Archduchess as spouse, and Alexander not having made up his mind to risk the decisive struggle, although he had declared at Paris that the annexation of Oldenburg by a friendly power had been “un soufflet que l'on me donne devant les yeux de l'Europe. It was

' Napoleon who decided to begin the war destined to crush the last continental power which still maintained a certain independence. The Prussian patriots wished for an alliance with Russia, but the French held the reduced little kingdom in their hands, and nothing was to be hoped from Austria, which had been deprived of Galicia by Russia and was dissatisfied at the latter power's refusal to terminate its war with the Porte. Neutrality was impossible for Prussia in the coming war, because it would only have turned the country into a battleground; the great army of invasion was in full formation, so the King was compelled to accept at last the alliance with France, which obliged him to assist Napoleon in his attack on Russia by an army of 48,000 men and to place at his disposal the whole resources of the country. We have not to follow here the famous Russian campaign. After the retreat of the French army, the commander of the Prussian auxiliary troops, General Von York, took the memorable resolution of concluding without any full power of his sovereign a convention with the Russian general Paulucci at Tauroggen, December 30, 1812, according to which the Prussian troops separated themselves from the French, and Alexander promised that if the King would make common cause with him he would not lay down arms before re-establishing Prussia in the territorial status quo of 1806. After much hesitation the King, while disavowing York at Paris in order to gain time, ratified this convention; he left for Breslau, issued the celebrated proclamation to his army and his people, which was answered by the general rising of the nation, and signed the alliance proposed by Alexander. The fate of the war between the allied powers and Napoleon, who strained his military resources to the utmost and had still at his disposal the contingents of the Confederation of the Rhine, remained wavering for a considerable time; but the celebrated interview at Dresden between him and Metternich, in which his blinded pride refused any concession, decided the accession of Austria to the league. Even after the most decisive defeats he might have retained his throne as a powerful monarch, for Metternich, being afraid that the re-establishment of the Bourbons might give a dangerous ally to Russia, offered him as frontiers “la mer, le Rhin et les Alpes ;' it was only his stubborn refusal of the concessions offered at the Congress of Châtillon by the allies which led to his overthrow, and only after Waterloo France was reduced to the territorial status

quo of 1789.


Let us now try to realise summarily what this period of French oppression and the shaking off of its intolerable yoke have cost Germany, and especially Prussia. One of the most ardent admirers of Napoleon, Bignon, avows that never a foreign occupation has weighed so cruelly on a State as that of Napoleon on Prussia. When in 1806 he began the war, he had not a hundred thousand francs in his chest.

. On the 1st of January, 1808, the intendant of the French army, Daru, calculated that the occupation had yielded 604,227,922 francs, and the Emperor himself, on the 9th of March, 1809, told Count Roederer that he had drawn a milliard from Prussia.11 But this was not all; even after the evacuation the country had to pay a heavy contribution; it was obliged to maintain the French garrisons at Kuestrin, Stettin, and Glogau; it had to furnish enormous requisitions for the

. French army, and the continental system oppressed Prussia's economical condition more heavily than any other country. These sacrifices had to be born by a State which, after the peace of Tilsit, was reduced to a territory of 2,856 German square miles and 4,600,000 inhabitants. Before the war Prussia's net revenue in 1805-6 had amounted to twenty-seven million thalers; after having lost the most fertile and densely populated half of its territory, the income would scarcely have reached twelve millions, if the war had not destroyed the sources of its wealth. It therefore seems incredible that Napoleon could have tortured out the above-named immense sums from such a little impoverished country; yet such is the fact. After the battle of Jena be imposed a contribution of one hundred and fiftytwo million francs; the treaty of Tilsit stipulated that the evacuation of the territories remaining to Prussia should be subject to the payment of the contribution, but it was understood that the amount of the requisitions was to be placed on account of the sums to be paid. Napoleon reversed this in order to have a show of motive for prolonging the occupation, and besides asked a full year's revenue from Prussia. Daru, therefore, presented a bill asking 130,511,856 francs 90 cent. as contribution ; 61,590,637 francs 53 cent. as revenue of eight months; other demands 6,624,475 francs 24 cent.--in all 198,724,988 francs 86 cent. From this sum 44,221,489 francs 68 cent. were considered to have been paid, so that the French demand would still be the round sum of one hundred and fifty-four and a half million francs.2 Napoleon, as Lefèbre acknowledges,13 knew perfectly well that Prussia was unable to pay that amount; he only wanted a pretext for prolonging the occupation of the country at its own cost.

11 Dumas, Précis, 19, 459, 463, seqq.; Euvres du Comte Roederer, i. 544. 12 Duncker, Aus der Zeit Friedrich Wilhelms, iii. 509. 18 Hist. des Cabinets, iii. 352.



The revenues of the State filled the French exchequer; contributions and requisitions were raised in a progressive style. The commander of Berlin, General St.-Hilaire, asked for eight hundred thalers, then for a thousand thalers, per week for his table; General Vitry behaved in the castle of Charlottenburg as if it belonged to him. The French sold all the goods of the royal manufacture of china; all the works of art in the royal castles were carried off to Paris,l4 or appropriated by the French marshals. In order to mitigate somewhat this oppression, the King sent his brother William to Paris, and even offered a defensive and offensive alliance. Napoleon refused it; he told the Prince he knew that he could never rely upon Prussia ; all the Prussians hated him. The contributions had to be paid ; they were part of the combinations of the European policy. The execution of the peace of Tilsit depended upon Russia, which continued to occupy the Danubian Principalities. If it was not fit for Prussia to maintain an army of more than forty thousand men, the surplus of the former war budget should be applied to paying off the debt to France. Baron Stein, indeed, agreed with Daru on the draft of a treaty, promising the evacuation of Prussia with the exception of Stettin, Kuestrin and Glogau, and reducing the indemnity to one hundred and twelve million francs; but Napoleon took no notice of it; he violently complained to the Prince of certain Prussian functionaries who kindled resistance to France, and had the effrontery to order the Councillor of Legation, Leroux, who had come with the Prince, to leave Paris within five days. The Prussian Government, unable to resist, was obliged to swallow everything, and to withdraw functionaries who had only done their duty. The requisitions and exactions went on as before; in one district alone the French commissioner asked for four thousand of the largest trees from the royal forests for the artillery. It was only the course matters took in Spain which compelled Napoleon to change somewhat his policy. In order to be able to withdraw his troops from Prussia to the Peninsula, he was obliged to come to an understanding with Russia, and the French army on the Oder was a menace to that power. However, he availed himself of the seizure of some letters of Stein by Soult to induce Prince William to sign a treaty which fixed the remaining indemnity at one hundred and forty millions, although Prussia had already paid one hundred and forty-two millions in cash, and sixty millions by abandoning revenues. The private capital, according to Art. 25 of the treaty of Tilsit, was to remain untouched; yet in January 1806 the Warsaw Gazette published a decree according to which all persons who had to pay interest or capital to the Prussian Government were to pay their liabilities to the French or Saxon commissioner, an amount estimated at thirty million thalers. By this measure not only many private fortunes were ruined, but the credit of the Prussian bank and of the establishment for Maritime Commerce was severely endangered ; decrees of December 1808 and January 1809 simply confiscated capital of Prussian subjects in the former Polish provinces to the amount of more than twenty million thalers, which by a convention with Saxony were reduced to seventeen millions. Only when the government had paid fifty million francs in bills, and seventy millions in bonds guaranteed by the estates of the provinces, the French army evacuated Prussia, with the exception of the above-named fortresses. As to the requisitions, they amounted from October 1806 till December 1808 to 216,940,646 thalers, without reckoning the supply of horses (Berlin alone had to give 108,802 horses in eight months), and the devastations of the war. Duncker, who in his quoted work gives all the statistical details on official authority, thus comes to the conclusion that, irrespective of the one hundred and forty millions indemnity, promised by Prince William's treaty and reduced at Erfurt, at Alexander's instance, to one hundred and twenty millions, and of the maintenance of the French garrisons in the fortresses, which cost from November 1808 to March 1813, 37,973,951 francs, Napoleon squeezed from little Prussia, impoverished by the devastation of war and by the annihilation of its commerce, navigation and industry, the sum of 1,129,374,217 francs 50 cent. (l.c. p. 530).

1 Countess Voss, Sixty-four Years at the Prussian Court, p. 324. "I got the list of what the French have either officially taken to Paris or simply stolen; in the same wise all the royal castles were deprived of their pictures, statues, vases, and costly works : it is an incredible list.' (Nov. 11, 1807.)

The other States of Northern Germany oppressed by Napoleon fared equally badly; suffice it to recall the exactions of Marshal Davoust at Hamburg, who besides stole the whole deposits of the public bank in silver bars. The city, the commerce of which was ruined by the continental system, was made a fortress; the most distinguished citizens had to dig for erecting earthworks; churches were turned into stables, and thousands of inhabitants, unable to provision themselves for the coming winter, were expelled in the severest cold. Not less exasperating than these material losses was the overbearing conduct of the French. At the interview of Tilsit two little houses were erected on the raft : in one the two Emperors met to have their famous conversation ; in the other the King of Prussia was kept waiting, hearing even afterwards nothing about his fate. Napoleon treated distinguished German princesses, such as the beautiful Queen Louisa of Prussia, with the utmost coarseness ; 15 patriots like Stein, Gneisenau, Perthes, had to fly for their lives; the editor Palm was shot because he had published a book distasteful to the French ; Wilhelm Schlegel, having said in an essay that he preferred the Phædra of Euripides to that of Racine, had to leave Paris; French generals and prefects behaved as absolute masters everywhere, and sovereign princes had to yield precedence to Imperial newly-created marshals.

15 • The Queen died from a polyp on the heart, which (as the physicians say) was the consequence of too deep and lasting grief.' (Countess Voss, 1.c. p. 380.)

Austria in her heroic struggles against Napoleon was twice obliged to declare bankruptcy, which caused enormous losses to her population, and was reduced to less than half of her former dominions. The situation of the States forming the Confederation of the Rhine, being allies of France, was undoubtedly better, but they also suffered heavily from the constant wars, for which they had to furnish their contingents at their own expense, and by the passage of the French troops. As to the losses in lives which Germany suffered during this period no approximate estimate can be made ; they were simply enormous. Napoleon himself at the interview of Dresden with Metternich cynically said, “ After all, my wars have cost me barely a million of men, and most of them were Germans '-i.e. Germans who fought for him.

If after such exhausting drains of wealth and men the whole of Northern Germany in 1813 rose as one man, to shake off the hated yoke of the conqueror, it was simply because the people felt that it was a struggle for existence. Their heroic efforts were scarcely compensated by the terms of peace; for Talleyrand persuaded the Emperor Alexander that the restoration of Alsace, asked for by Prussia, was against the Russian interest, because it would weaken the throne of the restored Bourbons, and only a strong France would be a useful ally of the Czar. The war indemnity exacted from the French, then a nation of great wealth, was one milliard, to be divided amongst the allies. At that time the public income was about 900,000,000 francs, and ten years after the finances were in so flourishing a condition that another milliard could be devoted to indemnify the emigrated nobility. On the other hand, Germany, and particularly Prussia, were after the war left in a state of exhaustion, which it required more than thirty years to overcome.

Nor were the Bourbons, re-established partly by the success of German arms, good neighbours. Shortly before his dethronement Charles the Tenth had come to a secret understanding with the Emperor Nicholas that, if he would support Russia's plans in the East, the Czar would not oppose the embodiment of the left bank of the Rhine. It was therefore perfectly conceivable that the revolution of July was a most untoward event for the Russian autocrat, who constantly urged the King of Prussia to declare war against France in order to maintain the cause of legitimacy. But Frederic William the Third, although he knew nothing of his son-in-law's betrayal, had learnt too much by sad experiences to follow that insidious advice, and answered, 'Nicholas can speak at his ease; he would not have to face the brunt of the attack. Under Thiers's ministry of 1840 the clamour for the Rhine began again; even moderate and wise politicians like Tocqueville declared frankly that for France the frontier of the Rhine was a necessity. When in 1848 the historian

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