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Congress of Vienna (1814-1815) – a series of meetings during which European leaders sought to establish long-lasting peace and security after the defeat.

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Presentation on theme: "Congress of Vienna (1814-1815) – a series of meetings during which European leaders sought to establish long-lasting peace and security after the defeat."— Presentation transcript:

1 Congress of Vienna ( ) – a series of meetings during which European leaders sought to establish long-lasting peace and security after the defeat of Napoleon. Five great powers involved: Prussia, Russia, Austria, Great Britain, France. The four victors wanted to forestall any future European empire. To achieve this they reestablished a balance of power, which meant they had to include France.

2 Most influential person of the meetings was Klemens von Metternich, the foreign minister of Austria The word 'freedom' means for me not a point of departure but a genuine point of arrival. The point of departure is defined by the word 'order'. Freedom cannot exist without the concept of order. Klemens Wenzel, Prince von Metternich (1773 – 1859)

3 The Concert of Europe, also known as the Congress System after the Congress of Vienna, was the balance of power that existed in Europe from the end of the Napoleonic Wars (1815) to the outbreak of the First World War (1914). The age of the Concert is sometimes known as the Age of Metternich, due to the influence of the Austrian chancellor's conservatism and the dominance of Austria within the German Confederation. Prince Metternich, conductor of the Concert of Europe

4 Metternich had contempt for the average Englishman’s inability to speak French fluently. He praised Lord John Dudley, British Foreign Secretary, for his excellent French. The common people of Vienna speak French better than the educated men of London! That may be so, but Your Highness will recall that Bonaparte has not been twice in London to teach them! How does Dudley’s reply put Metternich in his place?

5 Metternich’s three goals: 1. Prevent future French aggression by surrounding her with strong countries 2. Restore a balance of power, so that no country would be a threat to others 3. Restore Europe’s royal families to their thrones (legitimacy) When Paris sneezes, Europe catches cold! Metternich

6 The Containment of France Kingdom of the Netherlands formed, and Switzerland made independent Austria dominates new German Confederation of 39 German states Russia and Prussia scaled back their demands for compensation. Russia created a small kingdom of Poland. Kingdom of Sardinia is strengthened by adding Genoa Balance of Power European powers weaken France but leave it mostly intact Legitimacy Monarchs deposed by Napoleon are returned to thrones to promote stability (a victory for conservatives) E.g., Louis XVIII becomes a constitutional monarch of France; Bourbon rulers of Spain and Sicily restored; Hapsburg princes returned to rule states in northern Italy

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8 A cartoon about the creation of Belgium in In order to establish a buffer between France and Germany, the Congress of Vienna created a kingdom of the Netherlands by combining Holland and Belgium (the latter the former Austrian Netherlands). Belgium resented Dutch rule, and in 1830 the Catholic nobility and the middle-class liberals joined forces in an insurrection that resulted in the creation of the independent state of Belgium. Here, the two countries are caricatured as dogs on the same leash, Belgium resisting the constraint of Holland.

9 Congress of Vienna was a triumph. Nations of an entire continent were cooperating to control political affairs. They agreed to meet regularly to prevent future wars through diplomacy. This "congress system" was successful for most of the 19th century. Because its settlements were fair enough, it did not sow the seeds of future wars (cf. Treaty of Versailles). European nations agree to preserve peace, which lasts almost 40 years. None of the five great powers waged war on one another until 1853, in the Crimean War.


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