1801 - Colonial restorations


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Naval History of Great Britain - Vol III
1801 Treaty of Amiens 161

the part of France, preliminary articles of peace between the two nations. On the 10th, the ratifications were duly exchanged ; and, on the 12th, his Britannic Majesty issued a proclamation, ordering a cessation of arms by sea and land. According to the preliminary articles, five months from the date of the exchange of ratifications was the longest period during which hostilities could legally exist in the most distant part of the globe.

In consequence of the proclamation, the British blockading squadrons retired from the opposite coast; at which time, however, the French ports were all alive. In them ships were getting ready, and troops embarking, for an expedition to St.-Domingo ; where the blacks were in open rebellion against the whites. The Dutch and Spanish ports began also to exhibit an unusual activity. England, therefore, with a becoming forecast, delayed awhile disarming her ships.

As any treaty of peace to which England is a party, is necessarily made up, in a great degree, of colonial cessions, this appears the proper head of the work under which to offer the few remarks we have to make on the subject. And, although the definitive treaty between all the belligerents was not finally concluded until the 25th of March, 1802, at Amiens, we shall at once state what change it effected, more particularly in the colonial property propriety of the different powers.

Let us first briefly advert to the stipulations which affected the European territory of the several belligerents. France got back the small islands of Saint-Marcouf. Portugal was to remain as before the war, except as to the province which, by the treaty of Badajos, she had ceded to Spain.* The republic of the Seven Islands was acknowledged. Egypt and the other territories of the Sublime Porte were to be retained in their integrity as before the war. For this article there would have been no occasion, had the British government known, as well as Buonaparte did, the issue of the Egyptian campaign. The islands of Malta, Goza, and Comino were to be restored to the order of St.-John of Jerusalem as before the war ; and the British troops were to evacuate those islands within three months after the exchange of the ratification. The French troops were to evacuate Naples and the Roman territory ; and the British troops, in like manner, were to evacuate Porto-Ferrajo, as well as all the islands and forts which they might occupy in the Mediterranean or Adriatic. The colonies now demand our attention.

North America.

England had taken from France the valuable fishery islands of Saint-Pierre and Miquelon ; but France, by the treaty of Amiens, got them restored to her.

* See p. 111

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