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The French Revolution and Napoleon

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1 The French Revolution and Napoleon
Section Five The Congress of Vienna

2 Metternich’s Plan for Europe
The Congress of Vienna lasted for eight months during the winter of The congress was called to create stability in Europe after the fall of Napoleon. The “five great powers” of Europe had the most influence. Russia, Prussia, Austria, Great Britain, and France Of these, Austria’s representative Prince Klemens von Metternich was the most influential. He opposed the democratic ideals of the French Revolution. He established three goals for the Congress of Vienna: Prevent future French aggression by surrounding France with strong countries. Restore a balance of power so that no country is a threat to any other. Restore Europe’s royal families to their thrones.

3 The Containment of France
The following steps were taken to strengthen the countries around France: The former Austrian Netherlands and Dutch Republic were united to form the Kingdom of the Netherlands. A group of 39 German states were loosely joined as the newly created German Confederation, dominated by Austria. Switzerland was recognized as an independent nation. The Kingdom of Sardinia was strengthened by the addition of Genoa. See map on page 240 of the text.

4 Balance of Power The Congress of Vienna did not want to weaken France too much or break it up. France remained a diminished, but major European power. No nation in Europe could now overpower another.

5 Legitimacy This policy allowed the return of as many of the former royal families to power as was possible. The former rulers of France, Spain, several Italian states and several Central European states returned to power. The Congress of Vienna had successfully created a lasting peace in Europe for the first time in many centuries. Peace lasted on the continent for the next 40 years.

6 Political Changes Beyond Vienna
Kings and princes returned to power all over Europe. This congress was a victory for royalists. France and Britain had constitutional monarchies. These monarchs had limited powers. Russia, Prussia and Austria had absolute monarchies.

7 Conservative Europe Many European monarchs were nervous about the ideas left behind by the French Revolution. Some feared that the people might rise up and try to overthrow their monarchies. In late 1815, the rulers of Russia, Prussia and Austria formed the Holy Alliance. This alliance stated that the three nations would rule according to Christian principles and would combat the forces of revolution. Many other nations joined what was called the Concert of Europe which was an alliance that promised each nation would come to the aid of the other if revolutions broke out. Many societies were deeply divided in Europe. Conservatives were happy with the monarchies, but common people wanted more rights. This was especially true in France where the ideals of the revolution remained alive in people’s minds and hearts.

8 Revolution in Latin America
When Napoleon deposed the king of Spain during the Peninsula War, liberal Creoles (colonists born in Spanish America), seized control of many colonies in the Americas. When the Congress of Vienna restored the king to power, the Peninsulares (colonists born in Spain), tried to regain control of these colonial governments. The Spanish king tightened control over the colonies. The Mexicans rose in revolt and successfully threw off Spanish control. Other Spanish colonies did the same. At about the same time, Brazil declared independence from Portugal.

9 Long-Term Legacy The Congress of Vienna had left a legacy that would influence world politics for the next 100 years. French power had been diminished. British and Prussian power had increased. Nationalism began to grow and spread in Italy, Germany, and Greece. European colonies began to revolt and form independent governments. Ideas about the basis of power and authority had changed permanently. More and more people began to see democracy as the best way to ensure equality and justice for all. The attitudes and assumptions that had dominated Europe for centuries had been changed forever.

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