Napoléon just bitch-slapped two other emperors with yet another one watching. What happened next ? Two things mostly.
After the battle, the captured artillery of the defeated armies, more than ten dozens cannons, went right into a foundry and came out as monument of Napoleonic glory, the Colonne Vendôme, still standing in Paris to this day. The 44m tall column was made of 49 stone sections covered in the bronze Russia and the Holy Roman Empire generously contributed.
It’s like Napoléon ripped out the penis of these armies to erect a giant one for himself.
Speaking of the Holy Roman Empire, after the capture of Vienna and the fabulous beatdown it got served with, it simply ceased to exist. Holy Roman emperor Francis II became Francis I, emperor of Austria and king of Hungary, and the whole slew of duchies and principalities and whatnot where reorganized into the German Confederation. Which was renamed the Northern German Confederation when Prussia took it over in 1866. Which became Germany in 1871.
Bet you didn’t know Napoléon made both modern Germany and a huge metal dick in one battle.
So one of the theories that’s been making the rounds is that Attila the Hun’s name wasn’t actually his name, but a title bestowed on him by his Ostrogoth vassals; “Atta” is Gothic for “father,” and the suffix “-la” indicates a familiar or a diminutive, so “Attila” would be a familiar/diminutive form of “Father,” and y'know, this is just great, this means I’m gonna have to kinkshame an entire Germanic supertribalist confederation.
My last comic had some Prussia-Germany bonding and I got messsages telling me my historical comics are neat, so I figured it’s time I make a comic about some Austria-Germany history! Now, don’t take this too seriously, as far as I am aware, there’s no grudge against Austrians from our side and this is rather an opportunity to talk about history stuff.
There’s a number of references here that I will explain under a cut! (It’s been a while since I researched all this stuff, so forgive me some inaccuracies!)
I literally can’t believe that more people aren’t heated about how in 1807, during the Napoleonic wars, Napoleon created the Kingdom of Westphalia as a client state BUT almost all of the territory was actually in the German region of Eastphalia and it was occupied by Rhennish people, not Westphalian people.
Like, I get that Social Justice and stuff are important but honestly more people should be talking about this… @thirdpartition
Drawing by Juliusz Kossak c.1871 A combination of poor communication in the German high-command and massive dug out fortification around the French town of Gravelotte and St-Privat resulted in the Prussian troops taking nearly 20.000 casualties from Chassepot and Mitrailleuse fire. Pictured here are the Prussian cuirassiers charging at the Mance ravine. Reports speak of more than 500 casualties in 90 seconds of combat.
Apparently the Rhineland first refrained from revolting when revolutions broke out all over Europe and the German Confederation; they hated the feudal structures the Prussians brought back after Napoleon, but they seemed to have hoped there would be concessions without a revolution. ….the Prussians mistook this for loyalty and demanded men to fight for them in order to beat back the revolutions, and that was a tad too much for the Rheinlanders. The revolution was unsuccessful however and fell apart as the different (military) factions couldn’t unite.
The Parallels between Marie Antoinette and Alexandra Feodorovna
Almost 117 years separate the births of Maria Antonia of Austria and Alix of Hesse, who became Queen Marie Antoinette of France and Tsarina Alexandra Feodorovna of Russia respectively, but there are some eerie similarities and parallels to be drawn between these two most unfortunate woman.
1. German Identity
Both these woman were German born (In Marie Antoinette’s time, Austria was still part of the German Confederation.) and in each case this accident of birth were to haunt them in later years when their adopted countries went to war with their countries of Birth
Marie Antoinette was called “l’autrichienne”, meaning “ the Austrian or Austrian Bitch. She was accused of selling state secrets to her two brothers who succeeded each other as Holy Roman Emperor, Joseph and Leopold.
Alexandra was named the German Bitch, or German Spy. She was also accused of selling state secrets to her cousin, Wilhelm II. Even though Alix always maintained that she was more English than German, it was her German background that she was most associated with in the end.
2. Formative years
Both Marie Antoinette and Alexandra were the youngest daughters of their parents (Alexandra, being the youngest surviving daughter) and both would come to attain the grandest position of all their sisters.
Both woman had very strong female figures in their lives while growing up. Marie Antoinette’s mother was, after all, Empress Maria Theresa who against all odds succeeded in keeping the Holy Roman Empire in tact in the face of adversity during the war of the Austrian Succession, showing that although she was a woman, she had the mind and heart equal to any King. Alexandra was the granddaughter of Queen Victoria, who took over all responsibility of her education after the death of Princess Alice.
Both woman lost a beloved parent at an early age. Emperor Francis I died when Marie Antoinette was almost 10 years old and Alexandra lost her mother at the age of 6.
3. Preparation for fulfilling their future roles.
As the youngest daughter and 15th child, Marie Antoinette’s education was neglected and not up to scratch. When Maria Theresa started negotiations for the marriage of her daughter, she realised this lapse in care on her part and a hard and intense crash course was provided to the young archduchess to try and fill the gaps and prepare her for her role as Queen of France. Even though Marie Antoinette learned the french language and could speak it continually better, she retained a slight german accent.
Alexandra, who had a better overall general education also had to undergo an intense crash course to prepare her as empress since her future father in law fell ill and died unexpectedly quick before she had enough time to really learn all the intricacies of the Russian court nor did she ever learn to speak Russian fluently.
4. Adaption to their new situations
Both woman grew up in relatively relaxed and informal courts, where there was a separation between formal state occasions and informal private family life, and both married into extremely formal courts with very stiff etiquette and a rigid protocol to follow.
Marie Antoinette was known to rebel against the strict rules and make fun of and ridicule the over pompous ceremony that formed her new life. She loathed living every moment of every day in full view of the hordes who came to watch her dress in the morning, eat breakfast, lunch and dinner and then again undress at night. She would eventually spend more and more time secluded in her private residences, the Petite Trianon in the park of Versailles and the Chateau of Saint Cloud.
Alexandra also hated the ceremonial life, in her case due to debelitating shyness, which came across as arrogance to her court. Neither was there much love lost between Alexandra and her inlaws and the courtiers. Alexandra viewed them as loose, immoral and debauched libertines, whereas they viewed her as a stiff, uncultured and arrogant prude. In response to the hostility she experienced at court, she secluded her family and herself in the Alexander Palace, performing and attending very little ceremonies and functions, pleading ill health as an excuse.
5. “Inappropriate” Friendships
Marie Antoinette ruffled many a feather when she formed close friendships with courtiers deemed of insufficient rank. The system at versailles gave certain rights and privileges to certain ranks of the courtiers, the best going to the highest ranking and descending from there on down. Many high ranking courtiers became disgruntled that they should be excluded from salons and other gatherings, such as house parties and picnics, given by the dauphine, and later the queen, where they had a certain right to attend. Many of them started damaging and malicious rumors about the queen ranging from wild sex orgies to lesbianism with her friends, the Duchess de Polignac and the Princess de Lamballe.
Alexandra, with her distaste of the irreputable aristocrasy and her sense of discomfort in her new family, who she felt judged her as definitely not up to par to being Tsarina, formed close friendships with people from the minor nobility. To a court who centered their whole existence around the Tsar and Tsarina, they felt robbed of their way of life and created many enemies of Tsarina. It was the seemingly intimate friendship with a peasant who claimed to be a holy man, namely Grigory Rasputin, that sparked the most scurrilous rumours and in the end helped to ruin Alexandra’s reputation entirely.
6. Weak Husbands
Louis XVI was a dear and genuinely good person, but a terrible ruler. He lacked any form of backbone and majestic presence. He felt the burden of being king terribly. It was inevitable that his young, charming and vivacious wife would outshine him at any event which is probably where the notion came into existence that Marie Antoinette ruled him. Although they probably never in love, I believe that as the years passed, and with mounting adversity, they formed a deep and trusting friendship.
Nicholas II may be a carbon copy of Louis XVI, with the exception that he was athletic, where Louis was fat and that he was passionately and deeply in love with his darling Alix, whereas Louis was resigned to the marraige he was forced into. Nicholas feared the day he would become Tsar and from the beginning relied heavily on the opinions and advise from his wife, but was also bombarded with orders from his relatives, especially his uncles and he relented to their will most of the time.
Louis and Nicholas both had a stubborn streak as well, not to be confused with a sense of self. Both believed in their God-given right to rule as autocrats and were too short sighted to make concessions to preserve their thrones.
7. Struggling to do their prime duty: Providing the heir
Marie Antoinette was bombarded by admonishing letters from her mother year after year by not providing an heir. In Marie Antoinette’s case it was the case that Louis either did not know how to make a baby, that he had some medical problems or that he could not bring himself to sleep with his wife either out of shyness because he felt inferior or out of apprehension because he was suspicious of her in the early years due to the influences of the anti Austrian courtiers. It took 11 years for her to fulfill her duty and gave birth to a son Louis Joseph, after giving birth to a daughter 3 years previously. The longed for heir was not up to scratch though and was a sickly child. Louis Joseph died at the age of 7.
Alexandra had no trouble consummating the marriage and gave birth in quick succession to 4 daughters. Daughters however could not succeed and Alexandra began to turn to the more mystic spiritualism, bordering on the occult, in the hopes of providing the crucial heir. After 10 years, (one year earlier than Marie Antoinette), she succeeded after giving birth to a son. This son and heir was not a healthy prince either. He suffered from hemophilia.
8. Personal connections
Marie Antoinette and Alexandra had some more personal connections as well.
Marie Antoinette formed a very close childhood friendship with Princess Charlotte of Hesse Darmstadt, ( Later the Duchess of Mecklenburg-Strelitz) who was her exact contemporary, both being born in 1755. They kept a close correspondence throughout the years until the death of Charlotte in 1785.
During a state visit to France, Alexandra spent a night in Marie Antoinette’s apartments in Versailles. (What that must have been like?! Josephine Bonaparte did not relish occupying Marie Antoinette’s apartments in the Tuileries palace, saying it felt haunted)
Alexandra had an embroidered copy of the portrait of Marie Antoinette with her children in one of her rooms in the Alexander palace. Strange that she never took a lesson from that, in respect to her own actions, when looking at this picture.
9. Horrible deaths
Marie Antoinette was imprisoned with her family and afterwards in the Conciergerie Prison totaling up to almost a year before being taken to the scaffold to be beheaded.
Alexandra was imprisoned for a year in Siberia, first in Tobolsk and the Ekaterinburg, before she was led down to the cellar of the prison, with her family, and executed.
Both woman is synonymous with revolution and is almost always given as the one of the biggest contributors
(some reasons undeservedly and unjustly put on them), to the downfall of their thrones
Between 1815 and 1866, Austria and Prussia dominated the German states and quarrelled incessantly. Each had its protégés within the League. Given their background, the Princes of Liechtenstein naturally inclined toward Austria but tried at the same time to fulfil their obligations with respect to the League. This basic attitude continued to characterize Liechtenstein’s internal development as well as its international relations.
Pierre Raton, Liechtenstein: History and Institutions of the Principality
Austria’s defeat by Prussia in July 1866 and the dissolution of the German Confederation deprived Liechtenstein of an independent place within a wider Germanic body. Until 1918 the Principality’s destiny was, to all outward appearance, increasingly submerged in Austria’s.
18th May 1848: The First Freely Elected Parliament Sits In Germany (Frankfurter Nationalversammlung, The Frankfurt National Assembly)
Sessions of the first German Parliament/The Frankfurt National Assembly were held from 18 May 1848 to 31 May 1849 in the Paulskirche at Frankfurt am Main. Its existence was both part of and the result of the “March Revolution” in the states of the German Confederation.
The “March Revolution” (Märzrevolution), was a series of rebellions/revolutions by the states of the German Confederation (while other revolutions broke out across Europe), in protest against autocratic rule and with a desire for democracy and more liberal values.
The assembly produced the so-called Frankfurt Constitution (Paulskirchenverfassung or Verfassung des Deutschen Reiches) which proclaimed a German Empire based on the principles of parliamentary democracy.
Image: Contemporary xylograph of Parlamentarians entering into the Frankfurt Parliament first time, May 1848 (source)
The German Confederation ceased to exist, with the result that Liechtenstein attained freedom of action in international affairs.
The Prince seized this opportunity to disband his small army which he had been supporting himself to meet the requirements of the League. Military service was abolished in 1868 and has never been re-introduced.
Pierre Raton, Liechtenstein: History and Institutions of the Principality
Germany has had quite a few capitals in its turbulent history, notably (in chronological order) : Aachen (from 794), Regensburg (seat of the Reichstag from 1663 to 1806), Frankfurt-am-Main (site of the election and coronation of German emperors between 1152 and 1792, seat of the Bundestag of the German Confederation from 1815 to 1871), Nuremberg (seat of the Imperial Diet between 1356 and 1543, and official residence of numerous Kings of Germany), Berlin (from 1871 to 1945, and from 1990 to present), and Bonn (from 1949 to 1990 - West Germany only).