Declaration of the Powers against Napoleon.
This declaration was issued by the Congress of Vienna upon learning that Napoleon had left Elba. It shows the precise attitude of the Powers of Europe towards him.
March 13, 1815.
British and Foreign State Papers, II, 663.
The Powers who have signed the Treaty of Paris reassembled in Congress at Vienna, having been informed of the escape of Napoleon Bonaparte and of his entrance into Prance with an armed force, owe to their dignity and the interest of social order a solemn Declaration of the sentiments which that event has inspired in them.
In thus violating the convention which established him in the Island of Elba, Bonaparte destroyed the only legal title for his existence. By reappearing in France with projects of disorder and destruction, he has cut himself off from the protection of the law and has shown in the face of the world that there can he neither peace nor truce with him.
Accordingly, the Powers declare that Napoleon Bonaparte is excluded from civil and social relations, and, as an Enemy and Disturber of the tranquility of the World, that he has incurred public vengeance.
At the same time, being firmly resolved to preserve intact the Treaty of Paris of May 30, 1814, and the arrangements sanctioned by that treaty, as well as those which have been or shall be arranged hereafter in order to complete and consolidate it, they declare that they will employ all their resources amid will unite all their efforts in order that the General Peace, the object of the desires of Europe and the constant aim of their labors, may not be again disturbed, and in order to secure themselves from all attempts which may threaten to plunge the world once more into the disorders and misfortunes of revolutions.
And although fully persuaded that all France, rallying around its legitimate sovereign, will strive unceasingly to bring to naught this last attempt oof a criminal and impotent madman, all the Sovereigns of Europe, animated by the same feeling and guided by the same principles, declare that if, contrary to all expectation, there shall result from that event any real danger, they will be ready to give to the King of France and the French Nation or to any government which shall be attacked, as soon as shall be required, all the assistance necessary to re-establish the public tranquility, and to make common cause against all who may attempt to compromise it.
The present Declaration, inserted in the protocol of the Congress assembled at Vienna, March 13, 1815, shall be made public.
Fournier, Napoleon, 697-699; Rose, Napoleon, II, 410-411; Lavisse and Rambaud, Histoire Générale, X, 47.
Placed on the Napoleon Series 9/00