The Declaration of Pillnitz was a joint declaration issued on August 27, 1791, by Holy Roman Emperor Leopold II and King Frederick William II of Prussia urging European powers to band together to restore the monarchy in France; French King Louis XVI had been reduced to a constitutional monarch during the French Revolution. The proclamation came after discussions between the two German rulers and other members of the Confederation of the Rhine.
Prussia and Austria were the only major countries that did not participate in the conference at Pillnitz; Russia also refused to take part but it is unknown why Germany's traditional ally, the Kingdom of Spain, did. However, when news of the declaration reached France, it caused an uproar among the people, who saw this as another attack on their country's independence. This led to the formation of a new government under Maximilien de Robespierre and Jean-Paul Marat that was determined to resist foreign interference in domestic politics.
In addition to calling for the restoration of the monarchy in France, the Declaration of Pillnitz called for the elimination of republicanism from Europe. Austrian and Russian support for the French Revolution's revolutionary ideals made participation by these countries unlikely, however. Only Prussia signed the document.
This declaration helped bring about the First Partition of Poland in 1793, which resulted in the creation of the first Polish state: the Habsburg Empire.
On August 27, 1791, in reaction to Louis XVI's captivity and forced return to Paris, Prussia and Austria published the Declaration of Pillnitz, urging the French not to hurt the king and demanding that the monarchy be restored. The declaration was an attempt by these powers to show their support for France while at the same time trying to avoid getting involved in its political turmoil.
Its signers were King Frederick William III of Prussia and Emperor Joseph II of Austria. They had good relations with each other; they were allies against Russia, which was then the dominant power in Europe. By issuing this declaration, they wanted to demonstrate their support for the beleaguered French monarchy while avoiding involvement in the internal politics of France. However, despite their best intentions, the declaration was interpreted as an endorsement of the revolution by many people in France, so it failed to have the desired effect. Indeed, it soon became clear that the French government was moving toward democracy rather than monarchy, so by late 1791 there was little hope for the restoration of the former regime.
In fact, the Declaration of Pillnitz led directly to the creation of the first French republic. In November 1791, the French National Assembly issued a decree abolishing all treaties with foreign powers. This included the treaty of 1728 with Prussia, which had provided for the joint occupation of the Rhineland by Prussia and France.
The Declaration of Pillnitz was made in 1792 by the monarchs of Austria and Prussia in an attempt to both defend the French monarchy and prevent a European war as a result of the French Revolution. The two countries agreed to help each other with troops if needed.
This statement has been called "a masterpiece of diplomatic language" because it did not commit either country to anything definite. However, the fact that they decided to work together on certain issues may be taken as a sign of trust between them. This declaration helped keep France and its allies off of Germany's border but also kept Russia and its ally Britain interested in Europe too. So there were still major powers in the region who could cause trouble if they wanted to.
In addition to this, the declaration promised that if either Austria or Prussia were attacked by another power, the other would come to their aid. This agreement was important because it showed that these two nations were willing to work with each other instead of against one another which had been the case before this agreement.
Finally, the declaration stated that any future changes in the political system in France would be considered by the parties involved. This way everyone knew what kind of relationship there would be between the countries after the revolution is over.
It had the opposite impact and will go down in history as a disastrous miscalculation. The two nations were not involved with each other's affairs before this meeting, but now they agreed to join forces against France.
This statement showed that the Kings of Austria and Prussia believed that if France were to be defeated, it could be done easily by another power joining them. This indicates that they did not believe that the French people would want another country to fight their battle for them. They also thought that with two countries helping France, the revolution would be stopped long enough for things to return back to normal. However, this was not going to happen because more revolutions would follow until France became a strong nation again.
In addition, the declaration said that the countries would help France by providing troops and materials needed for an army. This shows that the kings believed that with more countries fighting by France's side, then it would be able to win some battles where it currently stood no chance of success. However, since most of these countries were already allies of France, this wasn't going to change anything major.
Finally, the declaration said that the countries would work together to stop any future invasions from France or its allies.