Treaty of Amiens (1802)

The Treaty of Amiens was a peace treaty signed on March 25, 1802, in Amiens, France, by the French First Republic, Great Britain, Spain, and the Neatherlands. Although it put an end to the Second Coalition War of the French Revolutionary Wars, the peace lasted only one year, until May 1803. Through the Treaty of Amiens, France recovered most of its colonies; Great Britain returned the Cape Colony to the Batavian Republic (the Netherlands) and withdrew its forces from Egypt, but received Trinindad, Tobago, and Ceylon in return; the island of minorca was returned to Spain; the House of Orange-Nassau was to be compensated for its losses in the Netherlands; Malta, Gozo, and Comino to be restored to the Hospitallers.

After the Treaty of Amiens, the British government balked at implementing certain terms of the treaty, such as evacuating their naval presence from Malta. After the initial fervor, objections to the treaty quickly grew in the United Kingdom, where it seemed to the governing class that they were making all the concessions and ratifying recent developments. Prime Minister Addington did not undertake military demobilization, but maintained a large peacetime army of 180,000. Actions taken by Bonaparte after the treaty was signed increased tensions with Britain. He used the time of peace to consolidate power and reorganize domestic administration in France and some of its client states.

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