and the low points thereafter 1815 was certainly marked a surge in national confidence.
Austria-Hungary survived. That is all.
USA suffered a loss of prestige in proving to be unable to defend herself at sea or land, despite what revisionist propaganda might suggest, however the Louisiana purchase (firesale) from a cash strapped Napoleon who feared he would lose it anyway, was the deal of the century (or all-time probably) and set them up for a century of expansion.
For Britain of course gained the most, from hamstringing 2 major colonial rivals and gaining a few more colonies, gaining complete control of the sea, and more of less maintaining the status quo on the continent, stretching the national debt but without breaking the bank, and without too much bloodshed relative to the continentals its hard to see too much downside to the result in the grand scheme of things.

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RE: Winners and losers (A history lesson please) - 12/19/2015 7:33:21 AM   
Citizen Emperor


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quote:

Austria-Hungary survived. That is all.

She would enjoy "great power" status for another 40 years or so. Ironically, it was another Napoleon (Napoleon III, nephew of Bonaparte) who would help begin the process of Austria's terminal decline... The military support of France (under Napoleon III) was crucial in the loss of Austria's Italian possessions in the 1850s-'60s, as Italy united and became a nation-state in its own right, throwing off the Austrian yoke.

Prussia then dealt a further crushing blow to a now-weakened Austria in a short but bruising war (1866).

Slightly more than a century after Napoleon I's defeat, the Austrian Empire was toast. (WWI finished it off for good.)

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RE: Winners and losers (A history lesson please) - 12/19/2015 7:42:26 AM   
loki100


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quote:

ORIGINAL: typhoon

The Napoleonic wars ended at Waterloo on that I think we can all agree but who were the real winners and losers of he Wars as a whole. My take on things is the victors that day England and Prussia emerged out the wars as the main beneficaries. Yet what about the Russians the Turks. How did Austria fair Was Spain already finished as a great power and what about the French themselves is not much of their modern day tradition founded on that period a good book recommendation on the subject would be great better still perhaps a brief summary of what others may think.


I think you can also frame this not in terms of states but of ideals and peoples. Its pretty clear that the Congress of Vienna imposed a very particular social order on Europe, so you could say the old elites and their mode of governance won (for next 30 odd years) and all the ideals and hopes that spun off from the French Revolution lost. It was not till 1848 that this even started to be challenged and that really just led to more of the same once the old powers had won across Europe.

While I'd agree that you can dispute the extent that Imperial France itself retained any practical manifestation of the Revolution (Beethoven after all tore up the dedication of a symphony to Napoleon in disgust at his coronation as Emperor), within that new form it kept some space for more radical ideals. Hobsbawn's Age of Revolution (1789-1848) is a good more social/political commentary on the fall out from Waterloo.

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RE: Winners and losers (A history lesson please) - 12/20/2015 11:41:49 AM   
altipueri

 

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40 years of peace for Europe and mild reparations for France with removal of troops within 3 years. Pity Versailles a hundred years later hadn't taken more notice.

Here's a bit on Waterloo from my increasingly favorite book - the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica 1911 edition

"The causes of Napoleon's failure in the Waterloo campaign were as follows:—The French army was numerically too weak for the gigantic task it undertook. Napoleon himself was no longer the Napoleon of Marengo or Austerlitz, and though he was not broken down, his physical strength was certainly impaired. Ney failed to grasp and hold Wellington on the critical 17th June; and on the 17th and l8th Grouchy's feeble and false manoeuvres enabled Blücher to march and join Wellington at Waterloo. Napoleon's chance of success was dangerously diminished, if not utterly destroyed, by the incompetence of the two marshals whom in an evil hour he selected for high commands. Another dominant influence in shaping the course of events was the loyalty of Blücher to his ally, and the consequent appearance of the Prussian army at Waterloo. Nor must we overlook Wellington's unswerving determination to co-operate with Blücher at all costs, and his firmness on June 18; or the invincible steadiness shown by the British troops and those of the King's German Legion."

https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/1911_Encyclop%C3%A6dia_Britannica/Waterloo_Campaign



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RE: Winners and losers (A history lesson please) - 12/20/2015 12:46:15 PM   
Dorb


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Different take - United States big winner. War of 1812 England was tied up with the French. Allowed us to not have to fight another full blown war of Independence.

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RE: Winners and losers (A history lesson please) - 12/20/2015 12:53:12 PM   
altipueri

 

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Fair point.

The whole USA is really just a series of real estate deals: Louisiana Purchase; Alaska; Gadsen; plus nicking half of Mexico.

:)

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RE: Winners and losers (A history lesson please) - 12/21/2015 11:06:54 PM   
Dorb


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Guess we should be glad Europe needed money fast and the Indians never united to kick us out. at least everyone left their mark on their areas of influence.
- Cheers all and stay safe for the holidays.

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