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The Congress of Vienna & The Concert of Europe

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Christopher Beckvold

on 19 November 2015

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Transcript of The Congress of Vienna & The Concert of Europe

The Congress of Vienna & The Concert of Europe
Before the Congress of Vienna
Quadruple Alliance consisted of Great Britain, Russia, Prussia, and Austria.
Napoleon was defeated.
Other nations had signed the Treaty of Paris of 1815.
Quadruple Alliance restored Louis XVIII as the Bourbon King of France.
Participants and their goals
Representatives from most powers in Europe were present, but the major powers closely guarded the important decisions

Great Britain was represented by Viscount Robert Castlereagh. The British did not want territory, but desired control of the seas

France, represented by Prince Charles Talleyrand, was allowed some participation in the negotiation process.

It maintained the balance of power in Europe from Napoleon's fall through the 1860s.

It was founded by the Great Britain, Russia, Austria, and Prussia. Later, France joined.

The leaders of the Concert of Europe were Metternich, Castlereagh, and Alexander I of Russia.

Congress of Vienna
When: November 1814
Where: Vienna, Austria
Attended by royalty, advisors, and servants of states who had fought Napoleon.
Hosted by the Austrian Emperor, Francis II.
Variety of entertainment, a feast-like atmosphere
Held to arrange a final peace settlement after more than a decade of war.
Legitimacy was a policy that supported the rule of Europe's monarchs and did not recognize leaders who came to power via revolution.

It was Metterich's main political principle.

Metternich and the policy of Legitimacy aimed to restore old monarchs to preserve traditional institutions (conservatism).

Examples: The restoration of Bourbons in France (Louis XVIII) and Spain. Many rulers returned to thrones in Italian states.
Balance of Power and Actions to accomplish it
Legitimacy was overshadowed by more practical considerations of power.
The division of Poland among Russia, Austria, and Prussia (also independent Poland, controlled by Russia)
Prussia received two-fifths of Saxony, the Napoleonic German kingdom of Westphalia, and the left bank of the Rhine River.
Austria received two northern Italian provinces, Lombardy and Venetia.
Austria and Prussia formed a barrier in central Europe.
Netherlands was enlarged.
Piedmont (kingdom of Sardinia) was also enlarged.
The Germanic Confederation was created to replace Napoleonic Confederation of the Rhine.
Europe after the Congress of Vienna
Napoleon's Escape from Elba
Napoleon escaped from Elba
The One Hundred Days, the duration of Napoleon's second reign, occurred in the midst of the Congress of Vienna. This delayed the negotiations, but did not alter the agreements.
The French people were punished for their enthusiastic response to Napoleon's return.
Europe's borders returned to those of 1790.
France was forced to pay an indemnity, as well as to accept foreign army occupation for five years.
Conclusion about Congress of Vienna
It managed to contain liberal and national ideas/forces that had been unleashed by the French Revolution and Napoleon's reign.

It created a new balance of power with little regard for the common peoples' wishes.

It established a European order that managed to avoid a general European conflict for almost a century.
Concert of Europe
The most influential participant was the Austrian foreign minister, Prince Klemens von Metternich.

Karl August von Hardenberg and Alexander von Humboldt represented Prussia.

Primary goal: Territorial resettlement and restoration of power old monarchs of Europe. Additionally, they aimed to contain revolution in Europe.
The nations met periodically to maintain the balance of power and peace in Europe.

The Concert of Europe kept a cap on social upheavals and revolutions. However, the Greek Revolution (1821-1832) was supported because it gave independence to Greece and kept the Ottoman Empire in check.

The Concert of Europe fell apart during the 1860s as the major participants became politically different and tensions mounted between them, which resulted in various wars.
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