Final Act of the Congress of Vienna/Act II

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ACT, No. II.—Treaty between Russia and Prussia of the 21st April (3d May) 1815.[1][2][3]
The plenipotentiaries of the high powers who signed the treaty

The Treaty was drawn up in French as specified in the Article CXX of the General Treaty of the Final Act of the Congress of Vienna, as it was the lingua franca of diplomacy at the time.[4] This translation was laid before the British Parliament on 2 February 1816, with some additional formatting from the French original.

In the Name of the Most Holy and Undivided Trinity.

His Majesty the Emperor of all the Russias, and his Majesty the King of Prussia, animated with the desire of cementing more closely the ties of friendship which have united their arms and their subjects in a difficult and sanguinary war, the sacred object of which was to restore peace to Europe and tranquillity to nations, have judged it expedient, in order to fulfil their immediate engagements, and to put an end to all uncertainties, to fix definitively, by a solemn treaty, every thing which concerns the arrangements relative to the duchy of Warsaw; as well as to settle the state of affairs resulting therefrom, by combined negotiations, founded upon the principles of a just balance of power and division of forces, discussed and agreed upon at the Congress of Vienna.—The national spirit, the advantages of commerce, the arrangements which may restore stability to the administration, regularity in the finances, public and individual prosperity in the provinces recently obtained, have all been taken into consideration, and their Imperial and Royal Majesties, in order to complete this salutary work, to settle and fix definitively the limits of their states, to agree on all the stipulations which can insure their happiness, have named for their Plenipotentiaries, viz.:

His Majesty the Emperor of all the Russias, the Sieur Andrew, Count de Rasoumoffsky, his Privy Counsellor, Knight of the Orders of St. Andrew, and of St. Alexander Newsky, Grand Cross of the Order of St. Wolodimir, and his First Plenipotentiary at the Congress; and

his Majesty the King of Prussia, the Prince Hardenberg, his Chancellor of State, Knight of the Grand Orders of the Black Eagle and of the Red Eagle, of St. John of Jerusalem, and of the Iron Cross of Prussia, of the Orders of St. Andrew, St. Alexander Newsky, and of St. Ann of the first class of Russia, Grand Cross of the Royal Order of St. Stephen of Hungary, Grand Eagle of the Legion of Honour, Knight of the Order of St. Charles of Spain, of the Supreme Order of the Annunciation, of the Seraphim of Sweden, of the Order of the Elephant of Denmark, of the Golden Eagle of Wurtemburg, and of several others, his First Plenipotentiary at the Congress;

Who, after having exchanged their full powers, and found them in good and due form, have agreed on the following Articles:

these Articles having been negociated in common with the Treaties between Russia, Austria, and Prussia respectively, are inserted in all their form and tenor, excepting the modifications which are contained in that concluded with his Imperial and Royal Apostolic Majesty, occasioned by the particular state of affairs.

ART. I. The part of the duchy of Warsaw which his Majesty the King of Prussia is to possess, in full sovereignty and property, for himself and his successors, under the title of Grand Duchy of Posen, shall be comprised within the following line of demarcation:

Commencing from the frontier of Eastern Prussia, at the village of Neuhoff, the new limit shall follow the frontier of Western Prussia, as it has existed from 1772 to the Peace of Tilsit, as far as the village of Leibitsch, which shall belong to the duchy of Warsaw; from thence a line shall be drawn, which, leaving Kompania, Grabowiec, and Szczytno, to Prussia, passes the Vistula near the latter place, on the other side of the river, which falls, opposite Szczytno, into the Vistula, as far as the ancient limit of the district of the Netze, near Gros-Opoczko, in such a manner that Sluzewo shall belong to the duchy, and Przybranowa, Hollander, and Maciejewo, to Prussia. From Gros-Opoczko it shall pass through Chlewiska, which shall remain to Prussia, to the village of Przybyslaw, and from thence by the villages of Piaski, Chelnice, Witowickski, Kobylinka, Woyczyr, Orchowo, as far as the town of Powidz.

From Powidz it shall continue through the town of Slupse, to the which the rivers Wartha and Prosna join.

From this point it ascends the river Prosna as far as the village of Koscielnawies, a league from the town of Kalisch.

Thence, leaving to this town, (on the left bank of the Prosna) a territory describing a semi-circle, measured according to the distance between Koscielnawies and Kalisch, it rejoins the course of the Prosna, and continues to follow it, ascending by the cities Grabow, Wieruszow, Boleslawiec, and ending near the village of Gola, at the frontier of Silesia, opposite Pitachin.

ART. II. The city of Cracow is declared free and independent, as well as the territory designated in the additional Treaty, signed in common by the courts of Russia, Austria, and Prussia.

ART. III. The duchy of Warsaw, with the exception of the free city of Cracow and its territory, as well as of that line on the right bank of the Vistula which is restored to his Majesty the Emperor of Austria, and, excepting also the provinces which have otherwise been disposed of, in conformity to the Articles abovementioned, is united to the empire of Russia, to which it shall be irrevocably attached by its constitution, to be possessed by his Majesty the Emperor of all the Russias, his heirs and successors, in perpetuity. His Imperial Majesty reserves to himself the right of giving to this state, enjoying a distinct administration, the internal modification which he shall judge proper. He shall assume, in addition to his other titles, that of Czar, King of Poland, agreeably to the form established tor the titles attached to his other possessions.

The Poles, subjects respectively of the High Contracting Powers, shall obtain institutions by which the preservation of their nationality may be insured, according to the degree of political existence which each of the governments to which they belong, shall judge proper to allow them.

ART. IV. If the inhabitants and landed proprietors of the countries which have been separated in consequence of the present Treaty, wish to settle under another government, they shall be at liberty, during six years, to dispose of their (property, moveable or immoveable, of whatever nature it may be, to sell it, to quit the country, and to remove the produce thereof, either in specie, or other description of money, without any impediment or deduction whatever.

ART. V. A complete, general, and special amnesty shall be granted to all individuals, of whatever rank, sex, or condition they may be.

ART. VI. In consequence of the preceding Article, no person shall in future be molested or disturbed, in any manner, on account of any part he may have taken, either directly or indirectly, and at any period, in the political, civil, or military events in Poland. All processes, proceedings, or prosecutions, shall be regarded as null. Sequestrations or provisional confiscations shall be taken off, and any act proceeding from similar causes, shall be of no effect.

ART. VII. From these general regulations respecting confiscations, all cases are excepted in which edicts or sentences, finally pronounced, shall have been carried into complete execution, and have not been annulled by subsequent events.

ART. VIII. The quality of a subject, of the two governments, with regard to property, shall be acknowledged and confirmed.

ART. IX. Every individual, possessing property under more than one government, is required, in the course of a year, dating from the day of the ratification of the present Treaty, to declare, in writing, before the magistrate of the nearest town, or the commander of the nearest district, or before the nearest civil authority in the country which he has chosen to reside in, the place while he shall have fixed upon for his settled abode. This declaration, which the above magistrate or other authority shall transmit to the superior authority of the province, renders him, as to his person and his family, exclusively the subject of the sovereign in whose states he has fixed his said residence.

ART. X. With regard to minors and other persons under the care of guardians, such guardians shall be compelled to make the necessary declaration at the time prescribed.

ART. XI. If an individual, possessing property under both governments, shall have neglected, at the expiration of the said term of one year, to make the declaration of his fixed abode, he shall be considered as being the subject of the power, in whose states he last resided; his silence, in this case, being considered a tacit declaration.

ART. XII. Every individual possessing property under both governments, having once declared his place of abode, shall nevertheless retain, during the term of eight years, dating from the day of the ratification of the present Treaty, the liberty of settling under another government, upon making a new declaration of his abode, and upon producing the permission of the power, under whose government he wishes to settle.

ART. XIII. Any individual possessing property, and circumstanced as above, who has made his declaration of abode, or who is considered as having made it, conformably to the stipulations of the 11th Article, is not obliged to sell, at any period whatever, the property which he may possess in the states of a sovereign of whom he is not a subject. He shall enjoy, with regard to this property, all the rights which attach to possession. He shall be allowed to expend the revenues thereof in the country where he has chosen his residence, without being subject to any drawback at the time of exportation, and he may dispose of the said possessions, and remove the value thereof, without any impediment whatever.

ART. XIV. The privileges mentioned in the preceding Article extend solely to the property which such individual may possess at the time of the ratification of the present Treaty.

ART. XV. The same privileges are, however, attached to every acquisition made under either government by reason of inheritance, marriage, or gift of an estate, which at the date of the ratification of the present Treaty shall finally belong to a possessor under both governments.

ART. XVI. Should any individual, previously possessing property under one government only, become entitled, by inheritance, legacy, gift, or marriage, to any property under the other government, he shall be considered as a possessor under both governments, and shall be required to declare his place of abode in the prescribed term of a year. This term shall be dated from the day on which he shall have produced the legal proofs of his new acquisition.

ART. XVII. Any individual, possessing property under both governments, or his agent, shall be at liberty, at all times, to proceed from one of his possessions to the other; and it is the pleasure of the two Courts, that the Governor of the nearest province shall grant the necessary passports for this purpose, on application of the parties. These passports shall be deemed sufficient authority for passing from one government to the other, and shall be mutually respected.

ART. XVIII. Possessors whose estates are divided by the frontier, shall be treated, in regard to such possessions, on the most liberal principles.

Possessors under both governments, their servants and tenants, shall have the liberty of passing and repassing, with their implements of husbandry, their cattle, utensils, &c. from one part of the estate, thus separated by the frontier, to the other, the difference of sovereignty being no impediment thereto; as well as of removing, from one place to the other, their harvests, all productions of the soil, their cattle, and all 'manufactured articles, without passports, molestation, rent or impost, or duty whatever.

This favour, however, shall be limited to articles of growth or of industry, in the territory thus separated by the line of demarcation. It shall likewise extend to such lands only as belong to the same individual, in the defined distance of a mile (15 to a degree) on each side of the frontier line.

ART. XIX. The shepherds and drovers, subjects of both Powers, shall continue to enjoy the rights, immunities, and privileges, which were formerly granted to them; nor stall any obstacle be thrown in the way of the daily communications between the inhabitants of the borders. (In German, Gransverkehr).

ART. XX. The Domiciliary Court shall likewise decide differences, which may arise between any individual and the Governor of those territories, but it is the Chief Court of the territory, wherein the property in litigation is situated, which shall cause the sentence, emanating from the former Court, to be put in execution. This regulation shall be in force for the term of ten years, at the expiration of which, the two High Powers reserve to themselves the right of making any other regulation that may be necessary.

ART. XXI. The sovereignty of mills, manufactories, or foundaries, established upon a river constituting the frontier line, shall be exercised by the sovereign of the territory in which the village or place shall be situated, to which such establishment may belong.

In the event of their constituting private property, the Commissioners who shall be charged with the demarcation of the line of frontier, shall determine, according to locality and the principles of equity, what shall be proper, as to the sovereignty.

It is expressly understood, that new establishments of this description shall not be formed without the mutual consent of the governments of the respective states bordering on the rivers.

ART. XXII. The navigation of all rivers and canals, in all parts of ancient Poland (as it existed in the year 1772) along their whole extent, as far as their mouths, as well in going up as in coming down, whether those rivers be navigable at present, or become so in future, as well as canals which may be hereafter cut, shall be free, so as not to be interdicted to any inhabitant of the Polish provinces under the Russian and Prussian governments.[5]

The same principles established in favour of the subjects of the two High Powers, shall apply to the trade they carry on; it being understood that they refer to those parts only, at which they may arrive by the said streams, rivers, and canals, or by the Haff, in order to enter the port of Konigsberg.

ART. XXIII. The tonnage and towage duties on the banks of streams, rivers, and canals, shall be levied equally on the subjects of the two Powers. Boatmen shall nevertheless conform to the regulations of the Police, with regard to the interior navigation.

ART. XXIV. In order to secure, still further, the freedom of navigation, and to remove every obstacle thereto for the future, the two High Contracting Parties agree to establish only one kind of duty on navigation, levied according to the burthen, the tonnage, or the lading of the vessel.

Commissioners shall be respectively appointed to regulate this duty, which shall be levied at a very moderate rate, to be applied solely to the keeping the rivers and canals in a navigable state. This duty, once approved by the two Courts, cannot again be altered but by common consent. The same rule shall be observed with regard to the Boards which are to settle the collection of those duties.

The rate thus established, shall be collected on the territory of each of the two Contracting Powers, on their respective account. If, however, either of the two Contracting Powers should cut, at their own expense, a new canal, the subjects of his Prussian Majesty shall never be liable to higher duties on navigation, than those of his Majesty the Emperor of all the Russias In this respect, both the parties shall be placed upon a perfect equality.

ART XXV. In consequence of the principle laid down in the preceding Article, all oppressive duties of entrepôt, of staple, of breaking bulk, and others of a like nature, which may have been injurious to the free navigation of the said rivers and canals, shall be for ever abolished throughout their whole extent.

ART. XXVI. With regard to the rights and privileges of certain towns and ports, which might affect the rights of property, and which would consequently be contrary to the principles reciprocally adopted, it has been agreed that they shall be examined by a Board of Commissioners, appointed by the two Courts, to determine which shall be abolished, and to give that freedom and activity to commerce which is necessary to its prosperity.

The Commissioners for this purpose, shall be nominated forthwith, and their operations shall be completed and approved six months, at latest, after the date of the ratification of the present Treaty.

ART. XXVII. Each Power shall be at liberty to accredit to the other consuls, or commercial agents, on condition, however, that they shall be recognised according to the usual forms.

ART. XXVIII. In order to promote agriculture as much as possible in all parts of ancient Poland, to encourage the industry of its inhabitants and to insure their prosperity, the two High Contracting Parties have agreed, that their paternal and beneficent views, in this respect, may be clearly understood, that the most unlimited circulation, for the future and for ever, of all articles of growth and industry, shall be permitted throughout their Polish provinces (as it existed in 1772). The Commissioners appointed to make the arrangements, conformable to the stipulations of the 26th Article, shall likewise determine, in the prescribed term of six months, the tarif of duties on the import and export of all articles of produce and manufacture, in the above-mentioned provinces. This duty shall not exceed 10 per cent, which is to be levied on the value of the merchandize, at the place of its departure. If the two Courts should think proper, respectively, to establish a duty on the importation of grain, it shall be fixed at the most moderate rate by the said Commissioners, according to the instructions which shall be given them. In order to prevent foreigners profiting by the arrangements made in favour of the provinces above mentioned, it is determined, that all articles, the produce thereof, which shall pass from one territory to the other, shall be accompanied with the certificate of origin, without which, they shall not be allowed to enter. In case the consul should be at too great a distance to grant one, that of the Magistrate of the place shall be sufficient.

ART. XXIX. The transit of merchandize shall be perfectly free in all parts of ancient Poland, and shall be subject to the most moderate duties. The Commission, mentioned in the 26th and 28th Articles, shall determine the mode by which the value shall be ascertained, and shall consider of the most certain means of preventing all delay in passing the Custom-houses, or any kind of impediment whatever.

ART. XXX. The stipulations agreed upon in the above-mentioned Articles, relative to commerce and navigation, shall not be partially applied: consequently, up to the period (which shall not exceed six months) in which the above-mentioned Commission shall have completed their labours, the navigation shall continue on the same footing as latterly. With regard to the import trade, each government shall adopt, during the interval, such measures as may be judged most expedient.

ART. XXXI. The particular attention of the two High Courts has been directed towards the regulations concerning debts, and the fixing of the proportions which each of the Contracting Powers shall bear in a transaction on which depend the interest of individuals, the regularity of the finance, and the execution of treaties. It has therefore been resolved to proceed with that precision which such arrangements require; and to distinguish them; viz. into old debts, those of King Stanislaus Augustus, and of the former Republic; and, into new ones, those of the Duchy of Warsaw.

ART. XXXII. With regard to the first class, all such debts as are to be liquidated by Prussia, in virtue of the Treaty of 1797,[6] having been converted into bonds of the Maritime Society, known by the name of Recognizances, and his Majesty being willing to become responsible for the total amount of those bonds, with their interest, the security which the Duchy of Warsaw (under the guarantee of the Emperor of all the Russias) is to afford to Prussia with regard to the principal, has been regulated, as well with respect to capital as interest, in the Table A. It has been determined, in consequence, that the regulations contained in that table should be considered as having the same validity as if they had been inserted, word for word, in the present Article. The table has, for this reason, been signed separately and the sum total which thereby accrues to Prussia, shall be reimbursed to that Power in eight equal annual Payments, with an interest at the rate of 4 per cent, it being understood, that the instalments shall be regulated in such manner, that no compound interest shall be paid. The first payment shall be made 12th (24th) June 1816. The High Contracting Powers having, however, taken into consideration the actual state of affairs, and the new efforts which the circumstances may require, have agreed, that if peace be not re-established at the above-mentioned period, the first payment is to be deferred) and the others progressively, according to the rule laid down, until the time when the troops of the respective Powers shall have returned to their homes.

ART. XXXIII. The Duchy of Warsaw shall be at liberty to reimburse Prussia, for the capital and Interest, as settled in the aforesaid table, either in bonds of the Maritime Society, called Recognizances, in such bills as may supply the place of these Recognizances, or in specie; and, in the latter case, His Prussian Majesty consents to a discount of 10 per cent. This discount, however, is not to be taken on payment of the current interest, which may nevertheless be discharged in paper currency, (Coupons courants).

ART. XXXIV. With respect to the new debts of the Duchy of Warsaw, His Prussian Majesty undertakes to provide for them in the proportion of three tenths; it being understood that the Court of Prussia shall participate in the interest which may accrue on their liquidation, in the same proportion.

ART. XXXV. The quota which his Majesty the Emperor of all the Russias engages to provide for the old debts of the Duchy of Warsaw, being specified in the table B, the regulations contained therein shall be considered as having the same validity as if they were inserted in the present Article, and the Russian Imperial Treasury shall pay, without delay, to the Prussian government, the amount which shall appear in this table, in the same order, by the same instalments, and bearing the same interest, as is stipulated and agreed upon for the reimbursements to be made from the treasury of the Duchy of Warsaw, under the guarantee of His Imperial Majesty; so that the said Duchy shall not be charged, on the part of Prussia, with a water sum than eighteen millions, five hundred and seventy-three thousand, nine hundred and fifty-two, and twenty-one thirtieths, Polish florins.

ART. XXXVI. Immediately after the signature of the present Treaty, a Commission shall be named, which shall assemble at Warsaw. It shall be composed of a proper number of Commissioners and clerks: its object shall be:

1. To prepare an exact balance of what is due by foreign governments.

2. To regulate reciprocally between the Contacting Parties the demands arising from their respective claims.

3. To settle the claims of subjects upon their governments. In fine, to adjust whatever relates to subjects of this nature.

ART: XXXVII. As soon as the Commission mentioned in the preceding Article shall have assembled it shall name a Committee, for the purpose of proceeding Immediately to the necessary arrangements for the restitution of all securities, whether consisting of money, or in deeds and documents, which the subjects of one of the Contracting Parties may have given, and which may be in the states of the other. The same rule shall be observed in all law or other offices, which may have been transferred from one province to the other. They shall be restored to the jurisdiction of the governments to which they belong.

ART. XXXVIII. All documents, plans, maps, or deeds whatever, which may be found in the archives of either of the Contracting Parties, shall be mutually restored to the Power whose territory they concern:

If a document of this kind be of a common interest, the party who is in possession of it shall keep it, but a certified and legalised copy thereof shall be given to the other.

ART. XXXIX. Acts of the administration shall be separated. Each of the Contracting Parties shall receive the part which concerns His states.

The same rule shall be observed with regard to books and deeds concerning mortgages. In the case provided for in the above Article, a legalised copy shall be given.

ART. XL. If the restitution of the different kinds of depots which, during the war of 1806, were placed in security at Konigsberg by Prussian officers, has not yet been effected, it shall take place forthwith, according to the principles established by the Convention of the 10th of September 1810,[7] and conformably to what has been settled in the conferences of the respective Commissioners who have discussed this subject at Warsaw.

ART. XLI. A military and civil Commission shall be immediately appointed, to construct an exact map of the new frontier, annexing the topographical description thereto, to place the boundary posts, and describe the angles of its situation, so that in no case the least doubt, dispute, or difficulty may arise, if, in the course of time, the replacing of a boundary mark, destroyed by any accident, should be disputed.

ART. XLII. Immediately after the ratification of the present Treaty, the necessary orders shall be sent to the commanders of troops in the Duchy of Warsaw, as well as to the competent authorities, for the evacuation of the provinces which are restored to his Prussian Majesty, and for the restitution of he country to the Commissioners who shall be appointed for that purpose. And the evacuation shall take place so as to be completed in twenty-one days.

ART. XLIII. The present Treaty shall be skill ratified, and the ratifications shall be exchanged in six days. In faith of which the respective Plenipotentiaries have signed the same, and have affixed thereunto the seals of their arms.

Done at Vienna, the 31st April, (3rd May), 1815.[2]


(L. S.) The Count de Rasumoffsky.
(L. S.) The Prince de Hardenberg.


  1. Hansard, The Parliamentary Debates from the Year 1803 to the Present Time ..., Volume 32. 1 February to 6 March 1816, T.C. Hansard, 1816. pp. 126131
  2. 2.0 2.1 The Russian Empire was still using the Julian calendar, the date in brackets is the Gregorian Calendar used by Western Europe including Britain (see Old Style and New Style dates)
  3. By a Russian Manifesto of 26th (14th Old Style) February, 1832, the Kingdom of Poland was declared to be perpetually united to the Russian Empire, and to form an integral part thereof. The British Government protested against this Manifesto on the 3rd July, 1832, as being an infraction of the Vienna Congress Treaty. (Hertslet (No.13) p.105)
  4. British Foreign Office British and Foreign State Papers. 1814—1815 Volume II. Compiled by the librarian and keeper of the papers, Foreign Office-London: James Rigway and Sons, Piccadilly, H.M.S.O., 1839. pp. 63–73. (Annex I)—TRAITE entre la Russie et la Prusse, relatif à la Pologne — Signé à l'Vienne, le 21 Avril/3 Mai, 1815.
  5. See Art. XII of the General Treaty of the Congress of Vienna (Hertslet (No.13) p.111)
  6. See Art. XIV of the General Treaty of the Congress of Vienna (Hertslet (No.13) p.111)
  7. See Martens Supplement. Vol 5, Page 283 (Foreign Office p. 72)


  • Hertslet, Edward (1875). The map of Europe by treaty; showing the various political and territorial changes which have taken place since the general peace of 1814, London, Butterworths. (No. 12) pp. 105–?
  • British Foreign Office British and Foreign State Papers. 1814—1815 Volume II. Compiled by the librarian and keeper of the papers, Foreign Office-London: James Rigway and Sons, Piccadilly, H.M.S.O., 1839. pp. 56–63. Original French. The additional formatting of this treaty from this document.
  • Hansard, The Parliamentary Debates from the Year 1803 to the Present Time ..., Volume 32. 1 February to 6 March 1816, T.C. Hansard, 1816. pp. 126 131. The translation is from this document.
  • Georg Friedrich von Martens "Supplement au recueil des principaux traités d'Alliance, de Paix, de Trêve, de Neutralité, de Commerce, de Limites, d'Echange etc. et de plusieurs autres actes servant a la connaissance des relations étrangères des Puissances et Etats'' de l'Europe"