Tilsit, Treaties of

(1807) Agreements that France signed separately with Russia and Prussia at Tilsit, northern Prussia (now Sovetsk, Russia).

The treaties followed Napoleon's victories in the Napoleonic Wars and established his supremacy in western and central Europe. France and Russia became allies and divided Europe between them, reducing Prussia and Austria to helplessness. In secret provisions, Russia joined the Continental System against British trade. By 1810 Russian trade was hampered and the tsar opened Russian ports to neutral ships, causing the alliance to fail and paving the way for Napoleon's invasion of Russia in 1812.

* * *

▪ European history
      (July 7 [June 25, Old Style] and July 9 [June 27], 1807), agreements that France signed with Russia and with Prussia (respectively) at Tilsit, northern Prussia (now Sovetsk, Russia), after Napoleon's (Napoleon I) victories over the Prussians at Jena (Jena, Battle of) and at Auerstädt and over the Russians at Friedland. (Friedland, Battle of)

      Under the terms of the treaty, France and Russia became allies and divided Europe between them, reducing Austria and Prussia to helplessness. Alexander I of Russia accepted the reduction of Prussia from 89,120 to 46,032 square miles (230,820 to 119,223 square km); the creation from the Polish provinces detached from Prussia of a new Grand Duchy of Warsaw (Warsaw, Duchy of) for Napoleon's ally, the king of Saxony; and the establishment of the Kingdom of Westphalia in northern Germany. Westphalia, too, was in part composed of former Prussian lands. Napoleon's hegemony in western and central Europe was thus established. Prussia was to be occupied by French troops until a war indemnity, fixed at 120,000,000 francs, had been paid.

      In secret provisions Napoleon agreed to help Russia “liberate” most of European Turkey if Turkey rejected French mediation in its conflict with Russia. Similarly, Alexander promised to join the Continental System against British trade if Britain rejected Russian mediation in its conflict with France. Russia was given a free hand to conquer Finland from Sweden. Prussia was forced to join the Continental System and close its ports to British trade.

      Because the Treaties of Tilsit came so close to creating a continental blockade that excluded British trade, Napoleon sought in the next few years to enlarge and enforce the blockade. This led to the collapse of the peace on the continent. The period of Franco-Russian collaboration lasted until Dec. 31, 1810, when the tsar, finding that the alliance to the Continental System seriously hurt Russian trade, opened Russian ports to neutral ships. The threat to Russia from Napoleon's satellite, the Grand Duchy of Warsaw, on Russia's border, also contributed to the eventual failure of the Franco-Russian alliance. Napoleon invaded Russia in June 1812.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Treaties of Tilsit — The Treaties of Tilsit were two agreements signed by Napoleon I of France in the aftermath of his victory at Friedland in the town of Tilsit in July, 1807. The first was signed on July 7, between Tsar Alexander I of Russia and Napoleon I of… …   Wikipedia

  • Tilsit — /ˈtɪlzɪt/ (say tilzit) noun former name of Sovetsk; peace treaties between France, Prussia, and Russia 1807 …   Australian English dictionary

  • Russia — /rush euh/, n. 1. Also called Russian Empire. Russian, Rossiya. a former empire in E Europe and N and W Asia: overthrown by the Russian Revolution 1917. Cap.: St. Petersburg (1703 1917). 2. See Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. 3. See Russian… …   Universalium

  • Germany — /jerr meuh nee/, n. a republic in central Europe: after World War II divided into four zones, British, French, U.S., and Soviet, and in 1949 into East Germany and West Germany; East and West Germany were reunited in 1990. 84,068,216; 137,852 sq.… …   Universalium

  • France — /frans, frahns/; Fr. /frddahonns/, n. 1. Anatole /ann nann tawl /, (Jacques Anatole Thibault), 1844 1924, French novelist and essayist: Nobel prize 1921. 2. a republic in W Europe. 58,470,421; 212,736 sq. mi. (550,985 sq. km). Cap.: Paris. 3.… …   Universalium

  • Poland — /poh leuhnd/, n. a republic in E central Europe, on the Baltic Sea. 38,700,291; ab. 121,000 sq. mi. (313,400 sq. km). Cap.: Warsaw. Polish, Polska. * * * Poland Introduction Poland Background: Poland is an ancient nation that was conceived around …   Universalium

  • treaty — /tree tee/, n., pl. treaties. 1. a formal agreement between two or more states in reference to peace, alliance, commerce, or other international relations. 2. the formal document embodying such an international agreement. 3. any agreement or… …   Universalium

  • Denmark — /den mahrk/, n. a kingdom in N Europe, on the Jutland peninsula and adjacent islands. 5,268,775; 16,576 sq. mi. (42,930 sq. km). Cap.: Copenhagen. * * * Denmark Introduction Denmark Background: Once the seat of Viking raiders and later a major… …   Universalium

  • India — /in dee euh/, n. 1. Hindi, Bharat. a republic in S Asia: a union comprising 25 states and 7 union territories; formerly a British colony; gained independence Aug. 15, 1947; became a republic within the Commonwealth of Nations Jan. 26, 1950.… …   Universalium

  • Napoleon I — (Napoleon Bonaparte) ( the Little Corporal ) 1769 1821, French general born in Corsica: emperor of France 1804 15. * * * ▪ emperor of France Introduction French in full  Napoléon Bonaparte , original Italian  Napoleone Buonaparte , byname  the… …   Universalium

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.