Did France and Britain Almost Unite into the Franco-British Union? (Short Animated Documentary)

France and Britain have, numerous times, come close to becoming one state? But how close? And why didn’t the two formally unite into the Franco-British Union? Well you can find out in this short and simple, animated history documentary.

Spoiler: it was in 1940 and was a proposal supported by Winston Churchill and Charles de Gaulle.

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Sources:
Suez 1956: A European Intervention? by Ralph Dietl

Prelude to Downfall: The British Offer of Union to France, June 1940 by Avi Shlaim

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Comment (41)

  1. As a french half of me is thinking that it would be such a great opportunity to both countries but the other half would rather die than merge with UK 😂

    Ps: even if I like UK

  2. Basically, the French had to choose between Germans or English (the latter being more German than they like to admit).

  3. Another time they almost unified was:

    Its December of 1542 and James V, King of Scots is dead. His six days old daughter, Mary is now Queen of Scots. Her mother, James's widow was Queen regent. When she was till a young girl, the Protestant throne of England was already preparing to conquer Scotland. Protestants in Scotland(not all) and England supported an English conquest of Scotland. To help Scotland militarily and financially, Mary, Queen of Scots was betrothed to Francis of France. Later the Dauphin of Viennois and Francis II, King of France.

    Francis and Mary were married when Mary was 14 and Francis was 15. If the couple had a son, that son would inherit the thrones of Scotland and France.
    Additionally, Mary Tudor had died with no children from Phillip II the Prudent, King of Spain, of Portugal, of Naples and Sicily, of Sardinia, and of England and Ireland(as consort).

    Her half sister Elizabeth Tudor(Elizabeth I) succeeded her. But she two died with no children(as a virgin actually). If Mary wasn't beheaded for treason against the English throne, she would have succeeded Elizabeth as Queen of England(Mary was a cousin). This would have made Mary the Queen of Scots and Queen of England as well as Queen consort of France. If Francis hadn't died young and had given Mary a son, that son would have become King of England, France, Scotland, and Ireland. And if things went similarly to what really happened, the countries would have united as one in 100-200 years.

  4. Just rattle through it like a fkn weather forecast . Are we expected to pause all the time to absorb the facts and dates ?
    Most of the wars with France were because the French geezer on the English throne had his lands/titles in France taken by people who still lived there .

  5. It's very weird considering how the two countries had literally a war that lasted for more than one hundred years

  6. Actually a funny thing ! I do believe that if dark times and wars came again in Europe this kind of stuff could be discussed again as in a way despite the grudge and our past, working together with England worked well

  7. I actually managed to form a Franco-British Union in a strategy game, here's what happened :

    I won't reveal the name of the strategy game, but just know that it's not HOI4, EU4 or Roblox Rise Of Nations. The game takes place in modern day so you can be more creative and it will be less confusing. It' s a multiplayer game and you can choose servers which have a maximum of 200-220 people. I decided to join one server. I wanted to play as The Philippines, which was my home nation, but it was already taken. I noticed that nobody took France so I decide to play as that. A few minutes after observing, he player controlling The UK gave me a proposal to make the Franco-British Union. I decided to accept the proposal. The second we became one nation, the whole server spiraled into chaos. Russia has a truce with Japan at that time but Russia decided to break the truce out of nowhere and they proceeded to invade Japan, China invaded Peru out of all places, Mongolia invaded Kazakhstan, Germany collapsed and it's states all became nations which all declared war on each other the second they collapsed, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth reunited out of nowhere, Italy annexed Vatican City and San Marino, Switzerland and Liechtenstein united, all 5 of the Nordic nations united out of nowhere, Africa became a complete madhouse and all of the nations that were apart of ASEAN united into one nation called "Greater ASEAN". After that… Chaos… The players who were controlling The US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand asked if they could also join the union. There was a feature in the game where you can chat with others privately. I private chatted the player who controlled The UK and he agreed to let them in. After we let the other nations in, the server spiraled to even more madness. Cuba and Jamaica united and declared war on Barbados, Spain colonized Seychelles, Portugal colonized South Korea, Papua New Guinea suddenly became a superpower and The Soviet Union legit reunited and tried to invade Mongolia and Japan. We participated in a few wars and it was just a complete disaster. I private messaged the other players who controlled the other members of The Franco-British-American-Canadian-Australian-Kiwi Union (Yes, that's the legit name of the 6 nation union in the game) and they were also confused at what was happening. Finally, the game ended with Papua New Guinea colonizing every other nation on the planet to the point where the planet was renamed to Papua New Guinea

  8. Perhaps you should have included mention of the Scottish/ French alliance. The sentiment of which has not completed been erased.

  9. Reminds me of the Dual Monarchy in the Victoria 2 mod "Divergences of Darkness", which is a scenario in which England won the Hundred Year's War and both England and France formed into a united kingdom, which by the 1830s has become by far the most insanely OP nation on the planet. It's pretty much just playing Vic 2 on easy mode, you can literally steam roll anyone you want.

  10. As a Frenchman, I think the union would've been awesome. But eh, if the UK rejoins the EU and we make it into a federation, that's even better.

  11. The beginning of the video is wrong. The first time England and France could have united is after the conquest of England by William the Conqueror in 1066. At this time, the kings of England (and so England) were vassals of the king of France.

  12. This fusion almost took place 800 years ago but fortunately the French won the hundred years war otherwise England would have disappeared as a nation and would have become a region of France with certainty because never forget that the kings " English" of this period was actually 100% French. They only spoke French, had a French culture and even the whole "English" bourgeoisie was imported from France…^^
    Take as an example the famous war of the two roses which opposed the two families of Lancaster and York: these two families come from the great family of the Plantagenêts (family of Maine and Anjou in France). Finally it was the Tudor family who took advantage of this war and took power thanks to Henri Tudor (legitimized because his mother was Plantagenêt)
    All this to explain that the United Kingdom is historically much more dependent on French influence than the reverse. Moreover, almost 50% of the words of the English language come from the French language…Chair, car, table, apple….(it would take several days..^^)

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