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Austrian-United Greater Germany (1916)


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After a (very, very) long hiatus, I'm back with a new map! This time, I've turned my attention to Central Europe. German irredentism has always been an area of interest to me as the formation of the German state is arguably the result of the world's most successful pan-nationalist movement, pan-nationalism being a subject I have written several essays and two dissertations on. With this in mind, I wanted to explore German irredentism and the notion of a 'Großdeutschland' in a different way to the typical (though still interesting) 'Germany wins WWII' notion, mainly surrounding the Habsburgs (another interest of mine) and the process through which Germany was formed. Thus I present to you my idea of what Germany might look like had it been united by Austria rather than Prussia (albeit, with a little artistic license). This Habsburg Germany encompasses all of OTL Germany, Austria, Czech Rep, Netherlands, Denmark, Belgium, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, Greenland, and the Faeroe Islands, as well as large parts of Poland, France, Russia, Lithuania, Switzerland, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, Sweden, Estonia, and Italy.

This map shows Germany and her (vast) colonial possessions on the eve of the Great War in 1916, fought between the Central Powers (Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, The Ottomans, Scandinavia, and Japan, amongst others) and the Latin Entente (Iberia, France, Russia, Italy, Romania, Persia, Brazil, Korea, and Mexico, amongst others) over a variety of territorial disputes. This conflict saw the end of the Age of Imperialism, the collapse of the Ottoman and Russian empires, and significant territorial changes across the globe. Part two, showing contemporary Germany, is HERE.

I also made a coat of arms, flag, a set of flags, and a Wikipedia-style country info-box to go along with this map.

TIMELINE (or, more rather, a bad attempt at explaining how this may possibly have happened)

1560s - Philip II of Spain, who's father was the son of the last Duchess of Burgundy, is slightly more pragmatic in his approach to religion in the Netherlands. As a result, there is no revolt against his rule.
1647 - The heir to the throne of Denmark-Norway, Christian, predeceases his father, Christian IV, by one year, as in OTL. The heir apparent then becomes his younger sister Sophie (OTL Frederick III), his only other son having died some 14 years previously. As Sophie is married to Charles Joseph, the brother of Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I, when Sweden declares war on Denmark-Norway in 1655, which would become the Second Northern War, Sophie calls on her brother-in-law, Leopold I, to help. He agrees, provided that Denmark becomes part of the Holy Roman Empire, to which Sophie reluctantly agrees. Nevertheless, the war progresses much as in OTL, but with Denmark allowed to retain Gotland and Osel in return for seceding Norway to Sweden. Charles X of Sweden then proclaims himself King of Scandinavia.
1714 - Spain cedes the Habsburg Netherlands to Austria after the War of the Spanish Succession, as in OTL
1740 - Maria Theresa accedes to the throne of Austria, as in OTL, sparking the War of the Austrian Succession. However, she succeeds in preventing Prussia from achieving any real victory in the war and retains Silesia as well as her throne. Whilst Maria Theresa goes on to become one of Austria's greatest monarchs, without Silesian industry to fund the Prussian Army, the predominantly grain-producing Prussia remains only a middle power, similar to OTL Bavaria or Saxony.
1805 - Austria and much of the Kleinstaaterei of the Holy Roman Empire enter the war against Napoleon, but with little success. Napoleon invades the Holy Roman Empire, disbands it in 1806, and reorganises much of the Kleinstaaterei into larger states, as well as annexing Switzerland. Following Napoleon's eventual defeat in 1815, much of these territorial changes are undone and the Kleinstaaterei restored, with the notable exception of Switzerland, which remains partitioned between Italy, France, and the Duchy of Swabia, and Venetia, which is created an independent neutral buffer state. 
1848 - The nationalist uprisings of 1848 occur broadly as in OTL, but with a much stronger presence in both the Austrian Empire and Russia. Due to this, Russia is unable to come to the aid of the Habsburgs, themselves occupied with putting down rebellions in Silesia, Bohemia, and the ethnically Italian lands, meaning that Lajos Kossuth is successful in his aims of establishing an independent Hungarian state (of which he later declares himself king). Galicia-Lodomeria also secures its independence. Whilst initially this is a huge blow to the Habsburgs and the authority and image of the Austrian Emperor, it allows for the Habsburgs to focus their attentions more directly on securing their hegemony over the German states in the wake of the pan-nationalist movements of 1848.
1866 - Though only a regional power, Prussia still holds great sway with many of the northern Protestant German states. Under pressure from many of them, Prussia claimed to represent all of Germany in opposition to Austria, leading to war between the two. The vastly superior military of Austria, with the aid of several of the Mittelstaaten including Bavaria, Württemburg, Baden, Saxony, and Hesse, leads to an easy victory for the Habsburgs and excludes Prussia from the possibility of uniting Germany under the Hohenzollerns for good.
1867 - In the wake of the Austro-Prussian War, Austria established the South German Confederation, initially comprising the Catholic states of southern Germany, Saxony, Hanover, the Austrian Netherlands, and Denmark. Before the establishing of the German Empire, several north German states joined, such as Mecklenburg, Oldenburg, and Jülich-Kleve-Berg.
1870 - Riding on the successes of the South German Confederation and the drive for German nationalism still present from the 1848 uprisings, Austria uses the Spanish succession crisis to manufacture a crisis between Austria and France, which leads to war.
1871 - France loses the Franco-Austrian war, cedes Eslaß and Lorthringen, and Franz Joseph proclaims the German Empire, finally united under the Habsburgs.
1916 - Iberia declares war on Germany, beginning the Great War.

I think the German is pretty good, but it's only my second language so I've probably slipped up somewhere, so please let me know if you have any suggestions on that! I am also aware that some of the place names are a little inaccurate: whilst I have tried to use the appropriate German exonyms where I could find them, some places were lacking German names, and some simply weren't German enough (mainly in the global south). So I tried my best to fabricate some authentically German sounding place names.

DISCLAIMER: This in no way represents my views on Germany, Austria, or any other country featured (real or fictitious), German irredentism, Germans in general, or irredentism as a whole. It is a work of fiction, not a political statement, and is not intended to cause offence. Please refrain from making political statements in the comments, lest you shall be subject to my wrath. That aside, comments and (constructive) criticisms are always welcome!
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