The St Petersburg Accords, often called the Peace of St Petersburg or the Treaty of 1812, signed in the Winter Palace on January 1st, 1812, ended the hostilities and tensions between the European countries of France and Russia, and Austria in the agreement. The accords were made by Napoleon so that Russia would no longer intervene in his ambitions. The peace enabled Napoleon to relief his country of war and return to peacetime. The accords, however, also allowed Napoleon to gain Russia as an ally. This marked an era that would allow French dominance of Europe.

St Petersburg Accords

The Ten Statements

The Preface of the treaty declares it to " cease all tensions and possibilities of war with the kingdoms empires of France, Russia, Austria, and Prussia, and to establish a ceasefire between the two countries".

  1. France will return Galicia to Austria, which was lost due to the terms of the Treaty of Schönbrunn.
  2. France will grant Poland "independence"
  3. France will eliminate its support to the Polish Nationalists and abandon the idea of a larger Polish state.
  4. A demilitarized border will be established between all three countries.
  5. France will not try to invade Austria, though it still will be part of the Continental System.
  6. Russia will rejoin the Continental Blockade.
  7. Russia will end its militarization in its lands in Central Europe.
  8. Russia will become an ally of France and distant itself from Britain.
  9. Russia will not intervene in French policies.
  10. France will not attempt to invade Russia

Results of the Terms

In the Treaty of Schönbrunn, signed on October 14, 1809, Austria was forced by the French to seceed Galicia to the Poles. The accords allowed Austria to regain Galicia. Also, France ended all claims to Poland, its support for Polish nationalists, and its attempt to create a greater Polish state. The decision to return the territories ended the tensions between Russia and France, as the issue of Poland has caused the source of tensions. Also, France would end any attempt to invade Austria or Prussia, and will be independent from the French sphere of influence. Much to Napoleon's relief, Alexander I of Russia agreed to end the hostilities as long as France doesn not threaten Austria or Prussia ever again.

However, in exchanged, Russia, Austria, and Prussia will be forced to join the Continental System. In fact, this what Napoleon was angered on Russia about during Franco-Russian tensions. The end of tensions also forced the four countries to establish a demilitarized zone and force Russia to end military build-up in Central Europe.

Consequences and Response

Historians believed this allowed Napoleon to end the years of war between France and most of Europe and end all hostilities with Russia. This contributed to the growth and rise of the French Empire, which will eventually dominate all of Europe.

Statements 1,2,3,4,5,and 10 helped eliminated threats to Russia's interests in Eastern Europe; especially when France controlled Poland and other lands taken away from Austria in 1809 caused Russia to suspect France might invade the country. Statements 6,7,8, and 9 allowed Napoleon to have some of his ways, including the membership for the Continental System.

The response to the St. Peterbsug Accords from Britain was horrifying as their worst nightmare came true. King George III sent letters to Russia, pleading them to continue to fight against Napoleon, yet they ignored the messages. In response, Britain broke all ties with Russia and established economic sanctions against it.