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The Napoleon Series > Government > Governments and Politics

Annexation of Papal States


Treaty with Holland


Documents upon the Annexations of 1809-1810.

In 1809-1810 Napoleon annexed to France a great deal of territory. All of it had for some time been dependent upon France. These documents how must of the territory taken some of the reasons assigned for its annexation, something of the manner in which the former rulers were treated, and the kind of special arrangements made for the territory as mart of France.
As the Empire of Napoleon was at its height following these annexations its territorial extent and the relationship of the various parties may he profitably studied at this point.


A. Imperial Decree for the Annexation of the Papal States.

May 17, 1809. Correspondance de Napoleon I, XIX, 15-16. Translation, James Harvey Robinson, University of Pennsylvania Translations and Reprints.

Napoleon, Emperor of the French King of Itlay, Protector of the Confederation of the Rhine, etc., in consideration of the fact that when Charlemagne, Emperor of the French and our august predecessor, granted several counties to the Bishops of Rome he ceded these only as fiefs and for the gonad of his realm and Rome did not by reason of this cession cease to form a part of his empire; farther that since this association of spiritual and temporal authority has been and still is a source of dissensions and has but too often led the pontiffs to employ the influence of the former to maintain the pretensions of the latter, and thus the spiritual concerns and heavenly interests which are unchanging have been confused with terrestrial affairs which by their nature alter according to circumstances and the policy of the time; and since all our proposals for reconciling the security of our armies, the tranquility and the welfare of our people and the dignity and integrity of our Empire, with the temporal pretensions of the Popes have failed, we have decreed and do decree what follows;

  1. The Papal States are reunited to the French Empire.
  2. The City of Rome, so famous by reason of the great memories which cluster about it and as the first seat of Christianity, is proclaimed a free imperial city. The organization of the government and administration of the said city shall he provided by a special statute.
  3. The remains of the structures erected by the Romans shall be maintained and preserved at the expense of our treasury.
  4. The public debt shall become an imperial debt.
  5. The lands and domains of the Pope shall be increased to a point where they shall produce an annual net revenue of two millions.
  6. The lands and domains of the Pope as well as his palaces shall be exempt from all taxes, jurisdiction or visitation, and shall enjoy special immunities.
  7. On the first of June of the present year a special consultus shall take possession of the Papal States in our name and shall make the necessary provisions in order that a constitutional system shall be organized and may be put in force on January first 1810.

Given at our Imperial Camp at Vienna, May 17th, 1809.

[signed] NAPOLEON.


B. Organic Senatus-Consultum for the Annexation of the Papal States.

February 17, 1810. Duvergier, Lois, XVII, 27.

Title I. Of The Union Of The States Of Rome With The Empire.

  1. The State of Rome is united with tile French Empire and makes all integral part thereof.
  2. It shall form two departments, the department of Rome and the department of Trasimeno.
  3. The department of Rome shall have seven deputies in the Corps-Legislatif; the department of Trasimeno shall have four.
  4. There shall be a senatorship established for the departments of Rome and Trasimeno.
  5. The city of Rome is the second city of the Empire. The mayor of Rome is present at the taking of the oath by the Emperor at his accession: he takes rank, along with the deputation of the city of Rome, on all occasions immediately after the mayors and deputations of the city of Paris.
  6. The Prince Imperial bears the title and receives the honors of King of Rome.
  7. There shall be at Rome a prince of the blood or a grand dignitary of the Empire, who shall hold the court of the Emperor.

    . . . . . .

  8. After having been crowned in the church of Notre Dame at Paris, the Emperors shall be crowned in the church of Saint Peter at Rome, before the tenth year of their reign.
  9. The city of Rome shall enjoy the special privileges and immunities which shall be determined by the Emperor Napoleon.

Title II. Of The Independence Of The Imperial Throne Of Every Authority Upon Earth.

  1. Any foreign sovereignty is incompatible with the exercise of any spiritual authority within the interior of the Empire.
  2. At the time of their elevation [to the papal dignity], the Popes shall take oath never to do anything contrary to the four propositions of the Gallican Church, decreed in the assembly of the clergy in 1682.
  3. The four propositions of the Gallican Church are declared common to all the Catholic churches of the Empire.

Title III. Of The Temporal Position Of The Popes.

  1. Palaces shall be prepared for the Pope in the different places of the Empire in which he may wish to reside. There shall be necessarily one at Paris and one at Rome.
  2. Two millions of revenue in rural estates free from all taxation and situated in the different parts of the Empire, shall be assigned to the Pope.
  3. The expenses of the Sacred College and of the Propaganda are declared imperial [expenses].


C. Treaty with Holland.

March 16, 1810. De Clercq, Traites, II, 328-330.

His Majesty the Emperor of the French, King of Italy, Protector of the Confederation of the Rhine, Mediator of the Swiss Confederation, and His Majesty the King of Holland, wishing to put an end to the difficulties which have arisen between them and to reconcile the independence of Holland with the new circumstances in which the Orders in Council of England of 1807 have placed all the maritime Powers, have agreed to come to an understanding, and have appointed plenipotentiaries for that purpose, to wit : . . .

  1. Until the British Government has formally renounced the methods comprised in its Orders in Council of 1807, all commerce whatsoever between the ports of Holland and the ports of England is forbidden. If there is occasion to give licenses, those given in the name of the Emperor shall be the only valid ones.
  2. A body of troops consisting of 18,000 men, of which 3,000 shall be cavalry, composed of 6,000 Frenchmen and 12,000 Hollanders, shall be placed at all the mouths of the rivers with the employes of the French customs-houses, in order to watch over the execution of the preceding article.
  3. These troops shall be taken care of, fed and clothed by the government of Holland.
  4. Every prize taken upon the coasts of Holland by French ships of war or privateers from vessels contravening article l shall be declared good prize; in case of doubt the difficulty can be adjudged only by His Majesty the Emperor.
  5. The provisions contained in the above articles shall be annulled as soon as England shall have solemnly revoked its Orders in Council of 1807, and from that moment the French troops shall evacuate Holland and shall leave it to enjoy the whole of its independence.
  6. lt being a constitutional principle in France that the Thalweg of the Rhine is the boundary of the French Empire, and the ship yards of Antwerp, being unguarded and exposed through the existing situation of the boundaries of the two States, His Majesty the King of Holland cedes to His Majesty the Emperor of the French, etc., Dutch Brabant, the whole of Zeeland, including therein the island of Schouwen, and part of Gelderland upon the left bank of the Waal, in such a manner that the boundary of France and of Holland shall be henceforth the Thalweg of the Waal, . . .

    . . . . . .

  7. His Majesty the King of Holland, in order to co-operate with the forces of the French Empire, shall have at anchor a fleet of 9 ships of the line and 6 frigates, armed and provisioned for six months and ready to put sail on July 1st next, and a flotilla of 100 gunboats or other ships of war. This force shall be kept up and made constantly disposable during the entire war.

    . . . . . .

  8. All merchandise arriving upon American vessels entered into the ports of Holland since January 1, 1809, shall be placed in sequestration and shall belong to France to be disposed of according to circumstances and its political relations with the United States.
  9. All merchandise of English manufacture is prohibited in Holland.
  10. Police measures shall be taken to look after and to cause the arrest of insurers of contraband, contrabandists their abettors, etc.; finally, the government of Holland agrees that it will destroy contraband.
  11. . . . . . .

  1. Filled with confidence as to the manner in which the engagements resulting from the present treaty will be fulfilled, His Majesty the Emperor and King guarantees the integrity of the possessions of Holland as they shall be in virtue of this treaty.
  2. The present treaty shall be ratified and the ratifications thereof shall be exchanged at Paris within the space of fifteen days or sooner if it is possible to do so.

Done at Paris, March 16, 1810.


D. Organic Senatus-Consultum for the Annexation of Holland and North Germany.

December 13, 1810. Duvergier, Lois, XVII, 235.

  1. Holland, the Hanseatic cities, Lauenburg, and the countries situated between the North Sea and a line drawn from the confluence of the Lippe with the Rhine to Haltern, from Haltern to the Ems below Telgte; from the Ems to the confluence of the Werre with the Weser, and from Stozenau upon the Weser to the Elbe below the confluence of the Steckenitz, shall make an integral part of the French Empire.
  2. The said countries shall form ten departments to wit:
  3. The number of deputies of these department in the Corps-Legislatif shall be . . . [29 in all].

    . . . . . .

  1. One senatorship shall be established for the departments forming the jurisdiction of the Imperial Court of the Hague, and another for the departments forming the jurisdiction of the Imperial Court of Hamburg.
  2. The cities of Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Hamburg, Bremen, and Lubeck, are included among the good cities of which the mayors are present at the taking of the oath of the Emperor at his accession.
  3. . . . . . .



Fyffe, Modern Europe, I. 436-441 (Popular ed., 294-297); Fournier, Napoleon, 495-498, 506-511; Rose, Napoleon, II, 141-142, 195-198; Sloane, Napoleon, III, 201-204. 211-214; Lanfrey, Napoleon, IV, 252-264,278-303, 341-343; Lavisse and Rambaud, Histoire Generale, IX, 275-278, 766-767.


Placed on the Napoleon Series 7/00


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