Confederation of the Rhine

The Confederation of the Rhine (German: Rheinbund; French: officially États confédérés du Rhin (Confederated States of the Rhine), but in practice Confédération du Rhin) was a confederation of German client states established at the behest of Napoleon some months after he defeated Austria and Russia at the Battle of Austerlitz. Its creation brought about the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire shortly afterward. The Confederation of the Rhine lasted from 1806 to 1813.[1]

Confederated States of the Rhine
Confederation of the Rhine
Rheinbund  (German)
Confédération du Rhin  (French)
Commemorative medal
The Confederation of the Rhine in 1812
Common languagesGerman, French
GovernmentConfederated French client states
Napoleon I
Karl von Dalberg
E. de Beauharnais
LegislatureDiet of the Confederation
Historical eraNapoleonic Wars
 Treaty of the Confederation of the Rhine
12 July 1806
 Holy Roman Empire dissolved
6 August 1806
 Dissolved after Battle of Leipzig
4 November 1813
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Holy Roman Empire
German Confederation

The founding members of the confederation were German princes of the Holy Roman Empire. They were later joined by 19 others, altogether ruling a total of over 15 million subjects. This granted a significant strategic advantage to the French Empire on its eastern frontier by providing a separation between France and the two largest German states, Prussia and Austria (which also controlled substantial non-German lands).