Following the decisive French victories over the Russian and Austrian armies at the Battle of Austerlitz and the final defeat of the Austrians at Ulm in December 1805, Austria was forced to make significant territorial concessions under the Treaty of Pressburg. This ended the War of the Third Coalition and put Napoleon’s French Empire in a new position of strength amongst the other European nations, which had been simultaneously united and divided by France’s military expansion. From the former Austrian territories ceded under the Treaty of Pressburg, Napoleon formed the Confederation of the Rhine on 12 July 1806. Under this new confederation, a number of German principalities and kingdoms were joined under a political alliance that was heavily influenced and controlled by France. The members of the Confederation of the Rhine were required to supply men for the French army and generally acted as a buffer zone between France and its rivals in the east.
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