Amiens Agreement

Hawkesbury apparently felt that this meant that Britain would retain its colonial conquests and that France would retain its continental position and Egypt; As a result, he went so far as to remember Pitt`s expedition on the way to Egypt by the French. The recall failed to catch Abercromby in time. At that time, Napoleon`s hopes of victory over Britain were intact and so there was no reason to accept this offer. Therefore, the instructions to Otto were to delay and argue about the imbalance of the transaction. If Britain had conquered India and all the colonies of France, Spain and Holland, how would France be satisfied with Egypt? Addington and Hawkesbury retaliated by offering to exchange british conquests with the exception of Malta, Ceylon, Trinidad, Martinca and Cape Town for the return of Egypt to Turkey – part of the status quo. However, at that time, no agreement was likely without British capitulation. The following month, Tsar Paul and Nelson were murdered in Copenhagen, ending the Baltic League. In December, the negotiations moved to Amiens and Joseph took over the French direction of the negotiations. Joseph had a reputation for honesty and moderation, but Cornwallis found it inconsistent and unclear.

„After getting his agreement on any point, I can`t be sure that it`s finally settled and won`t pull out of it in our next conversation.” Perhaps this reflected, in some way, the communications and instructions Joseph received. Cornwallis couldn`t be easier to manage. He was apparently sleepy and unsuser vigilant, and his slow means of doing business led to complaints. Despite all these difficulties, the two chief negotiators had the will and sincere desire to reach an agreement and complete the peace settlement between their respective countries. The agreement, however, received Pitt`s approval, and Lord Cornwallis, a great soldier and former Governor-General of India, was appointed Ambassador Extraordinary to agree on the final treaty. He was not a diplomat and had largely forgotten his French, but he went to Paris and an interview with the First Consul in November, after which the two sides had in-depth talks at the City Hall in Amiens. With Talleyrand in the background, the French assistant was led by Joseph Bonaparte, Napoleon`s elder brother, personally highly praised by English representatives, although he was dismayed to offer private concessions in one day and exclude them in public the next. William Wilberforce urged Addington to include the abolition of slavery in Amiens` terms, but Addington, while sympathetic, wanted nothing to disrupt progress toward peace.

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