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THUGUT, Johnann-Amadeus-Franz de Paula von

Baron, "Baron de la guerre"

Fact file

Born Linz, 31 March, 1736, died Vienna, 28 May, 1818.
Appointed by Kaunitz as court interpreter in Constantinople with rank of Secretary of the Chancery, 1757
Became a double agent for the Bourbons as member of the Secret du Roi Louis XV, 1766
Paid an annual pension of 13 000 livres by Louis XV from 1768 up to the Revolution
Appointed internuncio in Constantinople and ennobled, 1771
Obtained the cession of Bukovina to Austria, 1775
Appointed State councillor by Josef II, 1783
Appointed Ambassador to Naples
Ordered by Josef II to administer Walachia, 1790
Returned to Paris, 1791, to attempt to save his fortune which was placed in French bonds – in contact with Mirabeau
Colloredo appointed Thugut minister, 18 March 1793
Appointed as director general of foreign affairs, 27 March 1793
On the death of Kaunitz (whom he had effectively replaced as the source of power), Thugut appointed Minister for Foreign Affairs, 13 July 1794
Signed the third treaty concerning the partition of Poland, 1795
Grudgingly signed the Peace of Leoben (at the demand of the Emperor), 1797
Refused to sign the Treaty of Campoformio until forced by order of the emperor, 1797
Melas' defeat at Marengo, June 14, 1800 and Hohenlinden, 3 December, 1800, sounded the death knell for his political career
Retired to Pressburg
Of middle class origins and knowledgeable in both Turkish and Arabic, Thugut was a dedicated opponent of the French Revolution throughout his career. His nickname ‘Baron of War' derives from his intransigent (and unrealistic) pursuance of war with France, regardless of the circumstances.

Further reading

Biographisches Lexicon des Kaiserthums Oesterreich, Vienna, 1856 (57 volumes)
Thugut, J.-A.-F. de Paula von, Vertrauliche briefe des freiherr von Thugut. Beitrage zur beurteilung der politischen verhältnisse Europa's in den jahren 1792-1801, Vienna, W. Braumüller, 1872
Vivenot, Alfred von, Quellen zur Geschichte der deutschen Kaiserpolitik Oesterreichs während der französischen Revolutionskriege, 1780-1801. Urkunden, Staatsschriften, diplomatische und militärische Actenstücke, ausgewählt und herausgegeben nach bisher ungedruckten Originaldocumenten der k. k. oesterr. Archive von A. Ritter von Vivenot. (ed. Dr Heinrich Ritter von Zeissberg, Kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften), especially Bd. 3-5 Quellen zur Geschichte der Politik Oesterreichs während der französischen Revolutionskriege, 1793-1797, mit besonderer Berücksichtigung der Verhältnisse Oesterreichs zu Frankreich und Preussen ... Mit Unterstützung des Kais. und Kön. Reichs-Kriegsministeriums herausgegeben von der Kais. Akademie der Wissenschaften durch Dr. Heinrich Ritter von Zeissberg. Bd. 1. Anfänge des Ministeriums Thugut, Mai bis December 1793. pp. xviii. 521. 1882. (Bd. 2. Räumung Belgiens.-"Finis Poloniae." Januar bis September 1794. pp. xx. 500. 1885; Bd. 3. Der Baseler Frieden.-Die dritte Theilung Polens. October 1794 bis September 1795, Vienna, 1890.
Vivenot, Alfred von, Thugut und sein politisches System. Urkundliche Beiträge zur Geschichte der deutschen Politik des österreichischen Kaiserhauses während der Kriege gegen die französische Revolution, 2 pt., Vienna, 1870


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