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TREATIES OF PARIS (1814-1815)

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Originally appearing in Volume V20, Page 823 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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TREATIES OF PARIS (1814-1815). Among the very many treaties and conventions signed at Paris those which bear the title of " treaties of Paris " par excellence are the two sets of treaties, both of the highest importance in the history of the international politics of Europe and the formation of its public law, signed in Paris on the 30th of May 1814 and the loth of November 1815. The first embodied the abortive attempt made by the Allies and Louis XVIII. of France to re-establish lasting peace in Europe after the first abdication of Napoleon at Fontainebleau on the 11th of April 1814. The second contained the penal and cautionary measures which the Allies found it necessary to impose when the practically unopposed return of Napoleon from Elba, and his resumption of power, had proved the weakness of the Bourbon monarchy. (See EUROPE: History.) The treaty of the 30th of May 1814 and the secret treaty which accompanied it, were signed by Talleyrand for France; by Lords Castlereagh, Aberdeen and Cathcart for Great Britain; by Counts Rasumovski and Nesselrode for Russia; by Prince Metternich and Count Stadion for Austria; and by Baron Hardenberg and W. von Humboldt for Prussia. Sweden and Portugal adhered later, and Spain adhered on the loth of July to the public treaty, to which there were in all eight signatories. It is this public treaty which is known as the first treaty of Paris. It was signed in eight instruments identical in substance. The Allies, who appear as acting in the most friendly co-operation with Louis XVIII., declare that their aim is to establish a lasting peace based on a just distribution of forces among the powers, and that as France has returned to " the paternal government of her kings " they no longer think it necessary to exact those guarantees which they had been regretfully compelled to insist on from her late government. The preamble is more than a flourish of diplomatic humanity; for the treaty is extraordinarily favour-able to France. Putting aside as much of the treaty as is common form, and minute details for which the text must be consulted, it secured her in the possession of all the territory she held in Europe on the 1st of January 1792 (Art. II.); it restored her colonies, except Tobago, Santa Lucia, Ile de France (Mauritius), Rodriguez, and the Seychelles, surrendered to England and the part of San Domingo formerly Spanish, which was to return to Spain (Art. VIII.). Sweden resigned her claim on Guadaloupe (Art. IX.); Portugal resigned French Guiana (Art. X.). The rectifications of the European frontier of France are detailed in the eight subsections of Art. III. They were valuable. France obtained (1) a piece of territory south of Mons; (2 and 3) a larger piece around Philippeville, on the Sambre and Meuse; (4) a rectification including Sarrelouis; (5) a piece of land to connect the formerly isolated fortress of Landau with her own dominions; (6) a better frontier on the east at Doubes; (7) a better frontier as against Geneva; (8) the subprefectures of Annecy and Chambery (Savoy). By the same article she secured all the German enclaves in Alsace, Avignon, the Venaissin and Montbeliard. Art. VI. secured Holland to the house of Nassau, with an addition of territory, not defined in this instrument; asserted the independence, and right to federate of the German states, and the full sovereignty of all the states of Italy outside of the Italian dominions of Austria. Art. VII. gave Malta to Great Britain. By Art. XV. France was to retain two-thirds of all warships and naval stores existing in ports which had belonged to the empire of Napoleon, but were outside the borders of France, with exception of the Dutch ships. Arts. XVIII. to XXXI. dealt with pecuniary claims, return of documents, renunciation of all claims for compensation, &c. By Art. XXXII. the powers bind themselves to meet at Vienna within two months to arrange a final settlement of Europe. Additional articles provided for the settlement of pecuniary claims in the late grand-duchy of Warsaw, for the abrogation of treaties signed with Prussia since the Peace of Basel. By her additional article with Great Britain, France undertook to suppress the slave trade within five years, and to help to bring about its general suppression. The separate and secret articles of the treaty (or Secret Treaty " as they are commonly called), were meant to bind France to agree in principle to the readjustments and allotments of territory and population to be made at the approaching Congress of Vienna (q.v.). The treaties of the 20th of November 1815 and their dependent instruments, were signed in very different circumstances. The representative of France was the duc de Richelieu; Great Britain was represented by Castlereagh and Wellington; Austria by Metternich and Count Wessenberg; Prussia by Hardenberg and W. von Humboldt; Russia by Rasumovski and Capo d'Istria. The preamble stated the altered spirit and purpose of the Allies. It insisted that, as the powers had saved France and Europe from Napoleon's last adventure, they were entitled to compensation and security for the future. They had decided to exact indemnities, partly pecuniary and partly territorial, such as could be exacted without injuring the essential interest of France. The territorial penalty imposed was moderate. France retained the enclaves she had secured by the previous treaty. She had to resign her gains on the north and eastern frontier, to surrender Philippeville, Marienbourg, Bouillon, Sarrelouis and Landau, to cede certain territories to Geneva, and she lost Annecy and Chambery. The standard taken was the frontier of 1790 (Art. I.). By Art. III. she agreed to dismantle the fortress of Huningen near Basel. The most grievous articlesof the treaty are those which imposed the payment of an indemnity, and the occupation of a part of French territory as security for payment. Art. IV. fixed the indemnity at 700,000,000 frs. Art. V. fixed the strength of the army of occupation at 150,000 under a commander-in-chief to be named by the powers, and specified the fortresses it was to hold in the north and north-east of France. The period of occupation was limited to five years, but might be reduced to three. All pro-visions of the treaty of the 3oth of May 1814, and of the Final Act of the Congress of Vienna not expressly revoked were to remain in force. By an additional article the powers agreed to join Great Britain in suppressing the slave trade. Certain complimentary instruments were attached to the treaty. (I) A separate article with Russia in regard to pecuniary claims in Poland. (2) A convention as to payment of indemnity under Art. IV. (3) Convention as to the occupation and the rationing of the foreign troops. (4) A convention as to settlement of claims of British bondholders. The retrocession of the colonies was made dependent on the partial settlement of these claims. (5) A convention to arrange for settlement of claims under Art. XIX., &c., of the treaty of the 3oth of May 1814. On the day of the signing of the second treaty of Paris, a treaty of alliance, commonly spoken of as the treaty of the loth of November 1815, was signed in Paris by Great Britain, Austria, Russia and Prussia. It contained six articles. The first declared the determination of the Allies to enforce the treaty signed with France; the second, third and fourth reaffirmed their determination to exclude the Bonaparte family from the throne, and specified the measures they were prepared to take to support one another. The fifth declared that the alliance for the purposes stated would continue when the five years' occupation of France was ended. The sixth article stated that in order to facilitate and assure the execution of the present treaty, the High Contracting Parties had decided to hold periodical meetings of the sovereigns or their ministers, for the examination of such measures as appeared to be salutary for the repose and prosperity of their peoples and the maintenance of the peace of Europe. It was in accordance with this last article that the congresses of Aix-la-Chapelle (1818), Troppau (1820), Laibach (1821), and Verona (1822) were held (see EUROPE: History).
End of Article: TREATIES OF PARIS (1814-1815)
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