The Treaty of Bremen was a diplomatic agreement between the powers of the Third Coalition against France (the Kingdom of Italy, the Holy Roman Empire, the United Kingdom, the Russian Empire) and the French Empire. The treaty was signed on 6 April 1804 in the Holy Roman city of Bremen, following the French defeat in the War of the Third Coalition, and defined the terms in which the territory of France would be divided among the four powers. The result was the Great Fracture, in which all land that had been part of France was expropriated and turned into territory of other nations and dependent kingdoms and duchies.


The French Republic in 1803, at its height before the Treaty of Bremen.


The area of the French Empire in 1804, after the Treaty of Bremen.

Results of the Treaty

The treaty divided the land of France as follows:

  • The Confederation of Aquitaine, the official continuation of the French Empire, was established, with its borders defined by the Loire, Allier and Rhone rivers. Its capital was established in the western city of Bordeaux.
  • The area west of the Seine and north of the border of the Confederation, including the former capital of Paris, went to the United Kingdom. This region became known as Northern France.
  • The island of Corsica and the land southeast of the Rivers Rhone and Sainette were ceded to the Kingdom of Italy.
  • The remaining territory went to the Holy Roman Empire, which incorporated it as the Kingdom of Alsace and the Duchy of Bourgogne.
  • The Russian Empire received no European land; instead, Russia acquired full control of the Louisiana Territory.

The treaty mandated that the Confederation of Aquitaine collectively pay 230 million Francs in reparations to each of the four empires and kingdoms, immediately putting the region's economy into a rut. The treaty also included strictly defined trade laws that applied to the country, which dictated that it could only undergo trade with the powers of the Coalition, making it a de facto dependent state on the four countries.

The Russian acceptance of the Louisiana Territory was originally viewed as foolish; the land was considered indefensible against the United States, and as Europe was the main battleground of the western world at that time. However, this decision led to by far the most advantage out of all other terms of the treaty, giving Russia the prevalence in North America it sought.

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