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The Treaties of Tilsit were two agreements signed by Napoleon I of France in the town of Tilsit in July 1807 in the aftermath of his victory at Friedland. The first was signed on 7 July, between Emperor Alexander I of Russia and Napoleon I of France, when they met on a raft in the middle of the Neman River. The second was signed with Prussia on 9 July. The treaties were made at the expense of the Prussian king, who had already agreed to a truce on 25 June after the Grande Armée had captured Berlin and pursued him to the easternmost frontier of his realm. In Tilsit, he ceded about half of his pre-war territories.
The First French Empire, officially the French Empire, was the empire of Napoleon Bonaparte of France and the dominant power in much of continental Europe at the beginning of the 19th century. Although France had already established an overseas colonial empire beginning in the 17th century, the French state had remained a kingdom under the Bourbons and a republic after the Revolution. Historians refer to Napoleon's regime as the First Empire to distinguish it from the restorationist Second Empire (1852–1870) ruled by his nephew as Napoleon III.
The Battle of Friedland was a major engagement of the Napoleonic Wars between the armies of the French Empire commanded by Napoleon I and the armies of the Russian Empire led by Count von Bennigsen. Napoleon and the French obtained a decisive victory that routed much of the Russian army, which retreated chaotically over the Alle River by the end of the fighting. The battlefield is located in modern-day Kaliningrad Oblast, near the town of Pravdinsk, Russia.
Alexander I was the Emperor of Russia (Tsar) between 1801 and 1825. He was the eldest son of Paul I and Sophie Dorothea of Württemberg. Alexander was the first king of Congress Poland, reigning from 1815 to 1825, as well as the first Russian Grand Duke of Finland, reigning from 1809 to 1825.
From those territories, Napoleon had created French sister republics, which were formalized and recognized at Tilsit: the Kingdom of Westphalia, the Duchy of Warsaw and the Free City of Danzig; the other ceded territories were awarded to existing French client states and to Russia.
A sister republic was a republic established by French armies or by local revolutionaries and assisted by the First French Republic during the French Revolutionary Wars.
The Kingdom of Westphalia was a kingdom in Germany, with a population of 2.6 million, that existed from 1807 to 1813. It included territory in Hesse and other parts of present-day Germany. While formally independent, it was a vassal state of the First French Empire and was ruled by Napoleon's brother Jérôme Bonaparte. It was named after Westphalia, but this was a misnomer since the kingdom had little territory in common with that area; rather the kingdom mostly covered territory formerly known as Eastphalia.
The Duchy of Warsaw was a Polish state established by Napoleon I in 1807 from the Polish lands ceded by the Kingdom of Prussia under the terms of the Treaties of Tilsit. The duchy was held in personal union by one of Napoleon's allies, King Frederick Augustus I of Saxony. Following Napoleon's failed invasion of Russia, the duchy was occupied by Prussian and Russian troops until 1815, when it was formally partitioned between the two countries at the Congress of Vienna. It covered the central and eastern part of present Poland and minor parts of present Lithuania and Belarus.
Napoleon not only cemented his control of Central Europe but also had Russia and the truncated Prussia ally with him against his two remaining enemies, Great Britain and Sweden, triggering the Anglo-Russian and Finnish War. Tilsit also freed French forces for the Peninsular War. Central Europe became a battlefield again in 1809, when Austria and Great Britain engaged France in the War of the Fifth Coalition. Following the end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815, the Congress of Vienna would restore many Prussian territories.
Central Europe is the region comprising the central part of Europe. Central Europe occupies continuous territories that are otherwise sometimes considered parts of Western Europe, Southern Europe, and Eastern Europe. The concept of Central Europe is based on a common historical, social, and cultural identity.
During the Napoleonic Wars, the Anglo-Russian War was the phase of hostilities between the United Kingdom and Russia after the latter signed the Treaty of Tilsit that ended its war with France. Anglo-Russian hostilities were limited primarily to minor naval actions in the Baltic and Barents Seas.
The Finnish War was fought between the Kingdom of Sweden and the Russian Empire from the 21st of February 1808 to the 17th of September 1809. As a result of the war, the eastern third of Sweden was established as the autonomous Grand Duchy of Finland within the Russian Empire. Other notable effects were the Swedish parliament's adoption of a new constitution and the establishment of the House of Bernadotte, the new Swedish royal house, in 1818.
The treaty ended war between Imperial Russia and the French Empire and began an alliance between the two empires that rendered the rest of continental Europe almost powerless. The two countries secretly agreed to aid each other in disputes. France pledged to aid Russia against the Ottoman Empire while Russia agreed to join the Continental System against the British Empire. Napoleon also convinced Alexander to enter into the Anglo-Russian War and to instigate the Finnish War against Sweden to force Sweden to join the Continental System. More specifically, the tsar agreed to evacuate Wallachia and Moldavia, which had been occupied by Russian forces as part of the Russo-Turkish War, 1806-1812. The Ionian Islands and Cattaro (Kotor), which had been captured by Russian admirals Ushakov and Senyavin, were to be handed over to the French. In recompense, Napoleon guaranteed the sovereignty of the Duchy of Oldenburg and several other small states ruled by the Tsar's German relatives.
The Ottoman Empire, historically known to its inhabitants and the Eastern world as Rome (Rûm), and known in Western Europe as the Turkish Empire or simply Turkey, was a state that controlled much of Southeast Europe, Western Asia and North Africa between the 14th and early 20th centuries. It was founded at the end of the 13th century in northwestern Anatolia in the town of Söğüt by the Oghuz Turkish tribal leader Osman I. Although initially the dynasty was of Turkic origin, it was thoroughly Persianised in terms of language, culture, literature and habits. After 1354, the Ottomans crossed into Europe, and with the conquest of the Balkans, the Ottoman beylik was transformed into a transcontinental empire. The Ottomans ended the Byzantine Empire with the 1453 conquest of Constantinople by Mehmed the Conqueror.
The Continental System or Continental Blockade was the foreign policy of Napoleon I of France against the United Kingdom during the Napoleonic Wars. As a response to the naval blockade of the French coasts enacted by the British government on 16 May 1806, Napoleon issued the Berlin Decree on 21 November 1806, which brought into effect a large-scale embargo against British trade. The embargo was applied intermittently, ending on 11 April 1814 after Napoleon's first abdication. The blockade caused little economic damage to the UK, although British exports to the continent dropped from 55% to 25% between 1802 and 1806. As Napoleon realized that extensive trade was going through Spain and Russia, he invaded those two countries. His forces were tied down in Spain—in which the Spanish War of Independence was occurring simultaneously—and suffered severely in, and ultimately retreated from, Russia in 1812.
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom and its predecessor states. It originated with the overseas possessions and trading posts established by England between the late 16th and early 18th centuries. At its height, it was the largest empire in history and, for over a century, was the foremost global power. By 1913, the British Empire held sway over 412 million people, 23% of the world population at the time, and by 1920, it covered 35,500,000 km2 (13,700,000 sq mi), 24% of the Earth's total land area. As a result, its political, legal, linguistic and cultural legacy is widespread. At the peak of its power, the phrase "the empire on which the sun never sets" was often used to describe the British Empire, because its expanse around the globe meant that the sun was always shining on at least one of its territories.
The treaty with Prussia stripped the country of about half its territory: Cottbus passed to Saxony, the left bank of the Elbe was awarded to the newly created Kingdom of Westphalia, Białystok was given to Russia (which led to the creation of the Belostok Oblast), and most of the Polish lands in Prussian possession since the Second and Third Partitions became the quasi-independent Duchy of Warsaw. Prussia was to reduce the army to 43,000and on 9 March 1808, France fixed its tribute to be levied from Prussia at 154,500,000 francs (= Prussian dollar 41.73 mio.), deducting 53,500,000, which had been raised so far during the ongoing French occupation. The sum was lowered in two steps to 120 million francs by 1 November 1808.
Prussia was a historically prominent German state that originated in 1525 with a duchy centred on the region of Prussia on the southeast coast of the Baltic Sea. It was de facto dissolved by an emergency decree transferring powers of the Prussian government to German Chancellor Franz von Papen in 1932 and de jure by an Allied decree in 1947. For centuries, the House of Hohenzollern ruled Prussia, successfully expanding its size by way of an unusually well-organised and effective army. Prussia, with its capital first in Königsberg and then, in 1701, in Berlin, decisively shaped the history of Germany.
Cottbus is a university city and the second-largest city in Brandenburg, Germany. Situated around 125 km (78 mi) southeast of Berlin, on the River Spree, Cottbus is also a major railway junction with extensive sidings/depots. Although only a small Sorbian minority lives in Cottbus itself, the city is considered as the political and cultural center of the Sorbs in Lower Lusatia.
The Kingdom of Saxony, lasting between 1806 and 1918, was an independent member of a number of historical confederacies in Napoleonic through post-Napoleonic Germany. The kingdom was formed from the Electorate of Saxony. From 1871 it was part of the German Empire. It became a free state in the era of Weimar Republic in 1918 after the end of World War I and the abdication of King Frederick Augustus III of Saxony. Its capital was the city of Dresden, and its modern successor state is the Free State of Saxony.
Talleyrand had advised Napoleon to pursue milder terms; the treaties marked an important stage in his estrangement from the emperor. Until 1812, the French occupants requisitioned in money and kind from various corporations and persons, especially by billetting soldiers on cities, further contributions additionally amounting to between 146 and 309 million francs, according to different calculations.The Prussian government indebtedness soared between 1806 and 1815 by thaler 200 million to altogether 180.09 million interest-bearing debts, 11.24 million non-interest-bearing unconsolidated treasury notes and another 25.9 million former provincial debts assumed by the royal government. The cities' debts, especially those of Berlin often billetted on, were not assumed by the Prussian government. Since the creditors deemed Prussia to be over-indebted in 1817, the 4-per cent state bonds were traded at the bourses with a disagio of 27 to 29 per cent, in 1818 even with a discountor of 35 per cent, causing the effective interest to rise to 6.15 per cent. At restructuring part of the debts in 1818 by a £5 million loan (= thaler 30 million) at 5% at the London financial market, the Prussian government had to accept a disagio of 28⅓%, thus paying an annual effective rate of 6.98%.
A government bond or sovereign bond is a bond issued by a national government, generally with a promise to pay periodic interest payments called coupon payments and to repay the face value on the maturity date. The aim of a government bond is to support government spending. Government bonds are usually denominated in the country's own currency, in which case the government cannot be forced to default, although it may choose to do so. If a government is close to default on its debt the media often refer to this as a sovereign debt crisis.
The Provinces of Prussia were the main administrative divisions of Prussia from 1815 to 1946. Prussia's province system was introduced in the Stein-Hardenberg Reforms in 1815, and were mostly organized from duchies and historical regions. Provinces were divided into several Regierungsbezirke, sub-divided into Kreise (districts), and then into Gemeinden (townships) at the lowest-level. Provinces constituted the highest level of administration in the Kingdom of Prussia and Free State of Prussia until 1933, when Nazi Germany established de facto direct rule over provincial politics, and were formally abolished in 1946 following World War II. The Prussian provinces became the basis for many federal states of Germany, and the states of Brandenburg, Lower Saxony, and Schleswig-Holstein are direct successors of provinces.
An exchange, or bourse also known as a trading exchange or trading venue, is an organized market where (especially) tradable securities, commodities, foreign exchange, futures, and options contracts are sold and bought.
When the Treaty was being formulated, it was noted by an observer that the Prussian king was pacing on the bank of the Neman river; Napoleon had to "but raise his hand, and Prussia would cease to exist" (McKay). Hence, many observers in Prussia and Russia viewed the treaty as unequal and as a national humiliation. The Russian soldiers refused to follow Napoleon's commands, as the Lisbon Incident demonstrated to all Europe. Napoleon's plans to marry the tsar's sister were stymied by Russian royalty. Cooperation between Russia and France eventually broke down in 1810 when the tsar began to allow neutral ships to land in Russian ports. In 1812, Napoleon crossed the Neman river and invaded Russia, ending any vestige of alliance.
The Prussian state was diminished by nearly half under the terms of the treaty of Tilsit from 5,700 Prussian square miles to 2,800 (323,408.4 to 158,867.28 km2 (124,868.68 to 61,339.00 sq mi)). Instead of 9.75 million inhabitants, no more than 4.5 million remained within the new boundaries of Prussia. The state revenue, which formerly amounted to forty million dollars per annum, was decreased in a still greater proportion; since the ceded provinces were quite rich and fertile and on whose improvement many millions had been expended. Almost all that Prussia had gained by the partitions of Poland (1772–1795) was taken from it. Saxony, a former confederate of Prussia, was the recipient of the provinces; and Russia, the more powerful of its erstwhile allies, gained territory with a population of 200,000. The following is a tabulation of the territorial and population losses that Prussia suffered (without the Prussian acquisitions since 1772) under the terms of Tilsit treaty:
|Westphalian possessions||Prussian sq. miles||Inhabitants|
|County of Mark, with Essen, Werden, and Lippstadt,||51 =2,893.65 km2 (1,117.24 sq mi)||148,000|
|Principality of Minden,||18.5 =1,049.66 km2 (405.28 sq mi)||70,363|
|County of Ravensberg,||16.5 =936.18 km2 (361.46 sq mi)||89,938|
|Lingen and Tecklenburg,||13 =737.6 km2 (284.8 sq mi)||46,000|
|Cleve, on the eastern side of the Rhine,||20.5 =1,163.14 km2 (449.09 sq mi)||54,000|
|Principality of East Frisia,||56.5 =3,205.71 km2 (1,237.73 sq mi)||119,500|
|Principality of Münster,||49 =2,718.18 km2 (1,049.50 sq mi)||127,000|
|Principality of Paderborn,||30 =1,702.15 km2 (657.20 sq mi)||98,500|
|Lower Saxon possessions||Prussian sq. miles||Inhabitants|
|Magdeburg, with that part of the duchy on the left bank of the Elbe, Halle, &c.||54 =3,063.87 km2 (1,182.97 sq mi)||160,000|
|County of Mansfeld,||1.0 =56.74 km2 (21.91 sq mi)||27,000|
|Principality of Halberstadt,||26.5 =1,503.57 km2 (580.53 sq mi)||101,000|
|County of Hohenstein,||8.5 =482.28 km2 (186.21 sq mi)||27,000|
|Territory of Quedlinburg,||1.5 =85.11 km2 (32.86 sq mi)||13,400|
|Principality of Hildesheim and Goslar.||40 =2,269.53 km2 (876.27 sq mi)||114,000|
Frederick Augustus I was a member of the House of Wettin who reigned as Elector of Saxony from 1763 to 1806 and as King of Saxony from 1806 to 1827. He also served as Duke of Warsaw from 1807 to 1813.
The Kingdom of Prussia was a German kingdom that constituted the state of Prussia between 1701 and 1918. It was the driving force behind the unification of Germany in 1871 and was the leading state of the German Empire until its dissolution in 1918. Although it took its name from the region called Prussia, it was based in the Margraviate of Brandenburg, where its capital was Berlin.
New East Prussia was a province of the Kingdom of Prussia from 1795 to 1807. It was created out of territory annexed in the Third Partition of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and included parts of Masovia, Podlaskie, Trakai voivodeship and Žemaitija. In 1806 it had 914,610 inhabitants with a territory of less than 55,000 km².
South Prussia was a province of the Kingdom of Prussia from 1793 to 1807.
The Treaty of Kiel or Peace of Kiel was concluded between the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and the Kingdom of Sweden on one side and the Kingdoms of Denmark and Norway on the other side on 14 January 1814 in Kiel. It ended the hostilities between the parties in the ongoing Napoleonic Wars, where the United Kingdom and Sweden were part of the anti-French camp while Denmark–Norway was allied to Napoleon Bonaparte.
Lithuania Minor, or Prussian Lithuania, is a historical ethnographic region of Prussia, later East Prussia in Germany, where Prussian Lithuanians lived. Lithuania Minor enclosed the northern part of this province and got its name due to the territory's substantial Lithuanian-speaking population. Prior to the invasion of the Teutonic Knights in the 13th century, the main part of the territory later known as Lithuania Minor was inhabited by the tribes of Skalvians and Nadruvians. The land became depopulated to some extent during the warfare between Lithuania and the Order. The war ended with the Treaty of Melno and the land was resettled by Lithuanian newcomers, returning refugees, and the remaining indigenous Baltic peoples; the term Lithuania Minor appeared for the first time between 1517 and 1526. With the exception of the Klaipėda Region, which became a mandated territory of the League of Nations in 1920 by the Treaty of Versailles and was annexed to Lithuania from 1923 to 1939, the area was part of Prussia until 1945. Today a small portion of Lithuania Minor is within the borders of modern Lithuania and Poland while most of the territory is part of the Kaliningrad Oblast of Russia.
The Fourth Coalition fought against Napoleon's French Empire and was defeated in a war spanning 1806–1807. Coalition partners included Prussia, Russia, Saxony, Sweden, and Great Britain. Several members of the coalition had previously been fighting France as part of the Third Coalition, and there was no intervening period of general peace. On 9 October 1806, Prussia joined a renewed coalition, fearing the rise in French power after the defeat of Austria and establishment of the French-sponsored Confederation of the Rhine. Prussia and Russia mobilized for a fresh campaign, and Prussian troops massed in Saxony.
The Principality of Bayreuth or Margraviate of Brandenburg-Bayreuth was an immediate territory of the Holy Roman Empire, ruled by a Franconian branch of the Hohenzollern dynasty. Since Burgrave Frederick VI of Nuremberg was enfeoffed with the Margraviate of Brandenburg in 1415/17, the Hohenzollern princes transferred the margravial title to their Franconian possessions, though the principality never had been a march. Until 1604 they used Plassenburg Castle in Kulmbach as their residence, hence their territory was officially called the Principality of Kulmbach or Margraviate of Brandenburg-Kulmbach until the Empire's dissolution in 1806.
Neman, prior to 1946 known by its German name Ragnit, is a town and the administrative center of Nemansky District in Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia, located in the historic East Prussia, on the steep southern bank of the Neman River, where it forms the Russian border with the Klaipėda Region in Lithuania, and 130 kilometers (81 mi) northeast of Kaliningrad, the administrative center of the oblast. Population: 11,798 (2010 Census); 12,714 (2002 Census); 13,821 (1989 Census).
The Gastein Convention, also called the Convention of Badgastein, was a treaty signed at Bad Gastein in Austria on 14 August 1865. It embodied agreements between the two principal powers of the German Confederation, Prussia and Austria, over the governing of the 'Elbe Duchies' of Schleswig, Holstein and Saxe-Lauenburg.
The Electorate of Brunswick-Lüneburg was an Electorate of the Holy Roman Empire, located in northwestern Germany. It was colloquially known as the Electorate of Hanover, after its capital city of Hanover. For most of its existence, the electorate was ruled in personal union with Great Britain.
The Vyborg Governorate was a Russian Governorate 1744-1812, which was established in territories ceded by the Swedish Empire in the Great Northern War. By the Treaty of Nystad in 1721, Sweden formally ceded control of the parts of the Viborg and Nyslott County and the Kexholm County located on the Karelian Isthmus and Lake Ladoga area to Russia. First these areas were part of the Saint Petersburg Governorate. Vyborg Governorate was established in 1744 when Sweden ceded control of parts of Kymmenegård and Nyslott County by the Treaty of Åbo. In Sweden and Finland the governorate was also known as Old Finland, and between 1802 and 1812 it was named the "Finland Governorate".
The Treaty of Berlin between the Habsburg archduchess Maria Theresa of Austria, who was also Queen of Bohemia, and the Prussian king Frederick the Great was signed on 28 July 1742 in Berlin. It was the formal peace treaty that confirmed the preliminary agreement achieved with English mediation by the 11 June Treaty of Breslau, and officially ended the First Silesian War.
The Napoleon Bonaparte Monument was erected to honor the French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte on the 190th anniversary of his death. Napoleon established the Duchy of Warsaw in 1807 from the Polish lands ceded by the Kingdom of Prussia under the terms of the Treaties of Tilsit. The duchy was held in personal union by one of Napoleon's allies, King Frederick Augustus I of Saxony. Following Napoleon's failed invasion of Russia, the duchy was occupied by Prussian and Russian troops until 1815, when it was formally partitioned between the two countries at the Congress of Vienna. It covered central and eastern part of present Poland and minor parts of present Lithuania and Belarus.
The Treaty of Paris of 5 March 1812 between Napoleon I of France and Frederick William III of Prussia established a Franco-Prussian alliance directed against Russia. On 24 June, Prussia joined the French invasion of Russia. The unpopular alliance broke down when the Prussian contingent in French service signed a separate armistice, the Convention of Tauroggen, with Russia on 30 December 1812. On 17 March 1813, Frederick William declared war on France and issued his famous proclamation "To My People".
The Fall of Berlin took place on 27 October 1806 when the Prussian capital of Berlin was captured by French forces in the aftermath of the Battle of Jena–Auerstedt. The Emperor of the French Napoleon entered the city, from which he issued his Berlin Decree implementing his Continental System. Large-scale plundering of Berlin took place.