His action in the matters just named, as also in the complex affair of the secularizations of clerical domains in Germany (February 1803), belongs properly to the history of those countries; but we may here note that, even before the signature of the peace of Amiens (27th of March 1802), he had effected changes in the constitution of the Batavian (Dutch) republic, which placed power in the hands of the French party and enabled him to keep French troops in the chief Dutch fortresses, despite the recently signed treaty of Luneville which guaranteed the independence of that republic. His treatment of the Italians was equally high-handed.
This unscrupulous proceeding, known as the Secularizations (February 1803), was carried out largely on lines laid down by Bonaparte and Talleyrand; and the latter is known to have made large sums of money by trafficking with the claimants of church lands.
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