Topic 8 The Congress of Vienna Topic 8 The Congress of Vienna

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16 Oct 2011

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Topic Eight
The Congress of Vienna
Post war
-- Europe needed to deal with: Material & Physiological loss;
-- Throughout the previous century, this is the most devastating/exhausting/ destroying the whole
Europe/ single superpower wipes out the rest of the states;
Balance of Power and new state system
-- 1814 vision: strive for a new system eliminating the possibility of another Napoleon;
-- Realized that the cherished concept of balance of power was based on ignorance;
-- It was not automatic & self-regulatory; would not happen on its own;
-- Approach:
-- A new international system underscored by military powers to provide tability for Europe;
-- Establish a common social, cultural and political base, that is to say, religious commitment;
Was the Congress of Vienna successful?
-- For 40 years it secured peace on the continent;
-- The entire principle of Congress of Vienna stayed alive till WWI
-- Already pitfall in the very beginning of the congress, just in time before the Congress breaks down
What to do with France
-- Towards the end of Napoleon’s defeat, the coalition states already begin to discuss the future of France
-- Prussia: dismantle France (for the humiliation) take Alsace and Lorraine
Russia: did not want to destroy France as a state, but want to put his own candidate on the French throne,
creating a puppet state in the heart of Europe;
-- States disagree strongly; the coalition is falling apart;
-- Treaty of Chaumont (1814):
-- To hold the Coalition; stay together and ultimately defeat France;
-- Not to negotiate separately with France;
-- Allies would have to commit themselves in no less than 20 years to oppose France (foundation of the
Quadruple Alliance as well as the Congress of Vienna);
Europes new order
-- First Treaty of Paris (May 1814):
-- France was confined within borders of 1792, with following buffer zone established;
-- Joint kingdom of Belgium and the Netherlands; (United Netherlands);
-- Rhine: Prussia was given territory on the left bank of Rhine; check on France;
-- Austria acquired Northern Italy
-- Make sure France never wanted to challenge the system but still feel to be a part of the system;
-- Quite lenient, because:
1. Napoleon is no longer in power;
2. With Louis XVIII as a legitimate/new monarch, no need to revenge; now France will “play the rule”;
3. If Louis XVIII is not treated with just and kindness, there would be riots of the Jacobites, the radical
lefts, just as what happened in 1768;
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