Amiens, Treaty of
AMIENS, TREATY OF
Treaty that brought peace to Europe under Napoléon, as signed by England and France, 27 March 1802.
The Napoleonic wars had reached a point where France and England concluded that further fighting was useless. Under the terms of the treaty, all of England's conquests were surrendered to France, but Napoléon Bonaparte delayed the signing because he still hoped to retain Egypt, which he had invaded in 1798; after his troops there capitulated to the British, however, he agreed to return Egypt to the Ottoman Empire and Malta to the Order of the Knights of Malta. Because of the treaty, peace was also concluded between France and the Ottomans. Napoléon became consul for life of the French Empire, with the right of appointing his successor, but his interlude was brief and Napoléon hinted at the possible reconquest of Egypt.
Britain, during this period, could not abide French control of Europe under Napoléon and refused to evacuate Malta. By 1803, war had resumed. Napoléon never managed to recover his position in the eastern Mediterranean.
Lefebvre, Georges. Napoleon: From Tilsit to Waterloo, 1807–1815, translated by J. E. Anderson. New York: Columbia University Press, 1969.
Amiens, treaty of
Amiens, treaty of,
1802. The treaty provided the only break in the long war between Britain
and revolutionary and Napoleonic France
from 1793 to 1814. By 1801 the conflict was near to stalemate. Britain had been unable to co-ordinate effective coalitions and her raids on the continent had proved unsuccessful: France had lost control of the seas and was unable to deliver a knock-out blow. The resignation of Pitt
in 1801 made it easier for his successor Addington
to seek peace. Britain retained Ceylon and Trinidad but restored the Cape of Good Hope
to the Dutch. Malta
was to be given back to the Knights of St John and guaranteed. The French were to withdraw from Naples
and central Italy and Egypt
was to return to Turkish rule. Each side dragged its feet on fulfilling the terms and the peace, little more than an armed truce, lasted only until May 1803, when Britain declared war. Napoleon then began planning an invasion of England
J. A. Cannon