As the result of the Vienna treaties, Austria became the real mistress of Italy.
In July 1780 he had been authorized to execute the duties previously assigned to Henry Laurens, and at the Hague was eminently successful, securing there recognition of the United States as an independent government (April 19, 1782), and negotiating both a loan and, in October 1782, a treaty of amity and commerce, the first of such treaties between the United States and foreign powers after that of February 1778 with France.
The commander was bound by the advice of his brethren; and in the same way the general chapter of the Order, consisting of the landmeisters and the great dignitaries, formed an advisory board to the grand master in matters such as treaties and internal legislation.
He alone could ratify treaties of peace and alliance, and on his nomination fifty-four senators were added to the senate, which thereafter numbered one hundred and twenty members appointed by him alone.
Annoyed by Whitworth's imperturbable demeanour, he ended with these words: "You must respect treaties, then: woe to those who do not respect treaties.