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he could hope to hold Prussia and Austria in awe and to attack, or at least to threaten, England in India. Russia's support could best be secured by promising to her explicitly, or at least implicitly, the possession of Constantinople and by making her believe that she was not interested in the fate of the other European States, that their enslavement by Napoleon was no concern of hers. In December 1805, while he was at war with Russia, Napoleon significantly said to Prince Dolgoruki, the Czar's aide-de-camp, who had been sent to him, according to the Prince's report of the 23rd of that month, published by Tatistcheff :
Que veut-on de moi ? Pourquoi l'empereur Alexandre me fait-il la guerre ? Que lui faut-il ? Il n'a qu'à étendre les frontières de la Russie aux dépens de ses voisins, des Turcs surtout. Sa querelle avec la France tomberait alors
La Russie doit suivre une tout autre politique et ne se préoccuper que de ses propres intérêts.
While, in vague words, Napoleon promised to Alexander the First the possession of Turkey, he endeavoured to raise the Turks against the Russians. On June 20, 1806, Napoleon dictated, in his characteristic abrupt style, the following instruction for the guidance of General Sebastiani, the French Ambassador in Turkey, which will be found in Driault
, ‘La Politique Orientale de Napoléon': 1. Inspirer confiance et sécurité à la Porte, la France ne que
la fortifier. 2. Triple Alliance de Moi, Porte et Perse contre Russie....
7. Fermer le Bosphore aux Russes, fermer tous les ports, rendre à la Porte son empire absolu sur la Moldavie et la
8. Je ne veux point partager l’Empire de Constantinople, voulât-on m'en offrir les trois quarts, je n'en veux point. Je veux raffermir et consolider ce grand empire et m'en servir tel quel comme opposition à la Russie.
In 1806 Napoleon made war upon Prussia. In October of that year the Prussians were totally defeated at Jena
and Auerstädt. The Russians came to their aid, and Napoleon feared a lengthy campaign so far from his base. On February 7 and 8, 1807, he defeated the Russians at Eylau. However, the French suffered such fearful losses that Napoleon's position was seriously endangered. Hence he urgently desired to make peace with Russia. Relying upon the youth, the generous enthusiasm, the warmheartedness, the lack of suspicion, and the inexperience of Alexander the First, Napoleon attempted once more to convert his enemy into a friend and ally and willing tool. With this object in view he caused articles to be published in the papers advocating a reconciliation of Napoleon and Alexander in the interests of humanity, and recommending joint action by France and Russia against England, the enemy of mankind. Napoleon knew how to convey indirectly to the Czar numerous messages expressing his sorrow at the fearful and needless slaughter, his desire for peace, his goodwill for Russia, and his high esteem for Russia's youthful ruler. Alexander became interested in Napoleon's suggestions, and at last became infatuated by him. He had been fascinated by Napoleon's success. He was keenly aware of the backwardness of Russia. Desiring to advance his country, he wished to learn from his great antagonist the art of government and administration, for in Napoleon he chiefly admired the organiser. On June 14, 1807, Napoleon severely defeated the Russians at Friedland, and the Czar, following the advice of his generals, asked Napoleon for peace. A few days later the celebrated meeting of the two monarchs in a little pavilion erected on a raft anchored in the river Niemen took place. According to Tatistcheff, the Czar's first words to Napoleon were, “Sire, je hais les Anglais autant que vous,' and Napoleon replied, 'En ce cas la paix est faite.'
On the Niemen, and at the prolonged meeting of the monarchs at Tilsit which followed, Napoleon unceasingly preached to the Czar the necessity of Franco-Russian co-operation in the interests of peace, and the necessity
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of breaking the naval tyranny of England. He suggested to Alexander that he should seize Turkey, spoke of the Turks as barbarians, and proposed that the two monarchs, after having destroyed the power of England by an attack upon India, should share between them the dominion of the world. He urged that they should conclude at the same time a treaty of peace and a treaty of alliance which provided for their co-operation throughout the world. Taking advantage of the Czar's easily aroused enthusiasm and of his lack of guile, Napoleon deliberately fooled Alexander the First and tricked him into an alliance with France by which all the advantages fell to Napoleon. How the Czar was treated is described as follows in his . Memoirs ' by Talleyrand, who drafted the Treaty of Tilsit :
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In the course of the conferences preceding the Treaty of Tilsit the En peror Napoleon often spoke to the Czar Alexander of Moldavia and Wallachia as provinces destined some day to become Russian. Affecting to be carried away by some irresistible impulse, and to obey the decrees of Providence, he spoke of the division of European Turkey as inevitable. He then indicated, as if inspired, the general basis of the sharing of that empire, a portion of which was to fall to Austria in order to gratify her pride rather than her ambition.
A shrewd mind could easily notice the effect produced upon the mind of Alexander by all those fanciful dreams. Napoleon watched him attentively and, as soon as he noticed that the prospects held out allured the Czar's imagination, he informed Alexander that letters from Paris necessitated his immediate return and gave orders for the treaty to be drafted at once.
My instructions on the subject of that treaty were that no allusion to a partition of the Ottoman Empire should appear in it, nor even to the future fate of the two provinces of Wallachia and Moldavia. These instructions were strictly carried out. Napoleon thus left Tilsit, having made prospective arrangements which could serve him as he pleased for the accomplishment of his other designs. He had not
bound himself at all, whereas, by the prospects he held out, he had allured the Czar Alexander and placed him, in relation to Turkey, in a doubtful position which might enable the Cabinet of the Tuileries to bring forth other pretensions untouched in the treaty.
According to the Treaty of Tilsit, which was signed on July 7, 1807, Napoleon and Alexander were to support one another on land and sea with the whole of their armed forces. The alliance was defensive and offensive. The two nations were to act in common in making war and in concluding peace. Russia was to act as mediator between England and France, and to request England to give up to France and her Allies all her conquests made since 1805. If England should refuse to submit, Russia was to make war upon England. Thus the duties of the Czar under the Treaty of Alliance were clearly outlined. The corresponding advantages, however, were only vaguely hinted at. Only the last article, Article 8, treated of Turkey, and it was worded as follows:
Pareillement, si par une suite des changements qui viennent de se faire à Constantinople, la Porte n'acceptait pas la médiation de la France, ou si, après qu'elle l'aura acceptée, il arrivait que, dans le délai de trois mois après l'ouverture des négociations, elles n'eussent pas conduit à un résultat satisfaisant, la France fera cause commune avec la Russie contre la Porte Ottomane, et les deux hautes parties contractantes s'entendront pour soustraire toutes les provinces de l'Empire ottoman en Europe, la ville de Constantinople et le province de Romélie exceptées, au joug et aux vexations des Turcs.
In return for making war upon England, Alexander the First received merely the promise that in certain eventualities France and Russia would act together against Turkey, and that in the event of such joint action they would come to an understanding with a view to freeing all the European provinces of Turkey from the Turks. However, Constantinople and the Province of Rumelia were to be reserved, and not to be partitioned by the Allies. In return for valuable service, Alexander the First received merely a vague and worthless promise.
As, in numerous conversations, Napoleon had promised to Alexander all he could desire, and as the Czar implicitly believed in his new friend, he probably did not look too closely into the wording of the one-sided treaty, and left Tilsit full of admiration for the Emperor of the French. Meanwhile Napoleon began a most cynical game with Alexander. Although the Treaty of Tilsit did not provide for the partition of Turkey, Napoleon continued using the partition of Turkey as a bait with which to secure Russia's support against England. He went even so far as to offer her, though only verbally, Constantinople itself. On November 7, 1807, Count Tolstoi, the Czar's representative in France, reported to Alexander that Napoleon had offered Constantinople to Russia in the following
Il (Napoléon) me dit que lui ne voyait aucun avantage pour la France au démembrement de l'empire ottoman, qu'il ne demandait pas mieux que de garantir son intégrité, qu'il le préférait même. ... Cependent, que si nous tenions infiniment à la possession de la Moldavie et de la Valachie, 1 s'y prêterait volontiers et qu'il nous offrait le thalweg da Danube, mais que ce serait à condition qu'il put s'en dédommager ailleurs.
I consent même à un plus grand partage de l'empire ottoman s'il pouvait entrer dans les plans de la Russie. Il m'autorise à offrir Constantinople, car il m'assure de n'avoir contracté aucun engagement avec le gouvernement turc, et de n'avoir aucune vue sur cette capitale. ... Dans la troisième supposition qui annoncerait un entier démembrement de la Turquie européenne, il consent à une extension pour la Russie jusqu'à Constantinople, cette capitale y comprise, contre des acquisitions sur lesquelles il ne s'est
Under unspecified circumstances Napoleon verbally