War of the First Coalition
Batavian RepublicAmsterdam, Netherlands
After seizing the Low Countries in a surprise winter attack, France established the Batavian Republic as a puppet state. In early 1795, intervention by the French Republic led to the downfall of the old Dutch Republic. The new Republic enjoyed widespread support from the Dutch populace and was the product of a genuine popular revolution. Nevertheless, it clearly was founded with the armed support of the French revolutionary forces. The Batavian Republic became a client state, the first of the "sister-republics", and later part of the French Empire of Napoleon. Its politics were deeply influenced by the French, who supported no fewer than three coups d'état to bring the different political factions to power that France favored at different moments in its own political development. Nevertheless, the process of creating a written Dutch constitution was mainly driven by internal political factors, not by French influence, until Napoleon forced the Dutch government to accept his brother, Louis Bonaparte, as monarch.