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Treaty of Paris (1815)

From Academic Kids

The Treaty of Paris of 1815 was signed on November 20, 1815, following the defeat of Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo. Following the Hundred Days after Napoleon's escape from Elba, it was tougher than the Treaty of 1814, negotiated through the maneuvers of Talleyrand, had been, because of the recent widespread support for Napoleon in France: France was reduced to its 1790 boundaries— it lost the territorial gains of the Revolutionary armies in 1790-92, which the previous treaty allowed France to keep— and was ordered to pay 700 million francs in indemnities and to maintain at its own expense an Allied army of occupation of 150,000 soldiers in the border territories of France for a maximum of five years. Although some of the Allies, notably Prussia, initially demanded that France cede major territory in the east, rivalry among the powers and the general desire to secure the Bourbon restoration made the peace settlement less onerous than it might have been. This time France was not a signatory: the treaty was signed for Britain, Austria, Russia, and Prussia.

The treaty is promulgated "In the Name of the Most Holy and Undivided Trinity," a foretaste of the return of the exiled Jesuits and the renewed role of religion, especially of Roman Catholicism, in the reaction to the Napoleonic Era. The treaty is brief. In addition to having "preserved France and Europe from the convulsions with which they were menaced by the late enterprise of Napoleon Bonaparte" the signers of the Treaty also repudiate the French Revolution: "... and by the revolutionary system reproduced in France."

The treaty is presented "in the desire to consolidate, by maintaining inviolate the Royal authority, and by restoring the operation of the Constitutional Charter, the order of things which had been happily re-established in France." The Constitutional Charter that is referred to so hopefully, was the Constitution of 1791, promulgated under the Ancien régime at the outset of the Revolution. Its provisions for the government of France would rapidly fall by the wayside, "notwithstanding the paternal intentions of her King" as the treaty remarks.

The first Treaty of Paris, of May 30, 1814, and the Final Act of the Congress of Vienna, of June 9, 1815, were confirmed.

On the same day, in a separate document, Great Britain, Russia, Austria, and Prussia renewed the Quadruple Alliance.

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