November 1, 1814: The Congress of Vienna opens.

After Napoleon was defeated by the Sixth Coalition and exiled to the island of Elba, the major European powers met in Vienna over the course of seven months for a series of conferences chaired by the German-Austrian statesman Klemens von Metternich. The “Four Great Powers”, who, together, had formed the basis of the Sixth Coalition, were Austria, the United Kingdom, Prussia, and Russia. France, which restored Louis XVIII to the throne after Napoleon’s final defeat at Waterloo, was also represented at the conference. Besides those five, Spain, Portugal, Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland, and a handful of German states also sent representatives to the Congress of Vienna, which would ultimately decide the continent’s future. Other groups (companies, cities, religious organizations) also sent representatives to Vienna.

The main goal of the congress was to establish a balance of power in Europe that would ensure peace and stability in the years following the Napoleonic Wars. If this end were achieved, no one power could attain as much dominance over the continent as Napoleon’s French Empire had, and so the mostly conservative delegates divided countries, redrew territorial lines, and encouraged the restoration of monarchies. The Congress of Vienna also established the German Confederation, which replaced what Napoleon had created to replace the Holy Roman Empire, the Confederation of the Rhine. Territories were exchanged, ceded, and recovered, and nascent movements promoting nationalism and liberalism were temporarily suppressed - the creation of the Holy Alliance (between Russia, Austria, and Prussia) was also created to help maintain the strength of the monarchies against revolution. Ultimately, the Congress was more successful in preventing a European war to the scale of the Napoleonic Wars than maintaining the status quo; the Revolutions of 1848 shook Europe less than forty years later, but Europe did not see a conflict like the Napoleonic Wars until 1914. 

  1. knightofphoenix reblogged this from unhistorical
  2. deedeekingisdead reblogged this from unhistorical
  3. braveheartbrewser reblogged this from thewingsofdaedalus
  4. thewingsofdaedalus reblogged this from my-ear-trumpet
  5. my-ear-trumpet reblogged this from unhistorical
  6. elizabethwellesley reblogged this from unhistorical
  7. garethsbale reblogged this from batfamilia
  8. kaiserbillsmustache reblogged this from unhistorical
  9. invictascientia reblogged this from ladycashasatiger
  10. atocin reblogged this from unhistorical
  11. okorogariist reblogged this from unhistorical
  12. oheamess reblogged this from unhistorical
  13. society-gone-wild reblogged this from baconcheeseburgers
  14. thisgamerslife reblogged this from unhistorical
  15. daghdha reblogged this from brideofwinter
  16. baconcheeseburgers reblogged this from duchessofwellington
  17. duchessofwellington reblogged this from ladycashasatiger
  18. tinkersghost reblogged this from unhistorical
  19. panzerbjoern reblogged this from unhistorical
  20. peace-of-attrition reblogged this from unhistorical
  21. prinjack reblogged this from unhistorical
  22. ladycashasatiger reblogged this from unhistorical
  23. bullshitarnolds reblogged this from unhistorical
  24. trixxitang reblogged this from unhistorical
  25. andvaristreasure reblogged this from unhistorical
  26. somosinstantes- reblogged this from unhistorical
  27. theheartisa-bloom reblogged this from unhistorical
  28. sammyp88 reblogged this from unhistorical
  29. bmcgilli reblogged this from unhistorical