Second Congress of Rastatt

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The Second Congress of Rastatt, which was opened in December 1797, was intended to rearrange the map of Germany by providing compensation for those princes whose lands on the left bank of the Rhine had been seized by France.

It had no result, however, as it was ended by the outbreak of the War of the Second Coalition, but it had a sequel of some interest. As the three French representatives were leaving the town in April 1799 they were waylaid, and two of them were assassinated by some Hungarian soldiers. The origin of this outrage remains shrouded in mystery, but the balance of evidence seems to show that the Austrian authorities had commanded their men to seize the papers of the French plenipotentiaries in order to avoid damaging disclosures about Austria's designs on Bavaria, and that the soldiers had exceeded their instructions. On the other hand, some authorities think that the deed was the work of French emigrants, or of the party in France in favour of war.

Although indecisive from a diplomatic point of view the Congress brought high society to the area of Baden and was responsible for resurgence of interest in the spa town of Baden Baden.

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Public Domain This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.