Living in Turbulent Times
Ever since the dazzling but futile Erfurt Conference, in September 1808, of Napoleon, the Tsar and the Rheinbund princes, patriots had noticed with secret satisfaction cracks in the structure of Napoleon’s vast empire. Discontent was coming to the surface, under the pressure of financial distress. There had been uprisings here and there, and though in the hard-won victory at Wagram the fortunes of war had been on the Emperor’s side, the Treaty of Schönbrunn that followed it was to contribute to his downfall. By giving some of the territories newly ceded to him to Poland, Napoleon had offended the Tsar. Further friction with Russia led to war.