The First Treaty of Paris is signed, returning the French frontiers to their 1792 extent, and restoring the House of Bourbon to power.
The First Treaty of Paris was signed on May 30, 1814, between France and the victorious powers of the Sixth Coalition, which included Austria, Great Britain, Prussia, and Russia. It marked the end of the Napoleonic Wars and the downfall of Napoleon Bonaparte’s rule as Emperor of the French.
The treaty aimed to restore peace and redraw the map of Europe after years of conflict. Its main provisions included:
France’s boundaries: France was restored to its pre-revolutionary borders, as they stood on January 1, 1792, before Napoleon’s expansionist campaigns.
Return of occupied territories: The countries that had been occupied by French forces during the Napoleonic Wars were to be returned to their pre-war rulers. This involved the return of territories to various European states, including Spain, Portugal, the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, and the Papal States.
Compensation for France: France was allowed to retain its overseas colonies, such as Guadeloupe, Martinique, French Guiana, and Réunion. It also received financial compensation to compensate for the loss of territories in Europe.
Restoration of monarchies: The treaty aimed to restore the monarchies that had been overthrown by Napoleon. This included the reinstatement of the Bourbon monarchy in France, with Louis XVIII becoming the King of France.
Reparations: France was required to pay reparations to the allied powers for the costs of the war. The exact amount was determined later in subsequent treaties.
Congress of Vienna: The treaty also established the Congress of Vienna, which was held from September 1814 to June 1815. The Congress aimed to negotiate and establish a long-term balance of power in Europe and redefine the political landscape after the Napoleonic era.
The First Treaty of Paris set the stage for further negotiations and agreements that would shape Europe for the next century. However, the peace would prove to be temporary, as Napoleon would later escape from exile and regain power in France for a brief period in what is known as the Hundred Days, leading to the final defeat of the French at the Battle of Waterloo and the subsequent Second Treaty of Paris in 1815.