The pressing concern for Pius VII was to re-establish relations with Napoleonic France. The legacy of the French Revolution and the Great Terror was a systematic attempt to de-Christianise France. Public worship was forbidden and all visible signs of Christianity were removed. Church bells were pulled down and melted, crosses were taken from churches and cemeteries, and statues, relics and works of art were seized and sometimes destroyed. Churches were closed, to be converted into warehouses, manufacturing works or even stables. Streets and other public places bearing the names of saints were given new, often Republican themed names, and a new calendar started with the advent of the French Republic (Year 1). The names of its months reflected the seasons and a ten-day week eliminated Sunday as a day of rest and worship.
After the wreckage of the revolutionaries, Napolean indicated a willingness to turn the clock back. Pius seized the chance with a concordat that was signed in 1801, which effectively established Catholicism in France after. Pius would then show great support to Napoleon, even attending his coronation in 1804. This support seemed to backfire when France occupied and annexed the Papal States in 1809 and took him as their prisoner, exiling him to Savona. This exile ended only with Pius VII' signing the damaging Concordat of Fontainebleau in 1813, which would later be revoked. After the downfall of Napoleon, it is to the great credit of Pius VII that he gladly offered a refuge in his capital to the members of the Bonaparte family. Upon hearing of the severe captivity in which Napolean was held at St. Helena, he requested Cardinal Consalvi to plead for leniency with the Prince-Regent of England and sent him Abbé Vignali as chaplain.
Pius VII relationship with the United States was interesting. The newly formed nation had successfully suppressed Muslim Barbary Pirates in the First Barbary War along the southern Mediterranean coast. The pirates had kidnapped Christians for ransom and slavery, so Pope Pius VII declared that the United States “had done more for the cause of Christianity than the most powerful nations of Christendom have done for ages.” Pius made Baltimore the first archdiocese in the United States, with suffragan bishops in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Bardstown, Kentucky