Congress of Vienna (Review HIS103 notes) 9/20/2012 9:12:00 AM
Post Napoleonic Settlement
Great powers wanted to develop a system that would prevent the
rise of another French hegemon.
o Another arbiter of Europe.
o No one man could ever again have the power to destroy &
create states—become hegemon
Congress of Vienna—1815
Three primary players:
o Castlereagh Objectives
Make sure that no hegemony would ever emerge in
Europe—thought it would always emanate from France
France was seen as the primary great power to create a
Make sure France did not create another hegemony—
threaten the continent.
British only cared about world trade—wanted to prevent
any threat to it.
Wanted to expand all over the world
Proposed a Quadruple alliance—binding all other great
powers in one union to make sure France would never
again threaten the rest of the alliance
Signed in 1815—bound Austria, Russia, Prussia, and
Britain to an alliance, to contribute 150,000 troops
each, and to remain in that alliance for at least 20
Brits were happy and left Europe alone afterwards.
o Metternich, Austrian Chancellor
Also wanted to pin down France but…
Concerned about the rise of Russia—second in line in
terms of population after France
Considering that Russia broke the back of Napoleon—he
knew Alexander wanted to expand his influence into
Western Europe. Wanted to develop a balance of power—to contain
France and keep down Russia from expanding across
the Polish borders
Proposed a close co-operation between Austria and
Britain—every time Russia wanted to spread beyond
Poland, Brit & Austria would oppose such endeavors.
o Alexander I, Czar of Russia
Restore Europe back to its conservative, monarchial
Developed the Holy Alliance—concerned with legitimacy
What Alexander believed in was this: whenever a
monarch is disposed, there was always the possibility of
revolution to follow.
The best assurance for security in Europe was to restore
Formed Holy Alliance—Prussia & Austria signed on and
for 40 years these three would fight to promote
conservative absolutist regimes.
Objectives of Vienna: Balance of power, put down France and keep
conservative monarchial order/legitimacy
Bourbon Restoration—Exemplification of these Objectives
There was no reminisce of the bourbon monarchy—after execution,
there were 25 yeas of no monarchy.
The allies could have severely punished France—but they didn’t:
o France would seek revenge if punished too difficultly
Would have pursued more conflict
o Allowed monarchy to be restored & become legitimate—have
a say in international system/play a role in the European
o France has gone through 25 years of different political
No absolutism (Republic & Empire) When Louis XVIII was restored he knew an absolutist monarchy
couldn’t be restored—told population of France to the Chargin of his
A good 50-60,000 members of the aristocracy came back from exile
o Wanted to get rid of all the republicans and Napoleon
Louis XVIII wanted to keep peace between and merge the left &
o Wanted one France
o Suited the Left
After his return, he issued a new constitution
o Guaranteeing to the Republicans, left and bonapartists, left
and right—a constitutional monarchy
o Achievements from Revolution would not be wiped out—
instilled a Constitutional monarchy.
o Developed a parliament—that would control monarchy
Composed of Upper & Lower houses
Lower house would be elected by the population of
Lower house would only be voted on by the wealthiest of French
o Majority was again cut out from electoral process
Upper house would be appointed by the monarchy
o Constitution of 1814—Presented as a gift from the king—yet
he had veto power over most laws.
First month when he went back to Versailles, tripped over the
Tried to accommodate both left & right
But left was pissed to say the least—regarding constitution and
reluctance to establish absolutist monarchy
The right (Ultras) kept bickering and criticizing the king o Too soft, mellow, lenient with republicans/napoleon
o Need to lash out
If he lashed out against the remnants of the Jacobins/Napoleon
Firing of officers, etc. created an very strong opposition to the
o 80,000 civil servants were fired due to support of napoleon
o 15,000 officers of French army were pensioned off
Ultras didn’t give a fuck; wanted revenge for atrocities.
A law, issued by the king, that allowed peasants who took over the
land of their feudal lords in 1789 & bourgeoisie who purchased
Church lands in 1791/92 to keep them
o Keep all benefits of Revolution
Right was pissed: was able to overthrow some of Louis’ laws
o Got the ear of Louis through a woman—Cayla—26 year old
o Right used her to influence Louis’ decisions.
o What really got them influence was an incident.