"arrived in Tilsit"

 

Napoleon and Alexander meet on a raft in the Niemen River at Tilsit. Painting by Adolphe Roehn
Public DomainNapoleon and Alexander meet on a raft in the Niemen River at Tilsit. Painting by Adolphe Roehn

 As mentioned above, the Treaty of Tilsit was forced upon Tsar Alexander I after the distastrous defeat at Friedland. The punitive treaty saw Prussia lose around half of its territory, but Russia came out of it quite lightly, with a new treaty of cooperation between France and Russia. Napoleon and Alexander met on a raft in the middle of the river Niemen to discuss terms, beginning an alliance that pledged mutual support against their enemies: France would support Russia in her troubles with the Ottoman Empire and Russia would join France's Continental System against the British Empire. Overnight, Napoleon went from being the enemy of Russia to her closest ally, a position many found uncomfortable.