He showed his sense of the value of Fouche's services in exploiting the royalist plot of1803-1804by reconstituting the ministry of police and bestowing it upon him.
Firstly we may remark that the Austrian alliance furnished one of the motives which led him to refrain during the campaign of 1812 from reconstituting the Polish realm in its ancient extent.
He belonged to what was called the Great German party, and opposed the project of reconstituting Germany under the leadership of Prussia; he defended the government against the liberal and democratic opposition; at this time he began the struggle against the secularization of schools, which continued throughout his life.
After abolishing the cabinet council system in favour during the rule of the two Annes, and reconstituting the senate as it had been under Peter the Great, - with the chiefs of the departments of state, all of them now Russians again, as ex-officio members under the presidency of the sovereign, - the first care of the new empress was to compose her quarrel with Sweden.
During this critical fortnight the duke had apparently acquiesced in Mr Balfour's compromise, and had co-operated in reconstituting the ministry; his nephew and heir had been made financial secretary to the treasury, while Mr Alfred Lyttelton was appointed colonial secretary, Mr Austen Chamberlain chancellor of the exchequer, Mr Brodrick secretary for India, Mr H.