ABSTRACT

While Great Britain was striving to put its house in order, other European states reacted in various ways to the unaccustomed lull in international conflict. France's satellite republics, as well as the Etrurian Kingdom in Italy, quickly discovered how little heed Bonaparte would pay to his solemn assurance, given at Luneville, that they would be fully independent. In September 1801, for example, the first consul had announced a new constitution for the Batavian Republic, vesting power in an executive council, with only a limited role reserved to a thirty-five man consultative chamber. In the ensuing plebiscite fewer than 17,000 Dutchmen voted in favour of the constitution, while over 52,000 opposed it; but Napoleon blandly announced that the nearly 340,000 eligible voters who had abstained from casting any ballot ·at all should be recorded as 'not opposed' and hence as supporters of his authoritarian reforms! In Italy, meanwhile, where the Ligurian Republic was being converted into what amounted to a cluster of new French departements around Genoa, the Cisalpine or, as it was now entitled, the Italian Republic was being reorgan-

ized under the presidency of Napoleon Bonaparte himself. The satellite system, whatever the treaty of Luneville might say, was in fact being revealed as an increasingly cynical fa~ade for direct French control. Its conversion into an openly imperial constellation awaited only the first consul's pleasure.