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The secret convention of Erfurt

 Bibliographical details


Article 1
Article 2
Article 3
Article 4
Article 5
Article 6
Article 7
Article 8
Article 9
Article 10
Article 11
Article 12
Article 13
Article 14

Articles of the secret convention signed by the two parties at Erfurt, 12 October 1808.

H. M. the Emperor of the French, King of Italy, Protector of the Confederation of the Rhine, and H. M. the Emperor of all the Russias, wishing to render the alliance which unites them more and more close and forever lasting, and holding themselves to agree subsequently, if there is need, upon the new determinations to be taken and the new means of attack to be directed against England, their common enemy and enemy of the continent, have resolved to establish, in a special convention, the principles that they are determined to follow invariably in all their measures to obtain the re-establishment of peace. To this effect, they have named as their respective plenipotenaries, to wit:
 
H. M. the Emperor of the French, His Excellency Jean-Bapiste Nompère de Champagny, Count of the Empire, grand aigle of the Légion d'Honneur, his minister for Exterior Relations;
 
And H. M. the Emperor of all the Russias, His Excellency the Count Nicolas de Romanzoff, present private councillor to H. M. the Emperor of all the Russias, senator, member of the Council, minister for Foreign Affairs, Minister for trade, knight of the orders;
 
Who are in agreement to that which follows:


  Article 1

His Majesty the Emperor of the French, King of Italy, and His Majesty the Emperor of all the Russias confirm and, in as far as there is need, renew the alliance concluded between them at Tilsit; undertaking, not only to make no separate peace with the common enemy, but in addition to enter into no negotiation with it, and to listen to not one of its proposals, except by common consent.


  Article 2

Thus resolved to remain inseparably united for peace as for war, the High Contracting Parties agree to name the plenipotentiaries to treat for peace with England and to send them to this end to the city of the continent which shall be designated by England.

  Article 3

For the entirety of the course of the negotiation, if occurring, the respective plenipotentiaries of the High Contracting Parties shall act constantly in the most perfect concert, and it shall not be permitted that either of them, support, nor even receive, or approve, contrary to the interests of the other Contracting Party, any proposal or demand of the English plenipotentiaries, which, taken individually and favourable to the interests of England, may also present some advantage to one of the Contracting Parties.


  Article 4

The basis of the treaty with England shall be uti possidetis.

  Article 5

The High Contracting Parties bind themselves to view as an absolute condition of peace with England that she recognise Finland, Wallachia and Moldavia as part of the Empire of Russia.

  Article 6

They agree to view as an absolute condition of the peace that England recognise the new order of things established by France in Spain.

  Article 7

The High Contracting Parties agree to receive from the enemy during the course of the negotiations no proposal, offer or communication whatsoever, without making it known immediately to the respective Courts: and if said proposals are made at the Congress convened for the peace, the respective plenipotentiaries shall be held to communicate them.

  Article 8

H. M. the Emperor of all the Russias, in recognition of the revolutions and changes which disrupt the Ottoman Empire and which leave no possibility of giving, and thus in consequence no hope of obtaining, sufficient guarantees for the persons and assets of the inhabitants of Wallachia and of Moldavia, having already extended the limits of his Empire to the Danube on that side, and reunited Wallachia and Moldavia with his Empire, can only on that condition recognise the integrity of the Ottoman Empire, H. M. the Emperor Napoleon recognises said reunion and the limits of the Russian Empire, extended on that side to the Danube.

  Article 9

H. M. the Emperor of all the Russias undertakes to guard, in the most profound secrecy, the preceding article and to commence negotiation, be it in Constantinople or elsewhere, in order to obtain, amicably be it possible, the cession of these two provinces. France renounces her mediation.
 
The plenipotentiaries or agents of the two Powers shall agree upon the language to be held, in order to compromise in no way the amity existing between France and the Porte, nor the security of the French residing in the Turkish dominions, in order to prevent the Porte from throwing itself into the arms of England.


  Article 10

In the case that, the Ottoman Porte refusing to the cession of the two provinces, war should come to be rekindled, the Emperor Napoleon shall take no part therein and shall limit himself to pursuing mediation with the Ottoman Porte; but should it happen that Austria or any other Power should make common cause with the Ottoman Empire in said war, H. M. the Emperor Napoleon shall make common cause immediately with Russia, being obliged to view this case as one of those of the general alliance that unites the two Empires.
 
In the case that Austria should enter into war against France, the Emperor of Russia undertakes to declare himself against Austria and to make common cause with France, this case being likewise one of those to which applies the alliance that unites the two empires.


  Article 11

The High Contracting Parties commit, moreover, to maintaining the integrity of the other possessions of the Ottoman Empire, not wishing to undertake themselves, nor suffer that there be undertaken, any enterprise against any part of this Empire, unless agreed beforehand.

  Article 12

If the measures to restore peace taken by the two High Contracting Parties are unsuccessful, be it that England eludes the proposal that shall be made to her, or that negotiations are severed, Their Imperial Majesties shall reunite anew, within the space of one year, in order to agree upon the operations of the common war and upon the means to pursue it with all the force and all the resources of the two empires.

  Article 13

The two High Contracting Parties, wishing to recognise the loyalty and the perseverance with which the King of Denmark has supported the common cause, agree to procure on his behalf an indemnification for his sacrifices and to recognise the acquisitions which he shall have been in a position to make in the present war.

  Article 14

The present convention shall be kept secret for at least the space of ten years.

Erfurt, 12 October 1808.
J.B. Nompère de Champagny.
Count Nicolas de Romanzoff

 
     
 
 

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Notes

 Articles of the convention from Erfurt, signed 12 October 1808. Convention taken from Michel Kerautret, Les Grands Traités de l'Empire (1804-1810), Paris: Nouveau Monde Éditions/Fondation Napoléon, 2004
 
(Trans. H. D. W.)

 

 
 

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