On 12 July 1806, after ten years of diplomatic wooing, sixteen German client states, which included Bavaria, Wurttemberg, Baden, Hesse-Darmstadt, Nassau, and Berg, signed the Treaty of the Confederation of the Rhine. The ‘Protector of the Confederation’ was the French Emperor, Napoleon I. The Confederation was happy to declare loyalty to Napoleon because it meant protection against an increasingly aggressive Prussia, and the severance of their ancient allegiance to a weakened Holy Roman Empire, which was dissolved on 6 August, ending its 1,000-year history. Despite being under the hegemonic control of France, the member states retained their royal titles and a high degree of regional autonomy. Napoleon further cemented his alliance with the Confederation by marrying his relatives into the Baden and Bavarian royal families. As a result of the Confederation, the French sealed the porous northeastern border and created a buffer zone between themselves and the kingdom of Prussia. The member states were also compelled to provide military personnel and resources to support the occupying Napoleonic armies. Despite an ongoing French military presence, all this was achieved through negotiation.
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