"The Declaration of Pillnitz"


"The Declaration of Pillnitz"


In response to the "Padua Circular," King Louis’s brother, the Count of Artois, a leader of the émigré nobles, expressed his support for Emperor Leopold II of Austria. Leopold, in conjunction with Prussian King Frederick–William III, then issued this "Declaration of Pillnitz"; the "resolution to act quickly" was perceived as a declaration of war on France for the purpose of ending the Revolution, even though neither Austria nor Prussia was displeased by French weakness.


George F. de Martens, Recueil des traites, 2d ed., vol. 5 (Gottingue, 1917), 260. Translated by Exploring the French Revolution project staff from original documents in French found in J.M. Roberts, French Revolution Documents, vol. 1 (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1966), 439.


August 27, 1791






Their Majesties, the Emperor and the King of Prussia, having heard the wishes and representations of Monsieur, the Count of Artois, jointly declare that they view the situation in which the King of France currently finds himself as a subject of common interest for all of Europe's sovereigns. They hope that this interest can not fail to be recognized by the powers from whom assistance is being requested. Consequently, jointly with their respective Majesties, they will use the most efficient means in relation to their strengths to place the King of France in a position to be totally free to consolidate the bases of a monarchical government that shall be as amenable to the rights of sovereigns as it is to the well-being of the French nation. In this case then, their said Majesties, the Emperor and the King of Prussia are resolved to act quickly, in mutual agreement, and with the forces necessary to achieve the proposed and common goal. Meanwhile, they shall issue their troops the necessary orders to prepare them for action.


“"The Declaration of Pillnitz",” LIBERTY, EQUALITY, FRATERNITY: EXPLORING THE FRENCH REVOUTION, accessed July 20, 2024, https://revolution.chnm.org/d/421.