A Daily Updating Blog of Important Events In History That Never Occurred Today.
Imagine what would be, if history had occurred a bit differently. Who says it didn't, somewhere? These fictional news items explore that possibility. Written by Alternate Historian

Quick Links

Blog Roll
Changing the Times
Everything Is History
This Day in AH
Voice Christian Worker
Editor's Recommendations
Althistory Wiki
Editor's Postbag
Headlines
Lets Talk About History
Selected Threads
Reader's Favourites
Top 100 Ranked Stories
Site Construction
Archive Navigator
Clean DB
Facebook
Get Blogs
Newsfeed Update
Twitter

Selected threads

Guest Historian Andrew Beane
 Andrews Posts
Guest Historian Chris Oakley
 Apollo 1  Arnold Hiller
 Axis Spain  Baltimore Colts
 Barbaro 2006  Barbarossa 41
 Battle Alaska  Belgium 1940
 Biti Letter  Blackpool 40
 British X Files  Ceaucescu 90
 Chance Encounter  Charles Barkley
 Chicago19  Cimino
 Cleopatra  CSI
 Cuba '62  Curt Flood
 D.B. Cooper  Dead Serious
 Double Jeopardy  Eternal City
 Falklands  France 44
 Francis Urquhart  Giant Surprise
 God Save Queen  Grey Cup
 GZ Murmansk  Hirohito@100
 Houston 57  Ice Bowl
 Ill Wind  Iraq NEO Impact
 Jamaica Bay  Japan45
 Jay Sebring  Johnny Damon
 Kirk Prime  Korea 53
 Koufax 35  Last Broadcast
 Lusitania '15  McCain 09
 Middle East 67  Moore 911
 Necessary Evil  New York Knights
 O Tempora, ..  Omega Man
 Oswald63  Parley
 Roswell '47  Salems Lot
 Shirers WW2  Shock
 SL Rangers  Surprise Attack
 The Devourer  Titanic 13
 Tom Brady  Tommies
 Tommy Rich  Trek49
 Valkyrie  Weebls
 Worlds Collide
Guest Historian David Atwell
 Action Jackson  Hells Doors
 Hell on Earth  House Cromwell
Guest Historian David Cryan
 Swine Flu
Guest Historian Dirk Puehl
 Dirks Blog
Guest Historian Eric Lipps
 49th State  Bonaparte 2
 Cuba War  Da Vinci Engine
 Ford Killed  Gore Wins
 JFK Impeached  Liberty Fails
 Lifeterm  Linebacker
 NoChappaquiddick  Whig Revolution
Guest Historian Eric Oppen
 AuH20  Malcolm X
 No Tolkien  Trotsky's War
Guest Historian Gerry Shannon
 CSA Today  Godfather IV
 Hero Oswald  JFK Lives
 Seinfeld Movie
Guest Historian Jackie Rose
 Happy Endings
Guest Historian Jeff Provine
 Jeff Provine Blog
Guest Historian John J. Reilly
 John Reilly Blog
Guest Historian Jackie Speel
 Bosworth 1486  Conjoined Crisis
 Voynich
Guest Historian Kwame Dallas
 African Holocaust
Guest Historian Mike Stone
 WJ Bryan
Guest Historian Raymond Speer
 Cuba War 62  Fall of Britain
 Fascist Flight
 Gettysburg Prayer
 Pacific and Dixie
Alternate Historian Robbie Taylor
 2nd Coming  Canadian Rev
 Chdo Democracy  King Arthur II
 Lucifer Falls  Pete Best Story
 Protocols  Reagan 1976
 Richard Tolman  Sockless
 Soviet America  Speakers Line
 The Sheridans  The Baron
 The Claw  Warp
 Welsh Wizards
Guest Historian Scott Palter
 WW2 Alt
Todayinah Editor Todayinah Ed.
 1850 Compromise  1860 Crisis
 20c Rome  Alt WW2
 American Heroes  Anschluss
 Bomber Harris  British Empire +
 Business Plot  Canadian Heroes
 China 4ever  Communist GB
 Communist Israel  Comrade Hiller
 Comrade Stalin  Co presidency
 Deepwater  Fed Lost Cause
 Flugzeugtrager  Glorious45
 Good Old Willie  Gor Smugglers
 Happy Hitler  Hitler Waxwork
 Intrepid  Iron Mare
 Islamic America  Israel's 60th
 Jewish Hitler  Kaiser Victory
 Liberty Beacon  Lloyd George
 LOTR  Madagscar Plan
 Manhattan '46  McBush
 Midshipman GW  Moonbase
 No Apollo 1 Fire  NY City State
 Obama  Oliver Stanley
 Peace City One  POTUS TedK
 POTUS Nathaniel  Puritan World
 Resource War  Sitka
 Southern Cross  Texan Republic
 The Miracles  Traitor
 Tudor B*stards  Tyrants
 Ukraine 1920  US is Born Again
 US mini-states  US Heroes
 Victory Disease  War on Terror +
 WhiteHouse Wimp  Wolfes Legacy
 Zoroastria
Guest Historian Zach Timmons
 Alt Indiana Jones
 Brett as 007  The Duke

Archive Navigator

January February March
April May June
July August September
October November December

Editor's Postbag     |     Feed

All Postbag Items
Reader's Favourites
Janowska Escape
POTUS Finch
President Boone
Dessalines Lives
Ike's Epiphany
Bolingbroke executed
Aztec Invasion
Freeman's Farm
Camp David
POTUS Scoop Jackson
Gusmao Fails
Dutch Courage Part 8
Duke's Dedication
Hibernian Union
Death of President William King
Bay of Pigs, Redux
Dubcek Back Channel
Electric Nightmares 3
British San Juan
L'architecte de la victoire
Passover
Toledo Rebellion
Happy Endings 46
Telegraph Part 13
Birth of Julius Dubcek
Tokhtamysh Victorious
RMS Titanic
Yamasee War
King Oliver
Breakout
Battle of Barnet
Happy Endings 3
Sir Thomas Jefferson
Margaret Thatcher
Art of War
Night of Terror
Toast of Fascist China
FDR Suffers Minor Stroke
President Bill Davis
Vienna Vanquished
Cosmonaut Leonov
L'Empereur
Mistress Boleyn
Korean War widens
Down in Flames 4
Pacific War Redux
Mary Follows William in Death
Mount Tambora Merely Burps
Fifth Beatle
Down in Flames 3
Shaken, Not Stirred 11
London Uprising, Part 2
Off the Bench
American Guerillas
Bacons Invention
Edward IV Survives
Entente-Cordiale
Steel Seizure Case
Death of James Bond
1812, Redux
Churchill stumbles
Xavier's Vows
Hindenburg Disaster
King Geoffrey I
Lake Peipus
World War Expands
Arbroath Abbey
Elli Sinks
Down in Flames 2
Newfies for Gore
Norwegian Muddle
Alexios Komnenos Executed
Pocahontas lives
Connery murder
Sweet Orlinda

Site Meter


March 21

In 1804, Napoleon Pardons Duke of Enghien.

March 21, 1804 - Napoleon Pardons Duke of EnghienAlthough considered an inconsequential minor French noble living in exile after the Revolution and retired from war, the life of Louis Antoine de Bourbon, duc d'Enghien, proved to be a crucial moment for Napoleon's relations with the crowns of Europe.

The Duke had been born a prince du sang, of the blood of the ruling House of Bourbon, in 1772, with his father as Duke of Bourbon. Along with his family, d'Enghien fled France at the fall of the Bastille and watched the early days of the Revolution from afar. When the Wars of the French Revolution began after the imprisonment and later execution of King Louis XVI, d'Enghien joined the war effort. At only 20 years of age in 1792, he held a command in his grandfather's 25,000-man force of French émigrés known as the Armée de Condé. D'Enghien distinguished himself in battle, but the royalist invasion of Revolutionary France proved ineffectual. In 1801, the army was disbanded, and d'Enghien retired to Baden along the Rhine, where he married the niece of Cardinal de Rohan and lived peaceably.

Meanwhile, France underwent another major coup as General Napoleon Bonaparte, fresh from his expeditions in the Middle East, seized Paris. While much of France welcomed his command, many others still felt the Bourbons were the rightful rulers. Royalists such as Georges Cadoudal and General Jean-Charles Pichegru formed conspiracies that attempted to overthrow the tyrannical First Consul Napoleon and return the crown to the Bourbon Louis, Count of Provence. When the two joined forces, Napoleon's network of police and personal guard, championed by Anne Jean Marie Rene Savary, caught and executed them.

Beleaguered by the constant praise of the Bourbons, Napoleon determined that "all of France [must] realise that Bourbon blood, so sacred to Royalist partisans, was no more sacred to him than the blood of any other citizen in the Republic," according to French writer Alexander Dumas. To do so, Napoleon ordered the arrest of d'Enghien on grounds of conspiracy with Cadoudal and Pichegru. The duke was believed to be in contact with another general-of-the-Revolution-turned-royalist, Charles Dumouriez, and dragoons sneaked into Baden, capturing d'Enghien and bringing him before a military tribunal.

While the duke was in custody, the truth came out that d'Enghien's company was a case of mistaken identity, and Napoleon hurried to rewrite the charges to something else. As he did, however, his wife Josephine begged him to release the duke. She noted that Napoleon may change the mind of France with the duke's blood, but it would also affect the minds of Europe, who had already formed two coalitions against France, the last war ending in 1802 with the Treaty of Amiens. Rumors of another coalition trickled through Europe as Britain declared war on France by invading Malta in 1803, but no decisions on the Continent had been made. Napoleon begrudgingly agreed, and on March 21, 1804, he met personally with d'Enghien to discuss peace between himself and the Bourbon blood.

The news of Napoleon's leniency toward the Bourbons spread throughout France and across Europe. Napoleon's regime was suddenly seen as a welcome change from the bloodthirsty revolutionaries and seemed to have proven itself understanding in royal affairs. Napoleon, while powerful, might only be an enemy to anyone who provoked him, namely Britain with its violation of the Treaty of Amiens. Despite his great efforts, British Prime Minister William Pitt could not persuade any of the great nations of Europe except Alexander I's Russia to ally with them in yet another Coalition against France. The era of the Revolution was seen as gone, with the new generation of nobles already establishing its own status quo.

While Europe was pacified, France was still on the brink with its royalists determined to bring back a Bourbon king. To entrench himself, on December 2, 1804, Napoleon crowned himself "emperor", fulfilling months of planning and government maneuvers. While many were suspicious of his taking of the crown from Pius VII rather than letting the pope place it upon Napoleon's head, many Europeans saw it as the formalization of the new France. Rather than taking the suspicion of Napoleon as a pretender, the title actually became embraced by many other nobles in Europe. Napoleon's fame in France, meanwhile, became solidified.

Still, war dragged on with Britain in a stalemate. Britain's powerful navy held a blockade on France and safely guarded the English Channel, preventing Napoleon from invading despite having the largest military in Europe. Prussia and Austria served as buffers against Russia, and the Nordic countries felt ill will toward Britain after the English invasion of Denmark to break up the neutral Second Coalition of the North. With naval defeat at Trafalgar in October of 1805, Napoleon's enormous Grande Armee stood useless. Napoleon decided to invest in rebuilding his fleet in the Mediterranean and then striking out southward to Tunisia, where he planned to overthrow the Bey of Tunis and end attacks by pirate corsairs upon French. The war spread to the Kingdom of Naples, where Napoleon's troops clashed with the Anglo-Russian force stationed to protect it. Austria balked at Napoleon's domination of Italy and joined the war, only to be quickly defeated and impressed into becoming France's ally.

Naval warfare in the Mediterranean continued for years. Napoleon repeatedly built up fleets only to have them destroyed by the experienced British navy. Upon land, however, Napoleon made great advances, seizing southern Italy and capturing the north coast of Africa. Finally, in 1812, Napoleon felt confident enough in his naval supply chain through Austria for his massive invasion of India, again passing through Egypt as he had years before. The Ottoman Empire attempted neutrality, but it was forced onto the side of the British and Russians. By 1815, Napoleon's army was cut off from France by a second grand naval battle in Alexandria, and Napoleon found himself marching through Persian deserts without hope of return home. The army crumbled around him and was routinely victim to ambush by locals. He attempted to escape back to France but was apprehended as his ship sailed around Gibraltar at night. Imperial France collapsed, and the Bourbon Louis XVIII was restored to the throne.






© Today in Alternate History, 2013-. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.