Napoleon Bonaparte had been attempting to organize an invasion of India for a long time, intending to take it from the British.
The Treaty of Finckenstein was signed on this day in 1807. It was an interesting agreement between Napoleon Bonaparte and Persia, signed in Finckenstein Palace in East Prussia. The ruins of the palace are today in Poland, some 80 km southeast of Gdansk.
According to the Treaty, Napoleon’s France was supposed to support Persia against the Russians, who were conducting an expansionist policy on the territory of Georgia and Armenia. On the other hand, Persia was supposed to allow Napoleon’s troops access to India. Napoleon had been attempting to organize an invasion of India for a long time, intending to take it from the British.
Britain was Napoleon’s most tenacious opponent and India was the “crown jewel” of her colonial empire. Napoleon’s expedition to Egypt from 1798/99 had been an earlier attempt to open a path to India.
The Treaty was signed by Mirza Mohammed Reza-Qazvini, the envoy of the Persian shah. The French really did send their military advisors to Persia in order to help the shah reform his army according to the western model. However, Napoleon soon made an alliance with the Russian Empire, so his planned route to invade India was transferred to Russian territory, specifically that what is now Afghanistan.