jueves, 9 de julio de 2015

July 9: Today is the anniversary of two Napoleonic achievements: The Treaty of Tilsit with Alexander I of Russia in 1807, and the annexation of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the First French Empire in 1810.

Meeting of the two emperors in a pavilion set up on a raft in the middle of the Neman River.

The Treaties of Tilsit were a couple of agreements between France and Russia, which began on July 7, 1807. Two days later, between France and Prussia. The treaty ended the Fourth Coalition against France: Napoleon forced them to surrender!

Treaty of Tilsit in 1807.

Recall that the royalty, the high clergy, and the European high nobility, adamantly opposed the French Revolution, later even harder against Napoleon Bonaparte, and, of course, against the new French Empire of Napoleon I.

A French medallion dating from the post-Tilsit period. It shows the French and Russian emperors embracing each other.

In total there were nine coalitions against Revolutionary France. The Fourth Coalition was an alliance between Prussia, Saxony and Russia against Napoleon I.

Prussia in 1807 (orange) and its territories lost at Tilsit (other colours).

With Napoleon's victory against Russia in the battle of Friedland, where Russian troops were completely destroyed, Tsar Alexander I of Russia recognized the changes that Napoleon was taking place in Europe and agreed to sign an agreement to end the war. Besides, the Russian emperor had to commit to mediate between France and Britain for a peace approach.

Map with Prussia after the Treaty of Tilsit.

The big loser was the King of Prussia, who had been willing to surrender since 25 June. The Treaty of Tilsit took a third of the territory to Frederick William III, King of Prussia, who fled to take refuge in Memel (now Klaipeda, Lithuania).

The Frankish Realm includes large parts of present-day Germany, France, the Netherlands, Belgium and Switzerland.

Napoleon managed to formalize the so-called “Client States” of France: The Kingdom of Westphalia, the Great Duchy of Warsaw and the Free City of Danzig.

Frederick William had to acknowledge the brothers of Napoleon as king of Naples, Joseph; in Holland, Louis; and in Westphalia, Jerome. Remember that Louis, King of Holland, is the father of Louis Napoleon who will be Napoleon III, from December 2, 1851, 44 years later!

British Museum - Napoleon's father, mother, empress's, son, & all his brothers and sisters

The Kingdom of Holland was created by Napoleon for better control of the Netherlands and appointed his brother Louis as King of Holland.

The Four Napoleons