Treaty of Campo Formio

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The Treaty of Campo Formio (or Peace of Campo Formio, or rarely Treaty of Campoformido) was signed on 18 October 1797[1] (27 Vendémiaire, Year VI) by Napoleon Bonaparte and Count Philipp von Cobenzl as representatives of revolutionary France and the Austrian monarchy.[2] The treaty marked the victorious conclusion to Napoleon's campaigns in Italy, the collapse of the First Coalition, and the end of the first phase of the French Revolutionary Wars.

Terms of the treaty[edit]

Map showing Central Europe after the Treaty of Campo Formio.

Beyond the usual clauses of "firm and inviolable peace" the treaty transferred a number of Austrian territories into French hands. Lands ceded included the Austrian Netherlands (now the most part of Belgium) and certain islands in the Mediterranean, including Corfu and other Venetian islands in the Adriatic Sea. Venice and its territories (Venetia) were divided between the two states: Venice, Istria and Dalmatia were turned over to the Austrian emperor. Austria recognized the Cisalpine Republic and the newly created Ligurian Republic, formed of Genovese territories, as independent powers. In addition, the states of the Regnum Italicum formally ceased to owe fealty to the Holy Roman Emperor, finally ending the formal existence of that Kingdom.

The treaty also contained secret clauses signed by Napoleon Bonaparte and representatives of the Austrian emperor,[3] which divided up certain other territories, made Liguria independent, and also agreed to the extension of the borders of France up to the Rhine, the Nette, and the Roer. Free French navigation was guaranteed on the Rhine, the Meuse and the Moselle. The French Republic had been expanded into areas that had never before been under French control.

The treaty was composed and signed after five months of negotiations. It was basically what had been agreed earlier at the Peace of Leoben in April 1797, but the negotiations had been spun out by both parties for a number of reasons. During the negotiating period the French had to crush a royalist coup in September. This was used as a cause for the arrest and deportation of royalist and moderate deputies in the Directory.

Napoleon's biographer, Felix Markham, wrote "the partition of Venice was not only a moral blot on the peace settlement but left Austria a foothold in Italy, which could only lead to further war." In fact the Peace of Campo Formio, though it reshaped the map of Europe and marked a major step in Napoleon's fame, was only a respite.

As a result of the treaty, Gilbert du Motier, marquis de Lafayette, a prisoner from the French revolution, was released from Austrian captivity.

By passing Venetian possessions in Greece, such as the Ionian Islands, to French rule, the Treaty of Campo Formio had an effect on later Greek history which was not intended or expected at the time. The placing of a small French garrison at the formerly Venetian-ruled town of Preveza, on the edge of Ottoman territory, proved untenable and had disastrous results for French soldiers and townspeople.

Campo Formio, now called Campoformido, is a village west of Udine in north-eastern Italy, in the middle between Austrian headquarters in Udine and Bonaparte's residence. The French commander resided at Villa Manin near Codroipo, country mansion of Ludovico Manin, last Doge of Venice. It was there that Napoleon signed the treaty.[4] The following 18 January 1798, Austrian troops entered Venice and on the 21st held an official reception at the Doges' Palace, at which a guest of honour was Ludovico Manin, the ex-doge, at whose villa the treaty had been signed.[5]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Jones, p.512.
  2. ^ Lefebvre, p.199–201.
  3. ^ Paul Fabianek, Folgen der Säkularisierung für die Klöster im Rheinland – Am Beispiel der Klöster Schwarzenbroich und Kornelimünster, 2012, Verlag BoD, ISBN 978-3-8482-1795-3, page 8 (copy of the original page of the treaty's secret clauses with signatures and seals)
  4. ^ Le traité de Campo-Formio , French Wikipedia article
  5. ^ Perocco & Salvadori p1171

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External links[edit]