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Napoleon & Empire

First peace of Paris

Treaty of Paris, May 30, 1814 (First Peace of Paris).

Definitive treaty of Peace, concluded at Paris on the 30 day of May, 1814.

In the name of the most Holy and Undivided Trinity.

Medal commemorating the Peace of Paris
Medal commemorating the Peace of Paris

His majesty the King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and his allies, on the one part; and his majesty the King of France and of Navarre, on the other part; animated by an equal desire to terminate the long agitations of Europe, and the sufferings of mankind, by a permanent peace, founded upon a just repartition of force between its states, and containing in its stipulations the pledge of its durability, and his Britannic majesty, together with his allies, being unwilling to require of France, now that, replaced under the paternal government of her kings, she offers the assurance of security and stability to Europe, the conditions and guarantees which they had with regret demanded from her former government, their said majesties have named plenipotentiaries to discuss, settle, and sign a treaty of peace and amity; namely,

His majesty the King of the united Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, the Right Honourable Robert Stewart, Viscount Castlereagh, his principal secretary of slate for foreign affairs, &c. &c. &c.

the Right Honourable George Gordon, Earl of Aberdeen, his ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary to his imperial and royal apostolic majesty; the Right Honourable William Shaw Cathcart, Viscount Cathcart, his ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary to his majesty the Emperor of all the Russias; and the Honourable Sir Charles William Stewart, his envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary to his majesty the King of Prussia; and his majesty the King of France and Navarre, Charles Maurice de Talleyrand Perigord, Prince of Benevente, his said majesty's minister and secretary of state for foreign affairs; who, having exchanged their full powers, found in good and due form, have agreed upon the following articles:

Article I.

There shall be from this day forward perpetual peace and friendship between his Britannic majesty and his allies on the one part, and his majesty the King of France and Navarre on the other, their heirs and successors, their dominions and subjects respectively.

The high contracting parties shall devote their best attention lo maintain, not only between themselves, but, inasmuch as depends upon them, between all the states of Europe, that harmony and good understanding which are so necessary for their tranquillity.

Article II.

The kingdom of France retains its limits entire, as they existed on the 1st of January, 1792. It shall farther receive the increase of territory comprised within the line established by the following article:

Article III.

On the side of Belgium, Germany, and Italy, the ancient frontiers shall be re-established аз they existed on the 1st of January, 1792, extending from the North Sea, between Dunkirk and Nieuport, to the Mediterranean, between Cagnes and Nice, with the following modifications:

1.—In the department of Jemappes, the cantons of Dour, Merbes-le-Chateau, Beaumont, and Chimay, shall belong to France; where the line of demarkation comes in contact with the canton of Dour, it shall pass between that canton and those of Bousau and Paturage, and likewise further on it shall pass between the canton of Merbes-le-Chateau, and those of Binck and Thuin.

2.—In the department of the Sambre and Meuse, the cantons of Walcourt, Florennes, Beauraing, and Gedinne, shall belong to France; where the demarkation reaches that department, it shall follow the line which separates the cantons from the department of Jemappes, and from the remaining cantons of the department of Sambre and Meuse.

3.—In the department of the Moselle, the new demarkation, at the point where it diverges from the old line of frontier, shall be formed by a line to be drawn from Perle to Fremersdorff, and by the limit which separates the canton of Tholey from the remaining cantons of the said department of the Moselle.

4.—In the department of La Sarre, the cantons of Saarbruck and Arneval shall continue to belong to France, as likewise the portion of the canton of Lebach which is situated to the south of a line drawn along the confínes of the villages of Herchenbach, Ueberhofen, Hilsbach, and Hall, (leaving these different places out of the French frontier) to the point where, in the neighbourhood of Querselle, (which place belongs to France) the line which separates the cantons of Arneval and Ottweller reaches that which separates the cantons of Arneval and Lebach. The frontier on this side shall be formed by the line above described, and afterwards by that which separates the canton of Arneval from that of Bliescastel.

5.—The fortress of Landau having, before the year 1792, formed an insulated point in Germany, France retains beyond her frontiers a portion of the departments of Mount Tonnerre and of the Lower Rhine, for the purpose of uniting the said fortress and its radius to the rest of the kingdom.

The new demarkation from the point in the neighbourhood of Obersteinbach (which place is left out of the limits of France) where the boundary between the department of the Moselle and that of Mount Tonnerre reaches the department of the Lower Rhine, shall follow the line which separates the cantons of Weissenbourg and Bergzabern (on the side of France) from the cantons of Pirmasens, Dahn, and Annweiler, (on the side of Germany,) as far as the point near the village of Volmersheim where that line touches the ancient radius of the fortress of Landau. From this radius, which remains as it was in 1792, the new frontier shall follow the arm of the river de la Queich, which on leaving the said radius at Queichheim (that place remaining to France) flows near the villages of Merlenheim, Knittelsheim, and Belheim (these places also belonging to France) to the Rhine, which from thence shall continue to form the boundary of France and Germany.

The main stream (Thalweg) of the Rhine, shall constitute the frontier; provided, however, that the changes which may hereafter take place in the course of that river shall not affect the property of the islands. The right of possession in these islands shall be re-established as it existed at the signature of the treaty of Luneville.

6.—In the department of the Doubs, the frontier shall be so regulated as to commence above the Ranconniére, near Locle, and follow the crest of Jura between the Cerneux, Pequignot, and the village of Fontenelles, as far as the peak of that mountain, situated about seven or eight thousand feet to the north-west of the village of La Brevine, where it shall again fall in with the ancient boundary of France.

7.—In the department of the Leman, the frontiers between the French territory, the Pays de Vaud, and the different portions of the territory of the republic of Geneva, (which is to form part of Switzerland) remain as they were before the incorporation of Geneva with France. But the cantons of Frangy and of St. Julien, (with the exception of the districts situated to the north of a line drawn from the point where the river La Laire enters the territory of Geneva, near Chancy, following the confínes of Seseguin, Laconex, and Seseneuve, which shall remain out of the limits of France) the canton of Reignier, with the exception of the portion to the east of a line which follows the confínes of the Muras, Bussy, Pers, and Cornier, (which shall be out of the French limits) and the canton of La Roche (with the exception of the places La Roche and Armanoy with their districts) shall remain to France. The frontier shall follow the limits of these different cantons, and the line which separates the districts continuing to belong to France, from those which she does not retain.

In the department of Montblanc, France acquires the sub-prefecture of Chambery, with the exception of the cantons of L'Hospital, St. Pierre d'Albigny, la Rocette, and Montmelian, and the sub-prefecture of Annecy, with the exception of the portion of the canton of Faverges, situated to the east of a line passing between Ourechaise and Marlens on the side of France, and Marthod and Ugine on the opposite side, and which afterwards follows the crest of the mountains as far as the frontier of the canton of Thones; this line, together with the limit of the cantons before mentioned, shall on this hide form the new frontier.

On the side of the Pyrenees, the frontiers between the two kingdoms of France and Spain remain such as they were on the 1st of January,1792, and a joint commission shall be named on the part of the two crowns for the purpose of finally determining the line.

France on her part renounces all right of sovereignty (suzeraineté) and of possession over all the countries, districts, towns, and places, situated beyond the frontier described, the principality of Monaco being replaced on the same footing on which it stood before the 1st of January, 1792.

The allied powers assure to France the possession of the principality of Avignon, of the Comtat Venaissin, of the Comté of Montbeilliard, together with the several insulated territories which formerly belonged to Germany, comprehended within the frontier above described, whether they have been incorporated with France before or after the 1st of January, 1792. The powers reserve to themselves, reciprocally, the complete right to fortify any point in their respective states which they may judge necessary for their security.

To prevent all injury to properly, and protect, according to the most liberal principles, the property of individuals domiciliated on the frontiers, there shall be named, by each of the states bordering on France, commissioners, who shall proceed, conjointly with French commissioners, to the delineation of the respective boundaries.

Article IV.

To secure the communications of the town of Geneva with other parts of the Swiss territory situated on the lake, France consents that the road by Versoy shall be common to the two countries. The respective governments shall amicably arrange the means for preventing smuggling, regulating the posts, and maintaining the said road.

Article V.

The navigation of the Rhine, from the point where it becomes navigable unto the sea, and vice versá, shall be free, so that it can be interdicted to no one: —and that at the future congress, attention shall be paid to the establishment of the principles according to which the duties to be raised by the states bordering on the Rhine may be regulated, in the mode the most impartial, and the most favourable to the commerce of all nations.

The future congress, with a view to facilitate the communications between nations, and continually to render them less strangers to each other, shall likewise examine and determine in what manner the above provision can be extended to other rivers, which, in their navigable course, separate or traverse different states.

Article VI.

Holland, placed tinder the sovereignty of the house of Orange, shall receive an increase of territory. The title and exercise of that sovereignty shall not in any case belong to a prince, wearing, or destined to wear a foreign crown.

The states of Germany shall be independent, and united by a federative bond.

Switzerland, independent, shall continue to govern herself.

Italy, beyond the limits of the countries which are to revert to Austria, shall be composed of sovereign states.

Article VII.

The island of Malta and its dependencies shall belong in full right and sovereignty to his Britannic majesty.

Article VIII.

His Britannic majesty stipulating for himself and his allies, engages to restore to his most Christian majesty, within the term which shall be hereafter fixed, the colonies, fisheries, factories, and establishments of every kind, which were possessed by France on the 1st of January 1792, in the seas and on the continents of America, Africa, and Asia, with the exception however of the islands of Tobago and St. Lucie, and of the Isle of France and its dependencies, especially Rodrigues and Les Sechelles, which several colonies and possessions his most Christian majesty cedes in full right and sovereignty to his Britannic majesty, and also the portion of St. Domingo ceded to France by the treaty of Basle, and which his most Christian majesty restores in full right and sovereignty to his Catholic majesty.

Article IX.

His majesty the King of Sweden and Norway, in virtue of the arrangements stipulated with the allies, and in execution of the preceding article, consents that the island of Guadaloupe be restored to his most Christian majesty, and gives up all the rights he may have acquired over that island.

Article X.

Her most faithful majesty, in virtue of the arrangements stipulated with her allies, and in execution of the 8th article, engages to restore French Guyana as it existed on the 1st of January, 1792, to his most Christian majesty, within the term hereafter fixed.

The renewal of the dispute which existed at that period on the subject of the frontier, being the effect of this stipulation, it is agreed that the dispute shall be terminated by a friendly arrangement between the two courts, under the mediation of his Britannic majesty.

Article XI.

The places and forts in those colonies and settlements, which, by virtue of the 8th, 9th, and 10th articles, are to be restored to his most Christian majesty, shall be given up in the state in which they may be at the moment of the signature of the present treaty.

Article XII.

His Britannic majesty guarantees to the subjects of his most Christian majesty the same facilities, privileges, and protection, with respect to commerce, and the security of their persons and property within the limits of the British sovereignty on the continent of India, as are now or shall be granted to the most favoured nations.

His most Christian majesty, on his part, having nothing more at heart than the perpetual duration of peace between the two crowns of England and of France, and wishing to do his utmost to avoid any thing which might affect their mutual good understanding, engages not to erect any fortifications in the establishments, which are to be restored to him within the limits of the British sovereignty upon the continent of India, and only to place in those establishments the number of troops necessary for the maintenance of the police.

Article XIII.

The French right of fishery upon the bank of Newfoundland, upon the coasts of the island of that name, and of the adjacent islands in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, shall be replaced upon the footing in which it stood in 1792.

Article XIV.

Those colonies, factories, and establishments, which are to be restored to his most Christian majesty by his Britannic majesty or his allies beyond the Cape of Good Hope within the six months which follow the ratification of the present treaty.

Article XV.

The high contracting parties having, by the 4th article of the convention of the 23d of April last, reserved to themselves the right of disposing, in the present definitive treaty of peace, of the arsenals and ships of war, armed and unarmed which may be found in the maritime places restored by the second article of the said convention; it is agreed, that the said vessels and ships of war, armed and unarmed, together with the naval ordnance and naval stores, and all materials for building and equipment, shall be divided between France and the countries where the said places are situated, in the proportion of two-thirds or France, and one-third for the power to whom the said places shall belong. The ships and vessels on the stocks, which shall not be launched within six weeks after the signature of the present treaty, shall be considered as materials, and after being broken up, shall be, as such, divided in the same proportions.

Commissioners shall be named on both sides, in settle the division and draw up a statement of the same, and passports or safe conducts shall be granted by the allied powers for the purpose of securing the return into France of the workmen, seamen, and others in the employment of France.

The vessels and arsenals existing in the maritime places which were already in the power of the allies before the 23d of April, and the vessels and arsenals which belonged to Holland, and especially the fleet in the Texel, are not comprised in the above stipulations.

The French government engages to withdraw, or cause to be sold, every thing which shall belong to it by the above stipulations, within the the space of three months after the division shall have been carried into effect.

Antwerp shall for the future be solely a commercial port.

Article XVI.

The high contracting parties, desirous to bury in entire oblivion the dissensions which have agitated Europe, declare and promise, that no individual, of whatever rank or condition he may be, in the countries restored and ceded by the present treaty, shall be prosecuted, disturbed, or molested, in his person or property, under any pretext whatsoever, either on account of his conduct or political opinions, his attachment either to any of the contracting parties, or to any government which has ceased to exist, or for any other reason, except for debts contracted towards individuals, or acts posterior to the date of the present treaty.

Article XVII.

The native inhabitants and aliens, of whatever nation or condition they may be, in those countries which are to change sovereigns, as well in virtue of the present treaty as of the subsequent arrangements to which it may give rise, shall be allowed a period of six years, reckoning from the exchange of the ratifications, for the purpose of disposing of their property, if they think fit, whether it be acquired before or during the present war; and retiring to whatever country they may choose.

Article XVIII.

The allied powers desiring to offer his most Christian majesty a new proof of their anxiety to arrest, as far as in them lies, the bad consequences of the disastrous epoch terminated by the present peace, renounce all the sums which their governments claim from France, whether on account of contracts, supplies, or any other advances whatsoever to the French governments, during the different wars that have taken place since 1792.

His most Christian majesty, on his part, renounces every claim which he might bring forward against the allied powers on the same grounds. In execution of this article, the high contracting parties engage reciprocally to deliver up all titles, obligations, and documents, which relate to the debts they may have mutually cancelled.

Article XIX.

The French government engages to liquidate and pay all debts it may be found to owe in countries beyond its own territory, on account of contracts, or other formal engagements between individuals, or private establishments, and the French authorities, as well for supplies, as in satisfaction of legal engagements.

Article XX.

The high contracting parties, immediately after the exchange of the ratifications of the present treaty, shall name commissioners to direct and superintend the execution of the whole of the stipulations contained in the 18th and 19th articles. These commissioners shall undertake the examination of the claims referred to in the preceding article, the liquidation of the sums claimed, and the consideration of the manner in which the French government may propose to pay them. They shall also be charged with the delivery of the titles, bonds, and the documents relating to the debts which the high contracting parties mutually cancel, so that the approval of the result of their labours shall complete that reciprocal renunciation.

Article XXI.

The debts which in their origin were specially mortgaged upon the countries no longer belonging to France, or were contracted for the support of their internal administration, shall remain at the charge of the said countries. Such of those debts as have been converted into inscriptions in the great book of the public debt of France, shall accordingly be accounted for with the French government after the 22d of December, 1813.

The deeds of all those debts which have been prepared for inscription, and have not yet been entered, shall be delivered to the governments of the respective countries. The statement of all these debts shall be drawn up and settled by a joint commission.

Article XXII.

The French government shall remain charged with the reimbursement of all sums paid by the subjects of the said countries into the French coffers, whether under the denomination of surety, deposit, or consignment.

In like manner, all French subjects employed in the service of the said countries, who have paid sums under the denomination of surety, deposit, or consignment, into their respective coffers, shall be faithfully reimbursed.

Article XXIII.

The functionaries holding situations requiring securities, who are not charged with the expenditure of public money, shall be reimbursed at Paris, with the interest, by fifths and by the year, dated from the signature of the present treaty. With respect to those who are unaccountable, this reimbursement shall commence, at the latest, six months after the presentation of their accounts, except only in cases of malversation. A copy of the last account shall be transmitted to the government of their countries, to serve for their information and guidance.

Article XXIV.

The judicial deposits and consignments upon the "caisse d'amortissement" in the execution of the law of 28 Nivose, year 13, (18th of January, 1805) and which belong to the inhabitants of the countries which France ceases to possess, shall, within the space of one year from the exchange of the ratifications of the present treaty, be placed in the hands of the authorities of the said countries, with the exception of those deposits and consignments interesting French subjects, which last will remain in the "caisse d'amortissement" and will be given up only on the production of the vouchers, resulting from the decisions of competent authorities.

Article XXV.

The funds deposited by the corporations and public establishments in the "caisse de service" and in the "caisse d'amortissement" or other "caisse" of the French government, shall be reimbursed by fifths, payable from year to year, to commence from the date of the present treaty; deducting the advances which have taken place, and subject to such regular charges as may have been brought forward against these funds by the creditors of the said corporations, and the public establishments.

Article XXVI.

From the 1st day of January, 1814, the French government shall cease to be charged with the payment of pensions, civil, military, and ecclesiastical, pensions for retirement, and allowances for reduction, to any individual who shall cease to be a French subject.

Article XXVII.

National domains acquired for valuable considerations by French subjects in the late departments of Belgium, and of the left bank of the Rhine, and the Alps, beyond the ancient limits of France, and which now cease to belong to her, shall be guaranteed to the purchasers.

Article XXVIII.

The abolition of the "droits d'Aubaine", "de Detraction", and other duties of the same nature, in the countries which have reciprocally made that stipulation with France, or which have been formerly incorporated, shall be expressly maintained.

Article XXIX.

The French government engages to restore all bonds, and other deeds, which may have been seized in the provinces occupied by the French armies or administrations; and in cases where such restitution cannot be effected, these bonds and deeds become and continue void.

Article XXX.

The sums which shall be due for all works of public utility not yet finished, or finished after the 31st of December, 1812, whether on the Rhine, or in the departments detached from France by the present treaty, shall be placed to the account of the future possessors of the territory, and shall be paid by the commission charged with the liquidation of the debts of that country.

Article XXXI.

All archives, maps, plans, and documents whatever, belonging to the ceded countries, or respecting their administration, shall be faithfully given up at the same time with the said countries: or if that should be impossible, within a period not exceeding six months after the cession of the countries themselves.

This stipulation applies to the archives, maps, and plates, which may have been carried away from the countries during their temporary occupation by the different armies.

Article XXXII.

All the powers engaged on either side in the present war shall, within the space of two months, send plenipotentiaries to Vienna, for the purpose of regulating, in general congress, the arrangements which are to complete the provisions of the present treaty.

Article XXXIII.

The present treaty shall be ratified, and the ratifications shall be exchanged within the period of fifteen days, or sooner if possible. In witness whereof, the respective plenipotentiaries have signed and affixed to it the seals of their arms.

Done at Paris, the 30th of May, in the year of our Lord 1814.

(L. S.) Le Prince de Benevent.

(L. S.) Castlereagh.

(L. S.) Aberdeen.

(L. S.) Cathcart.

(L. S.) Charles Steward, Lieut-general.


Additional articles

Article I.

His most Christian majesty, concurring without reserve in the sentiments of his Britannic majesty, with respect to a description of traffic repugnant to the principles of natural justice of the enlightened age in which we live, engages to unite all his efforts to those of his Britannic majesty, at the approaching congress, to induce all the powers of Christendom to decree the abolition of the slave-trade, so that the said trade shall cease universally, as it shall cease definitively, under any circumstances, on the part of the French government, in the course of five years; and that during the said period, no slave merchant shall import or sell slaves, except in the colonies of the state of which he is a subject.

Article II.

The British and French government shall name, without delay, commissioners to liquidate the accounts of their respective expenses far the maintenance of prisoners of war, in order to determine the manner of paying the balance which shall appear in favour of the one or the other of the two powers.

Article III.

The respective prisoners of war, before their departure from the place of their detention, shall be obliged to discharge the private debts they may have contracted, or shall at least give sufficient security for the amount.

Article IV.

Immediately after the ratification of the present treaty of peace, the sequesters which since the year 1792 (one thousand seven hundred and ninety-two) may have been laid on the funds, revenues, debts, or any other effects of the high contracting parties or their subjects, shall be taken off.

The commissioners mentioned in the 2d article shall undertake the examination of the claims of his Britannic majesty's subjects upon the French government, for the value of the property, moveable or immoveable, illegally confiscated by the French authorities, as also for the total or partial loss of their debts or other property, illegally detained, under sequester since the year 1792. (one thousand seven hundred and ninety-two.)

France engages to act towards British subjects in this respect, in the same spirit of justice which the French subjects have experienced in Great Britain: and his Britannic majesty, desiring to concur in the new pledge which the allied powers have given to his most Christian majesty, of their desire to obliterate every trace of that disastrous epoch, so happily terminated by the present peace, engages on his part, when complete justice shall be rendered to his subjects, to renounce the whole amount of the balance which shall appear in his favour for the support of prisoners of war, so that the ratification of the report of the above commissioners, and the discharge of the sums due to British subjects, as well as the restitution of the effects which shall be proved to belong to them, shall complete the renunciation.

Article V.

The two high contracting parties, desiring to establish the most friendly relations between their respective subjects, reserve to themselves, and promise to come to a mutual understanding and arrangement, as soon as possible, upon their commercial interests, with the view of encouraging and increasing the prosperity of their respective states.

The present articles shall have the same force and validity as if they were inserted word for word in the treaty patent of this day. They shall be ratified, and the ratifications shall be exchanged at the same time.

Done at Paris. the 30th of May, in the year of our Lord 1814.

(L. S.) Le Prince de Benevent.

(L. S.) Castlereagh.

(L. S.) Aberdeen.

(L. S.) Cathcart.

(L. S.) Charles Steward, Lieut-general.