In 1807, Napoleon's French Empire was almost at its zenith. It had crushed the Fourth Coalition at the Battle of Friedland earlier in June, and the defeated nations set out to make peace with Napoleon.
Napoleon and Alexander met in a raft on the Neman River on July 7, 1807. There they signed the Treaty of Tilsit, where they formed an alliance. Russia became a part of the Continental System, which was the attempt by Napoleon to blockade Britain.
This uneasy alliance would not last long. Russia was unable to withstand the economic pressure of blockading Britain, and violated the system several times, leading Napoleon to launch his disastrous invasion of Russia in 1812.
Artist: Adolphe Roehn
Location painted: Neman River, Prussia
Source: Wikimedia Commons
- 1807-07-07 First Treaty of Tilsit signed by Napoleon I of France, and Alexander I of Russia