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Bicentenary Colloque 21 October 2014

Napoleon and Wellington in War and Peace

NapolĂŠon et Wellington en Temps de Guerre et de Paix


A warm welcome to the Hotel de Charost, and many thanks for agreeing to participate in our Colloque on ‘Napoleon and Wellington in War and Peace.’

I came up with the idea of a colloque not just to celebrate the far-sighted decision of the British government to purchase this wonderful house from Pauline Borghese in 1814, but also to leave something more durable to mark this anniversary year. It is also in the spirit of what this house has done so well for 200 years: bringing British and French people together in a spirit of enquiry and debate. Hence the idea of a colloque focussing on the European situation in 1814, that year of hope as 300 delegations descended on Vienna for the Congress, and before the 100 Days and all that followed. In the house bought for Wellington from Napoleon’s sister, it is natural that those two extraordinary figures will cast their long shadows over the discussion, and I am delighted that we have renowned historians of each to contribute to our debate. I hope we will also get a sense of the wider issues as Europe grappled with the problems of emerging from revolution and prolonged war. Three doctoral students will be keeping a summary of main points and themes, and we plan to publish this together with any prepared contributions from our participants and audio recordings of proceedings, at least as an online dossier. I hope that you will enjoy the day, and also be able to stay at the end for a guided tour by Tim Knox, who has made a particular study of this house and the many wonderful objects it contains. I must acknowledge a real debt to the Fondation Napoléon in Paris and its Director Thierry Lentz, and to the excellent FCO Historians, particularly Patrick Salmon and Isabelle Tombs for their help in arranging the Colloque.

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C’est un grand plaisir de vous accueillir à l’Hôtel de Charost, et nous vous sommes très reconnaissants d’avoir bien voulu participer à notre Colloque sur ‘Napoléon et Wellington ‒ de la guerre à la paix.’ C’est avec un intérêt tout particulier que j’attends vos contributions aux débats. L’idée de ce colloque m’est venue non seulement pour célébrer la décision, avec le recul si bien inspirée, du Gouvernement britannique lorsqu’il a acheté ce merveilleux immeuble à Pauline Borghèse en 1814, mais aussi pour marquer de manière durable ce deux-centième anniversaire. Le colloque s’inscrit aussi dans la lignée de ce que cette maison a si bien su faire pendant ces deux cents ans: réunir des Britanniques et des Français dans un esprit de recherche scientifique et de débat. D’où l’idée d’un colloque qui se consacre à la situation de l’Europe en 1814 ‒ une année d’espoir où 300 délégations ont convergé sur Vienne pour y tenir Congrès, précédant les Cent-Jours et tout ce qui a suivi. Dans la demeure achetée pour Wellington à la sœur de Napoléon, il est bien naturel que l’ombre de ces deux personnages extraordinaires plane sur les débats, et je suis très heureux que ceux-ci puissent rassembler des spécialistes réputés de l’un et de l’autre. J’espère que seront aussi évoquées les questions plus larges qui se posaient alors, dans une Europe aux prises avec les suites des révolutions et des guerres prolongées. Trois doctorants vont répertorier les points et les thèmes les plus pertinents des débats, et nous nous proposons de publier leur travail, accompagné des textes des interventions des participants et des enregistrements des débats, ne serait-ce que sous forme de dossier en ligne. J’espère que vous allez passer une bonne journée et que vous pourrez aussi, à la fin des travaux, visiter les lieux sous la conduite de Tim Knox, qui s’est tout particulièrement penché sur son histoire et sur les nombreux très beaux objets qui s’y trouvent. Je tiens à exprimer ma vive reconnaissance à la Fondation Napoléon, à Paris, et à son Directeur Thierry Lentz, ainsi qu’aux excellents historiens du Foreign Office, et notamment Patrick Salmon et Isabelle Tombs, qui nous ont aidés à organiser ce Colloque.

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Programme 9.00

Arrival

9.30

Welcoming Remarks  The Rt Hon William Hague, MP

09.45

Panel I: The Approach of Peace Chair (10-15 minutes) 

Jean Tulard, Member of the Institute

Speakers (20 minutes each)  

John Bew: France, Britain and Europe at the End of the ‘Great War’, c. 1814 Thierry Lentz: Restraint: the Franco-British Dialogue at the Congress of Vienna

11.00 11.35

Tea/Coffee Q&A and Discussion

12.15 13.45

Lunch Panel II: The Duel for Europe Chair (5 minutes) 

The Marquess of Douro

Speakers (20 minutes each)  

Andrew Roberts: Wellington and Napoleon Peter Hicks: Napoleon and the British

14.30 15.10

Q&A and Discussion Tea/Coffee

15.50

Panel III: A New Relationship after Waterloo Chair (5 minutes) 

Jacques-Olivier Boudon

Speakers (20 minutes each)  

Philip Mansel: Wellington and Louis XVIII Emmanuel de Waresquiel: Napoleon and Europe, 1815: a Strategy of Despair

16.35

Q&A and Plenary Discussion

17.10

Closing Remarks  

Alan Forrest: Reflections on the Day (15 minutes) Sir Peter Ricketts: Farewell Remarks (5 minutes)

17.30

Vin d’Honneur and Opportunity to View the Residence

19.00

End of Proceedings

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Programme 9.00

Accueil

9.30

Allocution de Bienvenue  The Rt. Hon William Hague MP Séance I: Vers la Paix

09.45

Présidence (10-15 minutes) 

Jean Tulard, Membre de l’Institut

Intervenants (20 minutes chacun) 

11.00 11.35

John Bew: La France, la Grande-Bretagne et l’Europe à la Fin des Guerres Napoléoniennes, c. 1814  Thierry Lentz: Équilibre et Modération: le Dialogue Franco-Britannique au Congrès de Vienne Pause Débat avec la Salle

12.15 13.45

Pause Déjeuner Séance II: Le Duel pour l’Europe Présidence (5 minutes) 

Le Marquis du Douro

Intervenants (20 minutes chacun)

14.30 15.10 15.50

 Andrew Roberts: Wellington et Napoléon  Peter Hicks: Napoléon et les Britanniques Débat avec la Salle Pause Séance III: De Nouvelles Relations après Waterloo Présidence (5 minutes) 

Jacques-Olivier Boudon

Intervenants (20 minutes chacun)   16.35 17.10

Philip Mansel: Wellington et Louis XVIII Emmanuel de Waresquiel: une Ouverture de Napoléon vers l'Europe : une stratégie du Désespoir Débat avec la Salle Conclusions

17.30 19.00

 Alan Forrest: Réflexions (15 minutes)  Sir Peter Ricketts: Allocution de Clôture du Colloque (5 minutes) Vin d’Honneur et Possibilité de Visiter la Résidence Clôture de la Journée

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Speakers’ Biographies Jean Tulard Jean Tulard, né le 22 décembre 1933 à Paris, est un universitaire et historien français. Il est l'un des spécialistes français de Napoléon Ier et de l'époque napoléonienne (Consulat et Premier Empire) ainsi que de l'histoire du cinéma. Jean Tulard a contribué à plus d'une cinquantaine d'ouvrages, comme auteur unique, en collaboration ou en tant que directeur de la publication. Reçu premier à l'agrégation d'histoire, puis pensionnaire de la Fondation Thiers (1961-1964) avant de devenir attaché de recherche au Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS) (1964), Jean Tulard est directeur d'études à l'École pratique des hautes études (depuis 1965) et professeur à l'université de ParisSorbonne et à l'Institut d'études politiques de Paris (depuis 1981). Jean Tulard a fait une contribution notable au monde cinématographique, participant en tant que « consultant historique », au téléfilm Valmy, réalisé par Jean Chérasse et Abel Gance, diffusé en 1967 et en 1989, il est le « conseiller historique » du film La Révolution française. Jean Tulard est membre du Comité de parrainage de Institut régional du cinéma et de l'audiovisuel de Corse et membre du Conseil d'administration de la Cinémathèque française.

John Bew John Bew is Reader in History and Foreign Policy at the War Studies Department, King's College London. He is the 2013-14 Henry A. Kissinger Chair at the Library of Congress. His last book, Castlereagh: Enlightenment, War and Tyranny, was a book of the year in The Wall Street Journal, Spectator, Total Politics and Sunday Telegraph.

Thierry Lentz Né à Metz en 1959, Thierry Lentz a enseigné le droit constitutionnel à la Faculté de Droit de Metz, à l’Institut d’Etudes Administratives et Politiques de l’Université de Nancy II et au Celsa (Paris IV Sorbonne) avant de rejoindre le secteur privé où il a passé douze ans dans les fonctions de directeur des Relations extérieures d’un groupe international, tout en poursuivant ses recherches sur l’histoire du Consulat et de l’Empire. Depuis juin 2000, il est directeur de la Fondation Napoléon. Il enseigne par ailleurs à l’Institut catholique d’Etudes supérieures (La Roche-surYon). 5


Il est administrateur de l’Institut Napoléon depuis 1993, lauréat de l’Académie des Sciences Morales et Politiques (prix Paul-Michel Perret, 1993) et de l’Académie française (prix Guizot, 2013). Il a obtenu le Grand Prix de la Fondation Napoléon en 1997 et le prix de la Fondation Pierre Lafue en 2013. Il est membre de l’Académie Nationale de Metz. Il a publié une trentaine d’ouvrages sur l’épisode napoléonien (et d’autres sujets) incluant :       

La Moselle et Napoléon. Histoire d’un département sous le Consulat et l’Empire, Serpenoise, 1986. L’Affaire Kennedy, P.U.F., 1993. Napoléon III, P.U.F., 1995. Dictionnaire du Second Empire, Fayard, 1995 (collaboration). Le congrès de Vienne. Une refondation de l’Europe (1814-1815), Perrin, 2013. Napoléon en cent questions, La Boétie, 2013. Les vingt jours de Fontainebleau. La première abdication de Napoléon, Perrin, 2014.

The Marquess of Douro Lord Douro is the eldest son of the present Duke of Wellington. He is Chairman in the UK of the Richemont Group, a luxury goods company. He is also on the board of a number of international companies. He was a Commissioner of English Heritage from 2003-2007. He was a member of the European Parliament from 1979-1989. He has been Chairman of King’s College London since October 2007.

Andrew Roberts Dr Andrew Roberts, 46, took a first in modern history from Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, from where he is an honorary senior scholar and PhD. His biography of Winston Churchill’s foreign secretary Lord Halifax, entitled The Holy Fox, was published in 1991, to be followed by Eminent Churchillians, Salisbury: Victorian Titan (which won the Wolfson Prize and the James Stern Silver Pen Award), Napoleon and Wellington, Hitler and Churchill: Secrets of Leadership, and Waterloo: Napoleon’s Last Gamble. He appears regularly on TV and radio. Of his most recent books, A History of the English-Speaking Peoples Since 1900 won the US Intercollegiate Studies Institute Book Award for 2007, Masters and Commanders: How Roosevelt, Churchill, Marshall and Alanbrooke Won the War in the West 1941-45 was awarded the International Churchill Society Book Award for 2009, and The Storm of War: A New History of the Second World War won the British Army Military Book of the Year Award in 2010. His latest book, Napoleon the Great, is published by Penguin, accompanied by a three-part BBC TV series. He 6


is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, a Trustee of the Margaret Thatcher Archive Trust, and the chairman of judges of the Guggenheim-Lehrman Military History Book Prize. He lives in New York with his wife Susan Gilchrist, the global CEO of Brunswick Group. His website is www.andrew-roberts.net

Peter Hicks Peter Hicks est historien de la période napoléonienne et responsable des Affaires Internationales de la Fondation Napoléon, Paris. Il est également Visiting Professor à l’université de Bath et Honorary Fellow à l’Institut Napoléon et la Révolution française, auprès de l’Université de l’état de Floride. Ses livres les plus récents sont - Lieutenant Woodberry : Journal de guerre, 1813-1815 (Mercure de France, 2013) et The Napoleonic Empire and the New European Political Culture, en collaboration avec Michael Broers et Agustin Guimera, (eds) (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012). Articles récents: ‘Napoleon the politician’, dans The Napoleonic Empire and the New European Political Culture, et « Who was Barry Edward O'Meara? », Napoleonica. La Revue 2/2013 (N° 17).

Jacques-Olivier Boudon Ancien élève de l’Ecole Normale Supérieure (1984-1988). Agrégé d’histoire en 1986 (rang : 5e). Docteur en histoire de l’université de Paris-Sorbonne en décembre 1991. Habilité à diriger des recherches en histoire par l’université de Paris-Sorbonne en décembre 1997. Activités professionnelles    

Depuis septembre 2003 professeur à l’université de Paris-Sorbonne (Paris IV). De février 2004 à janvier 2009, Directeur du CIES-Sorbonne. Président de l’Assemblée des Directeurs de CIES de 2005 à 2007. Depuis le 1er octobre 2008, Directeur du Centre de Recherche en Histoire du XIXe siècle. Depuis le 28 janvier 2010, Directeur de l'Ecole doctorale 2, Histoire moderne et contemporaine.

Responsabilités récentes ou actuelles 

 

Président de l’Institut Napoléon depuis 1999, directeur de publication de la Revue de l’Institut Napoléon, cofondateur et codirecteur de la Collection de l'Institut Napoléon. Membre du jury des Grands Prix de la Fondation Napoléon depuis 2001. Membre du jury du Prix Mérimée (attribué à une thèse portant sur le Second Empire) depuis 2002. 7


   

Membre du comité éditorial de la revue Napoléon Ier. Magazine du Consulat et de l’Empire, de la revue Napoléon III. Magazine du Second Empire. Membre du comité d'accompagnement international du Champ de bataille de Waterloo depuis 2003. Membre du comité éditorial de la revue en ligne Napoleonica depuis 2008. Membre du Award Committee de l'International Napoleonic Society depuis 2008.

Distinctions  

Chevalier des palmes académiques en 2009. Grande médaille d'or avec plaquette d'honneur décernée par la Société Arts, Sciences et Lettres en 2011.

Philip Mansel Dr. Philip Mansel is a historian of France and the Ottoman Empire. He was born in London in 1951. He has written lives of Louis XVIII, (1981) and the Prince de Ligne (1992), and histories of Constantinople (1995) and Paris between Empires (2001). Philip Mansel has published twelve books of history and biography. Six have been translated into French. Philip Mansel's latest book, Levant: Splendour and Catastrophe on the Mediterranean, a history of Smyrna, Alexandria and Beirut, was published in 2010 in Britain. Currently he writes for The Spectator, Cornucopia, The Art Newspaper and The Times Literary Supplement. In 1995 Philip Mansel was a founder with David Starkey, Robert Oresko and Simon Thurley of the Society for Court Studies, designed to promote research in the field of court history. He is the Editor of the Society's journal The Court Historian. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, the Royal Society of Literature, and the Institute of Historical Research (University of London), and is a member of the Conseil Scientifique of the Centre de Recherche du Chateau de Versailles. In 2010 Philip Mansel was appointed Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and in 2012 was the recipient of the annual London Library Life in Literature Award. Philip Mansel is currently working on a biography of Louis XIV. Website: www.philipmansel.com

Emmanuel de Waresquiel Emmanuel de Waresquiel, né le 21 novembre 1957 à Paris, est ancien élève de l’Ecole Normale Supérieure de Saint-Cloud et docteur en histoire.

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En 1999 il a été nommé professeur à l’Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes avec le titre d’Ingénieur de recherches hors classe. Il y conduit un séminaire en iconographie politique sur la période contemporaine (Révolution, XIX-XXe siècle), autour des rapports qu’entretiennent les textes et les images dans l’histoire des représentations sociales et politiques. Il dirige actuellement une équipe autour de la publication intégrale et critique des mémoires de Charles de Rémusat, l’une des figures de proue du libéralisme politique du XIXe siècle. Il travaille plus généralement sur l’histoire des représentations politiques, sociales, esthétiques au XIXe siècle, sur la question de la mémoire révolutionnaire et contrerévolutionnaire, des institutions, de la place des élites, de l’expérience parlementaire sous la Restauration. Emmanuel de Waresquiel a co-dirigé la Revue de la Société d’Histoire de la Restauration et de la Monarchie Constitutionnelle (1987-1996) et est membre de nombreux comités incluant le comité de rédaction de la revue Commentaire, la Revue des Deux mondes et la revue en ligne Napoleonica. Il a publié une cinquantaine d’articles scientifiques (essentiellement en histoire des idées politiques et sociales, en histoire culturelle et des représentations (Révolution – XIXe et XXe siècles) et environ cent cinquante articles de vulgarisation (Grandes signatures, l’Histoire, Historia, la Revue Napoléon), articles, critiques, interviews ou tribunes (Libération, le Monde, le Figaro, le Figaro Magazine, la Croix, Marianne, le Spectacle du Monde). Il a publié une quinzaine d’ouvrages dont une Histoire de la Restauration (en collaboration avec Benoît Yvert, Perrin, 1996), Talleyrand, le prince immobile (Fayard, 2003), Cent Jours, la tentation de l’impossible (Fayard, 2008) et tout récemment, Fouché, les silences de la pieuvre (Tallandier/Fayard, 2014).

Alan Forrest Alan Forrest is Emeritus Professor of Modern History at the University of York. He has published widely on modern French history, especially on the French Revolution and Empire and on the history of war. Authored books include Napoleon’s Men: The Soldiers of the Revolution and Empire (London, 2002), Paris, the Provinces, and the French Revolution (London, 2004), The Legacy of the French Revolutionary Wars: The Nation-in-Arms in French Republican Memory (Cambridge, 2009), and, most recently, Napoleon (London, 2011). He is currently completing a study of the afterlife of the Battle of Waterloo, which will be published by Oxford University Press in spring 2015.

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Panel 1 – The Approach of Peace / Séance I: Vers la Paix

Présidence : Jean Tulard, Membre de l’Institut (Notes produced by Marion Narran)

Le président de la séance présente la session et son organisation. Il introduit ce bicentenaire de l’Ambassade britannique à Paris en retraçant les relations tumultueuses entre les deux pays. Il évoque les différents affrontements qui ont eu lieu entre la France et l’Angleterre, notant que les deux pays ont connu une année de paix après le Traité d’Amiens des 25-27 mars 1802. Après la signature du traité de Lunéville le 9 février 1801 l’Angleterre s’est retrouvée isolée et a fait des offres de négociations à Paris. Les opinions étant lassées d’une guerre inutile, un équilibre diplomatique s’établit progressivement. Dès lors, l’Angleterre devient amie de la France. Les points de friction éliminés, le traité de paix peut être signé à Amiens. La suite des relations entre les deux pays sera évoquée au cours de ce colloque. Le président de séance évoque également celui qui fut un acteur important des négociations, Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord, grand diplomate français, homme d’influence, ministre des Relations extérieures sous Napoléon. En politique extérieure il défendait un axe Paris-Vienne, traversé par Londres et œuvrait pour une paix durable entre les pays européens. Malgré le travail de Talleyrand la guerre reprit en 1803 ; la paix d’Amiens ne fut qu’une trêve. Napoléon refusa d’écouter son ministre et Talleyrand fut disgracié. Exilé à Londres il retrouva Arthur Wellesley, le duc de Wellington qu’il avait rencontré au Congrès de Vienne. Il fut l’initiateur de l’entente cordiale qui finira par unir les deux pays. Le président de séance termine cette présentation des deux personnages clef de cette rencontre, en remarquant que cette brève paix d’Amiens fut le préambule de cette entente cordiale, qui anime aujourd’hui ce colloque.

John Bew – France, Britain and Europe at the End of the ‘Great War’, c. 1814 / La France, la Grande-Bretagne et l’Europe à la Fin des Guerres Napoléoniennes, c. 1814 (Notes produced by Stewart McCain)

In the middle of March 1814 the Treaty of Chaumont was signed by Czar Alexander I, by the Habsburg Emperor Francis II accompanied by his influential Foreign Minister and future Chancellor, Metternich, by the Prussian King Frederick William III and finally by the British Foreign Secretary Robert Stewart, better known as the Viscount Castlereagh. The Treaty required Napoleon to give up all conquests, with France reverting to her 1791 borders, in exchange for a cease-fire.

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The Allies each pledged to field 150,000 men, a force that would be used to prosecute the war against France with renewed vigour if, as transpired, Napoleon refused to come to terms. This force would then guarantee peace in Europe for a period of twenty years. The Treaty of Chaumont, and in particular Castlereagh’s pivotal role in its negotiation, formed the basis of John Bew’s perceptive contribution to the Colloquium. Chaumont has a double importance in the history of nineteenth century statecraft. Firstly, the treaty was crucial in binding the Allies of the Sixth Coalition together. Before Chaumont, the Allies had been bound by no more than a series of bilateral agreements, and were frequently divided over strategy. While Alexander was desperate to march on Paris and dethrone Napoleon, the Prussians and particularly the Austrians were more cautious. Metternich and Francis I, Napoleon’s father in law, remained favourable to the idea of a Napoleonic France, albeit reduced to a manageable size, and were more open to territorial concessions to achieve it. After Chaumont, however, the Allies were uniformly committed to the invasion of France, and within the month allied troops were assaulting the French capital. Secondly, and perhaps more significantly, the Treaty of Chaumont formed the basis for subsequent negotiations at the Congress of Vienna and, according to Bew, marked a turning point in British foreign policy towards the continent. In pledging British troops to secure any peace that followed Chaumont, Castlereagh not only demonstrated his understanding of the ‘balance of power’ in Europe as central to British interests, but made Britain a key player in the maintenance of this balance. This desire to prevent the rise of a single hegemonic European power would inform British foreign policy in Europe for the following hundred years and beyond. Castlereagh, who was appointed Foreign Secretary in 1812, was not an obvious proponent of a multilateral Europe. His experiences during the 1790s had profoundly influenced his vision of the European situation. In 1791-2 Castlereagh had travelled across France, and was struck by some of the darker excesses of the Revolutionary period. In 1796, as Chief Secretary in Ireland, Castlereagh witnessed the appearance of a French fleet off Bantry Bay, on the west coast of Ireland, part of an invasion thwarted only by extreme weather conditions. These experiences made Castlereagh one of the most determined parliamentary advocates of an aggressive foreign policy stance towards France during the Napoleonic Wars. Castlereagh had supported the British bombardment of Copenhagen in 1807, an intervention designed to prevent Denmark from falling into the French camp. He was responsible for the calamitous Walcheren campaign of 1809, in which 39,000 troops invaded the island of Walcheren in the Low Countries in support of the Austrians, who were then at war with Napoleon.

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Unfortunately for Castlereagh and the British, the Austrians collapsed to defeat at the battle of Wagram before the British troops had even landed, and more than 4000 died from Walcheren fever before the force was eventually withdrawn. Castlereagh was also firm in his support for Wellington and the Peninsular War, even when both seemed lost causes. Finally, as War Secretary between 1806 and 1809 Castlereagh spent enthusiastically to give Britain what was at that time its largest ever land force. As Bew states, Castlereagh was in modern parlance a hawk; pro-interventionist and pro-bombardment where it might serve Britain in the struggle against France. In 1814, however, the hawkish Castlereagh transformed himself into a ‘good European’ - a multilateralist who eschewed imperialist land-grabbing to build alliances with the other European powers. For much of the preceding two decades Castlereagh had found himself on the extremes of public opinion, urging ever greater resolve in Britain’s struggle with Napoleon. Yet with the war turning decisively against France he suddenly found himself in the position of resisting nationalist pressure at home to remove the Emperor and visit retribution on the French, actions that would make the creation of a viable European settlement more difficult. Achieving a European balance of power would not be straightforward. Armed with instructions from the Cabinet regarding the conduct of the upcoming peace negotiations, Castlereagh arrived on the European mainland in January 1814, shortly after allied troops had crossed the Rhine, penetrating for the ‘natural frontiers’ established by the Republic for the first time. Despite this progress, the alliance was wrought with diplomatic wrangling that Castlereagh feared would disrupt the military effort. Russian emissaries warned Castlereagh over Austrian intentions, but the British Foreign Secretary quickly came to view Russian expansionism, which included designs on Poland, as the chief threat to a new European settlement. This was compounded by the fraught issue of the French succession, which threatened to split the alliance. While the Austrians favoured Napoleon, Alexander was pushing for the Allies to depose Napoleon and place the crown prince of Sweden, Jean Bernadotte, on the French throne, hoping that he would prove favourable to Russian interests. Metternich and Castlereagh recognised a common interest in this shared desire to curb Russian ambitions and establish a viable balance of powers to ensure peace. Castlereagh’s commitment to this project became clear in February 1815, when the Allies travelled to Châtillon to begin peace negotiations with the French. Castlereagh made it clear that Britain was willing to surrender many of the overseas colonies it had taken from France in order to secure a peace settlement and, crucially, a balanced system of power in Europe. This commitment is evident in a letter written by Castlereagh to Lord Liverpool in which he explains his thinking:

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In closing this statement I begged it might be understood, that it was the wish of my Government in peace and in war to connect their interests with those of the Continent – that whilst the state of Europe afforded little hope of a better order of things, Great Britain had no other course left, than to create an independent existence for herself, but now that she … was ready to make the necessary sacrifices on her part, to reconstruct a balance in Europe.1 Castlereagh offered these ‘necessary sacrifices’ despite the strong opposition they would likely engender back home. Not only was public opinion fiercely opposed to any settlement with Napoleon, but sacrificing British colonial possessions opened him to attack from mercantile interests. Despite the ‘necessary sacrifices’ offered by Castlereagh, the proposition proved no more appealing to Napoleon than it had done to British public opinion, and on the 8th February he rejected a treaty that would have forced him to abandon the ‘natural limits’ of France - the Rhine and the Alps. Turning back towards the battlefield in the hopes of securing better terms, Napoleon was able to engineer a mini-revival with stunning victories at Champaubert and Montmirail, stalling the Châtillon peace process and forcing the Allies to retreat. This renewed French momentum began to fracture the alliance, as confidence turned to mutual recrimination. Castlereagh, uninhibited by his imperfect grasp of French, took command of a meeting and argued against further retreat in a memorable scene described by his private secretary, Lord Clanwilliam: The game would have been up. Lord C., a very imperfect French scholar, but accustomed to public speaking, addressed his colleagues, told them that Great Britain had made enormous sacrifices and successful efforts; that it was mainly owing to us that the Allies were where they were; that therefore Great Britain had a right to a voice in whatever decision should be come to; that his opinion was that the forward movement on Paris should be persevered in; that a retreat on the Rhine might enable Buonaparte to break up the coalition altogether. Where lay the difficulty?2 Thanks to the superior numbers and resources of the coalition allies, the tide of conflict soon began to change, but Castlereagh’s intervention was crucial in galvanising the alliance. On the 15th March Napoleon finally sued for peace, but by this point the general alliance had been secured by the Treaty of Chaumont and the Allies were marching towards Paris.

1 2

Cited in J. Bew Castlereagh: A Life (Oxford, 2012) p.341 Bew Castlereagh pp.343-4

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Chaumont, however, was more than simply the basis for a strengthened alliance against France. It was also the starting point for negotiations at the Congress of Vienna, and opened the door for a conciliatory, rather than punitive peace, to a settlement based on a vision of a multilateral Europe where no one power could harbour realistic pretentions towards domination. This moment of Pan-European sentiment moved even Alexander, who was content to see himself as a magnanimous victor when he arrived in Paris, rather than seeking to exact retribution for the burning of Moscow. One crucial element of this moment of Pan-European feeling was the rise of Britain as a significant continental land power. It was this new found military capability, a capacity built up in part over the preceding decade by Castlereagh’s expenditure as Minister for War, that had allowed Britain to take a pivotal role in negotiations- the ability to intervene had given Britain leverage. This leverage, in Castlereagh’s hands, allowed Britain to mediate at the negotiations that brought peace to Europe, and establish a new continental state system based on the balance of powers Castlereagh had desired. The state system established by the Congress of Vienna remains a controversial one. Some historians, notably Paul Schroeder in his influential work The Transformation of European Politics, 1763-1848, have praised the relative stability brought about by the Congress of Vienna. Yet balance did not mean gains for all, and in this instance it was Poland that found itself most firmly situated amongst the losers, with its territory split between Russia and Prussia. The fate of Poland points to a criticism frequently levelled at the settlement devised by the Congress that it ignored the national sentiments emerging across Europe in order to impose a set of conservative governments on the continent. This critique was perhaps most famously reflected in Wilson’s doctrine of national self-determination that held sway during the negotiations for the Treaty of Versailles. Nevertheless, the Europe that emerged from the end of the Napoleonic Wars was profoundly shaped by the doctrine of a balance of powers, and by the role of the British state as guarantor, as envisioned by Castlereagh at Chaumont in 1814.

Thierry Lenz – Équilibre et Modération : le Dialogue Franco-Britannique au Congrès de Vienne / Restraint: the Franco-British Dialogue at the Congress of Vienna (Notes produced by Marion Narran)

Il avait été relativement simple pour la France et la Grande-Bretagne de se faire la guerre, il fut plus compliqué de faire la paix. La victoire avait été obtenue par une coalition qui, à force de se déchirer, décida de se trouver un dénominateur commun. Ce dénominateur commun sera la perte de Napoléon. Il faut se débarrasser du souverain français, ainsi que de la dynastie des Bonaparte, devenus trop gênants pour l’Europe.

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La paix du continent n’a pas été assurée par le traité de Vienne mais par le traité de Paris signé le 30 mai 1814 entre les sept grandes puissances : l’Angleterre, la Russie, l’Autriche, la Prusse, la Suède, le Portugal et l’Espagne ainsi que le vaincu français. Ce traité prévoyait la réunion rapide d’un congrès général qui devait se retrouver à Vienne et concrètement réorganiser l’Europe après plus de vingt années de guerre qui en avaient modifié la carte. La tâche était initialement matérielle et technique : il s’agissait de reconstituer des États à partir de territoires qui avaient, soit appartenu à la France, soit été donnés à la France par ses Alliés, soit qui n’avaient jamais existé avant l’ère napoléonienne comme la Westphalie. Neuf mois de débats furent nécessaires et le traité de Vienne fut finalement signé le 9 juin 1815 : c’est l’acte final du Congrès de Vienne. Ces longs mois de gestation du traité furent nécessaires. Il est important de signaler que ce traité fut signé avant la bataille de Waterloo et par conséquent ce n’est pas le traité de Vienne qui est responsable de ce qui se passa ensuite avec le deuxième traité de Paris du 20 novembre, qui donna l’occasion au duc de Wellington de se préparer à gouverner l’Angleterre en gouvernant la France. Ces neuf mois peuvent apparaître comme un grand moment de collaboration entre deux hommes exceptionnels qu’étaient le secrétaire d’État aux Affaires étrangères, Lord Castlereagh et Talleyrand, qui se sont entendus pour conduire l’Europe vers un nouvel équilibre. Il faut rappeler que ce congrès, qui s’est réuni à la suite d’une guerre et de la défaite de la France, marque alors la victoire de la conception britannique de l’équilibre européen. Cette longue guerre qui a duré plus de vingt ans, va finalement faire triompher le principe d’un équilibre européen, principe qui s’opposait à l’esprit de système agité par l’Espagne puis l’Autriche, ainsi que la France sous le règne de Louis XIV qui régnait sur le Continent. Toute la subtilité des partenaires anglais réside dans le choix des mots ; bien qu’à l’époque l’opinion n’avait pas l’importance qu’elle possède aujourd’hui, l’Angleterre choisit de s’appuyer sur un principe qui fera l’unanimité, le « balance of soft power ». Cette conception de l’équilibre européen s’est imposée à tous, elle est devenue incontestable. Face à lui, Talleyrand, sans être anglophile, avait compris que l’équilibre européen était propice au développement. En cela il était peut-être le plus britannique des diplomates européens. Talleyrand participe beaucoup aux débats, ceci étant facilité par le remplacement de Napoléon par Louis XVIII. Ces deux protagonistes, plutôt éloignés sur bien des points, ont donc fini par s’entendre. Fort de cette conception, Castlereagh est arrivé en Europe relativement confiant sur le fait que ses créanciers, c’est-à-dire tous les États dont l’Angleterre avait financé la guerre, allaient approuver ses projets. Castlereagh avait une idée claire de l’issue des négociations. Si les choses ont, bien entendu, ont été plus complexes, au moment où Castlereagh se présente à Vienne, il peut se dire tout à fait désintéressé, pour une simple et bonne raison qu’il a déjà tout ce dont il a besoin : les forces britanniques occupent 15


les îles importantes, les points de passages essentiels au commerce. Les britanniques font preuve de pragmatisme. Pour eux, d’un côté, la diplomatie et l’économie sont liées, le diplomate est en position de force. De l’autre côté, il a affaire aux vaincus : Talleyrand est un vaincu mais il a en quelque sorte choisi le successeur, Louis XVIII, qui accepte de gouverner le royaume de ses ancêtres, aux frontières plus restreintes. Il a donc beaucoup moins de difficulté à parler en étant le ministre de Louis XVIII que de Napoléon. Les deux hommes ont constaté qu’en matière de géopolitique les forces profondes ne s’effacent pas à la suite de guerres ou de défaites militaires. Dans ces forces profondes de la diplomatie européenne, un danger se confirmait, la grande ambition russe de mettre en œuvre les grands tropismes de sa diplomatie : les Russes veulent être européens, se mêler des affaires de l’Europe. Pour ce faire il faut s’étendre vers l’Ouest, par alliances matrimoniales, mais surtout par l’occupation de la Pologne. En échange, pour avoir le soutien de la Prusse, la Russie l’autorise à annexer la Saxe. Les Russes voulaient développer leur commerce en s’octroyant un accès aux mers chaudes par les ports. Ces velléités militaires et économiques n’étaient tolérées ni par l’Angleterre ni par la France, qui dans ce domaine avaient été des alliés objectifs dans le passé. Face au danger de cette alliance prusso-russe, va se dessiner en face une alliance franco-austroanglaise. C’est à ce moment que le dialogue va se révéler efficace et aboutir à la signature d’un traité en janvier 1815, traité resté longtemps secret pendant le Congrès de Vienne, entre l’Autriche, l’Angleterre et la France. Ce traité avait pour but d’obliger les Russes et les Prussiens à évacuer les territoires occupés. Cette collaboration va aboutir, après bien des péripéties, à une définition de l’équilibre qui pouvait satisfaire les deux camps, sachant que le camp français était extraordinairement modéré, dirigé par un Louis XVIII dénué d’esprit de conquête et un Talleyrand qui faisait de la relance de la vie économique une priorité pour la France. Les protagonistes se mettent d’accord sur plusieurs points, y compris des points qui vont au détriment du royaume de France. L’Europe doit être divisée en toute une série de puissances qui vont pouvoir ainsi s’équilibrer. Cette notion d’équilibre est défendue par les Britanniques qui estiment que l’Europe ne doit pas être dirigée par un ou deux États, elle doit être composée d’États totalement indépendants. Il faut également veiller à neutraliser les avancées russes et entourer le royaume de France de « sécurités », avec des zones de neutralité comme les Pays-Bas, la Belgique ou la Suisse, rendre enfin l’Espagne aux Bourbons. Dès lors, la prépondérance française sur le continent devient impossible. C’est tout l’esprit de la diplomatie britannique ; elle ne souhaite pas la destruction de la France mais simplement la neutraliser pour la faire revenir, progressivement, dans le concert européen. Pour la France, il n’y aura jamais plus de possibilité de devenir une grande puissance mondiale, elle devra s’appuyer sur le soutien de l’Angleterre. À plus long terme, c’est véritablement le début du grand siècle anglais, qui fera du pays la première puissance du monde, l’arbitre et l’animateur du concert européen. 16


Questions and Answers/Débat (Notes produced by Marion Narran and Stewart McCain)

On the Emergence of a ‘Concert of Europe’ The end of the Napoleonic Wars and the Congress of Vienna saw the emergence of a new geopolitical order in Europe. This order was known as the ‘Congress System’ or ‘Concert of Europe’ and in large part reflected the ideal of a balance of powers between the major European states. Although the Concert lacked formal institutions, each of the five powers- Britain, France, Russia, Prussia and Austria, could call a meeting of European powers to mediate disputes and discuss matters of mutual interest. This Concert of European states was challenged by essentially local disturbances and ‘regional’ conflicts like the Franco-Prussian War, as well as the revolutionary and nationalist movements of 1848, but remained substantially intact until the outbreak of the First World War a century later, when the speed of events ultimately led to its collapse. The emergence of this Concert of Europe reflected important cultural, as well as political and diplomatic impulses. The idea of a shared European civilization, grounded on the intellectual developments of the Renaissance and Enlightenment, was an influential one during the period, buttressed by the use of French as a shared language of diplomatic and cultural exchange. For example, despite acting as the most committed hawk amongst the Allies during much of the wars of the 5th and 6th coalition, Alexander I expressed support for the ‘Ligue Européenne’ which could arbitrate conflicts and guarantee the territorial integrity of its members. On Castlereagh, the British and the European Balance of Power This Concert of Europe reflected the growing centrality of a European balance of power to British foreign policy. The European geopolitical settlement that emerged from the end of the Napoleonic Wars rested, at least initially, on British military commitment to the continent. The British military presence consisting of 150,000 troops were committed to the continent by the British under the terms of the 1814 Treaty of Chaumont, was largely the work of Castlereagh, who first as Minister of War had overseen enormous spending on the military and then as Foreign Secretary, guaranteed the involvement of British forces, despite domestic opposition to a prolonged British military presence in Europe. This British military contribution was the ‘blood sacrifice’ understood by Castlereagh as pivotal to the establishment of a European balance of power. The British preference for a ‘balance of power’ concerned not only foreign affairs, but the internal balance of power within states. The question of ‘good government’ became central. This meant, for the British, ‘stable’ rather than ‘reactionary’ or ‘conservative’ government. The issue of the internal government of states within Europe emerged most clearly during the period of the Congress of Vienna with 17


reference to Napoleon and his family. Castlereagh had a preference for the return of the Bourbons, yet up until late 1814 there was no consensus over the removal of the Bonapartes from power- many supported Napoleon or regency under his son, as a bulwark against the factionalism and violence of the Revolution. It was the Congress of Vienna, rather than the British alone, that eventually decided to dispose of Napoleon towards the end of 1814. On Abolitionism and Diplomacy at the End of the Napoleonic Wars Abolitionism was a potentially significant source of tension amongst the Allies in 1814. The British actively pursued the end of the slave trade. Following the 1807 abolition of the trade by Parliament every agreement signed by the British stipulated that the slave trade should be abolished. Many of the other colonial powers regarded British demands on slavery as self-interested, seeking to undermine a source of labour which British colonies had already been obliged to abjure. Many therefore demanded delays in an effort to safeguard their economic self-interest. For Castlereagh, abolitionists like Wilberforce represented an important domestic constituency, and he was at least able to obtain a declaration of principle on the abolition of the slave trade. However, Castlereagh was also aware that Britain’s allies were often frustrated by what they regarded as British ‘moralizing’ over the slave trade, and in general he sought to avoid discussion of the issue. Les questions des différents participants s’orientent sur plusieurs thématiques fondamentales : Naissance du Concert Européen Son excellence Jacques Alain de Sedouy évoque l’intervention de John Bew et ajoute quelques mots sur le thème de l’équilibre européen. Lorsque la notion d’équilibre européen est évoquée par le ministre des Affaires Étrangères britannique Lord Castlereagh, ce dernier fait référence à l’idée fondamentale de la stabilisation de l’équilibre européen afin de garantir les frontières européennes. Le dialogue au Congrès de Vienne semble surtout être un dialogue entre deux grandes puissances, le Royaume-Uni et l’Empire russe. Ce dialogue sur l’idée d’un équilibre européen maintenu par les grandes puissances est né en 1804. Les Anglais opposent cependant aux propositions russes des idées plus pragmatiques : des accords garantissant la sécurité des frontières. Ces idées de sécurisation des frontières, balayées par Austerlitz, ressurgissent au moment du Congrès de Vienne. Lors des négociations pour la signature d’un accord collectif de sécurisation des frontières, les Anglais insistent pour que les Ottomans soient intégrés dans cet accord. En effet, du côté anglais, il semblait important de garantir les frontières turques afin de se prémunir contre les éventuelles incursions des Russes aux frontières turques. Les discussions vont achopper sur ce point avant de reprendre, pour finalement aboutir à un résultat 18


moins ambitieux : l’insertion d’une stipulation dans le traité d’alliance signé entre les quatre puissances qui ont remporté la guerre. Ce traité qui scelle cette quadruplealliance, signée à Paris le 20 novembre 1815 sur l’initiative de Castlereagh préfigure une alliance européenne plus large dédiée au maintien de la paix. L’article 6 stipule que les pays signataires s’engagent à se réunir régulièrement pour traiter de leurs « grands intérêts communs » ; ils s’engagent plus largement à œuvrer au maintien de la paix en Europe. C’est l’acte fondateur du concert européen. La paix établie dure jusqu’au moment des guerres de Crimée (1853-1856) _ elles-mêmes achevées par le traité de Paris du 30 mars 1856. La France et l’Angleterre tenteront d’intégrer la Turquie dans ce concert européen, en traitant ce pays comme un pays européen, sans l’intégrer de manière explicite et durable. C’est que l’idée d’une civilisation européenne s’impose, accompagnée d’une conscience forte d’appartenance à une même civilisation européenne, née de la Réforme puis des Lumières. Sort de Napoléon Le Baron Claude de Méneval demande à Thierry Lentz si les relations entre les diplomates n’ont pas été facilitées du fait de la mise hors-la-loi de Napoléon par le Congrès de Vienne. Thierry Lentz explique que les évènements de 1814 ne révèlent pas une Europe se soulevant contre les forces de la Révolution mais plutôt une union plus tardive et conjoncturelle, établie pour se débarrasser de Napoléon qui avait noué trop d’alliances pendant son règne. Une fois ce « dénominateur commun » soldé, les hostilités ont rapidement repris entre les pays. Jean Tulard ajoute à ce propos que cette mise hors-la-loi est une décision issue des négociations du Congrès de Vienne et pas seulement le fruit de la pression de l’Angleterre. Congrès de Vienne Isabelle Tombs demande aux deux intervenants des précisions sur le contenu du Traité de Vienne. Tout particulièrement en ce qui concerne l’abolition de la traite de noirs. Thierry Lentz répond qu’il concerne plusieurs matières, notamment les conditions relatives à la paix ainsi qu’à la délimitation des frontières. D’autres discussions importantes vont se dérouler pendant le Congrès de Vienne dont la plus emblématique est celle de l’abolition de la traite des noirs. Ce dernier point est important pour les Anglais qui ont aboli la traite depuis 1807 et incluent dans tous leurs traités de subsides une clause d’abolition. Les autres pays étaient au mieux, philosophiquement en harmonie avec cette idée, au pire pas opposés à l’abolition dans le futur ; tous demandaient des délais pour l’abolition effective. Castlereagh va réussir à arracher une déclaration de principe concernant l’abolition de la traite dans le Traité. Un intervenant ajoute que le Cardinal Consalvi, proche du ministre des Affaires Étrangères britannique, a œuvré à l’insertion d’un accord sur l’abolition de la traite 19


des noirs. Ce cardinal a eu une influence non négligeable sur les différentes négociations concernant l’abolition, voire peut-être dans d’autres matières. C’est le signe de relations complexes, d’accords qui se nouent et se dénouent au gré des alliances, non seulement entre les représentants diplomatiques des pays mais entre les hommes. Un orateur précise à ce propos que la particularité de ce Congrès est la présence, en grand nombre, de souverains de chaque pays. L’Empereur d’Autriche a en effet invité ses homologues à le rejoindre à Vienne. Ce facteur a compliqué les relations diplomatiques dans la mesure où certains souverains ont pu s’immiscer dans les négociations, avec parfois des interventions très directes.

Panel 2 – The Duel for Europe / Le Duel pour l’Europe

Chair: Marquess of Douro (Notes produced by Graham Callister)

After thanking his hosts and expressing pleasure at being able to attend a colloquium in the residence bought two centuries ago by his illustrious ancestor, the Marquess began by admitting surprise at the title of the panel, as he had never looked upon the contest between Napoleon and Wellington as a duel. There was only one actual ‘duel’ between the two, at Waterloo in 1815. Prior to that they had never had any direct confrontation, and the Marquess had always had the impression that Napoleon didn’t take Wellington seriously at any point; the Duke, on the other hand, always had a high regard for Napoleon. Although Wellington criticised certain details of Napoleon’s strategy and politics, he also admired the man. There are, for example, many paintings of Napoleon and his family at Stratfield Saye and Apsley House. The Marquess expressed his belief that Wellington did not see the conflict as a personal duel with Napoleon; indeed as John Bew argued this morning, Britain was just a small part of the overall allied struggle against Napoleon. But there is still debate to be had on these issues, and he’s honoured to chair the debate in such appropriate surrounds.

Andrew Roberts – Wellington and Napoleon (Notes produced by Graham Callister)

Having thanked his hosts and the panel chair, Roberts conceded that the Marquess of Douro’s criticism of the panel title is probably fair. However, he light-heartedly admitted that he may be partly responsible for this, as the phrase ‘the Long Duel’ was used as the subtitle to one of his books by an overzealous American publisher. Roberts began his paper by saying that it was not true that Napoleon wildly underestimated the Duke of Wellington. Since the then-general Sir Arthur Wellesley’s early victories over Napoleonic forces at the battles of Roliça and 20


Vimeiro in 1808, Napoleon showed himself interested in the capacities of Wellington. When he heard about Vimeiro Napoleon made a point of looking in depth at the reports; it seems that even at this stage he paid at least passing attention to Wellington. It is this, and other evidence that will be presented in due course, that has made Roberts alter his opinions a little since the publication of his 2003 book Napoleon and Wellington. In fact, probably the key factor in changing his mind is the publication of Napoleon’s full correspondence in recent years, which shows that the emperor referred time and again to Wellington in his letters. Napoleon is often accused of speaking pejoratively about Wellington, but in fact there is no proof that he ever directly used phrases such as ‘Sepoy General’, which appeared in the Moniteur. Certainly it is a slur, and it certainly does appear in an official publication, but that does not mean that Napoleon himself was responsible for it. It does perhaps show that the French did not fully appreciate the military capacities of Indian troops, and it ignores the great victories of Assaye and Argaon that Wellington won, but it does not necessarily follow that Napoleon wildly underestimated Wellington. It was not, however, until Wellington left India in 1805 that he had any kind of influence on the career of Napoleon, and even then the influence that he had was not to be seen for another ten years. For in 1805 Wellington, on his return voyage from India, visited St Helena, and came to the conclusion that it would be a pleasant and healthy climate in which to live. However, Wellington only ever visited the capital Jamestown, on the coast of the island, where the climate is indeed pleasant, and did not venture up to Longwood where humidity is up to one hundred percent for about 330 days of the year. So, when Wellington recommended St Helena as a place for Napoleon to live out his days, it would not have been out of malice. The two men never met and only fought one battle against each other. At Waterloo they were at one point within perhaps 250 yards of each other, which is the closest they ever came. Their paths might have crossed in the Iberian Peninsula, but Wellington was called back to face the Cintra inquiry before Napoleon arrived in 1808, and Napoleon had returned to Paris to deal with Austrian re-armament and his subordinates’ disloyalty before Wellington came back to Portugal in 1809 (and as an aside, the room in which the Cintra enquiry was held in the Royal Hospital in Chelsea was also the room in which Wellington’s body lay in state over forty years later). Although Napoleon left the Iberian Peninsula in 1809 he retained a deep interest in the theatre. When looking at the battles in the Peninsula, Napoleon was very careful to differentiate between Wellington’s intelligent dispositions and the mistakes of his own subordinates. One sees this particularly with Talavera, after which Napoleon was furious with the lies that his own generals told in their reports. Napoleon in the end came to trust Wellington’s accounts of engagements 21


published in British newspapers, rather than the reports of his marshals. He came to believe, as he told General Clarke, that if French troops launched frontal assaults on well positioned, steady troops like the British, they would simply be throwing their lives away. Wellington’s operations often impressed Napoleon; he was impressed by the sheer ruthlessness of the scorched earth policy before Torres Vedras, claiming ‘In Europe, only Wellington and I are capable of carrying out such measures. But this is the difference between him and me: France would blame me, while Europe will approve of him.’ Wellington for his part also studied Napoleon’s battles. He read the many journals that were being written about Napoleon. After the Battle of Fuentes D’Oðoro, Wellington claimed that if Napoleon had been there, the British might have been beaten. This attitude was encapsulated in a phrase Wellington later frequently used: ‘On the field of battle, Napoleon is worth 40,000 men’. This should not be taken as a literal valuation of the Emperor, but more an indication that Wellington considered Napoleon’s military genius worth a whole army corps to the French. However, Wellington was not beaten at Fuentes D’Oðoro. Indeed, he defeated six of Napoleon’s marshals during the course of the Peninsular War – almost all who served in the Peninsula apart from Suchet. In exile on Elba, Napoleon acknowledged Wellington’s skill to English visitors and made many positive comments about him and his abilities as a soldier. Yet Napoleon also maintained that Wellington’s appointment to the Paris embassy was a mistake. He opined that it would be galling to the French army to see this general who had defeated their armies offering advice to their king. This was shown by the assassination attempt against Wellington by Sergeant Cantillon, who fired a pistol at Wellington’s carriage but was not convicted because the bullet couldn’t be found. Napoleon in his exile was even less impressed that Wellington appeared to be cultivating a relationship with his wife, Marie-Louise. This was not the only link between the two men that appeared during Wellington’s time in Paris; indeed, the Duke seemed to go on a form of Napoleonic tourism. He bought a sword and a watch from the men who had supplied these items to the emperor; he bought the house of Napoleon’s sister, Pauline Borghese; he took on Napoleon’s old chef; and he slept with two of the emperor’s former mistresses. To sleep with one mistress would perhaps be coincidence, but sleeping with two must be more deliberate. There are certainly many coincidences in the lives of the two men: both were born in 1769, on an island close to the metropolitan power they eventually led. Their fathers both died when they were young (Wellington 12, Napoleon 15). Both came from minor noble, but not especially wealthy, families. Their siblings impacted upon their careers both positively and negatively. Both attended French military

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academies, and for both French was a second language. Both even shared an admiration for Hannibal as a historical figure. Nonetheless, they did not meet across a battlefield until Waterloo. At the beginning of the battle a commander of the British artillery asked Wellington for permission to fire at Napoleon and his entourage, but the Duke refused to allow it. Earlier in the day, at Napoleon’s headquarters in the farmhouse of Le Caillou, Napoleon made his infamous comment about the English being bad soldiers, Wellington being a bad general, and that the day sera l’affaire d’un déjeuner. But this almost certainly does not reflect Napoleon’s real views or feelings on the day. This was a pre-battle pep-talk. He needed to downplay the abilities of the enemy, not emphasise their prowess. These statements about Wellington being a bad general and the British being bad soldiers were quite contrary to previous opinions. In 1821, Wellington was asked who the greatest general of his age was Wellington replied without hesitation ‘in this age, in past ages, in any age: Napoleon’. In the same year, after the death of Napoleon, Wellington proclaimed ‘now I am the most successful general alive’, indicating that until then his great adversary had been. Napoleon had fought sixty battles and won forty-six, won pyrrhic victories in seven, and lost seven. Wellington fought forty-six battles and won them all. It was perhaps a generous comment. In 1840, when the French government requested that the body of Napoleon should be returned to France, the British government of course consulted Wellington. Wellington responded ‘the French are bound to make a fuss about this, but I don’t give a tuppenny damn about that’. Had Wellington opposed the return of the body, it was very unlikely that the British government would have acceded to LouisPhilippe’s government’s demands. And the French didn’t make the return of the body into a political or anti-British issue, which is reflected by the absence of antiBritish ideas in Napoleon’s tomb in Les Invalides. In fact, Roberts believes that had Napoleon lived until the 1840s, Wellington may not even have opposed his return to France, especially if it had been requested by Louis-Philippe or by Napoleon III as Prince-President after 1848. So it seems that the story of the two men reverberates positively on both sides. There were certainly moments when it seemed the two men did not like each other, and it was certainly unworthy of Napoleon to leave a sum of money in his will to the man who tried to assassinate Wellington. However, this was probably because Napoleon (quite rightly) suspected Wellington of being partly responsible for his exile to St Helena. In general, however, the story of the interrelationship between the men is one of one battle, a good deal of mutual respect and appreciation between the two, and ultimately reflects honourably on both sides.

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Marquess of Douro (Notes produced by Graham Callister)

The Marquess thanked Andrew Roberts for the paper, and said that he hadn’t realised that Wellington had not seen all of St Helena. He then offered an anecdote about the first Duke. At Stratfield Saye they have a watch made by Breguet on which there are the arms of Spain and a map of the Iberian Peninsula. It was made for Joseph Bonaparte but was not presented to him as he lost control of Spain in 1813. It was acquired in 1814 by General Paget and given to Wellington, and it remained the Duke’s principal watch for a long time.

Peter Hicks – Napoléon et les Britanniques: Mythes et Histoire / Napoleon and the British: Myths and History (Notes produced by Marion Narran)

La légende napoléonienne est profondément inscrite dans l’histoire politique et culturelle française. Elle a également dépassé les frontières européennes, se transformant chez certains peuples en légende noire. Les relations tumultueuses entre la France et la Grande-Bretagne illustrent bien l’évolution de la perception de Napoléon dans l’opinion britannique. La légende de Napoléon se dessine au travers de publications le concernant, caricatures de presse ou biographies. L’image de Napoléon en Grande-Bretagne a évolué au gré des évènements et des différences culturelles. L’histoire de ce personnage complexe s’écrit aussi dans les biographies publiées entre 1797 et 1815. Napoléon n’ignorait pas l’opinion publique européenne. Homme de son temps, il s’intéresse à la culture et aux institutions britanniques, cite volontiers Adam Smith. Il déclare au Sénat en 1804 que « Rien n’est plus différent que la France et l’Angleterre ». Pour celui qui n’est pas encore empereur, les Français sont des amoureux de l’égalité, mais ils sont futiles, tandis que les Anglais sont graves et ont de l’orgueil plutôt que de la vanité. Il est alors impossible de donner les mêmes institutions à deux peuples si différents. OutreManche, les Anglais ont eu une perception fluctuante du futur empereur, faite d’admiration et de rejet extrême. Cette perception s’illustre dans la façon dont l’homme, tout comme le chef d’État, est traité dans la presse et l’art anglais. L’image qu’il véhicule en Grande-Bretagne est ambivalente. Dès 1797 des auteurs britanniques s’intéressent à la vie de Napoléon. Ce ne sont pas que des textes gorgés de calomnies destinées à salir son nom. Ce dernier est en effet plutôt apprécié des milieux libéraux en Grande-Bretagne. On voit en lui l’héritier des idées du XVIIIème siècle, l’initiateur d’une démocratie royale, le porteur des idéaux de la Révolution. Ainsi, William Vincent Barré et Lodewyck Van Ess publièrent des ouvrages en plusieurs volumes rassemblant des « détails authentiques » sur « l’élévation sans parallèle » du général et homme d’État entre 1804 et 1809. Les premières biographies de Napoléon sont relativement positives, telles que le court ouvrage Some account of the early years of Buonaparte, par Mr C. H., ou 24


encore Biographical anecdotes of the founders of the French Republic: and of the other eminent characters, who have distinguished themselves in the progress of the Revolution publié anonymement en 1797, puis en 1799 (une édition augmentée). Ces différentes rééditions du Biographical Anecdotes ont connu une grande popularité et reflètent bien toute l’admiration vouée à Napoléon dans les milieux libéraux. Il est, au contraire, peu apprécié des hommes politiques de droite, voire haï de façon irrationnelle par certains d’entre eux, bien qu’il fût un homme d’ordre. Cette image, positive chez les libéraux, d’héritier des Lumières et de la Révolution en fait une menace pour les milieux conservateurs. Toutefois la « golden legend » napoléonienne commence à s’étioler lentement. Les libéraux, enthousiastes à son égard subissent une forte désillusion face aux dérives autoritaires du souverain. À partir de l’année 1800, les premières critiques de l’establishment britannique se font entendre. Deux biographies de Napoléon paraissent au cours de l’année 1804, la première par William Burdon of Morpeth et la seconde par le franco-allemand émigré William Vincent Barré. Burdon est relativement favorable à Napoléon avant la paix d’Amiens mais commence à considérer l’Empereur comme un despote en devenir. Pour l’auteur la principale qualité est qu’il échappe aux politiques de partis ; c’est l’homme du rassemblement. Mais il se montre déçu lorsque Napoléon fait revivre l’Ancien Régime avec le Consulat à vie. Pour les libéraux, le masque tombe. Les caricatures se multiplient, illustrant cette déception libérale qui laisse libre court à l’imagination : on voit Napoléon se partageant le monde. La guerre des mots fait rage : les auteurs ne le nomment plus que « Buonaparte » pour souligner son origine étrangère et il est décrit, dessiné, repris comme le démon français, l’Antéchrist. Quelques auteurs lui restent malgré tout fidèles comme Anne Plumptre, qui critique les ouvrages hostiles au personnage. Grande libérale, elle publie en 1810 un ouvrage dévoué au héros Napoléon pour répondre aux critiques dont il fait de plus en plus l’objet Outre-manche. John Scott Byerley publie quant à lui la même année un ouvrage soulignant l’analogie entre les principes de Machiavel et les actions de Bonaparte, accordant à ce dernier toutes les qualités du bon prince. L’auteur est plus critique que sa contemporaine envers Napoléon, mais reste admiratif. Tous ces textes, d’origines variées et qui écrivent une histoire multiple et complexe de Napoléon, apportent également un éclairage intéressant et contemporain de la vie de Napoléon. Les écrits anglais, mêlant fiction et faits, de façon neutre ou subjective, parfois avec attention ou de manière aléatoire, établissent la trame suivie par tous les auteurs qui tente d’écrire l’histoire et la légende de Napoléon.

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Questions and Answers/Débat (Notes produced by Marion Narran and Graham Callister)

The discussion revolved around many of the themes brought up in the two papers; the idea of the duel between Wellington and Napoleon, the issue of Napoleon’s acceptance of his defeat in 1814, the attitudes of Britain towards Napoleon, and the Anglo-French relationship after 1814. A Duel between France and Britain? The first part of the discussion concerned whether it was indeed possible to see this period as a duel between France and England. The analogy was after all even used by Napoleon, who said that he invaded Russia because of that country’s failure to act as his second in the duel against Britain. It was suggested that this was indeed the end of a far larger duel, as 1815 was the culmination of the ‘second hundred years war’ between France and Britain; for two-thirds of the century or so before 1815 Britain and France were at war, either overtly or covertly. Therefore the Napoleonic Wars can be seen in a way as a continuation of older trends. It was suggested that perhaps Waterloo itself had some elements of a duel about it and was heavily influenced by the persons and personalities of the two commanders-in-chief, although this was disputed. The battle perhaps said something about the attitudes of Wellington, who was very meticulous in the presence of his great foe, but Napoleon made a number of mistakes, often against his own military maxims, not least allowing D’Erlon’s corps to march back and forth all day on 16th June and splitting his army two days before Waterloo. The Emperor’s defeat stemmed from a failure to use his resources properly, such as leaving his most able marshal, Davout, in Paris, and from the fact that the Prussians didn’t behave as predicted and marched towards Wellington rather than retreating along their supply lines. Therefore while the battle said something about Wellington, it said very little about Napoleon. Napoleon’s Strategy The discussion then turned to Napoleon, and whether his behaviour in exile in 1814 showed that he was magnanimous in defeat. It was suggested that Napoleon had genuinely wanted peace in France, and so may have put that before his own ambition. But it was also pointed out that Napoleon was a master of propaganda, so of course he would say things to make himself appear magnanimous and supportive of the new regime. However, he paid such close attention to France from Elba that it seems he was always looking to see if the Bourbons would drop the ball. If Louis XVIII had governed better it might have been impossible for Napoleon to return.

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It was also suggested that Napoleon’s attitudes may have changed due to his location so close to the coast of France. Was any magnanimity of 1814 lost because the lure of a return to France proved too great? Britain’s Attitude to Napoleon The question was then raised of Britain’s attitudes to Napoleon. A study of caricatures such as those shown by Peter Hicks in his paper show a fundamental shift in how the British portray the war with France. Until 1801 it is a war against the Revolution, but after 1803 it is a war against Napoleon. The point was made that as Britain was happy to negotiate in 1806, seeing Napoleon at least as a strong and authoritarian figure in government. The British evidently didn’t see Napoleon as a radical bringer of Terror; they had separated him from the Revolution, and made him out to be a tyrant instead. It was commented that perhaps Napoleon was very unlucky to come to power at the same time that some of the world’s greatest political caricaturists were active, such as James Gillray, George Cruikshank and Thomas Rowlandson, but that their caricatures did not necessarily reflect British public opinion. Napoleon and France could often be invoked positively in Britain as a stick to beat the British government, as William Cobbett did on a regular basis. There is nonetheless proof that British public opinion had a passionate hatred of Napoleon by 1814, certainly among the ordinary people of London. Most British people were very anti-Napoleon, and he was burned in effigy by crowds. In 1815 it is true that people flocked to see Napoleon when he was held on a ship off the south coast, and that Napoleon himself wanted to land in Britain in the belief that the British people would not let their government dispose of him, but by July 1815 Napoleon was safely beaten and was more a matter of celebrity curiosity. Anglo-French Relationship after 1814 Finally, the discussion then turned to the fact that 1814-15 was a time for resetting relationships, not just between Britain and France but between Britain and the United States. In both of these relationships, despite recent conflicts, connections and interactions between the elites of the countries had already existed for a long time. This is opposed to British views of the Russians, for example, who they viewed with horrified fascination. It was suggested that the close Anglo-French elite relations may have created the idea of some form of shared Western European distinctiveness, and certainly amity between France and Britain was much more pronounced than British-American or British-Eastern relations after 1814. There have been several instances of Anglo-French rapprochement since 1814; Britain fought alongside France in the Crimea for example, and Napoleon III’s visit to Britain in 1855 was a great success. British American relations only really got closer after the treaty of 1890. In the cultural sphere, a few years after Waterloo the English became great buyers of French arts and furniture. Mutual admiration between Britain and France was very noticeable in these years. But this didn’t happen with the United States. 27


There was even a sort of amity between the British and French soldiers in the Peninsular War, while the British tended to despise their Spanish allies. So there was definitely a sense of respect. There was also tourism. Britons love Paris, and came in droves in 1814. There was a sense of community, though on a simple level rather than an ideological level; a sense of common experience perhaps. That said, French caricaturists depicted the British tourists in Paris very badly! Plus ça change…

Panel 3 – A New Relationship after Waterloo / De Nouvelles Relations après Waterloo

Présidence: Jacques-Olivier Boudon (Notes produced by Marion Narran)

Nos deux pays, la France et la Grande-Bretagne, sont souvent du même avis sur les grands principes, les grands projets ; les débats achoppent souvent sur les détails, sur de bien petites choses, parfois mesquines. Faut-il rappeler que les deux pays se sont menés une lutte farouche sur deux thèmes. Le premier est celui, très sensible, de la taille de Napoléon. L’empereur mesure cinq pieds deux pouces. Calculé selon la numération française, cela représente 1m68. Selon la numération anglaise, il serait beaucoup plus petit et ferait 1m57. Pour cette raison, l’historiographie anglaise persiste à faire de Napoléon un petit homme, pour une regrettable différence de conversion. Il faut pourtant se défaire de cette triste idée selon laquelle Napoléon aurait été petit. Certes, cette taille n’impose pas l’admiration aujourd’hui, mais pour l’époque il était d’une taille moyenne, tout à fait respectable. Un second détail, non moins sérieux, fit chavirer l’entente entre la France et l’Angleterre, il concerne les négociations diplomatiques sur le sort de prisonniers de guerre autour de 1809-1810. Si la France et l’Angleterre ont été en guerre entre 1803 et 1815 les relations diplomatiques n’ont pas pour autant été interrompues pendant cette période. On a beaucoup échangé sur le sort des prisonniers de guerre, en particulier autour des années 1809 et 1810 et des négociations ont été entamées à Morlaix. De chaque côté les négociateurs sont du même avis sur le principe de la libération de leurs prisonniers respectifs. En revanche dans les détails les Anglais font valoir qu’ils détiennent 70.000 prisonniers français alors que les Français quant à eux détiennent 17.000 prisonniers anglais. La GrandeBretagne veut s’accorder sur l’idée d’un échange d’homme pour un homme et ainsi conserver 53.000 prisonniers. Napoléon ne peut accepter cet accord. Il objecte un autre calcul : ce denier détient 70.000 prisonniers de l’Espagne, alliée de l’Angleterre, et 17.000 Hanovriens qui ont été fait prisonniers au moment de la conquête du Hanovre en 1803. Les deux pays campent sur leur position et les prisonniers resteront en captivité jusqu’en 1814. Il faudra attendre la fin de la 28


période napoléonienne, l’abdication de Napoléon, la décision du gouvernement provisoire de Talleyrand et surtout du lieutenant général du royaume de libérer enfin les prisonniers anglais en échange des prisonniers français à la fin du mois d’avril 1814.

Philip Mansel – Wellington and Louis XVIII (Notes produced by Stewart McCain)

In his paper, Philip Mansel, the distinguished historian of Restoration French court society reflected on the entangled trajectories of two of the period’s most prominent figures, the Duke of Wellington and Louis XVIII. As one would expect, the interactions between the King of France and a man who became not only the most famous allied general of the Napoleonic wars, but Britain’s first ambassador to France after 1814, reveal much about the political history of France. More than this, however, Wellington’s time in France provides a fascinating case study of the minutiae of Franco-British, and particularly British-Parisian, interactions during a period in which the relationship between the two countries was undergoing a profound transformation. Franco-British rivalries of the eighteenth century were characterized by a fierce military and colonial competition that erupted into open warfare with the Seven Years’ War and the War of American Independence. Wellington’s victory over Napoleon, therefore, marked a turning point in the relationship between the two countries. The opportunity presented to France to rival Britain as a global power receded, and military rivalry was replaced by a sometimes uneasy alliance. Dr Mansel opened his paper by reminding the audience that the experiences and identities of eighteenth century elites were rarely constrained by national boundaries. Wellington spent some years of his youth in France, at the Royal Cavalry School in Angers, where he developed both a sound knowledge of the French language and a political allegiance to Bourbon legitimism studying under an unabashed partisan of the old regime named Marcel de Pignerolle. Wellington’s support for Bourbon legitimism was greatly intensified by the violence of the Revolution, and it is his Royalism, as much as his Francophilia, that provides the key to his relationship with Louis XVIII. For his part, the Bourbon King harboured a similar affection for the British, having lodged his court in exile at Hartwell in Buckinghamshire with the support of the Prince Regent. Wellington, therefore, was eager to see the Bourbon monarchy restored, and in October 1813 when his troops crossed from the Iberian Peninsula over the Pyrenees and into France he sought royal participation in the military campaign, writing to contacts at the French court in Hartwell hoping to persuade a member of the royal family to travel to the south-west of France. Wellington’s efforts stemmed only in part from his Royalism. He also sought to exploit the popular antiBonapartist sentiment he claimed had been aroused by decades of conscription and heavy taxation.

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A similar rationale had lain behind Louis XVIII’s March 1813 declaration of Hartwell, written after consulting Castlereagh, which had sought to appeal to this hatred while promising amnesties and compensation for those who bought biens nationaux in an effort to win over those who had gained by the Revolution and Empire. However detested was the Empire in parts of France by late 1813, Wellington exaggerated the scale of popular Royalism in his correspondence with England, presumably because only popular Royalism could justify his desire to involve the Bourbons in his military campaign. Nonetheless, his wish was granted, and the king’s elder nephew, the Duc d’Angoulême, arrived in the south west of France in February 1814. Although Wellington remained officially neutral in French internal affairs, he quickly involved Angoulême in his military plans. When Bordeaux opened its gates to British and Portuguese troops on the 12th March 1814, the Bourbon Prince entered the city cheered on by crowds, his triumphant passage aided by the British soldiers and money that preceded him. Angoulême’s successful entrance into Bordeaux was instrumental in the restoration of the Bourbon monarchy in April 1814. Louis XVIII returned from England committed to a closer alliance and understanding between the two nations, and Paris experienced a brief Franco-British honeymoon on his installation in the capital. Talleyrand and Louis continued to view British and French interests as virtually identical, and Wellington was even cheered by the audience at the Opera on his return to Paris in May. However, Wellington’s experience as British Ambassador to France was markedly different. As Mansel observes, his appointment in August 1814 was a disaster. Following victory over France, British tourists flocked to the French capital, where they engaged in a feast of conspicuous consumption that antagonised Parisians. Having played such a prominent role in fighting the French over the preceding decade, Wellington’s appointment as ambassador did little to smooth tensions, and the error was compounded by the Duke’s own behaviour. He quickly came to be viewed as impolite, stirring resentment by introducing crowds of British tourists to Louis XVIII during his weekly audiences at the Tuileries, and attracted derision for his clothes. He failed to compensate farmers for damage caused to their crops by his hunting parties, and carried on an affair with the singer Giuseppina Grassini, scandalising opinion through the mistreatment of his wife. The manners of Wellington and the British in Paris helped to discredit the restored Bourbons, who needed little help alienating the French population through their favourable treatment of the returning émigrés, contributing to the rising nationalist sentiment exploited by Napoleon during the Hundred Days. Wellington, however continued to support the Bourbons throughout this period, remaining in contact with Louis XVIII, who had fled to Ghent. Unlike other European statesmen of the period, Wellington never considered the Duc d’Orléans, let alone Napoleon’s son, as an alternative to Louis XVIII.

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However, Wellington’s committed Royalism was laced with pragmatism. He hoped that, as with Angoulême in Bordeaux in 1814, the Bourbons could help undermine support for Napoleon. It was fortunate for Louis XVIII that it was Wellington rather than one of the other allied generals who crushed Napoleon on the battlefield in 1815. Wellington invited the King to follow him back into France, an offer accepted eagerly by Louis XVIII, but one which would later damage the Bourbons through their association with foreign invaders. In 1815, however, his relationship with the French King proved mutually beneficial, with the King’s presence weakening the resolve of French citadels to resist the allied advance. Wellington commanded the allied occupation of Paris in the summer of 1815. This was a delicate posting- Paris in 1815 was a powder keg surrounded by 200,000 allied troops, and Wellington had already earned a degree of unpopularity in the French capital. The Duke, however, strove to avoid the more serious consequences such a situation might engender. Armies during the period, particularly occupying armies, tended to live off the land, requisitioning or simply seizing the supplies they needed. While the Prussians achieved a reputation as brigands thanks to their exactions, Wellington had the British pay for whatever they took, earning them a reputation as relatively benevolent occupiers. Such a conciliatory approach could not hold in all circumstances. One part of Wellington’s role was to empty the Louvre of the many works of art plundered by the French armies during the Napoleonic wars. This restitution was a sensitive issue, and Wellington was forced to send the Rifle Brigade into the Louvre to supervise the removal of the works, a move that earned him a hostile reception at the Opera. Despite such tensions, Wellington was treated as a trusted advisor by Louis XVIII, and exercised a great deal of influence on French internal affairs. He was informed ahead of major and potentially sensitive actions of the French government, notably the reorganisation of the French army and the dissolution of the Chamber of Deputies- the famous chambre introuvable, which was dominated by ultra-royalists and refused to accept any of the innovations of the Revolutionary period- in 1816. Wellington’s influence on French internal politics continued even after January 1816, when he was appointed commander of the occupying forces in NorthWestern France. He held two splendid balls to celebrate the marriage of the Duc de Berri, and offered his support to the Prime Minister the Duc de Richelieu. Wellington was also a perceptive critic of the Comte d’Artois, the future Charles X of France He described him as the Bourbon James II, a comparison that proved prophetic during Charles’ disastrous reign, which ended with his overthrow in the revolution of July 1830.

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Wellington’s political involvement with France ended in 1818, when he played a pivotal role in negotiating the withdrawal of allied occupational forces from France at the Congress of Aix-la-Chapelle. He left the country having profoundly shaped its military and political destiny, and with an impressive collection of French art. Louis XVIII bestowed lavish gifts on Wellington, a legendary Sèvres Egyptian dinner service, diamonds from the French crown jewels worth £30,000 and a set of medals in platinum, gold, silver and bronze commemorating the reign of Louis XVIII. Some of these items can still be viewed in London in Apsley House. Wellington’s time in France, his roles as a general, a politician and a collector, made him almost the prototype of those British men and women who exercised such influence on the economic and cultural life of Paris during the nineteenth century. Figures such as Thackery, Mrs Trollope and the great dressmaker Charles Worth, and institutions like the Revue Britannique, the Café Anglais, the Librairie Galignani, the Jockey Club and the Cercle de l’Union all made Britain influential across the channel. In this respect, Wellington’s time in France marked the opening of a period of intense Franco-British exchange based above all on movement between the two capitals. The apogee of this process came in 1914-18, when Paris once again played host to British troops. The intensity of these exchanges was reflected in the title of J.F. Macdonald’s 1917 book, Paris and London: Two Towns, One City.

Emmanuel de Waresquiel – Une Ouverture de Napoléon vers l’Europe: une Stratégie du Désespoir / Napoleon and Europe, 1815: a Strategy of Despair (Notes produced by Marion Narran)

En apprenant le débarquement de Napoléon au golfe Juan, son extraordinaire traversée de la France en vingt jours à la tête d’une poignée de grognards de l’île d’Elbe, son entrée quasi miraculeuse dans Paris abandonné la veille au soir par les Bourbons, Madame de Staël aurait eu ces mots à l’intention de l’un de ses amis : « J’avais voulu écrire la vie de Napoléon, mais maintenant j’écrirai les aventures de Bonaparte ». Les raisons qui déterminèrent Napoléon à quitter l’île Elbe sont multiples. La principale d’entre elles tient à l’analyse qu’il fait de la situation intérieure française plus que de la situation extérieure, même si la position des puissances à Vienne ne lui est pas indifférente. Pour Napoléon il n’est pas question de paix mais de la reconquête de la France. En quittant Elbe, le maintien de la paix européenne n’est donc pas pour lui la condition première de son retour. Il sait pourtant au même moment, et de façon parfaitement contradictoire, qu’en se présentant à la nation comme l’homme de la paix, qu’en arguant des complicités européennes, en particulier autrichiennes, à son retour, il n’en sera que plus légitime. La guerre avait été l’une des causes de l’effondrement de l’Empire comme de son abdication.

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Il veut désormais renouer avec une paix qu’il n’a pas faite jusqu’à chercher à s’emparer pour son propre compte du traité de Paris du 30 mai 1814 qu’il n’a pas signé. La paix devient alors une arme à la fois tactique, psychologique et politique indispensable à son retour et la reconnaissance de sa souveraineté par les puissances et la paix ne sont qu’une seule et même chose. Il tente une série de manœuvres de séduction auprès des puissances. Dans la plupart de ses allocutions aux autorités des villes qu’il traverse, il toujours question, à demi-mot, du consentement tacite de l’Autriche et l’Angleterre à son retour. Ces intrigues destinées à se ménager le soutien puissances échoueront et Napoléon en est alors réduit à rendre publiques tentatives de rapprochements.

est de des ses

L’opinion demeure hésitante sur les intentions des Alliés, tandis qu’en Europe on pense qu’il se serait préférable de laisser Napoléon s’enliser à Paris dans une situation de plus en plus incertaine et délétère. Les Alliés entrevoient les dangers d’une guerre qu’ils prédisent longue et coûteuse et le 25 mars les quatre grandes puissances alliées renouvellent officiellement les termes du traité d’alliance offensive et défensive contre Napoléon qu’ils avaient signés l’année précédente à Chaumont le 1er mars 1814, rejoint deux jours plus tard par le roi de France. Réinstallé au pouvoir, Napoléon déploie toute sa diplomatie pour temporiser, se ménager l’opinion publique française et européenne, développer une argumentation en faveur de la paix, comme si la validité des droits de Napoléon était liée à cette dernière. C’est sur cette base qu’il demande l’exécution du traité de paix du 30 mai 1814. Les questions intérieures et extérieures demeurent étroitement liées, ce qui l’a probablement poussé à accepter les principes d’une constitution libérale, en rupture avec les constitutions antérieures du Consulat et de l’Empire : puisque Napoléon cherche désormais à vivre en paix avec l’Europe, il peut logiquement s’atteler à « l’affermissement de la liberté publique », au renforcement du « système représentatif ». Mais la « realpolitik » n’est jamais loin et dès la fin mars, il se prépare à la guerre, annoncée à l’opinion le 14 avril. Napoléon a-t-il sincèrement cherché à éviter la guerre où s’agissait-il d’une simple manœuvre de circonstance, dictée par la nécessité ? D’aucun penseront par la suite que tôt ou tard, aurait-il arraché une paix armée à l’Europe affolée, son tempérament aurait repris le dessus. « J’ai besoin d’un coup d’éclat », dira-t-il à Carnot dans les premiers jours de juin avant de s’ensevelir dans les plaines de Belgique. Au fond, la question de la sincérité de Napoléon ne se pose même plus en avril 1815, pas plus que celle de la raison. L’Europe n’était pas en état de s’interroger sur l’une comme de soutenir l’autre. C’est la panique, c’est la peur, ce sont les humiliations accumulées, c’est l’esprit de vengeance, qui conduiront l’Europe des monarchies à la victoire de Waterloo. Tout cela ne relève ni de la logique ni de l’observation, mais d’un besoin irrépressible de se rassurer et de respirer enfin dans un monde qui décidément n’aura jamais été vraiment celui de Napoléon.

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Questions and Answers/ Débat (Notes produced by Marion Narran and Stewart McCain)

On the Roots of the Unpopularity of the Restored Bourbon Monarchy In 1814, the Bourbons enjoyed a degree of popularity upon their return to France. The Declaration of Saint-Ouen of May 1814 may have seen the Comte d’Artois reject, in the name of Louis XVIII, the provisional constitution drawn up by the French Senate. However, the Constitutional Charter of 1814, which formed the basis of the restored Bourbon monarchy, obtained broad support even as it disappointed reactionaries by leaving many features of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic regime in place. Divisions were greatly exacerbated in the wake of the Hundred Days, and especially the controversial execution of Marshal Ney, one of the most prominent and successful generals of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic period. Ney had rallied to Napoleon, and many Royalists, perhaps including the Duke of Wellington, who remained influential in French politics during the period, felt a message had to be sent. It was felt in such circles that important figures in Napoleon’s regime had been treated leniently in 1814, after Napoleon’s first abdication, and yet had turned from the Bourbons on Napoleon’s return from Elba in 1815. Nonetheless, the execution of Ney, a figure considered a war hero by many, after the battle of Waterloo soured public opinion and dented the authority of the restored Bourbon monarchy. On the Commemoration of 1814 Efforts to commemorate the Napoleonic wars, this colloque included, provide tangible demonstrations of the changing relationship between Britain and France. The Fall of Napoleon marked the end of a century of Franco-British rivalry. In 1814, the Norman Cross depot in Cambridgeshire, the world’s first Prisoner of War camp, was closed. The French troops, many of whom had been languishing in the prison for a decade or more, were sent home. One-hundred years later, and in the spirit of the Entente Cordiale signed in 1904, a bronze eagle was erected on the site of the camp to commemorate the prisoners - especially those who did not return home - and the experiences of the French soldiers who had served Napoleon. This was deemed an appropriate way of marking the new cross-channel alliance. Le Danger Napoléon Jacques Alain de Sebouy interroge les orateurs sur le moment du départ de Napoléon de l’île d’Elbe. Il se demande si des discussions au Congrès de Vienne n’ont pas eu lieu pour prévenir le danger et envisager de l’envoyer ailleurs, plus loin des côtes françaises.

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Pierre Branda répond qu’effectivement il y a eu des échanges entre Talleyrand et Louis XVIIII au sujet de Napoléon avec l’idée de l’envoyer loin des côtes européennes. Si l’ Empereur déchu n’avait pas mille hommes avec lui sur Elbe, les souverains européens craignaient une éventuelle alliance avec Murat, qui lui disposait d’une grande armée. Des projets de déportation lointaine étaient donc déjà évoqués. Le Retour de Napoléon Robert Tombs s’adresse à Emmanuel de Waresquiel et s’interroge sur le retour de Napoléon de l’île d’Elbe. Napoléon revenant d’Elbe prévoyait-il une guerre longue ou un coup d’éclat rapide ? Napoléon affirme en effet qu’il craint et qu’il s’attend à une « guerre longue » pour son retour, avant d’affirmer dans un autre discours qu’il recherche un « coup d’éclat ». Ces termes paraissent contradictoires. Napoléon a-t-il une idée claire de ce qui l’attendait pour son retour ou envisage-t-il de mener son retour par une série d’expédients ? Emmanuel de Waresquiel répond que ces deux citations ne sont pas incompatibles dans la mesure où elles ne s’excluent pas. Il avait ces deux idées en tête au moment du départ. Thierry Lenz ajoute que l’on se demande souvent pourquoi Napoléon a attaqué le premier alors qu’il n’était vraisemblablement pas prêt à le faire. Les historiens pensent qu’il raisonne comme un homme assiégé et attaque les troupes dont le nombre est numériquement proche de ses propres forces. En cela réside le coup d’éclat de Napoléon. Jacques-Olivier Boudon ajoute également que Napoléon ne disposait que d’un petit effectif car il avait déjà mobilisé beaucoup de soldats pour ses précédentes campagnes et il n’avait donc pas pu reconstituer une armée puissante.

Closing Remarks Alan Forrest (Notes prepared by Graham Callister)

The colloquium has been very rich and varied and so these remarks will represent but a few reflections on the conversations that have taken place across a large number of topics and themes. Firstly, it is worth considering the mood of France and Europe in 1814. It is clear that what was taking place here in Paris in 1814 as a seminal moment in European history. There had been nearly a quarter of a century of warfare. The first French soldiers who fought in the Revolutionary Wars had volunteered in 1791, and some of them would have had sons who were conscripted as ‘Marie-Louises’ in 1813-14. The events of 1814 were greeted with huge relief by a continent exhausted by war. The letters of soldiers and their officers in the last years of the war show that they are generally more concerned with peace than with victory. Where they did demand victory, it was only because they believed that this was the most likely route by

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which peace could be obtained. Europe was tired of war, and this made compromise more likely. There is also the question of Napoleon’s own standing in 1814. He had been a great general, of course, but he hadn’t led his country to a great victory for a number of years. 1812, 1813, and 1814 were all ultimately unsuccessful years militarily. In 1814 just outside Paris even his marshals refused to fight another campaign. But was Napoleon still the man to hold France together? Was he still seen as the only man who could bring stability to the country and therefore give Europe a chance at peace, as even his enemies had long believed? The Treaty of Chaumont showed that the Allies had turned against him. It was now believed that peace could not be agreed with Napoleon. There was a widespread desire to defeat Napoleon and to drive him from office, but in 1814 the Allies drew a clear distinction between Napoleon and France. They wanted, to borrow a modern phrase, to enact ‘regime change’ rather than to punish the whole country. And, as we know from recent experiences, regime change can be dangerous and unpopular. This brings us to Napoleon’s legacy. It is clear in 1814 that France was united in wanting peace, but a striking feature of the French polity in the nineteenth century is how fractured and divided it remained. Louis XVIII may have seemed the least divisive solution in 1814, but he was divisive nonetheless. Many who had supported, fought for, or benefited from the Revolution were reluctant to return to monarchy, even if that monarchy was constitutional. Many former Napoleonic soldiers felt badly treated after 1814 and 1815, especially when they saw veterans of pro-royalist campaigns in the Vendée being rewarded, while men who fought for France for years in Napoleon’s armies were being neglected. This helps to explain both the continuing opposition to the Bourbons and the growing nostalgia for Napoleon; popular nostalgia, but, more markedly, nostalgia in the army. And this army of Napoleon’s cast a shadow across almost the whole nineteenth century. In 1857 when Napoleon III ordered a medal to be given to all of the survivors of the Napoleonic Wars, the prefects established that there were somewhere in the region of 400,000 still surviving. The last Napoleonic veterans died only in the 1890s! The whole of the nineteenth century was in some way shaped, or even scarred, by the memory of the Napoleonic wars. A lot of what has been said today is about the diplomacy of the period, and this is not just about France. As John Bew made clear, all of the powers had their own interests to pursue. It has been made clear that in these wars the various participants had quite different war aims and demands, so that peace negotiations had to be carried out in a spirit of compromise. There remained problems between the powers; Russia and Prussia both wanted to expand at the expense of their neighbours in Eastern Europe, while Britain wanted to defend her maritime interests and colonial conquests. Indeed, for Britain these wars were the

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culmination of a long series of conflicts that had not just been about the fate of the continent, but in large measure about colonies and trade. Yet peace was made, and that it was maintained so well in the nineteenth century is much to the credit of the diplomats at Paris and Vienna. There were regional conflicts after 1815 – such as in Spain and Greece – and there were colonial confrontations, but there were no general European wars. This is in part down to the skill of the negotiators in 1814-15. Crimea is perhaps the first war fought over the idea of the balance of power, though others would put it as late as World War One. Just as peace persisted through the nineteenth century, so did the reputation of Napoleon. Even in Britain sympathy for Napoleon endures. Once Napoleon had stopped threatening Britain, once he was safely on St Helena, people began to show a certain affection for him. The caricatures we spoke about show a change in attitudes. While he is their enemy they look on him with fear and disdain, but once he is defeated he becomes an object of sympathy, even of admiration. People like Walter Scott wrote biographies of Napoleon, and his memory remained alive in nineteenth-century Britain, even eclipsing that of Wellington. An interesting piece of evidence demonstrating this came to light in a study of birth records in East Anglia in the 1820s, when it was discovered that a small number of boys were christened Waterloo; a slightly larger number were called Wellington; but that a larger number still were given the name Napoleon. We have talked mostly about Europe, but we have seen today that there were global ramifications to the struggle against Napoleon. The Napoleonic Wars were not just against Napoleon, and not just fought in Europe. There was, for instance, a British war against the United States in 1812. In the Caribbean, there was a war which led to the creation of the first black republic in Haiti. Russia became incontestably a power in Europe, while, as Thierry Lentz pointed out, France lost what was perhaps her last chance to become a truly global power. The wars also set the scene for Britain to become the global power of the nineteenth century. But we can also consider the impact of the wars on things such as the slave trade, as the British tried to impose abolition in peace treaties and at the Congress of Vienna. Why did they do this? Were they primarily concerned to stop their competitors profiting from the trade, or were they driven by the abolitionists’ brand of Protestant morality? We need to be careful less we make exaggerated claims, for slavery was not abandoned, even by Britain, and it was only the trade in slaves that was abolished. Also, Spain and Portugal refused to agree to abolition and continued trading well into the second half of the nineteenth century. Nonetheless, it is clear that the wars and the peace that followed had wider global ramifications. There has been a focus today on Napoleon and Wellington. Andrew Roberts mentioned that their relationship, such as it was, was one of mutual respect. This 37


is not always appreciated, and is perhaps only becoming more obvious with the publication of Napoleon’s correspondence by the Fondation Napoléon. It has also been shown that they were both quite generous in their views of one another, and each commented favourably on the other’s talents. This has allowed us to look differently at both men, and to re-assess their characters more positively. Napoleon was of course always hugely concerned with his own image, with his place in history, and with how he was perceived; he might see this re-evaluation as a minor success in that process. To conclude, this colloque has allowed us not only to discuss the subject of the day, but to establish a dialogue between French and British historians on a moment where the two countries’ histories interlocked, and when they prepared to be partners in peace. 1814 ended centuries of Anglo-French warfare. From this time on began a period of peace, collaboration and cooperation; not always easy, but enduring nonetheless. Today is not a celebration of war, nor of victory, but an assessment of a moment when countries learn to live together in peace. Recent bicentennials of Napoleon’s victories in France have largely avoided triumphalism and great spectacular celebrations of military victories; it would be perhaps advisable if Britain were to follow this lead next year with the anniversary at Waterloo. Anglo-French dialogue today, as over the past two centuries, has been very fruitful, and most of us here today feel very strongly that as Europeans we want this to continue.

Sir Peter Ricketts The idea of this colloque was that 1814 was a special moment in the Anglo-French relationship, and today has recognised that spirit. Thanks to the chairs, speakers, participants, and to Jenny Humphreys and the FCO historians for organising the event. Hopefully in a small way this colloque has added to the cooperation that has endured since 1814.

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Profile for FCDO Historians

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