HIS103Y Lecture 25 January 11th.
From Congress System to Concert of EU
• The common threat of social revolution that faced the Holy Alliance held them
together and contained the Eastern Question and prevented Austria and Russia
from fighting over the Balkans
• The success of Metternich in using the Holy Alliance lay in the Treaty of
• Respecting each others borders in South-Eastern Europe, have a common policy
on upholding the Ottoman Empire, if the Ottomans did break up adopt a common
approach and to help beleaguered monarchies
• The fact that this treaty could be signed at all is a testimony to the powers of
stabilization of the Holy Alliance
• The danger of the Holy Alliance was the possibility of a East vs. West ideological
split reactionary vs. liberal
• Castlereagh refused to join the Holy Alliance because did not want to act upon
abstract and speculative principles of perception – not isolationist, Great Britain
cannot do without Europe, just pick and choice when to intervene in continental
• Caning restored balance of power Politics in Europe and out flanked the Holy
• In 1820’s Canning alarmed at possibility of Russia intervening in Greek uprising,
so rather than confronting Russia, he worked with Russia to secure Greek
• Battle of Navarino Great Britain navel victory over Ottomans
• In 1830’s when Russia signed treaty with Ottomans at Unkiar Skelessi; in July
1833 Russia promised military assistance to uphold Ottoman dynasty. A couple of
years before there had been serious internal rebellion, Egypt tried to break away,
Russia helped put it down when Turkish empire was at war the Ottomans would
close Hellespont at wish
• London Convention – all great powers minus France
• Straits Convention 1841 – all great powers – while Turkish empire was at peace,
no foreign warship passes through the Hellespont
• Russians secure in Black Sea, Great Britain and France secure in Mediterranean
• Vienna, Congress system, Holy Alliance had restored balance of power and the
confidence in it
• Would come to war
• Who would control the holy places – Latin church, Russian orthodox
• This would give an advantage of being able to exert influence in the Near East
• Russian territorial expansion seemed to threaten British line of communication to
• The impact of the 1848 -1849 revolutions boosted Russian position within the
system and alarmed British statesmen
• The old order was restored in all nations with the exception of Austria and
Germany • Hungry defeated Hapsburgs until June 1849, Russia under treaty of Munchengratz
defeated Hungarian rebels.
• Great Britain saw this as Hapsburgs becoming dependent on Russia or even a
• Prussia after declaring radical revolutionaries sponsored an Erfurt Union
• Austria objected to this – Russia dictated the terms of Punctation of Olmutz –
restored Austria’s authority in union – Russia it now seemed dominated in Central
Europe and threatened balance of power 1850
• When French leader raised issues of holy places, Great Britain suspected motives
of the French
- The Congress of Vienna and the challenges associated with it.
- To ensure that France would never become the arbitrator of Europe, the quadruple
alliance combined together.
- The Holy Alliance was created –.. however, there were some problems amongst the
- Russia was still challenged by the idea that Poland would not be given to them.
- The most important great power(s) – would not allow Russia to occur to that so that the
problem of arbitration would not occur.
- 1820-1830: 5 Revolutions challenged the Congress, the power balance.
- The British wished to maintain France’s power – Russia and Austria wanted to get
involved within the politics of all the member states. The system managed to overcome all the
challenges and maintain the territorial disposition.
- Within 2 decades of the 1830s – the entire system was in shambles.
- The whole system simply unraveled.
- Metternich focused that he would be upholding a liberal struc