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Situated quite close to the French frontier, which at that time, as everybody knows, was formed by the Rhine itself, its mere geographical position threw obstacles in the way of its retaining the relative independence enjoyed by the majority of the other states of the Confederation of the Rhine. But this was all the more impossible because the country in reality was governed throughout on Napoleon's own account, at first in the name of Joachim Murat, but from 1808 even nominally under the rule of the Emperor in his capacity as guardian of the new Grand-Duke, the minor son of Louis Bonaparte. Its position, in combination with the measures described above for the blockade against Holland by means of a customs cordon between Rees and Bremen in 1809 and the incorporation of Holland in 1810, placed difficulties in the way of the supply of colonial goods both from the Baltic and from the North Sea to quite a different extent than was the case in Saxony. This was especially the case after the Trianon tariff, which particularly during its earlier phases involved dues in all the states through which the goods had to pass; and there was still less possibility of any supply through the Mediterranean than there was in the case of Switzerland. The native minister of the Grand-Duchy, Nesselrode, said with bitterness that Berg was the only country that had ever conscientiously applied the Trianon tariff. Every reason conspired to force her to the French side in the great struggle.






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