Correspondance générale de Napoléon Bonaparte, Volume 10, Un grand empire (March 1810 – March 1811). Introduction to the volume

Author(s) : JOURDAN Annie
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1810: Peace and Tranquility?

“1810 and 1811 were two years of calm for the Empire. The marriage in one and the birth of the Roi de Rome in the other seemed to be guarantees of peace and tranquillity,” wrote Thiers. In truth, the tranquillity was to be short-lived, and the period was of great importance for the history of the First Empire. Certainly, the changes that took place then had been partially designed and prepared for in previous years, but it was in 1810 that they took on their final shape and pointed imperial policy in an irreversible direction. Some of these changes can be seen as major events, others are direct or indirect consequences, and still others are relatively insignificant but preoccupied the Emperor nevertheless. Reading the 3,006 letters in this tenth volume of the Correspondance générale, it is clear that the Emperor left absolutely nothing to chance.
The Major Events

Without a doubt, the first of these major events was the Austrian marriage. Napoleon had initially hesitated to enter the Habsburg family[1], but, once he had made his decision, he could not hide his impatience and waited anxiously for the arrival of his young bride. He put pressure on his envoys, telling them repeatedly to hurry up. A great number of letters from March 1810 are devoted to these instructions. The first meetings between the Emperor and Marie-Louise went well: Napoleon was enchanted by “his Louise”[2] and hastened to say it to Francis I, his oldest enemy but who had now become his dear “brother and step-father.” [3] The Austrian marriage furthermore offered Napoleon the promise of legitimate descendants, a promise which became reality one year later on 20 March, 1811. In entering the family of Holy Roman Emperors, the former Revolutionary general was strengthening his imperial legitimacy, at least in his own eyes. The fact is, the French were not unanimous on this point. Some whispered that in leaving Josephine, who had accompanied him from the beginning right through to this accession to supreme power, Napoleon was tempting fate. Very little time, after all, separated the execution of Queen Marie-Antoinette in the Place de la Révolution and the arrival of her niece in post-Revolutionary Paris. There were other ominous portents too, such as the fire in the Austrian Embassy during the celebrations of 1 July, 1810, which recalled another tragedy: the fire in the Place Louis XV on 3 May, 1770, when a stampede caused the death of three hundred people.[4] Of course, we find no reference to these comments and analogies in the letters of the Emperor.
The marriage itself was far less dazzling than the Sacre of December 1804. It was marred by the conspicuous absence of thirteen of the twenty-seven invited cardinals; the absentees were protesting against the fate of the Pope, who was being held at Savona. The second major event of 1810, then, was the struggle between the Emperor and the Pope. Pius VII had not only excommunicated Napoleon and refused to recognise the annulment of his first marriage, but he persisted in refusing the investiture of priests and bishops appointed by the Emperor. The correspondence bears witness to the gravity of the situation and its implications in France. Portalis the Younger was also removed from his office[5] for siding with the Pope, like his cousin the “grand vicaire” de Paris, the abbé d'Astros, who disseminated where he could the Papal Bull of excommunication and the Papal Briefs. Bishops were prosecuted for refusing to swear allegiance to the Emperor, consequently losing their dioceses and incomes. The conflict divided France and Italy, but it shocked other countries as well. Pius VII was detained, and in February 1810 Rome was reorganised and made French. The religious peace founded by the Concordat, which was one of the great successes of the Consulat, was shaken by these events.
1810 also marked the intensification of the continental blockade, to which situation a significant proportion of this volume is devoted. Decrees came thick and fast: those of 3 and 25 July on licenses; the so-called Trianon decree of 5 August on trade, especially with America; and that of 18 October on the burning of British merchandise. This policy had serious implications for Europe as it involved the strict control of all the continent's coasts, islands and rivers. The letters also show that Napoleon was not always consistent, notably with regards to the United States: he obtained permits for the Americans only then to refuse them; he promised to make exceptions for them but then speedily betraying these promises. He did not take the opportunity to cause divisions between the Americans and the English.[6] The war between those nations would only take place in 1812, as Napoleon got stuck in the frozen plains of Russia. An earlier Anglo-American war would undoubtedly have eased pressure on France, which, in 1810, was confronted by another problem: the war in Spain.
This war was continuing, exacerbated by the increased involvement of the British on Spanish territory. No denying it, Napoleon's forces were victorious, but these victories were never decisive. Worse still, the British took advantage of their maritime supremacy to seize French, Spanish and Dutch colonies, and to threaten many of the countries annexed or conquered by France, such as the Illyrian provinces and the Ionian islands. Napoleon was forced to send troops, to rethink the distribution of his armies, to modernise his weaponry, and to strengthen his navy.

And the Less Significant Events ?

From these major events arose others which might seem less important. Appearances however can be deceptive. The Austrian marriage had in fact altered the system of alliances. Turkey and Russia did not look kindly on the rapprochement between Vienna and Paris. Distrust grew, particularly on the part of the Tsar. The new dignity acquired by Napoleon also changed, directly and indirectly, imperial politics in France itself. Etiquette became more severe, and the tone of the master grew even sharper. The thirst for representation also grew. Napoleon demanded a greater number of country palaces, and ordered their restoration and embellishment. He created a new order, that of the Trois Toisons d'Or (The three golden fleeces), which was more compatible with his new status as “Holy Roman Emperor's son-in-law.” And, sometimes more discretely, sometimes less so, he increased the number of endowments and titles of nobility.

The marriage allowed Napoleon to take Austria's support for granted. He could therefore concentrate on the continental blockade which was close to his heart. But in order for the latter to work effectively, he began to completely close Europe to the British. “Easy borders” and “bays giving access” became the key concepts of 1810. The annexations which followed were the consequence. After the annexation of the Roman States (17 May, 1809) came the annexations of Holland (16 March and 9 July, 1810), Valais (12 November, 1810), and the Hanseatic cities (13 December, 1810). They in turn gave rise to expropriations and forced exchanges, with an eye to redrawing the map of Europe. The Duchy of Oldenburg, property of a member of the Tsar's family, was also annexed – which angered Alexander, even if Napoleon flattered himself in exchanging Oldenburg for Erfurt.[7] On Napoleon's orders, Bavaria returned the southern part of the Tyrol to the Kingdom of Italy, against the wishes of the Margrave of Bayreuth and Ratisbon. The Hanoverian territories that had been ceded in January 1810 to Westphalia were for the most part returned to France, thanks to the annexation of the Hanseatic cities.
As for the Grand Duchy of Berg, Napoleon sought to link “the countries situated between the North Sea and a line drawn from the confluence of the Lippe and the Rhine as far as Haltern”[8] with those bordering the Weser. In Holland, he had first demanded the Thalweg of the Rhine, before taking control of the entire country the following July, on the grounds that “Holland is situated on the easy border into France.”[9] Looking at these boundary changes, it is clear that Napoleon sought to control all waterways and thus to prevent illicit trade. But these new acquisitions had the greater advantage of increasing the Emperor's revenues and the number of estates liable to become endowments. Creating large fiefdoms for his dignitaries and generals, he renewed feudal practices, even though he stated elsewhere that he wanted to abolish every remnant of the feudal system.[10] The correspondence also shows that the recipients of these land packages were exempt from tax. Their revenues were their net income. The countries concerned thus lost some twenty percent of their incomes to French gain. Another clear consequence of these annexations was the alienation of the kings and princes that Napoleon had created, and whom from this point onwards he would begin to swindle. He alienated himself in particular form his younger brother, Louis, King of Holland, who abdicated and sought exile in Bohemia. Jerome, King of Westphalia, lost the entirety of the Weser and found himself with only eight departments, not eleven. Over the course of months, his beautiful kingdom shrank dramatically. Moreover, Napoleon's policies in 1810 provoked the flight of Lucien Bonaparte: the annexation of Rome, where Lucien had been residing, effectively pushed him to leave Europe for America – with catastrophic consequences for him![11] Lucien was captured by the British and detained in Britain. The Emperor's reaction to these family defections is there to read in the correspondence. Napoleon was outraged.
Master of the tides and rivers of the North, the Emperor did not neglect the South during this period, and multiplied his orders to the governors-general of the Ionian islands and of Illyria (Croatia, Serbia, etc.) and to the King of Naples. One of his ambitions was for Murat to take Sicily, which was at that time occupied by the British. It is here that another of the notable issues of 1810–1811 appears: the dream of resurrecting the French navy. The annexation of Holland encouraged the Emperor to think that this dream could become a reality. He believed that he would find there a major fleet and experienced sailors that he so badly needed. He also immediately monopolised that country's admirals and vice-admirals – De Winter and Verhuell, as well as other less well-known names. Indeed it is possible that his belief that he had a powerful navy within his grasp played a role in his decision to annex the entire country. Nor did Napoleon neglect his efforts to strengthen the French and Italian navies, inundating Eugène de Beauharnais with letters demanding greater speed in the shipyards. And from time to time, he allowed himself to dream of a landing on the Channel Islands, or better still Ireland.[12] He even envisioned having enough materiel by 1812–1813 to attempt expeditions to Guyana, Martinique, Guadeloupe, Surinam, the Cape of Good Hope, and Egypt.[13]

Whilst, from the point of view of imperial dignity, 1810 held the promise of permanence and a new dynasty, this year also appeared to have been a success in terms of the continental blockade and the domination of Europe by Napoleon the Great. However, it was at exactly this moment that the Emperor softened his measures against England by arbitrarily distributing licenses. By April 1809, he had already distributed 350 licenses to provide goods at a high price to the British.[14] This system was fine-tuned over the summer of 1810. It had to take account of the American discontent, which, in response to the blockage, forbade the entry of French and British vessels in their ports. On 14 May, 1810, the American government made a gesture to the two warring European nations: the first of them to revoke their decrees and orders against neutral parties would be authorised to trade with America (Macon's Bill n° 2). The Trianon decree of 5 August, 1810, took this into account. It allowed the entry of American merchandise into the European continent by means of significant taxation. The Fontainebleau decree of 19 October, however, amplified the measures against smuggling, as it stipulated the burning of British merchandise in public squares across Europe – a measure which no doubt alienated a good number of Europeans from the French Emperor. The contradiction was effectively too evident between the softening of the blockade with regards the Americans, the distribution of permits and licenses at prohibitive prices for the sole benefit of France, and the increased enforcement against smuggled goods and those who introduced them onto the continent. 
The huge machine created by Napoleon over the course of these years was expensive. This volume of the Correspondance clearly demonstrates the financial preoccupations of the great man. Numerous letters bear witness to the fact that money was one of his central preoccupations and that he did not disdain to keep an account book and to pore over those of his collaborators. He even hoped to make money by investing in the loan that Prussia took from the Dutch to pay the staggering contribution required after Tilsit. This small investment in 1810 would have earned the Emperor an additional million – no small profit, even by an Emperor's standards! He even preferred the bankruptcy of two-thirds of Holland above putting forward a single centime of his own. These debts would be absorbed by the rentiers (people of private income). His policy was that each annexed or allied country had to produce revenues and not incur additional expense. Tax takings in this period were high: 137 million francs between 1811 and 1813. Although he insisted that allied countries contributed to the cost of maintaining troops (and that they had to provide troops themselves), Napoleon complained incessantly of the high costs he had to pay, especially in Spain. 1810, a period of relative peace, was thus an opportunity for him to reorganise the army in such a way as to reduce expenditure and to employ anyone who could fight. Veterans notably were called upon in port cities to protect the arsenals.[15] Dutch orphans were sent into the navy, and prisoners of war were employed on major construction projects.[16] Thus it was Spaniards who worked to reinforce the strategic port of Den Helder, in the depths of Holland. As for those who protested, such as the priests of the Roman departments, they were removed from their posts and lost their salaries. The Roman monasteries were dissolved and their goods looted: Napoleon estimated their value at 150 million francs.[17]
Minor facts?

Repression fell not only priests – “that monk vermin”[18] – but by all who opposed or posed a danger to Imperial policy. This is the dark side of the Empire: the severe repression that fell on major and minor opponents alike, criminals, and those suspected of fraud or embezzlement. According to Savary's police bulletins, no fewer than 4,500 to 4,700 people were detained in the Parisian prisons alone. Others were sent to Corsica, and others still were transported to the fortress of Fenestrelle, on the Piedmontese border. Thierry Lentz has noted that some 2,500 people languished in the state's prisons in 1814, but the number of those incarcerated was in fact much higher, owing to the many different centres in which prisoners were detained.[19] Alongside the increasing repression revealed by the letters, surveillance was constant. The police kept a close eye on Italian, Belgian and French priests, not to mention the Spanish princes detained in Valençay and Pope Pius VII held in Savona. The latter's correspondence was intercepted. The recipients of his letters were interrogated, and sometimes imprisoned too. In truth, it is surprising to see to what extent Napoleon picked on certain individuals, while for others he was curiously lenient – notably towards Bourienne, whose embezzlement were well-known to the Emperor.[20] Conversely, he refused to allow Madame de Staël to remain in France. She was permanently exiled, and it was precisely in 1810 that he had her book, De L'Allemagne, destroyed. The Queen of Etruria – daughter of Charles IV of Spain – was also under close surveillance. Resident in Nice, she conspired with English agents and fancied that she could free Spanish detainees from the camps where they were held. Napoleon demanded that she was locked up in a convent in Rome. Nor did he spare the audacious financier, Gabriel Julien Ouvrard, who in 1810, when suspected of the worst intrigues (along with his colleague, Vanlerberghe), was once again imprisoned.[21] And what of the fate of the mayor of Antwerp, suspected of extortion or of smuggling? Jan Evens Werbrouck – or Verbrouck – had formerly been an admirer of the Hero of Italy. He had attended the Sacre, received the Emperor in his home, and had been named mayor as thanks for his devotion. In 1810, the city commissioner, Bellemare, accused him of corruption. Napoleon preferred to believe the commissioner, and despite the fact that the tribunal in Brussels exonerated Werbrouck, the Emperor demanded that the mayor of Antwerp be tried again in Douai, the city where the latter would be imprisoned until his death in 1813.[22]
The correspondence unveils a plethora of unknown details on some of the period's less-studied figures. Those concerning Aaron Burr, former Vice President of the United States are of particular interest. In 1807, Burr had been tried for treason by his compatriots and had been released for lack of evidence. He had made up his mind to emancipate the Spanish colonies and create a South American republic, including Louisiana and the two Floridas. It was this idea that led to the accusations of treason which President Jefferson brought against him. In 1808, Burr fled to Europe and, in February 1810, managed to enter France where he made multiple attempts to convince Napoleon to help him with his grand design: the idea was to exclude the Spanish and the English from the entire American continent, and to substitute French imperialism there. Napoleon did not deign to reply to this adventurer, but Britain seized on the case as a way of sowing discord on the continent, suggesting that Fouché and Burr were allies[23] and that both were aiming for nothing less than total control of the American continent by France and Britain.[24] The aim of this deliberate misinterpretation of Burr's plan was to blacken the name of the French Police Minister, and through this, attack Napoleon himself. The French Emperor found himself forced to provide explanations to the Tsar Alexander and Francis I.[25] With this turn of affairs, Fouché was disgraced in June 1810. Worse still, the Police Minister's attempts to get information on developments in Britain – where negotiations had taken place between the Dutch banker La Bouchère and the Marquis of Wellesley[26] – made it possible for the British to write their own version of the affair, linking the negotiations to Burr's plan with the aim of discrediting France.[27]

Napoleon's correspondence for 1810 betrays a net retreat from Revolutionary principles. In the letters, the subject is increasingly “hereditary” rights, donations and grand feudal possessions. The son-in-law of the Holy Roman Emperors paid close attention to his nobility and increased it.[28] He modified his strategy and granted « bons » in lieu and attached domains to them as collateral. However the domains were distant and did not always produce the profit expected of them. The emperor even tolerated the return of the “corvée”, provided it speeded up work schedules[29]. He barefacedly reintroduced the concept of primogeniture, even revising the Code civil so that it could accept it.[30] After 1810, there were no more progressive reforms. It was the end of the ‘liberal' constitutions that Napoleon had introduced into the “royaumes frères”. As for the annexed countries, they simply received French legislation adapted to the local context. Everywhere the principles of liberty and equality receded, as can be seen, on the one hand, in the creation of the directorate for printing and bookshops, the drastic reduction in the number of newspapers, the censor and the use of exceptional justice without jury, and on the other, the restoration of hereditary nobility and primogeniture, and the reintroduction (via the Code pénal of 1810) of corporal punishment, something that had been suppressed by the Revolution.

At the same time, Napoleon exhibited great concern for the living conditions and health of his soldiers. In the unhealthy Zealand islands, for example, he demanded the posting of Dutch, not French, men. Similarly, he warned his War Minister not to leave his soldiers out under the scorching sun in the south of Italy. We also see him studying seriously whether certain requests for decorations or awards were worthy of consideration. Perhaps most striking is his compassion in the sadness of Josephine and Hortense. His closeness to Josephine is clear in several letters, indeed so intimate as to have shocked one commentator from the archives.[31] But this is just to scratch the surface…

Finally, this correspondence reveals that Napoleon had not ruled out the idea of a new war with Russia. He even predicted that it would take place in March 1812.[32] The quarrels between the two empires, over Poland, annexations and the continental blockade, increased. As a result, the Emperor began preparing his forces, reorganising them and rationalising the structure. His state of readiness is also shown by the spy missions he sent to Bohemia and Austria, as well as Egypt, Jerusalem and Syria.[33]

Despite the wealth of detail, this volume does not however reveal all. To get the full picture, you have to read the letters written by Napoleon's brother, by the princes, by the ministers, and last but not least, to explore the archives. The affair of the mayor of Antwerp, for example, has been the subject of serious study by Belgian historians. They conclude that sieur Werbrouck was almost certainly innocent. The mad schemes of Aaron Burr only become comprehensible on reading his papers, his correspondence and his private diary, and on studying his antecedents.[34] The same is true for Napoleon's brothers; the emperor always minimises his responsibility and fulminates against their ingratitude. Louis is called a madman, insane. Lucien, who dared to flee Italy in August 1810, loses his title of ‘Sénateur'.[35] Jerome preferred to shut his mouth, but suffered bouts of depression. As for Joseph, the Emperor did not write him a single letter in the whole of 1810.

The correspondence therefore does not tell the whole story, but it is indispensable if you want to follow Napoleon's concerns, his decision-making processes and the underlying motives for those decisions. Occasionally, Napoleon explains what he wants to do and why. He explains his reasoning to his ministers notably on the subject of his decision to distribute « bons » in lieu of domains and on the subject of the confiscation of taxable land,[36] thereby revealing to us his vision of property and nationality. And he explains his reasoning to Eugène de Beauharnais on the subject of the continental blockade and the trade licences.[37] Finally, whilst preparing for the next war, Napoleon's letters in 1810 reveal that he clearly envisaged peace with Britain. The problem was that, at the summit of his glory, he refused to make any real concessions – at the same time as Ouvrard and his acolytes were promising huge sacrifices. In this year, which was extraordinary from several points of view, there was never any question of abandoning Spain.

1810 accentuated French expansion in Europe, and with that the movement of men. It was not just Frenchmen who were fighting in Spain. There were also German, Poles, Italian, and Dutchmen. The same is true for the other territories. All these men were fighting under the same banner. They discovered different realities, sometimes strange or dangerous, but they were definitely much less chauvinist that has been asserted. Many married local women and moved permanently to their new fatherland.[38] Every day, Napoleon was thinking about countries of the most varied sort. He studied map and made inquiries: concerning this or that port; concerning fortifications here, fortifications there; about local resources and improvements to be made. He made predictions concerning British movements, whether in the Ionian islands or in the Baltic Sea. Geographical awareness and cartography became key. From Stettin in Sweden to Danzig, occupied by French troops, Napoleon transports us to Trieste, ‘Ragusa' (i.e., Dubrovnik), Rome, Santander, Gerona, Flushing, Amsterdam, Hamburg, Smolensk, etc. Paris may well have been the first city of the empire, and the most spoilt too, Napoleon's world stretched well beyond the borders of France, or indeed Europe. It encompassed the seas, the rivers and the bays. It stretched to America, Africa, Turkey, Egypt and Syria. The Emperor thought about Java, Réunion, Mauritius, the Cape of Good Hope, and envisaged reconquering the French colonies in the Caribbean. For the founder of the new dynasty, 1810 was not so much the year of peace and tranquillity but rather the year of the hope of infinite expansion. It was the year of ambitious dreams, it was the year of utopias.
Translated by Francesca Whitlum-Cooper and Peter Hicks, October 2014


[1] We know that he first asked for a bride from the Russian tsar. Faced with Alexander's lack of enthusiasm, Napoleon turned towards Austria.
[2] See letter n° 23371.
[3] See letters nos 23339, 23373, 23387.
[4] For a general history of the Empire, see Thierry Lentz, Nouvelle histoire du Premier Empire, 4 vols., Paris 2002-2012.
[5] See letter n° 25634.
[6] On this point, see Thierry Lentz, Napoléon, diplomate, Paris, 2012, p.199-232.
[7] See letter n° 25650.
[8] See letter n° 24498.
[9] Letter of 3 April 1810, n°. 23400.
[10] On 9 November 1810, he wrote to Montalivet : "nothing which was corrupt will be re-established" (n° 25199). But on 19 March 1811, he allowed Davout to reintroduce statute labour, if it sped up the construction of the road between Wesel and Hamburg (see letter n° 26315).
[11] Letter of 4 August, n° 24243.
[12] See letters nos 23500, 23575.
[13] See letter of 3 March 1811, n° 26134.
[14] For more on this subject, see P. Branda, “The Economic Consequences of the Continental Blockade,” Revue du Souvenir napoléonien, no. 472 (2007), pp. 21-30. At the same time, Napoleon protected some three hundred English smugglers of contraband and allowed them to import their merchandise, prisoners of war, gold guineas, and to export French merchandise. On this extraordinary strategy, see G. Daly, “Napoleon and the ‘City of Smugglers', 1810-1814,” The Historical Journal, vol. 50, no. 2 (2007), pp. 333-352.
[15] See letter n° 23456.
[16] See especially letter n° 23629.
[17] See letter n° 23592.
[18] Letter of 11 March 1810, n° 22285.
[19] Thierry Lentz, Nouvelle histoire du Premier Empire, vol. III, p. 331.
[20] S. Marzagalli, Les boulevards de la Fraude, (Lille, 1999), p.204-207. Between 1807 and December 1810, Bourienne is supposed to have pocketed a million francs. Napoleon accused him of having taken two million. See especially letter n° 24471.
[21] See P. Branda, Le prix de la gloire. Napoléon et l'argent, (Paris, Fayard), 2007, p.280.
[22] See letters of 27 March 1810, n° 23382 and 9 April, n° 23413.
[23] Burr wrote two letters to Fouché, in which he described his great projects. No letter from Fouché to Burr has been found in American archives. For Burr, see the letter of 8 July 1810, no. 23919. See also Political Correspondence and Public Papers of Aaron Burr, Princeton, 1983.
[24] This fantastic idea came in fact from Ouvrard, who sought to reinstate for Ferdinand VII and the Bourbons a throne in the Americas – and to be handsomely paid to do so. The Spanish dollars remained one of his obsessions. Was he inspired by Burr's projects? It seems not, since a note of 1807 shows he was already travelling down this path. On Ouvrard, his mémoires and the agent Fagan: Archives nationales, AFIV-1674 A.
[25] See letter no. 23866 dated 29 June, 1810 and letter no. 23919 (letter and police report dated 8 July, 1810).
[26] On this affair, actually planned by Napoleon himself, via his brother Louis, see the letters to Louis in volume IX of our Correspondance générale, 12 and 17 January, 1810, nos. 22858 et 22884, and in this volume X, 20 March, 1810, n° 23350. Others involved were the omnipresent Ouvrard and an agent of Irish origin, Charles-Louis de Fagan, friend of Lord Yarmouth, but also Roux de Laborie, a close collaborator with Talleyrand.
[27] It would appear that the source of the rumour was John Armstrong, American ambassador in France, and personal enemy of Burr, who, let us not forget, had killed Hamilton in a duel. Talleyrand, great admirer and friend of Hamilton, refused to meet Burr during his stay in Paris, because of this. In his private diary, Burr imputed the coldness of his reception in France to the action of Armstrong and Talleyrand.
[28] This confirms the list given by Louis Rondonneau, Institution des majorats et de la légion d'honneur, Paris, 1811. See also the short study by Pierre Branda appended to this volume as well as the list of “Pays réservés” by Napoleon.
[29] Letter to Davout dated 19 March, 1811, n° 23615.
[30] Th. Lentz, Dictionnaire des Institutions, Paris, 2008, p. 608.
[31] Letter no.23930 dated 8 July, 1810, note 4.
[32] Letter dated 6 October, 1810, no. 24816. The paragraphs which refer to the coming war were expunged from the Second Empire edition of the Correspondence. This new edition returns these words to their rightful position.
[33] Letters dated July 1810, n° 23865, 23867 etc.
[34] In 1805, he began a conspiracy in the south of the US with General Wilkinson to “liberate” Louisiana, the Floridas and Mexico. This project mirrored that by General Collot in 1796-1797 and was a forerunner of that by the Lallemand brothers during the Restoration.
[35] He “is said to given way to a shameful passion for a woman”, letter from Napoleon to Laplace, n° 24684.
[36] Letter dated 20 July, n° 24085.
[37] Letter dated 19 September, n°24623.
[38] M. Broers, The Napoleonic Empire in Italy. Cultural Imperialism in a European Context, Palgrave, 2005, p.298-299. A. Forrest, « La guerre, les perceptions et la construction de l'Europe » in L'Empire napoléonien. Une expérience européenne ?, Paris, 2014, pp. 84-96.

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